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Righty: Why do bleeding hearts on the left continue to gush about “diversity” when the guests at their dinner parties are almost exclusively white and upper middle class? I don’t detect much “diversity” among all you Chardonnay-sippers, eh Lefty? The fact is, most of us instinctively gravitate toward others like ourselves. Blacks do it. Hispanics do it. Greeks, Armenians and Jews do it. So do gays and celebrities. Even Lefty’s pampered, privately educated liberal friends do it. The difference between them and me is that I’m honest enough to admit it. Nobody who sends his kids to a private school is morally entitled to rhapsodize about diversity or impose it on others. I’m no bigot, but I’m comfortable among my own kind and I don’t see why we should have to include quotas of various favored minorities in every neighborhood, company, school, and TV show. I’m fine with blacks or gays moving into my neck of the woods as long as they’re decent, law-abiding citizens who embrace our Christian way of life. But I don’t see why we should have to send out engraved invitations to encourage them.

Lefty: I’m sure Righty would like nothing better than to whisk us back to the Eisenhower era, when America’s unofficially sanctioned national color was lily white. In those halcyon days, blacks, Hispanics, gays and even women were essentially disenfranchised and hidden discreetly from view. Is that the kind of society Righty (I almost said “Whitey”) would have us celebrate? We need to empower individuals of all colors, genders and sexualities if we truly want to build an egalitarian society. We empower them by boosting their representation in academic and professional life, and by renouncing the primitive prejudices that made them second-class citizens in the first place. All right-thinking people have an obligation to help diversity flourish. Those who stand in opposition to it must be condemned as bigots, oppressors and — worst of all — Republicans!

The New Moderate:

I’m not especially fond of code words; they tend to conceal a multitude of agendas. “Diversity” is a stellar example of the breed. When a liberal uses this richly flavored buzzword in casual conversation, other liberals know immediately that the speaker is one of them… that they understand each other and breathe the same sociopolitical vapors. They’re siblings under the skin and firmly planted on the “correct” side of the great cultural divide.

What does “diversity” signify, exactly? Well, you’d think it would imply an open friendliness toward every conceivable minority group, white and otherwise… every economic class… every ethnic group, religion, philosophy and temperament. But as Righty suggested, those who talk loudest about diversity seem to be highly selective about the minorities they embrace. And that’s what bothers me.

An instructive example: here in Philadelphia, home of The New Moderate, the most richly diverse neighborhood is the Northeast — a bubbling cauldron of hardworking whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians and immigrants from dozens of outposts on the planet. But Northeast Philly gets no respect from the city’s educated white liberals. They positively shun the place. Too lower middle class. Too philistine. No trendy restaurants. Their paragon of “diversity” is my own Mt. Airy neighborhood, which is roughly 50% African American and 49% educated white liberal, including a generous sprinkling of lesbians and vintage hippies. You can search the place from top to bottom without unearthing any Poles, Greeks, Italians, Hungarians, Russians, Lebanese, Indians (Asian or American), Filipinos, Koreans, Mexicans or Jamaicans. Republicans are universally reviled and practically extinct. Presbyterians and pro-lifers languish on the endangered list. Other rarities include working-class whites, Boy Scouts, non-black fundamentalist Christians, gay men and young single heterosexuals.

Don’t get me wrong: Mt. Airy is a handsome and friendly old neighborhood. Blacks and whites seem to coexist peacefully and even marry each other. But diverse? The folks in Mt. Airy are clearly tailoring the word to fit their politics.

I’d like to see “diversity” used according to its dictionary definition rather than the ill-concealed biases of its liberal champions. If you want real diversity, take a walk around Northeast Philly, not Mt. Airy. Be true to your creed and welcome Irish-American firefighters into your neighborhood as readily as you welcome blacks, lesbians and educated white liberals. You might actually learn something from them.

Summary: Diversity is an admirable concept, but the term is habitually slanted to promote favored minorities and exclude those who offend liberal sensibilities. True diversity embraces all ethnic groups and philosophies; it can’t be achieved through selectively imposed quotas.

862 Comments leave one →
  1. Taliesin Knol permalink
    January 9, 2010 3:43 am

    Diversity is good in SOME cases. Genetic diversity among a population can help it resist extinction, and ethnic diversity CAN (provided the poeple are open-minded) promote tolerance and understanding. However, Diversity among, say, software and hardware, is a bitch. Sometimes things don’t mesh. (cannibals and vegans}: Diversity can make people uncomfortable, and that can lead to conflict, which, as you all know, leads to the Dark Side. Also, the “diverse” levels of intelligence in the world (today and forever) cause no end of problems.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    January 20, 2017 1:16 pm


  3. dduck12 permalink
    February 25, 2018 9:26 pm

    Up until today, I have been waiting for “Stereotypes” to implode and following Mr. Mucus’s orders by not trying to follow the thread on my cell phone. It was nice to observe that the choir members were civil to each other. I guess tribal members are nice to each other. Just as I misjudged Trump’s chances of fooling enough people to get him through the Electoral College nonsense, and the ineptitude of Clinton’s campaign, I misjudged the staying power of Dave to filibuster mainly himself, and nit pick the more moderate views of RonP. Even without Ron and Priscilla present (and this is a compliment) Dave could be the Energizer Bunny of endless and voluminous comments.
    Okay, I again want to thank RonP for the idea to jump into the shell of an old thread, and I hope some of you will join me.
    I hope Rick is well, but I also hope we can come up with some topics on our own. Here is one: a group that brings liberals and conservatives together in order to “bridge the partisan divide”.
    Looking forward to “diversity” of thoughts, succinct, economical opinions, and above all civil commenting. 🙂

    • dhlii permalink
      February 26, 2018 3:34 am

      From what I can tell the goal of the organization you cite is NOT to end disagreement, or partisanship.
      It is to impede the march towards violence.

      My perspective – which from what I can tell matches Better Angles.

      It certainly matches John Stuart Mills.

      We must be absolutely free to speak. To do so loudly, offensively, stupidly.
      That does not make the objects loud offensive stupid speach.
      It just means we must tolerate the worst of speech there is without devloving to violence.
      We will never get anyway if we are killing each other.

      The objective is to move to persuasion with words, rather than the use of force.

      Within the sphere of speech, some tools are more effective than others.
      We are obligated to tolerate those whose only arguments are ad hominem, fallacy and insult.
      We are not obligated to listen to them.

      There is no overarching goal within the fear of free speech.
      There is the hope that we can agree to disagree, learn more of each others positions, and even become friends.

      There is no one that has ever posted here that I could not be friends with in the real world.
      I have lots of friends on the far right and the far left and “a little bit of both”.

  4. February 25, 2018 11:39 pm

    dduck, thanks for this link. Interesting that this organization has been organized for two years and is just now getting attention. I wonder though how many true converts they have or just a gathering place for left and right moderates.

    I read today that the California Democrat Party refused to support Dianne Fienstiein and wanted to support a state senator that was ” more progressive”. Bringing people together that support some more left than Feinstein and right of Ted Cruz will take a miracle.

  5. dhlii permalink
    February 26, 2018 4:10 am

    Andrew McCarthy demonstrates that the Schiff Memo is actually MORE damaging to the FBI and DOJ than the Nunes one

    • Jay permalink
      February 28, 2018 9:32 am

      His own publication disagrees with that assessment:

      • February 28, 2018 12:49 pm

        Nothing has been proven! Nothing has been filed in a court against Trump. All I see is dung and crap being slung between two people who truely hate each other while wasting probably hundreds of thousands of dollars for the two memos you and I could write for a few cents, and that is all they are worth. Wait for the final report and then make your own comment to debate.

        But the winner in the Russians, They have used modern day Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and other propaganda organizations we used for years which today is called Facebook and created unrest in the USA just as we created unrest in Eastern Europe and other parts of the world in previous generations.

