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From the Sublime to the Political

July 16, 2017


You haven’t heard from The New Moderate in a while, and that’s no accident. You see, I recently returned from an exhilarating trip to Alaska — a week cruising the spectacular fjords and islands of the panhandle, followed by an inland journey that took us all the way up to Fairbanks. And I have to confess that after glimpsing Alaska’s primeval wilderness with its snowy peaks and midnight sun (actually midnight sunset, since we stopped just short of the Arctic Circle), I’ve found it difficult — even distasteful — to muster an interest in our ongoing political squabbles.

Yes, we still have a borderline loonie in the White House and rabid partisans firing upon each other from the trenches, but maybe that’s my point: why do we insist on ruining this paradise of a planet with our accursed need to create discord? Why the knee-jerk factionalism, the mutual suspicions, the overheated accusations, the malicious lies and slanders? Why the increasing need to take refuge in boutique identities that separate us from those despised others? 

Let me tell you something about the demographics of that Alaska cruise. I quickly noticed that the majority of our fellow-cruisers belonged to that much-maligned subset of humanity known as Middle Americans. I overheard the twangy Southern, Midwestern and country-boy accents, and I knew we weren’t in Philadelphia anymore. Frizzy-haired, sandal-shod coastal progressives seemed to be an endangered species here.

Although I like to think of myself as an all-embracing, non-discriminatory moderate, I dreaded having to sit down to dinner with these strangers from Trump Country.  Shame on me! Almost without exception, they turned out to be friendly, decent, convivial tablemates. One kind-faced older man confessed that he had to be hospitalized after he retired because he couldn’t get accustomed to being idle. (He later found salvation as a volunteer.) A jolly married woman from Hawaii brightened the conversation with her outgoing warmth and humor. Finally, as we were about to part company, the inevitable “What do you do?” question circled around the table.  I told them about my ups and downs as an author and blogger. Others chimed in with their past and present exploits. An unassuming gentleman from Spokane casually replied, “I used to run Kaiser Aluminum.”

Political squabbling was something we left behind in the Lower 48. After all, we were just fellow humans thrust together on the adventure of a lifetime. And maybe that’s the key: we related to each other as individuals enjoying a common experience, not as abstract representatives of this or that sociopolitical group. We humans love to generalize about people we haven’t actually met, and that unfortunate penchant has always been our undoing. We could all benefit from venturing outside our social bubble-domes now and then.

This past week we marked the 200th birthday of Henry David Thoreau, that cranky, enigmatic Yankee evangelist for the independent life. I started to wonder how we’d peg him politically. He was an ardent abolitionist, a proto-hippie and a pioneer of the peaceful protest. He railed against the compulsive pursuit of profit. So would he be a progressive Democrat today?

Not so fast. Thoreau was also a staunch individualist, a believer in minimal government and a bit of a misanthrope. It’s hard to imagine him engaging in mass demonstrations or any other collective pursuit. He always listened to the beat of that different drum.

What we’re left with, once again, is a bona fide individual. Thoreau would never whittle down his rough edges to fit a mold, and neither should we. Neither should we whittle down other people’s rough edges so they fit our preconceived molds — or scorn them when they don’t fit a mold we personally endorse.

If we’re going to survive as a unified nation (and it’s probably in our best interest that we do), maybe we need to do away with molds altogether. I know those molds help us make sense of a complicated universe, and I confess I’m guilty of resorting to classification-by-mold when I generalize about our political factions. But we all need to bridge that divide and find common ground with the people we currently think of as adversaries.

What common ground? Love of family and friends, fun, beauty, self-fulfillment, respect for others. And of course, our shared identity as Americans, humans, and fellow-residents of a magnificent planet. We’re like instruments in an orchestra: we might produce vastly different sounds as individuals, but we can vibrate to the music of common chords and produce pleasing harmonies.

Yes, my Alaska adventure made our political animosities seem distant, petty and Lilliputian. Once we dispense with the categories and start waking up to the humanity in our fellow-humans, we might stop labeling others as “the other.” Maybe that’s the real essence of being a moderate.


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

All material in The New Moderate copyright 2007-2017 by Rick Bayan. (But feel free to share.)

315 Comments leave one →
  1. dhlii permalink
    July 16, 2017 4:34 pm

    Great post.

    Americans – nearly all of us, are very decent people as individuals.

    We do not always agree with our neighbor, but as long as they do not try to run our lives we still get along regardless of our differences.

    We thrive as individuals and as a nation – without strong institutions forcing us to conform to some concept of the norm.

    We only require those institutions sufficient to protect us from the very few who will harm their neighbor absent force.

    In all else we can take care of ourselves. Despite our individualist streak – we are not only capable but excel at voluntarily cooperating with each other for our own benefit.

    We are mostly social creatures – by individual choice.
    We are not ants in a colony or wolves in a pack.

    • July 18, 2017 1:21 pm

      Thanks, Dave. I think that balance between individualism and genuine community spirit (as opposed to “my community vs. your community”) is the key to a healthy society.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 3:18 pm

        We are expanding the discussion.

        A free society and a healthy society – might not be the same thing.
        Or the latter may be the consequence of the former.
        Regardless, though we will not likely agree narrowly on what is a free society.
        It is unlikely we can agree at all on what is a healthy society.

        “my community” – meaning any of the voluntary associations I might make are extensions or supplements to the individual.

        Individuality does not preclude voluntary cooperation.
        All free exchange is just one form of voluntary cooperation.

        Regardless, as Prof. Haidt and many others have noted one of the characteristics of humans is tribalism.
        my family, my neighborhood, my community, my city, my state, my country, my world.
        These tribal constructions are neutral but can act for good or bad or both.
        Individual liberty requires us to include or exclude ourselves freely.

        According to John Locke government too is a voluntary group. We can include ourselves or exclude ourselves.

        Except for essentially anarcho-capitolistc groups such as the UN, we do not have much in the way of voluntary government.

        Government as most of us know it is not voluntary. That and the fact that it can use force legitimately narrowly dictate its scope.

  2. Roby permalink
    July 16, 2017 4:44 pm

    At the top of my favorites of your posts because in this case the advice truly can be taken and would help.

    I just came back from a trip to Montana and experienced the same myself everywhere. Aside from one half naked girlie with a diamond in her navel who did not believe that standing at the end of a long line to get on an airplane was for her and why not just go immediatly to the front of it with her diamond, I did not encounter one boorish person and did encounter kindness, good humor, helpfulness, enthusiasm, cheerfulness, etc.

    Politics is poison. The less I drink the better. As well, when I got myself down to none at all for a several week spell I did amazingly productive things with my time.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 17, 2017 5:11 pm

      We agree.

      What I do not understand is we we can not get from agreement that politics is poison,
      to understanding that we need to reduce the political part of all of our lives to the bare minimum so that we have the largest portion of what we are nearly all good at.

      I do not think there is a single person on this board that could not get along famously outside the context of politics.

      We would not agree on everything – but that would not matter so long as we left each to their own way in their own life.

      • July 18, 2017 1:33 pm

        Glad you liked it, Roby. Without politics to poison the communal water, I have to agree that Americans are a mostly decent lot. I didn’t mention it in the essay, but I was especially charmed by the spirit of the Alaskans I met in stores and as tour drivers, They’re truly like our last pioneers.

        It’s a shame that the Internet has promoted such bitter factionalism, though. Here’s a medium with the almost unprecedented power to bring us together, and it’s been doing just the opposite. (Well, I guess it’s been bringing special-interest groups together — at the expense of national unity.)

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 3:25 pm

        We have been prone to both factionalization and evil long before the internet.
        Rwanda, The Great Leap Forward, the Gulags, the Nazi’s are among many examples of violent factionalism absent the internet.

        Overall I think the internet is a strongly net positive force.

        But freedom is not always pretty.

        One of my arguments with the left (and moderates) is this utopianism.

        Libertarianism is NOT utopian. It can and does work in the real world.
        But it most definitely is NOT utopian. Free people make poor choices, and sometimes even die from them.

      • July 18, 2017 1:34 pm

        If Dave and Roby agree, I must be losing my touch. 😉

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 4:32 pm

        We all share nearly the same values.

        but values do not relate to one another randomly

        They fit into a framework that is/should be structured by our principles.
        I think we mostly share the same principles – all principles are values, all values are not principles.

        But most of us do not give any thought to the way our values fit into a structure with principles at the base.

        As a result we do not recognize that efforts to acheive one value come at the expense of others. We pretend we can make those choices in a vaccuum.
        That we can have universal healthcare without losing something else.
        Or that our neighbor does not – and need not share the same relative weight to their values as we do.

        So long and we are free and respect the freedom of others, then nearly all the nasty conflicts that factionalize us go away.

        Most everything we angrily divide over is one group of us trying to impose their relative values by force on the other.

        Apart of what I find offensive in both the left and some moderates here, is trying to wish that away.

        “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get along – i,e, you should smile while I abridge your rights”

        We get upset often violently when government abridges the rights of blacks or women, or homosexuals.

        We all have the same rights – whether christian bakers, transexual blacks. or wealthy white dudes.

  3. July 16, 2017 7:12 pm

    Beautiful country and one that would be lovely to live in, until winter sets in and the sun don’t shine for long each day, if at all.

    • July 18, 2017 1:41 pm

      I don’t know if I’d enjoy those long, dark winters, but the locals say they try to socialize more — and they probably do a lot of cross-country skiing. Many of the inland folk still get around by dogsled.

      One local guy who used to live in Virginia said that he actually prefers 40 below in Fairbanks to 15 or 20 above back East. (Less dampness to chill your bones.) My son and I did the “40 below” challenge: we stepped into a special room at that temperature dressed in our street clothes — just for a minute or so — and it was surprisingly tolerable. We just felt our nostrils get frosty.

      • July 18, 2017 3:29 pm

        Seems like 40 below is like 90 with 60% humidity (south and east) to 110 with 10% humidity (west). I hate the summers in North Carolina. I walk outside and 10 minutes later I am beginning to get dripping wet from sweat doing nothing. Went to Utah to visit daughter, went hiking at a state park, was over 100 degrees and after the 3 hours hiking, felt fine, dry and willing to do more. Humidity at any temperature cold or hot temp is bad.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 4:36 pm

        I spent 2 years in college at Georgia Tech – the winters were miserable – it snowed once 2″ shutdown atlanta for 2 weeks. Otherwise it rained. Cold and wet is horrible.

        After that I spent 2 years at Renselear Polytechnical Institute.
        Several feet of snow in the winter. It was so cold that the snow did not melt on your cloths. It was easy to keep dry and much more pleasant.

  4. July 17, 2017 5:53 pm

    Rick, this reminded me of an article I read about Bret Easton Ellis, the author and Hollywood screenwriter, in which he basically says he’s swearing off all political discussion, because people have gone crazy. The final straw for him was being called a “Trump apologist” for saying, in one of his podcasts, that, although he didn’t vote for Trump, he was bothered much more by anti-Trump hysteria than by the reality of what Trump is doing. He said that it was time to accept that Trump was elected this time around and not continue to let politics define your life, which is absurd.

    My daughter, who did vote for Trump, is in South Africa right now, working with orphaned and at-risk children in Soweto. She says that it breaks her heart to hear these kids talk about America, because they so want to come here and experience the freedom and opportunity that we have ~ but, it also burns her to hear the whining and virtue-signaling from her fellow Americans on this journey, who act as if having Trump is the second coming of Hitler. What upsets her the most is that she knows that if she were to reveal herself as a Trump supporter, many of these people would shun her, despite knowing her to be an intelligent and good hearted person. It’s insane.

    Politics has always been a dirty business, but we can’t let politicians and politics define us, or we risk losing all of the common ground that we share.

    Great post. (And I link a video that my daughter took of part of a talent show that the children of Tehobo Trust performed for their visiting American teachers, just because some of these kids are pretty damn good. And, because Roby and I have already linked all of the good cockatoo videos)

    • dhlii permalink
      July 17, 2017 6:44 pm

      Unlike your daughter I did not vote for Trump.

      I think he is a reprehensible person – I fully understand those republicans – such as Goldberg, Will. McCarthy, … that can not support him.

      I do not “support him” per say.
      I did in real life defend the KKK’s right to march in my town many years ago.
      And I was part of the protest of that march.

      I understand as an example the queeziness that many have over Trump Jr.’s meeting to get dirt on Clinton. I could not personally conceive of seeking out the dirty laundry of anyone else. I can not think of a job I would want badly enough to seek dirt on others.

      But Trump Jr.s conduct was legal, and no more reprehensible that pretty much every other politician.

      One of the most disturbing aspects of this anti-trump nonsense is that it is destroying the reputation of others in politics that I had previously respected.
      Early in the campaign I thought Trumps attack’s on John McCain were completely bile.
      McCain was not even in the election. I still think that.
      But as this has moved forward it becomes increasingly clear that McCain is extracting his own revenge. The Russians that met with Trump Jr. apparently have been meeting with McCain for a couple of years. McCain is tied to fusion GPS and to the Steele Dossier and walked the dossier to the FBI.

      I do not think that Obama was a good president. But until after the election I thought he was a good person. But every new attack on Trump supplies more dirt on the Obama administration.

      I would guess that Moogie, Roby, Jay, Rick and Ron are disgusted with government right now – aren’t we all. I understand fully.
      What I do not understand is why any of us would ever place high trust in government.

      All of this – Trump’s conduct, McCain’s, Clinton’s and all the rest.
      Ilegal ? Immoral ! Vile! Ugly!

      It is just politics. To the extent I depart from the rest of you it is that I do not think it is unusual.
      Trump just fired a boatload at the VA. I would think – even without knowing them, that many of us have sympathy. The VA has F’d over our veterans. Left, Right, that is not how it is supposed to be. I do not have a perfect libertartian answer to the VA.
      If we send soldiers to fight for us – and defense is a legitimate role of the government even if I would severely reduce it, then we are obligated to take care of them when they are harmed as a result. Certainly we owe them more that the worst government medical system on earth. Nor is this “tribal” – Obama F’d up. Bush F’d up. I can not remember a time the VA was good. I doubt it ever was.

      But the VA is not unique in government – just as aside from his in your face style and coarse rhetoric, Trump is not unique as a president or politician.

      Where I differ from most of you and mostly aggree with Madison, is that the democratic process is not even close to sufficient to protect us from ever worsening government.
      BTW in different language John Stuart Mills said the same thing in “on liberty” – that democracy ultimately becomes more authoritarian that totalitarianism.

      We are not going to elect “good people” routinely – our government is not even likely to employ average much less better than average people.

      We must design our system to work even if bad people end up in power.
      That is what our founders intended – I think they understood their own weaknesses.
      But that is not what most of us today, or must here understand.

      • Roby permalink
        July 18, 2017 5:07 pm

        Well, here is a Dave post that I can take reading and even mostly enjoy. But no, I do not believe that the level of presidential badness, or basic rottenness of character is uniform among politicians, there are a different flavors of bad and different levels. Bush I was not at the level of lying as or personal lack of scruples as trump or Clinton, neither was Ford and neither was Eisenhower. In fact neither were any of them in my lifetime other than Nixon. This administration is unique in its flavor. I can’t say its the worst in history in terms of bad decisions leading to physical harm, they had not had time yet. As far as the assault on our national dignity (yes I believe that exists) this is by far the worst according to my taste, in my lifetime and probably in my parents lifetimes.

        I firmly believe that there are a huge number of people who are claiming that trumps character is nothing unusual, nothing to get worked up about and even needs to just be accepted who would have complete melt down if trump was exactly what he was and had done exactly what he did, but he was a liberal. I think its damn near 100% of trump apologists who have gone ballistic over democratic politicians lying in the past and who will go ballistic again in the future, while complaining bitterly about the supposed mistreatment and over reaction to trump and his administration and allies.

        This is a terrible president, to me unacceptable. Give me a democrat with policy ideas I like but trumps character, behavior and methods and I will be just as upset. And, I think many here will believe me when I say that.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 5:52 pm

        I have not proposed that the evil of politicians is homogenous.

        I think based on evidence that Johnson “trump” Nixon significantly in “evil”.

        Nixon is an incredible enigma.

        He was likely essential to extracting the US from Vietnam.
        He was instrumental in improving relations with the USSR and China.
        domestically he was possibly the most progressive president except possibly FDR.
        After 40 years of bad taste resulting from disasterous new deal regulations, Nixon reverted to federal regulation in a huge way.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 5:59 pm

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 6:23 pm

        I am not claiming Trumps character is normal.
        I revel in our differences – and trump is quite different.

        There is a separate issue of whether his character is bad of good and how bad and does that even matter.

        I am not sure I can coordinate good character with good presidents.
        I would like to have both.
        I tend to vote based on character.

        National dignity is something we deal with at the polls.

        I think Trump is selling national dignity and I think that sales pitch is working.
        But his audience is not you Roby.

        There is about 25% of this country that absolutely loathes Trump and will never have even an mildly bad view of him – to them he is the antichrist.

        There appears to be about 35% of the country that thinks Trump is god, that he can do no evil.

        That leaves the 45% of us that determined the outcome of the election.
        Most of them do not like Trump.
        Most of them liked Clinton even less.

        Trump is unique.
        Someone somewhere recently noted that this is the first president since Nixon (mostly through Agnew) to litterally go to war with the press.
        That is always been Trump’s MO.

        I do not like it – but it was not a determinative factor in my voting.
        But alot of Trump’s supporters love it.

        I seperately was following a journalist progressive who is calling on the left to chill because they are harming themselfs more than Trump (and I think he is right).

        Who noted that like I – he thought Trump was dead in 2015 when he attacked McCain.
        Trump completely ignored the conventional political wisdom.
        Trump’s view is DO NOT APPOLOGIZE Ever.
        And it is working for him.

        Further his attacks on the media are working.
        The right has been bitching about bias in the media since I was a child.
        Alot of people – myself included are taking pleasure in the public humiliation of major media outlets.
        I do not see CNN as any better than Alex Jones Infowars.
        I do not like either.

        Regardless, I am a big supporter of freedom – including in the press.
        That includes the right of the press to be biased.
        And for each of us to decide what we think about that through our choices.
        I do not watch Alex Jones, and I rarely watch CNN.

        Fox has taken on a huge position in the media – BECAUSE most other major outlets lean left and Fox has little competition on the right.

        I have noted before that my recent introduction to twitter was shocking.
        Major respected figures – law professors, etc. Tweet like stupid 13 year olds.
        Twitter is not a universal cesspool, but it still seems to bring out the inner 13year old in everyone on it. Right wing moderate start sounding like Milo Yanopolis. Respected Left Wing Pundits come off as nasty petulant children.

        Regardless, I think that Trump’s use of Twitter is going to be as big a change as FDR’s fireside chats. Trump has found a way to speak directly to people unfiltered.

        There is all kinds of fighting going on over the whitehouse press corp.
        That will continue for a while – but I think that the Whitehouse press in particular and journalism as a whole are im the midst of a massive disruption.

        In their traditional role – the press is becoming irrelevant.

        I think most of the changes that the internet has brought us are GOOD.
        Including changes to the press and media.

        But AGAIN freedom is NOT always pretty.
        I would legalise heroin – even if a few more people died of overdoses.
        The benefits of most freedom significantly outweigh the costs.
        But I am not blind – the costs are real.

        The anti-thesis is regulation.
        On net the benefits of regulation do not outweigh the costs.
        The left only sees the benefits – many of which would occur regardless.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 6:35 pm

        I have vocally criticised many of the attacks on Trump.

        Just to be clear – I do not have a problem with those attacking Trump.

        I am NOT criticising attaching Trump.
        I am merely pointing out the weaknesses in the specific attacks.
        Or my disagreement with them.

        I think CNN can run its business however it thinks works for it.
        If it wishes to transform itself into the equivalent of the national enquirer – that is fine by me.

        I would separately note as a strategy issue that the attacks on Trump are not working.
        They appear to be slowing down his agenda – but not even close to stopping it.
        More importantly they are destroying the left.

        Even if the left should crush and impeach Trump

        Clinton lost the election to a pretty unappealing candidate.
        There are alot of reasons for that and some are unique to clinton.

        But some reflect changes in the country.

        As I have previously noted the left is more homogenized than the right.
        That is BAD not good. It is dragging them slowly further left and alienating the middle.

        The country is changing. Reason likes to keep trying to call this the “libertarian moment”.
        I do not think so – but I do think that there is a general shift in the right and left towards mild libertariansim.

        But the evidence is quirky and odd.
        More people today SAY they prefer socialism over capitalism. Particularly young people.
        But on a policy by policy basis Gen Xers are the most (policy) libertarian that has been since we started scoring this.

        And remember ALL age cohorts get more conservative as they age.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 6:44 pm

        You and I likely strongly agree on the character of politicians.

        While I do share some of the glee in watching Trump give the “fake news” its well deserved comeupance.

        Still that is not my idea of “presidential”

        They are not exactly the same – but I will compare Trump to Bill Clinton.

        Bill is far more pleasant. but he is a far worse mysoginist than Trump.
        Frankly but for the fact that Hillary enables and participated in Bill’s mysogyny I just might have been able to hold my nose and vote for her.
        Not because I like her at all – but because Trump is that bad,

        But Bill Clinton was MOSTLY an effective president – he had a very poor foriegn policy record. From the Balkans to Rwanda, to botched mideast efforts, to North Korea.

        I think Bill Clinton was a BAD person and a good president.
        That troubles me alot.
        I think that good people should make good presidents.
        But I think both Bush II and Obama were good people – but bad presidents.

        Maybe Reagan was both. Before that you have to go to Coolidge.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 6:52 pm

        I would suggest looking into “public choice theory”

        Politicians are not going to be uniformly horrible people.
        But the incentives in politics are similar to those in markets except for two things:
        In politicas there is FAR less self regulation.
        Markets offer a vehicle to wealth.
        Politics is a vehicle to power.

        There is overlap – you can rent power with money.
        And you can lease power to get money.

        But power is still the greater danger.
        All the evil things the rest of you here think about free markets I think about government.

        Markets need little if any regulation – the incentives are right, the freedom of buyers rapidly self regulates the misconduct of sellors.

        Government needs highly regulated – and more importantly needs to be nearly impotent.
        It is more dangerous in reality than business is in your worst fantasy.

        Think of the most vile business person you can recall.
        Remembering that the number of business people throughout the world dwarfs the number of politicians by several orders of magnitude.
        Now thing of the top 100 worst politicians.
        The most evil business person is lightyears less evil that the top 100 most evil politicians.

      • July 18, 2017 6:48 pm

        Roby, I do get that you absolutely detest and disdain Trump. And you are in good company, as millions of people do. I am not one of them, but I certainly know many of them, and many are people that I admire, people that I like, and often agree with politically. I never hated Trump the way that you do, but there was certainly a time when I was somewhat horrified at the possibility of him becoming president. Not as horrified as I was at the possibility of Hillary becoming president, though, and that is, in large part, the reason why I began looking at Trump as someone for whom I could vote.

        Of course, I could have abstained from voting for president, and just voted down ballot, I could have voted for a third party candidate, or I could have written in my choice. I think that I’ve been clear in past comments why I simply don’t see the point in voting for someone who realistically has no shot to win ~ I have no particular problem with protest voting, I just don’t see the point in it. But I think that that is a personal choice, and that there are many people who cannot, in good conscience, cast a vote for someone that they consider unfit for the office. I considered Obama unfit for the office, due both to his extreme inexperience and due to his close association with people like Frank Marshall Davis, Bill Ayers, and Jeremiah Wright ~ not to mention his willingness to lie about those associations. So I get that kind of “horrified.”

        My decision to support Trump was influenced by a number of factors: 1. he was the GOP nominee, and I have, for now, given up on the Democratic Party, which is way, way too far left for me, so Trump was my only viable option, other than a protest vote, 2. I grew to like the idea of a true outsider coming in to Washington as president, and knocking a few heads together 3. I never believed, and I still do not believe that Trump is corrupt, certainly not as corrupt as the average Washington politician. 4. I came to believe, and still do believe, that Trump speaks for himself, not for his donors, or for lobbyists, or for any foreign power.

        Do I like everything he says or does? No. Do I agree with his basic policy positions, his overall philosophy of what makes America great and why he believes that we have been headed in the wrong direction, both economically and as a world power? Yes, in the main. Do I think that he is a person of bad character, an inveterate liar and con-man? No. Do I think he’s a bit strange, with a somewhat too-fragile ego, and a tendency to respond impulsively to attacks and setbacks. Yes, but I’ll qualify that by saying that I believe that most of our modern presidents have had some big flaws, and that Trump’s flaws are often off-set by his honesty, outspokenness, and his political bravery. There’s an old saying “The line between bravery and stupidity is so thin that you don’t know you’ve crossed it until you’re dead.”

        Do I think his presidency will be a success? I don’t know. Things don’t look so good right now. And, while Trump is battling the Democrats, many (if not most) Republicans, the media, many NATO leaders who liked the easy ride that they were getting with Clinton, Bush and Obama, etc…..he is also battling his own tendency to often make certain bad situations worse. We may not know whether he is brave or stupid until he’s politically dead.

        Those of us who you derisively call “Trump enablers,” are often less foolish and more clear-eyed than you think. I don’t expect you to agree with me, but I would ask that you keep that in mind.

        Sorry this was so long.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 9:51 pm

        We vote for our own reasons.
        That is part of the problem with this “russia” meme.

        With respect to voting things that concern me.
        Hacking voting machines.
        Other misconduct involving the handling and counting of votes.
        various forms of in person voter fraud.

        If Russia hacked the DNC email server and leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks.

        1). Nothing to be done.
        2). If that effected voters – that is life, do not write stupid emails, or better do not engage in conduct that voters will abhor if they find out about.

        If Campaign Trump actually collaborated in efforts to Hack the DNC email server before – NOT the release of the emails once they were hacked – that I have a problem with.

        Any other interactions with the Russians (or really anyone else) that is not a crime – is news, and a reason for people to think about their 2018 and 2020 vote. It is not a basis for impeachment, it is not the basis for a government investigation.

        I have a VERY serious problem with any investigation that is NOT of a crime that is not done publicly by congress. The FBI or special prosecutors should never be investigation people over political rather than criminal conduct.

        That is little different than what nixon wanted to do with the FBI.
        It does not matter if it is done openly and publicly.
        Mueller can investigate if there is credible evidence of a crime – todate there is not.
        I do not beleive there should be a special prosecutor.

        If Russia was planting news stories, creating Clickbait or bashing Clinton on RT.
        So what ? Again that is life.

        More generally – communicating with voters – even lying to them is not a crime and not something our government should be permitted to interfere with.

        If one candidate lies about the other – directly or by proxy – including through a foreign country, and that demonstrably alters the outcome of an election – so be it.

        It is the job of the news media, the other candidate and ultimately the voter to sort truth from lies. Government should not even be investigating the credibility of political expression.

        So if Russia influenced the election by changing peoples minds – I do not care.
        There is nothing there.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 10:03 pm

        Thus far I think Trump’s presidency has been relatively successful.

        He is shrinking government.
        He is slowing down the regulator process.
        THUS FAR I beleive he is doing well in the mideast.
        He committed to militarily destroying ISIS and then getting our military OUT.
        He appears to be doing that.

        He has “reset” our relationships in the mideast.
        Which is key to offesting the increasing power of Iran.

        There are some hints that some arab israeli deal may occur – more than we have seen in decades.

        I do not think that the issues regarding Nato and the rest of the world are going badly.

        There is a huge difference between Trump and Obama (and Bush I II)

        Trump is not a multilaterist. That is merely tactics, but it is effective.
        He is persuing nation-nation deals – not big muli nation deals.

        He has a volatile relationship with China – but he appears to have them more involved in dealing with North Korea than any prior president.

        I am disappointed that he did not move quickly for a US-UK really free trade deal.
        That should be a no-brainer, and I think even US protectionist voters actually understand that Trade with the UK is a win-win. But there are atleast rumblings.

        He is pushing on nato countries to up their military spending, and they are doing it.

        Contra the left – he has given Russia nothing so far.
        If this is Trump the Putin pupet – “please sir can I have more”

        Leading economic indicators look good – particularly after a dim and threatening 2016.
        The GOP budget is predicting 2.6% growth. I do nto think we will get there by 2018, but it will be insight. I expect to exceed 3% by 2020.
        If that occurs – Trump would have to start a nuclear war to lose.

        If he gets to 3% growth by 2020 I will probably hold my nose and vote for him.

      • Roby permalink
        July 20, 2017 11:24 am

        “Do I think that he is a person of bad character, an inveterate liar and con-man? No. ”

        I am sorry Priscilla, nothing in this world will convince me that you and millions of conservative/GOP voters like you would not have the opposite opinion if trump were a liberal whose political positions you disliked or worse. You would see through a liberal version of trump and be enraged. I am 100% sure of few things in this world but I am 100% sure of that.

      • July 20, 2017 12:21 pm


      • dhlii permalink
        July 20, 2017 2:10 pm


        I think that Trump is relatively liberal. More importantly I disagree with him on a number of issues. Thus far he has made progress primarily in areas I support and failed to accomplish much or even try on those I do not.

        Further I opposed Obama on policy issues, but until all this stuff about his administration’s political corruption has come out after the election – I thought he was a good person.

        Political antithapy is more complex that your simple model.

        Nixon had to be destroyed by the left because he was probably the most progressive president since FDR.,

        The hatred of the right for Clinton was atleast in part because he was mostly politically conservative.

        Har Cruz won instead of Trump – it is entirely possible the result of this election would have been reversed – Cruz would not likely have won the Rust belt, and likely would have lost a close electoral college vote.

        However Trump did very badly with southern voters outside of Florida – this did not matter because though it has taken 4 decades republicans now have an enormous lock on the south.

        Cruz could well have picked up 2-3M more republican votes in deep red states, beaten Clinton by popular vote and still lost the election.

        Trump won atleasts in part because he is NOT a republican. He essentially ran as a clinton democrat on the republican ticket.

        And that is a part of why he has poor support among republicans and is hated by the left.

    • July 18, 2017 1:58 pm

      Priscilla: Good point about our increasing tendency to let politics define who we are. I agree that left-wingers are much more likely to ostracize good people who aren’t on their political team… even those who simply confess that they don’t swallow the entirety of progressive “scripture.” I know I was dropped by a few FB friends after a couple of those “Why a nice guy like me can’t wholeheartedly embrace progressive values” posts. It’s that unfortunate tendency to view people as representatives of a hated “other” group instead of seeing them as individuals with free minds.

      It’s a shame that your daughter has to keep mum or risk losing friends. (I imagine Republicans in Hollywood have the same problem.) By the way, those South African kids could easily pass for Americans. They’d be right at home here, except that I wouldn’t wish it on them.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 4:46 pm

        I think political intolerance – particularly from the left is MUCH worse today.

