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A Month of Outrage Overload

February 22, 2019

Tempers are flaring across America — from East to West, from right to left. In fact, the atmosphere has turned so caustic and combustible that I’ve delayed writing this piece for the better part of a month as new outrages erupt daily like California wildfires.

I’d mobilize my thoughts on this or that polarizing event, only to watch the next day’s outrage demand an instant response. Again and again, week after week. With such an abundance of discord-spawning, nation-splitting controversies bombarding us daily, how do I choose just one?

I won’t. I’ll revisit them all — or at least the most noteworthy and cringeworthy incidents of the past month — as briefly as possible, along with my own marginally sane moderate’s takeaway on each unholy incident. Come along, if you dare…

  • The Covington Catholic boys vs. the tribal elder. A perfect storm of prickly 21st-century political prejudices: the students were predominantly white, male, conservative, Christian, privileged, jock-ish, pro-life and pro-Trump. (In short, they were embryonic Brett Kavanaughs.) Their primary antagonist: a noble native tribal elder beating a drum in their faces — although the confrontation was preceded by an hour of relentless taunting from a flaky black supremacist religious cult. One boy’s smirk went viral, and so did the outrage from the left. No matter that the noble tribal elder lied about the confrontation (among other matters), or that the rush to judgment was based on a cherry-picked snippet from a nearly two-hour video. The boys from Covington Catholic were roundly vilified by the “Hate Has No Home Here” crowd. Takeaway: The Covington students withstood the confrontation with commendable restraint, other than a little mock war-whooping in time with the drumbeats. The left rushed to judgment because the incident seemed to support their ongoing “arrogant white male” narrative. (The more reasonable news outlets acknowledged their error.) The boys’ unpopular political leanings are irrelevant to the incident. Postscript: Now that alpha-smirker Nick Sandmann has sued the Washington Post for the jaw-dropping sum of $250 million, he’s shed some of his right to our sympathy.
  •  The strange case of Jussie Smollett. A niche TV personality, black and gay, reports that he was beaten by a pair of white males who poured bleach on his person and slipped a noose around his neck while uttering racist and homophobic slurs. Adding insult to injury, they reportedly yelled, “This is MAGA country!” I was outraged on his behalf — until I started wondering why racist homophobes would be prowling the streets of Chicago (hardly MAGA country) carrying a noose and bleach at 2 a.m. in subzero temperatures. How would MAGA men even recognize Smollett, a featured player in the musical TV series “Empire”? (Not exactly “must-see” MAGA TV.) Subsequent revelations pointed to Smollett himself as the author of the incident, aided by two Nigerian brothers he recruited to rough him up. Now he’s been arrested for filing a false police report, a felony. Takeaway: If Smollett orchestrated this “hate crime,” as it appears he did, I’d guess that he did it to 1) cause further outrage on behalf of blacks and gays, and 2) boost his celebrity status. He succeeded on both counts, but his success has blown up in his face. This wouldn’t be the first time a misguided soul staged a crime and blamed members of another race. Both blacks and whites have cried wolf, and it reflects sadly on our hyper-tribal society. Moreover, crying wolf casts unfair doubt on subsequent (and legitimate) hate-crime cases.
  • Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s racist yearbook photo. The popular Democrat resorted to some desperate (and inconsistent) damage control after a photo of his medical school yearbook page went viral – complete with one figure in exaggerated blackface and another in a white KKK hood. It was never clear which figure (or either of them) was Northam; his story kept changing amid calls for his resignation. So far, he’s standing his ground. Takeaway: If neither figure in the photo was Northam, why would he have included it on his yearbook page? Granted, the photo might have been a tongue-in-cheek prank dating from less P.C. times, and we need to acknowledge that flippant young people are capable of growth. But Northam’s evasiveness does him no credit. Should he resign? Probably not. But he should have fessed up, admitted his youthful folly, and stressed how he’s matured. He squandered the potential for a “teachable moment.”
  • Kamala Harris and the Democratic “purity test.” The California senator and presidential hopeful underwent a surprisingly intense round of scrutiny from her own party. The accusations: she’s “not black enough” (her mother is Indian and her father Jamaican, which actually makes her a shade “blacker” than the half-white Barack Obama)… she was overly zealous in prosecuting blacks in Oakland (she was a D.A. in a majority-black city; it was her job to prosecute)… and (drumroll, please) she’s married to a WHITE MAN! Even her own father got into the act, denouncing Harris for associating her pot-smoking ways with her Jamaican heritage. Takeaway: Democrats seem hellbent on devouring their own, a habit that could easily result in a dreaded second term for Trump. By the way, Harris favors reparations for African Americans. (So much for the “not black enough” mantra.)
  • Gillette’s controversial “toxic masculinity” commercial. Sure, it was filled with images of enlightened males in nurturing roles, but the implication was that this isn’t the norm – that men need to be “tamed” if they’re to be considered fit members of post-#MeToo society. A gentle message designed to make us all sing “Kumbaya” only succeeded in fanning the flames of two increasingly bitter American factions: anti-masculine neo-puritans (including virtue-signaling feminist men) vs. defensive macho males and their allies. Takeaway: The Gillette commercial was probably well intentioned but irritatingly condescending toward half of humankind. For every male exhibiting loutish behavior, there must be five or more decent men who don’t. Yet we all need to be lectured? Sorry – not buying it (or the razor, for that matter)
  • Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-Israel rant. The newly elected (and immediately controversial) Somali-Minnesotan caused a stir by accusing AIPAC, the Israeli-American lobbying group, of buying political support in Congress. Cries of anti-Semitism quickly filled the air; how dare she revive the libelous trope of “Jewish money” buying influence in America? Takeaway: Israel does have a powerful lobby in the U.S., and lobbies tend to buy influence. It’s not anti-Semitic merely to point this out. For that matter, it’s not anti-Semitic to criticize Israel when it oversteps certain boundaries. (More often, anti-Israeli sentiment is the by-product of the left’s knee-jerk sympathy for “oppressed” “brown-skinned” Palestinians.) On the other hand, it most definitely is anti-Semitic to call for the destruction of Israel, vandalize synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, or gun down worshippers on the Sabbath — and there’s been an alarming spike in that kind of lethal Jew-hatred lately, in Europe as well as here.
  • The FBI-CNN raid on Roger Stone’s house. In the early morning hours, the Feds staged a dramatic arrest of the former Trump aide and political trickster while CNN covered the event live. The charges: lying and witness tampering. But why the unnecessary theatrics for alleged white-collar crimes, and how did CNN just happen to be on the scene? Meanwhile, progressives whooped with glee while the Trump faction intimated that the “Deep State” was engaged in a slow-motion coup to dethrone #45. Takeaway: I’m normally skeptical of wacko Deep State conspiracy theories, but this incident made me wonder. CNN has morphed into the unofficial news outlet of the Democratic Party’s Clintonist/corporatist wing, and it’s obvious that the pro-Democrat FBI tipped them off. Collusion between a government agency and a favored media outlet should disturb us almost as much as the alleged collusion between Trump and Russia.
  • The escalating border wall showdown. As Robert Frost put it, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” Of course, Trump wants his wall and so does his base — despite the likelihood that it won’t stop the incursion of drugs, criminals or even the most determined poverty-stricken migrants from south of the border. But Trump risked his alt-right street cred on the wall, making it the signature proposal of his presidency despite staunch opposition from Congress. He risked it to the point of lunacy by insisting that Mexico would pay for it. He led us to a costly government shutdown over it. And he finally went over the top by declaring a national emergency to raise the necessary funds. The issue remains unresolved, and neither faction is willing to compromise. Takeaway: Both factions need to compromise. First of all, there’s no “national emergency.” Even with the recent Central American caravans massing at the border, illegal crossings have declined in recent years. Completing an ocean-to-gulf wall would uproot countless property owners along the border, disrupt wildlife migrations and send a hostile message to Latin America. On the other hand, we can’t leave our southern border unprotected. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham actually pulled National Guard troops from the border, a foolhardy move that tickled the “all people are legal” crowd while it probably drove Trump’s base toward a collective stroke. There’s a sane middle ground here, and we need to find it.
  • New York’s loosening of restrictions on late-term abortion. Predictably, pro-lifers butted heads with pro-choicers over the decision, signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to essentially allow abortion-on-demand until full term. Yes, the law specifies that the fetus must be non-viable or that the mother’s health be at risk, but critics justifiably point out that “health” is open to interpretation. They argue that doctors might perform an abortion if the mother feels that delivering a baby would be hard on her nerves, for example. Numerous Catholics called for Gov. Cuomo to be excommunicated. Meanwhile, the pro-choice faction celebrated the decision while the Empire State Building glowed in jubilant pink lights that evening. Takeaway: Aborting a fully developed fetus is no cause for jubilation, and the pro-choice movement needs to stop viewing abortion solely through the lens of women’s rights. (After all, there’s another body inside the woman’s body… why do we automatically assume that the smaller body has no rights?) On the other hand, it seems reasonable to allow late-term abortions if (and only if) the fetus has a fatal condition or the mother’s health would be permanently compromised by giving birth.
  • The arrest of a Coast Guard officer who planned a white nationalist terror attack. While Jussie Smollett was still dominating the news, Feds nabbed a 49-year-old Coast Guard lieutenant who plotted a terrorist attack on left-leaning politicians and journalists as part of his dream to establish a “white homeland” in the U.S. The suspect had gathered an extensive cache of weapons and performance-enhancing drugs, along with a list of targets ranging from politicians like Sen. “Poca Warren” to CNN’s Don Lemon and Van Jones, both of whom are black. Modeling himself after far-right Norwegian uber-terrorist Anders Breivik, the deranged lieutenant couldn’t seem to decide if he merely wanted to assassinate prominent leftists or “kill almost every last person on the earth.” Whew — disaster averted. Takeaway: Nobody in their right mind would defend this madman, but here’s my lament: once again, a neo-Nazi nutjob has fed the leftist argument that whites, males and, for that matter, Western civilization are pathologically toxic. The truth is that all three have been under assault lately from loud partisans on the cultural left, so it’s not a stretch to see why many white Western males feel maligned and threatened — and occasionally consumed by the fevers of hatred. Tribalism has always been the curse of our species, whether we’re talking about ancient Greeks vs. Persians, Christians vs. Muslims, blacks vs. whites, or even jocks vs. geeks. The solution seems like an easy one: emphasize our common bonds instead of our differences. Why is it so difficult, then? Maybe we should start by asking the President.

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate and the author of three collections of essays for Kindle. (Look for them on Amazon under “Bayan books.”)


1,180 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2019 10:42 pm

    Wow! So much in so little time. Couple of comments
    1. Nick Sandmann. Smirk? Depends on how you look at the situation. I see a young man standing in front of an older man that got in his face and began beating a drum. He stands there smiling and does nothing else. ( I also see someone who could be Joey Logano’s younger brother. He also has that “smirk” smile) So I say $250M is not enough, should be more. They will settle and he will not have to worry about college cost to say the least. Maybe reporters will be more inclined to check facts before reporting
    2.Again another case of reporters with premature ejaculation. And politicians with the same. Harris and Booker, and maybe others, jumped on the racist train. And the bad thing is their followers will not care.
    3. Northum, he has weathered the storm and our 48 hour attention span has moved on. Same with the sexual abusing Lt Governor. And this was just a few years ago, not 30+.
    4. CNN being at Stones house. Didnt know that. But not surprised that the democrat supporting FBI would tip them off.
    And finally 5, the wall. Queen Nancy says “The wall is, in my view, immoral, expensive, unwise,” . So I’m with Beto on this one. Since a large majority of existing wall is in California and it is immoral, Beto says tear down all the walls. Good idea and they can enter in SoCal where the danger of crossing open pairie and rivers is decreased as well as better passage through Mexico exist.

    But you might want to plan for more reports on situations like these as it is only going to get worse with the democrats moving so much farther left, the GOP stuck with Trump and probably 40% of moderate America ready to puke.

    • February 23, 2019 10:37 pm

      All good points, Ron. Who really knows what Sandmann was feeling when the photos and video were shot? I think he was entitled to smirk, as long as it was a “Why is this nutty old Indian banging a drum in my face?” smirk as opposed to an “I’m superior to this nutty old Indian so I’m going to stare him down” smirk. You’re probably right about future “outrage overload” as long as Trump is president and the Democrats keep shifting left. Maybe it’s time for a third major party after all.

      • February 23, 2019 11:37 pm

        Well Rick I don’t think it was a smirk because his smile is exactly the same as Joey Laganos smile (NASCAR Driver), unless Joey smirks and does not smile.

        Maybe this is jumping to conclusions on my part that it was not a smirk. Or your that it was?

    • dhlii permalink
      February 24, 2019 6:04 am

      1),. In the longer version of the video – Phillips invaded the students space not the other way arround.
      There will be many more suits – WaPo is just the start.
      2). there was good reason to be suspicious from the start – Chicago went for Hillary by 83% – it is not “MAGA country”.

      White Trump supporters do not wander arround Chicago at 2am with gasoline or bleach – depending on the version of the story, and a noose wearing MAGA hats and hoodies.

      If they do – they are in far more danger than Jussie.

      The lesson is do not jump to conclusions.

      There are about 7000 claims of “hate crimes” in the US each year that is actually a very very very small portion of all crime.
      About 1000 of those turn out to be FRAUDS each year, a larger number do not warrant charges.

      We should remain calm and wait for the facts.

      3). The fundimental issue with Northam is that he ran the race baiting adds against Gillespie that won an election with a razor thin margin of victory.
      He is not going to – but he should resign.
      Had he not made an issue of race with Gillespie – this would be a non-issue.

      4). everybody is denying CNN was tipped off. Mueller has been forced to file court documents that his investigation did not tip off CNN.

      Do you beleive that ? They arrived minutes before the FBI.
      They were not there any time prior.

      There is a separate issue that Mueller staged a pre dawn SWAT raid.
      That is quite litterally a NAZI Night and Fog tactic.
      The courts really do not like it.
      You are supposed to need special permission for this type of raid.
      It is pretty much never used when you have a target that is represented and has been working with you for months.
      It is pretty much never used when you have charges that are quite honestly NOT that serious. Lying to congress by failing to recall exculpatory material ?

      • Ron P permalink
        February 24, 2019 12:53 pm

        Dave I fully believe our Democrat FBI tipped off CNN. Either that or they have wire tapped the FBI communication system.

      • Jay permalink
        February 24, 2019 7:56 pm


      • dhlii permalink
        February 25, 2019 4:35 am

        I think this is a more accurate image of how CNN found out – but it you prefer that they used tin foil hats – fine by me.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 25, 2019 4:37 am

        I understand this was CNN’s source.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 25, 2019 4:31 am

        I would not be so specific as the FBI. Just some associated with the Mueller probe.

        But there will be no consequences.

        It is really disturbing when the US government is litterally using the tactics that the Gestapo did.

      • February 25, 2019 1:16 am

        Dave, I agree with all your points here. I didn’t know about Gov. Northam’s race-baiting ads, though, so he emerges as more of a hypocrite than I suspected.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 25, 2019 5:02 am

        Northam has likely weathered the storm.

        As democrats go – he is moderate.
        But Gillespie was moderate as Republicans go.
        In fact one of the problems with the election is there was little distance between them on many issues.

        Ordinarily I would give Northam the benefit of the doubt.

        But if you live by the sword you die by the sword.

        I would make one other point.

        Northam is a MODERATE.

        In the TNM world he is supposed to be one of the “good guys”.

        Always remember that power corrupts, and that those on the far left and far right have no monopoly on hypocrisy and corruption.

        Moderate does NOT inherently mean “moral” or even correct.

        Barry Goldwater said
        Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue

        But Martin Luther King could just as easily have done so.

        Right and wrong, good and evil, Truth and lies, virtue and hypocracy.
        Neither conservatives, nor progressives, nor moderates nor libertarians have a corner on these.

        We should never presume that because we agree with a person’s label or ideology that they are inherently right, good, virtuous and truthful.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 25, 2019 5:07 am

        Your article was excellent. Most of yours are. Even when there are points I diverge on.

        Mostly my “points” are just more information or personal input, not disagreement.

        Though disagreement is NOT inherently a bad thing. We find our way to common ground and hopefully to the truth by discussing the points we disagree on.

  2. February 22, 2019 10:43 pm


  3. Jay permalink
    February 23, 2019 1:32 pm

    Applauding response: yup, Rick – I’m in accord with all your observations.
    (Coherent & balanced writing, as usual 👍)

    • February 23, 2019 10:30 pm

      Thanks, Jay. (Does that mean I can be prepared for a tirade from Dave? Who knows? Even Dave might agree with much if not most of my post.)

      • dhlii permalink
        February 24, 2019 6:30 am

        1). I am with Ron – no smirk.
        Further this is the first of many defamation lawsuits.
        Next there are two parts to the amount – real damages and punatives.
        Punative damages must be high enough to prevent this from happening again. $250M is about right for WaPo.
        Sandman should agree to donate the punatives to say right to life groups.
        2). The big deal is the instant reaction of the press. People were attacked by tbhe media for calling the Smollet incident Alleged. Despite the fact that it was very fishy from the begining.
        There are actually extremely few crimes like this – they are very very rare.
        There is also a disproportiuonately large # of “fake” hate crimes.

        And “fake” hate crimes have spiked post Trump.

        There are still people defending Smollet – EVEN IF this was faked.

        I am very disappointed – I liked Smolletts character on Empire.
        3). Northam should have resigned. The big deal is that he smeared Gillespie as a racist during the campaign. But for that this is a tempest in a tea pot.
        But hypocracy is the worst sin.
        4). Harris is a lousy candidate and not a particularly decent person. I have followed her – or actually cases that she prosecuted for a long time. She is responsible for some of the most egregious anti-first amendment prosecutions and laws in recent years.
        I do not care what color she wants to call herself.
        5). The judgement regarding the Gillette commercial will come from the market.
        6). Omar is anti-semetic – but attacking israel is NOT.
        Generally I support Israel, but you can legitimately oppose Israel without being anti-semetic.
        Arabs, Jews, Mandaeans, Samaritans, and Assyrians/Syriacs are all SEMITES.
        7). It is obvious that CNN was tipped off, Further the SWAT raid was offensive. But nothing will come of either.
        8). The efforts in NY and VA to esentially legalize what Gosnell was doing are offensive – even to those who support “abortion should be legal and rare”.
        i.e something like 80% of americans. Regardless it is REALLY REALLY stupid of democrats to provoke pro-life voters before 2020.
        This will not play well with Catholics and Hispanics.
        Huge political mistake.
        9). Is someone defending Hassan ? No one I am aware of.
        It is to early to be absolutely certain BUT

        A# – Hassan seems to be a typical garden variety nut job. i.e. someone with serious mental health issues. Pretending that the rantings of such people are somehow meaningful is not merely stupid it is wrong.

        B# – Hassan did not ACT. There is no way of knowing if he ever would have.
        I am glad the FBI did act, and I am glad someone tipped them off.
        Hassan needs help. Unfortunately he is unlikely to get it in Jail.
        Regardless of people with the type of problems Hassan appears to have – only a small portion actually ACT. We should do something – they need help.
        They are about double the risk of ordinary people, for violence – but that is still low.

        We should not be confusing the possibility that Hassan would have acted, with actual crimes where people did act.

        A man assaulted someone for wearing a MAGA hat this weak.
        That is an ACT, a real crime.
        It is a more serious crime than Hasson.
        There is more reason to be afraid that Hasson MIGHT have acted,
        I am not suggesting there is no reason to be afraid of Hasson.
        But we still punish ACTS.
        Hasson needs mental health treatment, not jail.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 24, 2019 6:37 am

        So I responded Rick.

        Mostly minor quibbles.

        The biggest is that you are buying into the Fear with Hasson.

        We should not be pretending that the political expressions of people with mential health issues are meaningful.

        The only actual political violence in this country today is from the left.

        Antifa is left on right political violence.
        The people stealing and punch people for wearing MAGA hats is political violence.
        Attempting to silence speakers at colleges and elsewhere is a form of political violence – it is even more so when it turns to actual violence.

        The Hodginson’s and Hasson’s and Christisons, and long list of nut cases that have some political ranting on their social media is NOT political violence. I beleive it was “Loughner” who shot Giffords, had some political rant about grammar.

        It is probable that a significant portion of the “islamic” terror in the US is people with mental health issues.

        Lets not politicize Mental Health.

      • dduck12 permalink
        February 24, 2019 9:05 pm

        More like a quibbling s—– storm.

      • February 25, 2019 2:23 am

        Dave: Again, I agree with most of your points here. But I don’t think we can dismiss all would-be terrorists like Hasson (and Anders Breivik, for that matter) as mental cases. Some of them strike me as relatively sane men whose hatred and resentment pushed them to the dark side. Breivik wrote a long manifesto and was systematic in singling out a camp favored by liberal families. Hasson, in his photographs, looks sane and focused, unlike, say, Adam Lanza and Jared Loughner, who both looked like lunatics. What kills me is that the Breiviks and Hassons think they’re dutifully defending Western civilization — a noble calling — but they’re the worst possible ambassadors for the cause.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 25, 2019 6:00 am

        I am not asking you to dissmiss anything.

        There are plenty of people who are the danger that you are concerned about – Mao, Stalin, Hitler.

        These are people with extreme ideologies who sold others on those extreme ideologies

        I would bet money that Hassan will prove to be just another garden variety mental health case.

        Why ? Because no one is following Hassan – nor is he really following someone else.

        People with serious mental health issues are neither leaders nor followers. They are influenced by others – but in ways that are often unrecognizable.

        The presence of a manifesto is meaningless – the Unabomber had a manifesto, Loughner had a manefesto.

        There are dangerous right groups in europe. Brelvick is not really part of that.

        To be clear I am not saying that he is not saying many of the same things. I am saying he is litterally not part of them whatever he says. Just as the Unabomber was not part of the greens or the post modernists despite strong resemblenaces and borrowings in his manefesto.

        People with serious mental health issues that lead them to violence are not actually members of groups or leaders. They are incapable of group interactions.

        The truly dangerous people not merely write manifesto’s but the are charasmatic, they get others to follow, they usually get others to commit violence – they get people who want to be part of groups to commit violence. The people like Hasson are to broken to be part of groups.

        Regardless, I could be wrong about Hasson. But thus far the clues are he is a garden variety dysfunctional person with severe mental heatlh issues.


      • dhlii permalink
        February 25, 2019 3:08 pm

        “But I don’t think we can dismiss all would-be terrorists like Hasson (and Anders Breivik, for that matter) as mental cases. ”

        Breivik ACTED – that is enormously important.

        I do not think americans understand Europe (or Europeans understand America) well enough to make generalizations about acts of terrorism and of the rising right there. No do I trust the press to accurately report it. I do not as an example no if Marine Le Penn is the re-incarnation of Hitler or just the French Donald Trump. The same is true of what is occurring in South America.

        “Some of them strike me as relatively sane men whose hatred and resentment pushed them to the dark side.”
        I can agree with that when we are talking about Richard Spensor or members of Antifa.

        I would suggest that you strongly consider that people who were not part of some group are more likely to have mental health problems – and I would include most of what we call islamic terrorism in the US. People with Mental health problems who resort to violence will often either manufacture or adopt a cause. Sayoc’s fixation on Trump is no different from Hodgkinson’s fixation on Sanders – their acts DO NOT reflect on the causes they adopted.

        “Hasson, in his photographs, looks sane and focused, unlike, say, Adam Lanza and Jared Loughner, who both looked like lunatics.”

        I am not going to determine whether someone is sane based on photographs.
        If someone photographed you just out of bed or the shower – would you look sane ?

        “What kills me is that the Breiviks and Hassons think they’re dutifully defending Western civilization — a noble calling — but they’re the worst possible ambassadors for the cause.”
        Loughner thought he was defending Grammar or god only knows what.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 25, 2019 3:34 pm

        The guilt by association game is dangerous.

        There is a common claim even here that the left is better at messaging.

        To an extent that is true. But primarily the left is better at emotional appeals.

        Guilt by association as an example.

        There are many of these killers, and alot of them have either pushed clearly leftist manifesto’s or amalgams that had enough leftist political nonsense to use them as an anchor arround the left.

        For whatever reason the right does not do that, but the left does.

        We are here arguing that the left should not be held accountable for Antifa – they are just the fringe. Yet Antifa is an organized left group, and their ideology and action are the natural extension academic post modernism – which is merely a modernized marxism – with culture and victim status replacing class and even more nihilism.

        Conversely we are falling all over ourselves to blame Trump and the right for Hasson, or Sayoc, or the alt-right – despite the fact that the Alt-Right – like the Nazi’s is more left than right.

        Both the left as a whole and the extreme right are completely fixated on race today.
        To the extent that they very nearly want the same thing – special treatment for their own race.
        They are even making the same arguments – Modern White Supremecists speak the language of racial victimology.

        #metoo has ensnared so many on the left it is difficult to beleive – and yet if I asked I have little doubt you would define misogyny as somehow right wing.

        I am getting off point. My point is that though sometimes both sides seek to divide us, division and tribalism are at the core of leftism.

        One of the differences between the american revolution and the french is that the american revolution was not about groups or identity, it was about individuals and rights.

        The french revolution was the first Class war, it rested on the same intellectiual foundations that eventually became marxism. Modern Academia has substituted other forms of identity beside class – though they do frequently return to class. Regardless, all leftism is this intellectual self contradiction requiring a revolution driven by some form of identity follow by a utopia in which all differences are extinguished and an elite rule a world of happy homogeous drones.

  4. Priscilla permalink
    February 23, 2019 6:17 pm

    Hey Rick, I was wondering what was taking you so long To write about the Covington boys. Now I realize, it was dreaded “outrage overload!” A great review of the issues of the last month ~ although, as is now routine, new outrages even since you hit the “publish” button!”

    Some thoughts on 1) the Covington boys ~ the key word here is boys. What kind of sick adults verbally attack and try to intimidate young adolescent boys waiting for a school bus to take them home? When David Hogg was running around the country (on somebody’s dime, I wonder whose?), ranting against the 2nd amendment, disrespecting Republican lawmakers and whining about his college acceptances (which apparently worked, as he got into Harvard with SAT scores less than 1300), I recall that any adult who criticized him was attacked as a bully.

    2) The whole late-term abortion/infanticide thing. As I’ve said before, I’m moderately pro-choice. But the idea of killing a child, as it’s being born, or even after? That is infanticide, dressed up as “women’s health.” At best, you could consider it euthanasia, if the baby were horribly deformed or likely to die of some congenital disease. At worst, it’s murder.

    3) The FBI needs to be brought under control. We’ve got a law enforcement agency, that’s breaking the law and terrorizing private citizens, who have not been charged with any crimes, other than ~ wait for it~ “lying to the FBI.”

    4) We’ve got crazy people trying to kill political figures on both sides. The closest anyone came was the Bernie bro who shot up the GOP baseball team, and would have killed most of them, if the DC police hadn’t been there as part of Scalise’s security detail. The level of hatred and insanity is off the charts, and we’d all be wise to demand that our leaders and the media simmer down with the rhetoric, or we’re going to end up in a real civil war.

    5. Jussie Smolett… poor, poor guy. A gay black man, starring in a hit tv show, living in an expensive high rise in one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago, and making over $1M a year. And what does he really want to be? A victim! But, because there aren’t any real MAGA racists hanging out at 2 am in his fancy neighborhood, he had to pay 2 Nigerian guys to pretend to beat him up. Just more immigrants doing the jobs that Americans won’t do…. 😉

    • February 23, 2019 11:03 pm

      The past month almost called for daily New Moderate news briefs, although I don’t get paid enough to exert myself to that degree. 😉 Great insights here, Priscilla, although I’m not as critical of David Hogg — even as he parlayed his public speaking tour into a spot at Harvard. (If anyone has a right to gripe publicly about lax gun laws, he does.)

      I had almost forgotten about the leftist who shot up that baseball field full of Republicans. (Still another crazed white guy, of course.) I probably should have held Trump a little more accountable for the atmosphere of hatred that’s enveloping the country, but now I’m not sure that even a moderate president who calls for unity could unite our tribalized society. Even though I tend to lean right on social and cultural issues (especially in academia), I’m starting to live in fear of a far-right insurgency if Trump gets himself removed from office or defeated in 2020. I think they’re angry enough to mobilize.

      • February 23, 2019 11:41 pm

        “I’m starting to live in fear of a far-right insurgency if Trump gets himself removed from office or defeated in 2020. I think they’re angry enough to mobilize.”

        And the left is not?

        Why is it bad for one side to hate, but not the other. And I am not going to go back and pull all the info that I and Dave have shared concerning the left. If those that accept your position about the left have not paid attention, they never will.

      • Rick permalink
        February 24, 2019 1:50 am

        Ron: I don’t doubt that there are plenty of angry leftists who would love to bring down the whole capitalist white Christian male establishment. But they tend to express their anger by throwing hissy fits, staging irate protests with placards, teaching “grievance studies” courses and electing leftist representatives. The antifa are a potential threat, of course, but they seem to act primarily against far-right demonstrators.

      • Ron P permalink
        February 24, 2019 12:50 pm

        Rick, I am not defending any violence. But I believe there are two sides to every issue. I am getting tired of every ill of this country being blamed on straight white America. Every cure for our problems seems to come down to giving something to someone at the expense of white America. At sometime, rebellion starts.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 24, 2019 6:43 am

        Hogg has a right to complain – though I have a bit of a problem asserting that victimhood convey’s a special right to speak with authority.
        That is begging for more Jussie Smollet’s

        At the same time Hogg made himself a public figure.
        When you do that – you are no longer entitled to the privacy and protection from defamation that the Covington Catholic Students are entitled to.

        Further Hogg has publicly argued nonsense and false facts.
        Victimhood is not carte blanche for error.

      • Priscilla permalink
        February 24, 2019 9:39 am

        The left and the right fear each other, and fear can drive moderate people into extreme positions.

        However, it is undoubtedly the left which, since Trump was elected, has begun to openly advocate against freedom of speech and debate. When normal, everyday people, who happen to support Trump’s policies, feel that they must keep silent or lose their jobs, lose their friends, be forced out of places of business, fail their college courses, or be attacked with impunity, they tend to “go underground,” rather than engage in healthy debate.

        This happens over and over again, in millions of different ways, all over the country. The fact that the Covington teens were vilified by the left was because a number of them were wearing MAGA hats. The reason that Smolett had his phony goons wear red baseball caps was so that he could blame his phony victimhood on Trump supporters, and feed the narrative that anyone wearing those caps is a modern day Klansman.

        This past week, we’ve seen Liz Warren and Kamala Harris come out in favor of reparations for slavery (Warren also came out for reparations for Native Americans, lol). This, of course, is a gigantic pander to the black vote, but it is unbelievably cynical, irrational, and dangerous. 150+ years after slavery, who even can be identified as someone who descended from slaves? And whose money will be taken to pay the reparations? What if you’re black, but not African, or African American, but your ancestors arrived only in the 20th century? What if you are of mixed race and descended from both slaves and slave holders ~ does that cancel out your free money? What if your ancestors were Jews, Italians, or Irish, who fled 20th century oppression, only to face bias and prejudice in this country ~ do they get a cut of the action? Or do they have to pay? How about whites who descended from families of Union soldiers who fought against slavery?

        No, this is only a position for these politicians to pander for the votes of black people, while at the same time, vilifying every white American, even those whose ancestors may have been starving in a potato famine while slavery was ending in this country. Or whose ancestors were fleeing ethnic slaughter in their native countries…

        How the right is at fault for the fear, the bitterness and the anger that is stoked ~ on both sides~ by leftist candidates, I don’t know. Of course, Trump will call this out…will opposition to reparations open him up to further charges of racism? Will right-wingers protest this? Or will they just vote for Trump again?

      • dhlii permalink
        February 25, 2019 3:54 am

        Emotions are not a justification for acts – particularly acts of force.

        If you are on the right – and afraid of the left – fine. But your actions should be in response not to your fears but the acts of the left. Mostly I think that has been true of the right.
        If you are on the left – and afraid of the right – fine. But your actions should be in response not to your fears but the acts of the right. That has not been true.

        I am very much afraid of the left and do not have much fear of the right – not that the right has not done stupid things in the past, But the potential consequences of the actions of the left are enormous compared to those of the right.

        We will survive Trump. We would even survive the fictitious Trump the left has created.
        The nation will still be here if the wall is built, if immigration is severely restricted, if Trump proved to be a racist homophobic mysoginist. We have had presidents that were before.
        Progressive Woodrow Wilson comes to mind. We would survive the repeal of every law favored by the left in the past 5 decades. Right back tot he civil rights act and the reversal of Rowe. Much of that would not be good but we would survive. Some of it would assure a democratic sweep of the country. Not only would we survive – but most of that is just not going to happen – not even those things that should.
        As bad as some of those things might be our survival and even thriving as a nation despite that is not even in question. It is not a probability it is a certainty.

        But we may not survive a return to power of the left.

        The lefts supression of speech is desparate and dangerous. If it succeeds it is very destructive. Further that type of totalitarianism – the use of force to restrict rights, justifies responding with force. Today the left is using violence to supress speach. If they succeed, the restoration of free speach may well be violent.

        I am not talking about acting in response to fear. I am talking about acting in response to bad actions.

        It is not certain we can survive the burdensome social programs the left has already weighed us down with. It is a very serious gamble assuming we can survive more. And the left wants more. AOC now tells us that our refusal to offer solutions to problems that are mostly in her head – makes her “the boss” – The left wants control over everyone else’s lives.

        We can and will survive Trump – even the scary boogie man Trump of the left.
        It is unlikely we will survive if the left returns to power.

      • Jay permalink
        February 24, 2019 7:59 pm

      • February 25, 2019 2:09 am

        Priscilla: Yes, the left can be diabolical in its opposition to free speech, its intimidation of conservatives and independent thinkers, and especially (I should write a column about this) its penchant for a kind of revisionism that keeps shrinking the circle of acceptable ideas. For example, most of us grew up hating the KKK but respecting Confederate soldiers as honorable enemies. Now we have to favor removing Confederate statues or be tagged as racists. Ten or twenty years from now, we’ll probably be exiled from polite society for defending George Washington, that slavedriver and embodiment of white male privilege. And you’re on target about reparations; do biracial people have to pay themselves? Do West Virginia coal miners have to pay Obama’s daughters? (The way I see it, the Civil War, the 13th amendment, Brown vs. Board of Education, 1960s Civil Rights legislation and affirmative action were all forms of reparation.)

        But getting back to the threat from the left vs. the threat from the right, here’s how I see the difference: the threat from the left is primarily intellectual brainwashing and Soviet-style persecution for wayward thinking; bad enough, of course. The threat from the right comes from its affinity for weapons; I see a combination of lone-wolf terrorists and rogue militias eventually running wild. The leftists tend to be shrill and dictatorial, but no match for the carnivorous renegades on the right. I hope I’m wrong.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 25, 2019 5:35 am

        The constant efforts to rewrite history are NOT accident.

        The are driven by the extremes on the left, AND they are driven by thought out ideology, philosophy and intention. We should be careful in our presumption that the ideas that may come from the extremes do not often have great impact.

        Absolutely Washington is a target. The objective is the destruction of the values of modern western thought. All the easier to substitute a different form of marxism in its place.

        I would suggest watching a few Jordan Peterson video’s on the problems with the left.

        What is going on in our colleges MATTERS, Even when it is at the fringes ideas shape our future. Just as people like Locke, Hume, Smith Bastiat, Mill had a profound effect on the world that followed – even though they were from the fringes of their time.

        The ideas that are driving the extreme left are shaping the world for ALL of us.

        The destruction of Columbus and Washington and eventually all of western thought is the objective. And the left will succeed – and already has to a huge extent, if we are unable to separate the great ideas from the flaws of the men who gave them to us.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 25, 2019 5:44 am

        In the middle of the Peterson video I linked Peterson makes the point that driving us to tribalism is the INTENT of identity politics. It is the natural end and it is not accidental. It is deliberate on the part of the left.

        Everyone in this country, everyone on this blog, shares far more values than we have conflicts over.

        If you are looking to destroy what exists, you must distract people from the common ground they share and get them amplified on their differences.
        The Tribalism you bemoan is intentional and driven by the left.

        Just to be clear – the right plays the same game – sometimes very Well, But the the modern left is INTENTIONALLY seeking to divide us.

        Trump in particular did not invent the game, he just grasped that the left had overplayed the hateful haring hater card the identity politics card and that he could construct a winning coalition from those Hillary called “the deporables”. All that was necescary is to convince people that when the left says “hateful, hating hater” – they mean you. That was an easy sale for Trump – because it is true.

      • Priscilla permalink
        February 25, 2019 10:53 pm

        Rick, you should write a column on the “Overton Window,” and the ways in which the left has moved what passes for reasonable discourse, in its direction. It’s very much the same as what you’ve described as the left’s “penchant for a kind of revisionism that keeps shrinking the circle of acceptable ideas,” and I don’t know of anyone who could handle it with the perception and balance that you have (and that’s as suck-uppy as I’ll get for now 😉 )

        As far as the right’s rogue militias? I suppose I don’t fear them to the degree that I fear the left’s insatiable desire for power. Any uprising of crazed right-wingers would be crushed by the military…what I fear is the subsequent crackdown on civil rights that the left would demand in order that “this would never happen again.”

        There is an inherent, and fragile, tension between security and liberty. We all want to be safe, and keeping us safe and free are the two primary responsibilities of our government. Political demagoguery, on either side, that exploits our fears for the purpose of restricting our liberty is dangerous. I guess that I’m more likely to see that demagoguery on the left, although I recognize that there are extremists on the right that could blow things up ~ quite literally~ at any time.

  5. dduck12 permalink
    February 24, 2019 8:32 pm

    Thanks Rick, great MODERATE and sensible observations on a lot nonsense.

    • February 25, 2019 1:32 am

      Thanks, dduck! I try to make sense of events when the public is split along tribal lines, with two radically different interpretations of the same incident. It’s challenging but fun.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 25, 2019 5:14 am

        Maybe there is a tribalism theme to your points – but another theme to many of them is not to jump to conclusions.
        Covington turned out to be something different when you got the full story.

        I would ask what would have happened if there had not been nearly 2 hours of video of the entire event to refute the story sold by the media based on a few seconds.
        Absent that 2 hour video – several of these kids would get expelled, The narative of wite male racist catholics in the face of a noble indian would be deemed the truth.

        What if the police had not thoroughly investigated Smollet’s report ?
        What if there had been no surveilance video ?

        We have lost the presumption of innocence. We have lost the ability to avoid prejudging stories when they conform to our world view.

  6. dhlii permalink
    February 25, 2019 3:35 am

    In 2009 after Obama was inargurated we were all told the right went Bonkers – we had the Tea Party – and massive opposition,

    While there were a few on the extremes calling for impeachment throughout Obama’s presidency – they were really on the fringe. I do not remember a single GOP cogressmen calling for Obama’s impeachment.

    Republicans challenged Obama’s policies – not his legitimacy as President.

    There have been times in the past when members of each party of sought to supress speach. I can not recall a time in the past 40 years the right – even the extreme right sought to silence anyone. Conversely while it is gtting worse the Left has been moving closer and closer to total censorship of thought and word for the past two decades

    With very few exceptions mostly on the right fringes though these got alot of media attention Opposition to Obama was about policy and law.
    That opposition was loud and forceful.
    Once Republican Rep. Wilson of SC called Obama a liar.
    While I beleive Wilson was correct on the point the remark was inappropriate.
    Wilson formally appologized and he was censured by the house.

    I can go on – but as hyped up as the GOP was during the Obama administration there are many critical difference.

    The personalization by the GOP was the rare exception not the norm.
    As angry as Republican seemed then – they do not compare to that of democrats today.
    Republicans for the most part focused on legitimate means of opposing Obama – and were so successful that Obama and democrats increasingly acted lawlessly.

    As to democrats under Trump:

    Whether you agree with What Trump does or not – he has acted within his lawful powers as president. You should seriously think about that as you reconsider this idiocy that he is some crook. President Obama routinely went beyond what the law allowed – and was bitch slapped by SCOTUS 9-0 more than any president ever. Conversely Trump has been upheld near universally and often 9-0 by SCOTUS.

    Why is it so hard to beleive that Obama DOJ/FBI behaved lawlessly when Pres. Obama behaved lawlessly ?
    Why is it so hard to behave that Trump as a private person acted Lawfully when Pres. Trump has acted lawfully ?

  7. dhlii permalink
    February 25, 2019 4:23 am


    The Covington Catholic incident was more than a “hissy fit”.
    It may not have been outright violence but it was absolutely lies and deception on a large scale by large numbers on the left who did not care what the truth was – until they got caught on the wrong side of it.

    The Jussie Smollett incident sickens me. I like his character on Empire. But this is a very serious crime. A “fake” hate crime is itself a hate crime. Smollett was trying to fan the flames of hatred for his own benefit. I would be less bothered if I thought it was just for money.
    The FBI is now investigating the ‘death threats” mailed to him. It appears likely they were fake too. Regardless, this was not some hissy fit either. the ultimate end of Smolletts actions if successful was the use of force against someone. Whether it was the punishment of specific innocent Trump supporters or just moving us all one step closer to violence.

    The Northam incident was not some hissy fit either. The big deal is NOT that he appeared long ago in blackface of a KKK robe. It is that he defeated someone who is certainly no more a racist than Northam is, by racially smearing him. That was not a “hissy fit”.
    That was a lie with consequences.

    The Stone mess is Not a “hissy fit” either.
    It is a reflection of the level of lawlessness that our law enforcement has reached.

    Manafort, Cohen, Stone, … are not particularly sympathetic figures – But Mueller is a thug and a bully. He was before this, and he has not changed. This is not a “hissy fit” either.
    No one – not even your worst enemy, not even actual criminals should have to deal with someone with Mueller’s power used in the nasty vindictive way that Mueller is doing.
    This abuse of power is something we used to associate with southern racists, or those like Joseph McCarthy. This is not a “hisy fit”.

    New York’s change to its laws accomplishes nothing of any value, but is near certain to result in backlash – whether we end up with another Eric Rudolph blowing up clinics or merely assure that Republicans sweep through 2020. It is not just a “hisy fit”.

    Hasson is just a nut case – one we are AFRAID might have acted – likely with good reason.
    But real acts of violence occur all the time every day.
    There are almost 50 murders each day. Real murders are of more consequence than those were are afraid might have occurred. There are over 3500 violent crimes – rape murder, assault every day in the US – and this is DOWN from the past.
    Each one of these is of MORE significance than some possibility that Hassan might have done something. Of those real violent crimes – several were assults by Antifa, or leftists on conservatives or Trump supporters. These are NOT hisy fits either.
    Real violence is always more important than whatever we fear.

  8. dhlii permalink
    February 25, 2019 4:29 am

    “The antifa are a potential threat, of course, but they seem to act primarily against far-right demonstrators.”

    Did you actually just write that ?

    We need not be concerned over antifa – because we do not like there victims ?

    This is the nonsense that allowed us to turn a blind eye to lynchings.

    And BTW NO Antifa’s victims are not “far right demonstrators”.

    One of their big targets is “patriot prayer” that is essentially a non-violent evangelical group.
    Are we now equating evangelical christians with the KKK ?

    I do not need to like Patriot Prayer to beleive that they should not be swarmed and assaulted.

    But Antifa is far from limited to targeting the alt-right.

    In portland they are beating on senior citizens who just want to drive home.

    There is no justification for Violence except ACTUAL PRIOR violence.

  9. Jay permalink
    February 25, 2019 4:07 pm

    This guy could be a formidable Dem candidate.

    • dhlii permalink
      February 25, 2019 10:10 pm

      Do we have to play this stupid game ?

      Just a few weeks ago we had an extended polar votex. The US was cold as Hell.
      This was a event that aparently does not happen on this scale more than once every 50 years. Australia however had record breaking heat.

      Febrary is not over – so I would be very reluctant to accept any claims regarding February yet.

      UAH has the “anomaly” through the end of January at 0.37C,
      That is up from December when it was 0.2C.

      The Anomally is the deviation from the mean since 1979.
      In otherwords 40 years of purportedly human warming have raised global temps LESS than 0.1C/decade – while during the almost 200 years before they rose without any human contribution by 0.11C/decade.

      Further almost ALL of that modern warming is BEFORE 1998.

      • Climate Guru permalink
        February 25, 2019 11:02 pm

        There is two sides to each issue. Check this site. Access the “Saturday Update” and listen. Information explaining how sea temperatures and weather patterns repeating over the years can explain weather in different parts of the world.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 26, 2019 2:17 am

        I have been following climate for 20years.

        I have read the IPCC reports.

        BTW there are NOT “two sides ” to every issue.
        There are many, and nearly all of them are wrong.
        It is irrelevant what the issue is.

        Pick any position at random – it is near certain to be wrong.

        Getting things right is hard.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 26, 2019 3:02 am

        The article below is just one of myriads on this subject.

        the high priests of warmendom have been consistently adjusting past temperatures DOWN to make modern warming look more dramatic.

        This is not unique to Darwin AU – the US has had scandal’s in the area.

        It is now true that in the US the only trustworthy records of pre-1979 temparatures are those downloaded from NOA years ago,
        As NOA no longer has credible raw records from the past.

    • dhlii permalink
      February 25, 2019 10:12 pm

      Why would you be surprised that a phalanx of people who beleive firmly that big government is the salvation of the world would oppose a president who does not ?

    • dhlii permalink
      February 25, 2019 10:30 pm

      BTW while many of the facts cited are correct – they DO NOT inherently lead to the conclusions reached.

      I would have zero problems declaring a national emergency regarding Social Security or Medicare – I beleive both are now in the red and they will slowly bankrupt the country.

      Almost nothing has changed since a decade ago – except that they have significantly increased our debt.
      A reconning must come. Can we wait 5 minutes ? Sure. 5 Years – I would say no, but it is near certain we will. Is this an emergency NOW ? Yes, because the longer we wait the more crippling the effect will be.

      I do not beleive that Trump should have declared an emergency.
      At the same time his declaration is less insance than many of the past emergency declarations and many that are still in effect. Regardless, is there anyone who doubts that the left will declare somekind of future stupid emergency – such as a CAGW emergency on an even more lame basis and endeavor to do even more draconianly stupid things.

      Any hint at expanded executive authority under Trump will be used to justify a tidal wave under the next democrat.

      I would have prefered that Trump continue the shutdown.

      I would further note that Opposition to Trump’s emergency declaration suffers EXACTLY the same problem that Trump’s emergency declaration does.

      There is no crisis.

      PPACA reshaped the american economy, It costs trillions over a decade, it was widely opposed, and much of it was imposed by executive fiat.

      That would be an action of the president warranting petitions with dozens of names.

      Trump is spending the equivalent of 3 B-2 bombers, About 1/2 a reagan class aircraft carrier.
      About 4 days worth of the US illegal drug trade. The cost of a dozen Hollywood blockbuster movies. About 1/20th the cost of the CA rail project. About 1/3 the cost of the Boston Big dig – 1.5 miles of road and tunnel.
      About 1/100th the cost of ARRA.

  10. Ron P permalink
    February 25, 2019 11:56 pm

    A month of outrage! This one should make anyone with an ounce of moral fiber blow up!

    There are some people who do not accept abortion at any time. Even the morning after pill. Some say 20 weeks. And some anywhere between up until delivery.

    That debate is for another time. This is about the sick people that find it acceptable to allow a physician to withhold medical care for an infant born alive during an abortion procedure. How can democrats defend this action? Almost all of them!

    After reading this, I researched other sites. Some info almost made me sick. How physicians can be allowed to continue practicing while the medical community overlooks their failure to follow their oath is deplorable.

    Wonder what our next progrssive step will be. The Chinese infanticide for children of the wrong sex?

    • dhlii permalink
      February 26, 2019 2:28 am

      The left is about as amped up as it can be.

      There is pretty much nothing that can happen that will make existing anti-trump voters more likely to vote.

      But the rest of the electorate is pensive.

      Trump’s re-election prospects depend not on how angry the left is, but whether the right votes and in what numbers.

      Provoking conflict over abortion will not buy the left more votes.
      But it will get Trump more votes.

      BTW Trump is over 50% in something like 18 states.

      • Ron P permalink
        February 26, 2019 9:57 am

        Dave, as I said, abortion is not the debate issue here. The issue here is “harm”. If a woman goes through with a procedure to end a pregnancy and that procedure results in a “live birth”, then harm is now taking place on another living individual.

        All these self righteous left leaning gun control advocates can talk about how wrong it is for anyone to own a gun that can cause mass murders, but stand up for this crap that allows physicians the right to allow infants to die without medical treatment. Why is one life anymore important than another life? What gives a doctor the right to practice euthanasia such as this?

        And the GOP will have their normal hissy fit about how bad abortion is and frame this so the democrats can claim womens rights instead of framing this what it is. Murder of infants someone does not want.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 26, 2019 2:12 pm

        “Dave, as I said, abortion is not the debate issue here. The issue here is “harm”. If a woman goes through with a procedure to end a pregnancy and that procedure results in a “live birth”, then harm is now taking place on another living individual.”

        I am trying to avoid debate on abortion itself. For the most part it does not matter – because there is super majority support for something close to the status quo independent of the moral or legal arguments. Though that position is shifting slightly right.

        Almost everyone outside of the far left is queasy about 3rd trimester abortions. and particularly about “partial birth” abortions.

        Most of us have little problem with Jailing Gosnell. NY has just made his conduct (and worse) legal. That was a huge political mistake.

        Republicans and democrats are making abortion an issue for 2020. Thus far they are doing so on ground that the Republicans are certain to win overwhelmingly. I do not understand why Democrats have made that mistake.

        All I can figure is that democrats beleive (and they may be right) that republicans will screw up and go too far. But they have not thus far.

        But democrats have created an opening allowing republicans to repeatedly raise the issue in the way most unfavorable to democrats.

        Trump and Senate Republicans have forced a vote on legislation to prevent killing “newborns”. Senate democrats voted against it – that looks bad.
        No democrat will gain votes because of that vote. All democrats will lose votes.

        A poll I linked in a prior post indicated that something like 1/3 of democrats self identify as pro-life.

      • Priscilla permalink
        February 26, 2019 11:29 am

        Once the door is opened to the murder of infants who have survived abortion, it is much easier to move on to all forms of eugenics and euthanasia.

        Eugenics (advocated by Margaret Sanger, the celebrated founder of Planned Parenthood) purports to improve the human race, by ridding it of genetically weak or unwanted people. If that sounds a lot like Hitler’s Final Solution to rid the world of troublesome non-Aryan races, well, that’s exactly what it is. I’m not saying that we are there, I’m just saying that, as a society, if we can enthusiastically support the intentional infanticide of unwanted or “damaged” infants, we can move on to many other forms of socially acceptable state murder. Geronticide, or the killing of elderly, is likely the first, easiest to justify (“they’re suffering”, “they have no quality of life”, etc) and, should we end up with a state-run healthcare systems, the most cost effective next step.

        Liberals will roll their eyes at this, and call it tin-foil hat stuff. History tells us that it is not.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 26, 2019 2:39 pm

        I am not arguing the traditional conservative positions on abortion and euthanasia

        I am not a conservative. I am libertarian.
        My positions hinge on maximizing individual freedom absent ACTUAL harm to others.

        If a fetus can not survive on its own or with the ordinary medical care one would provide a newborn – so be it. No one can be forced to sustain the life of another with their body, even when morally they should. There is an enormous gulf between a morning after pill and allowing essentially a fully formed infant to be born and die from lack of ordinary care.

        Regardless, the issue for me is still freedom.

        If you wish to kill YOURSELF – that is your right. I may think it is a mistake. but you are still free to do so. I watched my parents and inlaws die.
        My mother and mother-in-law died in ways I can live with. My father-in-law should have been allowed to end his suffering two weeks early. Watching him suffer horribly and needlessly when death was inevitable was bad. My father had vascular dimensia and managed to die even worse. Further. the courts and two of my siblings managed to use the courts to thwart his wishes on everything associated with how he lived his last months and what he wanted to happen after he died. That was horrid.

        You will never persuade me that each of us should not have the freedom to die as we please.
        Our family, doctors, the medical system, the government are there to assist us in our wishes whatever they are – not substitute their own.