        Turn about is a bitch. When we do something ourselves, dont be surprised when it comes home to roost. Our reaction is the problem, that being the toxic division exemplified by Nunez and Shiff, the houses Hatfield and McCoy. And that creates the extreme division that is only getting worse.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 28, 2018 2:03 pm

        Aside from spin the factual differences between the memo’s is tiny.

      • Jay permalink
        February 28, 2018 2:53 pm

        “Turn about is a bitch. When we do something ourselves, dont be surprised when it comes home to roost”

        Now that it’s here, roosting, you in favor of feeding and sheltering it?

        That’s what Derelection Of Duty Donnie is doing, or haven’t you noticed that?

        Are you deaf to the news? To the warnings of NUMEROUS US Agency Heads that Russia will interfere in the coming Midterm elections? And Dickhead Donald isn’t doing anything to stop it:

        “Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the departing head of the National Security Agency and the military’s Cyber Command, said that he was using the authorities he had to combat the Russian attacks. But under questioning during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he acknowledged that the White House had not asked his agencies — the main American spy and defense arms charged with conducting cyberoperations — to find ways to counter Moscow, or granted them new authorities to do so.

        “President Putin has clearly come to the conclusion that there’s little price to pay and that therefore ‘I can continue this activity,’” said Admiral Rogers, who is set to retire in April. “Clearly what we have done hasn’t been enough.””

        Add that to the FACT that Traiterous Trump hasn’t enforced the Russian sanctions Congress authorized, and you have a president INTENTIONALLY Undermining the security of the nation.

      • February 28, 2018 6:33 pm

        Jay, I have no idea what you are talking about because I have tuned out. But this is what I do know.
        1. Russia used Facebook to post items concerning the candidates.
        2. America does not own the internet
        3. FacebooK is a private company
        4. If Facebook wants to monitor and block Russia thats their prerogative.
        5. If people are dumb enough to believe crap on Facebook, they have already bought into lies and misinformation from the liberal and conservative media, so Russian info had no impact.
        6. Senator Ben Cardin, top Democrat on the Senates foreign relations committee said concerning sanctions and negotiations going on as of the end of January “I am not going to discuss the classified nature of these discussions”. Does that. appear to be circumventing the sanctions or is something happening behind the scenes?

        I think your hatred for Trump and his defeat of your candidate you thought was a shoe in has your panties in a wad and has blurred thinking at this point.

        As stated months ago, waiting for report from Mueller. Everything else is politicwl nonsense and if there is anything “there” it is not being discussed, just like Cardin said. We dont know what is being done with Russia.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2018 6:49 am


        You have yet to make a case that Russia is doing anything except speaking.
        I would greatly prefer that states including ours not speak. But they do.

        On numerous issues – you and I actually have common ground.
        But you are entirely uninterested in anything except getting your own way – by force if necescary.

        I will happily join you to address those things that Russia purportedly tried and failed to do that are actually improper – such as hacking voting machines.

        We had a presidential voting commission to look into that and many other issues, but it died because the only thing the left cares about is controlling who can speak.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 28, 2018 1:50 pm

        Before the Nunes memo was released Trey Gowdy acknowleged that there was a vague disclosure of the origens of the Steele Dossier in the warrant application.
        As he said the disclosure was as convoluted and indirect as possible, and the complications served no purpose except to hife the origen of the dossier from the court.

        It would have taken 1/3 as many words to say the Dossier was opo research of the opposing party.

      • dhlii permalink
        February 28, 2018 1:58 pm

        As noted before the disclosure is deliberately ambiguous – the law requires clarity in warrants.

        Further you keep eliding the fact that there was no basis for the warrant.

        The court erred in granting it. But far more important DOJ/FBI violated the law in asking for it.
        A great deal is made in the Warrant application of Steele’s past credibilty.
        That is irrelevant – Steele is not the source for a single allegation in the dossier.

        As an example:
        Assume a police information with an abysmal track record,
        a police officer with a very good record of integrity.

        The informant tell the cop – there will be a drug deal in the dining room, after midnight.

        The officer tells a prosecutor, and the prosecutor seeks a warrant saying – the officer has a reputation for integrity and reliability.

        The prosecutor is not lying, the police officer is not either.
        But the warrant shoudl never be granted.

        It is NOT Steels credibility that matters, It is not that HFA and DNC paid for this that matters,
        it is that nothing was presented to the court as a reason for believing the actual sources.

        That was misconduct on the part of FBI/DOJ.
        They either know that or are so incompetent they should not have jobs.

  6. February 26, 2018 6:59 pm

    “Okay, I again want to thank RonP for the idea to jump into the shell of an old thread, and I hope some of you will join me.”

    duck, I chuckled at this, because the image that immediately jumped into my head was that of a hermit crab, changing shells, lol! We have become the Hermit Crab Brigade, I guess.

    I’m a little uncomfortable about using up all of the comment space on Rick’s blog, so I’m going to be economical in my comments ~ I hope. As I mentioned to Ron in the last thread, I do have a WordPress blog of m own, which I just need to un-mothball, where we can comment to our heart’s content. I can even use all of you as guest bloggers.

    I’ll try and see where Rick stands on this whole hermit crab thing, but, in the meantime, let Diversity rule…..

    • dduck12 permalink
      February 26, 2018 9:51 pm

      Priscilla: My mental image was a rabbit hoping into a new hole as opposed to my blog avatar Duckman (greatest cartoon series) getting all his ducks in a row.
      Anyway, thanks for wading into the tidal pool, I’ll try not to be too crabby or shallow with my comments.

    • February 26, 2018 10:32 pm

      Priscilla, go for it. Then those that want to comment about A-Z that has nothing to do with anything Rick posted can comment there. And it might be nice to see extended comments we all might want to post as guest to your blog with your approval for any “blog” we may want to post.

      • dduck12 permalink
        February 26, 2018 11:34 pm

        Ron, I think we can comment on any subject without offending Rick’s previous posts.

      • Anonymous permalink
        March 1, 2018 11:40 am

        I kind of miss you all. Our company is going through a transition and as I am an hourly employee, I have been getting massive overtime pay which I really like, unfortunately after work, family time, and home upkeep, not hardly a moment to read or write on the blog. It was fun tracking through the topics to find you guys. I also have an answer to something but it would cost me too much time to share it right now. It will have to wait for another day.

        Mike Hatcher

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 9:35 am

        I hope that being busy is something good for you.

  7. dhlii permalink
    February 27, 2018 2:28 pm

    Hard times create capitalists,
    Capitalists create good times,
    Good times create socialists,
    Socialists create hard times!

    • dduck12 permalink
      February 27, 2018 10:05 pm

      The Mad Hatter: “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”

  8. Jay permalink
    February 28, 2018 9:28 am

    More McCarthy Misrepresentation:

    • dhlii permalink
      February 28, 2018 1:42 pm

      Ms. Schonefelds claim does not hold water.
      Ms. Schoenfeld is not a lawyer as best as I can tell MacCarthy was a federal prosecutor.

      McCarthy is right.

      Schoenfeld is trying to argue that you can not obstruct the prosecution of a mythical crime.

      You can not read 18 USC 1512 any other way than,
      there must be an actual already known specific crime.
      There must at the very least be an actual investigation of that crime,
      and you must at the very least be in the process of PROSECUTING that crime.

      Otherwise you have given prosecutors carte blanche to charge people with obstruction merely for living.

      Anything could obstruct the investigation of a hypothetical crime.

      I would note that there is another issue. A prosecutor can not be charge with obstruction of justice. Otherwise you could criminally charge any prosecutor that elected not to prosecute any crime.

      All executive powers including prosecutorial powers for the federal government vest in Trump.
      Trump is essentially the prosecutor.
      Trump could have directed Comey to cease the investigation entirely – and Comey would have to do so and it would not be obstruction.

      Further you can not obstruct something that you can legitimately end.
      Trump can not only terminate the investigation any time he chooses, but he could pardon any of those involved.