        I recall in high school and college vigorous debates on a wide variety of issues with views across the spectrum absent turning everything into character assassination of those who disagree.

        I would suggest that feelings that your ideology is about saving the world make it far easier to tirade about the “hate” of those who disagree.

        Even in college most of my professors leaned left – but outright marxists were rare and even the left was a spectrum of views.

        The progressive left today is more ideologically homogenous. Dissent is not tolerated.
        A significant portion of the campus nonsense – such as at Evergreen occurs when one leftist professor says “wait a minute – left value X is not absolute and conflicts with left value Y”

        As a young adult I noted that christian fundimentalists had more conflict with those closest to them Small churches could fight bitterly over whether you baptize someone by dunking them once forward and twice backward – condemning the other to hell for slight differences. That is where we are with the left today.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 4:49 pm

        I would note that there is an argument that the polls were wrong about Trump and brexit for much this reason. The left cows those who disagree into silence.
        Many Trump voters would not admit to voting for Trump even in polls.

      • July 19, 2017 9:21 am

        Rick, Dave, what concerns me most about the continuing intolerance and violence from the left, is that this sort of thing generally continues to worsen, unless there is clear sign from leadership that it will not be tolerated. And by clear sign, I don’t mean “tut, tut children, we shouldn’t do that,” I mean “pull that shit again, and you’ll be expelled from school and/or thrown in jail.”

        Ironically, while liberals fume over “Trump enablers” and “Trump coddlers,” as if it’s somehow unpatriotic to accept the election of a president whom they don’t like (okay, they hate him), we see very little in the way of condemnation of riots against free speech or demands for racially segregated housing for black students (imagine if white students were to demand this). safe spaces and trigger warnings.

        The increasing tendency to define oneself as a member of a politically defined identity group, rather than as a member of a large heterogeneous society is tearing the country apart. Open and civil debate has become secondary and subordinate to obstruction, demands and protest, sometimes violent protest.

        Even more concerning, I think that the right, after witnessing the continued success of certain left wing thuggery, is beginning to advocate that “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” and to encourage the adoption of some of these strategies. For sure, this will not end well. To an extent, Donald Trump embodies this attitude of “punch back twice as hard,” (an Obama era quote) and the defense of that attitude will continue to grow, whether or not he is a successful president, because it is perceived to be the way that the left prevails. Some on the right now believe that the only way to respond is by “fighting fire with fire.”

        People on both sides need to dial it back about 10 notches and take some time to consider the ultimate ramifications of shouting down civil debate, refusing to accept the results of elections, and/or using violence to achieve political or cultural aims. Extremists on both sides will continue to advocate extreme strategies, but the rest of us need to stop enabling them. It’s not Trump who is the enemy ~ if anything, he is a result of what’s happening, not the cause.

  5. dhlii permalink
    July 17, 2017 6:13 pm

    “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”
    James Madison Federalist 51.

    We seem all agreed – human nature is mostly good, but politics brings out the worst in us.
    That is why the constitution was written with all the complexities and constraints that it has.
    Why removing them has allowed our worse nature to run amuck.

    • July 18, 2017 2:04 pm

      Dave: The Constitution is a masterpiece of wisdom and balance. But how have we removed its constraints? (Inquiring minds need to know.)

      • dhlii permalink
        July 18, 2017 5:02 pm

        One example would be that all legislation and regulation is the domain of congress.

        The constitution did not empower congress to delegate that task to the administration.
        Yet we do that all the time.

        Worse this is a cheap political trick. It allows congress to pass legislation with a bunch of clauses – each of which implies something different from the other, and then let regulators in the administration sort out the contradictions using their own personal preference.
        This allows a congress critter to self righteously and hypocritically rail that was not the law/regulation they voted for.

        But there are many others.

        A major one was evident in the Gorsuch nomination hearings.

        Those on the left rant about originalism, but a narrow form of originalism is the only means of interpreting law and constitution that is consistent with “the rule of law not man”.

        Ideology can drive our laws. I ideology can drive the enforcement of our laws.

        but the interpretation of law really should be as close to rote textual understanding, with ambiguity always resolved in favor of individual liberty.

        If we do not like the meaning of a law or constitution – when that meaning is near mechanistically established – then we can amend the constitution or change the law and be sure of how the court will read it.

        When constitutional interpretation is influenced by ideology
        we have the law of man not law.
        Even when the outcome is desireable the rule of law is still harmed.

  6. July 18, 2017 7:39 pm

    Go ahead, Trump coddlers, let’s hear the rationalizations for this sneaky hour long meeting.

    From BBC: ( 14 minutes ago)

    “The second meeting happened during the meal at the summit in Hamburg. President Trump left his seat and sat at an empty chair next to Mr Putin, the Washington Post reports.
    The US president was alone, and Mr Putin was attended only by his official interpreter, the report adds, saying that these talks lasted for almost an hour.

    The White House confirmed this meeting after media reports revealed the encounter.”

    This is the kind of deceptive devious Dunce we have as President. Two like-minded fascists with their foreheads together, and no record of what they promised each other, and NO ANNOUNCEMENT of what transpired between them.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 18, 2017 10:41 pm

      The fact that the president meets people in secret bothers you ?

      Or is it only that he meets russians in secret ?

      If Trump is meeting Putin – that is a good thing.

      what is it that the left actually wants ?
      War with Russia ?

      Personally I think he should drop the Russia sanctions – and the cuba sanctions and the Iran sanctions and all other sanctions.

      But right now if Trump smiled at Putin the left would have an anurism and scream collusion.

      If he secretly met with Theresa May – would that whig you out ?

      Do you understand this kind of Trump hysteria makes you look nuts ?

  7. July 19, 2017 4:19 pm

    More consensus from Conservatives that Trump supporters have degenerated morally.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 19, 2017 6:17 pm

      I like Shapiro but he is not even close to representing the “concensus”.

      And if you had read the article – rather than fixate on the fact that Shapiro is “sort of” critical of Trump, you would grasp that even he says he is not part of the concensus.

      While there are a few points I would disagree with.
      Mostly Shapiro is correct.

      I do not agree that the ends justify the means.
      I do not agree with him that any significant portion of those on the right beleive that.
      Conversely the ends is all that is important to the left. The means NEVER matters.

      Nor do I think that any significant portion of Trump supporters would not be upset with actual “cheeting”.

      Beyond that ALOT of what Shapiro says is correct.

      Trump supporters – and some of us who did not support him would NOT be happy if Trump was replaced with Pence and Republicans were able to advance Platform goals.

      This election was NOT mostly about policy – though it was more so on the right than the left.
      Nor was it mostly about character – Trump and Clinton were both vile.
      We can fight over who is worse.

      Van Jones “sort of ” got it right on election night when he called it “whitelash”.

      This election was definitely about “backlash”. The left has been following Alynski’s rules for radicals for decades – they have been getting more and more overt about it.

      The left continues to paint everyone who is not with them as “hateful, hating haters”.
      Those of you on the left are completely clueless as to how dangerous that is.
      Particularly when you atleast tepidly beleive that 51% of the people makes truth.

      I keep constantly harping here over things like is slavery moral if 51% of the people support it

      You will not answer. when you define right and wrong democratically – evil literally becomes good if most people support it

      Regardless, the left has told most of this country that they are evil hateful hating haters.
      The expanding breadth of left identity politics have been such that a tipping point was eventually going to be hit.

      In 2016 that tipping point was hit.

      Trump voters are gleeful that the left is getting a huge dose of its own medicine.
      “If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard,” – 2009 Obama Whitehouse.

      Trump has taken that to heart.

      Shapiro is correct Trump’s supporters do not care that much whether his tweets are perfectly accurate. He is punching back at the left and their media lapdogs.

      As far as Trump’s supporters are concerned he is punching back for them,
      for all the times they were badgered into silence or made affraid to say what they beleive for fear of being called a “hateful, hating hater” by the left.

      Shapiro might be right that they will stay with Trump if evidence of actual collusion was found. I do not think he is right about that.
      But I am not worried – because it will not be.

      Even Alan Derschowitz pointed out – long before the Trump Jr. meetings.
      That not only is this entire mess a nothing burger – but it can never become more than a nothing burger.

      Prior knowledge of Russian hacking of voting machines – would be a crime, and would get Trump impeached.

      Prior involvment in the hacking of the DNC – no matter who did it – would be a crime – and would get trump impeached.

      One of the reasons that the Trump Jr. meeting nonsense is tanking is because people are starting to grasp that the democrats are not saying Trump did something wrong.
      They are saying that anything he did that beat us is wrong.
      People are not stupid. The left has hyped up this “Trump/Russia” collusion.
      They have made it a monsterous evil conspiracy to take from them and the american people what the left thinks is rightfully theirs.
      While people were a bit troubled by the Trump Jr. meeting – at the same time that meeting made it clear that there would be nothing had Trump himself “secretly” met with Putin to get dirt on Clinton.

      Shapiro was “sorf of” correct that the Trump Jr. incident made it clear that Trump loyalist would support him no matter what. I think more accurately they realized that this media meme was NOT about Trump and Putin conspiring to hack voting machines.
      That what it really was about was the left criminalizing efforts to demonstrate that Clinton’s shit sticks too.

      It is not that Trump Jr. met with a non-entity and got nothing that is killing the left and it is that people are not thinking – if Trump had met with Putin and gotten dirt on Clinton that would be a “nothing burger”

      It actually got worse when Trump then had a 2nd “secret” meeting with Putin at G20.
      Really ? The left is frothing at the mouth because two world leaders met secretly ?
      And from what I can tell it was not even a “meeting” – it appears they set next to each other at dinner.

      I could not personally be a politician. I can not conceive of going out to get “dirt” on someone else. I do personally have moral problems with that.
      But that is why I have not run for office.

      At the same time I fully accept that as the norm of politics, and that it is legal.
      Nor is this new – our founders were throwing dirt at each other

      Further – even if we are offended by the moral issues of slinging mudd at your opponent.
      Clinton, her campaign and Democrats were so deep in the shit slinging in 2016 that Trump and supporters look like angels by comparision.

      Though there is one big difference, that is unique to this election.
      The conventional wisdom todate has been that parties and proxies can sling shit at each other, but to be elected, the candidate has to “appear” above that.

      Increasingly it is evident that clinton was heavily involved in slinging shit at Trump – through proxies and the media – and worse that much of her dirt was false.

      Conversely Trump went after his opponents personally and directly.
      The Trump Jr. meeting actually shows the rest of the Trump campaign FAILING to get dirt on Clinton. None of what Trump used against Clinton was the result of OPO research.
      It all came from the very reluctant news. Trump did not pay spies to find Clinton had seriously risked national security – the government did that. Trump did not pay spies to dig up the Clinton Cash – the New York Times did that. Trump’s OPO research came from the Media, the FBI and the government.

      Clinton’s came from MI6 agents soliciting false information from Russian spies.

      If there is a morality contest here – the left loses horribly.

      And separately I have been telling you that this is likely how things would be.

      I know those of you on the left think business person and sleazy criminal are the same thing. But all free exchange depends on Trust. Nearly every business person on the planet know that if they have a reputation for dishonesty that those they intend to exchange with beleive – no one will deal with them. Trump’s success is prima fascia evidence of his honesty. Real honestly – can I trust this person to do what they say they will. Not the fake honesty of the left – can I trip them up in some kind of self contradiction in their remarks.

      So contra your assertion what is actually being proven by all of this is the moral depravity of the left.

      Trump and his supporters are no saints. But the more the left pushes this the more obvious it becomes that in comparison to those on the left – the Clinton’s and the Obama administration – they are the “good guys”.

      Trump is coming accross as “Rambo” – a basically honest guy, who responds to corrupt efforts to smear him, by “punching back twice as hard”.

  8. July 19, 2017 5:35 pm

    Do you not understand how obtuse are your observations about Trump/Putin/Russia ?

    On his own volition, Trump, seated far diagonally ACROSS the table from Putin, crosses over to sit next to him, for close to an HOUR. This conversation is shared only with Putin’s translator. No US translator, no US aides, no notes taken by Trump. No way to verify what either said, promised, agreed on between them. And no announcement from either that they spoke for that length of time, or at all.

    And you’re comfortable with that? Knowing what you know about Putin’s character, Trump’s character? Or lack thereof?

    Other reports from attendees at the dinner say Trump was in animated conversation with Putin ( think he was sharing his Groping technique?); neither of them bothered to speak with any of the other guests at the table during their hour long palaver. And you’re dismissing that as innocent dinner chat, between two swell guys engaging in harmless Locker Room style talk, is that it?

    Judging the potentional innocence or treacherousness of a private conversation between two players requires assessments and situational analysis of their character and history. If Putin had been in an hour length private dinner conversation with Bashar al-Assad would you be inclined to dismiss it as mere dinner chatter? What if Obama had spent an intimate hour in close head to head with Raul Castro, or Iran’s Hassan Rouhani; you saying that should have been immune from critical scrutiny?

    I don’t think the Left wants war with Russia; historically the Right has been far more threatening militarily against Russia; as a moderate-centrist I would like the US to be more assertive/pugnacious with Russia over their meddling interference in our elections. You seem to want to reward them for it, with your dropping sanctions plea.

    • July 19, 2017 5:42 pm

      Humm. Think this could have been discussed at the Trump-Putin tête-à-tête?

      • dhlii permalink
        July 19, 2017 9:25 pm

        And if it was ?
        Arming Syrian rebels has not done all that well for us.

        Though again. I would get govenrment completely out of the selling arms business.

        I would allow US weapons manufacturers to sell to whoever they pleased.
        Commerce – even in weapons is not the business of government.

        Arming anybody is interventionist.

        Trump is a type of non-interventionist.

        His campaign promise was to destroy ISIS – because they are really at war with us.
        And not to use US forces except where it is clearly in our interests.

        I do not like Assad. But ultimately his people have to get rid of him – not us.
        And they have to choose the government they want – not us.

        Rebels are free to buy arms wherever they can.
        But our GOVERNMENT should not be selling arms.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 19, 2017 9:26 pm

        Just to be clear. I am not saying Trump shares my views on Trade or arms or ….

        Just that Trump stopping arming of Syrian Rebels is consistent with his campaign and its promises.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 19, 2017 8:58 pm

      Do you understand that you are making an absolutely insane claim to have a right to know what other people talk about ?

      And FDR met with Stalin.

      World leaders meet in secret – not a crime. Not unusual. Something we actually want to occur.

      Yes, I am comfortable with that.
      Do you think that Obama never met privately with anyone ?

      But this is not even a “secret private meeting” this is sitting near each other at a dinner.

      No I do not care if world leaders sometimes talk without Translators.
      I am pretty sure there were a few private meetings between FDR, Churchill and Stalin at Casablanca and that Stalin understood english and could badly speak it.

      With respect to what you say about verification – yup, that is correct – and often the point.

      An agreement that no one knows about and that is not put into effect – is not an agreement.

      If Trump agreed to do X for Putin and leaves the meeting and never does X – who enforces the “agreement” ?

      Agreements – even secret agreements, are words that to have meaning lead to actions.

      How does Trump “secretly” effect this private agreement ?

      Trump could possibly “secretly agree” with Putin to put 10M from A Trump offshore secret bank account into A secret Putin account in return for say dirty pictures of Clinton.

      But if he “secretly aggreed” to Give Putin a couple of nuclear weapons – Trun would still have to tell someone to have that happen.

      Trump has the ability to move US assets arround. He does not have the ability to do so without involving others.

      Unless you think he had the Churchill Bust from the Oval Office under his cumberbund ?

      You so not seem to understand I do not care what they talked about.
      but then the left constantly confuses words with actions.

      This is just another lefty delusion that you are entitled to know everything that everyone else says or thinks.

      Lets say they extensively discussed how to proceed in Syria.
      No matter what they said, no matter what they agreed to,
      at some point it has to convert to action – or the conversation is meaningless.
      And maybe Putin can act somewhat secretly – but Trump can not.

      If Putin had a 1hour dinner conversation with Assad – so what ?
      Now you seem to think you have the right to know what foreign heads of state talk about to each other ?

      I am sure that if Putin and Assad had a secret conversation the CIA would be desparate to know what is said. Finding out what foreign nations do secretly is called spying.
      We do it all the time. But most of the time we do not succeed in finding out.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 19, 2017 9:19 pm

      Historicially the Right has been more hostile to Russia.
      And Yet Reagan met with Gorbachev – probably in secret.

      Historically the right was probably more likely to provoke a violent confrontation with Russia.

      At this moment – that has changed. The logical end result of the claims of the left are war with Russia.

      I would drop the sanctions. I would drop all sanctions against every nation in existance.
      We have the most positive effect

      “Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest.”

      George Washington FareWell address.

      Washington goes into this at great lenghts.

      I would commend Obama for trying to normalize relations with Cuba and condemn Trump for reverting on that.

      Historically sanctions have been a failure. They are litterally the cause of Pearl Harbor, and were deliberately intended to do so.

      With respect to Russian “interference”

      I do not care what Opo Research Russia provides anyone.
      I do not care if they secretly buy advertisements that favor one candidate over another.

      I am generally an advocate of free speach – but there is another factor when we are dealing with another sovereign nation – short of war, you can not stop it.

      I am disturbed that they purportedly tried to hack voting machines.
      But there will always be some force seeking to hack our voting machines, and we should presume we much secure them.

      Regardless, the punishment for Russia didling in our elections – is that we have been didling in theirs.
      Again short of war we can not stop this.

      I have a similar view regarding the DNC hacks.
      While I do not beleive Russia did them. I actually beleive the CrowdStrike data proves that it was not Russia – it is unlikely that Russia would have used old rather than current Russian tools AND left the evidence lying arround the presence of evidence of the hack pretty much means it was NOT Russia.

      Regardless, I expect that hackers all over the world will target high profile targets,
      And in reality even though hacking is criminal the responsibility to protect your data unfortunately rests with you.

      If you can catch hackers – arrest them.
      With respect to nations hacking – again are you going to war ?

      I would not drop sanctions against Russia to reward them.
      I would do that because sanctions are a bad idea.
      And I would drop all sanctions against anyone.

  9. July 19, 2017 10:12 pm

    And Conservative reservations about DungBat Donald’s unsuitability to govern continue:

    Max Boot: “Can’t believe I’m saying this but we have POTUS whose loyalty to USA is suspect. Bet some of his own aides wonder.”

    • dhlii permalink
      July 19, 2017 11:53 pm

      Max Boot is a neocon.

      The thought of any relationship to Russia that is not an eyelash short of nuclear war is unacceptable to NewCon’s.

      In the election NeoCon’s mostly voted for Clinton – regardless of their party affilation.

      You and I and everyone else had their opportunity to make our assessment of Trump’s fitness to be president on Nov. 8 2016.
      Absent an anuerism, the only review of that before 2020 is impeachment, and that is unlikely unless congressmen beleive their will be no political consequence for doing so.

      Regardless, Boot’s claim is nonsense.

      You really beleive that Trump’s “loyalty” to the US is suspect ?
      Trumps net worth is about 1/4 of Russia’s yearly budget.

      What does Putin have to lure Trump ?
      Would you trade being President of the US for being an underling to the President of Russia ?

      Trump is driven by two things power and fame.
      He has about as much of those right now as any human can have.

      What Trump is not “loyal” to is YOUR vision of the US.
      He is loyal to his own.

      • July 20, 2017 11:22 am

        I think that a lot of irrational Trump-hatred is driven by the fact that Trump is an unbelievably successful asshole. People want to believe that guys like Trump “get what they deserve,” and they don’t believe that he deserves to be a billionaire, a TV celebrity and the President. They just can’t stomach the fact that a guy that they see as a shallow jerk could be successful beyond his wildest dreams.

        I also think that Trump is driven to do this ~ to succeed, or “win”~ because he knows how he is perceived, and he wants or needs to prove his detractor wrong. Armchair analysis for sure, but I tend to agree with those who consider Trump to be Jay Gatsby on steroids ~ or, perhaps in Trump’s case, Big Macs.

        I think that he believes that he can identify common ground with Putin, and work with Russia on those areas where our interests overlap. I don’t know if I believe that he can, because Putin is always the scorpion, and he is always looking to make his adversaries the frog. But I don’t fault Trump for trying, and he has surrounded himself with people who do not trust Putin.

        I just finished reading “Shattered,” the book about Hillary’s failed campaign,written by 2 sympathetic reporters who had embedded with the campaign, with the understanding that their book would not be published until Hillary won, and “shattered” the glass ceiling. I

        It specifically talks about the fact that, within 24 hours of the election, “Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters, to engineer the case that the election wasn’t on the up and up…already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”

        This is all BS. Not the fact that Russia is trying to de-stabilize our democracy ~ that’s certainly true. But the whole collusion business is a way to keep the liberal base revved up until 2018 in order to win the House, and bring impeachment charges. If the GOP cannot get their act together, it will likely succeed, and then they will go after Pence, who is probably not even using Russian dressing on his salads these days.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 20, 2017 1:22 pm

        The left has forever thrived on hate and envy – from the french revolution through the rise of russian communism and then chinese, and cuban, … all left revolutions everywhere are focused on envy of those who have become wealthy.

        A central tenant of marxism is that communism will arrise from the hate and envy of workers for the wealthy.

        Posters here – and not all from the left constantly repeat that actors in the market – which requires no more regulation that enforcement of the three principles that I keep stating as the basis of the rule of law – are inherently untrustworthy greedy and evil, and must be regulated. Yet history clearly teaches us that whether that claim is true or not a society that punishes the “greedy” is a misserable one.
        There is no example anywhere in the world of any government that has striven to reign in greed – rather than just enforce the rule of law, that has not harmed the welfare of its citizens.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 20, 2017 1:26 pm

        With respect to your observations regarding Trump finding common ground to work with Putin.

        I have no idea whether Trump can do so. Regardless, isn’t that what we would expect from ANY president ?

        If Clinton had been elected – wouldn’t we expect her to work with Putin in our common interests ?

        I find this bizzarre Russia, Russia, Russia meme regarding Trump ludicrous – as Clinton has far more ties to Russia.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 20, 2017 1:55 pm

        I think the Trump/Russia meme is incredibly politically dangerous for the left.

        This is just my crystal ball view, my sense of how things are likely to play out.

        The left is hyping the public towards burnout on the issue.
        Absent uncovering something of actual substance it is my suspicion that 2018 is going to prove a very bad election for the left.

        Another 15 months of Trump/Russia – without adding substance will demoralize voters on the left. There is little evidence it is effecting Trump voters.

        Further the meme itself has a serious flaw. Trump/Russia collusion is only egregious in the abstract. That should be the lesson of the recent Trump Jr. revelations.

        If you voted for Trump – think about what he would have to have Actually done to lose your vote ?

        I do not like moral or legal relativism, I would prosecute everyone who violates the law – even Bad laws that I do not like. The most effective way to get rid of bad laws and to get people to grasp why law must be narrow is to convict absolutely everyone who violates the letter of the law.

        Regardless of my antipathy to moral relativism – less than 8% of voters chose NOT to vote for the “lessor evil”

        For most voters the standard of conduct is not the law or some high standards of morality – but that of the other party.
        What is evident regarding Trump and his campaign’s conduct is that they did nothing that Clinton and her campaign did not do and order of magnitude worse.

        Those on the left – who are incapable of seeing the world objectively and are certain that their shit does not stink are trying to persuade those on the right who essentially share the same view of themselves and their tribe.

        If you are of one tribe and you are seeking defectors from the other tribe you must not only persuade the defector of their tribes error, but your own tribes virtue.

        I think that Clinton lost in 2016 – because in a few specific democratic demographics Trump succeeded at that. Since the election democrats have done nothing to persuade those voters to return. They have done everything to keep them alienated.

        I keep harping on the error of this “hateful, hating hater” identity politics.

        The most consequential shift that effected the election was that of blue collar white voters.
        Those rust belt voters left the democratic party for Trump in 2016 in numbers large enough to give trump the election. Those voters left DESPITE the left calling Trump supporters “deplorables” – racists, misogynists. You do not get voters back by calling them names.
        While I do not beleive the hate labeling is correct – that would still be irrelevant.
        If you want those voters to return you have to appeal to them, not insult them.

        The left is striving for ideological purity – that is not an appeal that will win elections.
        The left is becoming more and more homogenous. It is becoming a solid block of nearly perfectly uniform voters making up between 20 and 25% of the electorate.
        That is a recipe for power in a multiparty parlimentary system – not ours.

        At the same time the Republican party is becoming less strident, and less homogenous.
        Increasingly the only attack the left has on its opponents is “hateful, hating haters”.
        The left has one (self contradictory) set of ideas. The right has a breadth of different perspectives – with consensus on nothing but that the left is wrong.

        That is not a platform for big government accomplishment or programs.
        It is one that can win elections.

      • July 20, 2017 12:16 pm

        “You really believe that Trump’s “loyalty” to the US is suspect ?
        Trumps net worth is about 1/4 of Russia’s yearly budget”.

        What one believes and what may be true can be two totally different points of view. On one hand, I think all this Russia, Russia, Russia crap is just that. And then I read articles like this one and have to question, “is there something there?” You ask about Trumps loyalty to the US. I would say off hand, that is a dumb question for anyone to ask, then I see where he owes his empire to Russia for the most part since dirty money kept his empire from crashing down during its financial crisis. So then I have to ask, “would someone like Trump want to pay back the very people that saved him from financial ruins and allowed him to maintain his status where he then became president?” My thinking is some in that position would be loyal to there financial supporters and others would cut the rug out from under them in a heart beat. Some people, like myself, have just enough knowledge of crime syndicates that provides us with information that individuals associated with crime syndicates like the mafias have an unbreakable loyalty to that organization for one reason or another to allow us to question his loyalty.

        So you, me, Roby, Jay, Priscilla and everyone else can support or criticize Trump, but when information comes out like this information, most anyone would have to read it and wonder if the smoke in DC today is due to the fire from his actions years ago. There may be something there or not, but I am taking up two positions on this issue. One, I would not criticize nor support Trump right now as there is not enough information for either on this issue and two, I would not be surprised at either finding, good or bad, that comes from this investigation.

        However, I do criticize Trump and his decision making currently that has nothing to do with past Russia involvements. I have to agree with those that say Trump is an unstable individual, but is he unstable enough that would lead to impeachment. I doubt it. But when he says something like he said about Sessions and undermines anything Sessions is about to do, his leadership is totally lacking. Would you risk anything in your career or personal life for Donald Trump? His comments about Sessions just shows he is trying to hide something since he wanted Sessions in place to block any investigation and Sessions undercut him by taking himself out of the Russia issue all together. Anyone in congress has to be nuts to risk political capital on anything Trump wants to do if it is not in their best interests as tomorrow you may be on the wrong end of the stick stirring the Trump cesspool of dirty tricks. One thing for sure in my mind, Trump will never be viewed as anyone someone could look up to due to their personal behaviors. Even as bad as Carter was president, there was nothing in his personal life that would make anyone not want a kid to grow up to be like him.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 20, 2017 3:47 pm

        Would someone like trump want to payback those who saved him ?

        That is pretty easy – No!.

        First the meme is wrong. No one “saved” Trump.

        They Bet on him. And they both won that Bet.

        Trump succeeded. No one “saved him”. People with money bet that Trump could make them even more money – and he did.

        Trump owes them nothing, they owe him nothing.
        I would suspect that each is happy with the other, and they are likely to be willing to work together for their mutual benefit in the future.

        But there is no debt or obligation on either side.

        The above is not merely the way things actually work – something that the left does not grasp, but it is also the way Trump thinks.

        One of the fundimental issues is that for the left nearly everything is zero sum – if someone wins – someone else must loose. If we use a resource – then it is gone forever.

        None of those are true. All economic exchange is expected to be win-win and actually is win-win 99% of the time. The buyer and the seller are each better off than they were before the exchange.

        All resources are infinitely recycleable. Those resources that we have in abundance and can acquire at low cost are typically not recycled today.

        But Iron mining in the US has nearly stopped – because we get most of the steel we need through recycling. It is more cost effective to recycle steel than to mine it.

        Regardless, the point is Trump was not “saved” by russians or anyone else.
        He “saved” himself. He persuaded people with money that he had something of value to offer in return. They agreed and invested money – and they have gotten back more than they provided.

        Contra the left the type of “debt” the left is talking about does not exist in free markets.
        Those types of debts are found primarily in politics – I contributed to your campaign therefore you OWE me something in return.

      • July 20, 2017 6:19 pm

        Dave I am beginning to think you would defend the unions, waste management companies and all the other New York crime operated businesses as being “honest and above board”.

        How do you launder money and not have someone owing someone else a “favor”?

      • dhlii permalink
        July 21, 2017 5:33 am

        “Dave I am beginning to think you would defend the unions, waste management companies and all the other New York crime operated businesses as being “honest and above board”.”

        Have dome unions at some times done something criminal – probably.
        But I do not presume Unions are criminal because they are unions.

        For the most part I have problems when Unions resort to violence, or fraud.
        Beyond that they are legitimate voluntary organizations.
        If they are corrupt – that is between them and their members

        Same is basically true of waste management.
        Again if they engage in violence or fraud – go get them.

        The vast majority – if not all of organized crime is the result of bad laws.
        While this nonsense preceeds prohibition – it is essentially the same.
        When you criminalize commerce – you get a black market.

        The thing I would note is that despite the absence of government – criminal black markets actually operate fairly well.
        That shoudl be eye opening to you – because criminal black markets are by definition unregulated.

        Yet those engaged in vice, gambling, drugs do a very good job of serving their customers and making them happy. People do not gamble if they never win.
        Criminal gambling rackets return a far larger portion of what they collect to gamblers than do state lotteries.

        How do you launder money and not have someone owing someone else a “favor”?

        The typical money laundering operation is:

        You give me X+1 of “dirty” money, and I give you X back of clean money.
        I.E. I make a percentage on the deal.
        There are no “favors” involved.

        Separately money laundering should not be illegal.
        There is no difference between ill gotten booty and that from normal exchange.
        Prosecute the crime – if you rob a bank prosecute the bank robbery.

        I beleive it is already understood here that I am opposed to criminalizing voluntary exchange between consenting adults – i.e. Vice, gambling. drugs.

        Why do you think that is going to change

      • dhlii permalink
        July 21, 2017 5:43 am

        This pretty much addresses your argument.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 20, 2017 3:51 pm

        What is the “cesspool of Trump dirty tricks” ?

        As best as I can tell Trump is straightforward. He does not conspire behind your back.
        He says what he is going to do or what he wants out in the open and then tries to do it.

        Trump did not use shills and cutouts to go after Hillary (or any of his opponents). He did not plant stories.

        He looked his opponents right in the eye and called them Crooked, or whatever.
        He might be wrong about that. His accusations might be offensive.
        But they are not Tricks or secrets.