        I think the right to control your own death is a microcosm of everything libertarian.
        The issue is not about whether you live or die, or how, or what is best, but of WHO CHOOSES.

        The right wants to say we can not choose to die – we must suffer through.
        The left wants to say – the choice should be made not by us, but by “society” what is best for all.

      • Priscilla permalink
        February 26, 2019 2:56 pm

        Dave, I am not talking about assisted suicide, or about families choosing to withdraw medical treatment from a dying loved one. I am talking about state mandated euthanasia. The idea that the state, not the individual, can choose to end what it considers a life that no longer has value. Big distinction.

      • Jay permalink
        February 26, 2019 6:36 pm

        State mandated euthanasia?

        What law have you seen that enables the state to mandate any particular individual be put to death?

        Don’t euthanasia laws take the state OUT of the equation, and let patient/doctor make that decision?

        Same with abortion. The state isn’t ordering anyone to have an abortion. The trend is to REMOVE the state from interfering in a patient/doctor decision.

      • Priscilla permalink
        February 26, 2019 8:56 pm

        Simmer down, Jay. I was referring to my previous comment. There’s no state run healthcare system, euthanizing the old folks…yet. Right now, it’s just Democrats refusing to acknowledge that born babies are human beings, with the right to life, because their mothers preferred them dead, and the abortionists botched the job.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 2:20 am

        Whatever is not prohibited by law is permitted.

        You do not even need a law to allow people to do something.

        Any law on abortion or euthanasia or anything else is ALWAYS an infringement on individual rights.

        While we hope and expect those infringements are justifiable, they are still always infringements.

        So in answer to your question – Yes the law interferes with an individuals rights ALWAYS, that is pretty much exactly what every law is.

        Absent the laws against suicide you would be free to make your own choices regarding your life.

        Next, I have first hand experience with the state interfering in peoples autonomy,
        My father had determined the criteria of his own medical care.
        He had multiple medical conditions with conflicting treatment.
        He had a choice between medical treatment that would increase his risk of stroke or treatment that would increase his risk of bleeding to death.

        He also explicitly and repeatedly documented this in pretty much every possible way – through his lawyer, on video, in multiple statements, formal documents concerning his wishes regarding his medical treatment. At the same time and in the same ways he documented his direction that his resources were to be used to allow him to die at his home – the home that he designed and built, and loved.

        False reports to the local Office of aging that were contradicted by his doctor’s statements in their own court filings were used by the court to justify removing him from his home, and the care of his chosen doctors, But the court bungled even that – as the local hospitals refused to treat him against his will, and contrevening his wishes in the documents in his medical files for years, and he ended up in a nursing home, where he neither received the medical care he had directed nor the medical care he was purportedly deprived of.
        Further all of the family and freinds who he had asked to and who had participated in providing him the care that he had requested were either barred from visiting him or otherwise restricted in doing so. He died in less than a month of pneumonia contracted at the home, not any of the life threating issues he was being treated for.

        So yes, in the real world the state absolutely meddles in each of our choices as to how we die.

        The facts above are all a small part of a much much larger and even more egregious story which the state plays a starring and villanous role in that I was personally intimately involved in.

        But they are no even slightly extraordinary. The same happens in a very high profile was several times a year in my county, and with a lower profile every single day.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 2:25 am

        False equivalences all over the place.

        A person chosing the place, time, and manner of their own death is something specific.
        Euthanasia is something much broader.

        The laws you are discussing pretty much universally either allow or prohibit third parties from being punished for determining how some one else dies.

        Abortion – regardless of your position on it is NEVER the choice of the fetus.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 2:27 am

        So the law passed in NY and debated in VA, would have removed the government from interfering with a newborns choice as to whether it lives or dies ?

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 12:33 am


        I deleted a long post highlighting our exchange on this as an example of a GOOD exchange.

        the gist is we have a different focus. At this time in my life I am more focused on what I recently experienced with the death of my parents and inlaws, and the fact that I am not so old as to be counting my breaths, but old enough to be more concerned about my own death, than the death of unwanted babies.

        That and what everyone here should long ago have grasped – I will ALWAYS gravitate towards government restrictions on our liberty.

      • Priscilla permalink
        February 28, 2019 8:22 am

        I don’t think our focus is all that different, Dave. We were just talking about two different issues….(which, perhaps, is what you meant, lol)
        Leaving a newborn baby to die, without medical attention, is what the Democrats are advocating. It’s not merciful, it’s barbaric. And it’s all in the name of “abortion rights”which, in general, I have always supported, as long as it takes place before viability.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 28, 2019 1:45 pm

        “We were just talking about two different issues….”

        “Leaving a newborn baby to die, without medical attention, is what the Democrats are advocating. It’s not merciful, it’s barbaric. And it’s all in the name of “abortion rights”which, in general, I have always supported, as long as it takes place before viability.”

        As issues go – Abortion is one of the least complex.
        The facts are reasonably well understood. It is unlikely that some future development or need will turn things upside down. If we had agreement on whether and when a fetus had rights, abortion would be easy to resolve. The differences in values are relatively clear and actually small. And still we can not find broadly accepted answers to abortion.

        Almost anything involving the economy is 10.’s of thousands of times more complex, with dynamic shifts in facts and facets on a near instantaneous basis.

        Abortion is atleast marginally in the legitimate domain of government and it is still impossible to find solutions that we agree on that do not have highly undesireable side effects.
        Few of us think that Gosnell was not a heinous criminal. Few of us would seriously risk the life of a woman to save a Fetus. Most of us are sympathetic to the plight of women who have discovered that the child they desired is going to be born incapable of anything close to a desireable life. With all this common ground, we still can not find answers acceptable to most of us. We can not find answers that do not inherently cause as much harm as good.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 26, 2019 2:42 pm

        “I do not like you or your brother
        I do not like the life I live
        But I am me, I am Aldonza
        And what I give I choose to give”

        Aldonza’s song from Man of La Mancha.

        “I choose”.

      • Roby permalink
        February 28, 2019 1:57 pm

        The Vermont House just passed a sweeping abortion rights bill by a landslide with no limitations whatsoever on abortion, as a protection against Roe being overturned.

        Which sounds really crazy. Except that it changes nothing.

        Vermont previously had no legislation on the subject restricting or permitting abortion. The new bill if passed by the Senate (it will be) and signed by the Governor (doubtful) would simply make the present status quo law in Vermont, put it on paper.

        In fact late term abortions do not actually happen in Vermont unless the mother’s life is in danger. Physicians here will not perform such abortions.

        Years ago I was talking about abortion with a very dear friend while we were at UVM as grad students. I told her I was an abortion moderate adn did not like late term abortions for any reason other than to save the health of the mother. She told me she had worked as a volunteer at Planned Parenthood, and that, contrary to my concerns, if a woman was much more than 4 months pregnant they were going to have the baby. Planned Parenthood would not help to arrange an abortion. People leave this information out of the debate.

        Less than 1% of abortions are late term nationwide.

        This last year according to one news article I just read, 5 states have done the exact opposite of what the Vermont House is trying to do, they flat out outlawed abortion in the case that Roe is overturned.

        I do not believe that many if any democrats like killing viable unwanted babies or approve of it. They believe that late term abortion does not happen for anything other than severe medical reasons and want unrestricted access to abortion within the Roe framework, which means the 2nd trimester and they want that existing situation set into law.

        That won’t stop many conservatives from claiming that democrats are baby killers with an almost unlimited appetite for abortion.

        As to what is going on with conservatives the 5 states (Oklahoma is trying to join them) that wish to outright ban abortion, that has to be based on religious views I believe.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 28, 2019 3:58 pm


        I am not inherently pro-life. I would prefer that government has the most limited role in abortion as well as everything medical as possible.
        I am not even a proponent of regulating abortion or any other clinics – though I find it amusing that the right is using the regulatory theme of the left to increasingly make abortion difficult.

        Regardless, facts are facts and misrepresenting them is not helpful

        I do not know your friend. Nor does it matter. What people say is reality, is not more relevant than actual reality.

        I think your “friend” is completely wrong about Planned Parenthood. I am near certain that as part of the Gosnell story it was made clear than PP performs abortions up to 6months and will arrange for them much later.

        But PP and their policies are NOT the issue – beyond that government should not subsidize them PERIOD.

        The issue is the real world. Pennsylvania has some of the toughest abortion laws in the country. Yet Gosnell happened in PA.

        Whatever claims you make about late term abortions Gosnell refutes them.

        Few if any of Gosnells’s abortions had anything to do with the life of the mother or serious issues with the fetus. Gosnell was aborting fetus’s extremely late for money and because the women waited until the last minute to have an abortion. None of the compelling reasons for 8 and 9 month abortions were present.

        There were thousands of these.
        They occurred at a time and place where these women had plenty of other options.
        These were NOT difficult and tragic decisions that no one should have had to face.

        The women who received abortions from Gosnell are at best tragically stupid.
        They ignored cheaper and safer options ultimately choosing the stupidest, costliest,. messiest, most ethically questionable, dirtiest and most dangerous ways to end their pregnancy – because they could not be bothered earlier. In some instances that cost them their lives. Ultimately THAT is what brought gosnell down.

        Further what Gosnell was doing was illegal at the time – but government had turned a blind eye to Gosnell until several women died.

        BTW Less than 1% in the US would be about 5,000 abortions a year.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 28, 2019 4:07 pm

        There is about zero chance of SCOTUS making abortion illegal – it is not inside their power.

        All they can do is reverse on Rowe – which would return the decision to the states.

        I think Rowe was decided badly – or more accurately that the decision is approximately correct, but the reasoning is crap.

        I do not think that States should have carte blanche.

        I also do not think that would be the end of the world.

        The claim that NY, VA, and apparently VT are “protecting” the right to abortions by passing laws is poppycock.

        As things currently stand SCOTUS limits the power of the state increasingly towards the beginning of the pregnancy.

        Completely reversing on Rowe would not change the law in any state in the nation.
        ALL that it would do is allow individual states to choose more restrictive laws than the currently have.

        Nothing NY, VA or VT can do would change that in the least.

        The law passed in NY, and offered in VA and VT is stupid.
        They are inherently exactly what you claim they are not – decreases in the restrictions on late term abortions – they are invitations to have more Gosnells.
        Gosnell could not have been prosecuted under the NY or proposed VA law.

        They are at best legislative virtue signalling by the left.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 28, 2019 4:15 pm

        If you want to do something from the left – that I would support, and that so would super majorities in the country – get the government out of regulating drugs.

        The assorted “morning after” pills should be readily available and cheap.
        There are inumerable things that could be done.

        This should be one issue where you can CLEARLY see the way that regulation HARMS us by depriving us or what we would have otherwise.

        The cost to develop a “morning after pill” dictates a higher market price.
        The same regulations that make it take decades for safe medicines to become available without a perscription also effect morning after pills.

        It is near certain that women have had millions of abortions, and many women have died because a cheap drug was tied up in regulation

        The catholic church might still oppose Morning after pills – but almost no one else does.

        I am specifically using morning after pills as an example – but the exact same arguments apply to ALL medication. The effect of government regulation – even in the area of medicine is HARM greater than any benefit. But it is rare that people understand the value of the loss of what might have been.

      • Roby permalink
        February 28, 2019 4:42 pm

        “I think your “friend” is completely wrong about Planned Parenthood. I am near certain that as part of the Gosnell story it was made clear than PP performs abortions up to 6months and will arrange for them much later.”

        a Link please.

        “PP performs abortions up to 6 months…”

        Once in a blue moon? Routinely? How often and why? What are you claiming to know and can you back it up with hard facts? Or are you extrapolating from Gosnell?

        I had not previously ever heard of Gosnell, I just looked him up. Yes, he committed murder and is in prison, for life. Gosnell owned and operated the Women’s Medical Society clinic in Philadelphia. He was, in other words, one of those sacred individuals whose sacred actions Libertarians protect as being their personal freedom.

        Is there any way to stop such things? If you think they should be stopped, who should do it, Government? How? If abortion is outlawed or restricted is there any way to prevent a Gosnell other than prosecution when some such person is caught?

        I will continue to believe my friend (no need for scare quotes around friend) about what goes on in Vermont PP, since she was there in person as part of PP. As well, what she says has also been stated by Vermont physicians in the coverage of the House bill.

        It would be helpful to all parties to understand the true frequencies of abortions at every stage and their reasons. There is a tremendous amount of hand-waving arguments about these statistics.

  11. dhlii permalink
    February 26, 2019 2:50 am

    I am NOT trying to start an abortion debate here.

    But I do think that POLITICALLY, the left has made a large mistake on its recent abortion moves.

    We have had a status quo for 40 years that is pretty stable – reqgardless of what any individual thinks – attempts to significantly expand or contract abortion rights triggers a backlash.

    The right has been wise in that they have focused on small shifts in their own states.

    The fear the left often successfully inspires that the right is going to take over the supreme court and criminalize abortion tomorow is politally effective.
    Conservatives can not too strongly deny that – without losing their own base, but they can not support it without loosing the middle.

    Democrats have more recently placed themselves in the same uncomfortable place.
    This was an unforced error.

    • Jay permalink
      February 26, 2019 8:03 pm

      Dave, I agree with your comments in this thread – mostly.

      Yes, politically the recent abortion legislation is an unforced Dem error. I also agree with your remarks about ‘right to die’ assisted suicide issues. If I’m sick and in constant pain from an incurable disease, I want to be able to tune out into eternity peacefully, with physician aid, not with a bullet to my head.

      But should mothers carrying a fetus with pre-diagnosed tragic disabilities, mental or physical, be forced to give birth? Doesn’t the birthing woman have the right to make that determination BEFORE her deformed fetus is naturally born? And if a woman instructs her doctors not to employ any heroic measures to keep alive a fetus that has been diagnosed with something like Down Syndrome, should she be prevented from doing that?

      Throughout history deformed infants out of the womb were quickly terminated by midwives or family members not wanting to saddle women or their babies with the burdens of those deformities. Were those midwives murderers? Are doctors who abort fetuses diagnosed with Down Syndrome at a woman’s decision to do so murderers? Are the women accessories to murder? It appears many on the right think so.

      All these mewling cries of murderous infantacide are merely incitements of political violence against Democrats. 3rd term abortion is rare, and only allowed under law to protect a mothers life and health, or if the fetus isn’t viable. But if a woman’s health is at question, abortions are performed sooner then later. Therefore aborted ‘live’ fetal births are of ‘babies’ that have ALREADY been determined to be severely mentally or physically damaged, a statistically minuscule number.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 3:07 am

        We seem to have a great deal of common ground on this issue.

        With respect to an individuals right to choose the time, place and manner of their own death – presuming they do not actually harm others in doing so, or use others without their consent, I entirely agree with you – but I would go much farther.

        I do not care if you are in pain – my father was not in all that much pain, he was essentially experiencing the mental decline that occurs with Alzheimers at an accelerated rate.
        He did not chose to die. But he did with deliberation chose to increase his risk of dying one way to decrease his risk of further decline.
        In his specific instance it was quite litterally a toss of the dice as to whether his choice would have shortened or lenghtened his life. It was entirely possible that his choice would have had no effect and he would have died in the way he sought to avoid.

        I am specific about that, because the details matter, because each person is different, and each death is different. There is no way that any law can address every possibilty.
        The only thing the law can do is bluntly determine who gets to decide.

        BTW this is pretty much true of ALL LAW,

        I long ago and repeatedly expressed my position on abortion – which conforms to centuries of common law, but though different from Rowe, is like Rowe in that neither side would be happy with it.

        “3rd term abortion is rare, and only allowed under law to protect a mothers life and health, or if the fetus isn’t viable.”

        That is true on occasion. But Gosnell performed many thousands of 3rd trimester abortions very very few of which met that criteria. Under the NY law and the proposed VA law Gosnell’s actions would have been legal. Further though Gosnell’s actions were illegal, they were well known for more than a decade, and though government constantly interacted with Gosnell they did nothing.

        Almost no one – pro-live or pro-choice wants the Gosnell’s back.

        I do not know what I feel regarding parents faced with infants with serious problems.

        A decade ago we had a high profile murder trial where a nurse was accused of using morphine to euthanize a very severely handicapped child who was unlikely to live more than a few more years. I have very good reasons to suspect that it was one of the parents rather than the nurse that gave the child morphine – if that is actually what happened.

        And if they did – you can morally judge them as you wish, but they never should have faced legal judgement.

        At the same time born children of all ages are murdered frequently for the convenience of the mother. Gosnell absolutely demonstrates that occurs in the last months before birth too.

        Further I use Gosnell as an example as it occured close to me, and had national prominence. but there was a nearly as egregious abortion clinic in Texas at the same time, and many throughout the country that conducted late term abortions using extremely liberal interpretations of your “life of the mother, or viability of the fetus” argument.

        I do not have the answers to all of this.

        As I noted before – the law is a blunt instrument. It is NEVER going to get this right.
        An absolute bar on 3rd trimester abortions would prevent the heinous late abortions of conveneince that you are pretending do not happen. At the same time it would force some people in ways that offend me.

        We can not get this right.

        I want to stress that over and over and over with regard to the law.

        We can not get it right.
        ALWAYS we will criminalize the innocent or let the guilty go free.
        Most of the time I am going to favor the latter over the former.

        Further I am not opposed to making our laws better – when we can actually do that.
        But it is quite often extremely difficult to do.

        This is one area conservatives are right most of the time.
        Absent provable near certainty that we are making things BETTER, we should leave things alone. The status quo is nearly always wrong. But MOST OF THE TIME change is WORSE.

        The JP interview below is on workplace sexual harrassment, not abortion.
        But the fundimental point is the same. Here is an issue were there is reasonably close to concensus that some things are wrong, and yet at the same time the problem is NOT all that easily solved. We have not even necescarily figured out what the right questions are yet.

        Peterson also does with his interviewer the same things that I do in many posts here.

        He uses reductio ad absurdem, he challenges preconceptions that are generally accepted, many of which are wrong and all of which are not well thought out.

        We can run our personal lives without confronting all our preconceptions, logical errors, misperceptions. We can even do so successfully.

        But we can not impose our will on others through force using the same criteria that are acceptable for decisions that only effect us and for which we will be personally responsible for.

        Governing is HARD – it is supposed to be. It should be done far more carefully than we do.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 3:23 am

        “All these mewling cries of murderous infantacide are merely incitements of political violence against Democrats. ”

        Are there those on the right (and the left) for which the entire abortion issue is purely part of a political game – absolutely. Look to our legislators red and blue and that is near certain the case for almost all of them.

        Are you honestly claiming that the catholic church which has had one consistent position on this forever, one that is consistent with its views on the death penalty and other issues regarding the sanctity of human life is really just railing against democrats ?

        Until recently most catholics were democrats. As a recent poll indicated about 1/3 of democrats are pro-life.

        It might be possible for you and I to agree that those oposing abortion are wrong.
        It might be possible for you and I to agree that SOME of them are purely political.

        But you make exactly the mistake that elected Trump when you badly caricature pro-life and pretend they are hateful and insincere.

        Many of the very same people marching in front of abortion clinics are also marching at state executions.

        Right or wrong these are decent and sincere people.

        The worst error of the left is the presumption that because they beleive their opponents are wrong they beleive they are evil.

        I sometimes make a similar but not identical argument regarding the left.
        But there is an enormous gulf between merely sincerely beleiving something that is evil, and doing evil.

        When those in the prolife movement resort to violence they do evil – regardless of their sincerity.
        When those on the left infringe on the liberty of others or empower government to do so – they do evil – regardless of their sincerity.

  12. dhlii permalink
    February 26, 2019 2:54 am

    Will democrats continue to hold the house in 2020?

    Not if the debate is over socialism.

    • Dduck12 permalink
      February 26, 2019 4:01 pm

      NYT!!! I don’t believe a word they say!!!

    • February 26, 2019 4:04 pm

      NYT!! I don’t believe a word they say.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 1:49 am

        No one is asking you to beleive anything beyond that the NYT accurately quoted the NAMED voters that they interviewed.

        Regardless, the “story” is not an oppion peice, nor is it investigative.

        It is just straight reporting on what people confronting democratic represenatives are saying in townhalls.

        No. I do not trust NYT to get that right.
        I would expect given their biases that they would be reporting that everything is honky dory.

        They fact they are not should scare YOU.

        It would be like Pravda reporting that the people had lost faith in the communist party.

    • dduck12 permalink
      February 26, 2019 6:08 pm

      dhlii permalink
      February 25, 2019 4:49 am
      NYT and other left media can be useful.
      But it is alot of work to strip out all the unnecescary and biased adjectives and spin, the personal oppinions masquerading as facts, and the unnamed sources and after you have done that there often isn’t a story left – and I am talking about hard news stories not Op Eds.”

      Ron P permalink
      February 24, 2019 11:18 pm
      1. I dont read or believe anything in the NY Times
      2. I dont read or belueve anything in Huff Post
      3. I care more about the impact on the sailors and their familiesimpact
      Show me an article in another news outlet.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 1:51 am

        Wow!! Extra!! Extra!!!

        Ron and I have SLIGHTLY different views!!!

        Hold the Presses. News at 11!!!!

  13. Jay permalink
    February 26, 2019 3:04 pm

    Mueller Appointment LEGAL:

    “Special counsel Robert Mueller scored one of the biggest legal wins of his tenure on Tuesday, as a federal appeals court rejected claims that his appointment was unconstitutional.

    In a unanimous ruling, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals turned aside arguments that Mueller wields so much power as a special prosecutor that he should have been nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

    The appeals court judges also found no flaw in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller in the wake of the recusal of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The court said that because the attorney general can repeal the regulations used to appoint Mueller at any time, he remains under the control of a Cabinet official.

    “Special Counsel Mueller effectively serves at the pleasure of an Executive Branch officer who was appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate,” Judge Judith Rogers wrote, joined by Judges Sri Srinivasan and Karen Henderson.”

    • dhlii permalink
      February 27, 2019 1:15 am

      The court only determined that in a specific narrow sense Mueller was not appointed improperly. It did not address any questions related to the legitimacy of the investigation at all.

      I think the court got it wrong – even on that narrow point, and it will be interesting to see how SCOTUS rules – as some – including I beleive Ginsberg have previously opined that the apointments clause of the constitution would require a presidential apointment and congressional confirmation of a person with the power that Mueller has been given.

      That is the issue that this panel of a Clinton. Bush, and Obama judge ruled on.

      While I am not sure that SCOTUS will agree with me – I have no doubt they will not rule as this court did unanimously.

      The constitution is pretty clear, if you have independent authority, you must be appointed by the president and confirmed by congress.

      This court fixated on the fact that Mueller was supervised by either the AG or DAG,
      That is NOT in the constitution. Everyone is supervised by someone – even the president is inherenly supervised by the courts and congress. It also fixated on the fact that Mueller can be fired by the AG – AGAIN, everyone including cabinet apointees can be fired by the president. Finally the court noted that the AG could change the regulations. And again – that is not the standard.

      Frankly I think that both the constitution and 250 years of practice make it clear that the SC statute is unconstitutional. For exactly the reason that Miller raised (and many others).

      Every US ADA is appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate.
      The SC is the only member of the entire executive who can empanel a grand jury without being appointed by the president or confirmed by the senate. I am pretty sure he is the only member of the entire executive who can issue a subpeona or signoff on a warrant without the co-signature of someone who was appointed by the president and confirmed by congress.

      This court has essentially ruled that Mueller is merely a lapdog of the DaG, that he is LESS consequential than a US Attorney.

      I think we all know much better than that.

      This case by the Way as NOT about Mueller, it was about the constitutionality of the SC statute and they got it wrong.

      Miller’s lawyers indicated before the decision they did not expect to win at this level.
      This is NOT as your article made it some consequential victory.

      This issue will not be seriously explored before the case reaches SCOTUS.

      I would note that the IC statute – the one Ken Starr operated under was widely regarded as unconstitutional. The SC statute was supposed to correct the deficiencies. Instead it created new ones, and has proven actually worse. Starr had real supervision. He needed actual permission from courts and congress to do almost anything. No one has supervised Mueller.

      It does not appear that anyone even knows what he is doing.

      Put simply we still have not figured out how to properly constitutionally investigate something that would raise a clear conflict with DOJ.

      I would further note that though not likely its intention this court has essentially ruled that Trump can order Mueller into the Oval and direct him to terminate any or all parts of the investigation as Trump pleases.

      All of you continuously ignore the fact that the entire executive is completely constitutionally accountable to the president. Actual appointees who are confirmed by the Senate have MORE not LESS independence.

      This court has just ruled that Mueller’s appointment by Dag Rosenstein is constitutional, because Mueller does NOT have any independent authority – that is the standard in the constitution.

      Is that really what you beleive ?

      Do you think that is really what the judges beleive ?

      If they do not beleive that – then they ruled in error.

    • dhlii permalink
      February 27, 2019 1:20 am

      “Special Counsel Mueller effectively serves at the pleasure of an Executive Branch officer who was appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate,” Judge Judith Rogers wrote, joined by Judges Sri Srinivasan and Karen Henderson.”

      Close but wrong.

      Everyone in the executive serves at the pleasure of the president – even senate confirmed appointees.

      Further the constitution does not allow – nor has SCOTUS ever permitted the delegation of constitutional powers of the president to anyone not appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate.

      The argument these Judges have offered would apply equally to the lowest clerk at the IRS.
      It is clearly fallacious and makes the appointments clause of the constitution meaningless.

    • dhlii permalink
      February 27, 2019 1:44 am

      You have indirectly raised an issue that you and the left have been entirely unwilling to address.

      For the moment forget Trump, Forget Mueller, even forget the constitution.

      How should we proceed in the future ?

      I would hope it is beyond any doubt at this moment that Obama (Strzok’s text document this in Dec. 2015) directed DOJ/FBI to open an investigation of a politcal candidate of the opposing party.

      Is that acceptable to you ?

      Obviously there must be some circumstances that is allowed.
      But what are those ?

      While the politics alone should have required more scrupulous adherenence to the rules.

      This still raises the more broad question – what is the criteria for DOJ/FBI to open an investigation of anyone ?

      There are guidelines and they were not followed. At a certain point the 4th amendment must apply and quiet obviously the 4th amendment was never seriously confronted.
      Taken seriously it is a bar you can not get over TODAY.

      Regardless, I am not trying to make this about Trump.

      I am trying to make this about the future.

      It is near certain at this point that Trump will survive Mueller.

      It is unlikely at the moment that Trump will be able to use the DOJ/FBI against democrats in the same way that Obama did to Trump.

      But it is near certain that anything we allow today, will be repeated by some future president.

      Maybe democrats will be lucky and only future democratic presidents will be able to investigate future republicans.

      Though I would note that something like 57% of americans now want a 2nd SC to investigate the DOJ/FBI – essentially to investigate the investigation.

      Regardless I am asking you to be honest with YOURSELVES.

      Remember that the least rights that you allow those you hate are the most you can expect to have yourself.

      So what is the standard that DOJ/FBI must meet before it can open an invectigation ?

      McCabe provided an answer on 60min. He asserted that fear was sufficient.
      Do you beleive that the fears of those who wish to investigate is sufficient to open an investigation ?

      There has been a claim that Trump’s foreign ties were sufficient.
      Clinton’s ties to foreign countries – including Russia were far greater than Trump’s.
      Can DOJ/FBI investigate John Kerry, because he has met with Iranian leaders privately and in secret ?

      If you think the Trump investigation was legitimate – please explain the criteria that you use.
      Remembering that whatever criteria you choose that will be what the next president, the next DOJ/FBI uses.

      I oppose Trump’s emergency declaration – not because it is unconstitutional – because it si perfectly legal and constitutional. But because it is a bad precedent.

      This is also the most significant if nto the first instance in which Trump has sought to interpret the power of the president broadly rather than narrowly.

      I oppose because we will see this used again, and the next time will be more offensive.

      But the same is true regarding the actions of Obama, the DOJ/FBI/CIA and NSA.

      If ultimately SCOTUS gives it impramatur to what has occurred – it will be repeated.

      Had Nixon had the ability to direct the DOJ/FBI and CIA as Obama was able – there would never have been “the plumbers”.

  14. dhlii permalink
    February 26, 2019 6:10 pm

    Excellent Jordan Peterson interview on what is wrong with Trump.

    I think I absolutely agree on everything but one thing.

    I am not sure that a return to “normal” stupidity and corruption is desireable.

    • dduck12 permalink
      February 26, 2019 6:26 pm

      “Trump is a strange person”. You got that right, JP.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 2:00 am

        “Trump is a strange person”. You got that right, JP.

        Is there anyone here who disagrees with that ?

        What of the rest of Peterson’s assessments ?

  15. dduck12 permalink
    February 26, 2019 6:19 pm

    He is such an honest guy, cough:
    “Updated Feb. 25, 2019 12:58 p.m. ET

    WASHINGTON—The Trump Organization said Monday that it had donated $191,000 in profits it received from foreign governments in 2018 to the U.S. Treasury, nearly 30% more than it reported the previous year.
    Last year, the company said it donated about $150,000 to the Treasury, an amount the company said represented its 2017 profits from foreign governments.

    “Unlike any other luxury hospitality company, we do not market to or solicit foreign government business,” Trump Organization executive Eric Trump, President Trump’s son, said in a statement. “In fact, we go to great lengths to discourage foreign government patronage at our properties.”
    The company has declined to specify how it calculates its foreign profits. Last year, it said it arrived at the $150,000 figure “in accordance with our policy and the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry,” but declined to provide further details on what its policy entails and how the company was tracking which guests’ stays were being paid for by foreign governments.”

    • dhlii permalink
      February 27, 2019 1:58 am

      So Trump enterprises – of which Donald Trump no longer has any managerial position, voluntarily donates the profits from its foreign bussiness

      And your response is to quibble over how the profits are calculated ?

      You understand they are not obligated to do this ?
      That if they are lying and they just used a Ouija board that it would not actually change anything ?

      Has Clinton donated the profits from her Books to the Treasury ?
      Obama ?

      Maybe the Clinton foundation should just give the contributions it received from Russia to the Treasury – that would be the equivalent ?

      Are you going to launch a criminal investigation – because it would be a crime if Eric Trump miscalculated the foreign profits of the Trump Organization ?
      Really – you think that would be a crime ?

      Maybe he is even lying – what if he is not following lodging industry standards ?
      Unfortunately it is not a crime even to lie about how you did something you did not have to do.

  16. Jay permalink
    February 26, 2019 8:25 pm

    Another Republican Shithead Tweets.
    (Trump’s next VP)

    • dhlii permalink
      February 27, 2019 3:30 am

      Actually, I think it is a pretty good tweet.

      Forget Cohen. The real hypocrits and target are congressmen.

      If Democrats really wish to waste their time cross examining Cohen over something that is only illegal in the minds of those on the left, and only when Trump does it, then go at it.

      But expect to find yourself drowning in your own hypocracy.

      Almost right in the middle of this the House was paying off myriads of claims – millions of tax payer dollars to keep secret sexual harrassment charges against congressmen – most of them democrats.

      Whether Trump’s NDA’s were legal or not, the use of public funds to cover up the misconduct of legislators is or should be HIGHLY illegal.

      But go ahead. This worked vary badly for republicans in the 90’s. Do you actually expect it is going to work any better for democrats ? Trump is not nearly the sexual preditor that Clinton is.

      • Jay permalink
        February 27, 2019 10:23 am

        So you’re in favor of an elected official threatening a congressional witness with retaliation prior to his testimony if he reveals negative information about the leader of your party?

        Atta boy, Dave.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 8:43 pm

        “So you’re in favor of an elected official threatening a congressional witness with retaliation prior to his testimony if he reveals negative information about the leader of your party?

        Atta boy, Dave.”

        If Trumps tweet was a threat, than Obama and Clinton should be in leavenworth

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 8:44 pm

        Rather than telling me what I said and think – or what Trump said and thinks.
        Try reading what each of us said – what we actually said.

        And then evaluate it by the same standard you would use for those you favor.

  17. Jay permalink
    February 26, 2019 8:28 pm

    GOP – Gonifs On Parade

    • dhlii permalink
      February 27, 2019 3:34 am

      Max Boot praising Reagan is hillarious.

      Boot is a Neo-Con.

      Reagan LEFT Lebanon when our forces were attacked.
      Reagan’s great War was invading Grenada.

      “The Case for American Empire”
      MAX BOOT

      Is that who you want to get behind ?

      One of Chenney’s henchmen ?

      • Jay permalink
        February 27, 2019 10:18 am

        So you must also have labeled John McCain as a NeoCon as well, and dismissed his criticisms of Trump too, because McCain and Boot favored a no fly zone over Syria?

        And if you’re so anti NeoCon why do you share their critical views of modern American Liberalism? They must be wrong about that too, right?

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 8:35 pm

        “So you must also have labeled John McCain as a NeoCon as well, and dismissed his criticisms of Trump too, because McCain and Boot favored a no fly zone over Syria?

        And if you’re so anti NeoCon why do you share their critical views of modern American Liberalism? They must be wrong about that too, right?”

        Do you know how to make an argument that is not some kind of twist on a fallacious appeal to authority ?

        McCain is not a neo-con. There are more attributes to neo-cons that just a hawkish stance on the military.

        That said – yes, I disagreed with McCain on a belligerent foreign policy – whether that is a no-fly zone over Syria or the mess in Libya or the mess in Iraq or …

        Then you jump into this binary fallacy. As if there is a perfect answer.

        Leaving Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan will have positive and negative effects.
        Staying will have positive and negative effects.

        Nothing we can do has only beneifts and no negatives.

        Given the choices we have – we should get OUT!!!!!.
        Will that have negative effects ? Absolutely. So will staying, albeit different ones.

        At the same time, I do not accept – as you do (today), as Boot does, and as McCain did, that we have either a right or a need or even that it is actually in our interests to meddle in the affairs of other countries.

        I honestly do not care if you think or even if it is true that atleast temporarily that might advantage China or Russia or …

        I do not view our relations with the world as some zero sum competition.
        Most things are not zero sum.

        If Putin wants to sacrifice Russia’s children for influence in the mideast, that is his business.

        I doubt it will work out so well for him, but that his his problem.
        What is odd is that you beleive it.

        I have asked you repeatedly to read “the ugly american” – there is an enormous amount of scholarly work that reaches the same conclusions, but most of it is dry and tedious.
        The Ugly american is readable. One of its points is that the majority of international relations has little to do with government. What matters occurs at the level of people.

        Put simply – all the bombs and deals and soldiers are not all that important. Not when they are american, not when they are russian. and overall they do more harm than good.

        Last, it is not only not our business, but it is usually immoral for us to pick sides in conflicts we are not part of and to send our soldiers to determine the outcome.

        No I did not support the Syrian No-Fly zone.

        Assad is an evil dude. So were a significant portion of those he was fighting.

        From the outside it is easy to wag our fingers at the misconduct or either or both sides.

        Once we take sides, we share some responsibility for the evil that whichever side we picked does.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 8:41 pm

        My criticisms of the modern left are my own. To the extent I have learned from others, I still remain personally responsible for my own views and choices.

        If Neo-Con’s share the same criticisms – which is at best superficially true as neo-cons are progressives from a different era who for several decades left democrats and joined republicans over the more anti-russian stance of the GOP at the time.

        At their core neo-cons are big government statists, and always have been.

        McCain was a bit of a hawk, he was not a neocon.

        Nor am I understed in your twisted and fallacious claims of guilt by association with neocons.

        I do not share their defining attribute – their insistance on a miliatant and beligerant foreign policy. I do not share their statism.
        If perchance there are some arguments that we have shallow common ground – so what ?

  18. dhlii permalink
    February 27, 2019 4:47 am

    For those of you who think Kamala Harris is in the slightest appealing.

  19. Jay permalink
    February 27, 2019 11:24 am

    Mummm. Wonder if Trump declared this check as a business expense on his taxes?

    Is tax fraud impeachable?

    • dhlii permalink
      February 27, 2019 8:48 pm

      This was addressed almost a year ago.

      Wow, Cohen has a check to prove what ?

      That something that was not a crime over which there is no despute about the actual facts actually occurred ?

      I have no idea how Trump reported it on his taxes.
      I beleive that payments for NDA’s would qualify as a business expense.
      Regardless that would undermine your claim that it was a campaign finance law violation.

      If the NDA served a legitimate business purpose – and preserving the value of a brand is a legitimate business purpose, then it is not a campaign expense.

  20. Jay permalink
    February 27, 2019 1:18 pm

    If ANY of Cohen’s assertions are true, Trump is a scumbag of the worst order.

    Oh, I forgot, Trump supporters already knew that but voted for him anyway, and continue to support him. Doesn’t that make them Scumbag Supporters?

    • dhlii permalink
      February 27, 2019 8:52 pm

      Given that I did not vote for Trump your insult misses me.

      But I presume that you did vote for Clinton.

      “Doesn’t that make you a Scumbag Supporter?”

      It is pretty inarguable that Clinton is actually and proveably worse than anything trump has been accused of.

  21. Jay permalink
    February 27, 2019 1:21 pm

    COHEN PRESENTED: • “Copies of letters I wrote at Mr. Trump’s direction that threatened his high school, colleges, and the College Board NOT TO RELEASE his grades or SAT scores.”



    • dhlii permalink
      February 27, 2019 8:56 pm

      Absent actual letters, recordings, emails from Trump, anything Cohen produces is not particularly relevant.

      We all already know that Cohen threatened people. Letters by Cohen threatening people have no import.

      There is one and only one point of consequence that Cohen exposes regarding Trump,
      and that is that Trump hired him.

  22. Jay permalink
    February 27, 2019 6:48 pm

    Kushner “quietly meets with Saudi Crown Prince.”

    Two dogs chewing on Quid Pro Quo bones

    • dhlii permalink
      February 27, 2019 8:59 pm

      Clearly the meeting was not quiet.

      Regardless, an arab meeting with a jew – it must be a plot !!!!

      Kushner has been working effectively to bring peace to the mideast since Trump took office.

      That generally involves meeting with people in the mideast.

  23. Jay permalink
    February 27, 2019 7:11 pm

    Let’s review what Cohen asserted today.
    -lied about knowing ahead of time about the release of hacked emails
    -Fraudently devalued his assets for property taxes
    -Misused his charity for personal gain
    -Lied about not paying off a mistress, committing election fraud

    Oh yeah -lied about his business dealings with Russia

    Best hearing exchange so far:

    Rep. Paul Gosar to Michael Cohen: “You’re a pathological liar. You don’t know truth from falsehood.”

    Cohen: “Sir, I’m sorry. Are you referring to me or the president?”

    • Jay permalink
      February 27, 2019 7:20 pm

      Fox News Andrew Napolitano about Michael Cohen’s Trump testimony

      “He paints a potentially grave picture for the president. If the conversation he says he overheard with Roger Stone is true, then the president lied under oath.”

      But Trump supporters won’t care: when they voted for him they knew he was the kind of person who would lie under oath, but they don’t give a damn if it’s true.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 9:13 pm

        “If the conversation he says he overheard with Roger Stone is true”

        From end to end there have been myriads of “If X was true” then Trump is in trouble,

        Thus far “for all X, x is false”.

        But if you wish to bet on this time – fine.

        My bet is Cohen can not even prove he had the oportunity to overhear said conversation.

        I would further note that Neither SDNY nor Mueller have offer Cohen any kind of deal.

        If either Mueller or SDNY beleived anything Cohen had said – he would not be headed to jail for 3 years.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 9:19 pm

        As of yet Trump has not testified.

        He has however provided answers to Muellers questions.

        We do not know what Mueller asked,
        We do not know what Trump answered.

        We certainly do not know what the Truth is based on Cohen.

        So to conclude Trump has lied under oath (wrong crime, it would actually be sworn falsifications they are different, but it would still be crim-in-false.

        But to conclude that we would have to KNOW that Cohen was telling the truth.

        Given the actual facts, cohen’s plea, the lack of interest prosecutors have in him,
        That would be a very poor presumption.

        We would have to know what Mueller asked – which we do not.
        We would have to know what Trump answered – which we do not.

        That is 3 huge assumptions.

        I would guess you know what is said about making assumptions.

    • dhlii permalink
      February 27, 2019 9:09 pm

      “Let’s review what Cohen asserted today.
      -lied about knowing ahead of time about the release of hacked emails”

      There remains to this moment no evidence that ANYONE knew anything about the hacked emails prior to their release.

      Even Mueller is not claiming that anyone did.

      There is a reason that Cohen must come to the table with EVIDENCE.

      “-Fraudently devalued his assets for property taxes”
      Because you say so ? Property values are not magical.
      The value is set by assessment – i.e. the government.
      To change that you must appeal – persuade the government.

      “-Misused his charity for personal gain”
      Already been litigated – nothing there – except maybe Barron Trump’s scouting dues.

      Regardless it is a closed private trust. That is NOT actually the same as the Clinton foundation. The ONLY question regarding private trusts is whether there is tax fraud, and generally Trusts only pay taxes on INCOME, which is not applicable here.

      The use of a private trust for personal benefit is not merely not a crime,
      it is typicaly how a private trust works.

      “-Lied about not paying off a mistress,”
      The purpose of an NDA is to asure silence.
      I know you think you are entitled to know everything about everyone.
      But you aren’t.
      It is not lying to deprive you of knowledge you have no right to.

      “committing election fraud”
      Just about every FEC commissioner in the past 3 decades has said NOPE.

      “Oh yeah -lied about his business dealings with Russia”
      Thus far the only evidence is that Cohen has lied about his dealings with Russia”/.

      “Best hearing exchange so far:

      Rep. Paul Gosar to Michael Cohen: “You’re a pathological liar. You don’t know truth from falsehood.”

      Cohen: “Sir, I’m sorry. Are you referring to me or the president?””

      Good exchange – aggreed.

      But you seem to miss the fact that Cohen has plead guilty to lying to congress.

      We have covered crim-in-falsi before.
      It means you are legally useless as a witness absent mountains of corroboration.

  24. Jay permalink
    February 27, 2019 8:34 pm

    Opinion (not genuine news) Fox broadcaster Sean Hannity will have the first sitdown with Trump at the conclusion of his second summit with Kim on Thursday.

    Anyone who doesn’t protest this propagandist Trump maneuver to misinform the American public is FUBARed beyond reason.

    • Jay permalink
      February 27, 2019 9:04 pm

      Trump, the great deal maker (read that as shit brained negotiator) just dropped the US demand for North Korea to hand over a full accounting of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

      Numerous commentators (some NeoCons, Dave) have been predicting for days that Trump would throw away bargaining chips to get a faux deal with North Korea (any deal) to distract from Cohen’s predicted devestating congressional testimony.

      I don’t expect any of the Trump traitorous Right to protest.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 27, 2019 11:48 pm

        In what way are you worse off than you would have been otherwise ?

        Regardless, are you capable of atleast waiting for the summit to be over before presuming you know what the result was ?

        As to Cohen – if Cohen actually delivers anything substantive – the greatest deal in the world will not help Trump. And if Cohen does not, it is irrelevant.

        I do not have high expectations for the NK summit.
        In 2017 it looked like Kim was actively seeking a nuclear war.
        That has not happened yet,
        Trump has already won.
        Anything beyond that is a bonus.

        Are you capable of hoping that Trump is successful ?

        I beleive I quoted something from CS Lewis earlier to the effect you know your soul is rotten when you are praying for pestulance so long as those who you hate would be blamed.

    • dhlii permalink
      February 27, 2019 11:41 pm

      “Anyone who doesn’t protest this propagandist Trump maneuver to misinform the American public is FUBARed beyond reason.”

      So it is a bad thing for Trump to try to do something about NK ?

      Absolutely we should take whatever Trump says post summit with a grain of salt – or better still wait until we see what is done, rather than said.
      Absolutely we should not trust what our leaders tell us.
      Democrats, republicans

      “One pair of arms is like another
      I don’t know why or who’s to blame
      I’ll go with you or with your brother
      It’s all the same, it’s all the same”

      Your hearts burns with some special hatred for Trump.

  25. dhlii permalink
    February 27, 2019 8:50 pm

    I have no idea what Cohen has said.
    Nor do I care.
    I am interested in what that is actually criminal can be proven.

    Something is not criminal merely because you do not like it.

  26. dduck12 permalink
    February 27, 2019 10:54 pm

    “Trump’s Shifting Net Worth May Bear Clues for Investigators Inflated valuations went to insurance firms, Cohen testified
    Property bought for $7.5 million, then valued at $291 million ”
    ““We would provide them with these copies so that they would understand that the premium, which is based sometimes upon the individual’s capabilities to pay, would be reduced,” Cohen told lawmakers. Asked if that was done at Trump’s direction and with his knowledge, Cohen said, “Yes,” adding that he believed the numbers had been inflated.
    Such a misrepresentation could lead to the policy being torn up, or worse, according to Maria Vullo, the recently departed superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services, which oversees insurers in the state.
    “False statements made to an insurance company in order to obtain an insurance policy, or a particular policy provision, or a reduced premium, could create a basis to an insurance company in order to obtain an insurance policy, or a particular policy provision, or a reduced premium, could create a basis to void the policy on the basis of fraud,” Vullo said. “In addition, there are various state and federal laws that proscribe and penalize the making of false statements for purposes of personal gain.”

    • dhlii permalink
      February 28, 2019 12:10 am

      I have no idea what Cohen purportedly was talking about.

      But do you really beleive that Banks and insurance companies are this easy to defraud, and this naive ?

      One of the side jobs I have, is assessing commercial properties.

      When a bank writes a loan or refinances a commercial property, or when an insurance company writes a new policy on a commercial property

      Not only is someone like me sent to assess the condition and the value,
      But special accountants are sent to go over the books.

      We are going to check everything. We are going to check the cashflow – there are fundimental rules of thumb regarding cashflow on commercial properties.
      One way of determining value is the rents less the expenses times standard multipliers.
      We not only check the cashflow, and verify the rents, we also veryify that the rents are in line with similar properties in the area, and that the occupancy of the building matches the rent roles. Then we assess the physical buildings, We check the condition of the mechanical systems, the finishes, the appliances, the site conditions the landscaping, the roads and side walks.

      It is not possible to do this perfectly – that is one of the reasons that multiple different valuation methods are used. And loans insurance and refinancing are always based on the lowest result.

      The fact that you and the congressmen actually beleive this kind of garbage.

      Have you ever changed the homeowners insurance on your home ?
      I have – it resulted in an inspector assessing the value of my home.

      So do you really think that some bank or insurance company is getting snookered by a peice of paper with a value that is off by a factor of 40 ?

      The only place you see the kind of fraud that you are saying that Cohen is describing is in deals with governments – and even there it is extremely rare.

      Even your own quote – “this type of fraud could lead to the policy being torn up – or worse”.

      Think about that ?
      People – including Trump buy insurance because in the event of a disaster they want reimbursed.
      Over valuing what you are insuring – means your premiums will be much much higher.
      Undervaluing means that should something bad happen you will not get the value of the property back – you will lose money.

      Any form of fraud means the insurance company can tear up the entire policy.
      They keep your premiums and you get screwed.

      Next, there is no benefit to a fraudulently high value on a property unless there is a disaster and the insurance must pay out.
      Are Trump buildings burning all over the place ?

      If Cohen’s testimony as you presented it is truthful – which is laughably unlikely, then Trump is stupid as a post and massively overpaying his insurance for no possible benefit.

      Is that what you beleive ?

      This nonsense is not that hard to debunk.

      What seems obvious is that Cohen is playing democrats in congress – and you.

      SDNY and Mueller were wise enough to pass on this.

    • dhlii permalink
      February 28, 2019 12:21 am

      “False statements made to an insurance company in order to obtain an insurance policy, or a particular policy provision, or a reduced premium, could create a basis to an insurance company in order to obtain an insurance policy, or a particular policy provision, or a reduced premium, could create a basis to void the policy on the basis of fraud,” Vullo said.

      Absolutely!!!! – So THINK ABOUT IT. What Cohen is selling is that Trump is stupid and lying to screw himself.

      If you inflate the value of a property that you insure – you pay much much higher premiums.
      For nothing. It is highly unlikely you will ever be able to collect. Insurance companies will near certainly value the property before writing you a policy – it is called due dilligence.
      But even if they do not, should you file a claim – it is absolutely certain they will investigate and properly value the property.

      If you deflate the value of the property – the insurance company MIGHT take interest – but probably not. If you want to insure a high value property for less than it is worth to save money on premiums – that is your business. The insurance company does not care.
      There is no fraud. If you insure a 200M building for $10M and it burns to the ground – they will pay you $10M not $200.

      The type of fraud Cohen is selling is nearly impossible. It is pretty much non-existant in the world of assets. You just can not game the system in the way you are trying to outside of intangible areas – such as personal injury law, or very high risk areas such as derivative investing.

      “In addition, there are various state and federal laws that proscribe and penalize the making of false statements for purposes of personal gain.”

      Yes, it is called FRAUD.
      But to be fraud – there must be a false statement and a gain as a consequence.

      Neither overvaluing or undervaluing a real property will accomplish that in an “insurance scheme”.

    • dhlii permalink
      February 28, 2019 12:33 am

      Lets go one step further.

      Insurance is just a form of gambling that is all.

      The fundimental thing the insurance company cares about is that the person purchasing the insurance is unable to cause a specific outcome to the bet.

      If I go into a Casino and bet $1 that the roulette wheel will land on 1, the Casino will take that bet – even though they will pay out much much more if I the wheel lands on 1.
      The know the odds, my $1 is the premium and the odds determine the payout.

      Insurance is nearly exactly the same.
      Except that the payout is determined in advance, the odds are known and the bet is determined by working backwards from the payout and the odds.

      So long as just with the roulette wheel I have no means of influencing the outcome – so long as I have not committed arson or something like that,
      The actual value of the property insured is completely irrelevant.

      The most fundimental reason insurance companies care about the actual value is NOT because of the cost of the premiums or the pay out,
      But because quite often one of the options an insurance company has is to restore the property.

      In the construction industry I have dealt with construction bonds – probably the types of insurance Cohen was talking about, all the time.

      Bonds are demanded by owners, or sometimes government. Projects are nearly always bonded at values in excess of their real value. Because the odds of a contractor defaulting on a bond are much higher than a fire or earthquake.
      When that happens the bonding company comes in and finishes the project.
      Bonding companies are notoriously bad at this so everyone tends to demand high bonds to ensure that the bonding company has reserved enough money to complete the project.

    • dhlii permalink
      February 28, 2019 12:45 am

      Finally – why are we supposed to beleive this ?

      Trump Enterprises has an army of lawyers and accountants.
      My guess is that Trump has 50 or so accounts whose sole job is to deal with taxes.

      So you think that Trump is going to eschew the army of lawyers and accountants he has and put together a fraudulent insurance application in Cohen’s basement ?

      The most hillarious part of this claim is the part where Trump has personal involvement in insurance applications.

      I did the insurance applications for my families business for 22 of the 45 years it was opened.
      The property insurance amount was determined by the mortgage. The mortgage value was determined by the bank. The bank required 3 outside appraisals.
      That was all for a property valued at about 500K,
      As noted I do PCA;s for properties in value from about $1M to about $100M.
      Banks require much more than just 3 certified appraisals for those.

      Most of the insurance applications I produced took days to process and were reviewed by our lawyers and accountants – as well as our insuance agent before the application was transmitted. All this despite the fact that after 45 years in business we had very few claims.

      Yet if I over estimated our sales or made some other mistake in the pages of information provided in our applications – the insuance company would have returned the application for correction.

      I highly doubt Cohen ever had anything to do with an insurance application for Trump.
      I doubt Trump ever handled one himself.

  27. dhlii permalink
    February 28, 2019 2:28 am

    While I responded to many of the comments regarding Cohen’s testimony.

    It appears I was wrong on several.

    The Summit was scheduled long ago.

    Cohen’s testimony was supposed to have taken place several weeks ago.

    It is democrats that are using Cohen to distract from the Summit not the other way arround.

    there are claims regarding the purported agreement – but there is no agreement yet.
    Many things are discussed. What is disturbing is that there are leaks about those discussions.

    The administration has clarified that – while there are many deal scenarios, there is no deal in which sanctions are lifted that does not include verifiable denuclearization.

    Much of what has been claimed that Cohen purportedly said is FALSE.