      Neither the DOJ nor any part of the executive can investigate the president. without his consent.

      This is why Ken Starr was an independent Council – under Congress not the executive.
      Investigating the president is the responsibility of congress.
      The president has no power over a congressional investigation.
      But congressional investigators must refer all criminal prosecutions to DOJ – that is what happened under Obama, where they died.

      However, Congress can as a result of its investigations, impeach.

      Trump is not going to fire Mueller – despite the fact that he inarguably has to power to do so, unless and until it will not likely result in impeachment or political disaster.
      But that is the ONLY impediment to doing so.
      It was also the only impediment to firing Comey,
      and the only impediment to Trump directing Comey to terminate the prosecution of Flynn.

      • Jay permalink
        February 28, 2018 3:00 pm

        Schoenfeld is a Mr. not a Ms.

        And thankfully you’re not a lawyer or prosecutor: if you can’t get the basic gender right, the facts are a total blur to you.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2018 6:56 am

        You are correct Gabriel Schoenfeld is a man. That was a mistaken assumption I do know too many Gabriel’s that are male. There was no photo on lawfare nor any gender pronoun, nor a photo on wikipedia.

        Maybe I should just refer to Schoenfeld as zer or ze ?

        Regardless, Schoenfeld is a political commentator, not a lawyer. MacCarthy was a federal prosecutor.

        If we are going to do appeals to authority – MacCarthy Trump’s Schoenfeld.

        If we are going to abandon authoritites – my arguments are better than yours or his.
        By Schoenfeld’s broad definition of obstruction everyone is guilty of it daily.

    • dhlii permalink
      February 28, 2018 1:46 pm

      I would note that you have far more problems than that.

      The investigation into Flynn has yeilded nothing but a plea for lying to the FBI.
      That has a fair chance of being withdrawn.

      Few including Trump even understand what lie Flynn told.
      Trump had it explained to him and still stated publicly that it did not seem like anything of consequence to him.

      Those of us not falling off the left edge of the planet do not understand the charge against Flynn either.

      How do you expect people to take seriously obstruction of a crime that most people do not beleive took place ?

      • Jay permalink
        February 28, 2018 3:05 pm

        Are you totally dense to the strategy of plea agreements?

        Do you think Flynn’s lawyers would allow him to plead guilty to the lying change if Mueller didn’t have more severe back up charges waiting?

        Are you that ignorant?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2018 7:04 am

        The strategy is irrelevant. Nor is it inherently as you claim.

        You assume that the plea agreement is in leiu of other charges – it does nto say that.
        What is far more likely is that Flynn plead to end this, to avoid years of expensive legal conflict with a hell bent prosecutor with unlimited resources – and because Mueller was going after his family – all this is actually documented, rather than your speculation.

        I would also note the reality of actual prosecutions – something that through my wife I have a great deal of experience with, prosecutors egregiously over charge all the time. The objective is to create the fear that if only one expansive charge is upheld the target could be jailed for life, and will therefore plead to something lessor – still often more than they actually did.

        Again. I am libertarian, not republican. I do not beleive that Mueller is overly biased.
        What he is doing is the norm. I do not think much of the FBI misconduct that has come to light is unusual.

        But it is still WRONG.

        For you everything is about Trump.

        For me, it is about the rule of law.

  9. Jay permalink
    February 28, 2018 3:14 pm

    I know most of you, like Trumpski, get the majority of your news from Fox, and as they haven’t mentioned it once so far today, and the other MSM have covered it, I though I’d alert you to it, as it’s my retail store for shopping for fishing equipment:

    • dduck12 permalink
      February 28, 2018 3:20 pm

      Yup, hurray for Dick’s- brave move. And also, hey Delta tell them to shove it.

      • February 28, 2018 7:04 pm

        Common sense changes are good. Private companies can make changes they want. These type of changes can come through congress and become law, but once a legislator writes a bill the raise the age limit, then another will tag on increased background checks, then another will tack on magazine limits and finally one will add a ban on AR rifles. And the legislation that had 80% support will go down with fewer votes than the democrats even have in office.

        And that is why people like myself are very adverse to limits on weapons because the current group of liberal elected officials are exactly who the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the bill of rights.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2018 7:21 am

        Government should not be restricting rights at all – not even when they can get enough votes.

      • March 1, 2018 11:56 am

        So your fine with an 8 year old walking into a gun store and buying an AR-15 because government should not be restricting rights?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 9:40 am

        I am fine with anyone over 18 buying anything. They are legally adults.

        I am fine with anyone under 18 buying or doing anything that their parents will allow – that does not violate the rights of others.

        I grasp the arguments that development is not complete until some time in the late 20’s.
        But government is rarely the answer.

        One of the points I keep stressing is we are not going to get perfection.
        The greatest individual freedom both best approximates perfection and over time slowly converges on it.
        Government action makes us fell good. But it does nto accomplish anything.

        How many times do we have to repeat the mistakes of prohibition or the war on drugs before we get that banning things does not work.

      • Jay permalink
        March 1, 2018 11:19 am

        The Founding Fathers were liberals in their era, Ron.

        All the limits on government in the Constitution, all the protections in the Bill Of Rights, were “Liberal” concepts in their time.

        But they believed in moderating ‘freedoms’ with checks and balances. The right for the citizenry to own weapons WAS limited by the opening words of the 2nd Amendment: “A Well Regulated Militia!” Not an Under Regulated Consumer Market.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 9:28 am

        The founding fathers were not politically homogenous.

        But to the extent that as a group they represented and ideology – that would be that of the scottish enlightenment, or John Locke, David Hume, and Adam Smith. What was known for a long time as “classical liberalism”. The modern equivalent would be libertarianism.

        Benjamin Franklin is litterally a member of the scottish enlightenment.

        The constitution was deliberately constructed to define the enumerated powers of government

        “The Powers Delegated to the Federal Government Are Few and Defined ”
        Federalist Papers 14, 23, 25, 32, 41, 42, 44, 45
        Amendment 9, 10 of the bill of rights.

        They are defined in Article I, Section 8

        There was significant debate about the bill of rights with many arguing that it was unnecessary and a mistake as it would be presumed those were the only rights of individuals.
        That was the reason for the 9th and 10th amendments.
        Unfortunately that is exactly what has come to pass.

        There is a great deal of history regarding the phrasing of the 2nd amendment.
        While your particularly interpretation is in error, you are correct that SOME (thouse from the south) did not intend the 2nd amendment to create an individual right to arms. The old south was an aristocracy run by a powerful few at the top and was not only afraid of slave rebellions, but of an armed populace of working class whites. While in most of the rest of the country – including subsequent southern states further west explicitly connected individuals and gun ownership. In substantial portions of the country not only did every adult male own a gun, but they were required to by law.
        I would further note that american gun culture is the unique result of our encounters with indians.
        Though the earliest colonists brought guns to the new world, the indians they traded with valued them significantly more highly than the colonists and rapidly became proficient with them.
        Through as late as Custer’s last stand indians remained more heavily and better armed than settlers, and even the military. The left’s gun control culture started with disarming indians.
        Throughout the world tyrants disarm the population when they come to power.

        I would further note that throughout the writings of the founders it is made explicitly clear by nearly all of them that the purpose of the 2nd amendment is a check against tyrannical government.

        You can get dozens of quotes form founders like Mason, Washington and Jefferson explicitly noting that the purpose of the 2nd amendment was to ensure that government was in fear of popular revolt.

        The 2nd amendment was not a carve out for hunters. It was not even for self defense.
        It was as a threat of offensive force to disuade the government.

        I would note that our founders were smarter than your average modern progressive.
        They understood that it is the THREAT posed by guns that matters, not their USE.

        We want unrestricted gun rights – including the right of teachers to have guns, because the possibility that guns will be present dissuades nut jobs from targetting schools.