      • Roby permalink
        July 20, 2017 12:21 pm

        If the GOP cannot get their act together, it will likely succeed, and then they will go after Pence, who is probably not even using Russian dressing on his salads these days.

        Ha, I like the last line.

        Dems will not win much in 2018, they may even lose ground, because of the structural advantages. Any liberals who are counting on that are going to be wildly disappointed. 2020 is the year of the swing back to the other side.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 20, 2017 4:05 pm

        Mostly I agree.

        Further 2020 will likely be determined primarily by state of the country – not any of the ranting of the left.

        If we are still at sub 2% growth in 2020 – trump is toast – as is the GOP as a whole.

        If we are at 3.5% or above – absent a nuclear war, Trump and the GOP are going to have total control of government.

        I do not think Congress is particularly relevant. The things that Congress needs to do, there is no possibility it is going to do, and even if it does – it will do them badly.

        Republicans have wasted the past 5 months and consumed political oxygen over replacing PPACA.

        They never should have been suckered into Repeal and Replace. That was stupidity from the get go. What is necescary to improve healthcare beyond returning to the mess we had before is outside Republicans current power, and with few exceptions no republican is talking about anything but some form of ObamacareLite.
        That is not an answer.

        Here is an excellent article by John Tamny

        We learn from failure – that is how markets work.

        It might sound good to say we should not allow millions to suffer from the fallout of PPACA’s failure. But that is actually Totally wrong.
        Unless we allow it to fail and unless people actually experience the consequences of that failure we will not stiffle the impetus to do such stupid things again.
        What we need to learn is that government does nto have the ability to non-destructively influence free markets.

        When we bail out failure – we get more failure.

        PPACA was a democrat inflicted disaster.
        We need to let it fail, If that means suffering – that means learning.
        I have no problems standing idly by as millions get screwed as PPACA fails.
        Hopefully those so screwed will understand that those who imposed PPACA are the ones who screwed them.

      • Roby permalink
        July 20, 2017 12:21 pm

        because of the structural advantages… of the GOP.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 20, 2017 4:14 pm

        I am presuming by “structural advantages of the GOP” you are refering to the fact that the demographic distribution of voters leads to a large number of pink congressional districts and states and a small number of dark blue ones ?

        I agree that is the case.
        It is not a problem and it does not require fixing.

        I would note that one consequence of this is that Democrats have near total control of nearly every city in the country.
        That provides them with a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate that they have ideas that work.
        I think it is quite reasonable for voters to judge the parties based on the results in the areas that each controls.

        As an example Democrats had near total control of the south prior to GoldWater,
        It took 7 decades for republicans to turn the south from Blue to Red.
        Republicans are nearing the end of that transition.

        Which BTW is an important reason why Republicans are likely to slowly gain more control in the senate, and why the volatility of midterms is likely to decrease.

        We have had sharp swings over the past 70 years because we have been in the midst of the “great reshuffling”. That appears nearly complete.

        I could be wrong but I think we are approaching a period where the control fo the house and senate becomes more stable – i.e. both remain weakly republican.

      • July 22, 2017 10:34 am

        “Regardless, isn’t that what we would expect from ANY president ?”

        Yes, and this highlights the insanity of the political world right now. Just think of the way that Mitt Romney was mocked and derided for calling Russia our geopolitcal foe.

        What’s most discouraging to me is not that there are those in the D.C. swamp and the media that continually perpetuate this hypocrisy and sensationalism, but that there are so many millions of young people who are not being educated in a way that encourages critical analysis of what they read, hear and watch.

        It doesn’t bode well for America’s future…….

      • dhlii permalink
        July 22, 2017 3:27 pm

        I think that we live in somewhat dangerous times.

        At the same time – the education we failed to get in HS in history and civics we are getting today from life.

        Trump’s numbers are very near their all time low – and I very recent Bloomberg Poll still has trump defeating Clinton.

        This war on Trump has destroyed the reputations of politiicians, parties, the media and government.

        And I think that is a good thing.

        Government is a necescary evil – but we should never forget that it inherently bends towards evil, but for continuous vigilance and defense of individual liberty.

        I my crystal ball is cloudy, but I mostly have faith that the future will be better than the present. That is going to be because of what we do that is NOT government.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 22, 2017 4:19 pm

        If we learn from this that big government is not to be trusted, that it does not and can not work – then our future is bright.

  10. dhlii permalink
    July 20, 2017 5:05 pm

    Discussions elsewhere have lead me to note that there is a contradiction in my position on issues like Voter-Id and on Gerrymandering.

    Most of my core arguments remain unchanged, but there is still a fundimental issue with gerrymandering that is the same as that behind Voter-ID

    The most critical aspect of elections is the faith of voters in the inegrity of the outcome.

    With respect to voter ID and even the purported election manipulation by the russians.
    Whether the Russians actually atlered the results of the election or not, the fear that they could have – in any way EXCEPT changing peoples minds is a threat to the legitimacy of government.

    When we complete an election – it is less important who won or lost than that the people have confidence int he result – even if their candidates lost.

    We do not have that regarding our electronic voting machines.
    I have consistently argued a problem their since 2002.
    The 2000 election raised the issue of election confidence to the fore.
    But HAV if anything made problems worse.
    Electronic voting machines – particularly as they are today are a significant problem, not an answer.

    Voter-Id is similar. It does not matter whether in person voter fraud is rampant.
    It matters that many people beleive it is.

    But exactly the same it true of Gerrymandering.

    However there is one very substantial difference.

    There are clear solutions to technical issues of voting and vote counting.
    Those solutions are effective and do not have premises that have any ideological component.
    There is no argument that our voting should as accurately as acheivable reflect the actual votes cast. That hacking. manipulation, ballot stuffing, or counting games like hanging chad or misplaced ballots should be resolved – that regardless of the debate over the emans there is a universally accepted right outcome.

    The same is true of Voter-ID.

    But that is not True of gerrymandering.

    So my question to those upset about gerrymandering is:

    Given that I accept that your loss of confidence is a justification for change to improve faith in the results of our election.

    What is an objectively better way to define districts ?

    But before you start I am going to address some likely objections that you will have to overcome.

    The choice of voters to congregate as they choose must be respected.
    People live in cities for reasons.
    They live in suburbs for reasons.
    They live in rural areas for reasons.

    Some of those reason include the politics. You can not force republicans into democratic districts or democrats into republican districts because of some misguided view that individual districts should reflect the party distribution of the state.

    Similarly you can not make districting choices based on race, or any other such factors.

    Without a constitutional amendment you can not apply any changes you seek nationwide without each state reaching that choice on its own.
    This is also true of Voter-ID and any other voting related changes.

    I am not going to accept that “independent commissions” are actually independent.

    There is a strong argument for a rigid rules based method – but even that is problematic because any set of rules is going to have political consequences.

    Part of the point I am trying to make is there is not an actual right or wrong way to create districts that we all universally agree on.

    While we can universally agree that outside hacking of votes is wrong, or votes by people who are not citizens or alive, or have already voted are wrong.

    Anyway accepting that “gerrymandering is a problem – because confidence in the legitimacy of the results is undermined.
    What is the answer.
    Because I do not see one.
    I can not see any solution that is not atleast as much of a problem as the problem being solved.

    With the current scheme – we atleast get to hold politicians accountable for their choices.

    I do not as an example beleive judges should rule on redisticting absent clear rules.
    As there are few existing rules – the courts should not be passing judgement on choices of politicians outside of violating those few rules that exist.

    Our judiciary is supposed to be insulated from political corruption.
    Asking them to weigh in on congressional districts without clear rules – and not rules determined by the judiciary is corrupting.

  11. July 20, 2017 6:27 pm

    Now this is something that I think everyone could get behind and send their elected officials demands for changes from top to bottom at the VA. How long do they have to continue getting screwed until the public and media gets as upset about this as we are about Russia?

    • dhlii permalink
      July 21, 2017 1:44 am

      Yes, this is horrible.
      It is also pretty normal for government.

      • July 21, 2017 11:24 am

        Dave: “It is also pretty normal for government.”

        And that’s a lot of the problem. to many just say something like that and move on accepting nothing will ever change.

        Please let your elected officials know this is unacceptable.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 21, 2017 12:36 pm

        The VA is specifically troubling, because the most effective solution to this type of problem is to remove it from the scope of government.
        But repairing the harm done to veterans is inside the legitimate scope of government.

        As to reporting it to our politicians – they already know, and their likely solution as always will be to throw money at it – which is more likely to make things worse than better.

        At the same time I would note, that VA Medical care for all is the goal of the left.
        Does this look like a system that all of us would be happy with ?

        BTW I do not move to accepting nothing will change.

        I am here arguing with all of you to move towards the only change that will work – getting government out of as much as possible.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 3:23 pm

        No insult intended, but I would be surprised if you have contacted your elected representatives as frequently as I have.

        Regardless the solution to systemic abuse of power in government is to reduce the power of government.

        Power corrupts.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 21, 2017 5:36 am

      Trump seems to be on the VA’s ass. There have been lots of firings – something that never happens with government.

      If congress gets involved they are just going to throw money at the problem.

      That is what happened last time.

      Government always beleives the solution to govenrment failure is more money.

  12. dhlii permalink
    July 21, 2017 1:44 pm

    Andrew McCarthy on the special council statue and the necesity of a crime.

  13. dhlii permalink
    July 21, 2017 2:41 pm

    I find this interesting. I never understood why Nunes temporarilly resigned,
    It was quite clear that he acted to acquire classified information PROPERLY from a witness, and that he did not REVEAL any classified information.
    Conversely as noted his cochair Schiff revealed classified information.
    Yet we have nunes temporarily resigning, having been promised an expedited ethics investigation that is now bogged down without reason, while a more substantial claim against shiff is ignored.

    I also note that Nunes’s unmasking investigation – now that it is out of his hands is similarly bogged down. Witnesses continue to stall for time.

    I have repeatedly attacked the special council investigations.
    The executive may no investigate persons without probable cause that a crime has been committed. That does not preclude congress from what are essentially political investigations of “political crimes” Those are done relatively differently – which is why Congress must do them. They are mostly done publicly and they have a potential political price for all parties.

    • July 22, 2017 10:26 am

      “Slow-rolling” appointments and investigations has become an effective tactic for stonewalling anything that could help get us past the incredible gridlock that has essentially put Congress on ice. Nunes was on to something, so he had to be sidelined. While I fault the Democrats for their dishonesty and hypocrisy, the real fault lies with dishonest and hypocritical Republicans, who could break through the log jam, with a concerted effort.

      I have a feeling that, at some point, Trump will issue executive orders addressing the health care crisis, due to the inaction of the GOP. At that point, we’ll hear all kind of squealing from the Dems, about tyranny, etc. The same thing that we heard from Republicans when Obama issued his executive amnesty. These people are shameless. (Shameless, I tell you!)

      • dhlii permalink
        July 22, 2017 3:20 pm

        I am not generally opposed to gridlock.

        I am not opposed to democrats using legitimate tactics to choke republican legislative efforts – even ones I agree with.

        Voters weight the tactics a party uses in their choices in elections.

        Congressional investigations of political crimes are legitimate.

        Special Council investigations of non-crimes is lawless.

        I do not blame republicans. Groups in the Senate (and the house) each have different values and perspectives. They are not and should not be obligated to abandoned their values and principles for the purported good of the party.

        Republicans NEVER should have been suckered into any commitment to “replace” PPACA.
        That is like saying that because Democrats wish to play russian roulette with 5 cylinders loaded, that republicans are obligated to choose a different form of Russian Roulette.

        Not playing is an option.

        I beleive Trump has done what he can through executive orders.

        I would note that though Obama pushed them past their limits, EO’s are generally about government – they are not a substituted for law.

    • July 22, 2017 11:14 am

      Dave, just add this to the daily drip drip drip. My bucket of Trump crap seems to be getting closer to being filled as each day passes.

      If nothing happened and there was no “crime” why are all these idiots lying and creating one?

      • July 22, 2017 12:15 pm

        Ron, I doubt that Sessions said anything that would give the Russians any sort of leverage. Chuck Grassley, who’s seen the entire transcript, is calling on the leakers to release it all, to show that Sessions did nothing wrong. He could have answered a simple question like, “Are those DNC hacks helping Trump?” Even if Sessions gave a polite, but meaningless answer, such as “I don’t know.” it could be reported that he “discussed the trump campaign.”

        This sort of lawyerly parsing and gotcha games are what the drip, drip, drip is all about. I agree that it is likely that it will bring Trump down, simply because it could bring anyone down, and Trump is becoming increasingly isolated, as many Republicans fear that backing him will put them in the line of fire.

      • July 22, 2017 4:11 pm

        Priscilla, it could be nothing at all and anything discussed was something like “good luck in the election and then some further discussion like polling, platforms, etc, all info that is out for anyone to read.

        But the problem is Sessions said he did not meet with the Russians. Then that was shown to be untrue, he did meet with the ambassador. The sessions said he did not discuss the election with the ambassador. Now the ambassador said they did discuss the election.

        The problem in this whole mess is not the actions that took place, it is the constant apparent lying in Trumps inner circle that keep getting outed in lies they are telling. It is never the actual issue being investigated that brings one down, it is the cover-up that is tried and identified that always leads to the final negative outcome. Sessions, with his background should no full well this will happen.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 22, 2017 6:11 pm

        I would be careful. We are floating allegations of perjury here.
        You want to get there, you need to know PRECISELY what question was asked,
        PRECISELY what answer was given,

        To be perjury the answer must not merely be wrong but it had to be known to be false at the time of the testimony to the person testifying.

        There are also other factors involved

        SOMETIMES not remembering or inaccurately remembering can be perjury – even when there was no clear intent to deceive – but generally only when the witness knows ahead what the subject of the questioning will be and is expected to be prepared.

        If Sessions had good reason to expect he was going to be questioned about all contacts with Russians no matter how small during some explicit period.
        Then it is perjury for him to not remember or inaccurately recall.

        I beleive the Franken question in his confirmation hearing was unanticipated and extremely ambiguous.

        If you want sessions for Perjury I think you need to look very carefully at his most recent Testimony.

        I am not sure what he was asked – but he responded with a clearly prepared statement regarding his contacts with Russia. He actually attacked the Senators that were trying to disparage him on that.

        Regardless, that statement needs to be near perfectly true.
        Anything short of a minor error in emphasis would be perjury.

        At the same time that statement would still have to be parsed carefully.

        Discussed as an example would mean BOTH of us talked about it.

        Kislyak saying something about the election without a substantive response from Sessions is not a disccusion.

        This also matters relative to the collusion claims.

        Collusion requires more than that a topic is mentioned.
        It requires even more than both parties discussed it.
        You have to have an agreement and that agreement must be to do something illegal.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 22, 2017 8:15 pm

        Ron – if this is your standard for criminal lying – then the entire Obama administration should be in leavenworth.

        If you want to beat the crap out of Trump for imprecision in language – whatever.
        I find it odd that we are hysterical over relatively inconsequential misstatements of Trump and his administration, when we have had very serious misrepresentations from the past 3 presidents.

        But the object of this is to convert this into a criminal conspiracy.

        You can not get from imprecise language to a criminal conspiracy.
        As I addressed in a prior post – there is ZERO evidence of a consequential criminal agreement.

        There is no quid, there is no quo and there is no enforcement mechanism.

        The hype is that there is something huge hear – big enough to alter the outcome of the election. What Huge thing did Russia do for Trump ?
        What huge thing did Trump do in return ?
        How is it that Putin can enforce that agreement ?

        If someone alleged that Hillary was selling Cocaine out of the state department – we would expect to find some evidence of cocaine somewhere.

        We could not convict – and probably would not even bother to try Hillary solely because she met with someone who might sell cocaine.
        We could not prosecute her – even if she failed to recall the meeting.

        In my lifetime I can think of only one corrupt political conspiracy that MIGHT have altered the outcome of an election – that would be lying about Benghazi.
        I doubt it did. But it is clearly a lie. All those who repeated it new it was a lie.
        It was immediately before a close election, and it is credible to beleive that had it been accepted that a US ambassador was murdered during a terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11 people might have voted differently.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 22, 2017 8:19 pm

        I would also ask you what constitutes a serious lie ?

        The administration is huge, Trump’s campaign is fairly large, do you actually expect that everything will be done in perfect agreement ?

        BTW no administration has lived up to the kind of perfection you expect.
        There are as many of these type of “lies” with respect to the Obama administration,
        but most were not vary widely reported – because they are not consequential.

      • Ron P permalink
        July 22, 2017 9:10 pm

        Dave, it is not what I consider a lie that is important, it is what the voters believe that is important. And if they change their vote based on “what was not, on sorry, yes it is” situations with his inner circle, then that is the important problem.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 22, 2017 11:27 pm

        If the standard is voters even a recent poll of a head to head against Clinton has Trump winning by slightly larger margins than before.

        I have no doubt that Trump has been seriously harmed by all of this – both the attacks by others and his own misrepresentations.

        But most of the “polls” I am seeing is that as low as his approval is that of
        the media
        the left

        are ALL lower.

        Trump has taken everyone down with him.

        In that I think he is doing a tremendous service to the country.

        Contra the left our founders thought government was a necescary evil, not a force for good.

        That is where we need to be today.
        If Trump gets us there – great.

        We both accept that some government is necescary.
        We part ways because you beleive that free people engaged in non-violent free exchange are more dangerous that the use of force by government.

        There was a book when I was a teen called the devil’s advocate.
        (not the movie). In a totalitarian dystopian society a freedom fighter infiltrated the government. He rose to a position or great power and contributed greatly to bringing that totalitarian regime down. How ? By enforcing the edicts of that totalitarian regime absolutely.

        Trump is destroying our faith in government.
        Our unearned faith in government is our achilles heel.
        Destroying that is good.

        If everyone both right and left ends up deeply skeptical of government as a consequence of all of this – Trump has done us all a great good.

      • July 23, 2017 12:12 am

        Dave, in many cases concerning Government we agree. Where we disagree, I suspect we could reach some agreement acceptable to both to get some of what both of us want. Getting nothing and having the status quo as it is today is the worst outcome.

        You say “That is where we need to be today”….. (Getting a more limited government)
        “If Trump gets us there – great.”

        I really hope he can, but with the current situation, his political capital ( or influence)is being wasted as there a few career politicians that will be willing to go out on a limb for any of his agenda now unless they are secure in there districts and face little opposition.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 23, 2017 5:36 am

        You think the big fight is in the congress.

        I do not. Even though the GOP controls the house, senate and presidency.
        They do not have what they need to enact significant legislation.

        Trump has nothing to do with that problem.

        Gridlock is the state of congress.

        I think that the republican congress should focus on SMALL things.
        Big change in congress is not possible at this moment.

        What can be done now is in the executive – and Trump is doing it. (and somethings I disagree with),

        I do not think he is doing enough. I do not think he can do enough.
        I think draining the swamp is hard.
        The aligators fight back.

        I would agree with any hear who say that if they Trump/Russia story every gets real legs.
        Trump and the GOP are toast in 2018.

        at the same time the noise is distracting everyone. Most of the changes Trump is doing – do not make big news – because Trump/Russia stories displace them.

        You keep worrying that the drip drip drip will work.
        You do not seem to think – and what happens if it does not.

        Trump’s aproval will rise fast if this dies.
        But that of the media, government, the left congress, … will not

        I think the odds of another backlash against the left in 2018 are greater than the opposite.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 22, 2017 11:33 pm

        Absent something far more egregious than has come out thus far politically Trump is safe and this will eventually burn out.

        But think about it – when that occurs Trump’s approval will rise.
        But that of his attackers will likely drop further.

        The only serious danger to Trump is Mueller.

        I have no expectation Mueller will find actual evidence of real collusion with Russia.
        Or more accurately actual evidence of some crime that constitutes that.

        At the same time I expect Meuller will draw this out forever.
        And there will be regular leaks.
        These leaks do not even have to come for Meuller or his team.

        As with many of the recent “leaks” – they are just frauds. Someone who knows nothing telling a reporter willing to print anything some made up story.
        Even Comey trashed most of what was reported in the press.

      • July 23, 2017 12:20 am

        Dave: “But think about it – when that occurs Trump’s approval will rise.
        But that of his attackers will likely drop further.”

        So how long do you think the Democrats will stretch this out? I suspect this will go on longer than the Benghazi investigation that took about 18 months and never really came to a conclusion other than clinton getting defeated.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 23, 2017 5:43 am

        Benghazi was able to go on forever because:

        A US ambassador died.
        Because there was substance.
        Because Republicans not only loved it but remained interested.
        Because the story actually grew.

        Benghazi lead to the Clinton Email Server.
        Clinton’s email server was PUBLIC misconduct.

        If the Trump stuff leads to something – then Trump is in trouble.

        Mueller broadening into Trump’s finances is a huge danger for him.

        I am not sure what happens if Mueller comes up with a financial issue not related to the election.

        My guess is that will hurt republicans in the midterm.
        But will not result in Trump’s impeachment.
        Much as sex did not do in Clinton.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 22, 2017 5:39 pm

        It is also possible that BOTH the leak and Sessions testimony are correct.

        If Kislyak raised a number of issues,
        and Sessions declined to address them or did not respond.

        Then Kislyak can report to Moscow that issues were raised,
        and Sessions can say he recalls no substantitive discussions of the campaign.

        Regardless, the article is full of breathless innuendo but missing any evidence.

        I was unaware Grassely had seen the purported transcript.

        But I am expecting that even if some record of this communication actually exists it is innocuous and we are going to be dropped in another round of trying to parse out meaning that just is not there.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 22, 2017 5:42 pm

        I would note:

        There is no reason to beleive the sources actually have Kislyak communications.
        We went through this on the comey memo’s.

        They did exist – but mostly confirmed Trump – not press leaks.

        There is no reason to beleive this communications actually exists.
        I think it does but we do not know.

        There is no reason to beleive it says what the story claims.

        There is no reason to beleive that whatever it says it is accurate.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 22, 2017 5:06 pm

        The most meaningful statement in this was:

        “Obviously I cannot comment on the reliability of what anonymous sources describe in a wholly uncorroborated intelligence intercept that the Washington Post has not seen and that has not been provided to me,” Justice Department spokesperson.

        Presumably you know what hearsay is.
        The slate story is something like tripple hearsay.

        We know only one thing:
        That if the leaker actually had access to Russian interecepts then they are violating numerous laws.

        Regardless, if there is the slightest merit to this story at all,
        Mueller as well as house/senate hearings will eventually see and review the communications intercepts of Kisyak – if they even exist.

        But finally I would ask you to think about it – what hypothetically could Kislyak and Sessions have said that would pose a problem ?

        I would note that the article does not provide any actual evidence of the substance of the converstation. It just speculates.

        Lets discard the “revealed classified information” nonsense.
        The speculation makes the article look stupid.
        Do you think Sessions turned over the operational specs for the F35 ?
        What classified information do you think Sessions as a senator had access to that he would actually have given Kisylak ?

        But lets look at the next possibility ?

        “talked about deals like lifting sanctions if the Russians were interested in investing in the U.S. or had dirt on Secretary Clinton,”

        How would either of those be an actual crime ?

        Need I remind you that Obama was having discussions about post election policy with russians during his 2012 campaign ?

        I would further note that: Presuming these intercepts actually exist and actually have any substance.

        Kisylak has multiple reasons to misrepresent the meeting:
        To appear to be doing his job to his superiors.
        To be participating in the russian scheme we actually know exists to delegitimize our elections.

        I expect this story to get a small amount of hyperventilating and then die – because there is not and can not be anything there.

        I would further note. I am at odds with sessions on issues more than perhaps anyone else in the Trump administration. He is just plain wrong about nearly everything he seeks to do as AG. BUT Sessions has a stellar reputation for integrity. I think the likelyhood of this being true is practically negative.

        I also think that if I was Jeff Sessions I would find the leaker and send them to jail for a long long time.

        I think this story is actually a huge mistake for the left.

        There have been some stories recently about strain between Sessions and Trump.

        This story puts Sessions back in Trump’s camp whether he likes it or not.
        And quite effectively makes Trump’s argument for why it was a mistake for Sessions to recuse himself.

        Sessions is now in the same position as Trump as a consequence of his recusal and the appointment of Mueller. He is under attack and as a consequence of his own honorable choices unable to defend himself.

        Which raises a final significant reason this story is false.

        Because people who perjure themselves, do not recuse themselves depriving themselves of the opportunity to prevent the discovery of the perjury.

        It also makes clear a mistake that Sessions and Trump have made with regard to this Russian nonsense.

        The right answer to “Did you collude with Russia ….” is no, but as the ordinary course of my job as senator and whatever role I had in the campaign I communicated with Russians – because that is what senators, and political campaigns do. The communications were infrequent and not substantive, they did not break any laws,

        I do not beleive Sessions asked Kislyak for dirt on Clinton, that makes no sense with respect to who Sessions is or his role in the campaign.
        But what if he did ?

      • dhlii permalink
        July 22, 2017 5:26 pm

        All right – so you buy this nonsense that the Trump campaign illegally colluded with the russians.

        How so ? I am not asking for what we have evidence of. I am asking what is it – that is consistent with the rest of the election, that Russia could have provided Trump – that would be improper or illegal ?
        And what is it that Trump could have offered Russia – that was possible and improper or illegal ?

        And what would the mechanism for enforcing this agreement be ?

        The big election altering facts that Tanked Clinton are:
        The secret email server
        The DNC leaks
        Her Health
        Her failure to seek rust belt voters.
        Her policies
        Her lack of accomplishments as Senator or Sec. State.
        Her unsavory past
        Questions about the Clinton Foundation

        Am I missing something ?

        So which of these could the Russians have had an impact on ?
        The only one that I can see at all is the DNC email leaks.

        So unless you can identify another factor that substantially influenced the election, the only possible “quid” you could have is the DNC hacks.

        Can we agree on that ? Or do you have some other means that Russia could have had an effect ?


        Now lets look at the other side.

        What is it that Trump can give the Russians ?

        Is there anything that Trump can provide to Russia prior to the election ?

        I do not think there is anything that Trump can give to Russia in exchange for whatever it is that you think Russia gave Trump.

        But again – if you have some ideas, I am all ears.

        That means that Trump had to promise Russia something AFTER the election.

        Now you have an agreement that no one is going to enter in.

        You give me what I want now, I will give you what you want later – trust me.

        Either Putin has to trust Trump to an incredible degree – or there must be an enforcement mechanism.

        But before we go to that – if there was an agreement – and some enforcement mechanism – that would mean Trump has likely giving Putin something that he wanted in the past 5 months – what would that be ?

        As best as I can tell US Russia relations are MORE hostile than during Obama.
        Trump approved the KeystoneXL
        Approved fracking on federal lands
        Expedited DAPL.
        Expanded the oportunity for offshore drilling.
        Backed out of Paris
        is reigning in the EPA.
        Destroyed 1/3 of Russian Ally Assad’s airforce
        Brought US and Russian aircraft very close to firing on each other.

        Putin has been moving more air, naval and land forces to the Mideast to counter Trump.

        So what is it that Putin has gotten from this deal ?

        So lets address enforcement.

        An enforceable agreement if Putin is unable to Trust Trump requires Putin to have something on Trump

        So what is that ?

        And if Putin has something on Trump – then why is Trump pretty close to walking all over Putin ?

        What I see is that Trump might have colluded with Russia to get no help from them and agreed to nothing in return.

      • Ron P permalink
        July 22, 2017 5:39 pm

        Dave, you seem to think there are only two ways of looking at this issue. I say there is a third way and that is what is pissing me off with these idiots!

        That is nothing happened, but they keep lying about no meetings, then yes meetings, but we did not discuss XY or Z, but oops, yes we did discuss XY and Z.

        These are the things that make individuals a one term president. Can’t you understand that this can happen again?

      • dhlii permalink
        July 22, 2017 8:34 pm

        I will agree with what you are calling “the third way”
        With one caveat.

        We generally do not hald people to high standards over rhetorical precision in matters without substance.

        Nothing happened at the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya
        From all accounts – Kushner and Maneforte were not even paying any attention.
        There is no reason for them to remember a 20min meeting.

        I am still trying to get a grasp of the Sessions claim – because there are several claims that Sessions had secret meetings that have been thoroughly debunked.

        I am pretty sure at this point that what has been established is that Sessions on one or two occasions attended large functions that Kislyak was also present at and that Sessions MIGHT have spoken with Kislyak for 5-10 minutes with one or two US Military officers present. In otherwords they were part of a group standing together at a party having drinks.

        Do you honestly beleive that Sen. Sessions conspired to hack the DNC with Kislyak in that 10 minutes in public in front of two US military officers.

        My Guess is Kislyak may have said something about sanctions – and Sessions said – we can talk after the election.

        BTW My Guess is that the conversation with Flynn went much the same way – i.e. Kislyak raised the sanctions with Flynn who dismissed them by saying something like we can talk after the inauguration.

        I have very little doubt that Kislyak raised issues that the Russian Government wanted every single time he had a conversation with any person of any power or influence at all.

        That would be his job.
        I would be totally shocked (and (I think he would too) if anyone committed to anything before the inauguration.

        Do you beleive otherwise ?

        Natalia Veselnitskaya as an example came to Trump to discuss something that she personally considers very important. And that many arround her do, and that Russia does.

        If Trump had personally met her and after hering her story said I think this is very important and if I am elected I will make this a priority – that would not be a problem for me.
        But it would surprise me if Trump would do that. It is bad business.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 22, 2017 8:44 pm

        I do not care alot of Trump is a one term president.

        But I do not think this will be the thing that does that.

        The greatest danger to Trump on this issue is not the press or the left, it is the Mueller investigation.
        Partly because Mueller can expand the investigation far enough to find something that he can pretend to be a crime.

        Basically Trump could end up getting “scooter libbyed”

        Except mostly for Trump there is a difference.

        Trump’s nepotism has pluses and minus’s.
        On the plus side – he can trust his family more than anyone else.
        The family is going to be entirely on the same page legally,
        There are not going to be deals that if Trump Jr. Rat’s on Trump Sr. he goes free.

        It is a very standard prosecutorial tactic to threaten small fish – often with bogus charges that will destroy them to get them to turn on big fish.

        Go watch the Howard Root youtube video again.

        That does not work on family.
        On the negative side – there are no human sacrifices – no scooter libby’s

        One of the things about this latest story is that it drives Session back into the Trump fold.

        Sessions has been trying to separate himself from this. I do not like him but I do think he is a man of integrity.
        But at this point he has not only been forced back into the Trump fold – but he has actually lost his fight with Trump over whether he should have recused himself.

        Trump can trivially tesl Sessions “I told you so” right now.

        Sessions may resign – but I do not think so, He might have last week, but today, he is now committed to defending the no collusion claim to the bitter end.