    As an example Cohen did not say that he knew (or stone) Trump knew about the wikileaks before it occured,
    Cohen said he BELEIVED that to be the case, He was questioned further on that and confirmed he had no direct knowledge.
    In fact most of what he “claimed” was not based on direct knowledge.

    Essentially Democrats used Cohen to testify to rumours, not facts.
    The testimony had no more merit than that of an ordinary New York Times reader being asked what they BELEIEVED.

    Evidence is not what you BELEIVE to be true.
    It is what you know to be true.

    Further Democrats set the rules for the hearings and prohibited republicans from asking a wide assortment of questions of Cohen – presumably because they would interfere with the Mueller investigation – even what is public regarding the Mueller investigation.

    All this despite the fact that neither Mueller not the SDNY requested that Cohen’s testimony be limited.

    What is increasingly self evident is that Cohen really knows almost nothing about much of anything except his own crimes.
    Neither SDNY nor Mueller care about his testimony – because he does not know anything.
    Cohen was unable to get any consequential deal from Mueller or SDNY – because he has nothing of value to exchange.

    Cohen did confirm that he had absolutely no personal involvement in anything Russia related.

    You need not beleive Cohen – as he is an admitted liar.
    But picking and choosing what he says that you beleive is pretty hypocritical.

  28. dhlii permalink
    February 28, 2019 3:05 am

    The left is so fixated with russian unicorns it can not see the problems right on its own back door.

  29. Jay permalink
    February 28, 2019 11:31 am

    One More Trump Diplomatic FART!

    • Jay permalink
      February 28, 2019 11:41 am

      Dopy Donald’s Diplomatic Disaster
      (So, Dave, how did that trip of wasted taxpayer dollars, time, effort, and disinformation leading up to it, help us?)

      • dhlii permalink
        February 28, 2019 2:21 pm

        For two years now, NK’s Nuclear program has been stalled.
        That has not occurred in 4 decades.

        I think that is worth the cost.

        Further, do you really think we are at the end of this ?

        Kim and Trump held a press conference before this where Kim ceded publicly most everything that Trump AND the rest of us were after – a denuclearized NK.

        I would have prefered a good deal with NK today.

        The press created, and Trump allowed for the possibility of that.
        That is not what happened.

        I would also prefer a million $ income to my current one.
        This is not happening either.

        Wanting something does not make it happen.

        Regardless, how well did that NK is all about Cohen story pan out ?
        How did the Trump is going to give everything away story pan out ?

      • Jay permalink
        February 28, 2019 3:13 pm

        “For two years now, NK’s Nuclear program has been stalled.
        That has not occurred in 4 decades.”

        Prove that you didn’t pull that statement out of your anus.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 28, 2019 4:26 pm

        “For two years now, NK’s Nuclear program has been stalled.
        That has not occurred in 4 decades.”

        Prove that you didn’t pull that statement out of your anus.

        Why do I need a link to prove to you that your nose rests on your face.

        When was the Last NK nuclear test ?

        In late 2016 and early 2017 “rocket man” was lobbing missles and conducting tests on a practically weekly basis.

        It is very near impossible to continue to develop nuclear programs without real world testing.

        That is why the “test ban treaties” were so important. Many US programs were canceled because continuing them would have violated the test treaties.

        The US was days away from a Nuclear powered Cruise missle test before the 1964 above ground test ban. The test was cancelled and shortly after the program. Though alot of the technology eventually became part of our conventional cruise missles.

        Regardless we were days away from testing a cruise missle cable of traveling at Mach 6, carrying 4 or more nuclear warheads that could each be deployed independently that could remain in flight for MONTHS.

        Testing matters. According to outside analysts NK is now a few years and many tests short of EMP weapons and Hydrogen bombs. There last tests were a generation AHEAD of Nagasaki weapons, but a generation behind actual fusion bombs.

        They do not yet have the guidance systems and nor have they reduced weight sufficiently to be an actual threat to the US, but with further testing they WILL get there.

        Yet, there has been no such testing.

        You know that.
        I know that.

        Do you really need a link to tell you what is obvious ?

      • dhlii permalink
        February 28, 2019 4:29 pm

        In a speech on Sunday, however, Trump appeared to play down the possibility of a major breakthrough, saying he would be happy as long as North Korea maintained its pause on weapons testing.

        “I’m not in a rush,” he said. “I just don’t want testing. As long as there’s no testing, we’re happy.”

        North Korea has not held a nuclear or missile test since 2017,

      • dhlii permalink
        February 28, 2019 4:30 pm

        The combination of scatalogical insults and obvious error should be embarrassing.

    • dhlii permalink
      February 28, 2019 2:15 pm

      There will be no deal on NK today. Tomorow is another day.

      There are numerous posts here and links to stories elsewhere as well as criticism that you have leveled that is quite obviously refuted by Trump’s actions that you are criticizing.

      Whether NK or left wing nuts planted the story that Trump “had’ to have a deal, and that he would cave to get one – that is clearly FALSE.

      Now you are ranting because Trump did not cave as you expected.

      I guess now you will tell me that Trump deliberately walked out to flush Cohen from the news cycle.

      EVERYTHING is dog whistles and wagging the dog with you.

      Possibly the #1 rule of negotiation is that to get anywhere you must be prepared to walk away.

      What seems self evident is that Trump easily could have had the deal that the media was claiming he was going to agree to.

      I do not know whether this was a wise move – nor do you, nor does anyone else.
      It may not ever be possible to know.

      I do know that the absolute hysteria on the part of the press and the left is tedious and annoying.

      You can legitimately criticise Trump for walking away. But you can not do so without contradicting everything YOU were saying over the past couple of days.

      Maybe it would be wiser to REPORT the actual news, instead of trying to create the news.

      I keep telling you how stupid it is to pretend you know what others are thinking.

      Here you have a perfect example of the fact that you clearly are unable to assess what Trump is thinking.

  30. Roby permalink
    February 28, 2019 1:04 pm

    I’m going to have to give trump credit where its due on the NK negotiations. In the end it may be nothing, it may even lead to a worse situation. Its worth trying. No one else was about to talk with NK one on one other than a completely unconventional president. That fact that he did not make a bad agreement on this trip is not a mark against him. For the first time in my eyes he has looked and acted like a president.

    If he and Kim were to end the Korean war during the trump presidency they, both terrible people, will have earned a Nobel peace prize and something even much more substantial, a defused conflict. Life is funny.

    I have no idea whether that will happen. But my hat is off to trump for trying on this one, adn I hope it works out. There is a win-win situation possible here.

    • dhlii permalink
      February 28, 2019 2:30 pm

      Given the walkout, the story below seems irrelevant.

      But I do not think it is. In front of the Press atleast Kim was saying the right things.
      It certainly sounded to me like Trump could have easily gotten MORE than the deal that Max Boot, Neo-cons and the fake news leak of yesterday claimed he was going to take.

      It is pretty much self evident that Trump is not going to settle.
      I should think that the Left and Kim should have learned that from the border Wall fight.

      We were told repeatedly that Pelosi had humiliated Trump by getting him to end the shutdown. Yet, the deal Pelosi agreed to and voted on including Wall funding something she claimed would never happen. And AFTER signing that deal Trump found MORE money than he had asked for, other ways. He will have a court fight over that. He may even lose.
      And if he does – by the time he does we will be facing another shutdown.

      Any wise person would have grasped that Trump is not a push over.

      That he will get what he beleives is necescary.

      Maybe this is over. I doubt it. We have had constant bumps like this along the way.

  31. dhlii permalink
    February 28, 2019 5:18 pm

    Kim is already back pedalling – claiming that he did not demand that all sanctions be lifted or that they be lifted immediately.

    It is increasingly clear that the stories the media leaked regardless of their sources WERE what Kim wanted, but NOT what Trump was willing to do.

    So much for the Media getting it right.
    Arguably the media was aiding and abetting Kim.

    Regardless, there are starting to be many take-aways from this.

    The NK opportunity is not ended just delayed.
    Next we will hear stories that this is all some Trump plot to assure that the good news of any deal comes closer to the 2020 election.

    Regardless, several analysts have noted this strengthens Trump in negotiations with Xi.

    We have listened to more than a week of gibberish from the Media, Samantha Powers, and Susan Rice claiming that the Iran deal should be Trump’s model and Trump should not give away the farm to get a deal. Yet the “bad” deal they were claiming Trump was making was EXACTLY the Iran deal and that is EXACTLY the deal Kim wanted.

    Honestly – I would have given Kim the Iran deal. While that deal was a BAD DEAL.

    There are fundimental differences between NK and Iran.

    NK is in far worse shape economically, but far more capable technologically.

    NK is a totalitarian cult of personality NOT a theocracy

    Further, though I think Kim is definitely Angling for the best possible deal.
    He ABSOLUTELY is angling for a deal – that Was NOT true of prior NK leaders.

    Nor do I think Iran wanted a deal – atleast not as much as Obama did.

    The IRan deal completely flipped our entire Mideast policy in very bad ways.
    It was about much more than Nuclear weapons.

    A NK deal does NOT destability the region, it stabailizes it. And it has the support of everyone in the region.

    It is likely to take more than a decade for NK to join the world. But it appears that is GOING to happen. In a decade or two NK will be close to SK.

    The mideast is NOT made of countries like Taiwan, Japan, SK, Thailand, even china that are booming and seeking to join the modern world.

    Iran is seeking to be the dominant country in a part of the world that outside of Israel is 7 centuries in the past.

    Anyway, I would have supported Trump reaching an Iran type deal with NK.
    Because NK is different from Iran – both more and less dangerous at the same time.

    Regardless, that is not what he has done.

    Further Kim is already reacting, and not in the way of a tyrant. But in the way of someone who wants this deal MORE than we do.

    And that is EXACTLY where we want him.

    And Trump just sent a very loud message to Xi.

    And to Pelosi and democrats and the american people.

    Do you honestly doubt there is going to be an NK deal eventually ?

    Trump has just LOUDLY asserted AGAIN, that he is going to get what he wants or there will be no deal, and he will get what he wants eventually.

  32. dduck12 permalink
    February 28, 2019 9:08 pm

    Trump denies he interfered:
    “WASHINGTON — President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, a top-secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns flagged by intelligence officials and the White House’s top lawyer, four people briefed on the matter said.
    Mr. Trump’s decision in May so troubled senior administration officials that at least one, the White House chief of staff at the time, John F. Kelly, wrote a contemporaneous internal memo about how he had been “ordered” to give Mr. Kushner the top-secret clearance.
    The White House counsel at the time, Donald F. McGahn II, also wrote an internal memo outlining the concerns that had been raised about Mr. Kushner — including by the C.I.A. — and how Mr. McGahn had recommended that he not be given a top-secret clearance.”

    And Trump is an honorable man. 🙂

    • dhlii permalink
      March 1, 2019 3:58 am

      Your having a great deal of trouble getting this.


      There is no “interfering”.

      The root of all decisions regarding classification, or security clearances is THE PRESIDENT.

      After her email server fiasco the only job in the entire federal government that Hillary Clinton could qualify for is President.
      Because the president is always cleared for everything and can always release anything they please to anyone they please or direct others to do the same.

      I have no idea what Trump actually did vs. what he said he did.

      What I do know is that anyone in the executive, any reporter and any poster here who thinks this is a story is completely ignorant of the constitution.

      “And Trump is an honorable man”

      Can you name someone in government for the past several decades that is an honorable man ?

      I can’t.

      I can name a recent president that engaged in politically corrupt and criminal actions that no president – even Nixon has managed in my lifetime, and possibly no president has ever.
      That would be our last president – who I did actually think was mostly an honorable man. But the facts have proven otherwise.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 1, 2019 3:59 am

      Define “honorable man”.

      Then explain to me how any definition of honorable that does not include Trump, includes either of the clinton’s, Obama, or bush ?

      • dduck12 permalink
        March 1, 2019 3:00 pm

        Clue: William Shakespeare.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2019 8:00 pm

        I did not ask for a “clue” I asked for YOUR definition.

        I asked for that because I doubt there is broad agreement on what constitutes being an honroable man. And debating whether someone is or is not honorable without a common understanding of Honorable is futile.

        I also did it because on this as myriads of other issues, I actively seek to get you, Jay, DD, anyone to commit to any actual value or principle.

        I seek that – because I do not honestly beleive you have values and more particularly principles. Because universally you want to pretend that you can peer into your gut and decide every single thing uniquely. Because that is the only way in the world that you can hate the people you hate, without also hating an awful lot of the people you value.

        Jay is constantly lobbing tweets from neo-cons.

        Trump is not a neocon, jay is not, I do not think you are, Ron, Priscilla, pretty much no one here is a neocon.

        Hopefully most of us do not share the values of neocons.

        It is one thing to use one leftist (or conservative) to refute another – when there are significant shared values. Pointing out some conflict between AOC and Sanders as an example.

        It is another to cite Marx in opposition to Pelosi or Schumer when pretty much no one values marx.

        That is called hypocracy.

        There is lots of hypocracy in politics. I was bothered By Rep. Jordan’s remarks at the Cohen hearing, – not because he was wrong, but because aside from actually being mostly right his remarks were indistinguishable from Rep. Cummings who is just a hypocritcal blow hard idiot who will say whatever wins points with his constituents.

        But I am not talking about hypocracy in politics.
        I am talking about it HERE at TNM.

        I am told by You and Roby and Jay that I misjudge you all the time.

        To the extent I misjudge you by identifying you with the left, is by presuming that you actually have values or principles.

        If we had a debate on some important issue that Trump has not expressed an oppinion on
        I can not predict how you will choose.
        Conversely if you can not predict how I will choose – based on my expressed principles, then you are not paying attention.

        But I can always predict where you will stand on anything Trump has taken a position on.
        You will oppose Trump.

        That is a reflection of an absence of values and principles.

        You are not even willing to express your OWN meanign for the term honor.
        But you are still willing to decide who is and is not honorable without providing any criteria for doing so.

        So I am left presuming that you have no criteria, no values, no principles.

  33. dduck12 permalink
    February 28, 2019 9:38 pm

    Cohen lied, Cohen lied, oh wo is me. We didn’t know he was a liar. Oh, he may have mentioned it, “Who cares what he says.”
    LMAO, next time Reps control committees, they call in Pinocchio.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 1, 2019 4:18 am

      “Cohen lied, Cohen lied, oh wo is me. We didn’t know he was a liar. Oh, he may have mentioned it, “Who cares what he says.”
      LMAO, next time Reps control committees, they call in Pinocchio.”

      As others have noted – this might be the first time in history that Congress has recalled a witness that has been convicted of lying to congress with the expectation that he would tell the truth.

      From what I have seen the Cohen testimony was a disaster for democrats.

      Just as here – naked derogatory assertions are not facts, they are not evidence.
      They would not be if Cohen had a reputation for telling the truth.

      For the most part it really does not matter if Cohen was lying or telling the truth.
      I think it was a mistake for Republicans to refer him for prosecution. The vast majority of his testimony was insult and oppinion – not fact. You can not lie about an opinion and insults are neither evidence nor perjury.

      Cohen continued to undermine the Russian Collusion nonsense – in other words we still have zero EVIDENCE that something that is not a crime, but was investigated criminally happened.

      Cohen DENIED that he knew of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
      He added NOTHING to what we already know – his “checks” work against democrats.
      No matter how you characterize the “hush money” payments – they were legal.
      If you actually wanted a crime – it was better if Cohen had paid Daniels from his own moeny without being reimbursed. But Cohen just proved that was not the case.

      Trump is free to pay for an NDA – either as an individual to protect his reputation, or to protect his relations with his family, through his businesses to protection of the brand or through contributions to his campaign of his own money.

      Parading Cohen arround does nto change that. Nothing Cohen said changes the law.

      Cohen could be lying, or he could be telling the truth.
      But he did not provide any FACTS or EVIDENCE that got the democrats anywhere.

      If this is the star witness for the “get Trump” crew – they are in trouble.

      AS I have said repeatedly – I have ZERO problem with democrats holding hearings in the house. In the at this point nearly impossible instance they actually uncover something substantative – then kudos. And if they do not – they are engaging in what is typically called a self punishing act.

      I did listen to Rep. Jordan’s remarks, and while I generally respect him and I think he was correct, I think that much of what he said should have been toned down.

      Let the democrats engage in the obvious partisan circus. For the most part the investigation the house republicans conducted when they were in power was focused and credible – with a few expceptions. While democrats foamed and frothed. Jordan looked too much like Elijah Cummings did a few months ago.

      Republicans should let democrats behave like fools. They should not join them.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 1, 2019 4:23 am


      The only direct evidence of actual crimes Cohen testified to were his own.
      Even those – he was unsuccessful in demonstrating that anyone else participated in the crimes he says he committed.

      Both Cohen and the left have promised us Tapes of Trump directing Cohen to commit crimes.
      We Know Cohen recorded Trump – which is illegal in many states and unethical for a lawyer always. Even so – we are left with Cohen’s beleifs, not anhything that can be corroborated in anyway. In fact not even a statement that if false would be perjury – because you are free to beleive things that are not true – what you beleive is NOT EVIDENCE.

  34. dduck12 permalink
    February 28, 2019 9:48 pm

    Another amateur hour for Trump’s gang that can’t negotiate straight:
    “Hanoi Summit Failed Because Trump Refuses to Prep”
    “Typically, summit prep begins with the president and his intelligence community agreeing on a baseline assessment of the state-of-play, in this case the status of North Korea’s nuclear program and Kim Jong Un’s intentions. The intelligence community’s assessment that North Korea will not denuclearize, the open-source analysis that Pyongyang is still proliferating weapons of mass destruction, and reporting that North Korea is taking extra steps to disburse its arsenal seemingly fell on deaf ears.”

    The only thing missing from this fiasco was Un doing the Pelosi clap. (Some call it the FU clap.)

    • Roby permalink
      February 28, 2019 11:35 pm

      Yes, Brooks is 100% correct. We have observed this in microcosm here with several TNMers.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2019 5:35 am

        What I have observed at TNM is massive TDS – a hatred of trump so virulent that you are willing to beleive any nonsense and end Trump’s presidency “by any means necescary”.

        That you are willing to forgive the most egregious and criminal conduct on the part of anyone else seeking to “get trump” – solely because they are after Trump.

        This all started in December 2015 – more than 3 years ago, the public has been aware of much of it since the fall of 2016.

        I have understood from the begining, that no amount of misconduct on the part of those out to “get trump” would result in consequences – if anything of substance turned up on Trump.
        That is not how the law is supposed to work. Those who act lawlessly are to be punished even if some of us beleive they did so for good cause.

        But it is the reality – whether the target is Trump or a black kid on a street selling drugs, that those tasked with law enforcement can get away with most anything – including actual crimes, so long as there is little doubt that their target is a criminal.

        That is unfortunate, but it is true. We should hold those tasked with enforcing the law
        to a higher standard of conformance with the law actual criminals – but we do not.

        Regardless, 3+ years later that is not what we have. What we have is the same as what we had at the start – nothing. Nealry all the original nonsensical claims are GONE. Every day we get myriads of new ones.
        We get an assortment of fake claims of fake crimes by anonymous sources.

        We have pretty much exactly the moral and ethical disaster than CS Lewis warned of when we are so consumed by hate that we wish for evil outcomes that will harm innocent people so long as that destroys our enemy

        And you dare to wrap yourselves in some kind of moral mantle.

        We have labeled a part of our history – the MacCarthy era – because partisan politicians and many people in this country lost sight of there on moral and ethical foundations.
        They sought to thwart the freedom of those who disagreed with them politically.
        At that time it was the “right” castigating the “left” because it did not full throatedly condemn the russian boogey men of that era. Villians like Stalin who make Putin look like a pussy cat.

        And hear we are today – 70 years later with the left doing the same thing.

        We hear “Russia, Russia, Russia”, And everything that those we do not like do is inherently suspicious – if not obviously wrong – because we do not like them.

        “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

    • Roby permalink
      February 28, 2019 11:46 pm

      Yes dduck, I hear you, I do recognize all the symptoms of trumps “I know best and don’t need any stinkin advice” syndrome that infects everything he does. The thought of trump going one on one with people like kim and putin without advisors or the traditional prep by security, intelligence, and military advisors is properly terrifying. Its possible that this is just a fiasco. As I say so often, history will judge. History and the next news cycle are very different things.

      I am still pulling for trump to have changed the game to everyone’s advantage in the Korean frozen conflict. If in the end the trump-kim negotiations ratchet down the tension and risks in the Koreas that will be a win no matter how it comes about.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2019 6:35 am

        I am glad that you are rooting for Trump to succeed.

        There are too many even here – who would welcome a nuclear conflict if it ended Trump’s presidency.

        I would note that “I know best and don’t need any stinkin advice” is also what those who are ragging on Trump are essentially claiming.

        I do not think Trump is “expert” in the things that he does. But the track record of those claiming he needs to follow their advice is abysmal.

        The mideast is the way it is because presidents from Clinton through Obama followed that “stinkin advice”.

        North Korea is as it is because presidents following that “stinkin advice”.

        You and other posters here – would have agreed that the advice of these “experts” in government stunk – when George Bush was president.

        Trump does NOT have to be expert – to do better than the so called experts.

        I do not think there is a single person in the defense department or the state department who can claim to have been instrumental in some past US success.

        Most of us DO NOT want more of the same foreign and military policy that we had with Bush and Obama. We like Trump are not “experts”. but we do not have an unrelenting track record carreening between failure and mediocrity.

        Trump shunning the advice of “experts” might be arrogance, but it can just as easily be seen as ignoring what those who have no past records of success advise.

        “The thought of trump going one on one with people like kim and putin without advisors or the traditional prep by security, intelligence, and military advisors is properly terrifying.”

        Why so ? These are negotiations. The details are not resolved at the level of heads of states. Further while negotiations between nations are often personal, actual deals are not.
        Trump can not come to a “secret” deal with anyone. He can negotiate in secret, but in the end any deal can not take effect without becoming public.

        As Pompeo said to democratic congressmen grilling him on Trump’s private conversations with Trump – Putin and Trump can talk about whatever they want, in the end, the Policy of the US towards Russia has not changed, nor can it change as a consequence of a secret meeting.

        “Its possible that this is just a fiasco.”

        Trump has a long history of volatile negotiartions long before getting elected.

        Most of us do not like volatility. We want peace quit and security.
        But real change is always volatile.

        “If in the end the trump-kim negotiations ratchet down the tension and risks in the Koreas that will be a win no matter how it comes about.”

        It already has. That could change, but thus far it has.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 1, 2019 4:45 am

      Do we have to keep this nonsense up ?

      Above there are inumberable posts Claiming Trump was going to give Kim a deal almost no matter what. Posters here said it, Pundits said it.

      It was a foregone conclusion that Trump was going to fold and give Kim Un a deal much better than Iran. And lost of bad reasons were offered as to why Trump was going to do so.
      Mostly stupid.

      But that is not what happens. what appears to be the case is Kim went for more than he was going to get, refused to back down, and Trump left. Now we have Kim saying “no, no that is not really what he meant” and offering pretty much what Trump wants.

      If you have been paying any attention – this has been going like this from the start.

      Trump and Kim will be back at the table soon enough.

      In the meantime:

      Trump’s bargaining position with China is stronger.
      He just sent ANOTHER message – pretty much like the emergency declaration on the Wall, that he is not to be triffled with. That he will get what he wants. That things can be easy or hard.

      Trump’s bargaining position with Kim is stronger.
      Kim is the one who is now publicly assuring everyone that he was willing to give up his nukes.

      Regardless the argument you are making is that in a negotiation you MUST continue to try to negotiate NO MATTER WHAT.

      If you beleive that – then you are going to be taken to the cleaners in any negotiation.

      You say Trump did not prepare ?

      What is there to prepare for ?
      Trump has been negotiating his entire life.
      He has personally negotiated probably hundreds more deals than Obama, or anyone one on either side in any of these negotiations.

      What facts do you think he had no gasp of that were important ?

      There are really very few things that get directly negotiated at the level of the president.
      The big deal here – the one that people were sure Trump was going to cave on, was NK verifiably ending its nuclear programs. Trump left because Kim was either unwilling to do so, or unwilling to be clear that he would. there is very little else that is of consequence.

      There is no “prepared” or “unprepared” here.

      What Trump was PREPARED for – was walking away if he was unable to get what he wanted. That has nothing to do with anything these nonsensical news articles are fixating on.

      What seems self evident – is that the media, the left, and you have no idea how to actually negotiate.

      Trump does.

      Trump has just done in Vietnam, what Obama was unable to do in Iran.

      Walk away from a bad deal.

      The only way you can be assured of getting a good deal, is if you are willing to walk away from a bad one.

      BTW – read the quotes you cite.

      If what they claimed are facts regarding NK are true – why are you surprised that Trump walked away ?

      I would further note that the facts cited are NOT that important – with respect to the negotiations.

      It does not matter whether NK was “cheating” prior to the “summit” what matter was whether Kim would agree to denuclearize in a verifiable way.

      The ASSUMPTION that an actually wise person – rather than the idiots who are foaming over all of this is that Trump pressed Kim on PRECISELY the things you claim he was not paying attention on, and Kim ducked the issues.

      You do not seem to understand – none of the “facts” offered matter. Trump was wise enough to grasp he did not NEED to know the details.

      All Trump needed to know – was that Kim was going to try to cheat, and that he should not give him an agreement where he could.

  35. Jay permalink
    February 28, 2019 9:59 pm

    On 11/16/16 the Liar In Cheif said this:

    “I am not trying to get “top level security clearance” for my children. This was a typically false news story”

    Today’s New York Times:

    “WASHINGTON — President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, a top-secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns flagged by intelligence officials and the White House’s top lawyer, four people briefed on the matter said.

    Mr. Trump’s decision in May so troubled senior administration officials that at least one, the White House chief of staff at the time, John F. Kelly, wrote a contemporaneous internal memo about how he had been “ordered” to give Mr. Kushner the top-secret clearance.

    The White House counsel at the time, Donald F. McGahn II, also wrote an internal memo outlining the concerns that had been raised about Mr. Kushner — including by the C.I.A. — and how Mr. McGahn had recommended that he not be given a top-secret clearance.”

    Let’s hear those BS refutes from Trump Ass Smoochers. I can hardly wait…

    • dhlii permalink
      March 1, 2019 4:55 am

      I would assume that you have those memo’s ? That Kelly and McGahn have corroborated the story ?

      Or is this just another of those anonymous sources stories with lots of details that prove false ?

      Regardless, it does not matter. The president is free to share classified information with whoever he pleases. And free to trust whoever he pleases with it.

      This entire nonsense was addressed AT THE TIME.

      What KELLEY said AT THE TIME, was that the Whitehouse Office responsible for the final review of security clearances was SLOW WALKING EVERY CLEARANCE in an effort to handicap Trump.

      That stopped when Kelley required that the FBI repots came to HIM before going to the carreer whitehouse security staff, because that made it impossible for them to manufacture obstacles.

      What you are actually demonstrating is that Trump has not fired enough people at the whitehouse yet.

      That a substantial portion of the purported carreer staff at the whitehouse. Leak like a sieve and are engaged in political obstruction.

      I would further note that Jared Kushner has been Trump’s special envoy in the mideast since the inauguration. And he has had more success in the past two years than Obama had during his entire 8 years.

      I do not give a damn if Trump trusts people he has worked with for decades who are also family.

      I do care about his/their ACTUAL successes and failures.

  36. Jay permalink
    February 28, 2019 11:17 pm

    Dave, your namesake at NYT just nailed your trumpanzee metamorphosis

    • Roby permalink
      February 28, 2019 11:37 pm

      … tolerant of any corruption… BY YOUR OWN SIDE that is.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2019 6:17 am

        Please identify ACTUAL corruption ?

        The vast majority of what you spray about Trump is NOT corruption.

        It might offend you. but it does not violate the law or the constitution.
        If you do not like the rules for the conduct of the president – CHANGE THEM.
        Then whatever changes you wish will apply equally to ALL presidents.

        Too my knowledge Trump has not directed the DOJ or FBI to open an investigation of Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren. Yet, Obama did.

        That is pretty much TEXT BOOK corruption.

        Most of what we get is the garbage of the past two days:

        Trump is NOT going to stand tough with Kim Un,

        Oh, God no! Trump stood Tough with Kim Un!!!

        I do not pretend to know the right approach to negotiating with Kim Un.

        But you are certain that you know exactly what the wrong approach is.
        Whatever Trump does. It does not matter what that is.
        You have redefined right and wrong in most everything – such that if Trump does it, then it is wrong.

        You have destroyed your own credibility.

        I am very intolerant of actual corruption. Find me some actual corruption involving Trump want you can hang him.

        Not innuendo, not fake stories about fake crimes, from unnamed sources, not things you beleive. Actual crimes.

        I see a long list of actual crimes. Crimes committed by those in government – those Trump called “the swamp”, who were determined that Trump would not become president, would not become their boss, and when he did, that he would not remain.
        I see leaks of classified information.
        I see leaks of grand jury material.
        I see likes leaked for personal gain or to harm ones enemies.
        I see actual abuse of power for political or personal advantage.
        I see lies – often under oath, by those with a public trust to honestly and failfully enforce the law to follow the constitution and to protect the rights of the individual.

        That you do not care about.

        All this fake garbage that keeps burning to ash – that you care about.

        Every single claim made thus far regarding Trump has PROVEN either
        Not true, or not a crime.

        Every day you tell me that everything is going to hell.

        And yet we are not in hell. And in fact things are getting better.

        Once again – we are not doing as well as Trump brags.
        You want to slam him for bragging – absolutely.
        Trump paints medicrity as excellence.

        But if that is a great offense – then what is it when you paint doing poorly as doing good ?

        Regardless, given a choice – I am less interested in what either Obama or Trump brag about themselves and more interested in what has actually been done.

        The most recent economic numbers just came out – 2.6% growth.
        There are competing stories about whether that is above or below projections – both stories true – it is above some projections and below others.
        What is also true is that of the 8 quarters that Trump has been president every one except the first has had growth above Obama’s average.
        That we have had 7 straight quarters of 2.2% or higher growth with no end in sight.
        The longest streak of growth over 2% during Obama was only 5 quarters, and the next longest 3. It is likely that by 2020 Trump will have had more quarters over 2.2% growth than Obama had in 8 years. Thus far Trump has not had a single quarter below 1.8% – Obama had 5 quarters of negative growth – 3 of which were AFTER the recession had ended.
        and 19 quarters out of 24 total with growth below 2%.

        Trump has claimed greater success in trade deals than I think he has actually had.
        even so at WORST he has done no worse than Obama.
        In pretty much every way Trump has done no worse than Obama.
        In most ways he has done better.

        Your ranting and anger at Trump would not be hypocritical – if you had the same anger and ranting at Obama – but you did not.

        Every day you tell me how things are going to hell.

        And yet every day – they are not.

      • Jay permalink
        March 1, 2019 12:25 pm

        “The most recent economic numbers just came out – 2.6% growth.
        There are competing stories about whether that is above or below projections – both stories true – it is above some projections and below others.”

        Trump PROMISED economic growth of “4%, 5%, maybe 6%.”
        Shame on you for not chastising him for spurious inflated bullshit.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2019 3:25 pm

        “Trump PROMISED economic growth of “4%, 5%, maybe 6%.”
        Shame on you for not chastising him for spurious inflated bullshit.”

        Again you can not read.

        He did, I have – repeatedly.

        The numbers are not “inflated” they are from multiple sources and widely accepted.
        The numbers I use for Both Trump and Obama are from Trading economics – not a government source.

        2.6% growth is POOR. It is also nearly 1% HIGHER that Obama Managed.
        I beleive the 2yr AVERAGE growth for Trump is over 3% – that is a little short of DOUBLE Obama.

        Absolutely we should be seeing 4-6% SUSTAINED growth.
        Absolutely Trump promised that and he is not delivering.

        At the same time – as noted Obama NEVER delivered growth this high or a growth streak this long.

        It is bad that I have to celebrate an accomplishment of Trump’s that is so poor.

        At the same time it is not merely MUCH better than Obama’s, it is likely better than any other republican would have delivered, certainly much better than Clinton would have delivered and better than any democrat running in 2020 will deliver.

        How do I know that ? Because as I have told you REPEATEDLY Economic growth correlated strongly to only two things.

        Negatively to the scale of government,
        and positively to individual liberty.

        Every democratic candidate intends to EXPAND government, merely trying will ensure less growth.
        Nor is there a candidate republican or democrat who would have nearly as effectively as Trump chocked government regulation.

        Those things matter.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2019 3:26 pm

        If you are riding a tricycle and some promises you a BMW and the give you a Subaru

        How much should you complain ?

      • Jay permalink
        March 1, 2019 5:51 pm

        If they asked me to vote for them to be president of my bank and promised me in exchange enough profit the following two years to buy a BMW, I’d vote them out at earliest opportunity, and sue to recover half their salary as a BMW costs twice a Subaru.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 1:06 am

        There must be some words or something missing from your reply.

        Regardless, you seem to have entirely missed the point.
        It is irrelevant what people promise. What is relevant is what they can deliver.

        As much as we carp about Trump’s promises – he has NOT delivered, nor will he.
        But he has still delivered more and better to all of us than any recent president, or anything we could have expected from Clinton or anything we can expect from the current crop of pygmies.

        If your response is asserting otherwise – it is sufficiently muddled I can not tell,
        Then it is wrong.

        Regardless the analogy I provided correlates to reality.
        Yours correlates to nothing.
        I am voting based on the real world – not a fantasy world.

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2019 2:54 pm

        “There must be some words or something missing from your reply….
        Regardless, you seem to have entirely missed the point.
        It is irrelevant what people promise. What is relevant is what they can deliver.”

        There must be some crucial brain function missing from your mind, Dave-John.

        If people don’t deliver what they promise, that’s called swindling. Tell the hundreds of small businesses and contractors Trump swindled who filed lawsuits, liens, judgements against him for fraudently failing to pay the full amounts of money he promised for work they did, that their claims are irrelevant.

        Tell it to the people he swindled with inflated promises at Trump U their anguish was irrelevant (or to the judge who ordered a $25 million dollar settlement to students who were ‘defrauded.’)

        Tell it to 48 servers at at Trump’s Miami golf resort he promised to pay overtime for a special event, who had to sue for settlements averaging $800 each.

        As our pal Tea Party Joe said today: “History will hammer these Trump sycophants … who proudly defend Trump’s lying and refuse to stand up for the truth.”

        That goes double for people like you who smugly kiss his butt with ends-justify-means rationalizations.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 3:41 pm

        “If people don’t deliver what they promise, that’s called swindling”

        No actually it is not.

        The law – as well as most people distinguish between promises and binding commitments.

        Fraud, Swindling, is when you break a promise that was offered in return for something else.

        “If you pay me $3 I will provide you a burger” is binding. There is actual harm if I give you $3 and you do not give me a burger.

        “I promise not to post tomorow” – is not not a binding commitment. I am free to change my mind.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 3:47 pm

        “Tell the hundreds of small businesses and contractors Trump swindled who filed lawsuits, liens, judgements against him for fraudently failing to pay the full amounts of money he promised for work they did, that their claims are irrelevant.”

        I have no idea how many of these there actually are and I doubt you do either, nor of the merits of each claim.

        I do trust that the legal system we have has done its best to resolve this appropriately.

        Trump U was “settled”, The court approved the settlement, it did not ORDER anything. It did not reach any conclusions.

        I do not for the most part have much sympathy for those subscribing to Trump U.

        They got exactly what they paid for. They wanted the secret to success. While it is not a secret, they were given exactly that – be driven, motivated and work your ass off.

        That is it.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 3:53 pm

        You keep using the word “settlement” as if it means something different from mutual agreement.

        You also spray such things as “had to sue”. No one “has to sue”.

        I do not know what your servers were promised or who promised it to them.
        Nor do you.

        I do not know whether they were egregiously abused or are gold diggers.

        We have courts to sort that out.

        But this – as many other cases usually settle, because our courts are way to expensive.

        Regardless a “settlement” is NOT a conclusion regarding who was right and who was wrong.

        You have claimed to have business experience – you should know this.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 3:56 pm

        If we are going to punish people who lie, who do not keep their binding promises,

        Then we should start with Joe Walsh.

        Why should I place much weight in what Joe says about keeping commitments ?

        Aren’t commitments to your spouse and children the most important ?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 3:59 pm

        The ends do not justifiy the means.

        Give me a choice of someone proposing good means to good ends and you have my vote.

        Given the real world choices I actually have,

        I will take following the law as it is, combined with a 50% gain in the economy over
        Lawlessness with a weaker economy.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 4:01 pm

        The ends do not justify the means is typically an a priori agument against the use of bad means based on HOPED FOR ends.

        There is a presumption you are obligated to rebut that when the outcome is better that the means were more legitimate.

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2019 4:58 pm

        Amen, bro:

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 4:45 pm

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2019 3:37 pm

        You do understand the significance of economic growth ?

        Higher growth improves most EVERYTHING. It is not merely about consumerism, it is about improving our LIFE.

        Further all gains in growth are cumulative and compounding.

        So if you get 4% growth for 2Q follower by 3% – the benefits of the 2Q’s of 4% remain forever and all subsequence growth is on top of those.

        The difference between 1.8% and 2.3% over a decade is nearly $2T in our economy.
        That is almost 10% additional total growth.

        And that difference grows exponentially with Time.

        Absolutely Trump has lied. He promised better.
        We got a Subaru, not a BMW, But atleast we are off the damn tricycle.
        No matter what any of them promised NONE of the other choices were going to improve on the Tricycle.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 1, 2019 5:11 am

      No Jay;

      The “moral corruption” is yours.

      When Obama was elected Republicans did everything they could to constitutionally obstruct Obama.

      From BEFORE Trump was elected – democrats, the left, the administration, the media, have done anything they think is necescary to thwart trump – without regard for the law or the constitution.

      What you call “rationalizing” – is expecting that YOU will not just make things up as you go.

      You want to be outraged at Trump – unless you hold the similar or worse actions of democrats in the same disregard – you have zero credibility.

      Stomping up and down and frothing in moral outrage is only meaningful when YOU are not a hypocrit, when YOU are consistent, in your judgement, when YOU follow the actual law and constitution. And when those you claim to support do the same.

      There is ZERO doubt at this point that Trump faced an actual criminal conspiracy within our government both prior to being elected and continuing right to this day to thwart the law and the constitution.

      There is some question as to how LARGE that conspiracy was. But the only evidence of actual collusion with Russia is on the part of the Clinton campaign.
      The only actual evidence of illegal campaign activity is that of the DOJ/FBI/CIA both during and after the election. Mueller has a handful of people on process crimes.

      There is an equally long list of people WITHIN DOJ/FBI/CIA who are being investigated for and clearly guilty of crimes that are NOT process crimes.
      Nearly the entire upper tier of DOJ/FBI/CIA is admittedly guilty of leaking:
      Classified information.
      Information from grand juries
      Information from ongoing investigations.

      For most the only hope they have – is that much of what they leaked was FALSE.

      It is actually a crime to leak lies about an ongoing criminal investigation if you are part of that investigation.

      But that is the least of what was done – just the most clearly TRUE – usually by the admission of those involved.

      Right now – nearly the entirety of the Obama upper tier in DOJ/CIA/FBI are being investigated for crimes.

      Unlike the members of Trump’s campaign, they are being investigated by mostly honest people, often by their peers who are highly unlikely to look to prosecute people they worked with in government – for more heinous acts than have been alleged regarding the Trump campaign.

      If Trump had ACTUALLY had secret meeting with Putin seeking to “influence” the 2016 election that would be LESS corrupt than those inside the federal government seeking to influence the election.

      • Jay permalink
        March 1, 2019 12:34 pm

        Dave, you’re a full-of-shit apologist for GOP-Trumpian one sided ass-kissing.

        But of course you will respond with paragraphs (multiples) of rationalization for your distorted cult adulation of the Orange Dingbat.

        Daily reminder: GFY.

      • March 1, 2019 2:08 pm


        I have refrained from commenting the last few days because it is the same crap on this site day after day after day. I tried to open a discussion about the far left blocking legislation requiring doctors to provide medical care to infants born alive and it only ended in an abortion debate, and not a debate concerning the facts. Then it only got one comment about the right making false claims and that this never happens. (If it never happens, then why should the left block legislation for something that never happens? If it never happens, then let the legislation go through because it will never impact anyone!))

        Buton to the point. I am going to say this as I think it is important to those that do not have TDS.

        Anytime anyone says anything positive about what is happening in this country economically, that person is accused here of being a Trump apologist. The only way someone can not be an apologist is to attack anything in the news as being negative news and blame Trump. Example 2.9% economic growth compared to 1.6% in Obama’s last year is not good news, its bad news because it was not 3%, 3.5%, 4%…..

        Go back and read what I have said and what Dave has said in numerous comments. If you open your mind you may find that neither of us has said we voted for Trump, that we like Trump or that we support Trump personally.

        I believe you will find that both of us have said we support Trump’s policies.That his policies have been good in some respects. Me much more than Dave since I support his China trade policies much more than Dave. Dave is basically a free trader where I am much more a “fair” trader where fair is defined as “tit for tat”. You have a tariff on $100B in products, we have an equal tariff on $100B in products.

        I believe you will find that both of us has said we are not making any judgements on legal or illegal actions committed by Trump until the facts are presented. Neither of us support the SC in the way he has conducted the investigation, but when those findings are released and the complete facts are known, then and only then will I make a decision on those issues.I would hope anyone would wait for the facts, but that is not happening. Guilty until proven innocent.

        And I believe you will find that both of us have stated that Clinton is just as guilty of crimes as as the TDS’ers claims of Trump being guilty of crimes.

        Ask me if I prefer a different GOP candidate and I will say yes 100%, even Ted Cruz. Ask me if I would vote for Harris, Booker, Sanders or others running on the far left, and I will say I will vote for a third party or not vote for the president at all. I can not and will never vote for someone who supports issues like the Paris Accords, gun control, high taxes, Medicare for all, free college education, forgiveness of student debt, repatriation for ancestors of slaves.and other economically and socially unacceptable far left socialist positions.

        Ask me if I would vote for Beto, and I would have to give that much thought because he said he would tear down all the walls if elected president, and we all know queen Nancy thinks walls are immoral, so since he supports my thinking on this, I could vote for him if he is the nominee. We all know democrats keep all their campaign promises compared to the GOP. His wall position may trump all his other socialist positions. I can “compromise” if the walls come tumbling down!

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2019 4:09 pm

        The left does an incredible amount of fighting against laws and actions that are solutions to problems they claim NEVER HAPPEN.

        We have compelling evidence of Voter Fraud in most every state that has significant mail in voting. We have a tiny amount of evidence of that fraud in one republican campaign in NC,
        And the left is frothing over that. We have evidence of much larger frauds in TX, AZ, and CA
        And we here NADA from the left – the only states that have laws against this – are red states, and god forbid those states should try to enforce those laws against democrats, but should a single republican engage in the same fraud democrats are doing accross the country – pillory him.

        Laws are only for those on the right. Those on the left are free to do as they please, because, well “feelings”.

        The Wall is purportedly going to be ineffective. If that is the case – why this MASSIVE opposition to it ? As government waste goes the cost is small. Trump is managing to pay for it with rounding errors in other budgets.

        The left has fought a holy war against voter ID laws. Thwarting them for over a decade, despite the fact that SCOTUS blessed them long ago.

        more than 70% of people support them. Including minorities and democrats – and yet democratic politicians and judges attempt to thwart them with a virulence that one would expect of an existential threat.

        I do not agree that we need the federal legislation that republicans are pushing and democrats are opposing. Murder remains a crime, and the murder of a newborn is still murder – even in NY. Nor will a federal law matter in places like NY that will ignore it.
        The republican measure is fundimentally symbolic and a waste. At the same time you are absolutely correct – even as a symbol it does not merit the virulent opposition it has garnered.

        The left in this country is entirely UNHINGED – and that includes those posters here who foam and froth at every word from Trump and celebrate every word against him and beleive anything negative no matter how thin the evidence.

        Jay pointed out that Trump promised 4-6% growth – and JAY IS RIGHT.
        I will be happy to have a rational discussion about why Trump is falling short on his promises regarding Growth. But even that discussion must ACCEPT that he is doing nearly 1% better than Obama. Because if we are unable to accept the facts about the past and the present – how can we possibly figure out what does and does not work ?

        None of this is magic.
        We can substantially reduce Voter Fraud and more importantly the perception of voter fraud.
        It is not even hard.
        But we can not accomplish it by wishing that it would go away as we work to make it easier.

        I think that we can actually improve growth, I think we know how. Knowing what to do is not hard. The hard part is that it involves goring the sacred cows of the left. It requires recognizing that many things we have done in the past do not work and ending them.

      • Jay permalink
        March 1, 2019 4:19 pm

        Though we have different views on many issues, Ron, we both share high levels of frustration with idiots both Dem & GOP.

        I’ve never been this ANGRY 😤 at duplicitious politicians in my adult life, but this slew of GOP hypocrites are far worse than the Dems – for defending and enabling this lying devisive asshole president.

        Trump – a truly morally defective human – his defects amplified under the spotlight of Presidential power – has deteriorated the office, possibly beyond repair in our remaining years.

        Some positive legislation or accomplishments occur during ALL presidential terms. Hitler’s economy BOOMED during his elected rule. Mussolini took credit for Italy’s trains running on time. Nixon ended the military draft. But history doesn’t judge rulers positively for a few good ticks performed at the expansive cascades of disaster they engendered. Trump has lowered the standards of probity for high elected office, so don’t be surprised as that spiral continues downward.

        My criteria for the 2020 Vote matches the views of respected conservative Tom Nichols @RadioFreeTom :

        “I’m #NeverTrump and will vote for whoever is nominated against Trump. (Well, unless it’s Jill Stein or something, but I mean among the obvious Democratic Party figures.) But if the Dems move too far left, Trump will win the EC – again.”

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 12:16 am

        “I’m #NeverTrump and will vote for whoever is nominated against Trump. ”

        Glad you have given it so much thought.

        So lets say Obama was able to Run against Trump.
        And you KNEW for certainty that if Obama won – the economy would return to volatility and a max of 1.8% average growth. But if Trump remained – we would continue to have 2.3% to 2.6% growth.

        Or if Obama won – we would end up with more troops in the mideast and more endless war.
        Or if Obama won – the NK negotiations would be off and NK would return to missle tests and coming closer and closer to a hydrogen bomb that it could deliver to the US ?

        My question is not about either Trump or Obama.

        It is really about what do you want for the country ?

        I think you have answered that. Your hatred of Trump is so deep you would not merely spite yourself but spite the country to be rid of him.

        I do not know how I will vote in 2020 – we still have 2 years.

        But ultimately my vote will be about the best interests of the country, not who I hate the most.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2019 3:47 pm


        You are pretty much exactly like Trump – you are full of insults and trash talk for anyone who disagrees with you.

        Though there is one differences – Trump is and has accomplished many things of consequence, you have not.

        Further your corruption goes significantly beyond that of Trump.
        You insult nearly everyone.

        I have no tolerance for those who claim moral superiority over everyone else – and are not merely absent any evidence to support that assertion but self evidently WORSE than those they assault.

        I keep harping on Facts, Logic reason. When you make claims, when you pass moral judgements on others, and you CAN NOT back those claims up with FACTS, LOGIC, and REASON, The moral failure is YOURS.

        You can complain about the length of my posts. Fine do not read them.
        But yours are full of insults – and you go beyond merely insulting Trump to insulting ANYONE who does not hate him as thoroughly as you do,
        And you do so WITHOUT FACTS, LOGIC, REASON.

        THAT IS A MORAL FAILURE – and a larger one than you are accusing anyone else of.

      • Jay permalink
        March 1, 2019 5:59 pm

        If I’m just like Trump why aren’t you constantly validating me?

        If as therefor follows Trump is like me, why don’t you chastise him more often?

        And at best I read one out of four of your comments (or less when they tediously clog my email notification of New Moderate posts)… any more than that and my anti acid Tums budget surpasses my Irish Whiskey costs.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 1:14 am

        “If I’m just like Trump why aren’t you constantly validating me?”

        Do you have accomplishments that entitle you to that kind of validation ?

        “If as therefor follows Trump is like me, why don’t you chastise him more often ?”

        I have Trump’s actions to judge him by.
        All I have for you is the same garbage words.

        “And at best I read one out of four of your comments (or less when they tediously clog my email notification of New Moderate posts)… any more than that and my anti acid Tums budget surpasses my Irish Whiskey costs.”

        Read, don’t, your choice.

        Your need for Whickey or tums is your own responsibility, not mine.

        If facts give you heartburn, maybe your body is trying to tell you something – like that what you beleive and what is true are in conflict.

      • Roby permalink
        March 1, 2019 5:11 pm

        Ron, your comments were possibly not aimed at me, but I will stick in my two cents. Jay is a well behaved tabby cat compared to your fellow libertarian as far as posting habits go. Its not so easy as you may think to navigate the issue of coexisting with Dave.

        Lets say I were to give myself a new screen name and be Dave… to you. You would not be able to ignore, or tolerate the Treatment. We can’t either.

        The site dynamics flow from there.

      • March 1, 2019 6:28 pm

        Roby..Jay.. First, being able to tolerate Dave and his excesive words to make point s that could be made in single paragraphs. I scan his comments. But I know his positions for the most part. And maybe because his positions are more aligned with mine, I am not offended by the positions he supports.

        As for Jay and his position that Trump needs to be replaced at all cost, I cant support this given the choices the democrats are giving us. For those like me and our belief that the PPACA did little other than make insurance companies richer than they already were. The PPACA was minor league stuff compared to what the new breed of democrats will cram down our guts.

        I would not want Trump in my house. I would not want Trump anywhere around my daughters. I would not attend any functions Trump was attending. But if I had a choice of someone like Trump running my company making long range decisions that positioned my company for long range success, while constantly appearing in the news with negative issues, or I could hire someone with the character of Jimmy Carter that would make long range decisions like the new breed of democrats that would position my company for long range financial devestation, I would have to hire the Trump character.

        And that is the shitty choice we have. Once we have entitlements enacted, we never get rid of them, even with parties totally in control that object to entitlements unable to reverse them. So many think Medicare for all is good until one accepts that the current Medicare so many depend on will get totally replaced to fit the majority in the program. To pay for pediatric care, maternity care and all those services that seniors do not utilize now, what will seniors lose?

        If we resign Paris Accords, how many companies will move overseas to China that does not have to meet the same standards as us until sometime in the 2050’s. China already has salary expense advantages to us. And add energy advantages?

        Whatever the decision in 2020, I am making financial plans early to protect my investments now ( what little I have) because I look for substantial declines if the democrats take control. And I have a very pessimistic outlook for 2020 to at least 2025.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 1:22 am


        Thank you.

        I am not writing editorials for the NYT. If I were I would put more effort into saying in a few words what I often take many paragraphs. I am not paid to write here. I get to choose whether I spend more effort to be more concise.

        I am not – atleast not here. I do a great deal of writing as part of life, I have been published and separately write professional reports and papers all the time.
        Alot more effort goes into concise in those.

        There is a difference between disagreement over positions and personal offence.
        I reserve personal offence for hypocracy, of which there is way too much.

        Disagreement over positions does not justify personal offense.
        Atleast not unless your position involves advocating the use of force against others.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 1:23 am

        Please give me a democrat with Jimmy Carter’s character. Please!

        He was a unicorn in 1976 and is more so today.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 12:51 am


        What are your criteria for “well behaved” ?

        Have I called you a Pig or a Hog ? Or a Robot ? Have I attributed a variety of mental illnesses to you ?

        Is that expression that you would call that of a “well behaved tabby” ?

        In fact have I actually harmed any of you in any way ?

        What are your standards ?

        That is the entire point. You are free to have whatever standards you want – or just go with your guts. But you are judged bother by your own conformance to your own standards, as well as the actual standards or your lack of them.

        In the end – you are rarely interested in engaging on any issue of substance – and Jay pretty much never.

        I would ask why do you post at all ? That is a serious question, that I am honestly trying to understand.

        If as Jay, all you post is insults fallacies and ad hominem – you are free to do that, but why ?
        How does that benefit you or anyone else ? And what does that say about you ?

        Honestly, I do not care how you feel about me or Jay. I care about the respect of the person I see in the mirror. If what you post leaves you respecting yourself – that is up to you.
        I could not tolerate that lack of values and principles or conformance to them in myself.