        It is the threat posed by hundred millions of guns that assures that the US military is not going to be used to suppress citizens.
        It is that threat that precludes our devolving further into a police state.

        Since 1992 US guns have doubled.
        Since 1992 gun homicides are half.

        Correlation is not cause.
        But it is pretty good falsification of the alternative hypothesis.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2018 7:13 am

        Again zero problems with the non-violent free choices of individuals or groups.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 1, 2018 7:10 am

      I do not know about Ron or Priscilla, but I do not watch TV News – at all.

      I get most of my political news from news aggregators like RCP.
      On occasion I watch clips from Fox, but far more often the clips come from CNN.

      I read, alot, more from WaPo and NYT than any other single source.

      With respect tot he story you linked – I have ZERO problems with that.

      Dick’s, Walmart, anyone else should be free to make their choices as to what they buy and sell and who they buy and sell to/from.

      Consumers can decide if they wish to patronize Dick’s or Walmart.
      Dick’s can decide if they want to sell guns at all, or only to those over 21, or only some types of guns.

      But government can not decide who gets to sell what to whom.

  10. dduck12 permalink
    February 28, 2018 3:17 pm

    Wow, what a thread when you can’t connect a reply to a comment,
    RonP, well said @ 12:49PM, waaay up above.
    BTW, as long as I’m being a kvetch, what happened the folks with a sense humor that used to comment here?

    • February 28, 2018 7:12 pm

      Seems like our humor has become a victim of the political rancor that has taken over the country.

      I would love to wake up from this bad dream and find John Kasich is president and moderates had control of congress…..( maybe in another lifetime)

  11. Jay permalink
    February 28, 2018 4:23 pm

    Priscilla- looks like your guy has a different view than you of the ‘right to grab’

    • February 28, 2018 11:54 pm

      Meh, Jay, I don’t set my hair on fire every time Trump says something concerning. I pay more attention to what he does than to what he says. He’s a guy who likes to float ideas ~ or, if you prefer, to throw stuff on the wall to see what sticks.

      He did the same thing with immigration, and heads were exploding over the idea that he was going to COMPROMISE with Democrats.

      But there was nothing to fear ~ Democrats want all or nothing. Mostly, they want to do nothing, so that they can blame Republicans for not getting anything done.

      I’m pretty sure that the gun legislation will end the same way. Trump voiced very strong support today for the Manchin-Toomey bill, but the Senate will find a way to kill it. If they pass it, how can the Dems say that Trump won’t “do anything” about gun violence?

      One thing I don’t get is the age limit debate. So the left is saying that 18 is ok to vote, it’s ok to join the military, where you’ll get a REAL assault weapon, but it’s too young to legally purchase a gun? Sounds like a stupid argument to me. I suppose there are those, Trump included, who thing it is a small thing to compromise on, so why not, if you win some more important concessions……. but, if we’re talking about “common sense” gun laws, I don’t see much of any kind of “sense” in that.

      • March 1, 2018 12:11 am

        Priscilla, I am one of those that think the age limit needs to be raised for the purchase of a gun. I do not think there should be a limit for hunting on your own property or target shooting, that’s up to the parents and the laws concerning discharging a weapon. For hunting on others property, then someone under 18 should be with an adult or have some relationship with the person that allowed them to hunt alone. And in most cases, no one should hunt by themselves to be safe.

        As for those in the military, there is a HUGE difference between someone who has entered the military, has gone through the discipline, training and indoctrination compared to their liberal counterparts that would crap their pants at the sound of a car backfiring.

        And the worst change America ever made was changing the voting age to 18 due mostly to the Viet Nam war and young men under 21 dying. Who knew not more than just over one generation kids under 21 would be as unaware and manipulated by adults as they are today with their thinking. In the 70’s the kids changed the parents and schools. Today the kids are brain washed by their parents (if they have one) and the schools.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2018 7:58 am

        We give 18yr olds in the military tanks, and artilery and M16’s and BAR’s

        Are we could to end that ?

        Age limits for purchase are not the hill I want to die on.

        But I oppose age limits for posession.

        Regardless, this is more “fell good” legislation that will have zero effect.

        One of my big problems with the entire gun control debate is that it is tangential and pointless.

        We know gun control laws accomplish nothing.

        As the problems this country faces go – this is a tiny but highly emotionally charged one.
        Substantially restricting rights to have zero effect on a tiny random problem, is the perfect expression of left arrogance to me.

      • March 1, 2018 11:59 am

        Dave “We give 18yr olds in the military tanks, and artilery and M16’s and BAR’s

        Are we could to end that ?”
        Please read my comment again. Did I not say the miltary is different than snowballs from California?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 9:43 am

        18yr olds are still 18yr olds.
        And a tank is a hell of alot more dangerous than an AR-15.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2018 7:38 am

        I would absolutely agree that what Trump says is not nearly as important as what he does.

        I am very disturbed that ANYONE could accept what he said.
        I would note that those on the left fully agree.

        I do think Trump put a pin in the left;’s balloon that Trump wad ultra-right wing.

      • March 1, 2018 9:54 am

        I guess what I really disagree with is the idea that we should use age as an excuse for why Nikolas Cruz should not have been allowed to purchase a gun.

        I think it’s just a BS argument that implies that, if he had been 21, instead of 19, he wouldn’t have shot up the school. I suppose one could make that argument, but it just seems to be a pretty low priority in the scheme of things.

        The gun debate is so complex, and each side wants to make it simple. Yes, 21 is a much better age for all things that are better done when the frontal cortex is fully developed. Additionally, there are many forms of mental illness that often don’t manifest themselves until after the age of 18 ~ bi-polar and schizophrenia being among them. So, of course, it may be prudent to raise the age limit for gun purchases.

        I would not oppose it, I just don’t think that it’s a very powerful argument for reducing gun violence.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2018 10:12 am

        The age requirement debate is just another bit of evidence that the left is not interested in solving the problem, only in demonstrating that they have acted on their feelings.

        I really do not care alot regarding age limits for purchasing weapons. Though I will merrily poke fun at those who do.

        But age limits will not stop anything.

        Do age limits on alcohol prevent underage drinking ? Even a little ?

        The evidence is that increasing the age to 21 for all alcohol has increased the consumption of hard liquor by young people. Before they could drink beer.

        Distributed Defenses Ghost Gunner will LEGALLY produce as many AR-15 lower receivers as you want, that is the ONLY part of the gun that is restricted. Everything else you can buy online with no check of any kind.

        There are now 3D printer files for AR-15 lower receivers that will hold up for about 100 rounds.
        And those will improve over time.

        There are CNC files to make your own 1911 Colt semiautomatic pistol – which is a far better weapon for a school shooting.

        Nothing about who a gun can be sold to, effects who can use it.

        The left constantly has this lunatic idea that if a law says this will be the outcome – that that is the outcome they will get.

        Since 1992 the number of guns in the US has doubled, the rate of gun violence has gone down by half. Those may not be cause and effectm, but they do falsify the claim that gun control is effective.

      • March 1, 2018 12:16 pm

        Priscilla, Unlike Dave’s extreme Libertarian positions, I do not have problems with some government restrictions.
        1. Driving a car limited to 15-16 is fine with me. Operating a motor vehicle on private property is fine at any age.
        2. Buying alcohol and cigerettes at 21 is fine.
        3. Buying lottery tickets age limit is fine.
        All of these individuals as a group under the age limit are not mature enough to allow them the same access as adults. Kids today at 21 are more like 18 year old individuals in the 70’s and like 25 year old individuals in the 50’s. They were adults then, they are chilren today.
        4. Parents are not proving guidance now like they did in the past. So limiting gun age to 21 may not have stopped Cruz, but might stop another. Problem is we never hear about something that did not happen, we only hear what did happen, thus “laws dont work”. And why limits on handguns, but not rifles?