        Worse Sessions is not family – so he is the closest thing to a scape goat.
        Worse – the left and the media hate sessions – possibly as much as trump.

  14. July 22, 2017 9:33 pm

    Ron, the problem as I see it is that these two men in particular had reason to be speaking with Kislyak ~ Flynn as the incoming NSA, and Sessions as a US Senator on the Armed Services Committee. And, particularly in Sessions case, the question he was asked did not seem to be a global one, as in “Have you ever spoken to anyone who is a Russian?” but a very specific one, which was “There is a dossier that says that Trump surrogates have been colluding with Russians and do you know anything about this?” To which Sessions answered that he was a surrogate and had not been talking to the Russians. I watched that hearing live, and I did not interpret Franken’s question to be “have you ever spoken to a Russian in your role as Senator?” yet that is apparently how Sessions was supposed to answer.

    Now, if you’re saying that Sessions, to be absolutely clear, should have said something along the lines of “I have met with the Soviet Ambassador in the context of my job as a US Senator, but have never met with any Russians as a campaign surrogate.” then, perhaps, in this highly charged political atmosphere, and in retrospect, perhaps he should have. But Franken brought the question up as “breaking news,” ( I think he may have even used that phrase, or something similar) specifically referenced the dossier, and Sessions answered that, no, that would not have been referring to him.

    Sessions is an honorable man, but he is dealing with dishonorable people. I understand Trump’s frustration with Sessions’ recusal, because it has essentially left Trump without an AG who could manage this legal war being waged against the administration. But I hope that he stays in the role, because it has become painfully obvious that there are very few honorable men – or women – in Washington.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 22, 2017 11:40 pm

      The Franken exchange is not going to get Sessions.
      The question was too unclear, the response not specific enough and Sessions was not expecting the question. All those factors would make a perjury conviction 100% impossible.

      The testimony Sessions must worry most about was the more recent one in which Sessions Choose the revisit the issue under oath.
      In that instant Sessions prepared. He essentially wrote his own question and provided his own answer.

      There is going to be very little wiggle room if there is much of an error in his response.

      I beleive that Sessions was truthful.
      He and I are at odds on nearly all DOJ policy.
      But he has a reputation for integrity.
      People without integrity do not recuse themselves.

      This is also why I beleive the post story is “fake news”.

      Because Session has bet his reputation and his freedom on the accuracy of his more recent testimony.

    • July 23, 2017 12:06 am

      Priscilla, what I keep trying to point out to Dave and he seems to be incapable of understanding what my position is, is each of these no-yes answers by themselves would register about a 1 on the media interest scale after a day or two. But when they keep popping up over and over again, many begin to think there has to be something there.

      As for Sessions, he has been in Washington long enough to know how the Gotcha game is played. I suspect he has played it himself many many times during his term in office. When you know how the game is played, you have to be prepared for questions concerning past, present and future situations that have or will come up for most any issue that is being discussed or investigated. So did he lie, I do not know. Does it matter, I doubt it. Does the public care, yes, to the opposition and independents swing voters, And therein lies the problem with this whole issue. After Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Clinton’s tarmac meeting with the AG and many other issues during the Obama administration, people voted for change and expected change to happen and now many of those swing voters are just seeing the same thing over and over again.

      (For all ***********PLEASE no comment about what happened during Obama and Trump not being the same, that what happened during Obama WAS illegal and what is being investigated in Trumps inner circle is not. I KNOW! But MANY swing voters do not and they are who counts during an election and right now I do not want another Clinton, Sanders, Warren, Pelosi, Shumer or any other far left Democrat in the Presidents chair in 2020 and do not want a Dem controlled house in 2018, And what is happening today in DC is not making that outcome easier!!!!)

      • dhlii permalink
        July 23, 2017 5:04 am


        I do not miss your point.

        You seem to miss that it works BOTH ways.

        Clinton lied to the american public and under oath.
        I remember when he was forced to admit to that that nearly everyone was predicting resignation in days if not hours.

        Clinton bet that the allegations repeated over and over and over would eventually lose their effect. And he bet right.

        Trump is in a more complex situation.
        So long as we are confining ourselves to the actual Russia Collusion story.

        It is possible there will be a few more contact stories that have some basis in fact.
        But Trump will survive that.

        But I would look at the Russian Lawyer story and consider how fast that died.
        It had several problems:

        If nearly everything the left hoped for with it had proved true – i.e. that Trump Jr. had met with an actual Kremlin agent to get dirt on Clinton and gotten it.

        The story still would have died after a week.
        Because we may not like that, but we understand it is not a crime.

        At the same time every single Trump “drip” results in multiple democrat drips.

        Natalia gets tied to Fusion GPS, and numerous democrats, and then we end up with a highly questionable visa – pushed through State and DOJ,
        And then the fact that Bill Clinton got 500K for a speach to the very bank that Natlia is indirectly lobbying for, and that as Sec State Hillary worked to try to Kill the Magnavinsky act.

        Every drip against Trump that does very little, adds lots and lots of tiny wounds to the left.

        Further they leave us wondering – where was the press when all this left wing nut malfeasance was going on ?

      • July 23, 2017 12:56 pm

        Dave “Every drip against Trump that does very little, adds lots and lots of tiny wounds to the left.”

        And this is where you are TOTALLY missing my point. I am not a Trump supporter. However, I would rather have him in office than a Democrat (other than a Manchin Democrat which will never happen). When you say every drip does very little, that is where you are wrong in my opinion. Trump did not win the popular vote. It would not take many to change their minds in Penn, Mich and a couple other states to change a future election outcome and we end up with a Warren Presidency or someone just as far left as she is,

        So you keep wearing your rose colored glasses looking out at the current political environment believing that another Republican will get elected after the mess that is being created by this administration. You keep believing that few people will change their minds about the need for a more conservative government. And I will keep believing that not until exposing everything that has taken place,INCLUDING releasing tax returns, will a clean slate be created so Trump “Can Make America Great Again”. There is only one way to solve the continuing liberal media anti-Trump issue and that is to go on the offensive and release information so it is no longer an issue where someone can keep looking for dirt and finding some smidgen of sand that is made into a huge mud ball by the press.

        And going on the offensive is not creating crap on Twitter every morning so we hear about how he posts “X” number of tweets. That only shows his lack of intelligence as to how to get something done. It may have worked in his private organization and people may have jumped 10ft high everytime he posted a directive, but it does not work that way in Washington D.C.

        So this is my last comment on this subject as I have made myself completely clear for most people to understand my position on Trump, Russia and his administration.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 23, 2017 7:18 pm

        What it would take to change peoples minds is your or my judgement.

        In reality – it gets decided by Trump voters.

        Todate they are not abandoning him and if anything he is getting strong.

        He beat Clinton in November. At this time he would likely defeat her even worse.

        That is what matters.

        The right of the losers – the left. Is the right to address their claim that the election was basically fair and honest.

        You are not going to get anywhere trying to claim that voters should not have been allowed to know truthful dirt about Clinton – no matter where is came from.
        Particularly where Clinton was spreading FALSE dirt about trump from the SAME sewer.

        You do not seem to get that you need to convince trump voters – not that they made the wrong choice – but that they were criminally deceived into making the wrong choice.

        If you manage that – Trump will fall fast.

        If not – anything that you do will reflect badly on you.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 23, 2017 5:11 am

        Again get your point – but remind you that Hillary’s approval rating – and that of the press and left and democrats is going down FASTER than Trumps.

        Trump is dead if somebody every comes up with meat on the Collusion story.
        But I do not think that is even possible.
        I think the worst that could possibly come out – will get initial gasps and then die.

        You have to persuade people that Trump succeeded in changing the outcome of the election improperly using Russian help.

        That thesis has a problem because people can only be angry about it in the abstract.
        The likely real world examples just can not reach the level needed.

        Right now I think if video showed up that had Trump and Russian prostitutes peeing on Obama’s bed in moscow – that Trump would survive it.

        You have to come up with conduct that those who voted for him (and are now bought in) find more offensive than Clinton.

        You are right that this is ultimately about what the majority of people think.

        But it is NOT about his approval rating.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 23, 2017 5:16 am

        What is it that you think voters who voter for change are seeing happen all over again ?

        Do you think Trump voters thought he was going to run a positive campaign ?
        Do you think they thought he was not going to take dirt on Clinton wherever he could find it.

        The WWE Trump/CNN meme should give you a clue.
        Trump voters WANT him to dish it out.

        Did you vote for Trump ? I didn’t.
        He could gain my vote – he can not lose it.

        That is how you need to be thinking.

        It does not matter how convinced the people who voted against Trump are that he should be impeached.

        Briefly after the election there were stories about the fact that the Press and the left lost touch with the people who were trump voters.

        That has not changed.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 23, 2017 5:25 am

        With respect to your last paragraph.

        I think you are wrong. I do think that voters are quite capable – particularly in agregate of grasping not only what is illegal but what is not.

        And this is why this remains a nothing burger.

        We get a Trump Jr. met with story, and briefly people go Oh no! Trump is toast.
        and a few days pass and the same people go – no wait a minute – there is nothing wrong with this.

        I also got that you do not want another Clinton …..
        But I am pretty sure you did not want Trump.
        Alot of the people who voted for him DID.

        In the unlikely event the left manages to take out Trump.
        His voters will STILL want “Trump II”.

        I can hope for a miracle and that in 2020 Trump Voters grasp that they should have voted for Gary Johnson or Rand Paul.

        Very early in the election I had very high hopes for Rand Paul.
        But he does not have the “fire in the belly” and it just was not happening.
        And it will not in 2020.

        Absent some new Trump II arrising the most likely successor to Trump is probably Cruz.
        If he can somehow manage to get the Trump voters he could not get last time arround without losing his personal base – you essentially have Trump II.

        I am not sure that Trump did not make a mistake not nominating Cruz as VP.
        He needed a VP the left hated as much as they hate him.

        I would remind everyone that the left took out Agnew BEFORE they took out Nixon.

  15. dhlii permalink
    July 23, 2017 2:00 am

    When Donald Trump really censors people rather than using his own bully pulpit to counter their message, you can count on my opposing him

    In the meantime, my wife does the cooking – because she loves it.
    I fix the cars – because someone has to. My son cooks – because he loves it, my daughter takes care of her own car – because someone has to.

  16. July 23, 2017 8:54 am

    Ok, Ron, I do get what you are saying, and the frustration that you have, over the Trump administration’s missteps.

    The problem, as I see it, is that we have an outsider, elected president precisely because he is an outsider, trying to negotiate a mine field that has been laid by the insiders ~ of both parties and the media. No matter how careful he and his loyalists are, odds are they’re going to step on a mine sooner or later. I think that Trump has always understood this, and that’s at least one of the reasons that he has gone against the advice of many, and appointed his family members as close advisors. Nepotism is a two-edged sword, though. While he can trust them, they also become his Achilles heel. Same with Sessions….although he’s not family, he was the only senator to endorse Trump during the primaries, and he never wavered in his support. I believe that Trump always intended to make Sessions the AG, but it never occurred to him that Sessions might be compromised by his own “Trump insider” status.

    I tend to agree with those who say that Trump and Mueller are headed for a disastrous showdown. Trump’s base has not abandoned him. Far from it, most polls seem to show that the vast majority of his voters want him to continue to do exactly what he’s doing (possibly with less tweeting). Mueller is a prosecutor in search of a crime, and, as Dave has pointed out, he will almost certainly find one somewhere, Mueller’s problem is that he is also very compromised, and everyone knows it. This is a political war which could potentially cause an already divided nation to crack ~ maybe through mass civil disobedience, maybe through outright violence. We’re not talking Watergate here. By the time that Nixon resigned, the vast majority of Americans were glad to see him go. Most of Trump’s supporters feel that he is being railroaded and that the political class is betraying the will of the people.

    It’s a dangerous situation that most in Washington seem oblivious to……

    • dhlii permalink
      July 23, 2017 1:04 pm

      There is a pretty good Carlson/Turley interview on exactly this.

      Where it is noted that you can not even buy a pack of cigarettes in Moscow without a credible allegation of money laundering.

      I do not actually think Mueller is as “compromised” as is argued.
      His biggest problem is his relationship to James Comey.
      That can be handled by “recusing himself” informally from the processes involving Comey.

      The issues raised regarding his hirings are disturbing – but have no legal strength.
      The same issues were Raised regarding The Starr investigation.

      The most fundimental problem is that the whole appointment of a special counsel creates the expectation that he will come home with scalps.
      And they ALWAYS do.

      The next major issue is the scope of mueller’s investigation.
      Rosensteins brief was just plain stupid.
      The investigation had to be of a crime.

      The Special Counsel is an executive branch member – he still serves under the president and can be fired by him – though probably not directly.
      Regardless, he is therefore bound by the rules governing criminal investigations and prosecutions.

      Ken Starr was an Independent Council – he was answerable to Congress – not the president.

      I think that was a mistake and unconstitutional.

      That said the Congress CAN investigate things that are not crimes.

    • July 23, 2017 3:01 pm

      Mueller’s problem is that he is also very compromised, and everyone knows it. ”

      By ‘everyone’ you mean Partisan Trumpanzees (like you) who want to pervert and undermine his investigation with BS innuendo.

      Just two months ago Mueller, after a LONG widely praised career in law enforcement, was met with bipartisan enthusiastic support, with comments from REPUBLICANS as well as Democrats that he was “a great selection,” “a solid choice” in “a fantastic person.”

      Wormy Chaffetz when he was still around called Mueller “a great selection” with “impeccable credentials.”

      Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said he “has a strong reputation for independence, and comes with the right credentials for this job.”

      Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado said Mueller had “an incredible reputation.”

      Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.: “I’ve been pressing the DOJ to take this step for nearly 3 months because the Americans deserve nothing less than the truth. I have faith that Robert Mueller will provide the independence necessary to be sure this investigation is conducted with the trust and confidence of the American people.”

      Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb.: “Robert Mueller is an exceptional public servant — from his days as a decorated Marine, through his years as a federal prosecutor, to his time as head of the criminal division and then as Acting Deputy Attorney General, and then onto his twelve years of principled leadership as the Director of the FBI. His record, character, and trustworthiness have been lauded for decades by Republicans and Democrats alike.”

      House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.: “My priority has been to ensure thorough and independent investigations are allowed to follow the facts wherever they may lead. That is what we’ve been doing here in the House. The addition of Robert Mueller as special counsel is consistent with this goal, and I welcome his role at the Department of Justice. The important ongoing bipartisan investigation in the House will also continue.”

      Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine: “The Deputy Attorney General made an excellent choice in selecting former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel. He has sterling credentials and is above reproach. ”

      What’s changed in the those few months is the realization by Trumpanzees that he WILL DO HIS JOB.

      Rather than a full investigation to exonerate or condemn Trump and/or his family or close advisors of playing a part in the Russian intrusion, Trump and his minions are intent on discrediting Mueller, so that even if Trump isn’t able to fire him (that still seems to be in his game plan) the results of his investigation will be pre-judged as discredited as well.

      For Trump enablers it’s no longer Party over Country; it’s Trump Uber Allis.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 23, 2017 7:33 pm

        I am troubled by issues regarding Mueller – particularly those involving Comey.

        There are two issues.

        First Comey is both a witness and a legitimate target of this investigation at this point.
        My guess is the Muellers past relationship with Comey will prevent properly dealing with Comey as either a witness or a target.

        In theory that is a fixable problem.

        The second is not a clear conflict.
        It is that we have been saying for several years that Comey was this white night.
        Now it is clear he is a political hack – even he claims he has no polical courage.

        Comey is Mueller’s protege. I am concerned about that apple tree thing.

        The bigger problem is not that Robert Mueller is corrupt.
        But that pretty much all people at this level are stroking their ego.

        You do not send out a lion hunter to catch chickens.

        The concern is Mueller will come back with something – whether there is something or not.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 23, 2017 7:34 pm

        If the leaks are true – which is not certain.

        Mueller has discredited himself.

        Prosecutors investigate crimes, not whatever they please.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 23, 2017 7:35 pm

        Just to be clear – I do not automatically beelive the Mueller leaks.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 23, 2017 8:25 pm

        Calling Trump supporters Trumpanzee’s perfectly demonstrates the problem.

        Lets say you get your way. Do you think the “Trumpanzee’s” are going to toe the line ?

        The left purports to beleive in the will of the people – but apparently not some people.

        If you can not figure out how to make peace with Trumpanzee’s – then we are facing political warfare.

        Lets say you take out Trump.
        If you do so without the agreement of the Trumpanzee’s all that means is that you have won a skirmish in an ongoing war.

        At the moment I am more affraid of violence from the left.

        But if you remove Trump in a way those who voted for him do not accept – you are near certain to see an escalation of violence from Trump supporters.

        With one fundimental difference.
        They will be justified.

        BTW the purpose of an investigation is to determine if a crime has been committed and prosecute the criminal. That is all.
        It is no about exonerate or condemn.

        Both Prof. Turley and Pat Buchannon noted recently – Trump absolutely can firm Mueller.
        The fallout could be nuclear, but he can still do it.

        One of them noted that an awful lot of the whitehouse rhetoric is just efforts to get Mueller to behave himself.

        When Trump essentially draws lines in the sand – if the people buy those lines – and Mueller crosses them – the cost of firing him will be less.
        Further Mueller has to weigh whether he will conform to those constraints or risk a constitutional crisis.

        We have leaks that purport to tell us what Mueller is up to.

        If those leaks are True – then Mueller has a huge problem.
        Not just overreach, but the leaks themselves.

        Trump has only nominal control of the executive branch.
        He needs to resolve that. He needs to do what is necescary to get control of the Intelligence Community, the DOJ and FBI.

        If he acheives those – then he has ALOT that he can do.

        He can have the FBI start investigating the leaks from the Mueller investigation as an example.

        My advice after the election was to Pardon Clinton and her cronies.
        That has not happened.
        Now I think Trump’s own best interests is to reopen the broadest investigation of Clinton and the left he can.
        Even news story he can get about miconduct on the part of Clinton that is more egregious than what is alleged about the Trump campaign helps him enormously.

        It diminishes the Mueller investigation and tempers the GOP defectors in congress.

        Further it plays to his base. These people WANT investigations.
        They WANT clinton and CO in jail.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 23, 2017 6:19 pm

      I have fixated on rules.

      The current mess should create an appreciation for why “the rule of law” – that means rules based on principles – bright lines that are followed, it means strongly respecting the rights of individuals.

      These are all important – whether it is Trump or Clinton or Bush. or Obama.

      We just had an election. Many of us are disappointed in the results.

      The legitimacy of the government rests on the perception of the people that the outcome reflected the choices of the voters.
      Whether we personally agree with the outcome.

      It is important that those on the left do not perceive the election as having be altered as a result of Russian meddling.

      But there is a flip side to that. The efforts to determine if there is any merit to the perception of the left that the Election was “hacked” also require respect for the perception of those who voted for Trump.

      We can have an outcome where many of us feel the wrong person won.

      But if the results do NOT reflect the will of the people – then whatever the outcome – we have anarchy – the authority of government derives from the consent of the governed.

      This is why we need to tighten our elections.
      It does not matter whether in person voter fraud is likely small, or voting in two states, or non citizens voting, or voting machines getting hacked.
      or …..

      It matters that people trust the outcome – especially when they do not like it
      Or government has no legitimacy.

      This is also why government must be of laws – few laws, clear laws, that are for the most part easily understandable for all.

      It is why we can not engage in this nonsense of confusing motive and intent with crimes.

      Crimes are acts – not thoughts. This is not 1984. Though there is such an uncanny resemblance.

      If an act is legal – it is legal regardless of the intent or motive of those committing it.
      Generally the law also requires intent – guilty mind – that the doer KNOWS they are doing something wrong.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 23, 2017 7:06 pm

      I can not seem to find the link but there is a recent article from some politico ranting how wonderful Kid Rock would be as senator.

      The gist of the article is that Kid Rock would be another ass kicker like Trump.

      My point is – we can not like Trump’s style, but he was elected BECAUSE of it.

    • Roby permalink
      July 24, 2017 8:51 am

      “The problem, as I see it, is that we have an outsider, elected president precisely because he is an outsider…”

      Pure Nonsense. trump was the first choice of about 35% of republicans. Republicans are about 35% of the voters. That makes about 12% of the voters who themselves make up about 55% of the voting age population and 40% of the total population. Clearly the true forever trumpies are a small minority of us. I am supposed to care if they are going to have a violent fit if they can’t impose their will on the country as a whole? CMAR, get in line. You can’t always get what you want. They will get about the same level of support if they turn violent that BLM activists get when they riot. And those supporters will be just as screwed up as those who support BLM violence.

      The percentage of people who want, really want, this outsider business and want in particular trumps version is a distinct minority. Most people who voted for him were voting against hillary first, any democrat second and not truly for trump and his movement. They would have voted for Romney, Bush, any GOP candidate, or Felix the Cat. Apparently they would have voted for julian assange before hillary, but perhaps I go too far. trump still lost the popular vote by millions. So, he has very very limited power, not the power of some giant popular movement. trumpism will dissipate in the end and go the way of William Jenning Bryan and free silver except that history will regard him far less benevolently than Bryan, unless he suddenly becomes presidential.

      trump cannot get his “overthrow the status quo routine” going because it would take a powerful majority of supporters for that agenda to make that happen, and he obviously does not nearly have it. As Dave always says, it takes a decided majority to make a change stick and I cannot believe that even you and Dave have gone so far into your alternate realities that you believe that trump has such a majority behind him.

      Then there is the obvious fact that he is unfit to be POTUS and that fact that there are more people who believe he is unfit for office than who believe his is fit for it. Then there is the fact that he and his chaotic group of wingnuts in his campaign did actually seriously play with Russian fire during the election, which is not a mirage and should certainly have serious consequences so it does not become the new standard of acceptable behavior. You and Dave accept this behavior, but you are in a minority. It still boggles my mind the that you are willing to twist yourself in knots and waste your credibility trying to justify it.

      So here we are.

      “Mueller’s problem is that he is also very compromised, and everyone knows it.

      Everyone? Really? Purest Bullshit. It would be closer to the truth to say that Everyone knows trump is unfit for office. These kind of transparently spinning “everyone” narratives are feeble spinning and never change actual minds.

      “This is a political war which could potentially cause an already divided nation to crack ~ maybe through mass civil disobedience, maybe through outright violence. We’re not talking Watergate here. By the time that Nixon resigned, the vast majority of Americans were glad to see him go.”

      trump will be successfully thrown out of office if and only if the GOP base significantly leaves him. Not the trump base, who make up maybe 12% of Americans, the GOP base, who make up 35%, So your whole narrative rests on an obvious error. He will go when he has been abandoned by a strong majority. There will be no civil war and those that turn violent will be treated with appropriate contempt by decent people. As we have all agreed with Rick the vast majority of Americans are still decent people. So, any future forever trumpies who turn violent will be put down, hard. Anyone who supports them, at all, even with caveats, will be worthy of contempt.

      As of the present trump is a clearly unfit and mostly incompetent president who is making a stink that will haunt GOP efforts for years. “Everyone” knows that. There are these Americans called young people, whose political ideas about party and ideology are being formed watching this ugly fiasco.

      I cannot believe you waste your time spinning this spin Priscilla. Sad.

      Less than 20 mostly delusional posts from Dave to my one post will be a serious departure from the norm. And, I ain’t gonna spend much time reading them, Ready, set, Go! Dave!

      • Roby permalink
        July 24, 2017 9:05 am

        “Not the trump base, who make up maybe 12% of Americans, the GOP base, who make up 35%,”

        I should have also multiplied those numbers by .55 to reflect the percent of the VAP who vote, and .4 to reflect the percentage of Americans who vote, to arrive at even much smaller numbers. In then end you actually have a small percentage of Americans who are completely in with the trump revolution. Which fact fits in nicely with the most Americans are decent theme of Ricks post.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 2:04 pm

        You are still buying into the tyranny of the majority.

        Blacks only make up 12% of the country – can we enslave them, and disregard their rights ?

        We did so in the past – and ended up with a civil war over infringing on the rights of a small portion of the population.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 2:06 pm

        It is also true that you only have a tiny portion of the population supporting the extreme left.

        I keep trying to get you to bring your principles to the fore – as that is really how we resolve these conflicts.

        But all you bring forward is majoritarian arguments.

        Is that your core principle ?

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 1:50 pm

        It is not what the majority want that is relevant.
        Our revolution had the support of only about 1/3 of the population.

        One of the differences between voting and markets, is that in a market preferences have weight. You vote with money so you say I want X and I want it X amount.

        Our values are the same in politics, but they system does not work the same.

        This is a serious flaw in democracy.

        At the moment we have a large core of Trump supporters who – absent some compelling development, that you hare highly unlikely to get, are going to stick with Trump to death.

        And you have a violently anti-trump group that is approximately the same scale that is atleast as likely to resort to violence.

        Contra majoritarians – those in the middle with weak preferences do NOT get to decide for everyone.

        This is also why principles matter.
        We have to decide who gets what they want – the minority on the left or the Trump minority.

        Further we have to decide on fundimental princples.

        We can not decide based on the law as an example – because the legitamacy of the law rests on the legitimacy of the government which is the issue being decided.

        We may have one or more constitutional crisises coming – but we also have a supra constitutional crisis already upon us.

        For the sake of argument – lets assume that the Trump side legitimately won the election.
        And that absent atleast the begrudging acceptance of the left we have no legitimate government

        For this argument is does not matter if you invert the conditions and have Clinton winning with about 1/3 of the country unwilling to accept that outcome.

        Then we have an impasse – how do you resolve that ?

        Though I think that principles always apply.
        They are the only means of resolving this impasse.

        Individual liberty is the core principle that matters.
        What resolution does not infringe on anyone’s natural rights ?

        Accept that – and it now does nto matter whether Trump or Clinton is the president.
        Neither can have the power to infringe on the natural rights of an angry minority.

        Limited govenrment works – regardless of who controls government.

        There is a right not to have your rights infringed on even if you are a minority.
        There is not a right to infringe on the rights of a minority even if you are the majority.

        This is also the difference between “the rule of law” – abiding by clear rules to secure our rights, and rule by lots of laws which really has no meaning at all.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 2:00 pm

        Virtually all recent violence is from the left.

        You seem to think “level or support” is important – you can not seem to escape an affliction with the tyranny of the majority.

        I do not want to predict what Trump supporters are going to do if they fell they have been disenfranchised.

        But there is ample evidence they are not stopping.
        The sea change in US politics since 2009 is driven generally by that group.

        That has resulted in flipping hundreds of elected offices accross the country red.

        You do not seem to grasp – this is not going away.
        You had better figure out how to make this group satisifed or one way or the other they are taking you out.

        Start thinking about governing according to least common denominator principles rather than majoritarian ones.

        Ultimately that is the only way to make government work.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 2:01 pm

        The left has already engaged in violence and is by far the most rhetorically violent.

  17. July 23, 2017 2:01 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      July 23, 2017 7:26 pm

      Mueller is NOT investigating russian influence on the election.

      There was no need for an SC for that, further that is a counter-intelligence and no criminal investigation.

      He is specifically investigating the Trump Campaign ties to russia with respect to this election.

      These distictions are important.

      The rules for counter intelligence investigations are far more relaxed.
      And criminal and non-criminal investigations by the government must be conducted not merely by different departments – but with a firewall between them/

      If Mueller engages in a counter-intelligence investigation, then he can not conduct a criminal one.

      Regardless the SC is there for criminal investigations of political appointees.

      Lets try some logic here.

      Russian buy homes. Therefore Mueller can investigate Russian’s buying homes.

      The rule of law – the 4th amendment, procedural due process requires more than some plausible assertion of logic to broaden an investigation.

      It requires that EVIDENCE already in hand creates probable cause to beleive another related crime has occurred.

  18. July 23, 2017 3:48 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      July 23, 2017 8:28 pm

      A memo is one persons oppinion on the law.
      I would note Starr with not indict clinton.
      And no one indicted Nixon.

      Mueller would be stupid to do anything unusual.
      Whether you think it is legal or not.

      I also get tired of people who say – see I can find one person who agrees on my view of the ;law.

      The rule of law means law that ALL of us essentially agree on.

  19. July 23, 2017 4:00 pm

    Political Slang Definition: Trumpanzees – persons who voted for Trump, and blindly continue to support him, contrary to evidence he is an incompetent, deceptive, divisive cancer on America. ( Also applies to those who swallow Trump Family ambiguity as gospel)

    • July 23, 2017 4:27 pm

      Maybe money laundering for Russian Mobsters?

      “But even without an investigation by Congress or a special prosecutor, there is much we already know about the president’s debt to Russia. A review of the public record reveals a clear and disturbing pattern: Trump owes much of his business success, and by extension his presidency, to a flow of highly suspicious money from Russia. Over the past three decades, at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, and even run criminal activities out of Trump Tower and other Trump properties. Many used his apartments and casinos to launder untold millions in dirty money. Some ran a worldwide high-stakes gambling ring out of Trump Tower—in a unit directly below one owned by Trump. Others provided Trump with lucrative branding deals that required no investment on his part. Taken together, the flow of money from Russia provided Trump with a crucial infusion of financing that helped rescue his empire from ruin, burnish his image, and launch his career in television and politics. “They saved his bacon,” says Kenneth McCallion, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Reagan administration who investigated ties between organized crime and Trump’s developments in the 1980s.”

      • dhlii permalink
        July 23, 2017 8:41 pm

        Your not going to get anywhere with me on money laundering.

        I do not think it is a justifiable crime.
        I do nto think the government has the right to track our money.

        If I think you should be allowed to sell Heroin, why would I think you should not be able to spend the money you make selling it.

        More left wing nut nonsense about free exchange.

        Outside of maybe friends and family – no one gives someone else money to “save their bacon”. They give money for something of value they get in return.

        Successful exchanges tend to push those involved to exchange with each other again in the future – it is about trust.

        But all transactions when complete leave one with no future obligation.

        I was starving, I went to Wendies and ordered a double Baconator meal with bacon fries.
        I paid and sat down with my meal.

        Wendy’s litterally saved my bacon.

        Tomorow I am eating at McD’s.

    • July 23, 2017 4:32 pm

      What Mueller will be telling Trump after examine his financials

    • dhlii permalink
      July 23, 2017 8:30 pm

      You lost an election atleast partly by insulting voters.
      You think doubling down is wise.

  20. July 23, 2017 4:20 pm

    And Moderates, Independents, NeoCons, Progressives are still asking: Why is Trump freaking out about his Taxes becoming public?

    What is in there that’s so embarrassing to him?

    Can it be this?

    Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Sunday that President Trump is “clearly worried” that the special counsel investigation could include his finances in the Russia probe.

    “The president is clearly worried,” about accusations that Russia laundered money through the Trump Organization, Schiff told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

    “What concerns me the most is anything that could be held over the president’s head that could influence US policy,” Schiff added.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 23, 2017 8:32 pm

      No Jay for the most part they are not.