        For the first 16 years of the 21st century we have had presidents that wore their hearts on their sleeve. They spoke soothing words, they “felt our pain”, and 16 years later we have their sympathy, but are little better off. Many of us are worse off.
        A whole generation of us – rich and poor is substantially less well off than we would have been with a president who “felt less of our pain”, and threw less monkey wrenches at us.

        We have had only two years of Trump – seven quarters in a row of sustained growth about 2% – we had not seen that for a decade.
        That is jobs, and raises, and time with our family, that is better ability to afford healthcare and better heatlhcare.

        Is Trump the great success as president he claims he is – thus far NO!
        Is he substantially better for all of us than the past two ? Indisputably.
        Is there a single challenger of consequence who is not near certain to bring us back to the mess of the prior 16 years – or worse ? In Nov. 2020 your get to place that bet.

        You want me to disparage Trump ? He is merely average but he is competing against pygmies.

        We should be demanding more – better. Thus 2.6% growth – that is not enough.
        This nation is better than that and our government is still in the way.
        But you honestly have some hope of better form the pygmies ?
        Not a chance.

        So what is Trump’s great sin ? that he talks like someone from the Bronx ?

      • March 2, 2019 1:14 am

        Dave, “So what is Trump’s great sin ? that he talks like someone from the Bronx ?”

        Trumps sin is acting in public how many strong business leaders act in private. I guess where I overlook many of Trumps sins is due to my 40+ years, many of which I attended board finance committee meetings at the Health System. We had furniture compwny executives, textile executives, bank presidents and many other business leaders. Withoutva doubt, many had the traits Trump exhibits. All that did were obnoxious asses that I tried to ingore, but in that setting that was difficult.

        But for some that nevef experienced that, Trump is an outlier. For those that have experienced what I have, Trump is more the usual and not an outlier.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 1:41 am

        The business leaders assholes that you had to contend with came about their arrogance honestly. They took risks – usually large ones, personally, worked their asses off and succeeded. They are entitled to beleive they are better than others – than “the Experts” at make decisions – particularly about finance – because they have a track record that proves they do.

        You are absolutely correct that these people are rare, they are outliers.
        They are also the people the rest of us depend on.

      • March 2, 2019 2:01 am

        ” They took risks – usually large ones, personally, worked their asses off and succeeded.”

        Except the worst of the bunch were the second and third generation leaders that took over for their fathers and grand fathers. And there financial acumen was no where near those that worked hard and created succesful companies.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 3:52 am

        “Except the worst of the bunch were the second and third generation leaders that took over for their fathers and grand fathers. And there financial acumen was no where near those that worked hard and created succesful companies.”

        Creating a successful business for scratch is just about the most difficult thing that can be done. 1 in 7 startups succeed.

        Maintaining an existing business is no where near as difficult.
        But do not pretend it is easy.

        Go find top 20 companies on the fortune 500 list from 1975. I think only One remains in the top 20. The majority of them do not exist anymore. Once a business has survived its first two years – it has a 50:50 chance of surviving 15 more.

        I have no doubt the people you dealt with were asses. But presuming they are also idiots is a mistake.

        There is actually plenty of room to make mistakes in a business and survive. Those in business at the top of successful businesses make mistakes – and survive.
        But every mistake makes survival harder and no matter what there are competitors out there waiting to capitolize on your failures.

        Think of business as a HS math test – you must get 9 of ten things right to get an A,
        You do not need to be perfect. But there is a new test every week. You can even get a B sometimes, maybe even a C rarely, but get a D or F ONCE and you are toast.
        Get C’s over and over and you will not survive. To grow you must get A’s most of the time.

        Small business is in my DNA. My great great grandfather started a business, His father started a competing one, my grandfather went into competition with his father. My grandfather through my father out of his business and my father started his own business that grew to 55 people over 50 years – I was part of that business from the time I could add a column of numbers, and I ran the business part of the business for 22 years.
        Today it is gone. Partly my mistakes, partly my fathers mistakes, partly difficult times, partly a cordinated effort by one family member to destroy the business from the inside. One less mistake, one less problem, and it would still be here today – providing 50 or more jobs.
        And that is just my fathers side. My mother’s father started a business in 1930 that is still running today. That is REALLY REALLY hard.

        My Great Great Grandfather, …. through my father, and my mother, and my self those people are the assholes you were dealing with. And I would agree with you that they and their friends from the SMB community are stuborn oppinionated bastards used to getting their own way. They know they are not always right. But they also know they are right more often than the rest of us. They also know that being right is not what is important. Two things are important. Getting things done, and not being wrong.

        If you are looking for people to bet on with the highest probability of a big payoff – those are who you should choose.

        If you wonder why Trump’s (and mine) disdain for “experts” – I would suggest reading Nasim Taleeb. If you do not have “skin in the game” you expertise is very nearly worthless.
        Do not get me wrong – I read experts, I listen to what they have to say. I allow their expertise to inform me. But when a decision needs to be made – if you do not have a stake in the outcome, if you are not going to benefit from the right decision and lose from the wrong one, your expertise is not that important.

  37. dduck12 permalink
    February 28, 2019 11:36 pm

    DB: A little holier than thou. These are just two sleaze bags, one perhaps a Fagin, but the other not nearly an Oliver, more of an artful dodger..

    • dhlii permalink
      March 1, 2019 5:44 am


      What kind of person insults others obliquely as you do ?

      If you are going to call someone a “sleaze bag” or a “Fagin” or an “artful dodger”,

      Then do so openly.

      It is not cute or a sign of intelligence, it is a sign of dishonesty.

      It is what people who want to throw insults but do not want the responsibility for their own words.

      I have offered the truism before – that when you call someone else a liar – that the burden of proof is on you, and that if you can not prove that assertion than it is your credibility that is suspect.

      The same is true of pretty much EVERY insult. If you accuse someone of being a “sleaze bag” or any of the myriads of other insults that make up the bulk of comments by the TDS crowd here – then you can either prove it, or the presumption is YOU are the sleaze bag – or whatever your childish insult of the day.

      Regardless you are making the same error that cost democrats the election in 2016.

      You are demonstrating the evil of identity politics.
      You pretend that truth is determined by labeling and insulting your opponent, not by arguing your ideas, Facts, logic reason.

      Much of what is sprayed out here is trivial to deal with – your arguments and claims are full of self contradictions and hypocracy.

      • dduck12 permalink
        March 1, 2019 2:49 pm

        DAVE: Wake up. What kind of schmuck are you. Not oblique, eh.
        Now, my comment was to David Brooks (DB) and Fagin is Trump and artful dodger is Cohen. Everyone that has a human brain could figure that.
        Are you a f—— robot or what, you seem to be.

      • Jay permalink
        March 1, 2019 5:06 pm

        dduck: Squawk Bot

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 12:25 am

        Not an argument.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2019 7:42 pm

        “DAVE: Wake up. What kind of schmuck are you. Not oblique, eh.
        Now, my comment was to David Brooks (DB) and Fagin is Trump and artful dodger is Cohen. Everyone that has a human brain could figure that.
        Are you a f—— robot or what, you seem to be.”

        No DD, they can not. We have been over this before, these types of indirections, sarcasm, etc work HORRIBLY over the internet.

        TNM is a small audience – but even there – I do not share the same shared background that several of the rest of you do. Certainly you can not expect that with an even wider audience that such things will be understood.

        I do not honestly care that much if you insult the crap out of public figures, and aside from the confusion I do not care if you use oblique references to them.

        But my reading of your remarks was that you were refering to other posters HERE by these names. Presuming I understood your oblique references was an error on my part.
        Presuming others would is an error on yours.

        Anyway – you can insult the crap out of Trump or other public figures.
        Insulting them is still not an argument, but we have lowered public discourse sufficiently that pretty much anything goes regarding name calling of public figures, and I am not looking to address any aspect of that – beyond that it is not an argument.

        But when you start insulting ordinary people – other posters or just people on the streets because of their views, or sometimes with little or no basis at all – you had better be right about your claims.

        That is what went wrong for the left, the press, and Nathan Phillips with the Covington Catholic Kids.

        Nick Sandman is NOT a public figure, He did not ask to become one.
        He tried to figure out how to navigate a minor public confrontation.
        We do not expect people to do that perfectly – and yet he did it pretty well.

        We do not transport ourselves into the lives of ordinary people, slime them and then jet away.
        That is immoral.

        That is at the core of what is wrong with political correctness and identity politics.

        The left has been over reaching on that for decades. The overreach gets worse each year.

        Trump’s “genius” is that he figured that out, and he figured out how to take advantage of it.

        He set himself up as a pinyata for the left to bash and counted on the fact that tens of millions of people would see the attacks on Trump as attacks on them.
        The left doubled down on this by ACTUALLY attacking ordinary people who did not choose a place on the public stage.

        Further that is occuring HERE at TNM.

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2019 9:39 am

        “DAVE: Wake up. What kind of schmuck are you.”

        One with blathering Logorrhea? 🥴

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 1:11 pm

        All insult, no argument.

        “Where’s the beef ?”

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2019 1:18 pm

        Wasn’t an argument, Dave; was a response in accord with DD.

        But, congrats! Your response was brief.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 3:26 pm

        Still an insult, Still no beef.

        Now blaming others ?

  38. Roby permalink
    March 1, 2019 10:58 am

    Ah Humans, still good for something:

    I took my wife on a cruise on the Ethan Allen a big boat with dining and music and all on Lake Champlain for her birthday a few years back. We got the DJ onto the early Beatles and the next thing you know my wife was leading a big group of Chinese tourists through the dances of the 60s. Everyone got into it, everyone could dance. Ha, a nice American former Soviet girl dancing up a storm with godless asian commies to the British invasion.

    Make music not war.

    • Jay permalink
      March 1, 2019 12:04 pm

      Thumbs up 👍😊

    • Jay permalink
      March 1, 2019 12:09 pm

      A different kind of music, to the chin….

    • dhlii permalink
      March 1, 2019 3:11 pm

      Careful, your wife might be “influencing” the chinese.

      The chinese version of Meuller might charge her and seek to extradict her.

  39. dhlii permalink
    March 1, 2019 4:27 pm

    Democrats might maintain their control of the House, but doing so will mean letting a large block of moderate democrats vote with republicans on many issues.

  40. Jay permalink
    March 1, 2019 4:55 pm

    Tea party Joe and I TOTALLY agree on Trump.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 2, 2019 12:24 am

      Have you actually looked into Joe Walsh ?

      Is he honestly someone you wish to be associated with ?

      I guess you like “dead beat dad’s”

      • Roby permalink
        March 2, 2019 11:08 am

        “I guess you like “dead beat dad’s””

        Right, that must be it.

        Dave, you are serving up huge amounts of very, very, very weak dribble as arguments.

        We have all met the proverbial woman whose mouth is not connected to her brian, who blathers on and on incontinently. People run screaming when they see her coming.

        The same thing has happened to you and your typing fingers.

        You would far rather say something that is completely stupid than simply control your impulse to say something, anything, even if its laughably idiotic whenever Jay or I or dduck comment. Saying nothing when you have nothing intelligent to say is never an option for you.

        There is a weird oblivious sort of lack of self respect involved in never editing oneself.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 2:41 pm

        The discussion is where it is because Other posters here – you, jay, DD, would rather fawn over neocons or lunatic #nevertrumpers, continue with insult as a substitute for argument, froth in TDS outrage, and try to make moral assertions without a strong moral foundation.

        Of course my “arguments” are weak, that is a reflection of the smallness they are responding to.

        Who in their right mind would be offering up Joe Walsh, Max Boot ?

        Regardless, most of what you are critiquing as small, is a reflection of YOUR arguments.

        I would be happy to have a serious debate of serious issues.

        Most of you avoid that like the plague.

        Next, neither I nor anyone else here is composing “the federalist papers” or “Crime and Punishment”.

        I may produce a significant volume, but I do not spend time on it, as I would if I was actually writing for publication.

        Any criticism you have regarding that has merit, and I do not care.

        I have not read any budding Shakespeare here.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 5:46 pm

        What is it that you think I am saying that is stupid ?

        I will openly admit that I do not put any effort into making short concise arguments – that is not worth the effort for this forum.

        But I still stand behind what I say short of typos.

        Regardless, I would suggest looking at your own comments. I think your criticism applies more appropriately there.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 1:37 pm

        “There is a weird oblivious sort of lack of self respect involved in never editing oneself.”

        You and Jay and DD continuously seem to beleive that you can make observations about others that are not self evident from their remarks.

        Actual psychiatrists are extremely poor at that – why do you think you are better ?

        TNM is one small part of my life – not the entirety of who I am.

        I guess this is not all that surprising as the entire left seems certain that it knows what others think and intend.

        I heard an apt quote recently.

        “The right things the left is wrong,
        The left thinks the right is bad”

        I think that is an excellent observation.

        You DD, Jay spray moral pronouncements of others constantly.
        You are certain you know the intentions, the motivations, the thoughts, the feelings of others.
        And that is pretty much all you care about – your guess as to what is inside the soul of others.

        We all judge others. But I focus on what people DO first, and what the say to a much lessor extent. I also judge based on the CONSEQUENCES of their actions or their openly expressed intentions. I not know presume to know why you do something – unless you actually say so. But I will judge what you actually do, or what you seriously say you will do, and what the consequences of that will be.

        Some of what you support or oppose is not as Bat Shit crazy as AOC, but exactly like AOC you presume that because what you assert is appealing that it is also true, that because what you expect – though it defies logic is good, that makes you a good person.

        Being moral, being a good person, is not so much about what you beleive as what you DO.
        Good intentions do not excuse bad outcomes – especially where they are forseable.

        Conversely your presumptions about someone else’s intentions do not make them evil particularly when the consequences of those actions are good.

        Trump has not improved things to the extent he promised.
        At the same time he has done much better than Obama.

        If you say that you are for minorities, women, etc. and what you do is either harmful or does little good for them, you are LESS moral than the person who does not offer the same platitudes but whose acts have better outcomes for those same people.
        This is particularly true when the results are foreseable.

        I do not care whether you are selling AOC’s green new deal or just a small increase in the MW. If the outcome is predictably bad for the very people you seek to help, acting on those is IMMORAL.

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2019 11:44 am

        Yes, dummie, I constantly describe him as Tea Party Joe, DUH.

        Yes, numbnuts, he and I strongly disagree on many issues, and I twitter argue with him when he’s promoting some of those asshole views. I agree with him that we need a stronger southern border; not that ALL illegals should be expelled. I generally disagree with his abortion view. I agree with him when he’s speaking in favor of police who risk their lives on duty; disagree when he ignores obvious police over reaction.

        I totally agree with his views on Trump. And Trump underlings. And the Mueller Investigation. And Trumps stupid-dangerous National Emergency ploy. And that Trump’s tariff plan is a stupid idea. And his DIGUST with Trump’s serial lying.

        I respect that he’s an issue first, party second guy. I’d vote for him over Trump for president.

        I bet you’d find excuses to favor Trump in that face off.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 1:52 pm

        Amazing – a post from you where you actually own up to holding specific views.

        In fact incredibly Trump like views.

        You are an incredible self contradiction.

        I really do not know where to start.

        Beyond noting that I can not grasp how so much self contradiction can exist inside the same mind.

        If you do not want to deport the “illegals” that are already here – CHANGE THE LAW.

        My strongest criticism of Trump is reserved for the rare times he does what Obama did constantly – and ignores the law and does what he pleases.

        I do not agree with the law much of the time. I still expect the president and the executive to enforce the law as written.
        If your prefered president wishes to rail about the deportation of illegals – fine, if he wants to “shut down the government” as a negotiating tactic to change the law – fine.
        But as president he must still enforce the law as it is.

        Actually addressing the law – how exactly is it that you expect what you appear to be proposing to work.

        You seem to be saying – you are fine with laws that say Outsiders can not try to get into the country – while at the same time saying that if they manage to run the guantlet of the wall, and CBP they get a free pass to stay ?

        Obama merely hinted at relaxing the policy on unaccompanined children and the number of unaccompanied children increased by a factor of ten.

        Incentives matter. Tight Border security without deporting those who manage to beat it just ensures increasing numbers attempting to cross.

        Either let these people in or DONT! but quit playing stupid games that screw over the immigrants, and the country and increase the cost and complexity of government.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 2:08 pm

        Nobody opposes “police who risk their lives on duty”.

        That is just nonsense.

        But trying to address what I think is at the core of what you are saying:

        Policing is a job – it is a very difficult and challenging one.
        But it is still a free choice on the part of those who elect to be police.

        If what you are arguing is that because the job can be dangerous (it is NOT in the top 10 most dangerous jobs, it is not as dangerous as farming or fishing). that we should allow ever greater violation of peoples rights to improve the safety of the police – the answer is NO!!!.

        I recently watched “The Hate You Give” on Amazon.
        Not perfect, but still a very good movie.

        If I shoot and kill someone, because I THINK they are pulling a gun – that is a crime, Manslaughter, Criminally negligent Homicide, My beleif they had a gun does not alter the fact that I killed someone who was not an actual threat to me.
        If I do so, I will absolutely assuredly be prosecuted and likely convicted.

        The odds of that event occuring are far greater if I am a police officer.
        But the law is not different. It is still a crime to kill someone who is not an ACTUAL Threat to you.

        Even in states with Stand your ground laws, there is an obligation to retreat if you can do so safely UNLESS you are defending you own property, or retreating would increase the risk to another.

        I respect and support the police too. But I do not place them ABOVE THE LAW.
        I expect them to abide by the same laws that I must – whether that is not killing people or not running stop lights.

        I EXPECT the police to risk their lives – THAT IS THE JOB.
        If you can not do that, get another job.
        It is not something that I think I can do – so I have not chosen to be a police officer.

        Further what has this got to do with Trump or Joe Walsh ?

        I would imaging that both Trump and Joe Walsh and you and I are all agreed that murdering 4 year olds is bad.

        I do not recall trump ever going after “police who risk their lives on duty”

        Presumably you know what a red herring or a straw man is.

      • March 3, 2019 2:57 pm

        “If I shoot and kill someone, because I THINK they are pulling a gun – that is a crime, Manslaughter, Criminally negligent Homicide, My beleif they had a gun does not alter the fact that I killed someone who was not an actual threat to me.
        If I do so, I will absolutely assuredly be prosecuted and likely convicted.The odds of that event occuring are far greater if I am a police officer.
        But the law is not different.”

        Dave, please clarify your statement and reconcile with this decision.


      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 5:22 pm

        I am not trying to reconcile the difference. I am trying to highlight it.

        We have one law for all of us.

        In my example I refered to the law as it applies to ME.

        In the acticle you linked to – if the officers were instead private citizens not on their own property – they would have been charged and likely convicted.

        Much of what is in the article is extraneous and irrelevant.

        What is relevant are the facts of the incident.

        The officers were chasing an unknown person possibly guilty of breaking a window.

        They had ZERO reason to beleive they were chasing someone armed and dangerous.

        I understand their job is difficult.
        I understand that they are called on to make snap judgements regarding the use of deadly force.

        Still they killed a man who was NOT a credible threat.
        They were not only wrong in their perception, they transfered the risk of THEIR judgement to their victim.

        The punishment for suspected property damage is not supposed to be execution.

        The FACT is that even real dangerous armed criminals almost NEVER pull a gun on police officers.

        According to the Officers down web site, in 2018 150 officers died in the line of duty.
        52 were firearms fatalities.
        There were 33,000 firearms deaths in the US in 2018.

        In the month of February 2019 there were 54 people killed by police.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 2:51 pm

        The Mueller investigation is Trivial.

        While the courts have thus far not been willing to go there it is still OBVIOUSLY


        We do not investigate people merely because we want to.

        We do not investigate people because of our fears.

        Provide a basis for The obama administration to have opened an investigation of the Trump campaign, a basis for McCabe to have opened an investigation of Trump, a basis for the Mueller investigation.

        We quite litterally have exactly the abuse of power that Nixon dreamed of come true.

        And way too many of you are happy about it because you do not like Trump.

        That is not the basis for an investigation either.

        I would not support the Mueller investigation if it was actually being conducted by someone who was truly reputable and honest.
        But it is being conducted by someone who is a thug.
        Unfortunately a thug who has acquired a respected reputation in Washington, but that merely speaks of the corrupt nature of Washington.

        There are a long list of egregious thuggery in Mueller’s past.

        I DO NOT support police or prosecutors who without sufficient basis tear appart the lives of innocent people.

        Muller should have been FIRED decades ago for his conduct of the Jewel and Ivens investigations – as well as numerous others.

        No one having done what he has done in the past should ever serve in government again.

        You talk about supporting the police. Who does not ?

        Do you support police who kill innocent people because they assumed they had a gun when they did not ? Do you suport police and prosecutors who continue to hound innocent people long after it is clear from the evidence they they are innocent.
        Do you support police and prosecutors who decide who is guilty based on who they like and who they do not, and hound them relentlessly ?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 2:53 pm

        You and Joe Walsh are free to hold whatever views you wish or Trump or anyone.

        I do not mostly care about your views.
        I do care about the lawless actions that you are prepared to take based on those views.

        Your dislike for someone is NOT a basis for using the power of government against them.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 3:00 pm

        Here is a list of the 28 currently active presidentially declared “national emergencies”
        The last 10 were instituted by Obama.

        1. Blocking Iranian Government Property (Nov. 14, 1979)

        2. Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (Nov. 14, 1994)

        3. Prohibiting Transactions with Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process (Jan. 23, 1995)

        4. Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to the Development of Iranian Petroleum Resources (Mar. 15, 1995)

        5. Blocking Assets and Prohibiting Transactions with Significant Narcotics Traffickers (Oct. 21, 1995)

        6. Regulations of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels with Respect to Cuba (Mar. 1, 1996)

        7. Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Sudan (Nov. 3, 1997)

        8. Blocking Property of Persons Who Threaten International Stabilization Efforts in the Western Balkans (Jun. 26, 2001)

        9. Continuation of Export Control Regulations (Aug. 17, 2001)

        10. Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks (Sept. 14, 2001)

        11. Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism (Sept. 23, 2001)

        12. Blocking Property of Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe (Mar. 6, 2003)

        13. Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq has an Interest (May 22, 2003)

        14. Blocking Property of Certain Persons and Prohibiting the Export of Certain Goods to Syria (May 11, 2004)

        15. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus (Jun. 16, 2006)

        16. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Oct. 27, 2006)

        17. Blocking Property of Persons Undermining the Sovereignty of Lebanon or Its Democratic Processes and Institutions (Aug. 1, 2007)

        18. Continuing Certain Restrictions with Respect to North Korea and North Korean Nationals (Jun. 26, 2008)

        19. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia (Apr. 12, 2010)

        20. Blocking Property and Prohibiting Certain Transactions Related to Libya (Feb. 25, 2011)

        21. Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations (Jul. 25, 2011)

        22. Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen (May 16, 2012)

        23. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine (Mar. 6, 2014)

        24. Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South Sudan (Apr. 3, 2014)

        25. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Central African Republic (May 12, 2014)

        26. Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela (Mar. 9, 2015)

        27. Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities (Apr. 1, 2015)

        28. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi (Nov. 23, 2015)

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 3:04 pm

        I disagree with Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to fund wall construction.

        That does not make it stupid or dangerous.

        I do not agree with Tarrifs no matter who pushes them.
        Obama slapped Tarrifs on China in 2009.

        I continually point out to you that – While Trump has made numerous mistakes as president.
        NONE are as egregious as those of Obama. In many instance they even make the same mistakes.

        If you wish to evaluate Trump as a poor president – fine, but unless you are a complete hypocrit, by the standards you use to judge Trump Obama is worse.

        I want less government power – I will be happy if you use Trump as a justification to reduce it.
        But I have zero intest in this nonsense that something you think is stupid when Trump does it is not when Obama did.

        I am not looking to diminish the power of Trump, I am looking to diminish the power of government.

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2019 11:56 am

        Joe Walsh today:

        “Defend Trump’s policies all you want. I do often. But if you want to be taken seriously, don’t defend Trump’s veracity. It’s nonexistent.”

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 3:23 pm

        Criticisms regarding veracity from a dead beat dad ?

        “But if you want to be taken seriously, don’t defend Trump’s veracity. It’s nonexistent.”

        If you want to be taken seriously – do not say things that are stupid and patently false.

        Further Walsh is borrowing from the typical left win playbook that cost Hillary the election.

        Walsh – and you, are not merely attacking Trump, but you are attacking anyone who does not assess Trump the same as you do, and you are doing so on an issue where you are obviously wrong. .

        We can each assess Trump’s veracity differently, but no one can credibly assess it is non-existant.

      • Roby permalink
        March 2, 2019 4:56 pm

        “Of course my “arguments” are weak, that is a reflection of the smallness they are responding to.”

        So, what would happen if you just accept that you have your opinions and we have ours after 11 years here and gave it a rest instead of generating literally millions of words of weak arguments?

        Eleven years times 365 days in a year times 500 words per day (which is an obvious underestimate of your daily output) gives 2,007,500 words. An obvious underestimate but OK as an order of magnitude estimate.

        A 300 page book with 300 average words per page has 90,000 words.

        Division produces the result that, conservatively, you have produced the equivalent of 22 books of your rhetoric, in spite of the fact that you are addressing most of it to people you consider to be inadequate.

        Why not do something more constructive? Why not create your own Libertarian site and carefully write out well composed and thought out posts that are not directed towards Jay, dduck, and myself who are immune to your charms? Why not address people who are actually interested in your philosophy?

        Telling us we are wrong, wrong, wrong day and night is really worth 22+ books full of sentences such as
        “I guess you like “dead beat dad’s”?


      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 4:05 pm

        “So, what would happen if you just accept that you have your opinions and we have ours after 11 years here”

        I do.

        “and gave it a rest instead of generating literally millions of words of weak arguments?”
        Non sequitur.

        You are not asking for me to accept that we each have different opinions,
        You are demanding that when my oppinion disagrees with yours that I must be silent.

        You are the one making the error you are accusing me of.
        I do not seek to silence you.
        But you seek to silence me.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 4:08 pm

        Is it EVER possible for you to argue without myriads of fallacies ?

        I already pointed out the non-sequitur.

        Over generalization is also a fallacy

        The fact that sometimes my responses to the crap you right are poor because you refuse to discuss anything substantitive does NOT mean every argument I make is weak.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 4:11 pm

        Why do you CONSTANTLY presume the right to dictate other peoples lives to them.

        Write a book, create a different blog, ….. post here.

        I CHOOSE.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 4:14 pm

        When debating someone’s veracity, citing as an authority on others veracity someone who did not keep commitments to their family is a very bad argument,

        If you are going to engage in fallacious appeals to authority – then atleast pick someone who is an actual authority rather than a counter example.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 4:21 pm

        If you do not wish to be told that you are wrong, the easiest was is to not be wrong.

        That is not all that hard. Check your facts before asserting them, and do not use fallacies.

        You are not obligated to do this. Nor are you entitled to silence criticism, particularly when you have not bothered to check your facts.

        We can go on about this endlessly.

        You are the one who choses not to discuss anything of substance.

      • Roby permalink
        March 4, 2019 10:13 am

        “If you do not wish to be told that you are wrong, the easiest was is to not be wrong.”

        You fail to grasp what this is about. I don’t mind being wrong. Words may in fact show a person errors in their thought when used judiciously and skillfully in argument. In your case you have so overused and abused the power of “no” that your targets don’t listen or care.

        Your campaign here as an noisy incontinent contradiction machine is as ineffective as it is boring.

        You seem to imagine that you are, metaphorically speaking, a ferocious and formidable German Shepard of fact, logic, and reason bringing the fear of error to us left wing nuts. Whereas we your targets perceive as one of those incessantly yappy 8 pound furball dogs of noise and spit and we want to know when the old lady is going to take you back into the house.

        Being a perpetually noisy unedited nuisance is not the sign of a great thinker.

      • Jay permalink
        March 4, 2019 5:02 pm

        I disrespect him for more than his incontenent babbling. His hypocrital response to dismiss Joe Walsh – a Tea Party Conservative who’s views are generally far right of mine by accusing him of being a dead beat dad, thereby dismissing Walsh’s anti Trump accusations is ripe with double-think irony. He’s willing to overlook far worse accusations against Trump for groping, tax malfeasance, habitual lying, multiple adultries, nepotism, swindles fleecings and film-flammery of contractors when it’s convenient to his blathering arguments. As it is hypocritically convenient for him to take the high road against ad hominem tagging of himself, coupled with assurances he never utters them against others – including public officials or celebrities – because it’s beneath him.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 12:28 am

        I am not accusing him, the courts, his wife, his kids, the facts are accusing him.
        Walsh is a “dead beat dad”

        More importantly he is not someone anyone should be looking up to – left, right ….
        I highly doubt you hold him in high regard, so why are you bothered that I do not ?

        Walsh has been all over the place politically. I would offer that calling him a Tea Party conservative is insulting to the TP. But I am not here to defend the Tea Party, If Walsh wants to claim to be TP, that’s fine. It is not a reason to take him credibly.

        Further if you think he represents Trump voters, I would suggest you prepare to be disappointed.

        But you can beleive whatever you want.

        I would ask you to explain how criticizing Walsh is hypocritical ?
        I share very few of his values. I might have more shared values with Walsh than AOC – but not by much.

        You constantly seem to be confused about what libertarain is.

        And to be clear it is not “hypocritical” to criticize other libertarians when I think they are wrong.

        Hypocracy requires a conflict in your own values – not between your values and someone else’s.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 12:53 am

        Yes, I am absolutely going to universally dismiss all your attempts to pretend that an appeal to a stupid authority is a valid argument.

        If you want to criticise Trump – criticise Trump – yourself, using YOUR WORDS,
        Facts, logic reason.

        There is much about Trump to criticise. I am unlikely to agree with you on all of it.

        Most fundimentally I am not going to agree that in Net Trump is worse then either of the past two presidents. Because that is obviously not true.

        He is absolutely worse at some things.
        I did not vote for him, but I am used to having people I did not vote for win.

        I have figured out how to live with sucky presidents, senators, represenatatives, Governors, and even county commisioners. A local Judicial race has a strong resemblance to 2016 – trying to figure out who is the lessor evil.
        That is life, that is politics, I am far more concerned with reigning in the power of government, then it is irrelevant which sucky asshole wins.

        You claim you are not on the left, but you have bought this left garbage that it is possible to somehow sustainably elect good people who will administer your powerful government in a way that is also good and not harmful, and that this will happen year after year without interruption.

        It is not. The people who run for public office are exactly the people we should not allow to have public office – does not matter which party. The incentives for politicians attract the worst people to give that kind of power to. We can feel fortunate that we do not end up with Chavez or Mao or Stalin or Hitler.

        Trump was elected president.
        You want to call him mediocre – fine, I will buy that. We deserve better.
        But there was not a better choice that was going to get elected in 2016 and there does not look like one in 2020. Further if Trump is mediocre thus far – and he is. Obama and Bush were both POOR. Inarguably they were on net worse.

        In every area – nope.

        Finally, the actual odds of getting a good president (or senator or …) are SMALL.

        I am not telling you not to criticise Trump – using YOUR words, not bizzarre appeals to bad authorities. I am not even telling you you are wrong about many of your criticisms of Trump.

        What I am telling you is that everything that is wrong with him would only warrant the tremendous outrage you express if it was George Washington who lost to Donald Trump – and maybe not even then.

        I did not vote for Trump, and could not, and likely will not in 2020.
        But I wake up each day thankful that Hillary Clinton is not president.
        Or that we do not have a third term of Bush or Obama.

        I did not expect much of Trump as president. And he has been less than stellar.
        But he also has been better than I expected – not worse.

        But the left – and YOU have been much worse.

        This hissy fit over 2016 has gone on long enough. You have been lobbing rotten tomatoes for 3 years. Get over it. You want to actually do something – try to advance specific policies that you favor, or oppose specific ones you do not, Go for it. We can argue about those.

        But I honestly do not know whether I can trust anything that you say regarding politics,
        Because it is pretty obvious that today your political touchstone is to oppose Trump – whatever you think he supports.

        There should have been a deal on the Wall. Trump was fully prepared to deal. No one doubts that. He would have sold the GOP down the river to get a deal that included the wall.

        There was no deal. No matter what you can not blame that on Trump. The failure their last squarely on the shoulders of democrats.

        Compromise is a value YOU claim to hold dear. Yet, you would rather celebrate a short lived Pyrrhic victory against trump than advance the interests of the country.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 1:52 am

        “He’s willing to overlook far worse accusations against Trump for groping, tax malfeasance, habitual lying, multiple adultries, nepotism, swindles fleecings and film-flammery of contractors when it’s convenient to his blathering arguments.”

        Absolutely. Accusations are not facts. They are accusations nothing more.

        My attacks on Comey, Clinton, McCabe, … even Mueller are not founded in mere accusations.

        Comey lied under oath. It is self evident now. He leaked confidential information – admittedly.
        And whatever you say about the FBI during 2015 and 2016 under his leadership they were an absolute disaster.

        Clinton violated the law – actually multiple laws. The evidence is incontrovertable.
        While Comey is WRONG about the standard – intent is not required, even that is irrelevant.

        You can play games over whether and what Clinton’s punishment should be, you can pretend she did not have bad intentions, but there is ZERO doubt she violated the law.

        McCabe lied to the IG, Lied to people in the FBI conducting internal investigations, and lied under oath. This is not an accusation, it is a FACT.

        Mueller has repeatedly through his carreer hounded innocent people in horrific ways.
        Whatever you wish to beleive about Mueller and Trump, it is beyond despute that his investigation of Richard Jewel was vicious and wrong – and the COURTS decided that, not just me. As was his botched persecution of two innocent people in the Anthrax case – one of which he lost a multi-million dollar judgement against the other of which he hounded to suicide. And in the end the NSF determined that the anthrax came from the mideast.
        Those are just the highlights. Mueller has been intimately associated with every botched and criminal disaster at the FBI for the last 30 years.

        These are not accusations – they are FACTS.
        I can add a long list of actual accusations – all of which are much more credible than anything you have from Walsh. But I am not going to.

        If you are going to get outraged – get outraged about things we KNOW occured.
        Not bad things you are hoping occured.

        How bad is that – that you actually hope that something bad will turn up ?

        I was not happy with Obama as president. But I never hoped he would fail or screw up.
        Even after he left office I hoped he was NOT tied to the mounting pile of corruption that is spewing from this mess. But that hope was dashed.

        So lets look at your accusations.

        I am not going to defend Trump’s conduct regarding women.
        Though I have no evidence that it is as bad as Clinton’s or Kennedy’s or a raft of other presidents. I have no evidence that his actual conduct is as bad as Biden’s or Franken’s.
        Hillary does not to my knowledge “grope” women, but her treatment of women is appalling.

        You want to call Trump a misogynist – fair enough. In the #metoo era he is pretty tame.
        Regardless give me a better choice. And not one who is a closet socialist – though most of them are out of the closet now.

        Tax Malfeasance – there is no such thing. There is actual crimes as defined by the law.
        Thus far no one has demonstrated that anyone – including Manafort has done anything worse than botch legally avoiding taxes – which as Lehrned hand noted is a civic duty not a crime.
        Regardless, provide actual evidence not accusations.
        You desparately want Trump’s tax returns – while the IRS has them – and it has had Trump tax returns forever, and it id pretty much guaranteed that for all of that time they have gone over those tax returns with a fine tooth comb -0 long before Trump was president.
        Nothing would have made the IRS happier than to take down Donald Trump like Leona Helmsley – and yet they have not. Maybe they are incompetent, maybe they missed things.
        Or maybe Trump’s 1200 page tax return is scrutinzed by an army of competent lawyers and accountants. The fact that Trump hired Cohen is deeply disturbing. And Cohen was more than just another lawyer in Trump’s employ. But Cohen did not do Trump’s taxes, and army of lawyers and accountants did. If you think you are finding something there you are nuts.

        Habitual lying – after Obama and Clinton you can get outraged ?
        Trump exagerate and plays fast and lose with the facts.
        At the same time thus far not a single accusation against him has stuck.
        Put simply that means that alot of people – including the press LIE about Trump.
        I will start thinking about holding Trump accountable, when you stop trusting the people who have repeatedly LIED to you.
        I admit I am surprised at the extent to which Trump has KEPT campaign promises. I did not expect that. But I should not have been. You can be a braggart, a blow hard, you can exagerate, you can play fast and loose with the facts in business. but you get to renige on your actual commitments ONCE only and then you are done.

        Multiple adulteries. Absolutely – did you care when Kennedy did that, Clinton, Martin Luther King ? I am with Ross Perot, if a man’s wife can not trust him the rest of us can’t either.
        But that ship sailed long ago. And AGAIN need I remind you – I did not vote for Trump.
        That is one of many reasons. I get to not vote for him again for that and other reasons in 2020. In the meantime, I have not heard that he got a blowjob from an intern in the oval office, lied under oath about it twice and convinced the intern to lie under oath.
        Bting me something like that and you will get me actually outraged.
        I thought Clinton had to resign. He did not.

        Nepotism. Inside his own businesses Trump is free to hire whoever he wants. Have you ever heard of a family business. I beleive Kushner and possibly Ivanka are the only ones he brought with him into government.

        Kushner has been instrumental in several Trump foriegn policy accomplishments in the mideast. He also lead the efforts for criminal justice reform. Something that numerous people right and left have failed at for a decade. Obama failed at it, several republicans failed at it.
        Kushner succeeded. If by nepotism you mean bringing successful billionaires in to help you who deliver – I am fine with that. I do not care if you play favorites. I care greatly if they do not deliver. As to the garbage you have thrown out about Kushner and security clearances.
        Can you explain to me why it took the FBI and the carreer whitehouse officers half of forever to approve a security clearance for numerous top people who long before their final clearances were granted had a long list of accomplishements.
        But then you are part of the looney toons group that thinks that Donald Trump is a russian spy. How nuts can you be ? Do you think Jeff Bezos might be too ? What the hell do you think the Russians have to offer a billionaire ? You think some stupid non-existant pee tape was going to blackmail Trump ? You do understand that BILLIONARE Jeffrey Epstein WALKED on peodofilia charges, sex trafficking, human trafficking. Do you honestly think that Trump has any real fear of jail ? He can buy a fricking country and never get extradited.
        How well did blackmailing Bezos work ? The level of stupid on the left is beyond beleif.

        Swindles, fleecings, flim flam with contractors. I think the people who bought into Trump U got exactly what they paid for. They were after the secret to success, and Trump U told them that. Some of them might have hoped that there was something magical – there isn.t
        Regardless Trump settled. A contract is a contract. One of the purposes of government is to enforce contracts. Anyone beleiving they were “fleeced” by Trump is free to go to court. In a multibillion dollar business I would expect that occurs constantly. I was part of a small business that was scrupulously honest, and I have been sued multiple times. Most of the suits were stupid. I settled a lawsuit that claimed that I engaged in age desrimination, health discrimination, religious discrimination, ….. I settled, because I liked the guy. I did not want to let him go. I paid the Corba for his health insurance for a year after he left because I knew he had health problems and I did not want to see anything happen to him. I settled because the Administrative law judge told me privately part way in that there was no way I was losing, but that it was going to take 3 more days and after his decision the employee could appeal and he thought he could get him to settle for less than my legal fees would be. I said sure in a heart beat. I beleive I have settled just about every lawsuit ever filed against me. None had merit. You claim Trump screwed contractors. I have worked with construction contractors all my life. I like most of them. Near uniformly they as sure they have been screwed by owners (and pretty much everyone else) If you have a valid breach of contract claim take it to court.
        If it is clear you will win. You have repeatedly claimed to have had a significant role in business. Your ignorance on pretty much everything associated with business leads me to seriously doubt that claim.

        Accusations are not facts.

        I have been accused of stealling from my father – and murdering him, by sibblings.
        My actual crime was stopping those who were stealling from him and would have killed him through neglect if they could. I have been investigated multiple times for these allegations.
        Worse as ludicrously stupid as they are and despite the fact that not merely was there insufficient evidence but I was fortunate (or prepared) and the investigations not merely found no basis to procede they found the accusations actually FALSE. That is really rare.

        Yet, I still have to face rumours an people who can not beleive that anyone would make accusations like that if they were not true.

        Do you really think I am the person who is going to take a long list of baseless accusations seriously ?

        My question is WHY DO YOU ?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 2:01 am

        “As it is hypocritically convenient for him to take the high road against ad hominem tagging of himself, coupled with assurances he never utters them against others – including public officials or celebrities – because it’s beneath him.”

        You keep putting words into my mouth and thoughts in my head.

        I greatly prefer valid arguments to fallacy and ad hominem.
        But I have never claimed that I have not included depractory adjectives in my comments.

        My arguments would likely be more effective if they had less “stupid” and “idiotic” references in them. but I am free to make my arguments as I wish. And sometimes calling an argument stupid is pleasurable and warranted.

        I would further note that sometimes the facts are insulting. Joe Walsh IS a dead beat dad.
        We are not barred from referencing the facts because doing so would insult some one.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 2:25 am

        Do you know what Ad Hominem is ?

        If you say the sky is brown.
        I say the sky is blue
        and you respond “your a pig”

        That is ad hominem.

        Insults are generally bad form in an argument and they do not add anything even if they sometimes make you feel good.

        Every insult is not ad hominem.
        Ad Hominem is like a red herring. It is were you use an insult as a means of moving the argument from the issue to the person.

        Most of the posts you make from twitter are attacks on character.
        That means the issue is character. When the issue is character it is not ad hominem to accurately assail the character of the person making the character argument.
        Or put more simply – people in glass houses should not throw stones.

        Max Boot is a neo-con. He likely beleives the neo-con arguments he makes.
        I am NOT a neo-con. Trump is not a neo-con. I would be surprised if ANYONE on TNM was a neo-con. The most likely candidate would be Priscilla – and I do not think she is.

        If you are announcing that you are a neo-con – fine. We can then have that debate.
        But I do not think you are. It is therefore pretty odd and likely hypocritical for you to be trying to sell a bunch of dribble from neo-cons to the rest of us.

        Do you think we should have gone to war with Iran towards the end of the Bush administration ? If you do not, you are near certainly NOT a neo-con.
        I am using Boot as an example – you have cited a number of neocons regarding Trump and the mideast. Particularly leaving Syria. But Neo-cons are the FIRST #nevertrump ers.

        I do not really care if you want to lob tweets by Walsh and Boot and a raft of other fringe never Trumpers.

        I respect George Will alot. I understand that he can not cope with Trump’s style and complete lack of decorum. We have litterally put the guy with Golden Toilets in the whitehouse.
        Trump is as my grandmother would have said a “queer bird”. He is a multi-billionare with the taste of trailer park trash. I do understand how he offends alot of people – including Will.
        I take Will’s critques far more serious than most of your appeals to authority.
        As I said Will is someone I respect. He is also someone I can respectfully disagree with.

        It is not hard to get my respect – you do not have to share my values to do so.
        At the top of the list is do not be a hypocrit.
        George Will is not a hypocrit, Glenn Greenwald who I disagree with over many things is not a hypocrit. The left in this country is drowning in hypocracy.

        Next, you seem to think that your assorted insults etc. are touching some sore spot.
        They are not.

        I honestly do not care how you post.
        If anything your ad homimen and fallacious posts provide cover for all the problems you claim regarding my posts.

        I do not control how others think – but your assorted complaints about the frequency and scale of my posts is unlikely to gain any traction so long and your own conduct is offensive.

        I get angry sometimes – I do not BTW see being angry as a fault – so long is the level fo anger and what you do with it is appropriate. But you appear out of control.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 5:18 pm


        I do understand much or what you are saying.

        I do not care.

        I get to choose how or whether I make my arguments.

        Maybe it is true that if I spent alot more time and made them more concise and fewer they would have more impact on you.

        That remains MY choice.

        Even if you are right – you are still wrong. You do NOT get to control how others make their arguments.

        Even more broadly – outside of a very limited scope – the legitimate scope of government, you do not get to control others on ANYTHING, Not even if you are right.

        Inherent to not only the debates we have on walls and Trump, but also those we have on what is acceptable in posts here is the effort to control what you have no right to control.

        I can not stop Jay from spewing insults. But I can leave him with the expectation they will be answered and that he will not look good in the answer.
        I may use means that I beleive are more acceptable than his but otherwise there is no difference.

        I am not interested in being told by you or anyone else – politiely or by abuse how to comment, or how to run my life.

        I can not stop you from doing so, and you can not stop me from pointing out that it is immoral to do so.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 5:27 pm

        You keep constantly presuming that you know my thoughts and motives.

        That is childish and stupid.

        If I was seeking some form of intellectual masturbation – Rather than post here, I can write articles and editorials for professional publications. There is a far more consequential orgasm from publishing an article in a professional journal that commenting on a web blog, and far less effort to do so.

        Nor is that all that I could do.

        My point is that let go of your fixation on trying to figure our why I or anyone else does what they do. You are near certain to be wrong. whether it is me, or Trump.

        When you judge others based on YOUR impression of their thoughts, their motives, their reasons and intentions YOU are the one engaged in cognative masturbation.

        You are always inherently right when you judge that way – because it is irrelevant what the actual reasons and motives are and you will likely never learn them – those involved might not know them themselves. But you can not be proven wrong when your judgement is fixated on things you can not know but only beleive.

        You can not know as an example why I or Trump does or says anything.
        Since you can not know any hypothesis you make can not be refuted.

        The domain of the unfalsifiable is religion not reality or science.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 6:09 pm

        “You seem to imagine that you are, metaphorically speaking, a ferocious and formidable German Shepard of fact, logic, and reason bringing the fear of error to us left wing nuts. ”

        Nope Robby. That is in your head not mine.

        I am extremely good at logic. That is primarily a consequence of nature for which I personally deserve no credit. and partly as a result of practice.

        I have confidence in my own skill and abilities based on decades of experience.
        But worse for your argument – unlike much of my life we live in an era where most anyone even without my natural abilities and skills can do anything that I can – atleast in the sphere you and I are debating.

        As I have said repeatedly – if you do not wish to be wrong – CHECK YOUR FACTS AND LOGIC before posting. That might be EASIER for some, but it is accessible to ALL.

        If I think about you in anyway close to the way you claim it would be that in this sphere you are capable of anything I am and your accusations that I am some prima donna are really confessions that you are too lazy. But mostly I do not try to think about your motives and feelings and intentions.

        To the extent I address those at all it is to drive home that whatever your motives – good motives do NOT excuse bad results. You are RESPONSIBLE when you use force on others, and you are RESPONSIBLE when you advocate for it.

        Regardless, all your odd metaphors and insults are your problem and inside your head not mine.

        I rarely if ever think about the things you seem to think I do.

        A while ago several posters here felt a compelling need to internet diagnose me with Aspergers or autism. I have been tested for both. I do not have either. But I test out oddly.
        Most people have the those attributes distributed on a curve that has a center closer or farther towards one end or the other of that spectrum. I have a two humped curve with a large number of attributes that are strongly associated with being “on the spectrum”, as well as large number that NEVER coexist with people “on the spectrum”.

        Personally I DO NOT CARE. I am who I am. That is morally neutral. I am not a problem to be fixed or some idol to be emulated.

        I am I. I am happy with who I am, and to whatever extent I might not be – that is MY business, and I get to choose how and whether I wish to change that.

        I am neither your german shepard or yappy shitzu. I am who I am.

        I do not think there is some great merit in being right. Particularly today. It is not much of an accomplishment.

        To the extent that posting here provides the type of mental rush that you seem to think I get from it, there are only two things that get me “high” posting here.

        The most common is coming up with an expression of an issue, problem or thought makes things clearer for ME.
        The other is the extremely rare instances when someone here says something that causes me to think about something in a new way.

        I am disappointed when you will not engage in the actual discussion of the real issues, because I will never get anything of value from inumberable Max Boot or Joe Walsh tweets, or more if this “Argh Trump!” or streams of insults – once in a blue moon someone hear comes up with a clever insult. I can find that in southpark I that is what I want.

        Nor do I understand – or pretend to understand what is going on in the rest of your heads.

        I not only do not think of myself as this German Shepard you are fixated on, but I do not give a shit about that discussion. I do not understand why you wish to waste your breath on insults or outrage, or fights over how to post, or other posters motives, when we could be discussing the actual issues.

        If you post an actual comment on an actual issue – I am typically going to attempt to shred it.
        That is how debate and analysis works. The impact of what you argue on me will be based on how difficult whatever you assert is to tear apart and what kernel is left after I have done so.

        That process is NOT evil or about ego, it is the normal process by which ideas are explored and tested.

        Nor is having your idea torn apart some intellectual or moral failure – on your part or some victory on mine.

        Most ideas are WRONG. That is not personal, it is just how it is. Of those that are not obviously wrong. a tiny few are more right that others.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 6:11 pm

        Whatever you linked to – the link is expired.

      • Roby permalink
        March 4, 2019 10:17 am

        Drat link failed try this. Its my favorite far side ever, the names we give dogs, the names they give themselves.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 8:14 pm

        Good carton.

        My name is David, Dave, dhlii, sometimes asmith or jbsay.
        my name here is not all that important.

        My image of myself has little to do with anything at TNM.
        It is as someone who solves difficult problems and accomplishes things.
        Oddly as intellectual as I am I get as much or more from doing things that are not inherently intellectual, so long as I have never done them before.
        Replacing the fan motor in a fridge, changing a wheel bearing, replacing the sash ropes in old windows, laying a hardwood floor.

        In my work with computers – no two projects are the same. They are rarely even similar.
        In am not hired because I am the worlds foremost expert in Canbus/J1939 (I am not), or low level network protocols, but because I succeed in solving complex problems, and usually problems that others have failed at.

        Those are the things in the world that give me a rush. Not debating TDS with you or DD or Jay.

      • Roby permalink
        March 4, 2019 10:18 pm

        “I am not interested in being told by you or anyone else – politiely or by abuse how to comment, or how to run my life.I can not stop you from doing so, and you can not stop me from pointing out that it is immoral to do so.”

        Nowhere have I told you what to do. I have made my observations and suggestions.

        How many times have you used to imperative voice to give the command: Grow Up?

        No poster here can force or control the others but we can use our choice to make pointy comments, observations, and suggestions about style and substance. Considering that you make it your job here to criticize nearly everything that moves then you should not be much put out by getting a bit of criticism yourself. That is not me controlling your life or attempting to. It is me telling you what I think of your style and what its effects are, even complaining. I am free to do that and choose to.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 3:11 am

        Grow Up.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 3:27 am

        “you should not be much put out by getting a bit of criticism yourself. ”

        I am not.

        I criticism your arguments, you criticism me, i criticism your criticism of me.

        I give you a choice.

        We can debate the issues.
        Or we can debate how the arguments are made.

        You are pretty much in control of that.
        Whatever you post – that is what I am going to address.

        So what do you want to debate ?

        Actual issues ? Or commenting style ?

        your choice.

        You continue to presume you are inside my head.
        You remarks constantly presume you know what my motives, my thoughts, my feelings, my intentions are. That should not surprise as you do that with pretty much everyone.
        The national debate is mostly not about the issues. it is about motives and feelings, and words not actions.

        You and the left have determined that is what we will debate.

        I follow where you lead. When I can I use my response to what you say to make the points I care about.

        You also keep trying to pretend I am somehow hypocritical.

        As an example – I have no problem at all with having a debate about morality.
        I have constantly made moral claims regarding my arguments and yours. I think those are self evidently correct. I welcome it when you attempt to make moral arguments in return.
        I am well aware of the dangers of stepping up onto a moral soapbox and I do so knowing those dangers and expecting you to seek out the slightest inkling of actual hypocracy.
        You seem blind to those dangers.

        I do not care if you refuse to engage – that is not completely true, I would prefer you did, but as I said before if you want to make the discussion about how to argue, that is what we will discuss.

        When you attack my free speech – whether you wish to call that a command or a suggestion – is not relevant – I am going to respond. And by now it should not be hard for you to grasp how I am going to respond.

        If you or Jay or DD wishes to use ad hominem or fallacy – you should have no problem knowing how I am going to respond.

        We get these constant laments that TNM is going to hell because of me.
        But YOU are all in control of the content for the most part.

        You may not be able to control the length and frequency of my posts, but you have substantial control of the content. You claim I will criticise anything – that is partly true,
        but my responses are driven by YOU posts.