        My problem in all this debate is the 10th amendment and state rights. I hate crap coming out of D.C.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 10:12 am

        Throughout most of the country until you are over 18 you can not enter a binding contract.
        That pretty much precludes those younger to cash sales or purchases through their parents.

        There is no “libertarian” dogma on kids under 18.
        As a rule of thumb, conservatives and libertarians are equally mushy and relatively similarly situated – tending towards placing power with parents rather than the state for those under 18.

        I do not like that. But I do not like the alternative more.

        On just one simple issue – child sexual abuse, I read a book in the 80’s – “Weeping in the playtime of others” that moved me deeply. The book was likely written by a left leaning author. But the message I got was strongly libertarian.

        Statistically speaking sexually (and otherwise) abused children are less likely to be further abused in the custody of the abuser, than in the custody of the state.
        That is how bad our institutions are. That is horrible.

        But I have seen this in the real world over and over. Nor is it restricted to children. Today aging adults often become less and less able of caring for themselves. There are myriads of true stories on the news of children and relatives and friends ripping off older people they are caring for.
        I was personally falsely accused of exactly that. But I do understand that this actually happens – fairly often. There are several local stories that I actually beleive to be true.
        One woman stole about 160K for caring for her mother over 5 years. But she did care for her mother. She was arrested, jailed, forced to pay back the money. Her mother was provided a guardian from the Office of Aging who was paid more over 2 years than the daughter stole.

        Once in a while there is a really egregions case. Family members not really caring for someone, who suffers from bed sores, infections, filth …. but these are rare.

        There are also myriads of stories of professions fiduciaries ruppoing off older people with the blessing of the courts. There is a cottage industry of professional guardians, who find someone – often still capable of managing their own affairs but not up to managing the courts, and they go to court claiming they are incapacitated, and get themselves appointed guardian. They then take over their finances, charge outrageiously, typically move them into a cheap home, run through their money and then dump them on Medicare.

        This would not be possible if we did not presume that the rare but real abuses of parents and children, were not worse than those when government steps in.

        The gun control debate highlights this.

        I could be persuaded to support age limits on gun purchases, if I actually beleived they would be effective.

        But they will not. Everyone with half a brain knows that. Nutjobs will find guns. If not they will find something worse. Do not forget the OKC bombing. Or the unabomber.

        I honestly beleive that providing teachers with the right to be armed if they so choose, will radically reduce the school mass shootings. BUT if will not likely reduce gun violence in schools. We will just see deaths in the ones and 2’s instead of 17 at a time. Nor will it reduce mass shootings, it will just move them from schools to some other soft target. The Los Vegas Shooter demonstrated a very effective means of peritrating a mass killing. His approach is easily repeated, and it is a method that AR-15’s and the like are very effective at.
        Taking an AR-15 into a building is ineffective. Inside a building it is more intimidating that useful.
        In confined spaces and with ranges under 20′ handguns are more effective, and easier to use.

        Regardless, my key point is no gun control measures are going to work.
        They are an excercise in limiting the liberty of others so that we can feel better about ourselves.

        They are the classic example of what NOT to do.

        Nor is this especially about guns for me. I do not own a working gun. Nor do I want to.
        There are very few circumstances under which I would be willing to kill another – even in self defense.

      • Jay permalink
        March 1, 2018 4:26 pm

        Surprise, surprise, I fully agree with you..
        Raising the age limit is only a small step forward.
        But a positive step in the right direction.
        Outlawing military type guns WOULD reduced gun deaths and destruction, and have virtually no detrimental effect for self protection.

      • March 1, 2018 5:28 pm

        If congress wanted to pass meaniful legislation, they would pass a series of bills adressing one issue at a time. They will not do that. Manchin/Toomey does that with background checks. Stve Scalise screwed that up by adding national concealed carry that Democrats wont support.

        Jay, I will compromise on my rigid position of not banning weapons based on their options for the left agreeing to eliminate sanctuary cities/states and to begin enforcement of immigration laws.

        If liberal bastions of political opinion can pick and choose federal laws they will enforce, then passing a ban on semi-auto rifles can create a situation where law enforcement in deep red constitutional supporting conservative states could choose to ignore enforcing the sale of semi-auto rifles.

        Neither position is right. Gun manufactureres will continue making them, selling them in countries where they can be sold and then brought back into the country illegalling by the same cartels inporting drugs.

        Passing laws that wont be enforced does nothing other than to infringe on rights. But I am willing to support a compromise if they support immigration deportation.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 10:37 am

        “Surprise, surprise, I fully agree with you..
        Raising the age limit is only a small step forward.
        But a positive step in the right direction.”

        Why do you presume it would be effective ?

        “Outlawing military type guns WOULD reduced gun deaths and destruction, and have virtually no detrimental effect for self protection.”

        We already know that this is false.
        This is my HUGE argument with you over most everything.

        You are constantly willing to use force to do things that there is no evidence will be effective – and in some instances such as an AWB there is compelling evidence they will NOT have any effect.

        CDC data

      • March 1, 2018 10:07 am

        Dave, I agree that Trump’s comment about taking the guns away from a crazy person, before waiting for the courts to adjudicate his craziness is a potentially dangerous precedent and violates due process.

        On the other hand, if you were the parent (or spouse or child) of an extremely troubled and dangerously violent person who owned guns and was threatening to use them to commit a mass shooting, is it “common sense” to allow that person to keep the guns, while the courts take months or years to decide on this?

        There are no easy answers, and there is always the potential for the government to abuse its power. The problem is that our government HAS been abusing the constitutional rights of so many for so long, while simultaneously refusing to enforce the laws on the books, that trust in government is nil.

        If there was a general belief that pre-emptive confiscation, or GVRO’s would be fairly and reasonably administered, people would likely not argue over this very much.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2018 10:19 am

        “See something, say something, do something”.

        The left seeks to reduce this to “see something, say something”.

        With Cruz, people saw, and spoke, and nothing happened.

        This is much like post 9/11. Government failed to protect us.
        It was likely outside of their power to do so.

        But immediately after the first plane hit the tower, everything changed.
        It is near certain that passengers on the other planes, realizing no one was saving them but themselves – ACTED. Subsequently every potential incident on a plane has been thwarted by passengers.

        Government has an important role in securing our rights.
        What people fail to realize is that it is a SECONDARY role.

        You are the first responder – not EMT’s not police, not the military, not the FBI.

        There are limits to what we as individuals can do, but we are still FIRST.

        The left destroy’s that, and as a consequence makes the world more dangerous, not less.

      • March 1, 2018 5:43 pm

        Ron, I agree with the federalism argument that you make. Plus, the idea of having the federal government legislate a national minimum age for gun purchases would likely end up creating more problems than it would solve.

        For example, if we prohibited 18 year olds from buying guns, would that necessarily mean that they couldn’t use a gun? For example, what if you had a 18 year old who wanted to go deer-hunting with his father? Would the father be able to buy a gun for him, teach him how to shoot, how to use a gun safely, how to store a gun, etc? Would the kid be able to by ammo?

        And what if the kid knows how to shoot, has access to a family gun, and shoots an intruder in self-defense? Is he in violation of gun laws?

        What about a 20 year old military veteran? Would he be exempt, or would he lose the right to purchase his own gun until he turned 21, even if he had been honorably discharged, with no history of criminal behavior or mental illness?


    • dhlii permalink
      March 1, 2018 7:17 am

      As I have said repeatedly – I did not vote for Trump and do not agree with him on everything.

      He is obviously wrong on this. Most interesting is that he has relatively accurately stated the position of the left, making it crystal clear what is wrong with it.

      We do not infringe on rights FIRST.

      Due process means – The Rule of Law, pretty close to litterally.

      It does not mean, punishment first, trial after.

    • March 1, 2018 5:50 pm

      “Surprise, surprise, I fully agree with you..”

      Jay, we may have multiple areas of agreement. (We may never know what they are 😉)

      I do like California wines!