      Where is your tax return posted ?

      Schiff seems to think he is the president’s boss.
      He isn’t.

  21. dhlii permalink
    July 23, 2017 5:41 pm

    Here is a left leaning article noting that the democrats are in deep political trouble.

    Voters beleive they stand for nothing – except opposing Trump.
    And there is a 7 point advantage to Republicans in likely 2018 voters.

  22. dhlii permalink
    July 23, 2017 5:46 pm

    A different analysis with much the same conclusion.
    Democrats are in bad shape with respect to the Senate,
    and even in the house their losses could be greater than their gains.

  23. July 23, 2017 6:46 pm

    Dave, you’ve brought up some good points regarding Mueller. Technically, the glaring conflict that he has is his close personal and professional relationship with James Comey. I didn’t even realize until this week that their families have even vacationed together. It’s a conflict that is so obvious and so blatant, that it’s extremely curious that Mueller has not addressed it.

    The whole situation is so rife with problems and conflicts, that, regardless of how this plays out, historians will puzzle as to how things got so out of hand, so quickly.

    Just a few questions that spring to mind:
    1) Why did Trump nominate Rod Rosenstein? He was confirmed with overwhelming Democrat support, despite none for Sessions.
    2) Why didn’t Sessions tell Trump upfront that he believed that his role in the campaign obligated him to recuse himself from any investigation?
    3) Why did Rosenstein cave to demands for a SP almost right away, and before there was any allegation of criminal wrong doing? And why did he appoint Mueller, knowing, as he must have known, the close relationship between Mueller and Comey?
    4) Why has Trump not named a SP to investigate Hillary’s emails, the Uranium One Deal, the many pay-to-play allegations against the Clinton Foundation, Comey’s accusations of impropriety and illegality by Loretta Lynch, and/or the leaking of classified information?
    5) If the Gang of Eight has seen evidence of illegal surveillance and subsequent leaking, why have no allegations been made?

    One of the problems is that so much of what we read and hear in the news on a daily basis, is just flat-out inaccurate, and that the anonymous sources that are feeding information to the news media don’t really know what’s going on. For example, we heard, repeatedly, from CNN that Comey would deny that he ever told Trump that he was not under investigation. And then, surprise! He said exactly what Trump had asserted ~ that he had assured the President 3 times that he was not under investigation. Why was CNN so sure and so wrong.

    Another question bubbling up in social media today is this: Why doesn’t Trump just go ahead and fire Mueller, especially if the whole Saturday Night Massacre thing is going to happen eventually anyway? Both sides seem to be playing a high stakes game of chicken with each other. Trump says “don’t you dare look into my financial dealings from decades ago,” Mueller says “don’t you dare threaten to fire me.”

    It’s almost as if they’re both bluffing.

    • July 23, 2017 7:32 pm

      Pricilla where did you pull up that ‘decades’ assertion?
      That’s you, distorting theTrump tax time frame, right?
      The years Trump claims are under audit are from 2009 to the present.
      Those are the years Trump is hiding, where evidence of his duplicitiousness are lurking.

      And your claim there’s something improper about the Comey – Mueller personal relationship is nonsensically skewed by your surrender to Trump worship – your current sniping about them reminds me of OJs lawyers disparaging the cops who investigated the murder scene, undermine them personally to undermine the evidence

      It’s really sad to witness how completely you’ve been consumed by the FOX mindset, and the more insincere and dishonest seem your proclamations during the campaign about Trump’s deficiencies, notably in light of your admittance recently in a comment that you were going to vote for him anyway if he was the nominee: party loyalty over common sense.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 23, 2017 11:44 pm

        The only way you or the media are going to get to see Trump’s tax returns is if somebody leaks them.

        Mueller may or may not get his hands on them.
        Congress may or may not.

        I will fully support jailing anyone who leaks Trump’s or anyone else’s tax return.

        Trump needs to keep his tax returns away from the media – not investigators.

        Trump is audited by and army from the IRS every year. He has an army preparing his returns. I doubt he has anything to do with most of what is in them.

        I doubt Mueller will find anything in Tax returns.

        What would be more problematic would be if the press got them.
        They we would be fighting over whether his investment in chik-a-fila
        is some totally sordid anti-gay thing.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 12:00 am

        You do not seem to understand what a conflict of interests is.

        There is nothing improper about Mueller’s relationship with Comey.

        There is a great deal unethical about prosecuting a case where he is a significant witness or target.

        Comey has issues in that he has confessed voluntarily under oath to leaking government documents that are classified.
        Worse he just completed an almost 2 year investigation involving classified documents.
        He can not conceivably claim ignorance. He can not claim he did not know what he was doing, nor that he knew it was against the law.

        If Mueller does not charge him – Mueller shoots his own credibility.

        Regardless, just as session recused himself from the Russia/Trump election matter, Mueller must recuse himself from all matters involving Comey.
        It is called ethics.

        OJ probably was guilty. Mark Furman is a bad cop.
        Sometimes things are black and black.

        You should listen to Derschowitz on the Trial.
        He says the defense team did well, but fundimentally the prosecution blew it.

        It is the job of defense attorney’s to do everything legally possible to undermine the prosecutions case.

        In the real world – most defendants are guilty of something, though quite often not what they are charged with.

        Most cops are decent but have a very expansive view of their role and the law, and mostly the courts let them get away with that. there are a few rotten apples in the barrel.
        The rotten apple vary from a few worms to thoroughly rotten.
        They are nto the majority of police but they are more than enough to be a big problem.
        Further the culture encourages agression and overreach.
        This is the system as it is – how WE made it.
        I do not mostly blame the cops.

        The right seems to think that police should be storm troopers and the left seems to think that using them to police peoples cigarette purchases is a good idea.

        Regardless, I personally resent your attacks on defense attorneys.

        The constraints that defense attorney’s have to operate under are egregious.
        And the standards are far lower for prosecutors.

        If as an example a prosecutor fails to turn over exculpatory material in a case,
        that error is ALWAYS blamed on the defense attorney. It is littlerally the job of the defense attorney to make sure that the prosecutor does his job

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 12:01 am

        So now you are offering the “fox” fallacy.
        I do not know about Priscilla, but I do not watch Fox.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 23, 2017 8:53 pm

      1). I do not know. My guess is that Sessions wanted him.

      Trump has had some problems filling posts.
      He has a lot of business connections. But there are myriads of posts he must fill.

      Trump has to this point rejected most people who pissed on him during the campaign.
      That is ALOT of the republicans that would otherwise be in line for positiions.

      Republicans also have enormous control of state governments.
      This means there are not alot of well qualified republican politico’s looking for work.

      Trump is also deliberately trying to reduce apointments.

      It has actually annoyed the GOP with him.

      2). Sessions was blindsided by this. everyone was.

      There is really nothing more to this Russia/Trump story than there was on election day, I think most republicans thought it would blow over fast – because Clinton has far more russian ties than Trump. It was thought the left would be unlikely to go to strongly into Russia for fear of self immolation.

      3). I do not know Rosenstein but his handling of the SC is probably the worst political choice of all time. The decision was stupid. The SC letter is infinite.

      Trump was also blind sided – he was interviewing Mueller to head the FBI (again).
      And I think he was the lead candidate.

      4). You do not need an SP to investigate Clinton.
      An SP is for situations where the people being investigated exert political control of those investigating them.

      5). These things move slow. Trump only nominally controlls the executive.

      If he ordered an investigation of Hillary the FBI would likely ignore him.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 23, 2017 11:31 pm

      We do not actually know what Mueller is up to.

      What portion of leaks have been true so far?

      I think that Trump is deliberately drawing lines in the sand to sell his supporters.
      When he thinks he can survive it, he will fire Mueller.

      To survive a large enough portion of people need to believe Mueller overstepped.

      At the same time though if Mueller is actually doing the things the leaks claim – which I am suspicious may not be true, then Trump is likely at serious risk.

      But the left should contemplate the possibility Miller will find nothing – or nothing that he can actually sink his teeth into.

      Within the US Trump’s deals are likely to hold up.
      I am sure Mueller can find some technical issues – but those will likely just involve some fines. I would also expect that Trump is particularly well protected in the US.
      I would imagine that there are layers of corporations and Trump’s actions will mostly be as a manager and not as an owner. That there will have been lawyers and accountants signing off on everything. And that will make it harder to spin.
      I am not saying there will be nothing.

      Starr spent years digging into WhiteWater – which almost certainly was a corrupt deal done by rank amateurs with no expectation that it was going to have to hold up to scrutiny of the Independent counsel.

      Trumps deals in Russia are likely less well done – because the country is lawless and corrupt. But with few exceptions US laws do not apply to Transactions in Russia.
      Nor do I think that Mueller will get anywhere claiming Trump violated Russian laws.

      Further though the recent Kislyak story could be a deliberate effort to goose Trump.
      I think it is highly unlikely that the Russians are going to cooperate that well with an investigation into financial activities in Russia.

      I will admit that there is large risk once Mueller jumps the shark.

      But the left should also start thinking about what happens if he comes up with little or nothing.

      What happens when you decide to go after someone you portray as the most corrupt business person on the planet – and you do not find corruption ?

      I would further note that while Trump – like all business people is secretive,
      he has been investigated before, he has run his life for decades expecting to be investigated.

      • July 24, 2017 9:35 am

        Thanks, Dave, fair point on all answers. Particularly with regard to the ongoing Russia-Russia-Russia investigations, I think there may be more to it than meets the eye.

        In particular, the speed with which Rosenstein appointed Mueller intrigues me, and the fact that, as you say, the scope of the investigation is infinite. There will likely be hundreds of millions of dollars spent investigating everything that the president has ever done ~ if nothing else, it will be great opposition fodder for the 2020 election, should Trump choose to run.

        There may also be ongoing FBI investigations that we don’t know about, as you say. The media relies heavily ~ almost exclusively, these days ~ on leaks that have often turned out to be inaccurate and untrue, but they are so obsessed with destroying Trump that they jump all over any scrap of information from any source, and interpret Trump’s tweets as if they are protestations from a guilty man.

        While Trump is undoubtedly at risk, as any president would be in this situation, there may be others at risk too, not all of them Republicans.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 4:01 pm

        I am trying to resolve with myself what arguments matter.

        I think the so called drip drip drip is ludicrous.

        The vast majority of the “stories” regarding Trump ultimately boil down to taking ordinary things and slathering them with lots of negative adjectives to make the story sound like an actual crime.

        Trump secretly walked his corrupt russian dog across the street to Putin – that MUST be a crime!!


        But separately there are issues fundimental to what constitutes the rule of law and legitimate government.

        Roby continues to make arguments that implicitly assert a majoritarian core principle.
        I wish he would come out and accept the principle he advocates by implication.

        In many of my arguments I have been trying to get acceptance that it is not the majority that matters – but our near univerally shared values.

        We can use the force of government to secure ourselves against murderers – not because a majority passed a law against murder, but because all but a tiny minority of us accpect that murder is wrong.

        I do not sometimes support Trump because I Iike him, or think he is a good person.

        But because to a significant extent he is removing from government cruft – added sometimes by a majority, and sometimes merely a powerful minority and moving us back towards govenrment actions that have near universal support.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 4:13 pm

        Recently some talking head observed something that sort of tied my observations of how Twitter was a very nasty place.

        Through the bush and obama administrations the left was happy.
        While they opposed Bush – John Stewart, Colbert and myriads of other left comics had fun.

        The right was not happy.

        Today – to a large extent the Trump supporters are having Fun.
        While the funny people on the left are Dour.

        The comedy of the left right now is nasty and mean and not funny and no really making anyone laugh.

        While those on the right – particularly those supporting Trump are practically joyfull and mischevious.

        CNN went after the creator of the WWE/Trump/CNN meme, CNN self righteously and idiotically struck back and there are Trump/CNN clips of all kinds all over.

        The same person pointed out that Trump is having fun too. That that is part of what his tweeting is about, that he seeks to poke fun at his critics.

        Some of this speaks to how this may play out.

        One of Alynsky’s rules is to employ tactics that your people enjoy.
        That when your people are not having fun, their support will wane.

        The media and the left have spent – really the better part of the past two years predicting Trumpocalpse – it has come, we have survived and still they are force feeding hysteria about it.

        The world is not coming to an end. We have been served by far worse presidents.
        The last two immediately come to mind.

  24. July 23, 2017 6:52 pm

    Remember when loudmouth liar Donald Trump with braggadocio promised he would do whatever was necessary to keep Carrier from laying off ANY employees at that Indiana factory and shifting those jobs to Mexico?

    To quote one of the 338 Carrier employees who were laid off last week (another 300 to soon follow):

    “Trump came in there to the factory last December and blew smoke up our asses.”

    You haven’t heard a word of apology or commiseration to those fired from #DufusDonald, or any followup to his LIE about taxing Carrier for any additional jobs they sent to Mexico, which is where those American jobs eliminated are going.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 23, 2017 11:38 pm

      Government attempts to interfere in the economy fail.
      They fail when democrats do them – see the onfolding disaster in Seattle from the first 2 phases of the MW hike.
      They fail when DT tries to strong arm companies into the behavior he wants.

      Regardless, the process of producing more value with less human effort that raises our standard of living will continue inexorably. The workers who are for the moment out of work have my sympathy. But they should thank Trump – they got a 6 month reprieve.

      Any company discussing these types of steps – is going to do them eventually.

      If you are low skill – work on adding skills.

      If Trump should apologize for something – it should be for interfering.

      Otherwise how is this his “fault”. The left wing nut wearing ash and burlap and weeping over life is stale.

      A man said to the universe:
      “Sir, I exist!”
      “However,” replied the universe,
      “The fact has not created in me
      A sense of obligation.”

      You are owed nothing – failure to greasp that makes it harder to get for yourself what you can.

      • July 24, 2017 1:04 pm

        “If Trump should apologize for something – it should be for interfering.”

        He shouldn’t apologize for lying to the electorate with promises he couldn’t keep to get elected? Or building up the expectations of those Carrier workers their jobs were secure, and stay silent when the rug was pulled out from under them?

        Dave dhilii , on hearing Bob Cratchit’s son was dying: “Who cares!”

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 7:24 pm

        If politicians apologized for every lie they told to get elected – their entire tenure would be filled with apologies.

        I think they should not lie at all.
        But that is not how things are.
        Trump has put more effort into keeping promises than any other candidate in my lifetime.

        That does not make him honest – just less dishonest.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 7:30 pm


        If you do not want me kick the moral soap box out from under you and break it over your head it would not be wise to attack my morality, integrity or charity without evidence.

        I have actually helped people in difficulties.
        I could list several people I am helping now.

        What I vigorously oppose is you or anyone else stealing from me to make YOUR choices about how my money should help others.

        I particularly resent that when so many of these willing to steal from others for some mythical greater good do zip to help anyone themselves

        Progressivism is inherently immoral. I have struggled to confine my moral attacks on progressivism to the ideology rather than to specific posters here.

        But if you choose to attack my personal morality – you invite the same in return.

  25. dhlii permalink
    July 24, 2017 1:29 am

    Meddling in elections.

    • July 24, 2017 12:21 pm

      Right and we spy on the Russians; are you suggesting we allow our own Presidential candidates to suggest they spy on us?

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 7:18 pm

        We are not talking spying – we are talking meddling.

        And the left is alleging a conspiracy.

        That requires for knowledge and some form of participation.

        Do you have evidence of that ?

  26. July 24, 2017 10:12 am

    Changing the subject for a bit, if I may, to something not directly related to Trump, but may shed some light on why Emmanuel Macron does not seem as hostile to Trump as Angela Merkel is, and why the EU’s threats to sanction Eastern European countries could be the beginning of an EU crack-up

    Macron has instituted border checks at the French-Italian border, specifically to prevent the entry of Middle-Eastern migrants, something that Hungary and Poland have been doing since Merkel encouraged the entry of “refugees” from the ME.

    This is precisely what Poland and Hungary have been criticized for advocating, not to mention the supporters of Brexit in the UK. Free movement among nations, without border checks, similar to the travel that occurs between states in the US, is a major tenet of the EU.

    If France is going to end this free movement policy, what happens next?

    “The message went out to the world: set foot on any Greek island, or on the southernmost rocky prominence of Italy, and you will become effectively invisible, able to make your way unhindered to any of the flourishing nations of Western Europe because, even though you are not legally entitled to the “free movement” rights that belong to EU citizens, there will be no checks at national crossing points to impede you.”

    • Roby permalink
      July 24, 2017 10:32 am

      “Changing the subject for a bit, if I may, to something not directly related to Trump, but may shed some light on why Emmanuel Macron does not seem as hostile to Trump…

      I hope you see the humor.

      • July 24, 2017 1:39 pm

        I do, I do 🙂 I should have said, “not directly related to the Russian investigation. Nothing is unrelated to Trump these days!

    • July 24, 2017 12:17 pm

      Macron has figured out, as has Putin, that the best way to manipulate Trump is message his pulsating ego, and pretend they like him. Hense all the back patting and arm grabbing and smiles from Macron at their meeting, like wooing an obnoxious date whose father is planning to open a new factory in town.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 7:16 pm

        How would that be different from any other politician ?

    • dhlii permalink
      July 24, 2017 4:15 pm

      The european market might have been sustainable.
      The europe with a common currency might have been sustainable.
      Europe as a single stable political entity has never been.

  27. Roby permalink
    July 24, 2017 10:14 am

    For me this disgusting woman is a pretty good metaphor for the forever trumpers.

    “We can’t wait until the 2018 election waiting around to accomplish the Trump agenda, to secure the border and stop illegal immigration and repeal Obamacare and fix the economy and fix the veterans administration,” she said. “All those things need to be done, and we can’t be at a standstill while we wait for John McCain to determine what he’s going to do.”

    Ward was immediately slammed by critics, who viewed her comments as insensitive, self-serving and opportunistic. She dismissed the criticisms as fake news perpetuated by liberals.”

    The incredible lack of class of these kinds of people will leave a mark on the GOP that will last a long time.

    • July 24, 2017 1:44 pm

      It was definitely not the time, I agree. But people get sick, and the government can’t grind to a halt when that happens. John McCain is a one of a kind of American hero, and I think that everyone wishes him well ~ well, I hope so.

      • Roby permalink
        July 24, 2017 2:53 pm

        I am glad to hear you say that. I can only think of two or three people in politics I actually personally admire and he has long long long been one of them.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 9:15 pm

        I do not have that much admiration for Sen John McCain – he is neither the worst or the best of congress.

        I have and will have incredible respect for Leut. John McCain.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 7:35 pm

        I wish him well, but he has received a death sentence, and the execution is going to be quick. Nothing but a miracle will change that.

        Ward merely spoke the truth.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 24, 2017 4:36 pm

      What is it that is upsetting you ?

      I am sorry about McCain – but the survival from diagnosis of this type of cancer is about 18 month. Worse still they are rapidly declining months.

      The odds of seeing much of John McCain in the senate the rest of the year are very low.

      WE can all hope for miracles – and I noticed that you cut the part of Ward’s remarks where she hoped that McCain might miraculously recover.

      Beyond that for the most part I agree with Ward’s remarks.

      I am sorry this has happened to John McCain.
      One of the most offensive things that Trump has done was attack McCain.

      I think he has been a mediocre Senator – but he still served this country well.
      And I am familiar with his story he is a true american hero.

      Few are aware that he was REPEATEDLY offered early release by the NVA.
      That he was beaten and tortured for refusing to return out of turn.

      Ace Cunningham was also an american hero – as was Charles Wrangle
      and all of them left something to be desired as senators and representatives.

      Ward managed to get 40% of the vote when she primaried McCain in the last election.
      That is pretty amazing against a senator of your own party with that high a stature.

      Ward is currently challenging Flake for the AZ, Senate seat in 2018.
      That is expected to be a tight contest for Flake – Ward is currently tied with Flake in a head to head contest.

      It would probably be very wise for McCain to resign and the AZ governor to appoint Ward to his seat.

      It is increasingly looking like he should have retired in 2016.

      Regardless, I do not see the offense you do in here remarks.
      You seemed to feel that excluding all her well wishes and expressions of sympathy can be ignored.

      Of course her remarks were self serving.

      Though I find it odd that you only have difficulty with the self serving remarks of people you do not like.

      Self-interest is the most potent force for the improvement of standard of living that has ever existed.

      • July 24, 2017 4:40 pm

        Dave, “I think he has been a mediocre Senator”

        And your thinking for this is?

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 9:34 pm

        Lets start with the fact that Barry Goldwater really did not like him.
        Keating Five

      • July 25, 2017 1:19 am

        How interesting, you dislike McCain based on some relationship with a third party that was investigated and found to have no substance other than Glenn and McCain using poor judgement in their friendship with Keating, while you are defending Trump from unproven charges of having a relationship with Russia.

        How can the same basic situation be held against one when he did nothing wrong while defending another from charges based on them doing nothing wrong?

        And I suspect Goldwater did not like him because he was not conservative enough. Hell, Goldwater did not like Eisenhower either.

        But you answered my question.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 5:20 am


        I have read not only all the stuff about the S&L scandal, but McCains own account.
        It does not make him one of the most corrupt politicians in washington.
        But it kills the St. John image.

        It is not unusal for people who have been war hero’s and served the country well to display serious flaws as politicians.

        Regardless, I have a great deal of respect for Leut. John McCain, just not Sen. McCain.
        He is probably in the top third of senators in my view – but he is not a saint.
        Trumps attacks on McCain were uncalled for and still one facet of Trump I can not forget.
        But McCain was actively involved in the Steele Dossier. That disturbs me too.

        With respect to the S&L crissis – McCain did not commit a crime. That is not the same as “he did nothing wrong” though Maxine Waters (and Barney Frank) have done far worse.

        I would suggest learning something about Goldwater.
        I do not know what your measure of “conservative” is, but Goldwater was ALWAYS a very limited government type and ultimately shifted to libertarian.


        You don’t need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.

        Nixon was the most dishonest individual I have ever met in my life. He lied to his wife, his family, his friends, his colleagues in the Congress, lifetime members of his own political party, the American people and the world.

        The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government

        I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass.

        Where is the politician who has not promised to fight to the death for lower taxes- and who has not proceeded to vote for the very spending projects that make tax cuts impossible?

        Barry Goldwater.

        Goldwater was non-interventionist in foreign policy.

        He was a strong critic of defense spending.

        While Goldwater was labeled “Mr. Conservative” he was quite different from anything most here would call conservative.

        In his entire life Goldwater was not involved in any scandal.

  28. Roby permalink
    July 24, 2017 10:43 am

    It is not by any means a sign of indecency to want a balanced budget, to want to actually fix Obamacare, to want to improve the economy. It is certainly not wrong to want to fix the VA, a thing any decent person will support.

    There are lots of core ideas of conservatives that have nothing indecent about them at all, just like there are lots of core ideas of far lefties that are not indecent as ideas.

    The problem of indecency in politics do not lie is the most fundamental wishes of people.

    The indecency involves behaviors and tactics. Every movement believes that it is actually speaking for the people and that its interests are “the peoples” interests. Which is why nearly every movement fails.

    trumps agenda is only the decent American agenda when looked at through extremely fuzzy vague glasses. The details of his ideas are generally ranging from nonsensical to despicable. I do not want his ideas, as embodied in the details of the plans, to win. The trumpies do want trump to win and remake society in trumps image and it sets them up on a collision course with people like me, and, I believe, history. The real core of trumpism is based on more truly indecent principles than decent ones. Everyone knows that.

    • July 24, 2017 2:02 pm

      Ok, so I’m not getting what you’re saying, Roby.

      On the one hand, you write, “The indecency involves behaviors and tactics.” But then you say, “The real core of trumpism is based on more truly indecent principles than decent ones.”

      So, Trump’s indecency is intrinsic to his behavior and tactics, so any principles he espouses are truly indecent?

      I’m not trying to be flippant here, but I am befuddled by this. I have understood for some time that you consider Trump to be personally despicable, but what principles does he stand for that you consider indecent?

      • Roby permalink
        July 24, 2017 2:43 pm

        Fair enough. Its probably not very clear in my own mind where the line is.

        Ideas: At the very bottom most people are motivated by love, desire to live nicely, desire to have their children succeed, desire to have a stable society. That is all wholesome. Then fear comes in, the eternal narrative of who and what the nefarious forces are who are trying to ruin that scenario and what needs to be done about them. So, I don’t think there is anything wrong with a person reasonably stating that a nation has to have secure borders, that we need to find the best way to screen immigrants and refugees so they won’t be terrorists or criminals. We are already into the realm of fear, but its human and rational and goes back the wholesome love of family and community. That is what I mean by the core ideas having nothing indecent about them.

        Then there is how one acts on those fears and what level of behavior you (I mean anyone) will tolerate and rationalize when it comes to defeating ideas and people you see as a threat to your wholesome life. The southern rednecks who drove around drunk in their pickup trucks waving the confederate flag and their shotguns and terrorizing black citizens were motivated by love of family and community at the very bottom under all the shit but their tactics and behaviors and fears and angers got indecently out of control and they are part of a culture that reinforces that and teaches it. They thought they were doing a good thing. I call them indecent.

        Behaviors: As an obvious example, trumps ideas about treating women and whether it makes him fit to be president form a political chasm. I’d call him an despicable and indecent man in this regard and I’d call rationalizing and minimizing his behaviors and their effects when they reside in the POTUS on girls and women indecent. I 100% believe that the GOP base and the trump base have anywhere from glorified to accepted this aspect of trump where they would find it, or even a small fraction of it, despicable from a democrat. His idiot commentary on twitter and elsewhere is another such behavior issue that one side has accepted, I find it indecent and the acceptance of it indecent.

        This kind of analysis could be applied to nearly every aspect of the trump presidency and the different reactions to it from left, right, and center.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 9:09 pm

        My remarks are an attempt to understand what you are saying and to draw you out further.

        I did not find much in your post that would allow me to determine how you decide what is right and what is wrong. A short list of this is right and this is wrong – is not the principles that you weighed to draew conclusions.

        I would agree with your list of motivations – except that I would call them values.
        But they are not principles.
        Nor are they universal.
        We generally share them – but they do not have the same importance to each of us.

        They are useful to individuals in making decisions in their own lives.
        They are useless as guides to government.

        I would also note that fear is an emotion – not a value.

        “The southern rednecks who drove around drunk in their pickup trucks waving the confederate flag and their shotguns and terrorizing black citizens were motivated by love of family and community at the very bottom under all the shit but their tactics and behaviors and fears and angers got indecently out of control and they are part of a culture that reinforces that and teaches it. They thought they were doing a good thing. I call them indecent.”

        Driving drunk is a crime.
        I am not sure what “terrorizing” is but presuming that it is violent acts – it is a crime.
        These people should be judged by government based SOLELY on their bad acts.

        You and I are personally free to judge them as we please.

        Most people have good and bad values and motives.
        Motive or intent is not a just means for government to evaluate people.
        It is not a good way for individuals to evaluate others – though we are free to do so.
        I am piss poor at reading the motives and intents of others – and based on the evidence I see – everyone else is worse.

        I do not know what Trump’s ideas about treating women are.
        I do know that Trump has treated some women badly.
        Bill Clinton has outdone Trump in the same misconduct,
        and Hillary has slutshamed Bills victims.

        A pox on them all. But Donald or Hillary was going to be elected no matter what.

        Bill Clinton drives me nuts. I have issues with many of his policies – but mostly he was a good president. He is and was a person of bad character.
        regardless, Trump is our current mysogyinst in chief and Clinton has established like it or not that is not a bar to fitness. I do not like that. but it is how it is.

        Different Trump supporters glory in different aspects of Trump’s character.
        I am sure a few revel in his mysogyny – some democrats did in Clintons.
        If you want to rule out people who treat women badly – you should have voted for Johnson.

        Historically Democrats have been given more latitude on sexual misconduct than republicans.
        Though I think that Trump esentially marks the end of that aspect of character mattering.
        That means republicans held on to treating women decently longer.

        I have noted that I recently started frequenting Twitter.
        Trump’s tweets are tame compared to most.
        Including people of very high stature on the left.

        Twitter is what it is. Trump did not make it that way.

        What have you addressed related to philosophy or policy ?

        I can descern nothing about Trumpism from your description besides that it is people behaving badly.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 7:39 pm

        What I want from Roby is specifics not adjectives with negative conotations.


        What is it you think are the principles of Trumpism.

        That will allow the rest of us to assess whether you accurately describe Trumpism and whether it is indecent.

        Saying a woman is up to all hours of the night working under a red light
        could mean that she is a developer in a photo lab.

        I know so 70’s.

      • July 25, 2017 12:12 am

        Roby, one of my go-to political commentators is Ben Shapiro. He was a never-Trumper during the election, and did not cast a vote for any presidential candidate. His objections to Trump tended to be based on Trump’s behavior and unpreparedness for the presidency. He was a Cruz guy, for what that’s worth, and he has come around to thinking that it’s possible for Trump to be a decent POTUS, if he can exert some self-control.

        Anyway, he does a segment on his podcast called “Good Trump, Bad Trump,” which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. He praises something that Trump has done right and criticizes him for what he’s done wrong. Yesterday, “Bad Trump” bashed Jeff Sessions for recusing himself in the Russia probe, while “Good Trump” tried to exert some presidential pressure on the Senate to actually do something about health care.

        This is what I think that moderates should be doing. That is, looking at Trump’s actions as president (not what he said on a hot mic 12 years ago, or some other nonsense) and evaluating his actions based on how effective they are in accomplishing his agenda. His agenda is very different, almost diametrically opposed to Obama’s, so it goes without saying that there will be disagreement as to whether the differences are good or bad. And Trump is a political brawler, with little to no political finesse, so it’s hard to judge, or even to understand, his strategy and tactics at times.

        I, for example, have been extremely disturbed by his bashing of Jeff Sessions. It’s stupid, it’s wrong, and in many ways extremely self-destructive. Sessions was never going to be a wing man like Eric Holder was for Obama, weaponizing the DOJ against the president’s enemies. I couldn’t stand that about Holder, and I admire Sessions for doing the right thing . So, I agree with Shapiro that it’s “Bad Trump.”

        But, when it comes to true Trump haters, I see no rational evaluation of his actions. Just blind rage and a disturbing willingness to blame him and his supporters for all of the troubles that they see in the country. It’s simplistic, self-serving, and just drives the wedge further between political sides. When people refer to me ~ or any Trump voter~ as a Trumptard or a Trumpkin, or some other stupid name, I don’t take offense (I consider the source), but I stop engaging in debate with those people. What is the point? You and I see things differently. Very differently, to be sure, but I think we have to keep engaging in debate, even when the outcome seems pre-determined. It ain’t necessarily so…

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 4:59 am

        Attacking his own people – particularly those like Sessions is a mistake.