        You have far more control of me than I of you.
        I am pretty predictable.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 3:35 am

        “It is me telling you what I think of your style and what its effects are, even complaining. ”

        So you want to debate style rather than substance ?

        That has pretty much been the theme of the past 3 years – so why should that surprise me.

        Do you really think that stylistic outrage is sustainable ?

        “I am free to do that and choose to.”

        Good for you! But isn’t it incredibly hypocritical to be claiming free speech for yourself while at the very least wishing for the silence of others ?
        And probably more accurately wishing and often arguing for the power to shut others up.

        Each of our involvement in the process of governing – down to our political discussion and our votes are a Trust as well as a right. Actual rights do not come with much in the way of obligations or duties. Trusts do. When you are discussing what government should do, you are discussing the use of force. You are free to speak as you please – though that does not excuse the immorality of advocating the use of force against others. But when you vote you do more than speak, you act and when you act to use force against others, you take on a high moral responsibility for those acts.

      • Roby permalink
        March 4, 2019 10:49 pm

        “I am disappointed when you will not engage in the actual discussion of the real issues…”

        But, I am not here to please you.

        Over the years we have argued many times about real issues using facts. I found that to not be worth my time in my case because of our very different views of what a fact is and what it means to test a theory and support it or disprove it.

        As a quick example, if Rasmussen has trump at 50% favorable and all the other pollsters have him at 42% or lower, you will claim that trump is at 50% approval. If you are challenged on that cherry picking exercise you will make an unsupportable claim about Rasmussen being the most accurate pollster. If trump improves in the polls over a month or so period you will often note it with satisfaction. However, if one of us notes that he is in one of his declines you will tell us that polls don’t do what we claim them to do. If some complete idiot says something that supports one of your theses and we note that the person in a complete idiot you will lecture us that its not important who says something, just whether its true. If someone here posts a comment by some person that contradicts your opinion, you will turn around and ask us how we can believe anything that person said because you have some dirt on him. This is just a tiny sample of the inconsistent way you use facts and logic.

        So, I mostly avoid the swamp of discussing issues concretely with you, I doubt most of your facts and you doubt nearly all of mine. Meanwhile you make wild generalizations that I never try to make any actual argument, I merely insult and make logical errors.

        Now, why exactly would any rational person dive into that kind of swamp? I did more than I should have of that years back and its just hours of my life I could have been using to better purpose that I can’t have back.

        Put succinctly I post for my own purposes, not to please you.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 4:03 am

        “Over the years we have argued many times about real issues using facts.”
        Nope. That has been incredibly rare and you almost instantly shift from the issue to whatever your favorite fallacy of the moment is.

        “I found that to not be worth my time in my case because of our very different views of what a fact is”
        And you wonder why I label you as a leftist.
        There are reliable tools for assessing what constitutes a fact.
        Without those science would be impossible.

        “and what it means to test a theory and support it or disprove it.”

        The rules of logic have not changed in centuries,
        Where actually controlled experiments can be conducted if done correctly the results are very near absolute.
        When we can not conduct controlled experiments we have statistical techniques
        When these are correctly followed the results may not be absolute but they are reliable.

        To an enormous extent what we debate is not what I beleive that is not true, but what you beleive that is not true.

        I constantly harp on the 3 legitimate roles of government – punishing the initiation of violence,
        punishing failure to keep agreements, and compelling people to make whole those they harmed.

        Do you disagree with any of those ? Is there anyone here who disagrees with any of those ?

        My disagreements with everyone here – whether it is you or Priscilla or Ron, is that that are no further legitimate purposes for government. That nothing more can be morally or practically justified – and to be legitimate it must be morally AND practically justified.

        Fundimentally the burden is on YOU, When you chose to abandon the argument you are ceding, because you MUST justify the use of force.

        Or are you going to claim that there are legitimate uses of force that need not be justified ?

        The tools of logic, science, mathematics and statistics are as available to you as to me.

        I would note you have a further problem, that I typically do not have.

        A theory, argument or a justification fails if any portion of it fails.

        Finally – beyond morally justifying the use of force and practically justifying it, you must also have MORE THAN super majority support.

        “If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”
        John Stuart Mill.

        Mill is talking about speech and we do not give quite the same breadth to other rights.
        At the same time, they remain rights, they are NOT subject to the whim of the majority otherwise they would not be rights.

        You have three hurdles to overcome when you wish to use force. They are difficult hurdles.
        It is not only easy for me to attack, but I will always have a large number of vectors to do so.

        And that is how it should be. It should be very difficult to use force.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 4:22 am

        “As a quick example, if Rasmussen has trump at 50% favorable and all the other pollsters have him at 42% or lower, you will claim that trump is at 50% approval. If you are challenged on that cherry picking exercise you will make an unsupportable claim about Rasmussen being the most accurate pollster. If trump improves in the polls over a month or so period you will often note it with satisfaction. ”

        Again you seem to think you understand my motives and thoughts.

        I do not care much about polls.

        Virtually every post I make about polls is because the rest of YOU care about them and beleive they are horribly important. I beleive they are a weak clue.

        Sometimes I use Rassmussen, but I will use ANY poll that at the moment runs counter to whatever you are claiming.

        My purpose is NOT to prove I am right or Rassmussen is right or Pew or Marista or whatever counter I am using. The POINT is that it is a COUNTER.
        It is NOT the Truth of Rassmussen that is important but the lack of support for whaterver assertion you or someone else made previously.

        I think fixating on the daily noise of the polls is an excercise in stupidity.

        A few posts ago I responded to the idiotic article on FOX’s bias by noting that in the last months of the 2016 election Trump and Clinton were NEVER tied.
        That is according to RCP. They are the only source I have that will graph Clinton vs. Trump over time that is readily available.

        I do not think ANY poll should be taken as gospel. I do not think ANY poll of a given moment should have significant weight. At the very best long term trends matter more.

        Further favorability polls have become increasingly useless since Bush atleast.
        Bush’s unfavorability ratings should have guaranteed his loos to Kerry, Obama based on unfavorability should have lost to Romney, Trump based on unfavorability should have lost to Clinton.

        Polls are a poor metric. I throw them at you – because some of you seem to fixate on them.

        I do not consider polls to be facts – or atleast meaningful ones. Some oppinion polls provide information – but anyone who thinks that a few points on any poll of any type is consequential is nuts. But other posters here thing polls are very important. So I have no problem pointing out that they are running at odds with your argument.

        My objective in my use of polls is almost always to point out the contradictions with your preconceptions. It matters very little whether the poll contradicting you is Rassmussen or ABC, only that it contradicts you and you value polls. I don’t

        As to Rassmussen If I recall correctly Rassussen has been the most accurate in 3 or the last 5 elections and close to the worst on 2. That is not excellent, but no other poll has done better. You can weight that however you wish. You can decide that 2020 is going to be the 3rd time that they are going to be way off, or it could be the 4th time they are spot on.
        No one knows and we will not know until election day 2020.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 5:03 am

        “However, if one of us notes that he is in one of his declines”
        But that is not what you do. Most of the anti-trump posts that are poll related are nearly always on old data, and are full of breathless expectations that polls matter and that the world is ending and that all of this is unusual. My responses pretty much always are:
        The world is not ending. You are the ones cherry picking. nothing unusual is happening, and Trump’s long term polling is indistinguishable from Obama’s.

        I am not fixated on day to day swings
        YOU are.

        The fact that Trump is above 50% with Rassmussen one day and blow 40% in something else the next is pretty much noise as far as I am concerned.
        But YOU care.

        I am doing little more than pointing out to you that if your arguments are going to live by the poll, then they are going to die by it to.

        “you will tell us that polls don’t do what we claim them to do.”
        They don’t Again I am not fixated on the polls. The only one that matters is the vote on election day. All others have value only to the degree they predict that one.

        “If some complete idiot says something that supports one of your theses and we note that the person in a complete idiot you will lecture us that its not important who says something, just whether its true.”

        While your assertion is horribly vague the conclusion you are attributing to me is correct.
        True is true false is false, no matter who the source is.

        “If someone here posts a comment by some person that contradicts your opinion, you will turn around and ask us how we can believe anything that person said because you have some dirt on him.”
        I am presuming you are addressing my responses to Jay’s never ending stream of #never Trump posts.
        First you do not seem to be able to grasp the difference between a fact and an oppinion.
        The reputation of the person providing an actual fact is irrelevant.
        The reputation of the person providing and oppinion is extremely relevant.
        Oppinions are not facts.

        Past that you are also dealing with another example of your Poll nonsense.

        When I attack Jay’s never ending stream of #nevertrump tweets I am confronting him using his OWN values. Not mine. It is extremely difficult to expose hypocracy without demonstrating the conflict between the persons OWN values.

        Jay seems to think that the world should care about an endless stream of #nevertrump tweets from people that I doubt he would ever give any credibility to if they were not #nevertrumpers.

        Is there anyone here that is an actual neo-con ? ANYONE ?
        If not, then why should any of us care even slightly about the oppinion of ANY neo-con regarding whether we should stay or leave syria or …. ?

        I am unlikely to give alot of weight to those who are NOT neo-cons.

        If however you are offering an actual FACT not an oppinion – and what you are offering is REALLY a fact, then it is irrelevant where the source is.

        I do not think there is a determinative fact regarding US policy in the mideast.
        There is little doubt there is risks leaving. There is little doubt there is risks staying.
        No matter what we choose we will NEVER truly know if we made the right decision.

        But finally on that issue – can any of you say that If Obama had chosen to leave Syrian and afghanistan you would be foaming at the mouth screetching “but Russia” But ISIS ?

        I think not.

        I think we should have left both long ago. That view has nothing at all to do with Trump.

        Are the rest of you capable of oppinions that are more than negative knee jerk responses to Trump ?

        I would further note that I was ANGRY HERE with Trump for NOT LEAVING afghanistan when he kicked Bannon out. I am glad he has changed his mind.

        My views are not driven by Trump.
        To me yours seem to be nothing more than “I oppose Trump”

        “This is just a tiny sample of the inconsistent way you use facts and logic.”

        It is a demonstration that you do not understand the difference between an oppinion and a fact.
        It is also a demonstration that you do not understand that it is not error to use YOUR own values to trip you up.

        You care who says what. I don;t. You care about polls I don’t.
        My use of your tools and values to undermine your arguments
        is an inconsistent use of facts and logic but it IS consistent with YOUR misuse of facts and logic.

        I would further note it is an example of how much YOU control the conversation.

        You want to talk about polls – so we talk about polls.
        You want to make everything about bizarre appeals to authority – so we debate the credibiltiy of neocons and pseudo Tea Party members. You think who someone is, is important so I point out WHO that person you are using actually is.
        You want to fixate on opinions rather than more substantive issues – and we deal with opinions.

        I would note that the rules of logic regarding opinions is different from facts.
        Quite often you can disprove an opinion using normal logic.
        You can also point out the inconsistency and hypocracy of an opinion in pretty much any way – a contradiction is a contradiction and all contradictions falsify something.

        “So, I mostly avoid the swamp of discussing issues concretely with you,”
        Your examples of concrete issues are Polls and the tweeted opinions of neo-cons and faux TP members ?

        “I doubt most of your facts and you doubt nearly all of mine.”
        Again facts are facts. You prove or disprove them. Thus far you have not addressed an actual conflict over facts.

        I would prefer to discuss real issues of substance with all of you.

        You choose to make the converstation about Polls and twitter nonsense.

        “Meanwhile you make wild generalizations that I never try to make any actual argument, I merely insult and make logical errors.”
        You are not the worst, and wild is a superfluous adjective – but otherwise true.

        You want to discuss polls – we discuss polls.
        Jay wants to fixate on the latest outrageous Tweet – that is what we do.

        None of that is substantive. It is close to meaningless.
        But it is what you want to discuss.

        “Now, why exactly would any rational person dive into that kind of swamp? ”
        Your doing the driving.

        Now and then I post some things I find interesting in the hopes of starting a conversation on something of substance. Sometimes that triggers something.

        “I did more than I should have of that years back and its just hours of my life I could have been using to better purpose that I can’t have back.”
        Trying to find the truth is not time wasted.

        “Put succinctly I post for my own purposes, not to please you.”
        And so many of your and the posts of others here are all bemoaning how I post.
        If that is the evidence of your purpose it is pretty sad.

      • Roby permalink
        March 5, 2019 8:26 am

        ““Over the years we have argued many times about real issues using facts.”
        Nope. That has been incredibly rare and you almost instantly shift from the issue to whatever your favorite fallacy of the moment is.”

        Ah, the magic power of your “no.” The above is simply your opinion and its an absurd one. You have spent millions of words on me in spite of your denialistic claim, So, what were we arguing about? According to you, nothing at all! What does that make you? (It makes me look silly, but at least I know it and don’t want to continue this nonsense.)

        My point is that this is pointless, I cannot get past the No wall, the reflexive denial. I have put a much, much smaller effort into this than you have, but its still too much. Many others, Pat Riot stands out in my memory, have tried and then given up trying to have a sensible conversation with your wall of No.

        ““I found that to not be worth my time in my case because of our very different views of what a fact is”
        And you wonder why I label you as a leftist.”

        Your statement is a non sequitur, the connection exists only in your mind. You have leftists obsessively on the brain. This is a pretty representative example of your idea of using logic and reason. Its not logic and its not reason. I can go through your posts and find an endless number of these logical nonsenses. You consider yourself very talented at logic. I look at this mess and think that you are flat out delusional and your endless lectures on what is wrong with the logic of others here are simply hilarious.

        “And so many of your and the posts of others here are all bemoaning how I post.”

        You still don’t grasp the obvious connection between the endless pompous rain of your often hilariously illogical attacks (attacks is your own word to describe your own posts BTW) and the consistent feedback that you get, which you hysterically take as an attempt to infringe upon your freedom.

        Now, if I have any self restraint I will refrain from trying to hit any of the hanging curves you will serve up as a rebuttal, allegedly using facts and logic, but in my perception using old banana peels and chewing gum. (If I do not explicitly warn you that my last comment was not meant literally you will take it so and give me a lengthy dissertation on chewing gum and banana peels.)

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 4:25 pm

        “Ah, the magic power of your “no.” The above is simply your opinion and its an absurd one. ”

        You are using words in confused fashion. Typical of the left.
        What we have debated is NOT a matter of “opinion” – your posts and mine are all readily available. they are a matter of fact. The ration of those addressing an issue, and those addressing semantics and style complaints is also a matter of fact, though it would be alot of hard work to produce an exact quantitative assessment.

        “You have spent millions of words on me in spite of your denialistic claim, ”
        The number of words I have written is entirely irrelevant to what proportion of YOUR words have dealt with an actual issue as opposed to debating rhetoric, syntax, style, or other personal issues.

        Ad hominem means “arguing the person”. It means converting an argument over the issue into an argument over the person making the argument.
        It is fallacy because it is meaningless with respect to the issue being debated.

        The entire exchange we are having RIGHT NOW – is either ad hominem or a closely related fallacy – not because it is composed of insults, but because instead of debating whatever issue this started on – YOU have insisted on turning this into a debate about me, or about how arguments are made.

        Anytime you move from debating the issue to anything else – you are engaged in one fallacy or another.

        Pretty much everything here quickly devolves to fallacy because very few people here wish to actually argue any of the issues.

        “So, what were we arguing about?”
        We are arguing about how arguments here are made
        We are doing that because that is YOUR choice.

        “According to you, nothing at all!”
        Is it possible for you to ever accurately represent what I say ?
        Where did I say we are arguing about nothing at all ?

        We are not arguing about the important issues that I thought were what mattered to all of us.

        Instead we are arguing about how arguments are made and about people – you and I.
        That is not nothing at all.
        But it is not what I would prefer to discuss.
        But it is what YOU have chosen to discuss.

        “What does that make you? ”

        Even in an argument about how arguments are made – you have to try to shift the argument to be about the person not any issue.

        Classic ad hominem.

        “(It makes me look silly, but at least I know it and don’t want to continue this nonsense.)”

        We leave discussions about actual issues when YOU decide to shift that discussion from the issue to a debate about how to argue.

        That is YOUR choice.
        I have used a wide variety of techniques to nudge you back to the issue or any other issue.
        But YOU consistently want to debate the personal or style or other less consequential matters.

        If you wish to leave that argument – you are free to do so.
        No one is stopping you.

        What I want – but get very little of is a serious dissussion of actual issues.

        I would note that that actually occurs when Ron or Priscilla or even Rick when he makes his rare appearances engage each other.

        Sometimes we agree sometimes we disagree, sometimes a bit of both.
        The arguments made are not perfect harvard debate rules arguments,
        bits of fallacy creep in on occasion,
        but the discussion remains throughout on the issues.
        It does not shift to being an argument about either of the persons making the arguments.

        I do not treat them differently from you.

        You, and Jay and DD each make your own individually different choices as to how to continue a discussion. But what all of you have in common is that you rapidly shift the discussion from issues to something else.
        To rants about the person
        To invalid rants about the style and form
        To anything that will divert the discussion from the issue
        And you are fairly successful at it.

        I have experimented with numerous techniques to nudge you back to the issue – or any actual issue. With little effect.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 4:57 pm

        “My point is that this is pointless,”
        No, you just refuse to stay on point.

        “I cannot get past the No wall”
        You seem to presume that you have some right to have your assertions accepted as truth.

        There are an infinite number of possible assertions.
        Almost all of them are FALSE.

        Truth is RARE, We put enormous effort into finding it.

        If you are making an assertion – the presumption is that it is false.
        The burden to “get past the “no wall” is YOURS

        That is particularly true when the discussion as nearly all of them here are, is about government.

        You may not use force without justification.

        Do you really think that is a controversial statement ?

        If you do not agree with it – then lets have that discussion.
        Though much of human history has addressed that.
        That is the core of a great deal of thousands of years of thought and philosophy and discussions on government, political economy, law,

        Fundimentally I think you accept that – most everyone does.
        But if I am wrong and you don’t – lets have that discussion – it is foundational to everything.

        More commonly you muddy things by eliding what constitutes force and what constitutes justification. What constitutes force is pretty much a fact,
        But you constantly what to make things that are not force into force and pretend things that are force aren’t.

        I have offered myriads of different frameworks for what constitutes justification.

        When anyone here engages, they typically do so by claiming that a majoritarian consensus is justification. I think that is obviously wrong, and I would be happy to address that issue.
        But no one here will.

        “the reflexive denial.”
        Not reflexive, regardless, as I said before – there is NOT an assumption that some assertion is TRUE, the default presumption is that it is false.

        “I have put a much, much smaller effort into this than you have, but its still too much. Many others, Pat Riot stands out in my memory, have tried and then given up trying to have a sensible conversation with your wall of No.”

        I do not allow you or anyone else to make assertions that I beleive are suspect without proving them.

        There is nothing at all wrong with that.
        When you have a discussion among those who share very nearly your own views you do not have to support most of the assertions you make.
        That is NOT a feature it is a flaw.
        Shared confirmation bias is a means to arrive at tragic error.

        What you call the wall of NO, the “denialism” is the default in ALL legitimate argument.

        Interestingly you are echoing the nonsensical rhetoric that is often used in “climate science”

        Skepticism in science – and really in everything, is the NORM. To be accepted things have to be PROVEN.
        Facts are things that can be proven.

        We are supposed to have a broad pool of things that have already been proven and accepted from the past – that is the purpose of a proper education, though modern education has been transformed from passing forward the discovered truths or the past to inculcating students with ideology.

        I am constantly refering to Adam Smith, John Lock, JS Mill, Bastiat, Thoreaux, Hayek, Coase, Nozick. …..

        Technically these are appeals to authority – but they are also supposed to be requests that you accept something without proof, because it was debated in great depth in the past and RESOLVED. You are not required to accept something because Smith concluded it 250 years ago and almost no one has challenged it since. But it is probably a good idea.

        But there is a vast difference between an appeal to a credible historic source that has been tested over the course of several centuries, and an appeal to the consensus or your friends.

        Do you seriously think “everybody I know beleives” – or is unwilling to challenge me on, has the same merit as James Madison ?

        Regardless the default is NO. Your dislike of that does not change things.
        Most things are false. Truth is a rare and precious commodity.

        Railing that I do not let you elide proving your assertions is railing against reality.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 5:06 pm

        Fact: A thing that is proved to be true or a thing that is universally assumed to be true.

        Are you challenging that as the defintion of a fact ?

        I sure hope we do not have different views on what a fact is ?

        From the defintion – if you and I agree that something is a fact, for the purpose of our discussion we can assume it is a fact, and that it is true.

        We do not expect every scientific or mathematical proof or every argument to start by proving 1 + 1 = 2.

        Your “wall of no” is nothing more than that I do not accept as fact many things you beleive to be fact.

        When there is not agreement that something is a fact, the party asserting it must prove it.
        Either to the satisfaction of the other party or to a logical certainty.

        There is no right to have something accepted as fact.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 5:18 pm

        ““I found that to not be worth my time in my case because of our very different views of what a fact is”
        And you wonder why I label you as a leftist.”

        We disagree on what assertions we accept as fact.
        That is resolveable – prove something to my satisfaction or to a logical certainty.

        What is not resolveable and what justifies my association of you with the left, that you are challenging the meaning of fact.

        Post modernism is a disasterously nihilist philosphy that starts with the presumption that there are no facts, that everything is an opinion and all opinions are equal, and then contradictorily jumps from there to a specific set of opinions that one is obligated to accept as true.

        So where are you ? If you are going to pretend that there is no difference between fact and oppinion – my claim that you are a leftist – and a pretty extreme one is self evidently true.

        Conversely if you accept that there is a difference between fact and opinion – we are each obligated where we do not agree on a fact to prove it to the satisfaction of the other or to logical certainty.

        That is NOT a non sequitur.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 5:39 pm

        “You have leftists obsessively on the brain”

        At this moment in time the most substanative threat to both order and liberty is from the left.

        You may be unfamiliar with Post modernism and Foucault and Derrida,
        I doubt AOC or Warren, or Harris or the primary leaders of the left are familiar with them.

        But the entire ediface of the modern left – the intersectionality the political correctness, the rejection of the modernists – from Locke through Nozick not merely rests but is driven by their philosophy.

        Mill stated that he who understands only his own side of an argument understand little or nothing.

        How ignorant are those who do not even understand the foundations of their own.

        You want to disassociate yourself with those “crazy lefties” like AOC – fine, but you then need an independent foundation. The alternative to post modernism is modernism. That is the foundation of liberalism – not “leftism” not “progressivism” but actual liberalism, what today we distiguish by calling “classical liberalism”

        The competing foundational philosophy to the post modernism of the left is classical liberalism – MY PHILOSPHY.

        Again this stuff has consequences.

        You are free to pick and choose what you wish to beleive – bits from post modernists, and other bits from actual liberals. But absent forming some unifying philosophy you are going to end up with a self contradictory MESS.

        I do not actually beleive you are a post modernist.

        But you have unequivocally been infected with significant elements of post modern thought that you have not questioned.

        I am pushing you to question it.

        And yes post modernism is something I am deeply concerned about.

        Ideas matter – they have influence far beyond that of the actual progenitors of some philosophy and those intimately familiar with it.

        Post modernism is unfamiliar to most people, even most recent college graduates,
        But there entire lives, their world view their politics are permeated by it.

        Post modernism is an inherently destructive and nihlist philosopy.
        It is a re-imagining of marxism with potentially worse consequences.

        Nothing in the entirety of human history has ever had the massively incontrovertably bad consequences of marxism and socialism. Whatever ideas of the past you think are bloody and evil they are dwarfed by the bloody consequences of socialism.

        And post modernism has the potential to be worse. It is even more nihilist.

        It is not accidental that antifa is violent – that is what happens when you obliterate fact and make everything an opinion and all opinions equal – force becomes the only legitimate means to impose one opinion over another.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 5:50 pm

        “This is a pretty representative example of your idea of using logic and reason. Its not logic and its not reason. I can go through your posts and find an endless number of these logical nonsenses. ”

        You asserted that we do not agree on what constitutes a fact. That is very close to the nihilist post modern view that there are no facts, only opinions.

        It is perfectly logical to note that in accepting something very near the central premise of postmodernism that you tie yourself to the radical left – whether you perceive that or not.

        Your assertion that this is not logic or reason is nothing more than a distaste for the outcome.

        You do not seem to grasp that something is not illogical because it produces results that you do not accept.

        I am sure you do not think you are an alcolyte of the radical left.
        I doubt you are all that well informed regarding post moderism.

        That does not change the fact that many of your assertions – you premises, your proposed facts, are not found or philosophically justified anywhere but marxism, socialism and post modernism.

        Marxism and socialism are MORE than economic schemes, more than political arrangements, they are philosophies. Post modernism is its predicessors on steriods.
        It leads to anarchy and/or totalitarianism.

        And yes, the fact that you and myriads of others who do not consider themselves part of the extreme left are making assertions that have no foundation elsewhere.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 6:01 pm

        “You still don’t grasp the obvious connection between the endless pompous rain of your often hilariously illogical attacks (attacks is your own word to describe your own posts BTW) and the consistent feedback that you get, which you hysterically take as an attempt to infringe upon your freedom.”

        More putting thoughts and words into my head.

        I consider your willingness to use force through government as an attempt to limit freedom – because it self evidently is. You wish to elide responsibiltity by pretending that elections release you from moral responsibility for actually voting for restricting the freedom of others.

        I do not think that your inconsistent and illogical feedback – which is near universally confined to the few who whether on the left formally or not consistently adopt nonsencial leftist arguments, is a restiction on my freedom.

        If fact I have argued exactly the opposite – that my freedom to post as I do, is the same as your freedom to rant about it.

        On the rare occasions I attack you for infringing on freedom directly – rather than through government, it is when you edge away from lamenting my posts to allusions and threats that you should do something about it. A threat to take action against another is a threat to freedom.

        Yes, I characterize some of my posts as attacks. though you are guilty of another fallacy of false generalization.
        I attack your false facts,
        I attack your poor logic.
        I attack your constant fallacies.
        These are all errors that are not difficult to avoid.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 6:32 pm

        “You still don’t grasp the obvious connection”

        No, I do not care about the connection. You fixate on style, I am interested in substance.

        “Its not logic and its not reason. I can go through your posts and find an endless number of these logical nonsenses.”

        Then do, because that is how you counter an argument by identifying specific assertions that you claim are false.

        That is what I do, and it is what offends you.

        Countering with a blanket assertion that something unidentified is not logic or reason is a fallacious generalization. It is not true until you prove it.

        the hanging curves
        old banana peels
        chewing gum.

        Insulting an argument through metaphor is not rebutting it.

        “(If I do not explicitly warn you that my last comment was not meant literally you will take it so and give me a lengthy dissertation on chewing gum and banana peels.)”

        You are absolutely correct that when you say something stupid I will flag it.
        You are incorrect that I will presume that a metaphor is a literal reference – at least when you actually provide sufficient context to ascertain that.

        A metaphor is not an argument. Particularly when it is not even being used as an argument.

  41. Roby permalink
    March 1, 2019 5:25 pm

    Speaking of purple rage against politician there is this latest attack on moderation and moderates from our radical ignoramus sensation, AOC. She knows pretty much as little about the nuts and bolts of any issue as our ignoramus POTUS and is as arrogant as she is ignorant. She is the champion of radical left ideas that are doomed to failure because of both economic facts and political facts. But, since she is as empty of real understanding of one as she is of the other, she is free to be the campus chapter of the ISO.

    Ted Cruz with lipstick. Bernie started this disaster, I loath him too. I loath the whole set of campus leftist heros, the progressive democrats. Reparations! Genius! Add it to the whole rest of the delusional issues the moderate and ordinary liberal democrats have to try to survive.

    If I were the moderate dems in the House I would walk, en masse, and switch to independents and then stand up and give the progressive pirates a piece of my mind!


    • March 1, 2019 6:51 pm

      Roby, the problem is Queen Nancy has a very small majority of moderates and blue dogs compared to the AOC progressives willing to follow the far left agenda. According to The New Democrat Coalition, the numbers are 114-95. When AOC has that many willing to follow, she has the attention of the liberal press and there are so many voters willing to accept her asinine political beliefs, her influence on the party and voters is substantial. She IS the Democrats Donald Trump. Just like Trump was for the GOP, she is the democrats worst nightmare.

      And I point out that I am including Queen Nancy in the moderates. That is a huge stretch for me!!

      • Jay permalink
        March 1, 2019 8:52 pm

        Why are you assuming AOC is a force among the Progressive Dems?

        Yes, she’s getting a lot of media coverage (thank the GOP for demonizing her into prominence) but she has about as much (or less) influence in the group’s decisions as Jerrold Nadler (Manhattan) or the other Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn Progressive who make up the majority of NY progressives.

        And in California the progressives are borderline moderates, like Ted Lieu (LA) who has spoken out for a moderate approach. And ALL of the CA progressives voted to confirm Pelosi as speaker.

        If the Dems nominate a cook progressive (including Bernie or worse) and GOP runs with Trump again, I’ll hold in my vomit and vote Dem- anything to remove the Orange Disease now in office – and then do whatever I can to prevent Dems from damaging the nation – unlike those Trumpsters said they’d vote for him, but energetically rein him in if elected, butinstead joined the cult.

      • March 1, 2019 9:07 pm

        “Why are you assuming AOC is a force among the Progressive Dems?”

        You keep asking that question. But get a f ‘ing answer.

        I remember many in the GOP who said ” why do you think Trump has any support with the GOP primary voters”?

        Had they answered that question instead of splitting 65% of the remaining vote between multiple candidates, maybe we would not have the “orange desease” in the Whitehouse.

        If people.on the left dont answer that question and ignore it, we may have a campaign between Democrat socialism(red) and orange.

        Sorry I cant buy in that long range socialist programs are better than 4 years or a liar, or even tax evasion or illegal financial dealings.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 1:35 am

        You seem to be under the delusion that the GOP controls the media.

        AOC is featured constantly in the media – because the LEFT media wants to hear from her.

        AOC’s oversized political voice is not due to the right, it is entirely due to the left.

        Absolutely republicans love to hear her speak. She is such an incredibly carciture of the left – you would think Roger Stone invented her.

        No republican criticism of AOC is necescary. She is so out there that her won remarks generate the desired negative response. I find very few republicans criticising AOC.

        They do not need to.

        Nadler BTW has incredible influence. He is also an idiot, but not nearly such an entertaining one.

        No one buys California as “moderate”.

        So your answer is you will F;over the country if necescary to get rid of Trump.

        “unlike those Trumpsters said they’d vote for him, but energetically rein him in if elected, butinstead joined the cult.”

        Who said that ?
        I do not recall anyone saying that.

      • Jay permalink
        March 1, 2019 8:55 pm

        Sorry about the typos – that was kook progressive; and a space between but & instead.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 1:27 am

        House democrats have the same problem that house republicans had in the majority.

        If they wish to remain in the majority they can not cut the earth out from under the moderates.

        The most disproportionately powerful group in a multiparty parlimentary system is the one that provides the last few votes needed to form a majority.

        Democrats need to recognize that and respect their moderates – if they wish to continue to hold the majority.

      • Roby permalink
        March 2, 2019 10:50 am

        Ron, thanks for the numbers on the moderates. I was not aware of that ranking site.

        According to my father, who reads it, but is also disgusted by it, the NYT has been pushing the AOC point of view pretty hard. I don’t read it, paywall, etc. so I don’t exactly know what is in the NYT and whether they give any voice to the moderates.

        There is still a chance that this lunacy burns itself out by the time the primaries are underway under the weight of actual economic analysis of their programs and reality sets in that that this is a delusional and politically doomed movement. There is still a chance that a moderate democrat such as Amy Klobuchar will be able to attract votes and attention to criticism of the free heroin to everyone progressive politics that Bernie has unleashed.
        If only one or two moderates run against the giant field of prog-clones they should have a chance to change the momentum of the conversation. There is a lot of time.

        As of the present, I have as much heartburn and anger over AOC (and not just her, the whole idiotic pack of progs) as I do over trump.

        If the primaries produce a Warren/Sanders candidate and they lose to trump I will be ready to join trump in calling the NYT the failed NYT. Not that they will go out of business, but they will have contributed mightily to empowering everything they are against by joining, or actually leading, the naive parade.

      • March 2, 2019 12:54 pm

        Well the thing that is scary is Sanders received more of the under 40 age group votes in 2016 than either Trump or Clinton. And the positions held by Sanders have become more acceptable to the democratic voters, so someone from the far left has a better chance today than in 2106.

        Whatever the outcome in 2020, I don’t think it is a good position to be in.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 3:25 pm

        I beleive Silver did an analysis of the Sanders vote and found that the #neverHillary portion was sufficient that he could not have won the democratic nomination under any circumstances, and a sifgnificant portion of the Bernie vote subsequently went for Trump

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 2:19 pm

        This is a debate of political strategy not actual facts.

        Democrats are free to embrace socialism or reject it.

        I do not personally see leading democratic candidates acheiving any sanity on this prior to the general election.

        Primaries inherently drive candidates towards the parties extremes – towards those they count on for all the GOTV efforts etc. In the democratic party today this “base” is far to the left. Just about every candidate – not merely Sanders, But Warren, Harris, Booker, … has embraced an more socialistic set of polices.

        Both democrats and republicans have framed the debate in 2020 as one over socialism.

        There is going to be little semantic conflict over “real socialism” because the left For the most part the left is EMBRACING both actual socialism and the term.

        AOC and the democratic left seem to think they can mirror on the left what the Tea Party did for republicans at the start of Obama’s administration.

        They are free to try but are likely to fail horribly.

        The TP was NOT a shift right for the GOP, It WAS a shift away from Neo-Cons and Social conservatives. It empowered fiscal conservatives and small government conservatives – those are NOT the extreme right fringes of the GOP. The TP essentially marked the end of the culture wars. The TP unfortunately also embraced the anti-immigrant and punative trade positions that are reflected by Trump.

        But the equivalent movement on the left IS towards the extremes.

        You are going to see MORE advocacy of socialist programs between now and the moment a single democrat has locked the nomination. It is unlikely that democrats will shift toward the center before that.

        If democrats actually want to defeat Trump – they should flush their entire slate and embrace someone like Howard Schultz NOW.

        Biden appears to be the leading candidate at the moment, and is the only significant democrat not fawning over socialism. I do not think that Biden can defeat Trump, but I think he has the best chance. He is the only candidate that would pressure Trump in the rust belt.
        But Biden will not have the support of the democratic base. He is an old white man, and he has a history that is MORE misogynist than Trump.
        Biden is to Trump what Romney was to Obama – Biden is “Trump-lite”

      • March 2, 2019 2:44 pm

        “punative trade positions that are reflected by Trump.”

        Some call it punitive. Other call it “fair”
        Fair is defined by me as equal, same, tit for tat. A dollar you put on as tariffs results in a dollar I put on as tariffs. A Ford going into China getting slapped with 25% tariff results in a 25% tariff on Buicks coming into the USA. If it makes Buick to expensive, build the damn things in Michigan!

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 3:35 pm

        Yes, it is absolutely fair to screw over americans and make their products more expensive because the chinese have been stupid enough to screw over their own people.

        If the american people valued the buick from michigan more than the buick from China, they would have bought the buick from michigan.

        No one is stopping you from “buying american” But you are not entitled to force others to.

      • March 3, 2019 5:02 pm

        “Yes, it is absolutely fair to screw over americans and make their products more expensive because the chinese have been stupid enough to screw over their own people.”

        Yes and it is absolutely fair to screw over americans and make their jobs less abundant because the chinese are smart enough to screw over stupidcAmericans that think free trade is good trade.

        BULL SHIT!

        Lets stop this debate, because I WILL NEVER accept unfair free trade agreements that people are dumb enough to think benefits us. Telk that to those who have lost jibs.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 6:10 pm

        Your source is EPI – it would be hard to find a less credible source on an economic issue.

        “Yes and it is absolutely fair to screw over americans and make their jobs less abundant”

        A job is not a right. You are not being screwed over because someone else delivers the same value at a lower cost.

        “because the chinese are smart enough to screw over stupidcAmericans that think free trade is good trade.”

        Free trade is good trad.

      • Roby permalink
        March 2, 2019 10:54 am

        “Why are you assuming AOC is a force among the Progressive Dems?”

        I can only say ????!? Is this a typo?

        Jay you live in California, I live in Vermont. So, forget about our votes. Something we can do is help in other ways. Would we send money to help the dems if they go full prog?

        Not me. The prog movement is a cancer. I am never prog.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2019 2:24 pm

        “Why are you assuming AOC is a force among the Progressive Dems?”

        Because, Duh, Reality.

        but this is not worth arguing. This will play out as it does. You think one way. I think another.

        AOC has gone toe-to-toe with Pelosi, Feinstein and numerous other leaders in her own party.
        If she was not a “force” – if she did not have sufficient political base, she would have been bitch slapped into oblivion.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 2, 2019 1:00 am

      Purportedly AOC has a degree in economics – from a cereal box ?

      Regardless she was legitimately elected by the voters in here district.
      Further while every criticism you make of her is true, it is also true of every single democratic candidate for president at the moment – though to a lessor extent.

      Further – No Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are not like AOC.
      They have their own negative traits – but being uneducated and ignorant of the facts are not among them. Having never succeeded at anything except politics is not one of those.

      I am glad that AOC is in congress.

      If she did not exist someone would have to invent her.

      I would say that she is a carciture of a democrat – except that way to many democrats beyond AOC have carcitured themselves.

      I love some of the stunts she pulls. Marching into Feinsteins office shaming her with a bunch of children was beautiful.

      By using the same stupid techniques that the left often uses against conservatives, against her own peers who are insufficiently left wing nut for her, she exposes how fraudulent those techniques are.

      AOC did to Fienstein just the kind of thing Feinstein would have done to a republican in the past. She never immagined she would be on the receiving end.

  42. dhlii permalink
    March 2, 2019 2:25 am

    Here is a real trumpster for you.

  43. Jay permalink
    March 2, 2019 9:49 am

    History Reminder:

    The Founders put the mechanism of impeachment in the Constitution.
    They did NOT require an indictable crime.
    Rampant assholeness is impeachable.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 2, 2019 1:47 pm

      The language of the constitution is:

      “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

      “The Founders put the mechanism of impeachment in the Constitution.
      They did NOT require an indictable crime.
      Rampant assholeness is impeachable.”

      I would also suggest reading Federalist 61.

      Regardless, the impeachment process is not merely a test of the accused, but also of the congress itself – BOTH are on Trial.

      Despite the fact that Bill Clinton was OBVIOUSLY Guilty of both serious and real crimes – multiple counts of perjury, inducing false statements in others, and actual obstruction of justice, the consequences of impeaching Clinton fell on House Republicans NOT Bill Clinton.

      Most lawyers and constitutional scholars have asserted that “high crimes and misdemeanors” does NOT mean a public officer can be impeached for anything. That it means that the can only be impeached for a SERIOUS crime.

      At the same time – congress gets to determine its own rules regarding impeachment, and there is no appeal. SCOTUS is NOT going to review an improvidently imposed impeachment and reverse.

      Finally this is all lunacy. I have no idea what House democrats will do post Cohen. But his testimony was a disaster for the left. Cohen repeatedly smeared Trump’s character – if character assassination is your goal – big victory! But he not merely did not provide any new actual evidence but he vociferously denied and undermined everyone of the core claims of the left. Worse still his own self agrandizement placed him in a position where he would have had to have known of any actual misconduct.

      You can argue that Cohen was lying – easily. The man is a self professed and convicted liar.
      But he was YOUR witness.

      Cohen EXPLICITLY DENIED any personal involvement in “russian collusion” of any kind.
      He EXPLICITLY DENIED any knowledge of it involving others in the campaign and testified that it could not have occured without his knowledge. There was no trip to prague, no secret meetings with Putin or any other russian.

      Cohen explicitly denied having ever been asked or directed by Trump to lie or otherwise obstruct justice.

      Cohen established that Trump’s payments to him regarding the NDA’s were made from Trump PRIVATELY – not with campaign funds.

      Further Cohen undermined himself and further efforts to get Trump by lying repeatedly about himself and his own importance and conduct.

      I am NOT with house republicans refering him for further prosecution.

      Prosecuting people in an investigation for process crimes is abhorrent, and itself should be a crime.

      Neither Cohen nor any of Mueller’s other targets should have been prosecuted for anything that did not substantially impede the investigation.

      But if you and democrats wish to go forward. If you wish to use Impeachment as a means of altering the outcome of an election – which absent and actual crime or actual maladministration is all that it is, be my guest. The electorate will judge you and should it not do so harshly future congresses will judge your politicians in the same fashion.

      • March 2, 2019 2:36 pm

        So here is a short, distinct, straight forward question.

        If you are Queen Nancy and want to insure your candidate is running against the weakest possible GOP candidate, do you impeach and send it to the senate where the facts might sway a handful od GOP senators, allowing the GOP to run someone else, such as a Rubio, Kasich or another moderate, or do you keep doing what your doing to make Trump very weak, but still in office?

        I think she is all for the second choice and I would think most democrats support that

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 3:30 pm

        Trump has had the most contentious 2 years of any president ever. He has faced the strongest effort to thwart him ever,

        Yet, he has numerous accomplishements.

        Ron, Trump is “not weak”, and he is not going to be.

        Here is Nick Gillespies assessment from CPAC.

        Gillespie is very libertarian. He is not and never was a trump supporter.
        As I recall when he has not voted libertarian he has voted democrat.

      • Jay permalink
        March 3, 2019 3:48 pm

        “Trump has had the most contentious 2 years of any president ever”

        Your inability to recognize the obvious reason for that is astounding. Like asking why so many drunk drivers get arrested.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 5:30 pm

        So what are the REASONS for that ? Jay.

        What are the actual ACTS of Trump that justify the outrage and contentiousness ?
        What are the horrible CONSEQUENCES of Trump ?

        You have been searching for 3 years for a crime – and you still do not have one.
        The most powerful law enforcement branch in the world has been searching for 3 years.
        The entirety of the press has been searching for 3 years.

        Trump has not tanked the economy.
        You bitch about purported problems in foreign affairs – yet we are negotiating with North Korea. something that has not happened for 75 years. And though slow we are making progress. Trump did not take an unverifiable deal from NK that he was expected to, Obama took such a deal with Iran.

        Trump has successfully renegotiated several trade agreements.
        While he exagerates his accomplihments, none of those made things worse.
        It will take time, but he will get a deal with China.

        The mideast is still bad – but it is clearly LESS bad.

        So tell me what is it you are outraged by ?
        His style of speaking ?

        I am not that happy with his rhetoric either.
        But Outrage ? You are clearly very easily outraged.

        I rant here alot.

        But I rant about the actual use of force against others.
        Trump has the power to do so, but he just talks, he does not do anything.

      • March 3, 2019 4:50 pm

        Dave, then it appears your answer to Queen Nancy would be to imoeach because Trump is a foregone conclusion. I dont subscibe to that thinking as just a few votes in 3-4 states need to flip. And I look at the enthusiasm of left wing voters in NC in 2018 as an indication of voting in 2020. It may not be the same nationally in 20 months, but there was a large increase in younger voters, minority voters and unaffliated voters. That led to three counties that had not had democrat sheriffs for years, even decades, voting in democrat sheriffs.

        And the enthusiasm does not need to be nationally, only in a few states! And just a fraction of percentages.

        But that comes from a perspective that did not support Trump in 2016 and is being influenced by local political news, which can be much different than the news and info you use to develop your thinking about the future.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 6:04 pm

        If democrats choose to impeach AND voters accept that – that is how it is. I am fine with that.

        I think both of those are highly unlikely.

        My oppinion of the likely election outcome in 2020 is quite different from yours.

        We do not get to find out about that for almost 2 years.

        They we have finally crossed into perpetual campaign.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 7, 2019 9:14 pm

      At this point, I think the Democrats are doing themselves more harm than good. Trump’s approval numbers have gone up (and even if you don’t believe that, they have not gone down) and more and more independents are being turned off by the out-front socialism and anti-Semitism of the Democrats. Queen Nancy is having a hard time holding on to her crown, what with AOC trying to grab hold of it…

      I think an impeachment before the election will backfire. Trump thrives on defining his adversaries, and humpty-dumpy Jerrold Nadler and bug-eyed Adam Schiff are not a good look for the party. But Nadler and Schiff have nothing to lose, because they’re both in uber-safe districts. On the other hand, voters in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are looking to elect someone who will do something for the country, and they’ll be pretty steamed if all they hear about for the next 2 years is how the Dems are FINALLY gonna get back at Trump for beating Hillary.

      On the other hand, the Democrats have worked their base up into such a lather of hatred and insanity, that they might believe that they have to impeach , in order to placate their pitchfork and torch-wielding voters. I think that the majority of voters who don’t live in the Northeast or the West Coast want the Democrats to shut the hell up about Trump and DO something – just not a socialist something. We’ll see.

      My caveat is this…if Michelle Obama gets in, all bets are off. Everyone will ~rightly~ see her candidacy as the second coming of their god emperor Barack, and she ~ and he~ will be swept into office, on a golden cloud of progressive dreams….

      • dhlii permalink
        March 8, 2019 2:39 pm

        I would not sweat Michelle.

        People are more appealing as candidates when they AREN’T.

        Dems are doing everything they possibly can to implode.

        Given that we have real voter fraud in significant amounts in TX,
        That we have real vote harvesting in CA, AZ, TX, and NC – where is it ONLY illegal in TX and NC, the democrats are choosing to “investigate” voter suppression in GA.

        The Dem’s have made it perfectly clear their house agenda is hyperpartisan.
        They have no interest in actually accomplishing anything.

        For two years R’s have passed a budget, We have had only one short term CR in the midst of the shutdown to give time to negotiate. Even in an election year.

        I would bet there will be no budget in 2019 and 2020. Nothing of consequence is coming out of congress.

        If D’s can not continue to fan the flames of TDS through to 2020 – they are not merely going to fail, but they could well fail spectacularly.

        I am honestly surprised that the wing nuts on the left have managed to keep everything hyped this far. But they are slowly building anger in the rest of the country – even in moderate D’s.

        Further I think they have a tiger by the tail and can not let go.

        I keep hearing that Nadler is a brilliant politician not to be under estimated.
        He has never left me the impression that he is anything but a pompous ass.
        Regardless, even if he is brilliant his political experience is in NYC NOT the country.
        No one doubts he will be relected in his own district.
        I think he is clueless about how the rest of the country is perceiving him.

        The DNC has barred Fox from moderating its debates – which it is free to do,
        but that is an incredibly stupid move, That will drive the debate questions and answers farther to the left. A recipe that is not good for D’s.

        One of the things that the left does not understand about there war on free speech is that you can shut people up. But you can not stop them from voting.

  44. March 2, 2019 12:34 pm

    So maybe the Libertarian Party will make a wise decision and nominate this individual as their candidate.
    He does not support everything I support, ie free trade v fair trade (Dave, I define fair as we both have no tariffs or we match tariffs dollar for dollar), but he sure as hell matches my beliefs 179% opposite anything the democrats are offering as a alternative now.

    • Jay permalink
      March 2, 2019 5:16 pm

      The GOP should nominate him.
      But they want Party over Nation candidates & that excludes him:

      Amash: “”I’m not here to represent a particular political party; I’m here to represent all of my constituents and to follow the Constitution.”

      • March 2, 2019 5:30 pm

        Jay, I noticed that comment myself and decided he would have to be thrid party.

        Both parties have walked over the constitution so much that going back to what is written instead of what founders “meant” instead of written would greatly impact government overreach and regulations.

        The conservatives would have a fit when things like the Patriot Act would be reversed, the liberals would gave fits when regulations by the EPA, Department of Labor and Health and Human Resources would be reversed. Both parties can not accept returning power to the people.

        But the major hissy fit would come when presidents are reigned in and congress becomes the most powerful leg if government.

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2019 6:10 pm

        I mostly agree with what you’re saying Ron, but I don’t want any leg of Govt to be most powerful. Like a three legged stool, legs need to be equally balanced.

      • March 2, 2019 6:44 pm

        “Like a three legged stool, legs need to be equally balanced.”

        Well when Obama signed us up for the Paris Accords and did not go through congress, that leg grew much longer than the others.

        And research the constitution. Of all the legs of government, the president is suppose to be the weak link. He can only negotiate treaties, but has to have the Senate ratify. He can fill positions in his cabinet, but has to have Senate confirmation. He can not put into law legislation. Only he can sign it or veto it, but who has the most power. Congress because they can override a veto. He is not suppose to involve Americans in wars without congressional approval.

        So.look over the past years and how many Americans have lost their lives in “wars” that are not declared wars? Too much Presidential power!

        Then our President says things like ““We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward in helping to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible, making sure that our businesses are getting the kind of support and help they need to grow and advance, to make sure that people are getting the skills that they need to get those jobs that our businesses are creating.” That is by-passing congress. Too much presidential power.

        And if I had time, I could look up all of Obama’s E.O’s and find plenty that most likely should have had congressional approval. And most likely Trump has some hidden in there also that would not pass.

        Then add that the “National Emergency” Trump is trying to cram down on the country, would you not say these last two presidents have a leg much longer than congress? (And I am not talking about a middle leg as Trump might refer to)

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 4:49 pm

        The problem is that it is a skyscraper not a stool.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 4:47 pm

        Encouraging Justin Amash to run is not all that different from endorsing ME.

        There is very little daylight between Amash’s positions and mine.

        I think Amash would make a good president.

        If elected you would hate him as much as Trump

    • dhlii permalink
      March 2, 2019 5:42 pm

      I would absolutely support Amash.

      But I do not think he is running either as a libertarian or a republican.

      If you take a libertarian and substitute your view of Trade – what would distinguish that Libertarian from Trump ?

      • March 2, 2019 6:29 pm


      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2019 9:22 pm


      • Jay permalink
        March 3, 2019 3:54 pm

        Then why arent you loudly criticizing Trump for declaring a faux National Emergency?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 5:41 pm

        Why am I not …. ?

        Try reading – I have been.

        I have criticized Trump’s declaration of national emergency repeatedly.
        Possibly as frequently as you have.

        But criticism and going bat shit crazy are not the same thing.

        First the Declarion is NOT “fake” or atleast not any more fake than 20 still active declarations of emergency by Obama, and the 28 from prior presidents that remain active at the moment.

        Next the declaration is not illegal or unconstitutional.

        When you misrepresent something you undermine your won arguments.

        Ron wants to change the law – I am with him on that.

        The current vote in congress conforms to the existing law.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 5:52 pm

        Where am I ?

        I am right here where I have always been – opposed to the expansion of government power.
        In favor of limiting government power further.

        I initially presumed this was outside of Trump’s power – the Truman/US Steel decision seemed decisive to me, But in the 60’s and 70’s congress gave the President sufficient power to declare national emergencies, and Trump’s action conforms.
        It is less ridiculous than many of those in the past, including many still active.
        It is more of an actual emergency than most of those.

        It is therefore legal.
        Legal does not make it a good idea.

        Amash is ALMOST correct.

        The existing law gives Trump the power to declare a national emergency.
        It also gives congress the power to reverse that declaration.

        Congress is free to do so – that is the law.
        If they fail – the declaration stands – that is the law.

        In my “perfect world” we would not have come to this. Congress would have struck the obvious deal that everyone wants and given Trump wall finding for protection for the dreamers. That would not only have been doing the right thing. It would be following the law and constitution.
        but it did not do that.

        I would have prefered had Trump not declared an emergency and shutdown government until that deal that nearly everyone wanted was struck.

        Trump was NOT the impediment to that – Democrats were.

        But I am not getting my perfect world.
        And I am not going to get outraged because things are better than under Obama but far from perfect.

  45. dduck12 permalink
    March 2, 2019 9:10 pm

    Fake AOC Board Game Coming This Spring: “Where In The World is AOC”

    My wife lived in Parkchester/Bronx and my cousin lived in Yorktown Heights, Two different economic areas.
    But hey, NY is famous for carpetbaggers.

  46. Jay permalink
    March 3, 2019 10:24 am

    The brilliant insightful Gary Kasparov has another scathing indictment of President Crud’s deleterious disservice to the nation:

    • Jay permalink
      March 3, 2019 10:29 am

      This on Cohen’s testimony:

      “Cohen was as convincing as a confessed crook can be. It’s impossible to find an honest man to testify against Trump since he tends to surround himself with people as corrupt as he is.”