  12. Jay permalink
    February 28, 2018 5:56 pm

    2nd try to post this:

    • dduck12 permalink
      February 28, 2018 8:57 pm

      LMAO: Trump is so very cheap; he would have to get one of his rich acolytes to pay for the ad.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 1, 2018 7:18 am

      Personally, I think the NRA is too soft on defending our rights.

      I have problems with background checks. I have problems with increasing the knowledge that government maintains on people.

  13. Jay permalink
    February 28, 2018 9:36 pm

    Priscilla- you’re ok with this exercise of business enterprise out of the WH, right?

    • March 1, 2018 12:01 am

      Jay, your hypocrisy can be stunning at times. You defend the most obvious pay-to-play schemes of the Clintons, and get all huffy-puffy at perfectly legal business transactions and transparent loans that involve Kushner, the new bogey-man of the Trump administration.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 1, 2018 7:53 am

        I want to the greatest extent possible people who have been successful outside of government to be able to engage in public service.

        I also want high barriers to government corruption.

        The best means of doing so is to limit government power as much as possible.

        It does nto matter much how Clinton or Kushner relate to “crony’s” if government has no power to sell.

        With respect to Jay’s allegations – I want specifics.

        I am fairly certain that Kushner is not involved in the operations of his businesses since joing the administration. If that is not true – I would like to know.

        Loans are radically different from payments. While there is still an oportunity for corruption, it is much smaller.

        If Kushner is not involved in the operations of these businesses anymore – then I do not care about any of this.

        If he is, then I think it is reasonable to disclose the terms of the loan (or resign), to assure there is nothing outside the norms. If not – this is a dead story.

        BTW, there is a great deal of preassure on Kushner right now, but from what I understand he has been incredibly effective.

        Kushner has been engaged in extremely quiet diplomacy throughout the mideast, and is getting the Arabs and Israeli’s together on myriads of issues.
        Relations between Israel and Eqypt and Saudi Arabia are greatly improved, as is our relationship with those countries.

        I do not want to see that end as a casualty to partisan skapegoating.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 1, 2018 7:30 am


      Yes, I have a problem with this. It looks an awful lot like what Clinton was doing at the State department.

      My questions would be – how removed were these transactions ?

      I.e. what was Kushner’s direct or indirect involvement in securing the loans.

      I would further note that a loan is vastly different from contributions, and gifts such as Clinton was engaged in.

      So long as the Appollo loan is on terms not outside market norms, it is just a loan – not a gift.
      If Kushner’s real estate group got extraordinarily favorable terms, or it this was a gift masquerading as a loan- that would make it more comparable to clinton.

  14. Jay permalink
    February 28, 2018 9:46 pm

    This is America under a Trump presidency…

    “President Trump refers to Attorney General Jeff Sessions as “Mr. Magoo,” The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

    Trump has been comparing his top law enforcement official to the bumbling cartoon character, an elderly man who lands in comic situations largely due to his severe near-sightedness.”

    Dumb Dumb Donnie appointed him!
    Hello Mueller: more evidence of obstruction.

    • Jay permalink
      February 28, 2018 9:49 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      March 1, 2018 7:34 am

      I think that Sessions is a man of great integrity. I think he was an absymal choice as AG.

      Several “experts” have noted Trump is actually right regarding a 2nd special council.

      DOJ/FBI can not investigate themselves, and an IG does not have prosecutorial powers.

      I think Trump is wrong in characterizing the IG as politically biased,
      I think this IG is quite aggressive and Trump should be thankful for him.
      But there are credible criminal allegations and this is outside of what an IG can investigate.

  15. Jay permalink
    March 1, 2018 11:20 am

    The Trump-Putin ‘arrangement’ in action.

    • March 1, 2018 5:16 pm

      So you think that Trump and Putin are working together to go to war against each other?

      Or you want us to go to war with Russia over this, and think that Trump won’t do it because he likes Putin too much?

      What in the hell are you talking about?

      • Jay permalink
        March 1, 2018 6:48 pm

        Trump will let Putin get away with whatever he’s able to let him get away with. Dead soldiers and/or mercenaries on either side are collateral damage to Putin, for as long as Prez Sex With Porn Star Donnie remains a useful tool for Putin. If you don’t know by now that Trump is indebted to the Russians in a way that could prove fatal to him if he acts against them in any way important to them, you’re tone deaf to reality.

        And if Trump continues to play the Russian Puppet fool too long, our military will take steps to supersede him – as they have been doing incrementally, ignoring his prouncements on various issues.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 10:42 am

        What is it going to take before you graps your claims are idiocy ?
        American Soldiers killing Russians ?

        Americans Ships sinking Russians ?

        Nuclear war with Russia ?

        The fact is that Trump has taken a more agressive stance with Russia than Obama.

        All he has not done is impose more stupid ineffective sanctions.

      • Jay permalink
        March 1, 2018 8:08 pm

        The Military prodding Dumb Ass Donald.

        Today: “President Trump’s choice to lead the National Security Agency (NSA) said Thursday that the United States’ response to Russian election interference has not been sufficient enough to change Moscow’s behavior.

        Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, nominated to lead both NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, was asked at his confirmation hearing whether he agreed with outgoing NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers’s statement that the response to Russian meddling in the 2016 election has not been strong enough.

        “It has not changed their behavior,” Nakasone told Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who asked the question.”

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 10:45 am

        Russia is not going to change their behavior and we have no legitimate means to make them.

        Are you prepared to see americans arrested and jailed in Russia or other countries for “interfereing with their elections” ?

    • dhlii permalink
      March 2, 2018 9:34 am

      Russians have in numerous instances over the past decade stepped incredibly close to conflict with US forces. This started before the 2008 election. It has been a very successful strategy of Putin’s. Obama did everything short of give his impramatur to it.

      I do not know the specifics of the allegation you are making, but Trump has repeatedly stood up to Russians militarily. He wiped out 1/3 of Assad’s airforce – over Russian objections, and had US destroyers face down a Russian guided missle frigate to do so.
      He has changed the rules of engagement for US pilots allowing them to shoot at Russians who interfere with their missions.
      If Russian mercinaries are attacking US soldiers, I expect Trump will address that.

      The fact that Trump has not done something stupid to Russia that you wish does not mean he has done nothing. Trump’s posture towards Russia is significantly more square jawed than Obama’s

  16. Jay permalink
    March 1, 2018 8:23 pm

    All those in favor raise their hands – No, Priscilla, not with your middle finger extended…

    • Anonymous permalink
      March 1, 2018 9:58 pm

      Just wondering, the no guns until 21, would that go along with keeping people out of joining the military until they are at least 21? That might not be a bad idea, people at such a young age may not be thinking about how precious life is and how big a sacrifice it is to put your life on the line for your country. Some, but not all, police agencies require a candidate to be at least 21 years old by the time they graduate police academy. Of course all rules often have unintended consequences, such a rule might lead to even more unemployment by young people and young people unemployed can often get into other types of trouble. Some young people seem be benefited by military service. Of course, if you made an exemption that you can have a gun during the ages of 18 to 20 only if you join an organization who’s commander in chief is the Donald, wow, what could that lead to? Maybe we who are older than 21 might need some tools to stave of the Donald boys from coming at us.

      Mike Hatcher

      • March 1, 2018 11:45 pm

        Mike, the military wants most recruits for the majority of their billets to be young because they do not want enlisted men with little experience with any preconceived ideas or dominant thinking. They need individuals that will follow orders without question and the best way for this to happen is to use the youngest possible individual and mold them to your needs. Once a adolescent male reaches 21, too many have their own thoughts, rebel tendencies on issues they disagrre with and minds that are harder to change than when they were 18. At 18 and someone 28 tells you to do something, you dont ask why. At 21, that is not the case.

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2018 9:10 am

        “Just wondering, the no guns until 21, would that go along with keeping people out of joining the military until they are at least 21?”