        Though I found it interesting because shortly after the media attacked Sessions on the Kislyak perfury nonsense.

        That should have driven home to Session the stupidity of his own actions.

        While I think Trump should not take inhouse brawls public,
        Sessions did make a mistake – as did Rosenstein.
        That mistake let the camels nose under the tent flap.
        The camel is following.

        Sessions might have assumed recusing himself would get him out of the firing line.
        It didn’t, it just left him unarmed.
        He is now the attorney General of the US, and concurrently powerless to do anything about an investigation into himself that is ludicrously baseless.

        I am also concerned of the rumors that Tillerson is leaving.

        Part of that is Trump’s own character.
        But part of that is the media, and the Special Council.

        Really good people who are not carreer politicians do not want to stay where they have a special counsel with infinite resources conducting anal probes.

        I would further note that Trump’s hold on the GOP is tenuous.

        He has two problems:
        He is choosing not to fill large numbers of upper level positions.
        This would be a typical choice of a business person.
        Trump ran a successful lean mean campaign.
        He understands that most organizations are bloated and that actually makes them less efficient more unweildy more costly, slower and more leak prone.

        BUT those unfilled positions are GOP jobs. And future republicans in positions throughout government in the country are groomed in those positions.
        That is part of why the democrats pollitical losses are so damaging – they have about half the republican ability to groom future leaders right now.

        The 2nd issue is that Trump demands loyalty and has had a fairly strong policy of not hiring republicans that were not with him on the campaign – particularly those that attacked him.

        And that shrinks his pool of qualified people.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 3:12 pm

        I like shapiro too. He is smart and he is usually right

      • July 25, 2017 9:08 am

        “That mistake let the camels nose under the tent flap.
        The camel is following.”

        Good way to put it. Either put parameters on Mueller’s investigation, i.e. define it, or fire him. The political hit to Trump would be fast and furious, but it would end. As it is now, the open-ended investigation is an ongoing political charade.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 3:21 pm

        I can not seem to find it, but there is another RCP agregated peice that suggests that Trump publicly define many aspects of Mueller’s investigation, and that he demand that Mueller respond to those demands in a public report.

        The specifics are unimportant. But it is probably possible for Trump to sit down with some of the smart people that he has and build a straight jacket For Mueller that Mueller either accepts and conforms to or the public will support Trump if Trump fires him.

        There are also issues that will come up that did with Comey.
        Comey did not do what Trump directed him too.
        Trump’s demand that Comey tell the public he was not being personally investigated,
        has been against FBI policy, it is usually not in the interests of the person not being investigated.

        As With Comey, Mueller has arguements rooted in Tradition to not do some ot the things Trump might ask.

        But tradition is not law.

        As an example not identifying targets – or more specifically not denying specific targets when they are not – is protection for the person not a target.
        People are free to waive their own rights.

        Comey made the typical elitist decision that the norms of his profession take precedence over the free choices of an individual.

      • Roby permalink
        July 25, 2017 10:31 am

        Priscilla, sounds to me like to Shapiro the bad trump is the actual trump himself, the person with all his behaviors and morals and the good trump is any time he manages to articulate the gop/conservative agenda.

        To a person who does not want the GOP agenda, which is something like 50-60% of us, there is only bad trump.

        You can complain in bitter terms of all those who only see a bad trump and call us extremists making illegitimate war on the POTUS, but we are a large group and considerably larger than the true trump believers. trump got 13 million votes in the primary, those are the real believers. Labeling us and the media with all the accusations that we are waging some incredible wrongful illegitimate war is Itself waging an incredible illegitimate war, that is your paradox.

        I believe that you and many suffer from the idea that because you like the basic trump agenda and the concept of turning washington upside down and shrinking it drastically for the most part it is thus good for America and there is a majority of people who support what trump is trying to do. There is no such support.

        His agenda is mostly bad for America in the opinion of people like me and the public backing for it is much more limited than conservatives will let themselves believe. He did not get elected because some huge proportion of Americans wanted an outsider to overthrow the status quo and build a wall etc. The only thing trump articulates that has majority support is tougher screening of people entering America. trump was not elected to do what he is doing, he was elected pretty much by a series of ugly accidents in an election between two wretched choices. Its not a mandate. You guys think it is and that resistance to this idiot and his agenda is bad sportsmanship. The 55% who disapprove are not going away. I predict that number will only grow baring a true change in trumps behaviors and results.

        Again, this means to people like me that there is only a bad trump, an infantile, incompetent, wholly dishonest man with a disgusting set of morals, and a bad agenda as well.

        I do not think at this moment that he should be impeached. I think he should be impeached if and when the investigation is completed and it is truly damning and after conservatives have realized after several years of this nonsense that he is not successful at getting them almost anything at all they want. When they don’t get what they want from trump his popularity will finally fall into numbers where GOP congresspeople can think of impeaching him. That is off in the distance.

        Right now we are just stuck with an infantile POTUS who weakens America abroad and who is a walking insult to a majority of women, to name the most obvious group his values and ideas rightfully offend.

        Maybe he will turn presidential and actually do something surprisingly productive. No sign of that change in the man yet.

        Too long, much longer than I intended and rather redundant. I should have cut it at “to people like me there is only a bad trump”. I’m hitting send anyway and then going back to the real world of family and projects.

        Carry on, everyone, in your chosen roles.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 3:40 pm

        The GOP agenda is not some binary all or nothing thing.

        It is probably true that 50-60% of us do not want the entire agenda.

        It is also probably true that 50-60% of us do want each individual item.

        This is also one of the problems with ObamaCare and with trying to replace it

        It is also true that some items – either in PPACA or the “agenda” are either fiscally stupid or immoral or unconstitutional – regardless of whether they are popular.

        The above is all normal. It would be true of Pres. Cruz or Hillary and was true of Obama.

        I do not seem to be able to get through to you that Majoritarianism is a tryanically stupid way to govern. You seem to think that because at the moment you might be able to get majority support for some of your policies – particularly if you present them without any consideration of their cost, that you can ignore the fact that majoritarianism is inherently evil, that its past history includes slavery and genocide.

        Even where I disagree with you on an issue – I support your right to be obstructionist on that issue. But you do not grant the same right to others.

        Regardless, the “agenda” I support is reducing government infringement on our rights.
        That is an agenda that does nto require majority support.

      • July 25, 2017 1:17 pm

        “I believe that you and many suffer from the idea that because you like the basic trump agenda and the concept of turning Washington upside down and shrinking it drastically for the most part it is thus good for America and there is a majority of people who support what trump is trying to do. There is no such support.”

        Well, I don’t think that I’m “suffering” from anything, and what you say is true in part, but I think that you are missing the reality of why Trump was able to defeat more mainstream conservatives like Cruz and Rubio, and particularly “establishment” conservatives like Bush and Kasich. That reality is that millions of people have come to believe that both the Democrats and the Republicans in Washington have lost any connection that they ever had to the the voters, and have become committed, first and foremost, to serving the lobbyists and special interest groups that keep them rich and powerful and to growing the power of the central government at the expense of the freedom and liberty of the people who voted for them.

        These people see Trump as a fighter. They want a fighter. They expect him to fight what they truly believe is tyranny and corruption. “Draining the swamp” is not a joke to them. They’ve heard all of the promises from politicians before, and like all of us, they don’t believe anything anymore. These are people that have a connection to Trump that will be very hard to break, and it won’t be broken by insiders like Paul Ryan, Chuck Schumer, James Comey, or any other enemy of Trump whom they consider to be a “swamp dweller.”

        Another thing~ Trump’s most ardent supporters believe that he is a culture warrior, and will break the stranglehold that the left has on education, the media and politics. They believe that political correctness is poisoning the culture. Most of them are not racists, and they are tired of being labeled racists. They understand that racism, sexism, and all of the “isms” exist on both sides of the political spectrum, but that only the right is blamed. They see that left wing extremists can speak freely, but conservatives like Ben Shapiro are banned on college campuses.

        I guess my point is this: If you think that there is no support for Trump out there, you are mistaken. Making a martyr out of him may temporarily satisfy haters, but, in the long run, it will tear the country apart.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 4:33 pm

        There may not be majority support for every line item in Trumps agenda.

        But to the extent Trump has a mandate it is to

        Drain the swamp.

        Much of the political jihad going on right now is about exactly that.

        It think that is part of Why Trump is holding his core support.

        Is there someone who expected that when Trump tried to Drain the swamp the swamp creatures would not fight back ?

        That is also why the “resistance” strategy is dangerous.

        The so called “drip drip” has thus far not significantly eroded Trump’s base.

        So long as it does not eventually it will fail.

        We do nto actually know whether Mueller has broadened his investigation.
        Most leaks so far have been false.

        But it would not surprise me – because the Russia meme really can not ever get leggs.

        You are essentially looking to prove to Trump voters that they were somehow deceived.
        That essentialy means proving that Clinton is not a crook.

        The Trump/Russia thing is just an indirect claim that Trump voters are stupid.

        Assume that this Trump/Russian collusion was hypothetically true –
        What is it that Trump and Russia did that changed votes in a way that the voters themselves will beleive they were deceived. ?

        Anyway I think Mueller is smart enough to grasp that short of proving Trump worked with Russians to hack voting machines, even if he “proved” collusion, he is going to fall short.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 4:34 pm

        There is probably more support out there for “draining the swamp” than there is for Trump.

      • Roby permalink
        July 25, 2017 4:07 pm

        “I guess my point is this: If you think that there is no support for Trump out there, you are mistaken. Making a martyr out of him may temporarily satisfy haters, but, in the long run, it will tear the country apart.”

        trump makes a martyr of himself, sort of like how Moogies does. some will bleed for him as he performs his drama, every martyr has their audience.

        Clearly, as I stated, he has support. Just not nearly so much that he can get anything done. There is no reason to be any more protective of the hard core trumpies sensibilities and demands that there is of those of the the hard core sanderistas. They both number in the millions and neither group is going to get very much if anything of what they want.

        America as a whole does not want trump’s routine or agenda, if it did his presidency would be going very differently.

        trump himself is tearing America apart and he could care less, as long as it gets good ratings and shows a profit.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 4:47 pm

        He has support for “draining the swamp” and that is what he should focus on doing.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 5:27 pm

        Sorry Roby – but Trump is not tearing the country apart.

        You conflate style and substance.

        The anger that is out there.
        The anger on the right that has turned into action that has taken over most state governments and large parts of the federal government is real, and even the successful impeachment of Trump is not making it go away.

        People who hate trump – still want to see the swamp drained govenrment transformed the elites removed from power.

        The left thinks this is all about Trump.

        This is more a battle about the future power of the left, and it is one they are losing.

        You can defeat the Trumpist form of anti-leftism.
        But absent change on the left that does not appear to even be under discussion the left is in trouble.

        All the debates about free speech on campus, or Post modernism are important.
        They are losing ideological wars.
        Even the Left’s war on Trump is a war of annihilation. At its conclusion maybe Trump will be dead. Maybe the left will be temporarily celebratory, but this war on Trump is doing permanent damage to the left, no damage to those not on the left – except Trump.

        In discussions here – I end up holding my nose and defending Trump sometimes.
        I can lose that fight and lose little.

        But all the ground that is not Trump has essentially been ceded.
        Even ground related to what should be accomplished in congress.

    • July 24, 2017 3:02 pm

      We know we are no longer living in the rational American Presidential mindset we all grew up taking for granted when the Dipshit in the Oval Office castigates his own appointed AG to vindictively investigate/prosecute his opponent in the election (to deflect from his own devious machinations and improprieties):

      WASHINGTON (AP) : “Fuming about the ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and questions as to whether his campaign colluded with foreign officials, Trump again focused his ire on Sessions, who was once one of the president’s closest allies.

      “So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?” Trump tweeted Monday. His tweet came just hours before his son-in-law, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, traveled to Capitol Hill to be interviewed about his meetings with Russians.”

      This is an abnormal deterioration of the standards we prided ourselves in believing were part and parcel of required Presidential behavior in our nation; sorrilily im not as optimistic as you that we will recover bipartisan moral equilibrium any time soon

      • Roby permalink
        July 24, 2017 3:10 pm


      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 9:23 pm

        Aparently history only began 15 minutes ago.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 9:19 pm

        Bill Clinton had an absolutely horrible relationship with Janet Reno – probably worse than that of Sessions at the moment.

        Bill just did not make they rift quite as public, and the press did not report on it.
        But it was widely known.

        Nixon had a worse relationship with Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 9:22 pm

        LBJ is infamous for reveling in berating people.
        And Jefferson and Adams were friends until they were mortal enemies and then ultimately friends again. In the middle they said repugnant things about each other.

        You seem entirely oblivious of history

    • dhlii permalink
      July 24, 2017 4:47 pm

      Most (unfortunately not all) of Trump’s agenda (and that of may republcians) is to return to people control over their own lives.

      That is always decent and sustainable.

      Obamacare was an impossible idea from the begining.

      Wanting it fixed is irrelevant.
      Wanting unicorns does not make them possible.

      The fundimental flaw of Obama Care and pretty much everything the left fixates on is that it is an attempt to create a positive right.

      When you create for one person a right that also creates a positive duty on another – you do evil not good.

      Republican efforts to “repeal and replace” have really been efforts to fix rather than replace Obamacare. I think they were mistakes and I am glad none have passed.

      Democrats have been politically stupid not to support any of those replacements – even though I think they are bad ideas.

      PPACA is failing rapidly. Something will inevitably have to be done.
      I beleive one government study out recently concluded that the effect of a straight repeal would be LESS uninsured than any of the half measures, as well as significant actual health cost savings for everyone.

      While I think most of these long term projections are voodoo.
      At the same time we know what Healthcare and Health insurance were 8 years ago.
      As bad as they were – for most of us they were less bad than today.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 24, 2017 5:05 pm

      So is calling 40% of the electorate racist hateful, hating haters a “decent” tactic ?

      Is covertly trying to manipulate the press and the primary a “decent” tactic ?

      Is bussing in voters from other states a decent tactic ?

      Is sending agitotors to an opponents event with instructions to incite violence a decent trafic.

      IS concocting and shoppling to the meadia a dossier on your opponent that is full of salacious and know spurious lies a decent tactic ?

      I think voters had a good idea what they were buying and bought the least rancid meat.
      I think any other perception requires fuzzy glasses.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 24, 2017 5:21 pm

      You have made it clear you oppose Trumpism.

      I am reminded of a clip I saw recently – I think on Reason.
      A reporter went out on the streets in NYC and interviewed millinials.

      He asked them if they supported socialism.
      A great deal did.
      Of those he asked what is socialism.
      None had an answer – not even a wrong answer.

      So Roby – what is Trumpism ?

      There is very little on Clinton’s platform that I supported.
      As I recall I supported nearly all of Trump’s actual platform.
      But sometimes his public remarks were at odds with his platform.

      Regardless I can identify those things Trump seeks to accomplish that I support and those I oppose.

      What is it that you support and oppose.

      I can not tell whether we have any common ground when you “oppose Trumpism”
      Because I do not know what you mean by that.

      You said you wanted a balanced budget.
      Trump says he wants a balanced budget – I am not sure how serious he is, but it is what he says.

      I want a balanced budget – except in times of national emergency.

      I think we all want a healthcare system that provides nearly everyone with affordable care.
      The debate is how to get that.
      Given that government has never been able to provide any good or service at lower cost and higher value than free markets I am highly skeptical of programs that claim to be able to do so – as ObamaCare does.
      I do not support failed ideas.
      I do not support half assed fixes to failed ideas.

      Here I would be opposed to Trump – and you would support him.

      I think there is near universal agreement that the VA is a problem.
      Obama with republican help, threw money at the problem – it got worse.
      Trump is trying to hold people accountable, and cut spending.
      I doubt Trump will fix the VA.
      I doubt he will make it worse.
      Can you accept that ?

      The central issue with public policy is rarely if ever “deceny”

      It is more often facts, logic and reason.

      I oppose doing the thing that sounds decent.
      I want see us do – (or sometimes undo) as needed to be better off.

      Regardless, you say Trumps agenda fails as it moves to details.

      Explain – maybe we can find some common ground.

    • July 26, 2017 12:03 pm

      “trump makes a martyr of himself, sort of like how Moogie does. some will bleed for him as he performs his drama, every martyr has their audience.”

      Trump and Moogie! What a pair!

      I think that, to the degree that Trump is a showman (comparisons to P.T. Barnum are common, and not entirely inaccurate) you are correct.

      But, he is exactly NOT playing a martyr ~ he is playing a warrior. It is one of his alter-ego’s that is part fact/part fiction. Fact, because he is truly fighting against enormous odds, and some legitimately sinister forces, to accomplish what he was sent to Washington to do ~which is, essentially, to break the stranglehold of establishment politicians, lobbyists, special interests, mainstream media-types, etc. on the federal government. Fiction, because he likely knows that he can only challenge those forces so much before they destroy him.

      He’s not tearing the country apart, the “resistance” to him is doing that. Look at what he did immediately upon being elected ~ called the Clintons, offered a gracious opinion of them in his first interview, said that he would likely not pursue charges against Hillary. And look what he got in return ~ Assertions that he was legitimately elected, that Hillary “won” the popular vote (in 250 years, it’s never mattered, but all of a sudden…it mattered!), that he was a Putin puppet. Evidence that Obama had used the FISA courts to surveil him and his campaign throughout the campaign. And so on…. It’s the reaction to Trump’s election that is tearing the country apart. It would be a huge mistake to martyr him, via political maneuvering and ruses.

      Loyal opposition, clear-minded criticism, “good Trump, bad Trump.” evaluation…. That’s the way to go, but the Democrats have chosen otherwise.

      • July 26, 2017 12:04 pm

        **NOT legitimately elected

      • dhlii permalink
        July 26, 2017 2:28 pm

        If we are trying to decide what caricature Trump and his supporters think fit him.

        I would suggest that he and they think of him as Rocky Balboa.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 26, 2017 2:39 pm

        Trump is deliberately confrontational.
        I beleive that he sees it as Punching back twice as hard.

        I am not prepared to say that he starts confrontations.
        But he dares them to happen.
        And he does not back down.

        One of my problems at the moment is that Democrats can fight Trump’s polices and they can win or lose and we can move on. Much as we did under Obama.

        Obama did some good things and many bad things. Republicans opposed nearly all Obama did. They obstructed many things, but not all things.
        There was damage done tot he country but nothing permanent or that we can not overcome.

        If the fight between Trump and the Left was the same, there would be little to fear.

        But the left is not fighting Trump over issues and policies – they are challenging his very existance.

        This quite stupid Trump/Russia nonsense must end with the destruction of one party.

        Here is a NeoCon other that MaxBoot who notes that while Russia is an existential threat and Trump is way too friendly to Russia, that this is nothing new. That Obama and Clinton were closer to Putin than Trump.

        I do not agree with the NeoCon view that if it is Russia we must oppose.
        Sometimes we need to work with Russia, sometimes we need to stand up to them.
        But the rest of the article is interesting.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 26, 2017 2:53 pm

        From the moment the election was over, I strongly advocated for pardoning clinton,
        For putting this behind us. Obama did not pardon Clinton.
        Trump did not pardon Clinton – but he did say that he was going to put it behind.

        But the left could not let go.

        This Trump/Russia nonsense continues.
        We are now fighting over Trumps Business dealings – why ?
        Because there is absolutely nothing in the Trump/Russia election fraud nonsense.

        Because the more we go after Trump the more dirt comes out on Clinton and Obama.

        Trump Jr. has a nothing meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya and we discover that Natilia is tied to FusionGPS and the Clinton State department and AG Lynch and that Clinton and Obama sought to repeal the Magnavinsky Act that Natalia met with Trump Jr. about.

        It should have been self evidence on Nov. 9, 2016 that there was no meaningful Trump/Russia collusion.

        Because elections are determined by votes, and unless you are claiming that the Russians altered ballots or vote counting, then you must be arguing that voters were deceived and stupid. If Trump colluded with Russia – what did he get for it ?
        Clinton’s wounds are all self inflicted.

        With all that is going wrong – some things are going right.

    • July 24, 2017 11:57 am

      From above link:

      Ryan pointed to Mueller’s resume and how he was tapped and served as FBI director under the Republican administration of former President George W. Bush.

      “Remember, Bob Mueller is a Republican who was appointed by a Republican who served in the Republican administration who crossed over and stayed on ’til his term ended,” Ryan said.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 24, 2017 7:15 pm

        There are very few people challenging Mueller’s “partisanship”.

        But that is not the only measure of conflict.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 24, 2017 7:14 pm

      I do not beleive Mueller is “partisan”

      All conflicts are not partisan.

      I do beleive Mueller is personally conflicted with respect to everything involving Comey.
      That is a resolveable problem
      How mueller addresses it will give us an idea of his integrity.

      The bigger problem is whether Mueller is self serving – and I am more suspicious of that.

      I think if Mueller had been appointed to dig into Hillary – that he would have spent 7 years doing it and torn her inside out.

      That is not what I think should be done regardless of who is being investigated.
      The objective is not to prove that every aspect of some persons life if pearly white.

      It is to answer the question regarding the specific crime alleged. If investigating that leads to other crimes to prosecute those, and to finish and leave. ‘

      The objective is not to create a lucrative sinecure for yourself and cronies.

  29. July 24, 2017 1:29 pm

    All those who think “President” Trump’s actions and comments are below the dignity of the office, please stand up.

    Humm, guess who is still sitting here.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 24, 2017 7:33 pm

      I have been standing since atleast Bill Clinton on that issue.

      I think getting a BJ from an intern in the oval is pretty close to as undignified as you can get.

      Undignified is a basis to make voting choices. It is grounds to impeach.
      It is not a crime to be investigated.

  30. Mike Hatcher permalink
    July 24, 2017 2:54 pm

    Roby : In reference to Obamacare and economics. Consider the following, …After returning from his first visit to Alaska, geographer Henry Gannett cautioned: “If you are old, by all means go, but if you are young, stay away. The scenery of Alaska is so much grander than anything else in the world. It is not well to dull one’s capacity for such enjoyment by seeing the finest first.”

    • Roby permalink
      July 24, 2017 3:09 pm

      Hmmm, speaking of dulled capacities, mine seem suboptimal, I’ve missed the connection.

  31. July 24, 2017 4:34 pm

    There are some that say this whole Russia deal is going to bring down the Trump administration. There are others that say it is a nothing burger.

    But there are two things completely clear to me. One, just looking at this “moderate” site where those participating should have “moderate” views in some form or fancy have spent days if not weeks talking about one thing only, while the real issues facing the country go ignored. From my perspective, not a word lately concerning anything really important, including my comments.

    Two, at some point in time the minimally controlled GOP congress is going to have to come to the realization that playing an aggressive game with healthcare and taxes is a no win game. Sometimes you have to compromise to win in the end. Had the Falcons compromised when they had a 28-9 lead with just over 10 minutes to play in the super bowl, passes would not been intercepted inside the 30 yard line, Ryan would not have been sacked on a passing play inside the 35 yard line and with the good chance of being in the 30 yard line range with 10-12 minutes left and the field goal kicker they had, compromising and kicking a field goal and making the game 31-9 would have put it out of reach and New England would not have tied the game in regulation and eventually won the game. Sometimes playing for less than a touchdown or a home run ends up scoring enough points to win in the end!

    Many times playing an aggressive game when in control of the game ends up being a losing game.

    • July 24, 2017 9:12 pm

      “Many times playing an aggressive game when in control of the game ends up being a losing game.”

      As a sports junkie back in the day nothing drove me crazier than a prevent defense or an offence trying to slow the game down to protect a lead; or visa versa; unless I won because of them of those strategies :- )

    • dhlii permalink
      July 24, 2017 9:26 pm

      “When you lose to somebody who has a 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself,” Sen. Schumer told the Washington Post. “So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that.”

      Or maybe they did know what you stand for.
      Increasingly it apears that the left stands almost entirely for “not trump” and nothing else.

    • July 25, 2017 12:21 am

      “Many times playing an aggressive game when in control of the game ends up being a losing game.”

      Yes, absolutely, Ron And sometimes aggressiveness pays off.

      But I agree with you on this when it comes to healthcare. Why in the world the Republicans didn’t have some sort of Obamacare replacement ready to go, I don’t know (well, actually, I have an idea, but still….it’s a travesty) If the GOP was not going to aggressively attack and replace O’Care, then they should have gone the route of passing smaller bills that would advance their goal.

      • July 25, 2017 1:02 am

        Priscilla, Yep, Creighton Abrams said “When eating an elephant take one bite at a time” meaning when you want to do something difficult, do it slowly and carefully.

        So there are smart people in Washington that know how the game is played. They can come up with much of the same information that the CBO comes up with or something close. When you repeal Obamacare, everyone knows that X millions of people were added to Medicaid and Y number of people were added to insurance roles, either by choice or by fear of IRS penalty. The then would be able to give the GOP leadership information that XY number of people would lose healthcare coverage under their plan, That would allow the GOP to test out the PR reaction to this number and how it would play in the public. And I suspect that the reaction, when the message was modeled by PR companies giving negative and positive PR messages floating this to a large test group of people, would be the same or almost the same as what happened in reality. Most any large company test products, messages, advertising and other PR issues and I would expect the two parties to do the same.

        Once they found that killing the elephant created a huge negative PR reaction, then one bite at the time begins. Just look at the massive changes in Medicare and the huge reductions in reimbursement rates over the years and since they were done a little here and there, absolutely nothing is ever reported. But I know that over the past 10 years, billions have been removed from reimbursement rates to doctors and hospitals. Just the rule that physician rates can only increase 1/2% through 2019 and no increase from 2019 to 2025 plus the fact hospital rates are increased for core inflation less 1.5% has had a huge impact on payments, but no one ever hears about this and how medicare patients are being screwed because payment rates are being cut.( Yes these are “Washington D.C. Cuts”)

        One bite at a time make a big difference.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 4:30 am


        The CBO was pretty far off with respect to its predictions on PPACA.
        There is no sane reason to expect it will do better on any alternate.

        Further the entire scoring process ignores the elephant in the room.

        PPACA vastly increased the cost of healthcare.
        Not only did private insurance and healthcare costs rise, but there was 1.3T/decade in government subsidies. Probably the additional costs the rest of us incurred were about the same. That is nearly 3T/decade.

        What did we get ?
        Medicaid expansion,
        More people with health insurance.

        Did we get any actual improvement in healthcare ?

        Nope, Zip, Nada.

        The oregon experiment confirms in the near perfect gold standard of a large scale controlled experiment what we have known from other studies over the past 5 decades.

        Health insurance does not improve health outcomes in any significant way.
        There have been no changes in life expectance trends.

        advocates of government spending think they can fake the mechanisms of a free market.

        Things do not improve because you spend more money. Prices rise as a consequence of spending more money – they do not drop.

        We have seen this in healthcare. We see it in both public and college education,
        We saw this with the housing bubble.

        Value increases and prices decrease when free individuals say if you want my money – give me value. They happen when producers say if I can deliver more value I will get more money.

        If you just add money and hope that the incentives will arrise, all that will happen is the market will distort to absorb your money and give you nothing in return.

        BTW there was an excellent article aggregated on RCP in the last week about why CBO despite the skill of its experts can not possibly ever get it right.

        There was also an economics paper about 3 years by Paul Romer – the spouse of Christine Romer, Obama’s chief economics expert that effectively demonstrated that any system with sufficient number of coefficients can not be modeled.

        There are lots of smart people in the world and in washington.
        But the smart people in washington – whether in CBO or outside of it will NEVER sustainably out perform free markets. They can not. Free markets are smarter than any of us, because their intelligence comes from all of us.

      • July 25, 2017 11:49 am

        Dave, once again you are missing the point of my comment 100% and trying to relate it to your Libertarian thinking. It does not matter if the CBO was right or wrong in their estimates. It is the process by which those elected officials are going about business that is the problem. It does not matter if healthcare is market driven or price fixed in this instance. It does not matter if health outcomes improved or not under PPACA. I did not address any of this.

        If someone tells you the temperature on your grill is 300 degrees and you are going to get burned if you touch it and it is 250 degrees and you will get still get burned, are you going to argue that they were grossly off and put your hand on it? It does not matter how off they are, it is still bad.

        So my point is I don’t care how far off the CBO was. I care about the process the GOP is going through to get rid of Obamacare. Right now they are never going to get rid of any of it using the process they are using. The GOP senate has become the body of centrist, moderates, conservatives, Libertarians and far right wacko’s and when you have all these people in the senate it is going to be very difficult to get anything concerning entitlement passed. When you get Rand Paul to agree, you lose Collins. When Collins agrees, you lose Paul. And along with them are a few others that follow in their footsteps. The Democrats do not have this problem, they are all Warren and Sander liberals.

        So if anyone from the moderate left of the party to the Paul Libertarians and Cruz led wackos’ want anything changed, one bite at a time is the way it is going to get done.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 3:53 pm

        The traditional means by which either party gets sufficient support when it can not get a majority is to add elements to bribe those on the flanks.

        One of the changes withing the GOP since 2009 is that tactic is no longer possible for republicans.

        Maybe you can lure Cruz that way – you are not getting Paul and probably not Lee.

        I am addressing the senate here – but the problem is larger in the house.

        The “freedom caucus” members were not elected to compromise.
        And most of them have extremely solid support back home.

        The majority of states and congressional districts are pink.
        The number of actually red or blue ones is small but about equal.

        Those from the red and blue districts have zero reason to compromise on anything.

        These in pink districts today are between a rock and a hard place – they can not survive a primary challenge – because even if they win they will enter the general too far from the center.

        The Tea Party in particular – but fiscal conservatives and libertarian republicans have all made it clear to the party that they are prepared to primary moderate republicans and lose an election rather than put inplace more moderates.

        That makes it ever harder to accomplish anything in congress. And I think that is GOOD.

        Further though pork is still a big issue – it is far harder today to buy votes.

        Again those “freedom causus” votes are near impossible to buy.
        Just about the only thing that will assure they are not re-elected is if they are perceived as for sale.

      • July 25, 2017 4:23 pm

        Dave, you are so correct about the House and that is why they can pass stuff the Senate has a hard time passing. Most house members are elected from gerrymandered districts where the liberals are isolated and the conservatives are isolated. Fresno and the central valley of California has been gerrymandered so many of the conservatives are isolated and only one GOP or two GOP members get elected, while in North Carolina the districts around the larger cities are designed to capture the majority of the liberals, leaving much of the state to more conservative voters and increasing the number of conservative house members.