      And this on the scumbag president in general:

      Trump “has been exposed as…a thuggish con-man with no regard for decency or the law…Yet the damage he is doing to the presidency, the standing of the United States, and the global world order is of greater consequence.”

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 4:58 pm

        Or you could just listen to Cohen’s testimony.

        “Cohen was as convincing as a confessed crook can be. ”

        Was Cohen convincing ? If we accept that he is telling the truth about facts – his testimony undermined pretty much the entire left attack on Trump.

        We call witnesses for facts, not opinions.

    • dduck12 permalink
      March 3, 2019 4:38 pm

      Jay, I don’t think GK likes Trump. 🙂 (this put in for those that aren’t able to discern sarcasm on the internet. Haven’t they improved robots to do that yet. :-))

    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2019 4:54 pm

  47. Jay permalink
    March 3, 2019 11:37 am

    Ron, how long will it be before Trump starts calling him a Palestinian-Syrian Terrorist?

    This morning, on CNN:
    Rep. Justin Amash, one of 13 Republicans to oppose Trump’s emergency declaration: “The President doesn’t get to decide that he can override Congress simply because Congress doesn’t do what he wants … If there were an emergency … there would be a lot more consensus.”

    • March 3, 2019 12:26 pm

      I could care less who calls who what.

      What I care about is Queen Nancy, Shumer and McConnell getting off their asses and putting the dead brains to productive use. I want all the executive order shit, emergency order crap and any other “pen and phone” anal discharge eliminated and the constitutional powers AS WRITTEN enforced on the president.

      As for Amash, I think he would be a good alternative to Trump, but might tip the election to Sanders/Warren/Harris/Booker.

      If that happens, Trump just lied again. Just a day or so he said “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” Guess he cant say anything truthful!

    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2019 5:01 pm

      I doubt Trump will tweet about Amash, but we shall see.

      Rand Paul has announced he will vote against the emergency declaration.

      Trump and Paul are frequently at odds on issues – yet Trump and Paul treat each other with respect, Trump and Paul talk to each other about once a week, and Paul is said to have frequently influenced Trump.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 3, 2019 6:28 pm

        Here is where I disagree with Amash, and every other member of congress who is dishonestly grandstanding on this.

        The National Emergencies Act was passed in 1976, and every president has used it, without a peep from Congress. Obama, in addition to creating legislation that was not even tied to an emergency declaration (DACA), did declare that Mexican drug cartels were an emergency in 2011, and his emergency declaration that Iran was a threat to the US is still in effect.

        So, there has not been, until Trump, any pushback from Congress, on a law that has been in effect for over 40 years. They gave away their own power, and now they want to get it back, but only temporarily.

        Plus, if Amash thinks this is an unconstitutional use of executive power, why not try to repeal the law that allows it? He’s just grandstanding to get “libertarian cred” for his presidential run, knowing that, even if the Senate votes against Trump, he will veto, and there is not nearly a 2/3 majority in either house to override his veto. Rand Paul, same thing. I like Paul, but now that Amash has pulled this, Paul has to do it too, or lose HIS libertarian cred.

        Democrats want to keep Trump from using the law, but they’ll never repeal, because they want a future Democrat prez to use it for whatever s/he wants.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 7:03 pm

        The 1976 law allows congress to reverse the president.

        That is what is being attempted.

        This is little different from another act that SHOULD get passed – REIGNS.

        If we can not get Congress to directly do its job, we should atleast require them to vote on it when the executive excercises delegated powers.

        Has Amash said this is unconstitutional ? I have not heard that.

        He has said that he sees no emergency and expects congress to vote Trump’s emergency declaration down. I would agree with that.

        I do not think Trump should have gone the emergency declaration route.

        I think he should have veto’d the deal.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 7:07 pm


        I do not think Amash is running as a libertarain.

        But if he does he has plenty of “libertarian cred” already.

        If he runs as a libertarian – he will win the libertarian nomination – unless Austin Peters also switches back from Republican to Libertarian.

        Bill Weld appears to be looking to run as a Republican or independent.

        He is not likely to get the votes to be the libertarian candidate.

        Lots of libertarians are REALLY PISSED that during the 2016 campaign – one in which we had a real shot at gaining serious national party status, Weld our VP candidate was encouraging people to vote for Clinton.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 7:26 pm

        It is my understanding that the law has a legislative override provision.

        I am a VERY STRONG supporter of laws with legislative overrides.

        If Congress can meet the threshold necescary to override Trump’s emergency declaration – then we are acting lawfully,

        That is to be encouraged.

        If they do not – then the courts should stay out of this.

        The court should address a SINGLE issue – is the 1976 law constitutional ?
        If so they have no further role.

        I would support the court deciding that the 1976 law was an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power – but they are just not going to do that, it would effectively reverse the entire regulatory state.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 3, 2019 7:38 pm

        Dave, Amash DID say that the emergency declaration was unconstitutional. Which of course, it is not, unless the law itself is unconstitutional. He was on CNN this morning:
        “”We have a separation of powers under the Constitution. The legislative branch, Congress handles legislative powers. And this is something that we have had going through Congress for the past several years,” Amash told Tapper. “There’s been discussions about border wall or fencing. We’ve passed appropriations bills. The president has signed the bills. He hasn’t vetoed the bills. If he wanted to say that there was a crisis, he could have vetoed the legislation. He’s never vetoed appropriations. I think the president is violating our constitutional system”

        So, Amash is objecting on both constitutional and legal grounds, which sort of makes us both right. But, here’s the thing…virtually everyone has been calling the border crisis a “crisis,” for the last 10 years. Including Obama, who used his emergency powers to address it, as well. And, I fail to see why Trump’s attempt to deal with the crisis through the appropriations process, means that the crisis is not a crisis, that the Border Patrol, and ICE are not being overwhelmed by tens of thousands of illegals, that the Congress has failed in its own obligation to pass immigration reform, that human trafficking is not a humanitarian crisis that has been worsening.

        I think that Amash is trying to raise his national profile for a run. Perhaps, as you say, he already has libertarian cred, but, unlike Rand Paul, 99% of the country has never heard of him. So, he’s grandstanding, knowing that going against Trump will get him on CNN, and highly unlikely that the Congress can stop Trump on this, so Amash is reasonably safe from any backlash from GOP voters.

        The courts will decide this, and Trump will likely win, because this is at least as much of an emergency as Obama’s Mexican cartel emergency. In fact, Trump has been using Obama’s declaration to build portions of the wall.

        I still think that Amash is grandstanding. And of course, the Democrats are…

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 8:22 pm

        Amash is a VERY libertarian republican.

        He has consistently voted Libertarain for as long as he has been in congress – long before Trump.

        Is He Grandstanding ? I do not really know. He is doing exactly the same thing as he has been as long as he has been in congress.

        He is near certain to get more press attention today when he Defies Trump than in the last administration when he defied either Obama or House republicans.
        But Amash has not change.

        I am not sure that I agree with your or the presses spin on Amash’s remarks.
        But he did lean close to the ED is unconstitutional.

        I think it is Unconstitutional too – meaning that Congress can not delegate.
        But non-delegation is a non-starter in todays federal courts.

        Assuming that we except congressional delegation as constitutional – which I do not, the 76 Act is MORE constitutional than most because it includes a legislative override.

        Next I want to be clear – the determination of whether the border situation is an “emergency” is between the president and congress. You and I can debate whether there is a border emergency – I do not think there is – but then I would not have passed any of the other 28 currently active emergency declaration.
        But the courts have no role in this. Johnathan Turley had an excellent article on this several weeks ago.

        Congress has the power to decide that there is no emergency. If they do not – then they are blessing the fact that Trump says their is.

        Regardless, You, I, Ron are on the exact same page on one thing.


        What should have been done here – is the DACA for Wall Deal. The oportunity was also there to address other issues like family separation.

        That is called CHANGING THE LAW.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 8:31 pm

        If Amash wants to run for President as a libertarian – that is fine by me.

        And maybe I am wrong, but I do not think that is happening.

        If Amash and Paul BOTH ran for the libertarian party presidential nomination
        Amash would likely win.

        I like Paul ALOT. But alot of libertarains see Paul as a sell out. They want Ron Paul, Not Rand Paul.

        Amash is generally regarded by libertarians as a real libertarian – but not a nutcase.

        I beleive that John MacAffee is likely the current leading libertarian contender.

        There are rumours about Bill Weld – but too many libertarains think he betrayed them in 2016. I beleive Gary Johnson has said he is done. Austin Peters sees his future in the Republican party now.

        MacAffee will make an incredibly entertaining libertarian candidate, But he will strongly reinforce the view that Libertarains are nuts.

        I think that Amash – like Peters sees his future in the GOP not the libertarian party.

        I have little problem with that.

        Libertarains have a greater probability of political success by becoming an influential minority within the GOP than by challenging the two parties.

        People like Paul, Amash, Peters, Lee understand that.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 3, 2019 7:49 pm

        Dave, we agree that the law itself is unconstitutional, and also that it is not going to be overturned, at least not in this case, which will be decided on the merits of the emergency declaration, not its constitutionality. The Dems would freak out if it were anyway, because they WANT their presidents to be able to use it.

        If Amash is arguing that the border crisis is not an emergency, because Trump has been convinced to deal with it through regular order, his argument is very weak. Trump has been calling the border crisis an emergency, since the day he entered the presidential primaries. It’s been his signature issue, and one of the main reasons that he was elected.

        And I’m not trying to bash Amash, although I’m not a big fan of his. This whole thing is just a matter of everyone making the whole border security issue political, rather than treating it as a national security issue. Which it is.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 8:34 pm

        “which will be decided on the merits of the emergency declaration”

        Maybe at the lower court level. But at SCOTUS the deciding question will be is the 1976 law constitutional – and as you and I have agreed SCOTUS is not going to find it was not.
        I do not even think they will be asked to.
        Which means this is a slam dunk for Trump.

        If Congress gives the president to power to decide what constitutes an emergency while reserving for itself the power to override, there is no role for the courts in trying to second guess either the executive or legislative, and I do not hink SCOTUS will touch that.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 8:54 pm

        Someone at CPAC recently said “Republicans think democrats are wrong. Democrats think republicans are bad”.

        That is relevant here.

        SCOTUS has allowed congress to delegate its power to the executive – that is wrong, the constitution has no provisions for that. But it is the current state of constitutional law and has been for nearly a century. That is a given whether I like it or not. The consequence is not “evil” – atleast not directly, it is just weakening checks and balances.

        We are each Free to decide what we think constitutes and “emergency”.
        I have not found any declared emergency ever to meet my criteria for an emergency – so no the border is not an emergency.
        But by constitution and law Congress decides what constitutes and emergency and what does not. Congress has delegated that to the executive while preserving a legislative veto.

        It is irrelevant as a matter of law and constitution whether I think that there is an emergency.
        It is however relevant whether Rep. Amash does – he has precisely 1 vote out of 538 on the issue. However he is unlikely to have the deciding vote.

        You can argue that Amash is wrong, or Trump is wrong, or Pelosi is wrong or Scotus is
        wrong about this issue.
        But you can not leap from another party being WRONG to anotehr party being bad,

        Which is inherently exactly what identity politics does

        You are more conservative than libertarain – you are unlikely to beleive he is right on many things. But I would not doubt his sincertity. You can look at his record. There is significant common ground between republicans and libertarains. But outside that common ground Amash votes libertarain.

        Saying he is grandstanding is a tautology – he is a politician, of course he is grandstanding.

        But that does not mean he is not sincere.

        I wish we had Ron Paul back. We need someone capable of getting to the debates of a major party and saying to an audience – If Heroin were legal tomorow raise your hands if you would shoot up ? What many here call “extreme” – might be extreme, but it is very often the only rational, and practical approach.

        Anyway, if that is grandstanding – “please sir can I have more ?”

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 8:59 pm

        Of course the border is a political issue.

        My problem is trying to pretend that political differences are moral differences.

        That depends on whether the use of force is involved and whether that use is justifiable.

        I think Trump is wrong on this – primarily because the next president on the left will use this to go much father.

        But being wrong, is not the same as being evil.

  48. March 3, 2019 12:03 pm

    We had a discussion concerning the new tax laws when it was first reported that refunds were down and the tax law was really “an increase”. We debated withholding plus refund being less over a 12 month period than the previous years. Well here is an update, which the #nevertrumppress will never publish.

    I assisted a friend, a nurse, married, 2 children, two salary income with $300,000 mortgage on 6 acre piece of land. Property taxes, state income taxes plus personal property taxes just exceeded $10,000. AGI income for 2017 and 2018 averaged $140k, in 2016 was about $155k.

    Tax liability from tax return 2016, 15.3%; 2017 13.8%; 2018 10.45%

    According to pew research, this income level is reached by 53% in NC and 52% nationally. Taxes might be slightly higher due to ownership of property, but land values in NC are largely less than in metropolitan areas.

    So could it be that the tax reform bill designed to reduce taxes actually did? In this case, around $2500.

    • Jay permalink
      March 3, 2019 4:06 pm

      Come on Ron, if it reduced taxes for the vast majority of Americans, the reductions are minuscule compared to the huge give-back to the wealthiest Americans, Like informing the middle class they’re only hanging by their necks two feet off the groung instead of two and a half feet.

      Overall, how much did those tax cuts improve the economy; how much did they increase the deficit? Aid or deter needed infrastructure?

      • March 3, 2019 5:36 pm

        Jay “Overall, how much did those tax cuts improve the economy; how much did they increase the deficit? Aid or deter needed infrastructure?”

        I love this. 💗💗💗💗💗!

        We debate tax cut not being tax cuts, later I find info that tax cut are tax cuts, so now WE MOVE THE GOAL POST! Now its about the economic impact.

        You thinking on deficits. You know my position on SImpson- Bowles. You know my position on extreme government waste. You know my position on entitlement spending You position on government in general!

        If you dont, you have not been reading what I have been.posting and I am not going to repeat it.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 6:18 pm

        No Jay;

        The debate on tax policy has ALWAYS been about economic impact.

        No Jay, I do not “know” your positions on this list.
        I am not going back 11 years to find out exactly what you posted on Simpson Bowles.

        I can guess. But I could guess wrong.

        Simpson-Bowles had good and bad parts.

        Our government does NOT have a revenue problem. Anyone claiming otherwise is paying no attention. It has a spending problem. SB pretended it had a little bit of both. Had SB been implimented it likely would have been less bad than What subsequently occurred – though the sequester was a very good thing. but it would not have been good.

        Nearly all government spending is extreme waste.
        I have for YEARS cited Robert Barro’s data on the efficiency of government spending.

        The average efficiency of government spending is .25-.35 – that is 2/3 of every dollar of govenrment spending is WASTE. That is pretty extreme.

        You repeatedly post essentially the same nonsense from Joe Walsh.

        Is repeating some positions we have not heard in years so much of a burden ?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 5:57 pm

        “Come on Ron, if it reduced taxes for the vast majority of Americans, the reductions are minuscule compared to the huge give-back to the wealthiest Americans, ”

        Naked assertion – do you have facts ?

        In the past lower marginal tax rates have consistently resulted in higher tax revenues (and higher growth). The data so far indicates that. Further past data indicates that lower upper margin tax rates shifts a larger portion fo the cost of government to the rich.

        I have only seen a little data on the Tax cut to this point.
        But what I have seen conforms with what has occurred in the past.

  49. dhlii permalink
    March 3, 2019 7:28 pm

    AOC tells us all that hypocracy is “just living in the world”.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 3, 2019 8:11 pm

      The co-founder of Greenpeace tweeted that AOC is a “pompous little twit” whose GND would cause mass death.

      Which, of course, she is, and it would. The fact that she is massively popular among millennials should alarm all of us.

      By the way, I watched an interview with Andrew Chang, who is running for president, and is proposing a universal basic income, to be funded by a VAT of 10%. He was very interesting, and I think that what he is proposing makes sense. I have no idea what his other positions are.

      Has anyone here heard of him? What do you think?

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 3, 2019 8:13 pm

        FYI, Jay, Chang is a Democrat, worked for Obama. I’d be interested in your take.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 9:13 pm

        My son find Chang interesting so I am going to have to learn something about him.

        UBI’s are a Bad idea. they are a massive moral hazard.

        BUT, as a substitute for the existing social safetynet they are “the lessor evil”.

        But you are never going to get people to give up SS and medicare for a lower paying UBI.

        And if you do not get right of the social safetynet entirely and replace it with a UBI all you will do is thoroughly destroy a large part of the incentive to work.

        BTW the standard tax deduction is ALREADY a form of UBI.

        EIC is another.

        A vat without repealling the 16th amendment is a huge mistake.

      • March 3, 2019 9:54 pm

        Priscilla, Andrew Chang was on Cavuto Coast to Coast on fox a few days ago. Here is a clip from that interview.

        They did not include the parts where he explained the funding for UBI. If I remember correctly, he stated that most all entitlements would be eliminated because they would not be needed with the UBI for everyone. PPACA would also be replaced by “Medicare for all”.

        But we all know if its Medicare for all, it is really “Medicare lite for all” (actually Medicaid) and I suspect seniors will have a fit when they find out they will not have Medicare any longer. Instead of Granny going over the cliff, it will be a bull dozier pushing a nursing home over the cliff and bodies falling from the building as it tumbles down the canyon.

        But he does have some interesting thoughts on jobs, economy and capitalism.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 3, 2019 10:30 pm

        Eh, too bad. The “Medicare for all,” is a deal breaker for me. So, I’ll be sticking with Trump in 2020 😉

        But, Chang does make some very good points about the effects of automation and artificial intelligence over the next decade. There are going to be millions of people put out of well-paying jobs, without satisfactory alternatives.

        And, Chang also talks about the dishonest way that we gather data on unemployment, and how life expectancy has gone down over the last 10 years, primarily due to suicide and drug overdoses.

        I doubt that Chang has the answers, but at least he’s not talking about getting rid of cars, planes and air conditioning. By the time Bernie and AOC are done with us, we’ll be roasting dead rats over an open flame for food….

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2019 11:37 pm

        Apparently it is Andrew Yang not chang.

        There is not alot about what he supports beyond UBI. but I did trip over M4A somewhere.

        I do not like his UBI plan – you MUST pay for the UBI by using it to replace existing programs.
        Otherwise it is a bad idea.

        Tucker Carlson has been sucked into this robots and driverless cars with destroy all the good jobs idiocy too.

        I wish these people would study history. This is NOT the first time we have faced massive automation. The Luddites date back to the early 18th century.

        In the event that you can actually successfully automate away huge numbers of jobs – which is USUALLY quite rare. More often you have a variation of the John Henry theme – the new automated approach can not compete with existing trained skilled workers, but it is superior to new hires, so the automation process proceded by attrition not wholesale replacement.
        That is the norm. But SOMETIMES the automation is disruptive. But that does not matter.
        If you introduce 4M skilled workers – and by skilled I mean people capable of learning a task of equivalent complexity, then someone will sit back and say what can I do with this massive new pool of labor that I can profit at.

        Everytime someone says we lost jobs to this or to that – it is BUNK.
        If something occurs that releases a significant pool of labor – absent government interferance there is ALWAYS something useful they can do. Just because you or I have not thought of it.
        That is why Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos are rich as god, and you and I are not.

        The dangerous thing is when government tries to improve things for those towards the bottom. When you increase the cost to an employer without increasing productivity, you increase the minimum skill level required for a job.

        Minimum wage laws were initially put in place to assure good jobs for WHITE PEOPLE and to take them from BLACKS. The original authors of Minimum wage laws understood economics and knew who they were screwing. It drives my nuts to here people today saying we have to raise the MW to help poor minorities. Do that and you SCREW them. We know that.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 4, 2019 9:02 am

        Oops, yes, it’s Yang. Sorry about that!

        So, I understand that if I’m a truck driver (the example that Yang uses), and driverless trucks become the norm, and I lose my livelihood, I can go ahead and be a waiter or something (but not work at a fast food place, because they will have already transitioned to touchscreen ordering and robotic cooks).

        But, without satisfactory skill set or aptitude, and a shrinking base of jobs that would pay what I made as a truck driver, will I be able to pay my bills? Will I derive the same personal satisfaction as I did from being out on the open road, will I have to go back to school, which I dropped out, at 16, without graduating?

        I think that Yang is proposing the UBI so that people like the hypothetical truck-driver Me, is able to survive the transition. When you talk about 4M people put out of work, and fairly abruptly, over, say, a ten year period, what do we do as a society to help that “pool of labor” (who are actually individual human beings) move on to being productive members of the economy?

        Do we expand the social safety net, and, if so how? Do we overhaul the educational system, and accept that there will be a “lost generation” on some level?

        Isn’t a UBI better than a minimum wage?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 4:04 pm

        The most important attribute of a Truck driver is NOT driving trucks.
        It is their self evident ability to learn the skills necescary to drive a truck.

        If technology precludes them from driving a truck, they will always be able to do any other task with similar skill requirements.

        If “suddenly” 4 million drivers are supplanted by machines, those people will still have the ability to perform other tasks with similar skill requirements.

        Someone – MANY people, at all levels of entrpeneurship will consciously or subconsciously grasp that there is a huge resource that is now available and they will find many ways to make productive use of it.

        The principles of free markets are trivially simple the actual working of them is both incredibly complex and dynamically changing.

        But one of the most fundimental mechanisms in the free market is restructuring available resources to maximize the production of whatever we value.

        I have repeatedly stressed that free markets will AUTOMATICALLY give us cleaner water and air – IF THAT IS WHAT WE VALUE, so long as we become more productive and therefor wealthier and able to afford more of what we value.

        But must the same occurs at the opposite end. Markets will automatically arrange themselves to optimize the use of the resources available to produce as much as possible of what we need and want. That means that if a large pool or labor becomes available, a use will be found for it.

        One of the corallaries to Says law – the law of supply and demand is that supply creates its own demand. Aside from the fact this means that large numbers of unemployed truckers will be employed – it also means that any form of pollution will automatically diminish in a society with increasing wealth – because the polution itself is a SUPPLY – a Raw material. It will get converted into a product when there is enough of it and the cost to make beneficial use of it exceeds the disposal costs.

        We should absolutely NEVER be worried about the displacement of skilled workers at almost any skill level – whether by machines or by foreign workers. The economy will ALWAYS adjust to make use of them.

        That is not to say that the process will not be scary and tense, nor that for a few it will be seriously harmful. But the NET outcome will always be an improvement.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 4:30 pm

        Yang is not the only one talking about this – even Tucker Carlson who should know better has bought into this concept that today’s automatic is somehow different.

        It is NOT. This has happened many many many times over history.

        It is completely irrelevant whether your job is replaced by a spinning jenny, or a steam engine or an illegal immigrant or transfered to China or Mexico or you are replaced by a computer.

        It is the same thing – semi-skilled workers in large numbers are temporarily without jobs.

        Not only have we survived that in the past – but in fact those are typically periods of rapidly RISING standard of living.

        If as an example all human truck drivers are replaced by computers. The cost to transport goods will TANK. A computer can drive 24×7, it requires no pay, no benefits.
        We will all benefit from faster and cheaper delivery of goods. The positive effects of that will be massive. Cheaper delivery of goods – means entirely new businesses become viable.

        A small business that can not survive selling in a small community can afford to serve a much larger one. Cheaper transportation means NEW products. Which BTW means new jobs.

        Next if tomorow 4M truckers become unemployed – they become a resource – someone. Actually MANY people will find a way to profitably use them.

        The effect will be ENORMOUSLY positive. If the job the Truckers used to do AND the new job they do are both being performed we are producing MORE – we are ALL better off.

        Further the WORST thing we can do is try to cushion this.
        Periods or rapid change are very uncomforatable and scary, but efforts to soften them make things worse not better.

        With the collapse of the USSR – most eastern european countries shifted to free markets OVERNIGHT. There was massive disruption, and it was over quickly and their econoomies started growing strongly rapidly.

        Conversely Russia and SOME of the soviet block tried to delay and cushion the blow. This is where we have Oligarchy today – Not Poland and Chekoslovakia.

        Any effort government makes will:
        Become permanent
        Will decrease the benefits that come from moving to greater production.

        We will be doubly or tripply poor.

        No government aide program has ever worked. Most of them have OBVIOUSLY cause more harm than good.

        One of the most targeted by the left groups of speakers – often NOT conservatives are those who are looking at the data and saying things like what has destroyed minorities and particularly blacks in this country has been
        Failure to complete high school
        Failure to form families and intact marrages.
        Failure to find and keep jobs,
        Failure to establish homes
        Failure to have kids inside intact families

        These are the CONSEQUENCES of government efforts to HELP.

        Helping people who are in need is probably the most difficult thing to do effectively in existance. Government does it DISASTEROUSLY.

        Pretty much everything that is wrong today can be laid directly at the feet of government.

        Our medical system is the worst regulated mess in the world.

        I am vehemently opposed to Single payer. The last vestigage of free markets in medicine that remain in the US system are driving innovation that is benefiting the entire world, and that will DIE with more government.
        At the same time it is ACTUALLY arguable that the arrangements in Nordic countries and some of europe though in SOME WAYS more socialist than the US are overall freer and efficient. Most of Europe has private healthcare BUT mandated by government.
        Regardless my point is that while whe MIGHT have a healthcare system in the US that has SOME elements of free markets left, it is arguably more socialist than that of social democracies, and certainly more under the thumb of government.
        All of the problems of our healthcare system can be laid at the feet of government.

        The same is true of education – both public and college.

        You can just go through the list of things government is involved in and those are ALL the things that are bad and getting worse.

        This is not an accident.

        Please do not F things up even more by trying to help truckers.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 4:50 pm

        A UBI is a bad idea – but it is the lessor evil when compared to the existing social safetynet.

        I am vigourously opposed to a UBI as a new program in addition to what exists.
        I am opposed to funding it using any form of new taxes.

        I will only support a UBI as a replacement for existing programs that are WORSE.

        I do not think that is possible politically.

        I would further note that EIC, The Standard tax deduction are ALL forms of UBI.

        Any form of UBI that is not near universal – you could probably start phasing it out over 100K or income. but below that any phase out will create a DISINCENTIVE to work.
        That is a massive problem with the existing social safety net. Reducing that disincentive is one of the appeals of a UBI.

        Regardless, if you want to move to a UBI, you need to look at eliminated SSI, SSD, unemployment, Food Stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, SNAP, Minimum wage, Most labor laws, pretty much the entire social safetynet. Replace them ALL with the UBI.

        A single cash grant to nearly everyone working or not, to be spent however they wish.

        And you need to accept that some people are going to actually CHOOSE to be dependent on it to be drug addicts or alcoholics.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 4:55 pm

        I do not profess to have the answer – but there is one significant area in society were there is a problem of the type Yang is trying to address.

        That is with people with IQ’s 80 and below. These are people who take DAYS to learn how to do a job that most of us learn in 15m.

        These are very low skilled people and they have no hope of significantly raising there skill level. They are permamently barred by virtue of biology from living the american dream.

        Further we will ALWAYS have them For every single person with an IQ over 120 there is a person with an IQ below 80. That is inherent in the way IQ works.

        They are a resource that can easily be replaced by machines, and one that can NOT easily be used elsewhere.

      • Jay permalink
        March 4, 2019 5:08 pm

        My take on OAC is similar to Roby’s.

  50. dhlii permalink
    March 3, 2019 7:57 pm

    So the media continues to demonstrate serious ethical problems with their election participation.

    Need I remind you that the big revelation from Wikileaks was that the DNC and the Media and the Clinton campaign were “colluding” to F’over sanders.

    That the entire “russian/Collusion” narative is that Trump worked with Russia to expose the miconduct of the Clinton Campaign and the press.

    Talk about the left shooting the messenger.

  51. Jay permalink
    March 3, 2019 8:09 pm

    The Scotts are a canny people:

    • Jay permalink
      March 3, 2019 8:11 pm

      I’m willing to bet MILLIONS of Americans would donate to that cause.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2019 9:07 pm

      Would it be moral for us to vote to take your land for you – even if we pay you what we decide is appropriate, then throw you off your land and ban you from the country ?

      Rights are not subject to the whim of the majority.

      • Jay permalink
        March 4, 2019 12:35 pm

        More asinine observations from Dubious Dave.

        Scotland and other members of The United Kingdom have Eminent Domain laws permitting them to seize property for the common good. Elected officials in those places have an obligation to consider the MAJORITY views of their constituents for those seizures.

        And the Home Office, a United Kingdom government department, has legal authority to ban individuals from the UK who have “engaged in unacceptable behaviour.”

        And surely you agree being a loud mouth lying obnoxious asshole is unacceptable behavior.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 9:35 pm

        Every nation has eminent domain laws.

        You seem to be under the delusion that wrapping yourself in some technicality changes the morality of something.

        Stealing is stealing – even when the government does it.
        Passing a law to say we can steal, does not make it not theft.

        I would suggest some familiarity with emient domain history in the US.

        That right wing nut Caroline Kennedy wrote excellently about it in one of her books on the constitution.
        Or you can go on Netflix and watch “the little pink house”.

        The Social Contract, the absolute foundation of government and law, the MORAL justification for Government is that the individual gives up to government their right to initiate force in return for the protection of their rights from the force of others.

        Read the declaration of independence, or Locke or …..

        There is no mention anywhere in there about MAJORITIES.

        The entirety of western law and government and self government is NOT about majority rule.

        Rights belong to individuals ONLY. Abridgement of individual rights absent compelling justification is NOT moral – not even when blessed by majorities.

        The folly of majority rule was demonstrated as a failure by the Greeks 2000 years ago and exposed by Plato.

        Any subsequent talk of majority rule is a PLATITUDE. I do not beleive there has been an actual majority rule government since Athens.

        While you are reading – try John Stuart Mill “On Liberty” – he has several pages explaining in excrutiating detail whil majority rule is the MOST morally offensive form of govenrment in existance. Why it will inherently fail worse, faster an in a more totalitarian fashion than any other. You are far better off with Stalin as an absolute ruler than an actual pure democracy.

        So please quit selling this garbage.

        Further you are way to old not to have gotten past this kind of crap in High School.
        If you managed to get a high school education at your age without learning atleast some of the problems with majority rule – then you went to a far shitty school than I.
        You are not a millenial who had an education so bad they have an excuse.
        Presumably you actually had some american history, greek and roman history, some government and civics.

        “And surely you agree being a loud mouth lying obnoxious asshole is unacceptable behavior.”

        Absolutely NOT.

        I do not agree that you can take from someone else what is theirs for any reason other to compensate people they have actually harmed for harm they have done and to support the very limited government necessary to do that and to protect people from invaders and criminals.

        Even marx eventually had to grasp that you can not form a workable society or government without property rights.

        Regardless if you won nothing, if nothing you own is safe from government – then neither is your person. Your body is just another bit of your property.

        If you can take someones home from them because you do not like them, you can take their life from them too.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 9:43 pm

        “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.”

        Above is Kant’s catagorical imperative. It is quite similar but not identical to the “golden rule”, the fundimental differences is that the catagorical imperative imposes no enforceable positive duties on you and the golden rule does.

        Regardless your rant about eminent domain violates both the “golden rule” and the “catagorical imperative”

        The catagorical imperative if you are having difficulty in the context of this discussion means, Make no law that does not apply uniformly to ALL.
        It requires that any law must be univeral AND that it must be enforced universally.

        So are you going to take adverse posession and toss out of the country anyone you think is an asshole ?

        I would BTW love to see you legal definition of asshole – and I would have great fun applying YOUR defintion to you. I doubt you can construct a defintion of asshole that aplies to Trump and not also yourself.

        Do you actually think before posting ?

  52. dhlii permalink
    March 3, 2019 10:10 pm


    Here is the IRS talking about congress and tax returns.

    So lets be clear – ANYONE even congress making ANYONE’s tax return public has committed a serious crime.

    You desire to know about other peoples income does not change the fact that you are NOT entitled to.

    • Jay permalink
      March 4, 2019 12:05 pm

      You’re as full of crap as ever.

      “1924 provision in the Internal Revenue Code, the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee are authorized to request the president’s — or indeed anyone’s — tax returns from the IRS to conduct an investigation.

      The chairmen of the tax-writing committees — whether they act together or alone — don’t need to disclose that they’ve requested the president’s returns. But they may choose to — and likely would — share the returns with their committee members in closed session.
      If the committee thinks releasing the returns to the House or Senate would further a legitimate committee purpose, they’re permitted to do so…”

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 9:18 pm

        Did you bother to review the testimony – under oath ?

        BTW – what you are saying DOES NOT conflict with anything I have said or what the witness says.

        The public release of a tax return is a CRIME.
        Even the private release of a tax return to someone not otherwise authorized by law to access it is a CRIME.

        There is a very limited ability for congress to request tax returns from the IRS and to share them with people who are otherwise allowed to access them.

        But the slightest screw up IS A CRIME.

        I have no idea what the House will do. But if they do not ask for Trump’s tax returns they can not possibly ever be accused of criminally leaking them.

        If the House requests and receives Trump’s tax return and even the slightest bit of it leaks out anywhere there is GOING TO BE a very serious investigation of the House.

        I have no idea what they will do. But my GUESS is that the risk is so high they will back off.

        If the house asked the IRS for Trump’s tax return, and Trump found a way to secretly leak some part of it, there is a strong possibility he could trigger and investigation of the house democrats. And though it is a crime for others leak a tax return you are always allowed to leak your own.

        I do not think Trump would do this – it is a risky maneuver, and would explode in your face if caught and very hard to pull off without getting caught.

        But I do not think is not the same as he wont. And House democrats do not know what Trump might do. Nor do they know what their own aides might do.

        Regardless, the house requesting Trump’s tax return will NOT result in it becoming public.
        It will not even result in public accusations (mostly) as revealing ANY information from his tax return would be a crime.

        My Guess is that Trump would be ecstatic if the House requested his tax return.

        If your political enemy wishes to march voluntarily into a mine field – LET THEM.

        BTW democrats would have a higher than normal bar – because they F’d up the handling of IRSGATE and Louis Lehrner.

        If Trump Tax information leaks -democrats will get blamed.

        The only way democrats survive such a fiasco is if the leak is so damaging to Trump that no one cares how it occurred.

        And unless you are clueless about Tax returns you should be able to know that is not going to be the case. A tax return has very little of the information needed to find a crime or to fully understand the sources of revenue of a business in anything but the most cursory fashion.

        But go ahead – walk right into that minefield.

  53. dduck12 permalink
    March 3, 2019 10:27 pm

    “Sen. Paul vows to vote against giving Trump ‘extra-Constitutional’ power”‘
    ““I can’t vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated by Congress,” Paul said just moments after drawing applause for his praise of some Trump policies and his ridicule of some congressional Democrats. “We may want more money for border security, but Congress didn’t authorize it. If we take away those checks and balances, it’s a dangerous thing.”

    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2019 11:24 pm

      Paul said he was voting against this long ago.

      I would repeat what I said to Priscilla about Amash.

      It is highly unlikely that Trump is going to attack Paul.

      Trump does not go after people who treat him with respect, even if they disagree with him.

  54. dduck12 permalink
    March 3, 2019 11:21 pm

    This is from the NYT, so you don’t have to believe one word, or many words, no one is forcing you:
    “‘You Have to Pay With Your Body’: The Hidden Nightmare of Sexual Violence on the Border”

    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2019 11:42 pm

      Trump has been harping about this for months.
      I would note that the number of Men illegally crossing the boarder who are victims of violence sexual or otherwise is enormous.

      And your idea of how to solve this is ?

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 4, 2019 5:04 pm

      duck, as the Democrats tell us there is NO humanitarian crisis at the border!! And all of the illegal drugs are coming in through legal ports of entry (we, know this for certain because the media tells us so)! All of the adults with children are those childrens’ loving parents, and it is our evil Border Patrol and ICE agents that are ripping those loving families apart, while they try to find out if the loving parents are actually child traffickers, which of course we know could not be true, because all illegals are coming across the border for a better life, and, if we disagree with that, it’s because we’re racist and don’t like brown people.

      Wealthy elites in metropolitan areas all over the country need people to clean their homes, cook their food, and landscape their properties, for low wages. They need nannies for their children. If a few thousand women pay for this by being repeatedly raped in border towns, that’s just a small price to pay, and the politicians who enable it, by refusing to enforce our immigration laws will never have to see those women anyway.

      So, no emergency.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 4, 2019 5:16 pm

        The New York Times is blaming the US for the rape of migrant women. The article claims that migrant women don’t get raped on the way to America, but after they get here.

        If Americans are to blame, it is the Americans who encourage the breaking of our laws and the refusal to deport those who enter illegally and/or commit crimes.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 2:27 am


  55. Roby permalink
    March 4, 2019 8:08 am

    Nobody is going to actually get rid of airplanes. Nobody is going to enact medicare for all. They are simply blathering. None of the extreme ideas of the progs are anything that would make it to first base once the election is over. And, if Vermont is any measure, the prog voters are unforgiving. They in their naive way utterly believe the promises: what do you mean you failed to enact single payer health care Governor Shumlin, you sold your soul to the big insurance companies. We are done with you.

    In other words the prog coalition will unjoin the dem party just as soon as a prog gets elected and does not provide antigravity lollipops to all.

    But a lot of this bullshit is likely to die during the dem primaries, facts and polls will kill it.

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 4, 2019 9:12 am

      I hope so, Roby, but I think that the idea that millions of more people will believe that bullshit is a bad thing.

      I agree with you that the far left of the Democrat Party is doing damage to the party’s electoral chances (most of the new Dem reps elected in 2018 were far more moderate than AOC, Omar,and the other one, whose name escapes me), but there is no doubt at all, that AOC has influenced millions of young voters to believe that “democratic socialism,” i.e. voting to take away other peoples’ money, and give it to themselves, is a far better system than what we have now.

      The GOP is not providing answers, nor are the Libertarians. So we have one party providing a path to economic destruction, and a bunch more providing no path at all. Another fine mess the DC swamp has gotten us into, while they enrich themselves….

      • Roby permalink
        March 4, 2019 10:50 am

        “I think that the idea that millions of more people will believe that bullshit is a bad thing.”

        Millions of people believing any cunning bullshit is a Terrible thing, especially when the bullshit is becoming increasingly popular and increasingly bullshit. Watching the naive dreams of the parties’ most rabid activists become the political principles of both major parties in this latest era has given me goose bumps that won’t go away.

        One side is fanatically convinced that antigravity lollipops are what we must get to have a happy future while the other party proposes a time machine to their imagination of the happy uncomplicated world of 1947. So, how do they negotiate to find reasonable policies for the issues of 2019? Its like bringing the Moonies and the Scientologists together to discuss economics. Gremlins was a great movie. Its a lousy reality.

        While we go through this surreal exercise in democracy gone loony in the internet era, the countries with authoritarian governments and nuclear arms are efficiently playing chess without the distraction of input from the proletariat. Among skilled chess players just one lost move often means a lost game.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 8:45 pm

        You are free to beleive whatever you want.
        Others are free to try to persuade you whatever they want – even left wing nuts and russians.

        What no one may do, is use force to get their way without justifying the use of force.
        You may not do so directly, you may not do so by proxy, and you may not do so through government – not even with the support of the majority.

        “So, how do they negotiate to find reasonable policies for the issues of 2019?”
        Trivial – we may not use force – aka government absent a compelling justification.

        Most if not all of what you call policies – are things that people can work out on their own in their own lives. There is no need for “negotiation” over most of this.

        The overwhelming portion of each of our existance is the domain in which we make decisions for ourselves. That is the default – ALWAYS. If you are seeking to make significant changes – you can persuade people, but you can not force them.
        Not even if what you want is a really really good idea.

        Not only is that the solution, it is the ONLY reasonable solution. Every other solution inevitably means one group using power which should not belong to it over others.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 9:01 pm

        “Among skilled chess players just one lost move often means a lost game.”

        I have not played chess seriously in years – but it seems you never have.
        Nor BTW is chess different in this regard to any other competitive event.

        At the top of any competitive domain – actual skills are very nearly equal or inconsequentially different. The game is almost entirely psychological.

        Go read the book on the Fisher-Spasky Match. Fisher played like crap – often deliberately.
        2/3 of the game was not even occuring on the chess board. Fisher had a deserved reputation as a complete nutcase and concurrently the worlds most brilliant chess player and he used that. When Fisher did something stupid Spasky was unable to determine whether it was actually stupid or whether a move by Fisher was stupid or a brilliant trap.

        The vast majority of the Fisher-Spasky match reads like a bunch of class E players blundering at each other. Anyone with a few years of chess could have beaten either of them. Except that could not happen because they would have known that the blunders of an inferior player were blunders and would not have thought twice about capitolizing on them.

        This is also what you are clueless about Trump. You think that the Summit in Vietnam was about a few words back and forth between Trump and Kim Un.

        What was going on was about Trump and Kim Un, It was about what Trump needs in the US, it was about what Kim Un needs in his own country, It was about Vietnam, it was about negotiations with China, it was about negotiations with Pelosi in the house.
        It was about the wall and the emergency declaration and the UK and EU and Mexico.

        It is entirely possible that the whole thing was as shallow as the media claims.
        It is also possible that Trump never intended to strike a deal at this Summit, or that Kim Un did not. Or both, or …..

        Humans even the best humans do poorly against the best computers at chess and other competitive contests specifically because computers are somewhat immune to this.
        But not completely. Chess as an example is NOT fully calculable, a computer can at best analyze more deeply than a human. But we have seen in computer human chess matches at the top levels some of the same tendencies that we do between the best humans, they are just more rare. Even computers play a psychological game and face opponents who attempt to psych them out.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 5:04 pm

        The danger of these things – is not inherent in the ideas themselves.

        They are stupid ideas and if actually put into practice would fail dramatically.

        They danger is that the more broadly they are accepted the more viable a means to power they become.

        The Pelosi’s and Schumer’s and McConnells will NEVER end air travel as an example.
        But they are near certain if given a chance to regulate the crap out of it

        By regulating – artificially controling, and by seizing the POWER to control, everyone must come to you to gain access to that resource.

        Elites will determine who gets the contracts to mangle air travel.
        Elites will decide who gets to fly and when.

        That is power – it is power TAKEN from you, and it is ordinary people that will ALWAYS suffer the loss.

        I would further note that to a limit the more they F’it up the more power they have. The more broke whatever they regulate is , the more they can interfere, the more broke it becomes.

        Our medical system has become a huge disaster BECAUSE of constant government interference. It gets worse with every intervention.
        That is NOT accidental.

        You can not prevent even good ideas from being corrupted by government.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2019 5:09 pm

        Libertarians are ABSOLUTELY providing the answer.

        The answer is quite simple. The problem is ALWAYS when some of us have POWER over others of us. The rationale is not critical. It is not important whether it is driven by the left or the right.

        With very very few exceptions people – individuals can solve their own problems on their own. they need protection from those who would use force against them, and a very few other things. All else we can ultimately do better on our own.

        It is irrelevant what the problem is – if your proposed answer is to give POWER to others to solve it – taking power from individuals and control of their own lives, the answer is nearly always NO.

        THAT is our largest problem. Not automation or immigration or outsourcing.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 4, 2019 6:04 pm

        Dave, small “l” libertarians may provide us with a useful ideology, that can help us understand why big government is dangerous, and why limits on the power of the government is important, but the big “L” Libertarian Party hasn’t provided any kind of platform that gets us from “here” to “there”. And conservatives struggle to find common ground with each other.

        Perhaps I should have used the word “plan” instead of “answers.” or “path.”

        Socialists say, tax the rich. When there are no more rich (other than those in power, but shhh!) then tax the middle class. When there is no more middle class, the poor will have it all. Except that “all” really means “nothing”, but that’s something that the socialists never address, because they’re too busy promising the free stuff. Yay, for the collective.

        I have not seen today’s GOP (other than Trump, who is more of a populist than a Republican) or Libertarian Party provide clear alternative plans. I realize that it’s a lot easier to promise free stuff than it is to get people to take responsibility for their lives. But, other than cutting taxes (good), what have the GOP and/or the Libertarian Party provided in terms of concrete proposals? Education reform? Immigration reform? Real tax reform? If it weren’t for Trump actually having a platform,which everyone criticized, the entire 2016 election would have been about whether we would elect the first woman president. Gary Johnson had a golden opportunity, but didn’t take advantage of it, by explaining how the Libertarians could do things better.

        I’d just like to see some pushback on these dangerous leftist policies that the Democrats seem to think is their ticket back to power. Where are all of the moderate Democrats? And, I had such high hopes for Andrew Yang 😦

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 2:59 am

        I am not into the small l big l thing.

        If a given race has a democrat or republican that I can actually get behind – that does NOT require me to agree with them on everything – I will probably vote for them.

        If a race is predetermined – I am going to cast a protest vote – probably for the libertarain.

        There have been some quacks running as libertarians.
        There have also been some excellent people.

        Absolutely the Libertarians have a credible platform that would greatly benefit the country.

        Have you read the republican or democratic platform ?
        No one reads platforms.

        I will also vote and poll libertarain to get them into debates.
        You want to change the existing parties – lets here voices that are not republicans or democrats. Ron Paul was incredible in the Republican Debates. He forced the discussion of issues that every body else ducked. And he mounted a credible national political campaign within the GOP that the Republicans did as much to choke as the democrats later did to sanders.

        Regardless, his voice was incredibly important and if we can not get that message on the stage at a Republican debate then I will support the very difficult efforts of big L libertarians to do so.

        I like Rand Paul alot, but he is NOT the powerful voice that his father was.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 3:05 am

        The press tanked Gary Johnson.
        The platform you get does not depend so much on what you say – but what gets reported.
        The press deliberately tried to paint Johnson as uninformed and gaff prone by falsely spinning his response to setup questions.

        There is plenty on Johnson/Weld online if you want to find it.
        But you can not get attention from the press if they do not want to give it to you.

        Trump conversely gamed the press in 2016.
        Trump completely bought that there is no such thing as bad press and so he gave the press the remarks that they thought would tank him, but assured they would keep coming back to him over and over when it did not.

        The Press thought Trump under a spotlight would wilt and Trump made sure they put him under the spotlight.

        There was no way Johnson could manage the same thing.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 5, 2019 9:25 am

        Ok, Dave, you make two very good points.The first is that, far too often, the GOP platform, as well as the Libertarian one, end up like the tree falling in the forest, which no one ever hears, due to the refusal of the mainstream press to cover all sides of a story.

        Your point about Trump “gaming the press” is also well-taken, although I might say that the press gamed itself, by giving hours of free TV exposure to someone that they considered 1) a major celebrity , who would drive high ratings (true), and 2) a candidate who would be easy for their anointed one, Hillary, to beat (false). No Republican has ever had that kind of media focus, and will likely never have it again.

        Maybe it was Weld who tanked the Libertarian opportunity to push a powerful and policy-specific platform, but, for whatever reason, the Libertarian ticket did not campaign very energetically. Certainly not like Ron Paul, who, like Trump never shied away from a tough question.

      • March 5, 2019 3:59 pm

        Priscilla, have you ever seen a time the Libertarian Party actually campaigned? I think they just use the L convention as a time to get together, drink ( and as many believe smoke dope) and have a good time. They nominate some off the wall candidate and then go home for another 4 years.

        Johnson was the only person with some name recognition, but even then the L party gave little assistance.

        Since the last 5-8 years, the name of the game has been social media and it does not take much money to mass distribute information on social media. I get bombarded with democrat and republican propaganda daily as a result of clinking on some link to info I want to read, but that never happens with the Libertarian party. Its like they must think sending info on the internet is harm to someone else.

        So I suspect they will do the same thing this year they always do. Wait until the last minute, nominate a candidate, close up shop, go home for another 4 years and wonder why their candidate gets less than 10% of any vote anywhere.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 7:44 pm

        The liberatian party quite actively campaigns.

        They are even reasonably well funded for their size.
        I beleive Johnson Weld received and spent $40M in 2016.
        That is 1/20 of what Trump spent and 1/40 of what Hillary spent.
        It is proportinate to their vote total.

        Johnson in particular was very active in campaigning, but he got little attention.

        You can not force the press to cover you.

      • March 5, 2019 8:27 pm

        So what activates unsolicited crap into email, Facebook and Twitter? Because my computer was full of unsolicited info from PAC’s, national parties and other special interest groups.

        Except nothing from Libertarians, groups supporting Libertarians or the Libertarian Party.

        So I still say the Libertarians are inefficient and less capable in messaging than the GOP and that takes wkrk!

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 8:41 pm

        I get myriads of emails from liberatarian groups – almost daily,
        But then I visit places like FEE, FFF, Cato, Reason,

        I also get atleast one offer for breast enlargment every day.
        I do not thing I am not female or Trans. but maybe they know something about me I do not.

        If you want to get bombarded by libertarain spam, it should not be very hard to arrange that.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 7:47 pm

        Johnson was confirmed as the libertarian candidate on 5/29/2016
        That is two months BEFORE the democrats and republicans.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 7:49 pm

        There was a very active Libertarian primary in 2015 and 2016.

        The leading candidates were “Austin Peters”, John MacAffee, and Garry Johnson.

        You can find numerous campaign adds by all of these on youtube.

        The MacAffee adds are incredibly funny.

      • March 5, 2019 8:30 pm

        Well big WHOOP! If adveftising on you tube was efficient, we would not be bombarded by ads on TV, Social Media or email.

        Who the hell goes to you tube to look at ads?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 8:52 pm

        The only person who gets into my facebook account is my wife.

        Conversely I look at several videos on Youtube every day – about half business related – either computers or construction.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 8:54 pm

        I see far less adds and get less spam and have a faster browsing experience and less computer problems as I switched to Brave-Browser a few months ago. I have a few issues and still have to run chrome and chromium for a few things.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 6:44 pm

        Once in a while there is some platform fight that is serious and attracts peoples attention.
        But that is rare.

        I remember reading that Mueller was investigating whether there was some change being made to the GOP platform as a quid pro quo to russian.

        When I first heard that my response was “huh ?” – Who knows or cares what is in the GOP platform regarding Russia or Ukraine ?

        Most of the time we pray to god that party platforms are NOT legally binding – which they are not.

        In the end it turns out the clause was strengthened against Russia not weakened – but who cares ?

        We have had myriads of these spittle battles over nothing.

        There was a big hullabaloo over whether Trump Jr. Called Trump during before or after the meeting with Natalie. The Trump’s denied that. Turns out they were correct.
        Would the world have changed if they had talked ? No ?
        A legal act is legal – even if you talk about it before during and after.
        It is legal – if you conspire to do it. It is legal if you lie about it.

        There has been a massive effort from the start to the end of this to catch Trump and others in the tiniest inaccuracies.

        Flynn, Papadoulis, and Stone are labled as criminals – for what ?
        Possibly inaccurate statements about legal activities ?

        Stone is facing charges for failing to recall that he had exculpatory evidence.
        Further this is in reference to congressional testimony which he was permitted to correct – that is the norm, but he was denied transcripts of his own testimony so that he could review and correct any errors.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 6:45 pm

        Covering Trump has made a fortune for the media.
        Ranting about Trump is incredibly profitable for the media.

    • March 4, 2019 11:30 am

      Roby, make sure Jay sees this!. Maybe you can convince him that when candidates promise something, they are not “really” promising anything. He keeps pointing out things that Trump said that is not happening. I have tried showing him how he is being sucked into the promises happening leg pulling, but he has not acceoted that from me. Maybe you can do better.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 4, 2019 3:50 pm

      “Nobody is going to ….”

      Absolutely. While that MIGHT be the goal of the true beleivers in this idiocy, the danger is that the “movement” will become a vehicle to permit greater government control.

      For most of the “leaders” that is the actual goal. I have little doubt that if Nancy Pelosi thought that she could get sufficient popular support for GND she would be 150% behind it.

      Not because it is a good idea – but because it is a means to greater power for her and her political tribe.

      I keep harping that ALL apriori regulation is net harmful – and it is, there is plenty of economic data to support that. No one in their right mind would support Minimum Wages if they were familiar with the real world data on their negative effects. Nor is this some modern secret.
      The people who first came up with Minimum wages did so with the explicit expectation that they would favor whites over minorities – and that was and still is the effect.

      All these ideas such as the need for regulation thrive – not because they are good ideas,
      But because they increase the power of the governing class.