        Well, it would likely be covered under the law as an exception, and technically Legal because you don’t buy or own your weapons in the military.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 11:12 am

        There is no evidence it will work.

    • March 1, 2018 11:19 pm

      Put that in one bill and that is sure to go down at least by 40-60 in the senate and even more in the house. Separate each one into its own bill and see what happens. We all do not live in California where the minions will follow Gru off the cliff , but in a severely divided country where actual personal animosity between the left and right is part of our social fabric today. Jays dislike for the right of center individuals here looks mellow compared to what actually exist in America today. I live where I hear semi-automatic weapon reports from target shooting on weekend and holidays and I can guarantee you try taking those guns from those guys and all hell is going to break loose. And every time gun control comes up, more and more are sold.

      • Anonymous permalink
        March 2, 2018 8:52 am

        You are correct Ron, that is very much the reason they recruit 18 and even 17 year olds (Last I recall a 17 year old can join with a parental waiver but I have not verified that) and such a restriction will never pass into law, but I was speaking on a philosophical level, if one had to be 21 to start in the military, how different would things be, perhaps even a few less war crimes committed in a military conflict while at the same time a few more violent crimes committed on our city streets. People, myself included, often just spout off ideas without putting much deep thought behind them, I don’t believe that is bad to kick ideas around, as long as one gives full consideration before actually acting on them.

        Mike Hatcher

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 11:31 am

        The rants regarding the NRA should cause people to grasp the stupidity of the Russia/Collusion meme.

        Right now gun sales are spiking and NRA memberships are increasing.

        At the very same time as even Trump is arguing that the NRA just represents gun makers.

        Apparently alot of buyers and new members think otherwise.

        The NRA is not “influencing” people to become members and buy guns.
        If anything the ranting of the left is.

        People do not do things they do not want to because of social media advertising.

        People are not joining the NRA because they are brain washed.
        They are not buying AR-15’s because of Russian social media.

        Voting is no different.

      • March 2, 2018 12:06 pm

        Mike, you are correct, with parental approval, you can join at 17 1/2 with a HS diploma or equivalent.

        Throwing out ideas, I think all kids, female, male, those undecided and anywhere inbetween should be required to spend 2 years in our military with one year overseas. Doesn’t need to be combat, can be humanitarian, but getting your face out of devices and into a disiplined lifestyle would benefit the country greatly.

        And maybe the looney leftist and radical rightist would mellow to even bring us closer together politically.

      • March 2, 2018 3:23 pm

        Condoleeza Rice was on The View this week, and defended the 2nd Amemndment, from her perspective as a black woman.

        She talked about the fact that , when she was a girl growing up in Birmingham, AL, her father and his friends would fire their rifles in the air, when the KKK would ride through, because they knew that there was no way in hell that Bull Connor would ever protect black citizens.

        The liberal ladies of The View seemed quite surprised and horrified that Condi was a 2nd Amendment supporter, because she has, in the past, talked about being open to some forms of gun control…as almost everyone is. Things like expanded background checks, better law enforcement and reporting, etc.

        But, it never gets done, because the left does not want it to get done. It would rather see the atrocities continue, until public opinion can be swayed to their position of repealing the 2nd Amendment.

      • March 2, 2018 4:30 pm

        Priscilla, I dont agree they want to repeal the 2nd amendment. That would require another amendment doing that and 3/4 ths of the states would have to agree. Since the greatest majority of America would have to think this a good idea, they want to do it like Jay wants to do it. One bite at a time through legislation where the frogs never realized they lost their rights until too few individuals caring would make a diffence. Kind of like democracy and capitalism in Venezuela.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 5:52 pm

        The left does not get rid of pesky parts of the constitution by repealing them.
        The just warp the courts into idiotic maleable decisions that the constitution does not mean what it says.

      • March 2, 2018 6:04 pm

        Dave “The just warp the courts into idiotic maleable decisions that the constitution does not mean what it says.”

        Thats what Jay is counting on.

      • March 2, 2018 5:42 pm

        Good point, Ron. I keep forgetting about those simmering frogs.🐸

    • dhlii permalink
      March 2, 2018 11:06 am

      When you propose something that is demonstrably effective, we can talk.

      In the mean time:

      I think bump stocks are stupid. They significantly impair accuracy.
      One thing the left has right, is that they are only useful for Las Vegas style mass shootings.

      But they are popular – just like hot rodding your car.

      Further they are trivial to make with a 3D printer.
      So you can ban them all you want, that will not get you anywhere.

      Can you name a ban of anything ever that has actually worked ?

      In a confined setting such as a school a handgun is more useful than an AR-15.
      Columbine, UVA and a number of other school mass shootings were done with handguns.
      They are easier to sneak in, more effective in close quarters and ranges up to 20′ easier to handle, and can typically be fired and reloaded daster, and are cheaper to buy.

      You can now 3D print clips in whatever size you want. There are even modded clips for handguns to increase capacity.

      Is there a vast surge in the use of body shredding ammo in mass killings ?

      Regardless, plenty of people make their own ammo.

      Further again you are talking from ignorance.

      Ordinary ammo is lead, it can easily split apart and do alot of damage.
      The military uses jacketted ammo, This does nto split apart on impact.
      Of course being hit by a .50 shell is unbeleivably damaging anyway.
      Most jacketed ammo will peirce the non-military “bullet proof” vests that cops wear.
      There is ammo specifically designed to peice vests. This is NOT body shredding ammo.
      It is generally coated, and designed to NOT “shred” because that we keep it from peircing the vest.

      It is pretty trivial to take any existing unjacketted lead ammo and make it “shred” anything it strikes. It needs no special skills or tools.

      All that said you are once again seeking to solve a non-problem that has nothing to do with school mass shootings.

      You are arguing the equivent of people are dying in car accidents, we should ban nitro fueled racers, or bicycles.

      No sane person wants to use the no-fly list to ban gun ownership.

      1). The no-fly list is easy to get on. It just requires an allegation.
      2). The no-fly list is impossible to get off.
      3). The no-fly list is secret. If you use it for gun purchases people will easily be able to test if they are on it.

      With respect to “red flags” – I have little problem with using certain types of police reports as a trigger for short term barrs against gun purchases.

      But you do not want to make any voluntary actions seeking help a trigger for a ban on gun ownership.

      Nor do you want to make certain involunatry actions a trigger.

      Do you want people with mental health problems to seek help ?

      Protection from abuse orders are incredibly easy to get in most states today – MOSTLY that is a good thing. You do not want the courts applying criminal standards, you just want the order granted. These are essentially no-contact orders. I think it is reasonable to bar another person from calling you, emailing you, texting you or coming to your home or place of work.
      I do not think you should have to prove much to get such an order.
      But if you are going to use that order to confiscate property or restrict actual rights – then the standard must be higher. And I do nto want PFA’s to be harder to get.

      What do you want lots more dead women ?

  17. Jay permalink
    March 1, 2018 9:30 pm

    The Dumb Bastard is at it again.

    • March 1, 2018 11:35 pm

      This is exactly what I have been bitching about for years, congress relinquishing power from constitutional power they where provided to the president. The constitution specifically give congress the power to impose tariffs and over the past 100 years they have transferred that power to the president. There have been a number of bills, the latest was the Reins Act which was rejected by the Democrat controlled senate, that would limit the presidents ability to increase tariffs and regulation cost.

      Maybe Trump will finally get congress off its dead McConnell ass and make it take respknsibility for the powers that constitution requires!!!!!

    • dhlii permalink
      March 2, 2018 11:09 am

      As I have said – there are things we can agree on.

      Trump has said a number of stupid things on a number of issues in the past few days.
      I will reserve judgement until he actually does them. Because mostly he does nto do the stupid things he says.

      But one of the stupidist things he could do economically would be to start a trade war.

  18. Jay permalink
    March 1, 2018 9:41 pm


    • dhlii permalink
      March 2, 2018 11:12 am

      It has only been a year, but already there is significant fruit.