        The senate, on the other hand has more members that have to appeal to a broader range of voters. Anyone like a Cruz would not even get out of the starting blocks in Maine, while Susan Collins name would never appear on a Texas ballot. Paul would play well in Texas but fall flat in the Northeast. Rubio, Portman and Toomey have to play to a divided electorate that is more moderate than Maine or Texas. What they hear from their constituents is very different than what Cruz or Collins hears from their constituents. So trying to get anything through the senate when 48 democrats are all lined up like kindergartners waiting for school to start is extremely difficult for any party leader when they have to keep all but 2 of their members in line and when they represent a party that has more individual thinkers than the collective thinking of the Democrats.

        So in the senate, it comes down to who they represent and what do they support for those they represent. Some would say they represent all of Americans, others would say they represent the voters from their states.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 5:32 pm

        I could quibble on details but on the whole you are right.

        Where we likely disagree – is I think how things are is GOOD.

        What is the big problem is that for short periods in the modern past for one reason or another this was not true and we were able to advance socialist lite legislation that never would have passed otherwise and now we can not get rid of.

        Regardless, it is supposed to be very hard to go forward.

        To the extent we have a problem. it is that we are on an unsustainable path and it is near impossible to fix that.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 4:06 pm

        I am not sure whether we mean the same thing – but it is possible that your “take little bites” approach and my suggestion that the GOP focus on small things it can accomplish now.

        In fact I think it should try to do some little things – even if it can not accomplish them.

        Get votes on the record – whether republcians or democrats.

        Lets bring issues like ExIm bank to a vote.

        Lets end government funding to controversial things or things that are just not the role of govenrment.

        Lets consolidate social sefetynet programs even if we can not elimiate them.

        Lets get rid of stupid artifacts of the depression like dairy boards and rasin boards.

        Even if we fail at these – get the votes on the record.
        And let voters decide in 2018.

        One of the odd things that has been going on – like everything it started before Reid, but is that of parties deliberately avoiding votes on many many things.

        Reid did not want democrats to sit for re-election defending votes for things that democrats wanted to do.

        That is pretty dishonest. It is saying I am going to let McCaskill or Manchin appear to be moderate on some issues, until I can ram some legislation through congress and the president and then I will get it done in the dead of the night and roll the votes I need.

        Republicans are tending to do this too.

        Trump keeps threatening to go after reps and senators in upcoming elections.
        In a very few instances that is plausible.
        But most of the votes he needs to change have stronger support in their districts than he does.

        Trump conducted a strategically brilliant campaign.
        He grasped that if he could win the primary, that he no longer had to care about republicans in deep red states. That he had to win the rust belt.
        That it did not matter if he won Georgia by 30% or 3%.

        But that means he does not have the political leverage he thinks he does.

      • July 25, 2017 4:28 pm

        Dave we agree on little bites and small steps for the most part. And one could add selling insurance across state lines, increasing the HSA amounts and what they can be used for and allowing insurance companies to offer multiple plans that cover specific illnesses or do not cover medical conditions, like a 50 year old male buying insurance without maternity coverage. One step at a time until government is made smaller.

        But have you ever seen government do anything in small bites?

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 5:40 pm

        But we disagree with respect to PPACA.

        You seem to want to take little bites out of it.

        My view is it is an unsustainable failure.

        Let if fail or repeal it.
        Do not get suckered in to trying to fix it.
        If you do, it will still fail albeit more slowly and you will share ownership of that failure

        I do not inherently disagree that many of your fixes for PPACA are good ideas.

        Further I am increasingly of the view that PPACA needs to be allowed to fail – rather than get repealed.

        We are not going to learn except from failure.
        The failure of PPACA will harm alot of people.
        But mostly that harm will be small compared to the bigger failure that are eventually coming. Regardless we need to get past saving the left from itself.

        If I actually beleived that PPACA was sustainable – I would likely buy into your – we must do whatever we can to make it less vile.
        But I beleive its failure is certain. We are not going to care about CBO scoring when we have to rebuild from ash.

      • July 26, 2017 12:02 am

        Dave here again is an area I think we agree in part, but I disagree with your position to repeal it or allow it to fail. So based on my opinion of the senate, I don’t see how in the hell McConnell is going to round up all the cats and get them to vote for repeal. Spence had to break the tie just to get to the point they will even talk about a plan on the floor of the senate. If you can not agree to talk, then I sure as hell don’t see them agreeing to repeal.

        Now you say let it fail. I think if you look at the legislation and what it was suppose to do and look at the current situation, the plan has already failed. People are just living with a total failure, but they are scared to death of the possible replacement plans because the left has better PR scare tactics than than the GOP has PR promotional tactics. How many times can one say “premiums have double or tripled, plans are being removed from the market place so some areas of the country have no alternatives or just one, deductibles have increased to the point that even if you have coverage you hardly ever spend enough to get to use the insurance, doctors are refusing to accept Obamacare plans, etc etc” and not have this begin to make a dent in the thinking of the voters?

        The problem as I see it is about 85% of Americans have insurance they like. Medicare, Medicaid or employer sponsored plans. And for many the requirements that insurance through employers certain certain coverage’s is not an issue with them because they want that coverage. So the healthcare issue is one that many voters really don’t care about and the ones that do are scared to death they will lose coverage they gained when Obamacare was enacted.

        And those that get elected sure as hell do not want to be depicted in a political ad showing someone dying because they voted to end Obamacare.

        I accept you think it will completely fail and then something new will take its place. but what is “complete failure” when we already have “failure”. I think the only way to get rid of it is to erode the base that supports it and then let it fail when there is not enough support to matter.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 26, 2017 1:47 am

        Well McConnel has drug McCain from the hospital to buy himself the oportunity to herd those cats.
        Yet even McCain is saying he can not vote for the bill he just voted to bring to the floor.

        I think you are correct – there will be no vote to repeal. But I will be shocked if Republicans can get 50 voted plus Pence for anything.

        But the easiest thing to get Republicans to vote for – which I agree with you they will not be able to – is repeal.
        It you can not get 50 votes for repeal you can not get 50 votes for anything between Repeal and PPACA as it is.

        The only way you get anything passed is if McConnell shifts to Boehner’s strategy and gets some democratic votes.
        I do not think Schumer is going to allow that to happen on anything less than PPACA pretty much as it is, and if McConnell appeals to democrats he has signed his own political death warrant.

        Anyway, the net result is we will have PPACA until it fails – which will be fairly soon.

        Yes, the left is better at messaging – nothing new there. But messaging does not change reality.

        You say it has already failed – depending on how you define failure – that is so.
        But it can and will get worse.

        No one will care too much about the pre-existing condition issue – when no insurance company is offering PPACA compliant insurance in much of the country.

        The most glowing claims about PPACA are that it increased the portion of the population covered by about 4%.
        The overwhelming majority of those people either do not vote or already vote democratic.

        One of PPACA’s big problems is that its winners and losers divided along red/blue lines.
        Not perfectly but very strongly.

        That is a massive incentive for democrats to do nothing and republicans to destroy it entirely.

        A part of the reason that Republicans can not pass anything is that you are correct – there are likely atleast 4 or 5 republicans who seriously risk losing their seats if they substantially alter ObamaCare. BUT there are probably atleast 10 who risk losing their seats if they do not repeal ObamaCare.

        The best hope was to get some of those worried about losing their seats for modifiying PPACA to by into the Cruz amendment – poison pill.
        Which is esentially – Obamacare is still nearly in its entirety the law of the land, but it can not preclude anyone who wants to from buying whatever heatlh insurance they want.

        I would note that more voters than you think care about PPACA – because aside from Healthcare and health insurance costs, it has increased the cost of government by 1.6T/decade.

        I do not think we need to do anything. The failure will worsen on its own.

      • Ron P permalink
        July 26, 2017 12:48 pm

        Dave ” I would note that more voters than you think care about PPACA – because aside from Healthcare and health insurance costs, it has increased the cost of government by 1.6T/decadeI ”

        Dave now I know you are wearing rose colored glasses. Do you REALLY think people care about the debt? As I write, we have $19 trillion, 967 billion in debt and growing by about $500 to $600 billion now with much greater deficits in the future. If people cared about the debt, they would have said so may years ago, not now at $20 trillion.Liberals and moderates do not care about the deficit. Only a small percent of conservatives care about the debt.

        So another 1.6T means nothing to them until we melt down in economic debt like Greece.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 26, 2017 8:28 pm

        Do people care about the debt ?
        In a rigidly concrete sense – no.
        In the sense that most instinctively grasp there is no free lunch – yes.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 4:38 am

        When you are experiencing ventricular tachycardia “one bite at a time” is not going to get you anywhere.

        I do not actually buy the PR problem.

        Absolutely congressmen respond to angry phone calls.
        People who are scared of losing something make angry phone calls.

        That is not reflective of the real state of the electorate.

        When polled nearly 80% of americans want coverage for pre-existing conditions.
        When the question asked if the wanted pre-existing coverage at a small increase in coverage 80% did not.

        We have one and only one system that accurately reflects the entirety of our relative values as well as properly agregating the individual differences in those values – free markets.

        Pills can not tell very accurately what people want.
        Politicians can not give people what they want.
        What we want is far too complicated.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 4:10 am

        The republicans do not owe anyone a replacement for ObamaCare – they got very stupidly suckered into that promise.

        ObamaCare is a disaster. I have not looked in detail at any of the replacements – but to the extent I have – they seem to look like little more than the same thing dying more slowly.

        There was alot wrong with pre-PPACA. But that is all that is actually owed to voters, a return to the pre-PPACA status quo.

        After that talk about what to do can begin.
        Unfortunately democrats are about 100% clueless, and republicans are little better, or they would not keep concocting ObamaCare lite.

        Price Controls DO NOT WORK. All these schemes are just various forms of price controls.
        They have flaws beyond that – but that alone is enough.

        If you want the cost of something to go down and the value to go up – you must have faith that in a free market that will happen – not necescarily immediately, but inevitably.

        There is no known best way to deal with health care or health insurance.
        The way that works best for you may not be best for me, the way that works best today may not be best tomorow. The preceding “mays” should actually all be “is”
        Free markets do not work by finding an answer and stopping. The find an answer, and then they find an answer again, and again, and again.

        Government does not do trial and error, Government does nto do experiment – and we do not want it to, government does not and constitutionally can not provide for me differently than you – that would violate equal protection. In those instances where a government answer actually works – atleast well enough, government stops.

        Any problem that we apply a government solution to – at best means one size fits all, and improvement every couple of decades.

        Free markets change in seconds.

        You wonder why the past 2 decades have sucked ? Because government has been choking innovation.

        Regardless, I can propose a bunch of ideas – good ones to improve health care.
        But at best those will create a one time improvement. They can not result in more value for less effort – continuously.

        We have 150,000 years of economic history. It is only during the recent era of high degrees of individual freedom – including economic freedom that we have experienced growth above 1%, And no system except economic freedom has delivered sustained growth of more than 2%

        No Plan for heatlh insurance or healthcare that does not significantly increase economic freedom can sustainably increase the quality of healthcare and decrease the cost.

        Because there is no single answer, and there never will be.
        There is todays answer and tomorows, and the next days and ideas no one has ever thought of, and absent economic freedom they never will, or even if they do they will never try.

        Do not beleive – look at every area of healthcare that has anything close to a free market – plastic surgery, Lasik.

        All highly regulated markets have several things in common:
        Low rates of innovation
        Low rates of growth
        Increasing costs over time.

        All lightly regulated markets have several things in common
        High rates of growth
        High rates of innovation
        decreasing costs over time.

        This is true in the US
        This is true accross the world.

  32. July 24, 2017 9:03 pm

    Rick, congratulations on your trip and your experience in Alaska. As well, thanks for the helpful reminder that most people are good, and even down right enjoyable, when we sit down across a table from them and the stress is lifted or lessened absent politics.

    Write again soon!

  33. July 25, 2017 11:37 am

    • July 25, 2017 12:27 pm

      That is correct.

      • July 25, 2017 12:29 pm

        So is this:

      • July 25, 2017 3:40 pm

        Jay, I hope that you’ll continue to read Shapiro’s Twitter feed, maybe even check out his website, The Daily Wire He’s a brilliant guy, fair-minded,honest, and very funny. Watch out, though, he’s quite conservative, and disdains Democrats to a far greater degree that he does Trump. He might tweet out something that challenges your dogmatic views.

        Be ready to retreat into your safe space.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 4:45 pm

        I would suggest finding Shapiro elsewhere than Twitter.

        Thus far I have found most of Twitter is full of people who should know better making 13yr old snarky comments.

        Trump’s tweets have been troubling. He is tame compared to much of Twitter.

        It is not where I would go to get a sense of someone.

      • July 25, 2017 7:44 pm

        The tweets from people like Shipiro generally LINK you to their full articles on line.
        Don’t you know that? And magazines, newspapers, tv & cable networks also have Twitter addresses to link to full online articles as well. Widen your focus there.

        “Thus far I have found most of Twitter is full of people who should know better making 13yr old snarky comments.”

        Like Trump you mean.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 8:32 pm

        Yes – large numbers of people that I have previously greatly respected who post on twitter sound like Trump or worse.

        I am no longer interested in complaints about tweets.
        Twitter is a nasty obnoxious forum.
        Snark, inaccuracy and misrepresentation are the currency and norm.

        I am aware that tweets often link to more extensive sources – probably twitters only redeeming value.

        I prefer to just go to those sources directly. Then I do not have to clear my mind of the sewage from Twitter.

      • July 25, 2017 5:55 pm

        There ya go again, misrepresenting my affinity for Democrats who stray far left into PC Land.

        I’ve followed Shapiro for a while; we agree on some things, not others. As I’ve followed Brietbart for years ( and watched them dissolve into the muck after the founder died and Neo Alt Nazis like Bannon appropriated editorial control). As I’ve followed the WSJ for news and commentary, and periodically watched O’Reilly and Fox to broaden the discussion.

        But Trump corrupted the conversation. I predicted he would NOT be a uniter, but a reckless divider, a dangerous buffoon who would undermine our government and institutions, and I’ve been proven right.

        Character is Destiny, and it was inevitable that a characterless untruthful narcissist like him would corrode our national character by default. It is undeniable that in less than 6 months he’s besmitched the office of President, lowering standards of rectitude for that position that will not easily be reaffirmed, and suitability standards for political office in general.

        Bye bye American Pie
        Hello Trumpistic Pablum

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 8:07 pm

        Of course he is undermining our government – that is what he was elected to do.

        Of course he is not a uniter – regardless that is a fake value.

        If you want the country united – you have to do so arround the least common denomiator of our values – not arround your values whatever they are.

        If character was important Bill Clinton would be one of our worst presidents.
        I wish character was important. I have a hard time accepting that it is not.
        But I can not get past the fact that Bill Clinton had bad character and was mostly a good president.

        With respect to much of the rest of what you said about trump even if I agreed – his primary unique characteristic is style not substance.

        What lie has Trump told that reaches those of Clinton, Obama or Bush ?

        Trump is a scrapper from Brooklyn. He is not a Harvard elite.

        He was elected because of that not inspite of it.

        To the extent you are right about him – that is what voters knowingly elected.

        You are angry because voters elected something you did not want and on election he did not turn his back on his voters and say – it was all a fake job, I am actually an elitist washington insider.

        Like you when Obama was elected – I prayed he was not what he claimed to be – mostly he was. That is not a basis to impeach him.

        I have serious concerns about Trump – not over what he has done, but what he might do.

        Prof. Turley had an interesting and scary article in USA today.
        It is a form of Crystal ball reading, but Truley speculated that Trump may be preparing to get Sessions to resign or fire him in order to setup to fire Mueller.

        Trump may have decided that he can survive that – if he does so soon.

        Turley does not know that is the case.
        I do not know that is the case.
        Even if it is, no one knows whether it will work.

        A part of Turleys speculation is that Trump may beleive that if he can end or limit the investigation even if that drives his approval down to 10% that he will survive to 2020,
        and that by 2020 his political strength will recover.

        I do not know that to be true. But it is not inconsistent with my understanding of Trump.

        I hope that is not the case.

        I think that the political winds are blowing more ill for democrats at the moment that republicans. I may be smoking dope, but I think the GOP is going to have small losses in the house and small gains in the senate – or better if the economy improves.
        I also think that 2018 will move us towards more “freedom caucus” members.

        I think that a “saturday night massacre” scenario will make the next 4 years entirely about Trump. And I think that is a mistake.

        Nixon was toast – not because of low approval and bad press – but because paying hush money was not something republicans in the house and senate were going to stand behind.

        The Clinton impeachment had an actual crime – lying under oath, and still Clinton survived.

        There is no actual crime with respect to Trump. There is never going to be on this Trump/Russia nonsense, and so long as the investigation remains confined to that.
        There will never be an impeachment.

        Trump may be right that he can survive firing Mueller.

        I hope that he does nto.
        I also hope that Mueller confines his investigation.

        IF it is apparent that he has not – we are going to have a constitutional showdown.

        And if you do not understand that you can not run a federal investigation into anything you wish just because “trump”
        then we live in a police state.
        None of us are safer from government than the president.

  34. July 25, 2017 3:24 pm

    Trump, showing what a lump of feces he is once again:

    • dhlii permalink
      July 25, 2017 4:42 pm

      What democrats said “If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard,”
      What Trump is doing.

      Obama speaks like he came from harvard. Trump speaks like he came from Brooklyn.

      Obama is speaking too people who came from places like harvard.
      Trump is speaking to people who came from places like brooklyn.

      We all know Max Boot wanted hillary and endless war to keep neocon’s happy.

      We have yet to see if Trump is going to do what he promised regarding the MidEast.
      Defeat ISIS and disentangle us militarily.
      But thus far that looks promising.

      Unless you actually want the Dick Cheney aproach to “make america great again” by militarily defeating everybody, then Max Boot is not someone worth listening too.

      What should scare you is that he now speaks for the left.

      • July 25, 2017 7:57 pm

        He doesn’t sound AT ALL like he comes from Brooklyn.

        He grew up in Kew Gardens, Queens, in a neighborhood with wealthy families, went to a semi-private college prepatory school with other kids of his status, and he sounds like someone with encroaching Altzheimers

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 8:25 pm

        He sounds exactly like his voters want him to sound.

        And that is what you do not get. Brooklyn, Queens – Detroit, it does not matter.

        He was elected, because he punched back twice as hard.
        He was elected because he does not apologize.
        He was elected as the political equivalent of the mythical Rocky

        And you keep pissing over him because he is exactly what the voters who elected him wanted.

        You also do not get – that the “resistance” is itself pushing for a “constitutional crisis”.

        Lets say everything goes as planned – and Trump is impeached.

        Whether Trump’s voters continue to support him or not.

        They have been deprived of what they wanted – “draining the swamp”.
        And from their perspective – the swamp won.

        You say he is tearing down govenrment and institutions.
        That is what he was elected to do.

        You say he is a dishonest liar.
        Yet what you are most angry about is that he is doing what he promised.

        If you succeed in removing Trump – I am not sure what comes next.

        Trump is not Nixon and he is not Clinton.

        Nixon’s resignation fundimentally altered the GOP – but in a positive way.
        In a way that lead to Reagan, and eventually to Trump.
        Clinton’s impeachment altered democrats in a bad way.
        That lead to Obama.

        In neither instances was there much likelyhood of a voter backlash.
        Nixon committed a crime,

        Further the attacks on Nixon and Clinton shared something important that mitgated fallout.

        Nixon was a very left leaning republican. He was hated by democrats – because he was taking the middle from them.
        Clinton was loathed by republicans for the same reason.

        Both had broad but weak bases that were not that committed.

        Reagan and Obama had strong bases committed to them – not party.
        So does Trump.

        Further the left is dramatically raising the stakes.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 25, 2017 8:27 pm

        My father died from Vascullar dimensia – which resembles Alzheimers but moves much faster.

        Trump does not sound like that. McCain did in the Comey hearings – so it is not surprising he has a brain tumor.

        Regardless, Jay, can you get past spewing invective and adjectives and make your argument with facts.

  35. July 25, 2017 5:55 pm

    trump Backstabbing Continues:

    • dhlii permalink
      July 25, 2017 8:40 pm

      There have been stories like this for a while.

      But there is so much like this in the media that has proven false it is hard to know how to take any of this.

      I think Tillerson has done well.
      At the same time Tillerson has business ties in Russia.

      He may will be bailing in the hopes that Mueller does not head after him.
      That would be understandable to me.

      If he is actually going – it will be a loss.

      I am also concerned about Sessions at the moment.

      As much as I really hate him on a policy basis.
      He actually has integrity.

      At the moment his integrity is being attacked by both the left and by Trump.
      I would not be surprised at all if he resigned.

      I am seriously bothered that Trump continues to attack him.
      I think that is a mistake – particularly once the left forced Sessions back into Trump’s lap by pushing for investigations of Sessions.

      I think Trump is correct – Sessions bears some responsibility for allowing this to happen.
      Buy Recusing himself he pushed things down to Rosenstein.
      Rosenstein moved stupidly and with little thought to appoint Mueller.

  36. July 25, 2017 7:45 pm

    Anticipating the Trumpanzees

    • dhlii permalink
      July 25, 2017 8:10 pm

      I would agree with bonhoeffer;

      But all sides in the political debate think the other is stupid.

      It is hard for us to look in the mirror an see that maybe we are the stupid ones.

  37. dhlii permalink
    July 25, 2017 9:10 pm

    Even when Trump gets it right – the swamp grows.

  38. dhlii permalink
    July 25, 2017 9:13 pm

    Don;t agree complete with this – but mostly.

  39. Pat Riot permalink
    July 25, 2017 11:33 pm

    I am glad the primeval fjords and inlands of Alaska shielded you for a time from the discord of rabid partisans and knee-jerk factionalism! I am glad you encountered convivial tablemates, and that you constructed another solid post!

    Hello Priscilla, Dave, Roby, Jay, Ron, Mike Hatcher, et al.

    I experience a similar hiatus from the madness when I immerse myself in a remote stream, river, or lake to fish: the wooded banks, the water, and the behavior of the fish are much the same context as when I was eight years old, or when Thoreau walked and pondered in the 1800s, or when our Founders wrote in the 1700s.

    Things often evolve and devolve too quickly in our modern society/culture, but out in the Wild…it’s about much more than catching a fish or taking pictures of scenery, especially in this age of MEDIA ADDICTION which results not in individual thinkers finding common ground, but instead in belligerent “boutique identities” and “bubble domes”.

    Ah, mutual interests. Common Ground. You mention love of family & friends, fun, beauty, self-fulfillment. To that I add our mutual needs for air, water, food, and shelter. We send our federal taxes to the same “administrators”. We share many of the same dangers in life, from diseases to tornadoes to terrorists to venomous snakes to some of our federal administrators!

    There is an over-used, inappropriately applied, misunderstood argument put forth by extremists and hard-liners when moderates start talking about things such as common ground, mutual interests, cooperation, and harmony. The worn-out argument is that discord and disagreement have been around forever and are good for us. Yes, yes, yes, moderates know this is true, but TO A POINT! There is an important, vital difference between lively, heated, and even acrimonious debate among intelligent individuals who ultimately value practical results and the preservation of our Union, versus the knee-jerk vitriol of myopic bubble dwellers and rabid partisans!

    Indeed, we are all “fellow humans thrust together on the adventure of a lifetime.” Let us work together against our common dangers, including extreme individualism and suicidal factionalism.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 26, 2017 1:15 am

      Good to here from you and glad you have derived some pleasure communing with nature.

      Why is disagreement only good to a point ?

      To be clear I agree, I am just nothing that “to a point” is not to any point.

      We can not disagree to the point of violence. I am not sure what other limit to our disagreement might exist – but I am open to ideas.

      What I am not open to is the idea that we can pick constraints without any meaningful basis.

      In some things the extremes are wrong. But that does not inherently mean some random point between them is nirvana.

      You plead to “preserve the union” – how do we do that but buy reducing the areas we use force to resolve disagrement between ourselves to the minimum.
      A different definition of limit government.

      If we wish to remain united as a nation, as a vast diverse conglomeration of myriads of disparate cultures and ideologies, We must figure out not merely how to work together but what we can work together on. And that would be the values that we all share nearly universally.

      We can not expect that we will all agree on everything. We can expect that none of us – left right or moderate will use force against the others where we disagree.

      Our “common dangers” are those dangers that nearly all of us agree on.
      We do not have the right to decide for others what they think is dangerous.

      I have no idea what suicidal factionalism is.
      I do know that individualism is one of the most fundimental american values, and that it is the importance we place on it and the respect we give to it that distinguish is from the rest of the world.

      Left and right seek to define the american identity – to take ownership of what “american exceptionalism” is – it is that “extreme individualism” that sets us apart from the world.

      Thomas Jefferson had a Koran. As a nation we sometimes look to shut the doors to those different from us. But even in our xenophobia – we still have been historically more open that any other nation.
      European nations are at this moment trying to do what we have done for two centuries and welcome immigrants. As badly as we have done that – Europe is doing worse.

      Even the evil Trump immigration order – does not say – do not enter.
      It says if you are from a dangerous nation, entering is going to be slower and we are going to check you out thoroughly first.

      My father had his DNA tested before he died. I was expecting confirmation of some family lore that claimed micscenegation in the welsh mountains in the distant past Instead I find a tiny bit of askanazi jew in the not too distant past confirming another bit of family lore.

      Regardless, we are all from everywhere, it is our differences that make us great.

      • Roby permalink
        July 26, 2017 9:47 am

        “Why is disagreement only good to a point ?”

        “I have no idea what suicidal factionalism is.”

        Pure pure Dave.

        “Regardless, we are all from everywhere, it is our differences that make us great.”

        Well, that’s a great statement, if only you would act on it and learn to appreciate those that don’t agree with you, say, liberals!

        Sure, Dave, the Civil War, all the entrenched inability to solve the slavery issue, and the continuing battle between North and South following the Civil war, that was great, it made us great, lets use that as a model!

        Because all Pat is saying is very simple, don’t let it get out of hand, lets preserve the union this time. And you, as our perpetual argument machine, have to find a way to argue with “lets not let it get out of hand.” If history is any judge you will probably find fifteen or so more angles to argue with “lets not let it get out of hand. ”

        The TNM should be renamed Dave’s argument clinic.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 26, 2017 12:35 pm

        If only you or most others here would respond non fallaciously to an argument,

        or answer the questions your own arguments raise.

        If you had bothered to read what I wrote you would know that the way I deal with our differences is to confine the public sphere – that is where force is used, to those things we near universally agree on.

        When you use force aka government where you have differences with others you do not respect our differences.

        You use the civil war as a counter example. I am ok with that.

        So is the civil war a legitimate or illegitimate example of an instance where we used government to impose the values of one set of us on another ?

        If it is – why ?

        Once again I am trying to get you to commit to any principle at all.

        Anything that allows others to correctly understand your view of what is write and what is wrong and when the use of force against others is justified and when it is not.

        The last time I asked I got back a long collection of values.
        Most if not all of which I agree with.

        But values are not principles. They do not answer questions like when is force justified.

        They do not even answer questions like what would you do what you can only have value A or Value B but not both.

        What pat is saying is simple – so simple it tells us nothing.

        Does Pat’s remark tell us anything about the Civil war – beyond that she thinks it should not happen ?

        Was the north wrong for trying to impose its values on the south ?
        Was the south wrong for enslaving other humans ?

        Lets not argue to the point of violent conflict is an aspiration, maybe a value, not a principle. It does not answer the questions I asked above.

        What of the american revolution – should we have just “gotten along” with England ?

        Again when is violence justifiable and when isn’t it and why ?

        You duck the fact that all questions involving government ultimately become questions of the justified use of force and potentially the justified use of violence.

        I absolutely agree with Pat’s aspiration – “let’s not let this get out of hand”.

        But that tells me nothing. It does not answer anything.

        It is exactly like the purported moderate value of compromise.
        It answers nothing.

        In the end you are incapable of answering questions like how do we know what is right and what is wrong. When is force justified, When should I compromise.

        As Best you are Potter stewart – “I can not define right or wrong, but I know it when I see it”

        We can not and should not run our government that way.

        That is explicitly the rule of man, not the rule of law.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 26, 2017 2:21 pm

        What does “do not let it get out of hand mean” ?

        There is a difference between an aspiration and real guidance.

    • Roby permalink
      July 26, 2017 9:32 am

      “There is an over-used, inappropriately applied, misunderstood argument put forth by extremists and hard-liners when moderates start talking about things such as common ground, mutual interests, cooperation, and harmony. The worn-out argument is that discord and disagreement have been around forever and are good for us. Yes, yes, yes, moderates know this is true, but TO A POINT! There is an important, vital difference between lively, heated, and even acrimonious debate among intelligent individuals who ultimately value practical results and the preservation of our Union, versus the knee-jerk vitriol of myopic bubble dwellers and rabid partisans!
      Indeed, we are all “fellow humans thrust together on the adventure of a lifetime.” Let us work together against our common dangers, including extreme individualism and suicidal factionalism.”

      Bravo! Have you been moonlighting as McCain’s speechwriter?

      Welcome back!

    • July 26, 2017 11:22 am

      Hey Pat!!! So good to see you back! And it is our differences that make us great (except, of course, when we are killing each other over them :\ ) !

      • July 26, 2017 9:15 pm

        Hey Priscilla!

        “And it is our differences that make us great (except, of course, when we are killing each other over them)!

        Who can disagree with that? I think we need to chisel that sentence into concrete (or marble or granite) in a bunch of places around the world.

        I only wish I could be that concise when I tangle with Dave, which I again feel compelled to do, God help me, lol !

      • dhlii permalink
        July 26, 2017 11:08 pm

        All being concise requires is lots of time an effort.

        I choose not to put that time and effort into internet posts.
        I would not expect you to.

  40. Pat Riot permalink
    July 25, 2017 11:44 pm

    “..knee-jerk vitriol of myopic bubble dwellers and rabid partisans”…and I forgot to add: “who are solely driven by their own gains and forget they need a Common Good within which to be selfish and greedy”

    • dhlii permalink
      July 26, 2017 1:26 am

      “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”
      Adam Smith.

      More recently Elenor Olsrom won the nobel prize in economics for her work demonstrating that many many problems of “the common good” that presumably required govenrment intervention have historically been resolved with no difficulty by individuals working without government.

      Sorry Pat, but from each according to their ability to each according to their need does not work. Schemes fixated on the common good leave all of us worse off. Self interest accomplishes more improvement to the human condition that charity – by many many orders of magnitude.

    • Roby permalink
      July 26, 2017 10:02 am

      Hear, hear! (Dave will argue that I am wrong, the phrase is actually here, here, which is shorthand for “the answer to all evils is remove government”).

  41. July 26, 2017 12:12 am

    Just finished watching Trumps speech in Youngstown Ohio. He needs to stay out of Washington and just travel the country addressing the people like he did tonight. And in doing so, he can garner all the support he needs to get things done by calling out both parties in Washington like he did tonight.