      As I have said many times before – Lord Acton did not say “Money Corrupts”, he said POWER corrupts. Money is a second order or less concept. It is not even necessary it is just convenient.

      But POWER is the ultimate aphrodesiac.

      I am constantly harping that government is force.

      Everything we debate here is about increasing or decreasing the amount of power that those in government have over the rest of us.

      Are their lots of people on the left who sincerely beleive in M4A or Single payer or GND or ….
      The vast majority. BTW “Socialism” is no different. Forget the ideological portions – because to the people like Stalin, Mao, Chavez, Castro the ideology is secondary, what is important is that it is a vehicle to power. It can be represented with sufficient attractiveness to ordinary people that they will surrender power to “leaders” in return for its benefits which but for small numbers they will never receive.

      Any ideology or arrangement that can be co-opted as a vehicle for power WILL BE.
      It is irrelevant whether it is right or left, the GND or Nazism, or Socialism or Income inequality of Global Warming, or Clean water.

      I rant about the left and Progressives all the time.

      They are nothing more than the preeminent vehicle for empowering an elite AT THIS TIME.

      Their ideology is wrong and broken – but even if it was actually possible to make one of these ideologies work – it will STILL fail because it WILL BE CO-OPTED as a vehicle for power.

      While there is much more going on with the left than just that, the fundimental conflict between the left and Trump is that he is a threat to their POWER, to the control they exercise over everyone else’s lives.

      Again some true beleivers might actually seek to use that power for good,
      But either they will be corrupted or they will be replaced by others who are going to wield power for their own benefit.

      Is Trump inherently dangerous in exactly the same way – ABSOLUTELY.

      Power corrupts – always, in everyone.

      For the moment MOST of Trump’s use of power has been to shrink the power of government or to bring it back into conformance with the law.

      My opposition to his use of emergency declarations to build the wall is not because it is illegal, or that I object to the wall, It is not even about Trump, it is about the fact that it will justify slowly increasing use of emergency declarations to increase the power of future presidents.

      • Roby permalink
        March 4, 2019 6:03 pm

        “The people who first came up with Minimum wages did so with the explicit expectation that they would favor whites over minorities – and that was and still is the effect.”

        References? Links?

        I just read the Wiki article on minimum wages and found nothing that hinted at this.

        I am no great proponent of the minimum wage and never was. I think that the 15 dollar minimum wage is nuts, it will put people out of work, possibly in the millions in the US.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 2:33 am

        Google the “racist roots of the minimum wage”.

        But here is a very short clip of Diedre McCloskey interviewed by Dave Rubin on this.
        McCloskey is and extremely important american economist.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 2:35 am

        If there are facts that are harmful to the left they will get purged from wikipedia.

        Wikipedia is an incredibly important and useful tool, but anywhere where there is an obvious interplay between politics and fact – wikipedia articles are near certain to be “cleaned”.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 2:46 am

        There is no difference beyond scale between a $7 MW and a $15MW.

        at $7 that means you can not get a job if your productive value is less than $7.
        At $15 your productive value must be $15.

        There is more than half a century of research on this. There has only been a single study pretty much ever that has not found the effects of a MW bad.
        That is Card and Krueger. And C&K found that tiny increases in the MW had no effect on employment. I think they were wrong and they made several statistical and methodological errors and there are several excellent critiques of their work. But Even Card and Kreuger have explicitly rejected the premise that large increases in the MW will not be net negative.

        What C&K did expose is that reducing employment is only ONE of the possible negative effects of an MW increase. C&K found only minor decreases in the number of people employed after an MW increase – just ot be clear their study was limited to a small region in PA and NJ where they did a comparative cross border study to see the effect of an MW increase where it effected only half of a demographically similar population.

        What C&K did not examine and subsequent work DID, was the structure of employment.
        More recent studies have demonstrated that when the employment impact of an MW increase is small it does NOT mean there is not lots of people who lose their jobs.
        What tends to happen is that employers replace lessor skilled people with fewer higher skilled people.

        The effect of MW increases on teens, on minoritees is well documented over decades and is disasterous.

        Quite simply the higher the MW is the harder it is to get and keep your first job.
        The effect is larger the less well educated you are, the poorer you are and for minorities.

  56. Jay permalink
    March 4, 2019 10:32 am

    Fox News Propaganda Bosses Protected Trump From The Start

    • dhlii permalink
      March 4, 2019 8:26 pm

      Wow! Extra Extra, guy who owns network actually gets to decide what stories he wants to see run!!
      Crime of the century.

      We have had 3 years of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
      The left media rarely if ever runs any of the stories that refute the garbage they push.
      You do not think that maybe they make choices about what their readers want or should see too ?

      Grow up. The GOOD thing about the modern world and near infinite media is that NO ONE has sufficient control to dictate what people can and can not find out about.

      Falzone could have taken the story elsewhere. Further there are bazillions of other reporters out there – so Fox Spiked the story – why didn’t it run on NYT or Wapo ?

      Do those reporters Suck ?

      You seem to think that not only must the left wing media report what YOU think is important, but so must all other media.

      I think the NYT is a huge embarrasment – Fox would have to F’up alot to catch up.
      But I do not care – both are what they are, as well as myriads of other outlets.

      If you want control of what is published – start your own paper or network.

      You keep telling me that you are not on the left, and yet constantly you want to dicate not only what can not be said, but what must be said.
      You want control of not only what everyone does, but now what they think and say.

      A n actually free press means a press free to print whatever it decides to print.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 4, 2019 8:37 pm

      Your article claims that this occurred when Clinton and Trump were in a dead heat near the end of the election.

      That NEVER occurred.

      Clinton and Trump were within 1pt 3 times

      Dec 15, 2015
      May 25, 2016,
      July 30, 2016.
      Late July was the ONLY time Trump was EVER ahead of Clinton in the polls.
      From Aug 2016 through to the election Clinton was on average 5pts ahead.
      Trump closed to 2 pts for a day in Sept.
      And again for 1 day in Nov.
      On election day Clinton was 3.2pts ahead in the polls.

      This is also why virtually no one predicted a Trump victory.

      If your story is so wrong about such trivially verifiable facts – why is it trustworthy in other regards ?

      I do not know what the actual truth is. Nor do you.
      I do not care if the story is approximately true as written.
      I do not care if Rupert wanted Trump to win.
      Do you think that Bezos Sulzberger did not want Clinton ?
      Do you think that the overwhelming majority of those in the media (and apparently DOJ and FBI and CIA and NSA) wanted a Clinton victory and were actively seeking to make that happen ? Fortunately those in the media were not violating the law to do so.

      The only “influence” or “interferance” in the 2016 election that needs investigated and people need to go to jail over is that of the Obama Administration.

      There only “influence” that is criminal, is that of our government.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 9, 2019 1:48 am

      The editor at Fox responsible has responded to this story.

      You can find his published response on line.

      The elements are simple.

      The story claimed that Daniels confirmed this affair, Daniels was contacted through agents and attorneys and asked to confirm.
      They refused.
      While THEY wanted the story published, they were quite clear that they refused to have their finger prints on it.
      There was no other corroboration of the story at that time.
      Fox was NOT ALONE, several major outlets had the same story.
      Daniels agents and attorneys were shopping it.
      No one published it before the election.

      Because responsible journalists do not publish stories particularly stories like that without confirmation.

      In otherwords the allegation against fox is that they were NOT less ethical than other outlets at the time.

      • Jay permalink
        March 9, 2019 11:56 am

        Yeah right, Fox policy isn’t to acccentuate (exaggerate) Trump positives and eliminate (ignore) his massive negatives.

        You’re as full of crap an apologist for Trump and his cultists as usual. Fox is a propaganda tool for right wing Trump conservatism. Period! Apparently your head has been up your butt on this site for more then a decade; that immersive anal marination has permently clouded your judgement, allowing you to conveniently ignore the fact that Fox ALWAYS does that with Trump news.

        For instance on the day when the Cohen and Manafort stories both were in the news everywhere else, Fox had it’s Prime-time lineup covering a Trump rally in West Virginia, with no on air mention of the Trump Chumps’ tribulations. That was not an isolated Fox News Right-Biased decision. It was and IS Fox policy.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2019 10:54 pm

        I do not know what Fox’s policy is – not MSNBC’s nor ….
        I do not really follow any “news media”.

        Beyond that I have no right to control Fox or MSNBC – beyond deciding whether to watch or not. That is it.

        That said – I do not think any of the media – not Fox not MSNBC ran the story before the election.

        If you think Fox committed some Sin or crime – so did MSNBC.

        The fact that you do not know who at MSNBC Daniels agents were trying to shop the story to, does not alter the fact that the media as a whole were aware of the story, and none were able to get the corroberation necescary to meet THEIR standards to publish.

        However low or high you think Fox’s standards are in this instance they were the same as the rest of the media.

        We get this kind of nonsense all the time.

        Oh, My! The Trump inaugural received donations from a Delaware corporation that might be owned by someone in india – Political Corruption!!!! Obama received millions in creditcard donations from the mideast – just an unimportant mistake.

        You presume every rumour about conservatives is both true and evidence of evil. and ever truth about progressives is false, or harmless error.

        The Right beleives the left is wrong.
        The left beleives the right is evil.

        The differences explains US politics. It also explains you.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2019 10:57 pm

        I do not expect Fox to cover what MSNBC does.
        I do not expect MSNBC to cover what Fox does.

        The media has NEVER been unbiased. The difference between today and walter Cronkite is the bias was much more subtle.

        I prefer this. NYT and MSNBC and Fox are overtly bias – I can factor that into my judgement.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2019 11:05 pm

        I am not an apologist for Trump, I am a proponent for facts, logic reason.

        I did not start as a libertarain. In My 20’s my views were somewhat similar to yours.
        I shifted slowly over time as I was unable to continue to accept the contradictions in my views.

        I do not think Trump is a particularly good president – but we have had several lousy president’s in a row.

        I can see Trump’s actual flaws and I am not warped by the massive efforts of the media to find what is not there – though I want them to remain vigilant.

        When following the rule of law, you find actual evidence of real wrongdoing, I will be fine with sanctioning trump.

        In the meantime I will oppose Trump when he is wrong and support him when he is right.

        And my support and opposition will be in scale to the benefir or to the harm.

        The same as I would judge Bush and Obama.

        And in contrast to you who could not agree with something Trump said or did withong givving yourself a stroke.

  57. March 4, 2019 12:03 pm

    Well lets review the ” sky is falling” impact on insurance coverage due to repeal of the individual mandate.

    According to this, enrollment was down 400,000 PPACA subscribers.

    Congressional studies and consultants estimated 9M to 20M over 10 years would “lose” coverage.

    So if you buy the calculation ( which I do not) that each year another 400K would “lose” coverage, that is 4M over 10 years and not 9-20M. I think 400K is the high humber as this is the first year those that want to drop coverage can and any subsequent years will find fewer dropping coverage.

    I suspect if an independent, non- political organization did a study they would also find no where near 9-20M people would “lose” coverage.

    And I would suspect that this would also show that government force was the reason for subscribing to begin with and individual choice was the reason for not signing up this year.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 4, 2019 9:03 pm

      But people are not allowed to make their own choices regarding their healthcare damit. !!

  58. March 4, 2019 1:28 pm

    Priscilla, it appears from this that he proposes another VAT @10%, thus raising prices for everything by 10% without removing any other taxes. And if something goes through 10 steps from beginning to end, raw material, sheet metal, formed metal, etc, isn’t that really a 11% increase at the end of the process where everyone adds 10% ten times to the costs?

    And what happens to that Buick that comes from China? If a Ford has 10% to 11% added and is built in America and can not be shipped to China due to their 25%+ tariffs, does that Chevy now have an additional 10% price advantage or does GM make 10% more since they can match the Ford price?

    And if he does add VAT’s, does that drive more companies overseas since there is not VAT in some countries they would move.

    I don’t like the smell of this dead fish!

    • Priscilla permalink
      March 4, 2019 7:00 pm

      Yeah, I do think that Yang has some interesting things to say about how we should be addressing the potential loss of millions of jobs to robotics and other technologies, and I am not necessarily opposed to considering some form of UBI, which could take the place of programs like unemployment and SSDI.

      But instituting a national VAT, without eliminating the federal income tax, other taxes and tariffs would be a disaster. So much for Yang 2020……

  59. Jay permalink
    March 4, 2019 7:47 pm

    I also agree with what the co-founder Of Greenpeace has to say to her:

    • dduck12 permalink
      March 4, 2019 9:15 pm

      Jay, thanks for that link, I am beating my head against the wall trying to alert some folks against the danger that progs could get Trump reelected, and the media is greasing the skids..

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 3:09 am

        AOC is not the threat to Trump getting re-elected. Warren, Sanders, Harris …. almost the entire democratic field is.

        If you want to defeat Trump BEG Howard Schultz to run as a democrat and through the progressives out.

        Frankly D’s have a serious problem no matter what.

        The progressivess – are the foot soldiers of the DNC. You can not win an election without them. But you can not win an election if you give them a real voice either.

        Republicans have better worked this problem out.

  60. dduck12 permalink
    March 4, 2019 10:28 pm

    ALERT: The following has nothing to do with AOC or Trump:

    “Multibillion-Dollar Money-Laundering Scheme Run By Russia’s Largest Private Investment Bank Uncovered, Report Says ”

    • March 4, 2019 11:07 pm

      In this article is the following statement.

      “There’s also this inconvenient fact: In 2016, Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, where Joule board member Reuben Vardanyan formerly served as head of its investment banking division, had a $170,000 lobbying contract with the Podesta Group — which is owned by John Podesta’s brother, Tony Podesta.

      In short, Clinton’s top campaign chief and a senior counselor to Obama sat on Joule’s board alongside top Russian officials as Putin’s Kremlin-backed investment fund funneled $35 million into Joule. No one looking at the Podesta fact pattern can claim to care about rooting out Russian collusion and not rigorously investigate the tangle of relationships.”

      Reuba Vandanyan is identified in the article that you linked about the money laundering firms in Russia. I tried to link Trump to Vandanyan, but n othing popped other than being on the list of Russians identified as interferring with our election.

      So what link between Podesta, Clinton, Russia and collusion exist?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 5:07 am

        If americans are deeply concerned about the links financial and otherwise between our candidates and campaigns and the russians – those of the Clintons DWARF Trump’s by an order of magnitude. As BTW do those of Clinton to the Saudi’s and every single other despotic regime in the world. The vast majority of Clinton Foundations money – hundreds of millions of dollars came from the most depotic people and governments in the world.

  61. dduck12 permalink
    March 4, 2019 11:20 pm

    Good, I don’t like the Clintons either. Podesta can be the Manafort of the Dems.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 5, 2019 5:12 am

      Manafort is an amatuer compared to the Podesta’s.

      One of the claims agains Manafort was that he failed to register as a lobbiest for a foeign government.

      Manafort ABSOLUTELY was paid by foriegn governments to arrange for lobbying in the US.
      Manafort and his company did ZERO foreign lobbying.
      Manafort Hired Tony Podesta to do the lobbying.

      If we were not making the law up to suit – Tony Podesta is guilty of violating FARA, Manafort is not. The Law is about the ACTUAL lobbiest, It is about making sure that Congressmen know that the person accross the table from them is in the employ of a foreign government.

      Manafort Registering would not have met the requirements of the law.
      Manafort did NOT lobby the government for foreign countries.
      Podesta did.

  62. dhlii permalink
    March 5, 2019 3:39 am

    What I read was a story about massive political corruption, and graft.

    Money laundering has a meaning. There was little or nothing that I read that constituted actual money laundering.

    Just to be clear it was all illegal – or appears to be.

  63. dhlii permalink
    March 5, 2019 7:23 am

    Today in my inbox I received a link to a Wapo article explaining why Republicans were wrong and transparency was possible in the Mueller probe.

    The claim was Troubling because I had just finished a youtube clip where Devin Nunes was asked what he wanted, and he said that what is necescary today is RADICAL transparency.

    He had a list of 5 things he wants made public.
    All the testimony of all witnesses to the house and senate investigations. He was particularly critical of the closed door testimony of Micheal Cohen. Noting that Cohen has no security clearance, and is not a member of government, and there is nothing he can say in private that can not be said in public. He asserted that Cohen’s private testimony is no different from his public testimony – that it was just a collection of defamatory oppinions and exculpatory facts. Regardless, Nunes wants all testimony made public.
    He wants the entire FISA application made public.
    He wants EVERYTHING associated with Mueller made public – not just the report, but his witness interveiws EVERYTHING.
    I think that is 3 things there were several more.

    Regardless, last time I checked Nunes was not merely a republican but one of the more important republicans on this issue.

    Too my knowledge the closest remarks to a “republican” asserting that something would not be public was the grilling of AG Barr at his confirmation. Barr would commit to nothing except following the law and favoring as much transparency as possible.
    Given what his job will be and that he knew pretty much nothing at the time he was testifying, I think Barr’s testimony was appropriate.
    WaPo claims it is traditional to release everything when a criminal investigation ends.
    That is BUNK!!! It is highly unusual and possibly illegal to release any information about any investigation or portion of an investigation that does not lead to a successful prosecution.
    It should be trivial to understand why that is the rule. It is likely a crime to do otherwise.
    Most of us know it is a crime for the government to leak grand jury material. Private parties are Always free to talk about their own testimony.
    Regardless, While I do not think that standard should be changed, I do think that Trump and other targets should agree to the release of EVERYTHING – not merely Muellers report, but all the intervierws EVERYTHING.

    But regardless of what I think the headline by Wapo is incredibly deceptive, and the parts of the content I read are just false.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 5, 2019 7:25 am

      Actually I think I would go farther – Mueller should NOT issue a report, the AG should just dump the entire Mueller file. We are all capable of coming to our own conclusions.
      We do not need Mueller to tell us how to think.

      We are near certain to disagree anyway.

  64. dhlii permalink
    March 5, 2019 7:45 am

    So AFTER Comey FIRED Steele, and after Trump Fired Comey, McCabe rehired Steele.

    What does it take before some of you grasp that this was Nixon’s wet dream ?
    That you can not bless this without saying Nixon never should have resigned and no democrat should have sought to impeach him ?

    Do you understand it is MUCH worse when it is the FBI that is engaging in political corruption rather than private parties ?

  65. dhlii permalink
    March 5, 2019 8:00 am

    WaPo – Trump Lies, Lies, Lies, he is just making things up, no “expert” agrees.
    NYT – Oopsie, interviewed women who crossed the border not merely confirm Trump’s remarks but expand on them.

    Could we get the few reporters at NYT and WaPo who actually bother to go out into the world to gather real stories rather than sitting at their desk and manufacture opinion masquerading as news to get together and form a REAL newspaper ?

    I would further note that until we can trust the media – we can not accurately assess the claims that Trump “Lies, Lies, Lies”.
    Whether something is a lie and how consequential it is depends on the facts, and quite often our primary source of facts is the media. When the media is not a trustworthy source of accurate information, then we can not know whether accusations are true or significant.

    • Jay permalink
      March 5, 2019 3:14 pm

      “UPDATE: A lawyer for the Trump administration, pressed by a Boston judge on whether the “115 mile long” border wall contract the president tweeted about exists, just said in court: “Your honor, so far as I know, there is no such contract.”

      Now lawyers working for Trump are lying about his lies too – right Dubious Dave?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 7:21 pm

        Why is a boston judge asking anything about the border ?

        Why would one expect a government lawyer to know about procurement ?

      • Jay permalink
        March 5, 2019 7:44 pm

        A FEDERAL JUDGE in Boston.
        In a freedom of information suit filed by ACLU.
        Requesting the relevant database be searched which would contain government contracts for Homeland Security projects along the stretch of the Rio Grande border Trump claimed was signed.
        That lawyer reporting had knowledge of the requested search, and outcome.
        Get it?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 8:12 pm

        No I do not get it.

        The only borders in the first circuit are those with Canada.
        Homeland Security and ICE and CBP are not headquartered in the 1st circuit.

        ACLU cases brought in the first circuit will be defended by DOJ lawyers in the 1st circuit who have little or nothing to do with DHS, ICE, CBP or the border.

        Further Governement contracts are normally administered by GSA – again NOT headquartered in the 1st circuit.

        I would be completely shocked if there were a single government database for any of this.

        Further the tiny government contracts I have had to deal with often take months even years to go through all the steps. Frequently execution starts long before they are finalized.

        I doubt that 20 people in the entire federal government knew of the contracts that I had with the government. I would expect more would know about a 115 mile wall contract.

        Just to be clear – I am not challenging the ACLU’s FOIA request – just your presumption that the musings of the judge and a lawyer in court are meaningful.

        I expect ACLU to get what they asked for. I would like to see all government contracts online for everyone to peruse.

        There are very few secrets government should be allowed.

        But just because ACLU is entitled to this information does not mean that I think court exchanges prior to actual delivery are meaningful.

        The lawyer said he was unaware – that is the correct answer when you do not know.
        He said I do not know in the safest way possible.
        That is his job.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 8:20 pm

        “That lawyer reporting had knowledge of the requested search, and outcome.”
        Because you say so ?

        I do not actually know about contracts for the border wall – though a relative had a contract to design a section of border wall more than a decade ago.

        But neither do you, and likely neither does anyone else in the court.

        What we all know is that something like 230Mi were built LAST YEAR.
        Those were part of the budget, and the NORM is that budgets continue as they are.
        Most contracts have renewal provisions. It is near certain that GSA, ICE, CBP, DHS are CONSTANTLY negotiating and writing contracts for the boarder wall.
        They do not stop when they are unsure they will get budget approval.

        The budget that was approved had 1.37B for border wall.

        I would be completely shocked – it would be malfeasance if the government was not negotiating contracts for that – prior to and immediately after the shutrdown – with the appropriate conjtingencies to deal with whatever congress approved.
        Given Trumps repeated remarks that he would use an emergency declaration, it would be my guess that contracts for everything Trump intends to spend were negotiated in 2018 and that the only question was where the money comes from.

        The ACLU is entitled to the information they are after – but your presumption that there is something damning in it is nuts.

      • Jay permalink
        March 5, 2019 8:40 pm

        How dense are you?
        (Asked and answered)
        The POINT (not the one on your head) was that this was another Trump lie.
        He said a contract was signed to extend the wall/fencing along this area.
        The lawyer said an investigation of the relevant data base base did not discover said contract.
        You think the government lawyer was lying?
        What proof do you have of that?

        Question: who’s a bigger jackass, you or Donnie?
        Be objective.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 11:48 pm

        “The POINT (not the one on your head) was that this was another Trump lie.
        He said a contract was signed to extend the wall/fencing along this area.”

        Given that I am well past trusting you – please provide a cite to exactly what Trump said.

        Though I do not know why I am bothering – because in the most egregious case – and the most unlikely one. Where Trump made a very specific reference to a single specific contract for a specific section of fence at a specific place (BTW Trump is NEVER that specific), and that specific contract just plain does not exist, it is still indsiputeably TRUE that the Wall was onder construction in 2018 (and every years since 2006), that it continues to be under construction, and that construction including new contracts continued even during the shutdown.

        So what is it that is SIGNIFICANT that you think Trump lied about ?

        Do you think the wall was NOT being constructed in 2018 ? 2019 ?
        Do you think there were no contracts in 2018 ? that none of them had extension provisions ? That there will be no new contracts ?

        Or is the great lie that Trump purportedly committee some imprecision that only you are abel to identify and care about ?

        We just had Wapo proclaim boldly that Trump was full of shit about women getting raped during illegal border crossing – and then NYT interviewing ACTUAL immigrants says – nope Trump was wrong it is WORSE than he said and Wapo is full of shit.

        Wapo btw cited “experts” and claimed no one at CBP is aware of this, and yet NYT interviewed people at CBP who were quite aware of this.

        If your big issue is some lack of precision on the part of Trump’s tweets – grow up.
        Tweets are 200+ characters, They are not legal briefs

        “The lawyer said an investigation of the relevant data base base did not discover said contract.”
        Again cite – that is not what you said previously and that is not the quote in the article you linked to

        “You think the government lawyer was lying?”
        No I do not. I think you are:
        Misrepresenting what he said.
        And further misrepresenting the facts to alter the meaning of what he said.

        “What proof do you have of that?”
        The article YOU linked to, it quotes the lawyer.

        Do you know what “unaware” means ?

        “Question: who’s a bigger jackass, you or Donnie?
        Be objective.”

        Is there a debate over whether Trump is a jack ass ?

        He is the jack ass we picked as president – not you.

        Jackass is not among the requirements or disqualifiers for president.
        Voters get to determine the significance of various character traits of candidates.

        I think character is important. People who voted for Clinton(either) or Trump obviously do not. Nor am I particularly interested in a diatribe about how our president has horrible character from someone that voted for someone with horrible character.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 8:32 pm

        If you google “border wall contract” you will get myriads of stories.
        The fact that a lawyer in the 1st circuit is unaware of something happening in the 9th or other circuits is unsurprising.
        The fact that different parts of the government do not know what the other is doing is unsurprising.
        They should – but they do not.

        Next time before starting one of these stupid debates – that really boil down to trying to make what someone somewhere states quite obviously “as an oppinion” into a fact that somehow proves that something someone else said – usually Trump is a lie

        Try googling.

        BTW there are also articles that note that the emergency declaration allows Trump to skip the normal procurement process and competitive bidding.

        I oppose the ED, that is a new reason to oppose it.
        But it is still a fact whether I like it or not.

        SLSCO Ltd. of Galveston, Texas, was awarded a $101 million contract in December, with options for an additional $30 million.

      • Jay permalink
        March 5, 2019 9:25 pm

        It’s amazing how dense you are.
        The doubt that any contract was signed as Trump stated, has been ongoing in the media.
        But NO ONE in the Trump administration has produced proof the contract exists.
        Why not? If it was a faux charge from the left that Lying Donald lied about that, Trump or his people would have produced the contract.
        Are you so stubbornly in denial not to understand that?
        Answer: yes you are.
        Trump lies all the time.
        You deny it all the time.
        That’s why I have zero respect for your opinions.

        BTW, have I told you to GFY lately?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2019 12:24 am

        “it’s amazing how dense you are.”
        Not dense just doing to you EXACTLY the same thing you are trying to do with Trump to point out how stupid and hypocritical it is.

        You are demanding more than linguistic perfection from anything Trump says or you brand it a lie. It is irrelevant to you whether the details you piss over matter, It is even irrelevant to you if they are actually correct if you can misrepresent them as incorrect.

        Welcome to the linguistic hell you have created.

        I have no idea what Trump actually said so I have not gone after you on that, but it is near certain that you misrepresented that – you never correctly represent anything anyone says.

        But you have OBVIOUSLY inaccurately reported what the Lawyer said.
        Is the difference between what the lawyer said and what you represented large ?
        Significant ? Probably not, nor is the difference between what Trump said and the truth large or significant.

        If Trump is a liar for lack of precision – then so are you.

        “the doubt that any contract was signed as Trump stated,”
        Doubt is not fact. Fear is not fact.
        I do not know what Trump stated, but I know that I do not trust you to report what anyone else said accurately.

        Further you demand perfection from others – or you call them liars.
        But you make no such demands of yourself.

        This is from the american conservative. But it largely quotes a story in the atlantic that is on a study demographic study of intolerance.

        I read it and thought – Jay, Robby, DD.

        White Male Well educated living in an urban bubble – absolutely the most intolerant group in the country.

        The left – pro-active – sure they can see all the worlds problems and they they have solutions, which pretty much always mean telling OTHERS that they are racist, homophobic, mysoginst, hateful, hating haters, and then telling them how they must live and prepared to use force to impose that. And angry because they have discovered that everyone does not agree with them,

        Everyone else – reactive. They just want to be left alone. But they are getting ever angrier from being bated, poked, prodded, told they are hateful, hating haters, and that they must change who they are voluntarially or by FORCE.

        “has been ongoing in the media.”
        Media ? Why am I supposed to trust the media ?

        Regardless, again you are misrepresenting. ACLU massachusets filed an FOIA request.
        I have no problem with that.
        The media are reporting that – I have no problem with that.

        Everything else is spin.

        “But NO ONE in the Trump administration has produced proof the contract exists.”
        I just linked a large number of wall contracts – there was a plethora of them issued in Nov. 2018 using spending authority that had already been approved. ALL of those had extension provisions for 2019 – that is not even slightly unusual. Further new contracts were issued this year and more will be issued in April.

        “Why not? If it was a faux charge from the left that Lying Donald lied about that, Trump or his people would have produced the contract.”

        You have an incredibly broad beleif in government competence, as well as your own self importance and that of the media. As well as this odd beleif that every attorney int eh US government is a Trump toady.
        McCabe, Ohr, Baker, Comey, Rosenstein – these are all Trump administration lawyers who have NOT done what Trump wanted. It should be self evident to you now that While constitutionally everyone in the federal government is answerable to Trump, that in real life a large number are part of the resistance and a larger number are just disconnected and clueless.

        “Are you so stubbornly in denial not to understand that?
        Answer: yes you are.”

        I am holding you to the same standards you hold others.
        If you are going to demand absolute precision of petty and inconsequential things, and cry liar, liar, liar, then so am I.
        But I will give you one advantage – I will not deliberately misrepresent what you say.

        “Trump lies all the time.
        You deny it all the time.
        That’s why I have zero respect for your opinions.”

        No Trump does not lie all the time. The overwhelming majority of what you and the press call lies – it ACCURATE, and a larger segment is generally if not specifically true, and another section is inconsequential.

        When you make stupid mistakes – such as this one. I call you on it.
        You clearly misrepresented the remarks of the attorney.
        There are a couple of other misrepresentation I am very suspicious that you made, but I am not going to try to find the Trump tweet or the court transcript.

        If Trump “lies all the time” – but YOUR criteria so do you.
        And in fact you lie about Trump lying.

        BTW, I am not obligated to accept or deny anything. I am perfectly free to do as I mostly do and pay no attention to what Trump says. I am not compelled to read every Trump tweet and establish the veracity of each.

        I do not have to accept that Trump lies all the time, conversely I do not have to deny that he lies all the time. And in fact I do not accept Trump lies all the time and I do not deny anything either. This is not a binary issue – except to you.

        “BTW, have I told you to GFY lately?”
        Does that make you feel better ?

    • Jay permalink
      March 5, 2019 3:23 pm

      And the distrustful Media can’t be trusted about Trump lying about releasing his taxes, or lying about his reason for reneging- because these clips don’t honestly portray what he said, right Dubious?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 7:28 pm

        Benghazi was a spontaneous protest over and internet video.
        If you like your doctor you can keep them
        If you like your insurance you can keep it.

        While many of the clips here do not say what they are supposed to,
        Trump did say he would release his taxes, and he has not.

        And in nov. 2016 you got to decide whether that was important to you.

        If you did not vote for Trump – then he made no binding promise to you.
        If you did, then you already had your chance to express your views in nov. 2016.

        We are not talking about an issue of government conduct or policy.
        We are talking about renigging on a choice to do something that Trump was not obligated to do, to providing you with information you do not have a right to.

        Trump had no right to your vote – and I am gathering you did not give it too him .
        You have no right to his tax return.
        You are square with trump.

  66. dhlii permalink
    March 5, 2019 8:08 am


    To be clear – this is a POLL, it is not a fact, it is just a summary of people OPINION at the time the poll was taken.

    The only thing it tells us is that americans have a better view of their position in the world Since Trump was elected, A better one than they have had since 2003.

    Whether Trump has actually made america Great Again is an independent question.
    But more americans than any time in the past 15 years think that is the case.

  67. Jay permalink
    March 5, 2019 2:28 pm

    Just as Murdoch told Fox editors to squelch the negative story about Trump paying hush money to Stormy, Trump has squelched negative info release about those who help richen Trump World.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 5, 2019 7:04 pm

      Rosenstein has still not testified

      Lots of things have not occured that should have.

      BTW why is it the US’s responsibility to investigate and report on an alleged murder than took place probably in turkey committed probably by saudi’s ?

      How many times does it need to be said “We are not the policemen of the world”.

      If Trump was obligated to provide a report – he should have done so – long ago.

      My suggestion:

      “We do not know, and it is not any of our buisiness. “

      • Jay permalink
        March 5, 2019 7:28 pm

        Your suggestion is like most of your opinions- out of step with political norms.

        There is bipartisan agreement that it IS our business. But you must blather, you can’t help yourself… so blather away…

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2019 8:01 pm

        For more than a century there was bipartisan agreement that Women could not vote.
        There has been bipartisan agreement that being gay is a crime.

        I can go on an on.

        I do not care what political norms are.
        I do not care what there is bi-partisan agreement on.

        We are not the policmen of the world. That is a fact, it is not a quesiton of bipartisan agreement. In the event that we tried to investigate in SA and Turkey without the permission of either government – we would have zero power, and arguably doing so would be an act of war and certainly a violation of national sovereignity.

        We do not allow foreign police in the US to investigate, issue warrants, etc.
        We arrest spies who try to investigate in this country.

        Political reality MUST yeild to ACTUAL reality.

  68. Jay permalink
    March 5, 2019 2:52 pm

    Large majorities of Americans think Trump is a shitbird. Dishonest in many different categories.

    “President Donald Trump committed crimes before he became president, American voters say 64 – 24 percent in a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today.”

    “American voters believe Cohen more than Trump 50 – 35 percent. Cohen told the truth, 44 percent of voters say, while 36 percent say he did not tell the truth. “

    “Voters approve 41 – 36 percent of the way Democrats in Congress handled Cohen’s testimony before the U.S. House Oversight Committee. Voters disapprove 51 – 25 percent of the way Republicans handled the Cohen hearing.”

    “Voters say 65 – 30 percent that Trump is not honest, his worst grade ever on that character trait. He gets negative grades on other traits:
    39 – 58 percent that he has good leadership skills;
    39 – 58 percent that he cares about average Americans;
    22 – 71 percent that he is a good role model for children.”

    • dhlii permalink
      March 5, 2019 7:17 pm

      Not more of this polling nonsense.

      If I respond to you – I will get a tirade from Robby that I am offering opinions not facts.


      Polls are not facts.

      There is a mess of new polls coming out.
      Purportedly Trump has had a bad week – and yet his numbers seem to be steadily rising.

      Trump purportedly has 17 states locked for 2020, and there are 6-7 states that are in play FOR trump in 2020 that were not in 2016. Several election handicappers are predicting a Trump landslide.

      Another article intervied democratic voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan and they are very angry with democrats. voters who voted FOR Trump in 2016, For a democrat in 2020, are saying that the Democrats must Put up or shutup NOW.
      That they sent people like Conner Lamb to congress because the promised to STAND UP to Pelosi – and they did not, and now the voters are angry – and these are DEMOCRATS.

      They are saying that democrats need to nail Trump on Russian Collusion NOW, or cut this shit out and get back to governing.

      AGAIN these are democrats.

      Other election forecasters are saying using their economic election projection models – Trump wins 2020 in a landslide.

      Oh, and the economic news ? Not only did the economy beat the dower projections for the end of 2018 – 2.6% Q4 rather than 2.3% – but the indications are the numbers will be revised UPWARD. There is aparently a fight now over whether the 2018 growth was 2.9% or 3.1%.

      Further all the stories that the economy was slowing down, that the effects of the tax cut had faded – oops, not true. There was some odd inventory mess in q4 2018 – businesses increased their inventory before xmas more than they should have and this is dangerous, but the danger has passed the problem is resolved and investment has rebounded.
      Myriads of numbers like consumer confidence are at 15 year highs.

  69. Jay permalink
    March 5, 2019 3:03 pm

    For sure – Trump is surely romantic…

  70. Jay permalink
    March 5, 2019 3:43 pm

    Ah, Presidential emoluments under Trump never cease.

    “T-Mobile admits it spent nearly $200,000 at Trump hotel while lobbying for Sprint merger”

    • dhlii permalink
      March 5, 2019 7:41 pm

      “No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them [i.e., the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

      The emolument’s clause is NOT specific to the president, it applies to everyone holding office

      It prohibits gifts.

      paid jobs

      Foreign states.

      It does not prohibit businesses that you own stock in but do not manage from doing business with foriegn governments or heads of state.

      It says absolutely nothing at all about any types of relationships with entities that are NOT kings, princes, foriegn states.

      George Washington had significant business dealings with the Federal government WHILE HE WAS PRESIDENT.

      Presumably those who wrote the emoluments clause knew what it meant.

      emolument : the returns arising from office or employment usually in the form of compensation or perquisites

      Most places define it as the salary and benefits of someone who is employed by another.

      Trump is employed by the federal government. He is not employed by any King Prince or foreign government.

  71. dhlii permalink
    March 5, 2019 7:00 pm

    2016 was a serious blown opportunity for libertarians.
    Johnson/Weld was practically a dream ticket.

    Two respected experienced politicians running against cooks and crooks.
    There was a bumper sticker
    johnson/weld 2016 we are not the crazy ones this time.

    They did well, but not nearly as well as hoped.
    They did not get libertarians out for under the onerous and probably unconstitutional burden that third parties have of producing millions of signatures to get on the ballot.
    Most states have laws that require a very small number of signatures for the candidate of one of the two parties, but several orders of magnitude more from anyone else.

    One of the big goals for 2016 was to hit 5% which would have qualified the LP as a major party in many states for decades.

    Weld’s endorsement of Hillary after Trump was nominated was disasterous.

    If you accept a parties nomination – you have committed to be the candidate.
    You do not get to have second thoughts. If you can not do that – do not run.

    Johnson made some mistakes. But I am not sure it mattered.

    The press did NOT want Johnson to get attention, and they did not give it to him.
    This is not much different than the collusion between the press and the DNC to tank sanders.
    And aparently similar nonsense already taking place in the DNC.

    I would remind everyone that this entire russian hacking narrative, rests on the premise that the DNC should have been able to conspire with the press to F over sanders
    and no one should have been allowed to expose that.

    Lets presume that Trump actually colluded with Russia.
    To do what ?
    To hack the DNC and publicly release emails that showed the press was in the tank for Clinton and F’ing over sanders.

    If Trump did conspire with russia to hack the DNC – that means they had FORE KNOWLEDGE and MATERIAL CONTRIBUTED – that is a crime, Trump should be impeached.

    But that does not alter in the slightest that Clinton and the DNC behaved reprehensibly.
    It is their conduct that cost them the election.

    Saying that Clinton should have won becuase she should have been allowed to keep her dirty deeds secret, sounds pretty revolting.

  72. Jay permalink
    March 5, 2019 7:16 pm

    I’m waiting for Frump to say King just called to say he doesn’t know anything about this:

    • dhlii permalink
      March 5, 2019 7:56 pm

      As I noted earlier – there is far more going on than the simple exchanges between Trump and Kim.
      Just ONE of those is that Kim has a strong hardline faction in NK that is opposed to a deal.

      The general concensus is that Kim Un – while ruthless and beligerant, WANTS A DEAL.
      That he is prepared to sacrifice ALOT to get one. But that others in NK do NOT want a deal.

      It is also probable that Kim NEEDS a deal.
      One of the likely reasons that Trump did not agree to a partical deal with partial sanctions release is that allowing even SOME goods into NK would eliminate the pressure on NK.

      We do not know alot about NK intenerally – often we do not find out about famine and starvation until long after. But there is a general concensus that NK is in pretty bad shape.

      • Jay permalink
        March 5, 2019 11:20 pm

        “Just ONE of those is that Kim has a strong hardline faction in NK that is opposed to a deal.”

        Really? And you know this because they called you in for consultation?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2019 12:50 am

        “”Just ONE of those is that Kim has a strong hardline faction in NK that is opposed to a deal.”

        Really? And you know this because they called you in for consultation?”

        I know this because I read.

        Google is your friend – or you can read the dozen or so stories on the NK summit and its aftermath, There are SEVERAL that reference Kim’s issues with hardliners at Home.

        But beyond that – why is it that you presume that this is trivially simple and one dimensional ?

        Why do you presume that neither Kim nor Trump are factoring anything else at all into the offers they make or the choices they make ?

        A few days ago you – and all the obama alcolytes who negotiated the shitty deal with Iran so that they could say they had a deal, were writing op-eds telling Trump to use the Iran deal as a model and not take just any deal to get a deal – as if that is not exactly what they had done.

        And now the very same people are angry because since Trump did not see a good enough deal he walked away.

        A week ago we were Told that Trump was going to take a deal with NK to drive cohen off the news. Then Trump didn’t and Cohen turned into a flop.

        Now your angry because he did not take the bad deal ?

  73. dduck12 permalink
    March 5, 2019 7:49 pm

    When reality, as in visiting an ER crowded with migrants and for each, two (“regulations”) Customs and Border Patrol guards, hits at home, the dducks in this case in San Diego and is probably hitting many along the border and dozens of miles north of the border. What would normally be a quiet Monday night with adequate and timely medical care available, has according to the nurse at Coronado Sharp Hospital ER (16 miles from Tijuana) been “a mess since January” – unlike prior years.
    Hence long wait time for the migrants, supposedly “low trauma ones”, said one of the CBP guards that drove them up from the border. the CBP guy said “we don’t have much medical training” and that the more severe cases get sent by ambulance to the big facilities in San Diego. Meantime communities like Coronado, Chula Vista, Grossmont ERs are also crowded. “Since the recent death of two migrants, they are more vigilant, he said”.
    As a result what would have taken a couple of hours for the migrants, CDP guys and neighborhood patients now took more like five hours.

    For more background on this medical situation, the NYT has a huge article on it today:
    “Border Patrol Facilities Put Detainees With Medical Conditions at Risk
    The deaths of two children in Border Patrol custody point to shortfalls in health care provided to migrants, who sometimes arrive with serious illness and injury.”

    P.S. Mrs. Dduck appears to be OK now.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 5, 2019 8:36 pm

      One of the consequences of the wall construction that has already occured is that those going arround the wall are going farther and farther out in to the boonies into places where it is more dangerous. Further when they are aprehended they are farther away from hospitals, and facilites that would have cared for them in the past.

      Overall crossings are way down. but many many remote locations are being flooded with crossers who can no longer cross where it was easier.

  74. dhlii permalink
    March 5, 2019 9:08 pm

    From a study in the Atlantic
    “In general, the most politically intolerant Americans, according to the analysis, tend to be whiter, more highly educated, older, more urban, and more partisan themselves. This finding aligns in some ways with previous research by the University of Pennsylvania professor Diana Mutz, who has found that white, highly educated people are relatively isolated from political diversity. They don’t routinely talk with people who disagree with them; this isolation makes it easier for them to caricature their ideological opponents. (In fact, people who went to graduate school have the least amount of political disagreement in their lives, as Mutz describes in her book Hearing the Other Side.) By contrast, many nonwhite Americans routinely encounter political disagreement. They have more diverse social networks, politically speaking, and therefore tend to have more complicated views of the other side, whatever side that may be.

    We see this dynamic in the heat map. In some parts of the country, including swaths of North Carolina and upstate New York, people still seem to give their fellow Americans the benefit of the doubt, even when they disagree. In other places, including much of Massachusetts and Florida, people appear to have far less tolerance for political difference. They may be quicker to assume the worst about their political counterparts, on average.”

  75. Jay permalink
    March 5, 2019 11:18 pm

    the NYT is lying about these checks, right dhlii.
    And the implication that they were paybacks to Cohen for hush money hasn’t been proved to your satisfaction, right.
    And the fact that Trump lied about the payoffs, lied about knowing about them, lied that he knew anything about them AT ALL doesn’t convince you he wasn’t-isn’t lying about any of it. Right?

    • dhlii permalink
      March 6, 2019 12:41 am

      “The NYT is lying about these checks, right dhlii.”
      Do not know, do not care. The NDA issue has always been a nonstarter.
      The ONLY potential crime involved would be if Daniels claim that someone physically inteminated her is proveably true and if that person was or is tied to cohen and if Trump directed Cohen to intimidate her.
      That died long ago.
      At this time the evidence is Cohen paid Daniels for the NDA’s, and Trump personally reimbursed him in 2017.
      The campaign was not involved.
      Even by your ludicrous definition of campaign finance law violation – one in which every one of the FEC commissioners has rejected – Cohen would be guilty of a campaign finance law violation. Trump would not.

      “And the implication that they were paybacks to Cohen for hush money”
      Don;t make it an implication – call it the god’s honest truth – it is legal.

      “hasn’t been proved to your satisfaction, right.”
      The evidence is that Trump paid Cohen personally in 2017. That might change, but it does not matter. There is no possible arrangement of known or possible fact that constitutes a crime on the part of Trump and even your lunatic expansion of CF law makes it a crime for Cohen.

      “And the fact that Trump lied about the payoffs, lied about knowing about them, lied that he knew anything about them AT ALL doesn’t convince you he wasn’t-isn’t lying about any of it. Right?”

      Lost of assumptions there. Also lots of you telling me what other people have said – which you pretty uniformly do highly innaccurately.

      First lets start with is there a crime – NO! There is no possible arrangement of the known facts and any probable suplimental facts that would make this into a crime.

      Cohen negotiated a very badly drafted NDA – possibly at Trump’s direction, and he was likely reimbursed for it by Trump personally.

      Completely legal.
      To my knowledge (and yours) Trump has never said anything under oath, to the FBI or to Mueller about this. And if he has neither of us know what he said, so I do not know how I can know that something I have never seen or heard is a lie.

      As to Trump’s public remarks. I do not recall Trump saying the specific things you claim he did.

      In the event that he did – WoW! Trump lied about an NDA.

      Isn’t the purpose of an NDA to prevent the information in the NDA from becoming public ?

      Trump has publicly denied having sex with Daniels.
      That is PROBABLY a lie.
      Though I would point out that NDA’s are quite often negotiated to prevent people from spreading lies.
      We also learned from Cohen that Trump has no love child running arround nor had an affair with the maid.
      And we learned long ago that Trump has a small NDA with the doorman at his building.
      As best we can tell to pay him not to repeat FALSE gossip.

      So “Where is the Beef ?”

  76. dduck12 permalink
    March 6, 2019 2:08 am

    NYS Insurance Department. They can be tough and thorough when they want to. Too bad they have taken so long.
    “Trump Organization’s Insurance Policies Under Scrutiny in New York”

    • dhlii permalink
      March 6, 2019 5:08 am

      “NYS Insurance Department. They can be tough and thorough when they want to. Too bad they have taken so long.”

      No they can’t. They will not find anything – because there is nothing to find.

      How do I know ? Because there is no bank or insurance company suing trump for Fraud.

      Outside of Law and Order and CSI, can you name a single real world instance of business insurance fraud in the US in the past 40 years ?

      There are myriads of instances of individuals engaging in medical insurance fraud.
      There are some instances of doctors offices engaging in medicare fraud, or maybe something like the scooter fraud about a decade ago.

      There is absolutely nothing even vaguely close to what you are fishing for.

  77. dhlii permalink
    March 6, 2019 6:23 am

    If Mr. Omidyar wishes to spend his money attacking Trump I am fine with that.

    But how do the rest of you like learning that you have been trolled by paid #nevertrunmpers ?

    And what is the difference between Russian spending $1M to send stupid political adds that no one who has looked at any of them would beleive were effective, and Mr. Omidyar spending $100M to assure that you were fed an unending stream of #nevertrump drivel ?

    I keep trying to point out to you over and over.
    “influence” is just another name for persuade and that is legal, and unstopable.

  78. March 6, 2019 2:35 pm

    This is how the media manipulates the ignorance of the American public. Few people know that a President can keep gifts that cost less than $350.00 (I believe that is the right number), but if it is $350.01, it is cataloged by the state department, a value is placed on the piece and it becomes a gift to the American people and placed in the National Archives.–politics.html

    Now if the president, any president, wants to keep that gift, then he/she can buy it from the American people for the value placed on it by the state department.

    So why is that not part of the article? Because the press in this country knows that American people are ignorant of critical information, they know the American voters can be manipulated into believing almost anything, they know they can add to the misconceptions already in place and Trump will take these things himself without paying for them.

    I have no idea what the answer is because a free press should be the foundation to a democracy. But when the press becomes the voice of a political movement, such as seen in Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and any other dictatorial nations, then those that have some knowledge of the truth should become extremely worried because their numbers are far fewer than the ignorant that have no knowledge of facts.

    • Jay permalink
      March 6, 2019 5:47 pm

      I don’t want to quibble with you over this Ron, but although the linked article doesn’t note the gifts can be purchased later on, in the first paragraph it does says “Like all of the other gifts to Trump, his wife, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, those were turned over to the National Archives.”

      Those gifts are held in the National Archives for a president’s term of office, and then turned over to a Presidential Library, where that president can buy it back at market value.

      The question to ask next is why do foreign entities present expensive gifts to presidents (and family) that they know must be turned over to the US government? Because the gifts are symbolic ass kisses, to curry favor – and perhaps to insinuate to said President ‘be nice to us, and further gifts will be yours when you leave office (Clinton’s high priced speech fees for example).

      Of course I’m not in office, so any gifts you want to send my way (Irish Whiskey 🥃) I’ll primptly put to good use… 😇

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2019 8:40 pm

        Amazing – agreement !

        I can fully understand how the prospect of massive future speaking fees – from THE RUSSIANS as well as pretty much every despot in the mideast could be alluring to the Clinton’s – at the pinnacle of the Clinton’s income prior to becoming president they made less in a year than Trump makes in a minute.

        Do you think that you can attract Bezo’s with personal gifts ?
        Aparently he is facing one of the most expensive divorces in history.
        He will STILL be so rich that 100 of him could not spend it all in his life time.

        If Trump is worth about 1/2 of what he claims and his is managing a 5% ROI – which would be LOW, Buffet would never settle for that. Then he is making something like 250K/second.
        And he is doing that with very little effort – it is fundimentally a passive investment.

        Alternately if he liquidated now, invested everything is 0% return to be extra safe, and spent something like 100K/minute he would not run out of money before he died even if he lived to 110.

        If you add in almost any positive ROI he would die with more money than he has now.

        So how is it that you “buy” trump ?

        I am not saying that is impossible. I am saying that it is not with gifts and money.

        I would suggest looking up Maslow’s heirarchy of needs.
        As we meet more fundimental needs we seek to fulfill higher order needs.
        Trump has pretty much total security with regard to his physiological and safety needs.
        His efforts are going to be directed at higher needs – love, admiration, self esteem, self actualization.

        Slapping his name on buildings all over the world – is one manifestation of that.
        Trump seeks the respect of the world, the love of the world – or atleast his followers, he seeks to be remembered – and it is pretty certain that one way or the other his presidency WILL be remembered.

        You ask why he keeps those campaign promises – it is the integrity of a business person,
        It is also because when historian write about immigration they are going to write about TRUMP’s WALL. He hopes and beleives that will be a great success.
        They are going to write about Trump’s improvementes to the economy,
        they are going to write about Trump’s negotiation of better trade deals.
        Trump is not merely promising to “make america Great Again” – he wants MAGA to be real, to be remembered and to be permanently associated with Trump.

        FDR is universally remembered as having save the nation from the great depression – even though that is false, and as the great war leader – which is true.
        FDR is never going to be forgotten.
        Coolidge was a far better president and almost no one remembers him.

        Trump aspires to be Reagan, FDR, Kennedy.
        Not by doing precisely what they did, but by transforming the country as they did.

        That may not happen – but that is what he wants. ‘

        If you are going to try to bribe Trump – that is what you have to be offering.

        You could give him personally a fleet of gulf streams and he would not care.

  79. Jay permalink
    March 6, 2019 3:34 pm

    Congrats To Trump: your Administration has produced the GRRREATEST TRADE DEFICIT in the nation’s history.

    Last year it reached $891 billion.

    Keep us ‘winning’ with your exemplary economic deficits.
    Future generations will thank (curse?) you!

    • dhlii permalink
      March 6, 2019 4:57 pm

      Trade between nations is one of the very few things in economics that is absolutely positively ZERO SUM.

      Trump is Wrong about Trade – but your criticism makes EXACTLY THE SAME ERROR.

      Trade deficits are not ACTUAL deficts. They are NOT the same as government budget deficits.

      If there is a dispartiy in the flow of goods and services between two nations that disparity MUST be corrected elsewhere. Though not necescarily in Trade in goods.

      A major part of the problem with the fixation on Trade Deficits is the complete misunderstanding of money.

      Money is not wealth – atleast not in any significant sense. If we massively increased the money in the world without altering production we would be no more wealthy than before.