    If he would stop the asinine idiotic tweets that make him look insane and stick to his message that he ran on, I firmly believe he would get the people behind him in much greater numbers than he has today and that would push congress to pass most everything that he was elected to do in November.

    And this comes from someone who is not a Trumpansee (or whatever that term was used in prior comments)

    • dhlii permalink
      July 26, 2017 1:52 am

      I agree.

      Trump seems to actually like these big “campaign” events.

      Further he has an advantage now he did not have as candidate.
      The secret Service is going to treat hecklers a bit differently.

      I think Trump should stay out of Washington.

      The whitehouse discussed ending press briefings.
      I actually think that is a good idea.

      I do not think Trump is going to stop tweeting.
      And whether I like it or not, I think it is actually working for him.

      • July 26, 2017 12:52 pm

        Dave “I do not think Trump is going to stop tweeting.
        And whether I like it or not, I think it is actually working for him.

        Well for the handful of people like me, it could be the difference between voting for Trump or the Libertarian the next time around. He gets me on his side with speeches like Youngstown and then the next morning attacking Sessions on Twitter removes that support for me.

        Yes he can keep his base. But his base does not lead to reelection. The swing voters call the election and what is his tweets doing to that group.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 26, 2017 8:39 pm

        As much as Trump has proven less offensive to me than I expected and the possibility exists I could vote for him in 2020.
        The odds are still that I am not.

        But I am not even close to the ordinary voter,
        and I am definitely not a Trump voter.
        And I do not think you are either.

        It is those people at Youngstown who are likely to decide the next election.
        And Trump appears to be doing great with them.

        And you can talk about swing voters – but if you did not vote for him in 2016 – your not one of the swing voters he needs to get.
        Again – it is those people in Youngstown.

        Of the state Trump won, most were by 20 points or more of the rest many were by 10 points. The only “close” states were AZ, NC, FL, PA, MI, WI

        Those are the “swing” voters that matter. Three of the largest of those are rust belts states. Trump can afford to lose one of the 4 largest, or the two smallest.

    • July 26, 2017 10:47 am

      I think it would be a good idea if Senators and Congressmen spent more time outside of Washington. With the the technology that we have today, it would be easy for them to actually live in the state and/or district that they serve, and spend far less time in D.C.

      • July 26, 2017 12:58 pm

        Never work, lobbyist would have too hard a time getting to them. And how would a senator get to stand in front of the cameras in an empty chamber with no one sitting behind them giving their political speeches that look like they are addressing the full senate or house for TV audience?

        But what a fantastic idea. Have everyone come to Washington, call congress into session, do some parliamentary business and then send everyone home, thus holding meetings via internet at regularly scheduled times.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 26, 2017 2:24 pm

        Hear, hear! (Roby will argue that I am wrong, and the answer to all evils is more government).

    • Roby permalink
      July 26, 2017 11:02 am

      My older daughter just spent $250 to buy me a “face to face” with John Cleese, $350 if you include the ticket to the Cleese screening of the Holy Grail and Q and A itself. Birthday present. Ah, it was all worth it!

      • Pat Riot permalink
        July 26, 2017 12:30 pm

        Roby! I’m no celebrity hound, but a face-to-face with John Cleese is exciting. Maybe don’t bring a pair of antlers and a little bell.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 26, 2017 2:25 pm

        You have a great daughter.

      • July 27, 2017 8:50 am

        Great, daughter, great dad, great present.

  42. Pat Riot permalink
    July 26, 2017 12:38 pm

    Ron, dhlii, I agree there are advantages to Trump staying on the road. For one thing it gives the maniacal media machine something for filling its precious air time. Better for the President to be on the offensive.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 26, 2017 8:26 pm

      Just to be clear – I do not have a strong opinion on what I would call Trump’s style.

      Like many hear on the left at times he terrifies me.
      While I think the left is responsible for the in your face confrontation.
      I do not see Trump backing down.

      We have had a couple of days of stories hinting at Sessions resignation, or firing.
      At a wierd time – when Sessions himself is being targeted by the leaks and innuendo.

      Now Sessions is about to announce deeper investigations into the leaks.
      Was that the goal all along ? Does Trump just goad his cabinet from Twitter and interviews ?
      I did not watch the apprentice, but my understanding is that he was extremely blunt.

      I agree with Trump that Sessions should have informed him that he was going to recuse himself within hours of taking the job BEFORE taking it.

      But Sessions offered to resign before and Trump said no. We should not be revisiting that unless something has changed.

      Further so much of the media stories are just crap.
      There have been Tillerson resigning stories for a while.
      He was unavailable for a few days and suddenly the media is reporting it is imminent.

      Now ? All the speculation was nonsense. Tillerson is not only not resigning now – he is not at the end of the year, he says he is in this for the duration.

      So what is going on ? Is Tillerson playing games if Trump ?
      Is the media playing games with us ?
      Are Trump and Tillerson gaming the media ?

      We have these leak based stories that Mueller has broadened the investigation greatly, and stories that Trump is preparing to fire him and that the remarks about Sessions are just prep work to fire Mueller.

      But we do not even know that Mueller has expanded the investigations,
      Meanwhile the Trump/Russia collusion meme tanks as we find the Russian Lawyer that Met with Trump Jr has even greater ties to the Obama Administration, FusionGPS and Clinton. And we now have stories that the Steele Dossier was manufactured by the Russians to Tank Trump.
      So who is it colluding with who ?

      The links to Clinton are weak – but they are still stronger than those to Trump.

      We find out Kushner’s big meeting with Kisylak was 1 minute long, barely long enough to get a card, and that Kushner completely forgot his name until after the election.
      The purported post election back channel to Russia turns out to be something the Russians did and it was to their forces in Syrian not Russia and was about fighting in Syria and had nothing to do with politics.

      Kushner could be lying – but he has now been nailed down to facts that can be checked and will be in deep shit if they are wrong.

      Just to be clear I do not care if Kushner failed to note some time that he and Kislyak reached for a crap puff at the same time at some political party.
      I do not care if there are minor details wrong.
      I do not care if Team Trump actually got OPO research from Putin – though there is no eividence they used anything that was not already public knowledge.

      At the moment the Clinton campaign connections to Russia dwarf those of Trump and go back to 2010 (I am talking about stuff having nothing to do with her role at State).
      You need to find BIG lies on the part of the Trump campaign – not little errors.
      To reverse this.

      Further, we do not know what Mueller is doing – but if he spends $20M and comes up with Kushner had a parking ticket in Russia fixed – I am going to be angry.

      I hope at the moment that Trump is NOT contemplating firing Mueller.
      But if Mueller comes up dry on the election – he needs to go home.

  43. July 26, 2017 1:17 pm

    Dave just for you. Another example of overreach by government

    I had to buy a new container and when I filled up my mower, it spilled about 4-6 ounces due to the way this crap works. I finally broke the system just so I could get the gas to flow freely without alot of pushing and manipulation.

    And the best thing about this, it is spurring the economy. You can buy a $20 five gallon container and then go on line to Gas and for an additional $ shipping and handling, you get an old timey spout to fix the spillage problem these new cans create.

    Ain’t it great!!!!!!!

    • dhlii permalink
      July 26, 2017 8:44 pm

      I buy gas cans at local farm equipment auctions.
      $1 ea for 5g and they have usable spouts.

      Aside from that I have a small collection of expensive 1g cans that I had to buy when I ran out of gas somewhere and walked to a gas station.

      Though sometimes I was able to buy a Gallon of Ice Tea, Dump it and fiill it with gas for the car – if no one was looking.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      July 26, 2017 9:28 pm

      I really tried to give those new plastic gas can spouts the benefit of the doubt. I approached it with an open mind, but I only had two hands! The new gas can spouts are ridiculous. How did they make it to market? They make more of a mess than ever.

      We already had an invention called a funnel. An old, basic, smooth spout on the gas can and a funnel in the target (if needed) is all we need to avoid spilling gas.

      Too many people trying to get rich inventing new gadgets, I suppose.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 26, 2017 11:10 pm

        I beleive Ron is complaining about these new spring loaded gizmo’s that I think are supposed to prevent leaks and prevent vapor from escaping.

        In reality they seem to guarantee that gas is spilled all over the place.

      • July 26, 2017 11:46 pm

        You got that right. They are made to fit the small opening in the gas fill pipe on a car. You pick up the can, you place the cans spout into the fill pipe small opening and push down. That allows the gas to begin flowing. Once the gas has been placed in the cars tank, you remove the spout, it springs back and stops any further flow “to prevent spillage”.

        Now try that asinine spout with a lawn mower that has a 2-3 inch opening in the tank. You can not find a place to push the spout down so it opens, the only way is to put it on the edge of the mowers tank opening and then some of the gas hits the edge of the opening and flows into places other than the tank. The other option is to pull the spout back by hand. WOOHOO!! You get a hand full of gas sometimes and if your lucky, your hands might come back clean, but try keeping a 5 gallon gas can steady with one hand while guiding and holding open the spout with the other.

        So the environmentalist that thought this crap up are the same ones that probably never use a power mower (CO2 pollution) and have never had to deal with their stupidity. But what they created was another company that now makes spouts like the old ones that fit the new cans and they charge $8 bucks plus shipping and handling. What a deal!!!

        Sorry for the rant, but every time I use that thing and spill gas on the driveway or lawn, I end up in a cussfest that no one needs to listen to. Plus at $2.10 a gallon, one does not need to spill much to begin being a waste of real money.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 27, 2017 1:05 am

        I completely understand the rant. ‘

        I do not think I have a reputation for being rant free.

  44. dhlii permalink
    July 26, 2017 3:27 pm

    A reminder that we do fight and kill over ideas.

  45. dhlii permalink
    July 26, 2017 4:45 pm

    What a tangled web we weave.

    Clearly FusionGPS is “colluding” with foreign powers – including Russia.
    Clearly FusionGPS actively interfered with the US election. Specifically seeking to harm Trump and help Clinton.
    FusionGPS is tied to both Democratic pro-clinton and Republican Anti-Trump groups.
    FusionGPS is strongly linked to Natalia Veselnitskaya
    FusionGPS is very strongly linked to Russian Adoption and repealing the Magnivinsky Act

    • July 26, 2017 10:05 pm

      Talk about Nothing Burgers.

      Regarding Trump, they were originally hired by Republicans who wanted to get dirt on him during the primaries. Too bad that didn’t pan out faster – maybe DoucheBagDonald wouldn’t have gotten the nomination, and the nation wouldn’t be suffering a catastrophic DISGRACE.

      Steele WAS looking for NEGATIVE Trump Intel; that was his assignment.
      Did he personally exaggerate what he culled from sources, or in good conscience present info that MAY HAVE BEEN credible.

      ‘Credible’ is the keyword:

      “from 2013-16, Steele gave the US government extensive information on Russia and Ukraine. This was work done for private clients, but which Steele wanted the US authorities to see. One former US senior official who saw these reports said “It was found to be of value by the people whose job it was to look at Russia every day.Another who dealt with this material in government said: “Sometimes he would get spun by somebody. [But] it was always 80% there.”

      “None of these reports touched on the nature of Trump’s relationship with Russia.
      But last June, Steele began sending pages of what would later be called his dossier.
      In light of his earlier work, the US intelligence community saw him as “credible” (their highest praise). The FBI thought the same; they had worked with Steele going back to his days in MI6.”

      Some of Steele’s dossier has proven unreliable; other parts have not. His assertion that Russia was hacking the US with the intent to undermine the Democratic Party (and Hillary) has proven correct. MULTIPLE foreign intelligence agencies we consider trustworthy allies have affirmed it. That’s why Congress just now overwhelmingly passed that Russian Sanctions bill, to chastise The Russian meddling in our election.

      Until Mueller’s investigation is complete we can’t conclude tRump didn’t collude with the Russians. His stupid machinations to interrupt the investigation are those of someone who has something to hide.

      America won’t be safe until he’s hidden in a padded cell.

      • July 26, 2017 11:31 pm

        Jay “Until Mueller’s investigation is complete we can’t conclude tRump didn’t collude with the Russians.”

        And flipping the coin “If Mueller’s investigation concludes Trump did not collude with the Russians, Democrats will continue to “investigate Trump” to find dirt on him regardless of his innocence.

      • July 27, 2017 12:02 am

        Continue investigating, even after the charges are are determined to be unfounded?

        You mean like Republicans and Trump continue to do daily with Hillary?

        And if Mueller turns up evidence of Trump wrong doing – like money laundering, or other criminal acts relating to his businesses hidden in his taxes, info that if released during his campaign likely would have cost him the election, wouldn’t you, an American voter, feel his election was illicit, and therefore demand he resign or be removed!

      • dhlii permalink
        July 27, 2017 1:16 am

        You do not seem to grasp what unfounded means.

        In June 2016 Comey gave a pres conference. He describe most of the facts that the FBI had found regarding Clinton’s emails.

        He ommitted the lying under oath,
        the destruction of evidence.
        and issues related to FOIA and govenrment records keeping laws.

        regardless, the facts he listed EXACTLY matched those required for a criminal violation of 18cfr793(f)
        Given that Clinton’s emails demonstrated that she had intentionally setup the private mail server, to protect her correspondence from FOIA requests and other legitimate inquiry, and that she had not provided her official communications to government either during her tenure or at her departure – that constitutes intent.
        the requirement for 18cfr793(e).

        In otherwords Comey laid out everything necescary for a successful prosecution.
        Comey then added an intent element that is not in 18cfr793(f) but is in 18cfr793(e) and is the only difference between them – and then falsely stated that no one had been prosecuted without intent.

        He was doubly wrong because intent was not required and was present.

        Now many other things that Comey glossed over – like destruction of evidence are themselves crimes.

        Many Claims regarding Clinton have not been will investigated.
        but I am not aware of a single one that is actually unfounded.

        All of the claims regarding Trump that we have information to investigate – are unfounded.

        Unfounded does not mean – subject to the excercise of prosecutorial descretion.
        In fact excercising prosecutorial discretion means the claims ARE founded.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 27, 2017 1:23 am

        How are you expecting to find this evidence of money laundering ?

        Do you know what money laundering is ?

        Most broadly it is converting money that is traceable back to criminal activities into money that is not.

        It nearly always involves CASH (that is not a requirement, it is just a consequence of the destruction of bank privacy laws), because money in other forms today is pretty much tracable back to its source.

        So If Trump sells a condo in FL and the buyer writes a check, or performs a wire transfer or exchanges something other than cash – it is highly unlikely this is money laundering.
        Because all those forms of money have a source. If the money has something to do with criminal activity it has ALREADY been laundered. The crime would be the first bank that accepted it.

        So are you claiming that Trump is picking up gym bags full of cash for condo’s and then depositing them 9000 at a time in the bank ?

      • dhlii permalink
        July 27, 2017 12:39 am

        Jay is just plain wrong.

        We can individually reach whatever conclusions we wish at any time we wish – we are not constrained by or by waiting for Mueller.

        That said not merely the presumption of innocence but even the premises of science is that something is not true until it is proven.

      • dhlii permalink
        July 26, 2017 11:43 pm

        If you are following FusionGPS – there stuff is completely fabricated garbage sourced by foreign governments.

        Trump is not the only target – they have defamed human rights activists.

        So you wanted them to spray garbage sooner ?
        If you are bothered by Trumps morals and lies, I do not think the best counter is a bigger pile of crap.

        I do not care that Steele was looking for negative intel – that is fine by me.

        Frankly the whole thing is fine by me – it is more damaging to those who concocted it.

        With respect to those who bought it – and the Steele dossier is the source of the Russia/Trump meme – I can only say – How thick are you ?
        All of the allegations that are in it that are testable are bunk.
        They are not exagerations, they are completely false.

        To the left – your primary source for the Trump Russia Collusion story is a document produced by collusion between trumps enemies and Russia.
        How is it you can not see that refutes the entire thing.

        That even trashes the claim that Russia favored Trump.
        If so why were they feeding anti-trump garbage to Steele ?

        I do not wish to say much about Steele’s past work,
        But I will say that an endorsement from the US intelligence community is meaningless to me.
        The FBI has reported that Russia hacked the DNC. They did that using only the CrowdStrike report – no other access to the DNC hardware, systems or records.
        The CrowdStrike report has been shredded by much of the private cyber security world.
        And CrowdStrike has a reputation for crapy false reports blaming Russia.

        If the FBI is willing to put their impramature on crwdstrike my faith in US counterintellince is shot.

        Regardless, I do not have access to his past work, and someone I have no reason to beleive saying that in some past work I have no way to verify he was 80% right – discredits that Intelligence analyst – as the Trump Dossier has proven 100% wrong on every testable bit of intelligence.

        You keep passing through the IC saying they thought Steele was credible.
        You are not bolstering Steele – whose dossier was near incredulous on the surface.
        It circulated for a long time – but nobody wanted to print anything from it for months because everyone regarded it as crap.
        And you are saying the IC thought it was credible ?
        I think if the media could have gotten anyone in the IC to say it was credible – they would have printed it in a second.

        Even the parts that you claim are credible are NOT right on the surface.

        You keep failing to grasp that the material from the Trump Dossier came THROUGH Steele – it came FROM Russia.

        So what you are saying is that the Russian government provided other campaigns with intelligence claiming the Russian were favoring Trump ? that is pretty much the definition of incredible. It comes very close to proving the OPPOSITE.

        Frankly it calls into question every claim in the dossier.

        Russia “interference” in the election was EITHER to favor Clinton, or just to cast doubt on the election.

        That has to be the case unless you beleive Russia would covertly leak information that they were favoring Trump.

        What you do not seem to understand is that the fact that the Steele dossier came from Russia discredits everything in it – including the hacking claims.

        It is entirely possible that the ONLY thing Russia did to “hack” our elections was produce the Steele Dossier whose purpose was to make us beleive they were hacking their election. If so they have reaped unbelievable benefits with very little work.

        Every argument I have made may not be true – there is too much incest in all of this.
        But what is absolutely true is there is pretty much nothing in the Steele Dossier that EVER should have been taken credibly.

        FushionGPS’s Ties to Venezuela and Russia and their reputation for producing false and defamatory intelligence significantly predates the election.

        Oh god not the multiple foriegn intelligence agencies rot again.

        NO! The so called 17 agency report was prepared by representatives from 3 agencies, none of which were the normal representatives of their agencies for these type matters,
        All the members of the group that wrote the report were handpicked – I beleive by Clapper under the direction of the whitehouse and the outcome was foreordained.
        Congressional testimony by various agencies heads and underlings subsequently have discredited most of that report.

        Congress passes things for political reasons.
        Would you vote against Russian sanctions right now ?

        You have Muellers investigation backwards.
        Until Muellers investigation is complete we can not conclude that Trump DID collude with the russians.

        Aside from the presumption of innocence guaranteed by our constitution, there is also the complete lack of credible evidence.

        Based on what we have now – there should be no investigation.

        We do not investigate people because we do not like them.
        This is not Russia – though the left has gone over the edge.

  46. dhlii permalink
    July 26, 2017 4:55 pm

    Talk about foreign affairs and you could end up being spied on

    • dhlii permalink
      July 26, 2017 4:58 pm

      I would note the ACLU’s discussion of the 4th amendment – the government can not TARGET a US Citizen for investigation without complying with the 4th amendment.

      That means you can not investigate anyone – including Trump because you think they might be doing something wrong.

  47. dhlii permalink
    July 26, 2017 5:01 pm

    More on FusionGPS and the fact that the entire Trump/Russia collusion story originates with a group ACTUALLY colluding with Russia.

  48. dhlii permalink
    July 26, 2017 5:02 pm

    Unintended consequences of trying to help people ends up hurting lots more people and helping no one.

  49. dhlii permalink
    July 26, 2017 7:29 pm

    These are the people you need to be thinking about as you push forward

  50. dhlii permalink
    July 26, 2017 8:03 pm

    Another perspective on Trump that I do not entirely agree with but those fierce Trump opponents should consider before rash action.

  51. July 26, 2017 9:09 pm

    And The Conservative “Trump Is A Lump Of Crap” Beat Goes On

  52. Pat Riot permalink
    July 26, 2017 10:39 pm

    “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”
    dhlii, quoting an economist, Adam Smith.

    “And it is within a context, which we may call “society,” that the butcher, the brewer, or the baker are able to pursue their interests. And the society is made up of people, and laws, laws both written and unwritten, conceived and communicated by people. At best, and most commonly, thankfully, these laws are adhered to voluntarily. It is partly through a deeper understanding of the very practical reasons why we adhere to laws voluntarily that humanity can continue rejecting mistakes from the past and evolve to an improved future.”
    Pat Riot

    • dhlii permalink
      July 26, 2017 11:47 pm

      No, it is not in the context of society.

      It is in the context of the rule of law.
      That is the only prequisite.

      The butcher, baker etc.
      Do not need churches, civic groups, or unions to produce value for both us and them.

      Adam Smith AGAIN

      “Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice; all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things. All governments which thwart this natural course, which force things into another channel, or which endeavour to arrest the progress of society at a particular point, are unnatural, and to support themselves are obliged to be oppressive and tyrannical.”

      They need government – very limited government

    • dhlii permalink
      July 26, 2017 11:49 pm

      All the things you call society and unwritten laws are the traditional functions of free markets.

      When we violate unwritten laws – government does nto arrest us.
      But our neighbors may shun us or cease to exchange with us.

      Those “unwritten laws” are a small subset of PRIVATE self regulation.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 26, 2017 11:52 pm

      It is an absolute requirement that the written laws of a government are voluntarily followed by the overwhelming majority of people.

      The less well followed written laws are the bigger and more powerful government must be driving rapidly towards totalitarianism.

  53. Pat Riot permalink
    July 26, 2017 10:50 pm

    You and I are, and have been, in very close agreement regarding the typical inefficiencies and faults of government, as well as the history that “private sector enterprise” nearly always “outperforms” government endeavor.

    I really am with you there, man.

    From time to time I have been stopping by and reading TNM. I do admire your “tenacious logic” and your willingness to stand against the current with a viewpoint no matter how unpopular or untrendy it may be.

    I like that about you.

    But you and I are different, and that is good. I think I saw chiseled into decorative, stamped concrete somewhere: “And it is our differences that make us great (except, of course, when we are killing each other)!”

    Or are disrespectful to each other.

    I’m beginning from a place of respect, and hope that we can remain respectful in debate.

    I think we’ve both accomplished enough in our lives that our egos should be intact.

    I hereby propose that if we temporarily lapse into insult, as we have before, we should not take it personally, as we don’t know each other in “real life”. Then we should apologize like good sports, recover, and then get back to higher ground of intelligent debate!

    • dhlii permalink
      July 27, 2017 12:02 am

      We are required to refrain from violence towards each other.
      We are required to honor the commitments we make to others.
      We are required to fix whatever actual harm we cause – even innocently.

      These are the only requirements that people can be compelled by force to fullfill.

      Other moral duties are outside the scope of government
      To the extent we are bound by them it is not by threat of force.

      I respect you – and most others here.
      But I am not legally obligated to, and I think my moral obligation is not to disrepect until disrespect is earned.
      Respect too is earned.

      I would further note that I TRY to distinguish between ideas and people.

      Calling an idea or argument idiocy is atleast for me acceptable – if that idea is obviously wrong.

      Calling a person and idiot is not.

      I try not to drift from the one to the other.

      If I have insulted any person here. I apologize.

      But I owe no apology for insulting bad ideas.

      I am sorry if some take that personally.

      If it helps I have personally held most of the ideas I insult today at some time in the past.

  54. Pat Riot permalink
    July 26, 2017 11:16 pm


    You are shielded at times, whether intentional or as natural by-product of your personality (I believe the latter) by a sheer volume of thought and words.

    Most mere mortals, myself included, don’t usually have time to spar with you. And so, statements of yours stand here in cyberspace without challenge.

    Sometimes little barbs and pokes slip out, such as below:

    “What pat is saying is simple – so simple it tells us nothing.”

    I’m thickening my skin and bracing myself, because I want our differences to have the opportunity to synthesize into something new.

    I ask others to forgive me in advance for the verbosity that might ensue.

    Here is a mildly humorous and inaccurate representation of how it has gone with you and I in the past:

    It’s a bit like someone, you, saying it’s the engine that makes a car go, that the car goes nowhere without the power of the engine (free markets & self-interest, et cetera)

    And then the 2nd person, me, says yeah I am also impressed with the power of the engine, but don’t forget about the motor mounts, the wheels, the chassis, and the steering wheel. Without the context, the engine doesn’t move.

    And then you say it’s the engine that makes a car go.

    Dave, your faith in the economic principles of self-interest/free markets, capitalism and libertarianism is seemingly so deeply cauterized into the synapses of your brain, that I’m just plumb curious to see what route into the broader sphere of thought will finally bump you out of your “economics mindset” and into the broader light of day. (I admit my tone comes out
    snide and snarky at times. Can you handle this tone periodically? I’m seriously asking.)

    • dhlii permalink
      July 27, 2017 12:13 am

      I defend my arguments vigorously.

      I am pretty thick skinned. There are only a few things that really set me off – hypocracy and presumed authority over me (by authority I mean a presumption that you can use force)

      I do not know and do not think there is a way to discredit a false argument with flowers and peace signs.

      At my family dinner table we could debate anything – loudly.
      But no one left the table offended.

      My parents grew a very small business to a medium one while I grew up.
      The board meetings were our dinner table – and discussions were loud and heated.
      At the end my parents made the decisions – or they delegated them. They were the parents and they were the final authority.
      But each of us was an important part of all decisions.
      We made family decisions much the same way.

      I have dealt with my own family much the same way.
      I can not get my kids to mow the grass,
      but they have a voice in every important decision this family makes.
      But the final choices are up to my wife and I.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 27, 2017 12:27 am

      Virtually all of economics and libertarianism comes from a free simple principles.

      That individual liberty is foundational. That it may only be restricted where such restriction increases the liberty of all of us. That all morality is rooted in freedom.
      That you can not do right or wrong without freedom.

      From individual liberty and its inherent properties you can derive everything else – including the entirely of classical liberal economics.

      My ideology, philosophy, economics, politics (there are all the same),
      leave you free to do any thing you want – no matter how stupid I may think it is
      EXCEPT impose your will on others by force or fraud.

      If you think I am wrong – great go your own way, do your own thing.
      If you think communism, socialism, facism, progressivism is the right way.
      Great – make it work in a purely voluntary environment.

      If your ism requires force to work – you have already completely lost me.

      Yes, these is ground into me. But it has taken nearly 60 years to get here.
      I have arrived here by studying reality, by studying philosophy, by studying economics and law and …..

      I did not start where I am, and do not expect to finish where I am.
      But I am convinced that I have improved and continue to improve my thought over time.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 27, 2017 12:32 am

      Snark away! I do not care about your tone. I would just observe that I find my tone tends to mirror that I am responding to.
      As an example – it you step onto a moral soap box, my inclination is going to be to kick it out from under you.

      I can think of little I would enjoy more than a serious debate,
      I would note that what we enjoy we tend to do alot of.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 27, 2017 12:34 am

      Self-interest is the engine of the world.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 27, 2017 12:36 am

      Faith is the belief in something unproven.

      There are things I have faith in.
      That individual liberty/freedom is the fundimental attribute of humanity is not an element of faith.

  55. Pat Riot permalink
    July 26, 2017 11:36 pm

    The debate here, that has already sprouted out naturally further above, is about moderation.

    I said something to the effect that differences are only beneficial to a point, and then we humans must put aside our differences and get along/preserve the Union.

    And Roby likes that. And so does Georg Washington in his Farewell Address in 1796.

    But then you sort of pooh-poohed the idea of “getting along.” You have consistently here at TNM scoffed at the ideas of “compromise,” “Common Good,” and “Moderation.” I’d like to get at your misunderstanding of these concepts, because you and I voluntarily pursue them every day!

    I said “suicidal factionalism,” which is merely factionalism that is suicidal, like a man and woman in a rowboat arguing over who should row until the boat plunges over the waterfall to their mutual death. Suicidal factionalism.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 27, 2017 12:51 am

      Most simple propositions fall into 1 of three forms/outcomes.
      The slope to the right, they slope to the left, or they have an apogee somewhere between the right and the left.

      Of the first two the best answer is always at one extreme or the other.
      We can prove that some proposition is not one of the first two forms by demonstration that it fails at the extremes – reductio ad absurdem. Anything that does not fail reductio ad absurdem is near certain one of the first two forms.

      Everything that fits the first two forms is ill served by compromise or moderation.
      These are typically things where there is a fairly clear right or wrong answer – even it everyone does not see it – regardless compromise and moderation in these instances is not only wrong – but often more wrong than being completely wrong.
      Absolute error usually results in rapid failure and learning. Bad compromises last forever.

      Those things that fit the last form have another characteristic.
      There is some principle or value that defines the apogee

      If you do not know that principle or value then “moderation” or simply throwing this arround at random.

      Government fits the third form – zero government fails. 100% government fails.
      The three principles I beat the drum over define the apogee of government.
      BTW there is a hug amount of data over a very long time to support that.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 27, 2017 12:59 am

      Why moderation is not the middle or compromise!

      The right is correct on many issues
      The left is correct on others.
      Both are wrong on a collection of other issues and still the answer is not in the middle,
      Every problem that is a vector problem – the answer is at one extreme or the other – is not a left-right vector.

      Libertarians are neither right nor left.
      They are right on some issues, left on others, and at the extreme of non-left-right vectors on others.

      In most left right maps libertarians fall in the middle. even though they are not in the middle on almost any issue.

      If your definition of moderate is at the center on each issue – then you are wrong.
      In fact you are wrong more than the left and right.

      If it is not inherently agreeing with the left or the right on ALL issues you can be at the extreme on every single issue and still be moderate, even be in the political middle.

      Compromise does not guarantee error, but it actually increases the probability of error.

    • dhlii permalink
      July 27, 2017 1:03 am

      We are required to “get along” on a few things.
      Those three principles I keep flogging.
      We are not required to on anything else.

      Outside of those there is no generalize absolute means of knowing whether getting along or opposing is the right choice, the moral choice, the most effective choice.

      If two people are in a rowboat approaching a waterfall arguing over whether to row upstream or down – probably there is only one right answer – and getting along may mean going over the fall.

  56. July 27, 2017 10:25 am

    Just when I thought Trump was losing his touch……

    The GOP has humiliated itself with its inability to fulfill its key campaign promise ~ repealing and replacing Obamacare. That should have been the big story yesterday.

    But Trump ended the 1 year-old Obama policy of accepting transgenders in the military, a policy that is largely hated by the military. Bradley/Chelsea Manning, a seditious transgendered soldier, is the poster boy/girl for this policy and Obama’s commutation of Manning’s sentence created enormous ill-will towards it among Trump’s base.

    And that became the story. I’m convinced that the media doesn’t even know when it’s being manipulated.

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