      Sending massing numbers of green slips of paper to China in return for goods, if china does nothing but horde those green slips of paper is incredibly POSITIVE for the US.

      BTW Trade within a currency domain – such as between states of counties or cities is zero sum on the whole but not for each individual city or state or county.

      No one is fixated on the Trade deficit between Kansas and Texas.
      Why because it is meaningless.

      • March 6, 2019 5:17 pm

        “Trump is Wrong about Trade – but your criticism makes EXACTLY THE SAME ERROR.”

        BZZZ! WRONG!!!

        We have lost 7 million jobs to China (Forbes 2016)
        We have added 33 million jibs.
        But most of the jobs added were in medical (Nursing, techs, etc) and leisure and hospitality.
        Yes, medical pays as well as manufacturing, but how many steel workers are interested in becoming an RN?
        And how many leisure and hospitality jobs pay as well as manufacturing?

        “You tax my product with 25%, I tax your product 25%” .

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2019 6:12 pm

        Sorry Ron – Nope.

        “We have lost 7 million jobs to China (Forbes 2016)”
        We lose jobs to automation all the time.
        A job is not a right.

        Conversely when government prevents consumers from getting a better price on a product, because that produce is offered by a foreigner, then the GOVERNMENT is STEALING.

        “We have added 33 million jibs.”

        Absent labor restricting regulations such as the minimum wage law, the market will always find a use for nearly all available labor. If 7M jobs are lost in some area, Someone will find a way to profit from utlizing that labor in some other way.

        “But most of the jobs added were in medical (Nursing, techs, etc) and leisure and hospitality.
        Yes, medical pays as well as manufacturing, but how many steel workers are interested in becoming an RN?
        And how many leisure and hospitality jobs pay as well as manufacturing?”

        How well something pays is irrelevant. Absent government and central banks historically both prices and wages slowly go DOWN. They are intrinsically linked.

        Given a fixed moneysupply or one hard linked to GDP, or population, if prices decline because lower cost goods from China, then Wages must also decline – essentially to a net zero. EXCEPT for one thing, and that is that the shift to lower priced goods from china means an available labor supply in the US that will now produce MORE goods likely at lower wages and therefore cost – the amount that is produced will go UP – but since money supply is fixed the price of goods and wages must go DOWN. But we are more wealthy because we can afford more goods.

        ““You tax my product with 25%, I tax your product 25%”” .

        One of the problems with Trump’s economic nationalism is that it suffers the same intellectual failure than the lefts identity politics does.

        Rights belong to individuals – not groups, not even countries.

        There is no American product, There is what is made by Joe Doe – or Chrysler.

        Nor is there a RIGHT to tax, there is just a power to do so.

        This is better understood by reframing your statement.

        If you punished your people by stealing 25% of cost of a product from them, I will punish my people by stealing 25% of the cost of some products from them.

        There is a right for the buyer and seller to engage in any exchange they agree to mutually.
        Though it has been ignored the constitution litterally prohibits not just the federal government but the states from interfering in free exchange.

        Rights belong to individuals. Not groups, not nations.

        Often when we try to look at information through the lens of groups that distorts the truth.

        As an example the GINI index for the US is rising (or it has over the past 40 years).
        That means greater income inequality – purportedly.

        There is no doubt about the statistical distribution of wealth.

        But at the same time the poor today are NOT the same people as they were 10, 20, 40 years ago. The average person in the US rises by approximately 3 quintiles during their lifetime and declines by approximately .5.

        Further the so called destruction of the middle class, when graphed is merely a representation that our wealth curve has become stretched and there is no longer a bulge in the center. The average wealth of each class has increased, the range of wealth in each class has increased as the wealth curve gets stretched out further and further.

        Sometimes we can see important things from group data. But more often we have to look at what is happening with actual individuals.

        You used steelworkers as an example. Rising steel production elsewhere in the world drove lower prices – that everyone in the world has benefited from. US steelworkers lost jobs in steel mills – PERMANENTLY. Those jobs will NEVER come back.
        But almost no steelworker was PERMANENTLY out of a job. Almost all of them ended up with other jobs. Not as SteelWorkers though. Many of them had to take jobs that paid less, but only rarely drastically less. This is reasonable, the lower price of steel inherently means that the value of labor to produce steel DECLINED – their skill (producing steel) is not worth as much as it was.
        BTW that is actually a good thing.
        They subsequently adapted their skills – some found jobs paying MORE than before – they found more profitable uses for their skills. But must ending up with jobs paying less in other areas. But they found jobs. Further the net result overall – was NEW JOBS – jobs that did not exist before. Producing something that was not produced before – we know this because GDP rose, it did not drop. The US produced less steel, but it still produced MORE value than before (this is actually false, the US has NEVER had a decline in steel production, but we have had a decline in steel production jobs)

        Most likely the steelworkers displaced people from other jobs and on and on down the line, until some people ended up in jobs that did not exist before.

        Regardless, the laws of supply and demand – says laws, tell us that supply creates its own demand. An abundance of ANYTHING – labor, pollution, will at some point be converted into a product that people want.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 6, 2019 8:24 pm

        Honestly, Dave, you act as if China has not been lying, cheating and waging economic warfare against the US for the past 30 years.

        “The Trump administration fortunately seems to understand the dangers to a greater extent than its predecessors did. Unfortunately, our major trading partners do not seem to be aware of the enormity and dangers of the problem. In my view, the multilateral trading system is not to blame – it is the right approach to raising standards of living in the U.S. and abroad, and building international security. The problem is that one major player thinks playing by the rules is for suckers. ”

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2019 9:27 pm

        “Honestly, Dave, you act as if China has not been lying, cheating and waging economic warfare against the US for the past 30 years.”

        I do not doubt any of that. Nor do I care. Everything that a nation is able to do with trade to try to game it is MORE HARMFUL to themselves than to others.

        If China tarrifs US goods – it decreases the standard of living of its own people.

        Further the economic theory that protectionism fosters industries in your own country – has been repeatedly and thoroughly debunked by studies and data.

        Protecting an industry pretty much ensures that it get stupid, and non-competitive.

        Kind of like the US auto industry in the 70’s and 80’s.

        Subsidizing exports – means you are REDUCING your nations standard of living and RAISING that of another in the hopes of buying jobs – it does not work.

        The US has also ranted constantly about Chinese currency manipulation – again assuming China is doing it – which I think they are though less than we accuse them of – it is still ultimately a subsidy of the standard of living of your trading partners at the expense of your own people.

        We are fixated today on Intellectual property.

        The US has the worst most evil and offensive intellectual property laws in the world and we have been intent on using our economic might to impose them on others.

        It is so bad that – in the 60’s we actually had among the best IP laws in the world, and our trade negotiators and successive administrations used the trade/treaty process to BYPASS much of our constitutional protections against bad law to borrow the worst IP concepts from other countries. We often had trade negotiations where the other countries wished to adopt our mor lienient IP laws and WE demanded that the trade agreement impose THEIR laws on us. This then ends up with a fast track up down vote by the senate in a process that can not be fillibustered and does nto go through the house.

        Our IP laws are evil.

        Further the whole IP thing is a red herring – even IBM did a study back in the 80’s and found THEY would be better off with NO IP LAWS – the economy would do better and grow faster.

        I am not sure I am so libertarian as to abolish all IP laws – but given the opportunity, which will never arrise. I would return to those our founders imposed.
        Copyrights limited to 14 years with ONE renewal of 14 years. Unpublished works are automatically protected, but published works must be FORMALLY copyrighted.

        Patents that only apply to tangible things that you can DEMONSTRATE – you can not patent an idea, and patents that expire 14 years after they are issued.
        No derivative patents.

        But addressing things as they are – sort of, We already know from history, that YOU CAN NOT GET AHEAD by stealing the IP of someone else.
        It is just not possible. The USSR tried to do that to the US forever – they pulled our patents and engaged in agressive spying of all kinds.
        It guarantess you will ALWAYS be behind.

        Fundimental to entrepeneurship, inovation is NOT just the idea, but the process of discovery.

        Let me use a different example – there are TWO great maritime powers in the world – the US and the UK. Briefly Japan arrose as a great naval power. No one else has ever been a significant naval power (since the 1600’s). At various times in History France, Germany, Russia, China, India have on paper been competitive naval powers.
        No one has ever been competitive in practice. A navy is NOT just about the ships, or technology it is about knowing how to sail them and how to fight them, there are infinite numbers of bits and peices to be a great naval power.

        The germans probably were among the best submariners in the world for 50 years.
        But that did not translate to the rest of their navy.

        It is estimated that it takes 50 years atleast to build a navy – and I am not talking about ships. I am talking about the traditions and knowledge and experience.
        All of which is readily available to anyone in books. But you still have to DO IT for 50 years.
        Russia has spent more than a century trying to be a great naval power – they are not, and they are not close. The Chinese have been working on that for 50 years. They are NOT a naval power. There exist today many many threats to us naval power that make it increasingly difficult for us to park a Carrier Battle Group off SOME nations coasts and survive. But despite the fact that other countries MIGHT have the ability to threaten a US Carrier Battle Group off their coast and MAYBE force us to keep our distance.
        There is no other nation in the world that can park a CBG off THEIR OWN COAST and control the sea in that area.

        Technology is the same. It has taken nearly a century for the rest of the world to be able to touch the edges of Hollywood. Even today the entertainment industry in the US is larger than the rest of the world combined. There is no secret source. Absolutely there are periodically some fantastic productions from other countries, But no one else in the world can produce the megahits that roll out of Hollywood over and over and over.

        There are narrow areas of technology where the chinese are AHEAD of the US, but the fundimentals – no one else in the world is designing CPU’s as an example.
        There are others who make them, but no one else designs them.

        I am heavy into some aspects of the cutting edge of technolgy and TODAY, there is a slow drain of technolgy production BACK to the US.

        Why ? That same entrepeneurship I talked about before. If you want to produce 1million of some component – the US can not compete. If you need to produce a million – in 50 differnet individually customized versions – no one else is the world can do that besides the US.

        If you think economics is about producing millions of identical widgets as cheaply as possible (they is the basis of the US’s brain dead anti-trust law) then take a look at the grocery aisle in your supermarket. If that were true – there would be 3 large makers of cornflakes and NOTHING ELSE. There are 3 large breakfast cereal makers – and atleast 30 smaller ones.
        The larger companies are continually required to produced ever more different types of breakfast cerial or lose their market.

        Economics is NOT about producing vast quantities of identical goods at very low prices, it is about producing as close as possible exactly what each individual person wants.

        And this problem gets WORSE as standard of living rises. They more wealth we have they less willing we are to settle for exactly the same thing as the next guy.

        Henry Ford’s assembly line was fantastic, the modern assembly line must move towards producing every single product customized. No one else in the world can do that.

        Just to be clear – China is not going away. The US is always going to have to compete.
        We are way ahead and will be for the foreseable future, but anything we are very good at now – the chinese will be in 20-50 years. We can not sit on our hands.

        Ultimately competition – between China and the US or between Ford and GM is good for ALL of us. It means we are better off, we have more of what we want and need – WHATEVER that is.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2019 9:33 pm

        “The Trump administration fortunately seems to understand the dangers to a greater extent than its predecessors did. ”

        Bunk. Absolutely politicians are completely clueless about Trade and economics, including Trump’s predescessors. Absolutely prior administrations have screwed up.

        But all governments will screw it up.

        Trump is using trade to pander to a specific class of voters that is instrumental to his winning.
        Fortunately much of what he is doing is kabuki theater.

        Manufacturing was returning to the US before trump, and not because of Obama.
        It may have accelerated during Trump for a few Trump related reasons – more like having a better tax and regulatory environment.

        I do not think Trump’s trade deals thus far have been bad.
        For the most part his goal and what he does effectively move towards is closer to real free trade. But politics aside we would have been as well off had he done nothing.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2019 9:40 pm

        One of the most fundimental problems facing Brexit is that the UK is looking to bolster its position as a global trading nation – that is their history. Joining the EU gave them access to European markets – at the cost of access to india, china, austrailia, the US – basically all their historic trading partners.

        The US has offered the UK a trivially simple free trade deal – if a US company can sel it in the US, it can sell it in the UK and if a UK company can sell it in the UK it can sell it in the US.

        That is one of the problems with the UK and EU trying to work out a deal.

        When you hear discussions about not errecting border controls in Ireland, that is what it is about. It is about preventing US products from entering the rest of europe through the UK.

        One of the complexities in the negotiations is that if the UK can get a real free trade deal with the US and the rest of the former british commonwealth – it probably is better off than trading with the EU. UK trade with EU is enormous, but it is declining, UK trade with the rest of the world is large and rising.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2019 9:49 pm

        Or we could just get rid of all the rules. that would provide a level playing field.
        Niobody would have to “play by the rules” because there would be none.

        BTW – though slowly that is where we are ultimately headed.
        Government can not possibly keep up with the advances of technology.

        TODAY, I can buy anything I want from anywhere in the world relatively easily regardless of whether it is legal in the US.

        That is only going to improve over time.

        Less and less of sales go through the entire supply chain. More and more purchases are person to person and often accross the world.

        If I buy a single children’s toy from a company in Thailand or the Philpeans, or India, and it is shipped directly to me – who checks to see if it complies with US regulations ?
        Do you think that the maker in India even knows US regulations ?
        Do you think US customs, or regulatory agencies can even dream of being able to enforce our regulations ?

        Just to be clear – this is not about deliberately thwarting laws like our drug laws – though you will get lots of that too.

        But it is about the fact that toy manufacturers in Thailand do not have to go through an expensive and rigorous approval process to certify that their toys have no lead in them, when there is no lead in them and they aren’t even thinking about lead.

        The US keeps making small business harder – that just drives americans to foriegn small businesses.

        I keep telling you the difficult to see negative effects of all regulation are larger than any benefits.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 7, 2019 7:50 am

        Dave, did you read the Forbes piece? And, are you seriously DEFENDING the Chinese? The column doesn’t mention our “evil” intellectual property laws, it uses steel and aluminum as examples, and specifically references China’s refusal to abide by fair trade practices:

        “The focus on new tariffs the U.S. is levying on steel and aluminum, and our trading relationship with China misses this bigger point. The entire multilateral trading system – not just the U.S. – is the victim of China’s cheating. Government ownership of China’s banking system, and the enormity of its state-owned enterprise sector give China the tools to illegally subsidize industries in ways that are hard to detect. To be clear, China’s activities are not the same as a country exploiting the economic principles of comparative advantage.”

        China has clearly been attempting to subvert the US economy, and the fact that they have a totally state-run economy, gives it the ability to cheat in all kinds of ways, which I won’t go into, since I’m sure you are aware of them. The fact that they have thus far been unsuccessful in upending US economic superiority does not mean that they have stopped trying, and doesn’t mean that we should not call them out on it and demand reciprocity.

        Your position on the millions of Americans who are or will be put out of work sounds too much like the whole “learn to code” meme, which comes from the position that the left holds on shutting down the coal industry and saying that 50 year old coal miners (many of whom didn’t even use computers) should “learn to code” if they wanted other jobs.

        The whole “‘learn to code” attitude is why candidates like Andrew Yang present policy ideas that catch on. And why power hungry socialists like Bernie Sanders become popular icons.

        And what do libertarians and conservatives do to help? Zip.

      • March 7, 2019 11:30 am

        Priscilla, you are debating unfair Chinese trade and economic subversion with an immovable rock when it comes to Dave. He seems to be incapable of understanding the difference between economic advantages like cheaper human and natural resources and government manipulation to damage trading partners economies.

        But remember, Dave also accepts no regulation of any companies and believes settlements are fine if one of your kids dies from inferior products and you sue the company for harm.

        Its called Libertarianism on steroids.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 3:58 pm

        Ron – this is not an issue about regulation.

        There is not a problem to be fixed.

        The actual economics of this are well known, the chinese are distorting trade in a way they think will help them but it really will not, they are doing so at great cost, and the benefit is to american consumers. The harm to US steel workers merely advances a change that was inevitable and they will find other work.

        there is zero reason to go nuts to fix this

        I can feel sorry for those displaced workers, but I am not going to war with china over something that is NET GOOD for the US.

      • March 7, 2019 5:31 pm

        Dave your mind is set. My mind is set. You say it is good economically for us. I say it is not just because we get to buy cheap Chinese shit that is throw away crap after a few hours or times using.

        So tell me how it is so great that the Chinese manipulate trade, monitary valueband other things to make it difficult for us to export, but benefit them to export. They get “chits” as youvsay. They buy USA bonds. And at sometime they own enough bonds that they can stop buying and destroy our economy. They would be hurt, but no where near the damage to us.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 8:30 pm

        “Dave your mind is set. My mind is set. You say it is good economically for us.”
        I do not say this 200 years of economics and myriads of studies and analysis do.

        “I say it is not just because we get to buy cheap Chinese shit that is throw away crap after a few hours or times using.”
        Then do not buy it – and the entire problem is solved.
        What you completely ignore is that US jobs did not go to China because the Chinese came here and forcibly took them.
        They came to china because americans freely chose chinese goods over american.

        I do not buy the “junk” assertion – but I do not care – if americans want to by cheap junk, their choice. Not governments.

        “So tell me how it is so great that the Chinese manipulate trade, monitary valueband other things to make it difficult for us to export, but benefit them to export.”

        The costs of their import tarrifs AND their export subsidies is paid for by THEIR people.

        “They get “chits” as youvsay. They buy USA bonds. And at sometime they own enough bonds that they can stop buying and destroy our economy. They would be hurt, but no where near the damage to us.”

        There is a saying in banking.

        You borrow 100K from me, I have you by the balls.
        You borrow 100M from me, You have me by the balls.

        One of the reasons the US can afford its deficits, is that if the US economy sneezes the world economy gets the flu.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 2:27 pm

        When any government subsidizes its own production to gain advantage in foreign trade – that is a foreign government subsidizing US consumers. China is quite litterally stealing wealth from its own people to give to americans. Why would we try to stop that.

        The idiocy of trade subidies is well know. Further – this is just a special case of the broader nonsense of predatory trade. I do not think there has EVER been an actual demonstrated instance of predatory trade practices (outside of governments) – the conventional tropes like Standard oil have been thoroughly debunked. Economists spent a great deal of effort try to analyze this – some trying to prove it some trying to debunk it. Even if there have been actual instances, the economics is very well understood at this point. Predatory trade – not by dominant companies, not by governments DOES NOT WORK. It always benefits consumers, and harms the companies trying it.

        No I did not read the peice.
        With respect I do not need to.
        ALL of the means of trying to game trade have been debated in economics journals for decades. ALWAYS the harm to the nation doing the gaming is higher than the benefit,
        and the harm to the nation being targeted is lower than the benefit.

        Nearly always jobs lost, are just jobs lost early, they were going away anyway.
        Today manufacturing is returning to the US from China. But manufacturing jobs are not – though there were large jumps in manufacturing jobs recently.
        That is because of automation.

        A job is neither a right, nor should it be the goal – no matter how appealing that may sound.
        The net improvement in standard of living is the goal. That is always the result when value is improved – as by lower prices.

        Most of the arguments related to trade also apply to outsourcing, to automation, to every form of productivity increase. ALL the things that raise our standard of living eliminate some existing jobs. That is inherent in the way the economy works. Producing greater value with less effort always means LESS EFFORT – aka JOBS. This always means that resource is available for other uses, and they will get used.

        Do I think China should “abide by standard trade practices” – yes. It is to their benefit.
        Do I think we should or are even entitled to – NO.

        BTW there is no “illegal” in the relationships between countries – all initernational law is “voluntary”. There is no world government or world police.
        The relations between nations are a millenia long working example of anarcho-capitalism (basically libertarianism on steroids) and it is likely they ALWAYS will be.

        Anyway there is just conduct we do not like, or conduct they voluntarily agreed not to do, in return for voluntary agreements by us.

        Personally I think government – even if only our government should get out of trade almost entirely. Businesses will work this out on their own.

        If China wanted to “subvert the US economy” – they would have to orchestrate a global embargo. Subsidizing products to american consumers is subsidizing the US economy not subverting it.

        My position is not some meme – it is actual economics. There are myriads of reasons that workers are displaced in a functioning economy. It not only happens all the time, it is a sign of a growing economy. Joseph Shumpeter called free markets “creative destruction” – and that is absolutely what they are. The stronger growth is the greater change and disruption their will be. So I ask you – do you want to be NET better off ? If you do then you are going to have to live with disruption.

        No this is not “learn to code” – though the only thing fundimentally wrong with that meme is fixating on coding. If your specific job is disappearing – and there are very few jobs that do not change over time, and pretty much no jobs that do not involve greater productivity over time, then you MUST increase your value. Either become so productive in your field that the losses happen to others, or learn to do something else.
        If your job is a skilled job – then you have the ability to learn new skills.

        Lets presume that China subsidizes steel by 50% and completely destroys all steel production jobs in the US.

        The cost of anything that uses steel – appliances, bridges, buildings will decrease, so we will make more of those.
        Even if that is not specifically true what we do make will cost less – so the nation benefits.
        Because we paid less for steel we have more wealth to spend on something else.
        And production and consumption will always very nearly equal each other.

        Every single improvement in productivity – everything that makes us able to produce more at a lower cost – and that includes chinese steel subsidies, means we are DOUBLY better off.
        We pay less for what we have produced and we have freed labor to produce more of something else we want.

        You are litterally railing against the actual mechanism that raises our standard of living.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 2:32 pm

        No I am not saying 50 year old coal miners should “learn to code”.

        All I am saying is that they should and most will find a job. The best outcome is they learn new skills and find a better job, but overall we are better off even if the just dig ditches for MW.

        We pay less overall and get more.

        During the shutdown I was practically begging for it to last as long as possible.
        The economic benefits of shifting 800K people from non-productive government jobs to productive jobs would be incredible.

        Increasing standard of living ALWAYS means greater productivity which nearly always means reduced employment in a give field.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 2:38 pm

        “The whole “‘learn to code” attitude is why candidates like Andrew Yang present policy ideas that catch on. And why power hungry socialists like Bernie Sanders become popular icons.”

        Unfortunately you are absolutely correct here.

        I refered to Schumpeter earlier. While Schumpeter was a great economist and advocate of free markets – he was pessomistic about them.

        He essentially beleived as Marx did that the SUCCESS of free markets would bring about their demise, that strong growth is so disruptive that people would revolt and demand stability. That would would choose to be less well off rather than face constant change,

        And Schumpeter (and Marx) might have a point – we know that deep social safetynets are net economically harmful – the US knows it, the Europeans know it. And yet we do it anyway.
        Because disruptive change is scary. Almost no one likes being pushed into changing jobs constantly – but that is how free markets work.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 2:43 pm

        “And what do libertarians and conservatives do to help? Zip.”

        “helping” is incredibly difficult. Most efforts at helping are expensive failures.

        As an example the net assessment of all job programs since the 80’s is that they have REDUCED the employment prospects of those participating. Government does not know how to aide job creating or job training.

        The danes actually conducted a massive CONTROLLED study – it is easier to do that in more authoritarian countries. What they learned was that their employment assistance programs had ZERO effect on overall employment. What they did change was WHO got jobs.

        If you want to help – start a business and grow it until you need to hire people.
        You will be better off, and so will they and so will everyone else if you are producing something people value.

  80. dhlii permalink
    March 6, 2019 4:34 pm

    This article notes the many layers to this, as well as the huge internal stresses in the democratic party and their hypocracy.

    I think Omar is hateful and racist. I do not think that she is much different from the republican Rep. King or white supremecists.

    I suspect she is not getting re-elected as she promised voters in here district that she would NOT be the divisive figure she has become. But that choice belongs to her voters.

    HOWEVER, she was elected, and even though I think some of the things she says are wrong, and mirror perfectly the tropes used by those who committed genocide.
    They are still free speach and often raise questions that should be raised.

    Israel is without any doubt at all the nation in the mideast that we should treat most favorably.
    No other mideastern nation comes close to being as decent or democratic. In fact Israel mostly governs better and is a better ally to the US than most european nations.
    But Israel is not perfect – and we should be free to condemn Israel when she is wrong.

    Regardless, this motion condemning anti-semitism should not have been hard.
    But all the nonsense going on demonstrates the corrupt intellectual foundations that have taken over the democratic party.

    I am constantly harping on the dangers of post modernism – whether they are conscious of it the conflict going on within house democrats is about post modernism.

    Democrats can not condemn anti-semitism without at the same time having every single other group with a claim of discrimination crying #metoo, Then we must weaken the condemnation of anti-semitism lest we be perceived as racist and anti-islam.
    Further this is fracturing the coalition that makes up democrats. Jews have has disproportionate influence in US politics particularly within the democratic party. American Jews have been the pre-eminent bastion of ACTUAL liberalism. but we are starting to see strong fractures between american jews and progressives. Progressivism has historically been racist and anti-jewish. Modern progressives have oddly fawned over islam despite the fact that even moderate islam opposes nearly all the purported values of the left.
    But that can be papered over because the value of post modernism is NOT actually inclusion, or equality, it is a heirachical scheme of victimization. Muslims have a higher intersectionality quotient than jews or women or gays so the left must suppress criticism of islam for its oppression of jews, women and gays.

    As a consequence democrats can not vote to condemn anti-semitism without watering that condemnation down to the point of meaninglessness without enraging one wing of the party, and can not fail to do so without disappointing another.

    Its as if Republicans were unable to condemn Nazi’s – because some of their most outspoken members were nazi’s.

  81. dhlii permalink
    March 6, 2019 5:37 pm

    Why are the significant lies under oath of highly placed members of the Obama administration treated radically differently from far less significant misstatements of Trump associates ?

    If we are going to prosecute Gen. Flynn for failing to inform an FBI agent that in a conversation with Kislyak Kislyak raised Sanctions and Flynn postponed discussion – then why isn’t Clapper’s totally false statement about mass data collection being prosecuted ?

    If we are going to prosecute Papadoulis for getting the dates wrong of his emails, why are we not prosecuting Clapper for false testimony regarding the dates of his leaks to the press (leaks that are themselves atleast two different crimes).

    I can go on and on. I can make the same argument regarding Comey or McCabe,

    Or we can talk about actual crimes – there is BTW no longer any doubt that there was a “conspiracy” within the upper levels of the Obama administration continuing into the early Trump administration to entrap and handicap Trump – first as candidate and then as president. We know this – because we have the emails and texts of the conspirators.

    Why isn’t all of this being prosecuted ?

    Just to be clear – I do not think that former Obama administration members should be prosecuted for SOME of these acts.

    As an example of what should NOT be prosecuted – Cohen testified that he never sought a position in the Trump administration, yet there is substantial evidence to prove that is a lie.

    A lie – to congress, to the FBI to the courts, should only be prosecuted if that lie actually impeded establishing the truth with regard to an underlying crime.
    That BTW is the standard that is used by the courts for crimes in falsification. Or atleast it is supposed to be.

    Flynn’s remarks to the FBI are not prosecutable – because the FBI had the transcript of the conversation at the time of the interview. The FBI had Papadoulis’s emails when they questioned him, They had Stone’s texts and emails when they questioned him.

    Self serving and vanity lies like Cohen’s should not be prosecuted. Vanity may be offensive but it is not criminal.

    Prosecution of “process crimes” should NEVER be used merely to kowtow people into submission, it is one thing to use crimes as leverage to get the truth. It is completely different to use them to silence people or to alter their non-criminal conduct.

    Finally the misconduct of those in government – particularly those in law enforcement is ALWAYS much more serious than those on the outside.

    Locally we have a DA who has just be caught in an elaborate scheme involving the use of asset forfeiture funds. The majority of the conduct is wrong, and for the most part should be barred by law, and is just more reasons to end asset forfeiture or atleast make it far more transparent. But one element – the DA was being reimbursed for mileage for a vehicle that was being leased using government funds. Put simply he was being repaid personally by government for an expense the government was already paying for.

    The amount was small, but this is clear fraud. This is stuff that happens in business all the time – and quite often results in threats and loss of job, but almost never prosecution.

    But the DA is not just some employee. He is a member of government. He is a member of law enforcement, and he is the Chief Prosecutor of crimes.

    He should be prosecuted to the greatest extent the law allows.

    There should be no excuses accepted, his prior service (no particularly exemplary in my oppinion) should NOT mitigate.

    If you are prepared to stand in front of the court and demand that others go to jail for shoplifting or other minor crimes, then you should be help to a HIGHER standard for your own conduct.

  82. dduck12 permalink
    March 6, 2019 10:31 pm

    Fake news, oversight, or another Trump lie exposed: you rationalize your answer:——-en-20–1–txt-txIN——-

    • dhlii permalink
      March 6, 2019 11:12 pm

      It would not surprise me to find that Trump had actually claimed to be first in his class or on the dean’s list.

      But a quick google search finds no evidence that Trump has personally said anything beyond that he did well and got very good grades.
      If you have a link to a stronger statement – great.

      What I am able to find is other students who claim he was unremarkable and average.
      I suspect that is true – to the extent that Anyone who goes to Wharton is unremarkable and average.

      We still do not have records for Obama at other Columbia – where the some kind of contemporary accounts claim he was essentially a pot head. BUT somehow he managed to get into harvard. You can give him bonus points for race etc. I have met the people who get into ivy league law schools (and Wharton) – and average student pot heads rarely get it – even if they are black. Both Trump and Obama managed to get into two of the most perstigious schools in the country.
      Obama’s record at Harvard is also unavailable. All we know is that he was a law review editor, and that Lawrence Tribe remembers him as a brilliant student, he also remembers Cruz as a very smart student. I am suspicious of Tribe’s recollection of Obama as most everyone at Harvard Remembers Ted Cruz passing through, yet almost no one remembers Obama passing through. He edited law review – about 1/3 of law students make law review. but he wrote no law review articles – that is unusual. There are numerous other means by which one stands out in law school, My wife went to UofP, She graduated with honors, was a law review editor, published a few law review articles won the keaty cup, nearly got a clerkship with a supreme court feeder judge, my wife did clerk for a federal judge. I have zero doubt that Tribe is influential enough that if Obama really was an A+ student of his, Tribe would have gotten him a Supreme court clerkship.
      Even students in the top 10% should be able to get federal clerkships.
      Elaine Kagan clerked for Scotus, Neil Gorsuch clerked for Scotus, Kavanaugh clerked for scotus Ted Cruz clerked for Scotus.

      Obama did NOT clerk for any judge. He moved to an adjunct professor position of little note in chicago. That is not the typical career path for an A+ student in Lawrence Tribes Constitutional Law class at Harvard.

      Put simply we have no evidence of any significant academic graduate school performance by EITHER trump or Obama beyond getting into a very prestigious school and not flunking out.

      Both has reasons beyond their own personal academics – There is little doubt that Obama was competent enough to graduate from columbia and that plus being black would likely get him into harvard law at that time.
      Trump went to fordham, and did well enough to get into Wharton. But he benefited from a wealthy family. So really his move to Wharton is no more prestigious than Obama’s.

      There is no fundimental distinguishing difference between them academemically.

      If Obama did as well in Law School as Tribe recalls – and Tribe was lobby for a seat on SCOTUS when he was praising Obama – he left no fingerprints anyway to show that he was anything more than an average student.

      Pretty much the same is true of Trump.

      Both Trump and Obama have exaggerated their own academic achievements.

      As best as I can tell the only current politician bragging about their college performance who is not lying is “lying ted cruz”

      • Jay permalink
        March 7, 2019 9:25 am

        Let me summarize your long winded gurgling:
        Lying Trump lied about his grades.
        You don’t care that the President is a serial liar.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 3:31 pm

        “Let me summarize your long winded gurgling:
        Lying Trump lied about his grades.
        You don’t care that the President is a serial liar.”

        It is only a summary if you are accurate.

        The only Trump quote I can find is that he “got good grades”

        What is “good grades” ? Getting in to Wharton is impressive, graduating is impressive.

        Am I strongly suspicious Trump is the source of the claims that he graduated at the top of his class – a rumor that is 40 years old – probably.

        Do I care that nearly everyone on the planet (myself excepted) exagerates their resume ?

        Can I go through yours with a fine tooth comb ? Is every assertion in your resume perfectly accurate ? Have you implied a larger role in something than you actually had ?

        I have read LOTS of resumes. They are all full of spin.

        What is True of Trump is that he has succeeded greatly in multiple areas. That is rare, it is also indesputable.

  83. dduck12 permalink
    March 7, 2019 12:17 am

    Terrific, now the CBP is acting like state police. Is this now Turkey or Hungary?
    “U.S. officials made list of reporters, lawyers, activists to question at border
    Several people on the list told NBC News they were questioned at the border as part of what U.S. border agents called a “national security investigation.”

    • March 7, 2019 12:50 am

      If there has been infringement of rights on American citizens in this action or others during border enforcement, then this is just anoter readon BETO IS RIGHT!

      Open the birders and tear down all existing walls.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 7, 2019 8:00 am

        We effectively have that now, Ron, with the flood of migrants overwhelming our ability to stop them. And, it’s all due to the inability to send back anyone arriving on US soil with a child. We don’t have the ability to send them back, and we don’t have the facilities to house them properly. So they are effectively free to enter the country, after they get their court date, which the majority of them will never appear for.

        Trump should shut down the border right now, and demand that Congress pass legislation that either opens our borders or secures them. The president has the constitutional authority to do that, with or without an emergency declaration. The emergency is what gives him the right to reallocate military construction funds.

      • March 7, 2019 11:45 am

        “We effectively have that now, Ron, with the flood of migrants ”

        Well yes and no. If you march to the border and find a way to get on USA soil, yes. But if you apply the legal way in your home country, or come to the border, meet with legal help, ask for asylum in Tijuana or Mexicalli, then no. Because many doing it legally are being turned away due to piss poor immigration laws.

        There is no gray that is acceptable in my mind in this case. Enforce the law 100%, meaning you step on USA soil, you are immediately returned, fami!ies and all. No jail, no waiting for a hearing, etc. That is the black in black and white!

        And if our politically motivated government to keep this for election issues will not change, then do what Beto proposes. Tear down all walls, starting with Queen Nancy’s southern border and let everyone in. That is the white in black and white!

        No more political gray!

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 3:00 pm

        NAFTA actually pretty much ended illegal immigration from Mexico.
        There are lots of parts to NAFTA and there is no analysis of it that has not found it a huge benefit to the US and Mexico.
        But one provision allowed for the immediate deportations of illegal mexicans crossing the border.

        Barr was grilled on immigration, and questioned as to why we should not spend our efforts on port security or drones.

        His answer was that we not only must do EVERYTHING, but we must expect that whatever we do, the illegal immigrants will adapt.

        If we secure the ports – drugs will flow through borders, if we secure the borders, they will fly in, Whatever we do those seeking to get here illegally or bring drugs in illegally will adapt.

        The current glut of “families” is specifically an adaptation to US laws and enforcement.

        The illegal immigrants have learned that if single males cross they will be detained and deported. So we see more “families” because they know that we do not have the resources to detain them until their hearing if we are required to detain their children too.

        Congress has only provided something over 3000 beds for “families” being detained at the border. We have about 70,000 people being arrested at the border per month right now.

        They can be deported quickly – if they are caught within 100M of the border and held in custody for 30-90 days before a hearing.

        If they are released the process takes 18m-4y.

        In the recent “deal” congress actually reduced the number of beds for families.

        It was offensive watching the very same congressmen who had reduced CBP’s facilities for families thrashing Nielson over “familiy” separation.

        I would further note that we do not have good data on this, but we know that alot of these are NOT families. That people lookijng to cross are bringing children with them to increase their odds, That we have increased “trafficing” as a consequence of this.

        We do not know if those increases are small or larger – but lets say they are small,
        Of the 70,000 arrested each month only 500 kids are being trafficed.
        That is a huge problem.

        Regardless the point is – however we change our law – those trying to get in will adapt.
        The changes in the past we thought were good, are what has resulted in large numbers of “families”. crossing and few single males.

      • Jay permalink
        March 7, 2019 9:48 am

        “Trump should shut down the border right now, and demand that Congress pass legislation that either opens our borders or secures them.”

        He could TRY to do that, under his National Emergency umbrella.

        But the majority of those migrants ask for amnesty, under law.

        That border shut down would IMMEDIATELY be challenged in the courts. Let’s say SCOTUS quickly affirms his right to do that… Does the US then dump any migrants intercepted or already in custody back across the Mexican border? Men, women, children, infants?

        This migration is a humanitarian nightmare in the making. Either way – we let them stay; we dump them in Mexico – I don’t see a just outcome. The people we have governing us are not up to the task. The idiot in the White House will only make it worse.

      • March 7, 2019 11:49 am

        “Does the US then dump any migrants intercepted or already in custody back across the Mexican border? Men, women, children, infants?”


      • Jay permalink
        March 7, 2019 3:08 pm

        But the laws and regulations pertaining to amnesty would have to be changed first. As it stands now, persons who have committed no other illegal activity apart from being in the country illegally can request it. They then are supposed to be processed and accepted or rejected in a reasonable time.

        The main ‘priority’ that applies to the current swarms of migrants seeking amnesty from South American nation’s are these:

        “persons facing compelling security concerns in countries of first asylum; persons in need of legal protection because of the danger of refoulement; those in danger due to threats of armed attack in an area where they are located; or persons who have experienced recent persecution because of their political, religious, or human rights activities (prisoners of conscience); women-at-risk; victims of torture or violence, physically or mentally disabled persons; persons in urgent need of medical treatment not available in the first asylum country; and persons for whom other durable solutions are not feasible and whose status in the place of asylum does not present a satisfactory long-term solution.” (Wikipedia)

        What changes in the protocols do you suggest be written?

        A few years ago my response would have been ‘screw them all, round them up and dump them. Nobody gets amnesty unless they apply for it first!” Like Victor Laszlo did in Casa Blanca! But then I hear echoes of “Send me your huddled masses” and I’m reluctant to turn my back on what appears to be a gigantic humanitarian crisis in blossom.

        We obviously need a better solution than either side of the debate are promoting: open border or zero tolerance.

      • March 7, 2019 5:21 pm

        “What changes in the protocols do you suggest be written?”

        1. Trash the current system completely.
        2. A three tier immigration criteria. A) Work VISA based on employer needs.B) Family based VISA and C) Humanitarian VISA
        3. Work VISA’s determined by employer needs, job openings and skills offered by immigrant.
        4. Family based using predefined criteria, such as immediate family. No aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.
        5. Humanitarian based on countries detmined by the state department to be human rights violators. No one accepted because they say they live where some gang is threatening them.
        6. Any military base that is no longer used by the military could be converted to ” half way” facility where asylum seekers would be housed until their case was heard. Mothers, fathers And they would be “prison” level so no one leaves.
        7. If you are approved, then you would need a sponsor to assume your needs until you could survive on your own.
        8. If your case was not approved, you would be returned to your port of entry.
        9. Any illegal entry would result in immediate deportation. Second time mandatory 5 years in jail.
        10. No one not a citizen counted in census. (No more misallocation of representatives based on illegal immigrant counts)
        11. No entitlement or social support programs available except for emergency medical care which the federal government would cover.
        12. No one born in America without one parent being a citizen would be considered a citizen.
        13. Anyone serving in, having served or is a spouse of anyone military, past.or present, would become a legal immigrant.
        14. Anyone over 18 who has has graduated high school in America would become a legal resident.

        So you asked. Thats my thoughts. Never happen.
        So open the borders and get rid ofvall walls.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 8:00 pm

        The fundimental problems with the current laws are NOT things like who can get asylum.

        It is that the courts have transformed the law from what is written to a mess.
        There is also a separate “flores agreement” – that is essentially a settlement between the government and some people suing it during the Obama administration.

        This is a favorite modern tactic of the left. The administration gets some group to “sue” the government over some law or policy, or regulation or lack of regulation, or just about anything. And they the administration “settles” the suit, making the “settlement” have the force of law, yet the merits of the suit were never tested, and congress nor the courts really were involved. By wink wink, nod, nod, seeking groups to challenge whatever exists the administration working with groups that wish to change the law manage to do so without due process.

        Further congress often defines the law but makes its enforcement impossible.

        As an example – Trump can deport anyone illegally entering caught within 100 miles of the border in I beleive 30 days. But to do so he must detain them for the full 30 days.
        But he can not detain children in the facilities used to detain adults for more than 48 hours.
        And congress has provided insuficient facilities for families and Trump does not have the authority to change that.

        Making the law is congresses responsibility. But we often have a mess where congress makes law but then imposes budgetarry or other constraints on enforcing it. Like limiting the number of beds.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 8:23 pm

        “1. Trash the current system completely.”
        It is not that bad. The key problems are that there are a large assortment of obstacles to implimenting the law as it is.
        The courts keep expanding the law.
        Congress writes the law but does not provide the resources needed to impliment it.

        “2. A three tier immigration criteria. A) Work VISA based on employer needs.B) Family based VISA and C) Humanitarian VISA”

        We can do whatever we wish, but I would do differently.
        Mostly I would keep the law the same – but strictly enforced AS WRITTEN.
        Asylum is for people who have a legitimate fear of THEIR GOVERNMENT.

        I would probably eliminate work Visa’s Family Visa, and Humaitarian visa’s and say that anyone, Business, organization, family, church can sponsor any immigrant.

        If you do you are responsible for them. You will find them a job, a place to stay or YOU will take care of them – the government will not.

        “3. Work VISA’s determined by employer needs, job openings and skills offered by immigrant.
        4. Family based using predefined criteria, such as immediate family. No aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.
        5. Humanitarian based on countries detmined by the state department to be human rights violators. No one accepted because they say they live where some gang is threatening them.”

        If you do as I recomend you get government out of the business of trying to decide these things.

        Microsoft as an example decides who they are prepared to sponsor for a visa.
        If it does not work out – microsoft mus cover their costs – including deporting them.

        Same with families, or humanitarian visa’s.

        Deciding who gets to come in is based on who those doing the sponsoring choose.

        “6. Any military base that is no longer used by the military could be converted to ” half way” facility where asylum seekers would be housed until their case was heard. Mothers, fathers And they would be “prison” level so no one leaves.”

        Just determine that if congress writes a law, the president is empowered to enforce it.

        Jay wants to interject “reasonable” – if you are going to give “reasonable” a legal meaning, then you can say the president is OBLIGATED to enforce the law, where he has many ways to do so, the court can review the choices he makes to assure that he has not elected a bad way over a good one.

        As an example if there is a choice between using military bases, building new facilities and renting private ones. The courts could say that keeping detainees in Trump Tower Arizona rather than a military base was “unreasonable”

        The court can not interfere with the president enforcing the law, but where congress has not been clear and provided resources, but a legal requirement exists, then the courts can preclude stupid or self serving choices, but not preclude implimenting the law.

        “7. If you are approved, then you would need a sponsor to assume your needs until you could survive on your own.”
        If you have a sponsor – much of the rest is irrelevant.

        “8. If your case was not approved, you would be returned to your port of entry.”
        The burden of proof is on the immigrant, not the government.

        “9. Any illegal entry would result in immediate deportation. Second time mandatory 5 years in jail.”

        You do not want to jail them – that can be attractive to them.

        “10. No one not a citizen counted in census. (No more misallocation of representatives based on illegal immigrant counts)”
        We should count everyone, We should count noncitizens and identify them as such.
        Allocation of government resources and congressional districts is based on citizens

        “11. No entitlement or social support programs available except for emergency medical care which the federal government would cover.”
        They have a sponsor – EVERYTHING is the sponsors problem.

        “12. No one born in America without one parent being a citizen would be considered a citizen.”
        Nope. Every nation without birthright citizenship with significant immigration has far worse problems than the US. You end up creating an ever growing class of temporary residents who do NOT identify with the country they have been in their entire life.

        “13. Anyone serving in, having served or is a spouse of anyone military, past.or present, would become a legal immigrant.”
        No spouses, and they are Citzens, not immigrants.
        You serve in our military – and you are more than an immigrant.

        “14. Anyone over 18 who has has graduated high school in America would become a legal resident.”


      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 7:08 pm

        Asylum != Amnesty.

        The law as written does not permit economic claims for asylum.
        It does not permit asylum for domestic violence.

        It only permits asylum where you are in danger FROM YOUR OWN GOVERNMENT.
        The left is again selling broader interpretations that the law has.

        If they do not like the law – CHANGE THE LAW.

        There is nothing wrong with the asylum law as written.
        Except possibly an absence of we REALLY REALLY mean this tacked to the end.

        My recollection is that the asylum law does not allow those who have committed crimes in the US to ask for asylum. In the past that included crossing illegally.
        Starting under Obama that was interpreted to exclude the crime of crossing illegally.

        Trump is trying to return to the language of the law.
        That is also what he is doing with “child separation”.

        The list you provided from Wikipedia is incorrect.
        The threat that you face that you are requesting asylum from MUST be a GOVERNMENT threat.

        You can not get asylum (atleast not until recent court misinterpretations), for domestic violence or persecution that is NOT from government.

        You can change the law if you wish – but if you expand asylum beyond GOVERNMENT persecution, you open the flood gates.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 7:17 pm


        I will be happy to discuss channeling “the new collosus”.

        I do not have a problem with open borders – but only if we do so in a way that will not cause disaster, and only if we do so with open eyes.

        But that is not the current law – and we do not change law by having the courts change how it is interpreted that is LAWLESS.

        Federal law is changed by congress.

        You are not allowed to request asylum if you have committed a crime in the US.
        In the past – before Obama, and new judical interpretations, that meant if you entered illegally you could not ask for asylum. I beleive when the law was drafted that was INTENTIONAL.

        Regardless if you want illegals to be eligable for asylum – CHANGE THE LAW.

        MANY of the Times I say “CHANGE THE LAW” – you will likely get my support.

        I would substantially increase legal immigration. But absent the changes necescary to sustain open borders I would Build the wall and strongly enforce laws against illegal immigration.

        I would deport people who crossed illegally with bare minimum due process.
        Deportation is not death. If you are legally allowed to be in the US – cross legally.
        If you are requesting asylum, cross at a border checkpoint.
        If you are requesting asylum – come wiuth the evidence to support your claim.
        The burden of proof and the burden of conduct and process is on YOU,
        There is not a right to enter the US.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 7:21 pm

        “We obviously need a better solution than either side of the debate are promoting: open border or zero tolerance.”

        No we don’t.
        The LAW should always be enforced with “zero tolerance”.

        If we deem that a law that is ALWAYS enforced produces a result we do not like we CHANGE THE LAW.

        When we interoduce tolerance, discretion we are lawless.


        Those are SOME of the requirements for “the rule of law”

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 7:27 pm

        The opportunity to change the law – particularly on issues like family separation and the dreamers has existed for over a decade. Pelosi had an excellent opportunity to get the law changed in return for “the wall”, she choose to fight over the wall.

        It has been the beleif of democrats that the wall is a losing political issue for Trump.

        It is the losing political issue that got him elected.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 7, 2019 1:04 pm

        Jay, Section 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act gives the president near plenary authority to indefinitely close all border traffic. It’s been done before, by Johnson, Nixon and Reagan.

        I agree that it would be immediately challenged by the progressive Lawfare warriors, who know that there is a massive crisis, but refuse to let it be ameliorated by a barrier, because Trump.

        Trump would be doing the right thing to close the border, just as he did the right thing to declare the emergency. I understand that you would never in a million years admit that the complete obstruction by Democrats to reforming our immigration laws has hurt everyone : Americans. migrant women and children, law enforcement, DACA and TPS residents. But the rush of illegal migrants at the border has become unsustainable. Child traffickers are “recycling” the same children, back and forth, to allow phony asylum seekers into the country, where they ultimately sell these children into virtual slavery. But, no matter, some more Democrat voters!

        And lest you think I believe that the GOP has been blameless in this, I most certainly do not. They have stonewalled immigration reform for years, because of massive lobbying efforts by the Chamber of Commerce. But they are not in favor of “open borders,” and the Democrats are.

        They are going to lose in 2020 because of this, unless they can figure out a way to steal elections. Which they might, because the Republicans remain the stupid party.

      • Jay permalink
        March 7, 2019 4:24 pm

        Pricilla, the legal check to that presidential authority you cite is written into 1185-a

        “(1) for any alien to depart from or enter or attempt to depart from or enter the United States except under such reasonable rules, regulations, and orders, and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may prescribe”

        Neither you, me, or Trump gets to decide what rules, regs and orders are ‘reasonable.’ That will be the court’s authority.

        As to Johnson, Reagan, and Nixon – none of them shut the border to limit immigration. LBJ sealed the border after the JFK Assassination, quickly reopening it when Oswald was caught. Nixon closed the border with Operation Intercept for two weeks, to stop the flow of marijuana into the US. It was a total failure. Border states from Texas to California lost multi millions of dollars from their local economies and almost no marijuana was seized – drug traffickers simply shifted to safer air supply routes. Reagan tried the same border shutdown policy to harass Mexico into finding and freeing a US Drug Enforcement officer who was abducted by drug cartel members. That didn’t work too well- the officer and his wife were found tortured and murdered.

      • Priscilla permalink
        March 7, 2019 6:22 pm

        “subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may prescribe”

        I hate to break it to you, Jay, but Trump IS the president ( much to your dismay, I know).

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 7:34 pm

        Actually Jay – no the determination of what is reasonable is NOT the courts.

        Technically it is congresses, but congress as delegated that authority to the executive.

        It is the courts role to determine if a law is constitutional.
        If it is in conflict with other laws,
        and if it is being followed as written.

        Whether it is “reasonable” or not is NOT within the jurisdiction of the courts.

        I would separately note than ANY law or regulation that includes the word “reasonable” should be struck down as unconstitutionally vague.

        Making a law clear and well defined is the duty of the legislature.
        The courts DO have the authority to determine that a law is UNCLEAR.

        The failure of Johnson, Nixon and Reagan’s efforts, and the reasons for those efforts are not important – the relevant question is whether the president has the authority to do so.

        He clearly does.
        Your evidence sugests it is a bad idea.

      • Jay permalink
        March 7, 2019 9:55 am

        This report puts it in perspective, Priscilla:

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 3:53 pm

        Glad you are slowly starting to understand.

        And yes this is “unusual” a “crisis” an “emergency”/

        “Border Patrol agents aren’t equipped to deal with large groups of families who travel through Mexico by bus and then turn themselves in at the border.”

        What CBP is “equiped” for is determined by congress – that has REDUCED their ability to deal with families in the most recent shutdown deal.

        If CBP is given the resources to detain whatever mix of people cross the border in whatever numbers they cross in for 30-90 days they can then deport them directly to their country of origen. If they can not detain them for that period it takes vastly more money and years to deport them.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2019 1:52 pm

        I do not support interfering with the press.
        And likely this is something stupid being done by someone down the food chain.

        But there are good reasons for CBP to pre-identfy press operating arround the border
        As an example so they do not confuse them with drug dealers and illegals.

        The question is not whether they are making a list, but what they are doing with it.

  84. dduck12 permalink
    March 7, 2019 12:31 am

    Hide the bad stuff, just like all politicians, and do it with a EO for cover.
    “Trump Cancels U.S. Report on Civilian Deaths in Drone Strikes
    By Margaret Talev
    March 6, 2019, 9:22 AM PST Updated on March 6, 2019, 2:41 PM PST
    Defense Department must still report casualties to Congress
    Report was part of Obama-era effort to stem civilian deaths ”

    • March 7, 2019 1:04 am

      Yep, another example of Presidential over reach never included in the constitution. Maybe one small reversal will take place since congress may hate Trump enough to take back a fingernail of the power they have given up.

      “House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, called Trump’s move “a troubling retreat from transparency.” He said in a statement that he’ll seek to reimpose the intelligence community’s reporting on civilian casualties through a provision in this year’s Intelligence Authorization Act.”

      One teanie step for citizens, one giant leap for congress!

    • dhlii permalink
      March 7, 2019 2:36 am

      So Obama – the king of the drones responsible for the largest civilian deaths instituted policies to reign in his own bloodthirsty ramapage ?

      As to Trump – to what extent are we still heavily using Drones to kill people ?

      That is a serious question. I do not know. I would GUESS that as Trump has less interest in the mideast that Drone strikes would decline. But that is just a guess.

      Regardless, it would make sense to end a report if there is little or nothing to report.

      So rather than “Argh! Trump” Can we found out if this is somehow meaningful ?

      Or should we have a presidential report on buggy whip production too ?