      Kuschner has already engaged in very effective quiet diplomacy in the mideast.

      The Suadi’s and eqyptions have strenghtened ties with Israel,
      There is common ground fghting terrorism.

      The saudi’s in particularly are moderating human rights issues all over the place.

      And this is what you want to end ?

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2018 2:32 pm

        “Kuschner has already engaged in very effective quiet diplomacy in the mideast.”

        Yeah, it’s been so quiet NOBODY has heard a word about it.
        Prove otherwise, you nonsensical nit.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 5:10 pm

        Plenty of people have heard.

        Mostly the left is too engaged in foaming at the mouth to listen.

        I noted this several times before.
        Israel is working more closely with Egypt and Saudi Arabia (among others).
        The Saudi’s are liberalising their country – as are others, SLOWLY, but still doing so.

        Not only was this NOT occuring under Obama – but things actually went backwards.

        Bush was not so good in the Mideast. But Obama was actually worse.
        Obama’s efforts to work with Iran alienated the rest of the mideast and empowered terrorist groups.

        The world is a complicated place – and some of the bad things in the Mid East during Obama are actually the result of our Fed’s easy money policies. Many many economists positied that easy money meant inflation, that is near bedrock economics. But the US did not see inflation. Because we exported it – mostly to poorer nations particularly those importing food – which is much of the mideast.

        But more went wrong during Obama than can be laid at the foot of the fed.

        Frankly if Trump avoids a trade war, he is otherwise quietly doing quite well.
        Perfect – not a chance. But better than any president since Clinton. and possibly better than any since Reagan.

  19. March 2, 2018 12:15 am

    Jay, most likely you wont respond, but I am going to ask anyway.

    I have said many times that I do not support legislation to control weapons because that opens the door for future restrictions and once the door is cracked, it can be opened further through additional legislation. That is why I support any changes in weapon control being through amending the constitution. You have said in one way or the other this is ridiculous and creeping controls would not happen.

    But then when a president finally acts on creeping controls on tariffs you have a cow. Is this just because it is Trump or is it really you are against tariffs? I bet over the past 100 years of changes to congressional constitutional powers being transferred to the president concerning tariffs, not many senators or representatives thought a president would do some crack pot tariff on a major product that would impact products from beer cans to cars. But that is exactly what has happened and now how does congress respond?

    My position is they should never have diluted their powers to begin with and now they have to react to a situation where in this day and age, its almost impossible to get anything passed. And now they will need 67 senators to support any legislation since Trump is most likely to veto it once it hits his desk. So its a good possibility these tariffs will stand.

    So why should we think the same thing will not happen with weapon controls in the future and we end up like the UK where few have any weapons and they are just shotguns for the most part.

    • Jay permalink
      March 2, 2018 9:34 am

      Ron, have you checked the murder rate in the UK vrs the US?
      With its mainly shotgun armed citizenry, is its government more totalitarian than ours?
      With its ‘underarmed’ population, are its citizens under the thumb of the military or controlled by a dictator?

      And after the Australians banned military style guns, did they continue to ban more guns? Did that government become more totalitarian?

      For the tariff question, like anything else it depends on why, when, where, and WHO is proposing it. Trump is a fucking idiot. The WSJ agrees. Nothing he says or does can be trusted. Here’s the latest words of economic wisdom from the dunderhead who bankrupted his casino business in Quick order:

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 11:36 am

        You can not “lose billions of dollars in trade”.

        Trump is too smart of such a remark.

        Nearly all exchange is win-win.

        A national border changes nothing.

      • March 2, 2018 12:28 pm

        Jay “For the tariff question, like anything else it depends on why, when, where, and WHO is proposing it. Trump is a fucking idiot. The WSJ agrees. Nothing he says or does can be trusted.”

        So Jay, it is fine to not trust someone when your liberal and hate what the president does, but “trust me” is deemed necessary and fine when a liberal proposes a law? That is total insanity! There is no way I am going to trust Crumbs Pelosi, Pocahontas Warren or Racist Shumer when they say ” trust me, we will never support taking your 9mm Glock 17 or 9 mm Baretta. ”

        The liberals believed the “trust me” coolaide and relinguished trade tariff control and look where it got them!

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 1:18 pm

        You know a politician who can be trusted ?

        I will save serious ranting about Trump’s flip flop on guns and starting to talk more seriously about Trade War when he actually does something. Trump says lots of things he does not do.

        But no, I do not trust him, or Hillary, or Obama, or ….

      • March 2, 2018 4:18 pm

        Dave, no there are very few politicians that I would even trust parking my 20 year old car, let alone trusting them with anything of importance. How many times have I stated gun control needs to be a constitutional amendment?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 1:19 pm

        I want one of these – 100 round clip for a hand gun.

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2018 2:57 pm

        You think someone who runs at the mouth all the time is ‘smart’ Dave?
        He did say it:

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 5:25 pm


        You like to spew that everyone who does not think Trump should be quillotined or disagree with everything he does is a “trumpster”.

        There are things Trump has done I support – his war on regulation.

        There are things that annoy me, but mostly are not a big deal – is war with the left and the press.

        There are some things he is wrong about – but almost no one is right – immigration, and he is less wrong than most.

        There are lots of things he says that are wrong – verbally he is as much an opponent of free speach as antifa – but he talks, but does not do anything.

        If his talk about Trade turns to action, I will vigorously oppose.

        And yes, quite intelligent people often make incredibly stupid mistakes.
        Newton one of the giants of the last millenia, believed in Alchemy well past when we knew that was flat earth science, and poisoned himself with mercury fumes.

        I strongly support Trump’s efforts to reduce the power of governmnt. I do so regardless of how intelligent he is.

        The smartest person on earth does not have the intelligence to run other peoples lives.

        The great failure of the left is their fixation on government by purported experts.

        No one, no matter how intelligent can consistently make wise choices where their are no personal consequences to those choices. Taleb calls it skin in the game, another name is incentives, both negative and positive.

        Mostly people of high intelligence succeed more than the rest of us, and those like Trump who succeed across multiple domains are likely particularly intelligent.

        But that is not universal. In the real world I have seen people who I wondered how they managed to tie their shoes succeed better than I.
        I am not jealous – mostly. I am pretty happy with most of my life.
        But unexpected outcomes attract my interest.

      • March 2, 2018 5:22 pm

        China has become a predator trade nation, and uses multilateral trade agreements to play one partner off the other, as countries attempt to keep being flooded with cheap Chinese goods and hope to gain access to the Chinese market (spoiler: China won’t allow that access).

        “Mexico previously placed tariffs as high as 533% on some Chinese goods, raising the price artificially to make higher-priced local goods more attractive to consumers. The tariff has since been reduced to 25%, but large amounts of Chinese goods continue to be smuggled in illegally through the United States to avoid the tariff…t’s uncertain exactly what Mexico would sell China in large quantities if it gets the chance.”

        The answer to that last question is probably “nothing,” as China would quickly drop Mexico as a “trade partner”, if the US pulls out of NAFTA.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 5:57 pm

        There is no way to actually game trade in a nations favor – except free trade.

        This BTW is also true of so called predatory behavior by businesses.
        It just does not work.

        There is alot wrong with China’s trade behavior. But there success is not rooted in what is wrong with their economic policies, but that their past polices were so bad, that what they have today is vastly less bad, resulting in rapid growth. But they are close to the end of that game, absent significant changes.

        I would strongly suggest reading Coase’s how China became capitolist.

        Ronald Coase is one of the top 4 economists in the past 100 years, and is respected by pretty much everything.
        The book is his last before his death.
        It is very easy to read – but Coase expresses economics extremely simply and easy to understand.

    • March 2, 2018 11:07 am

      POTUS has broad authority to raise tariffs without Congress. This has been the case since the 1930’s, when Congress agreed that the president could renegotiate tariffs in the context of any international trade agreement. So, Ron, you are correct that Congress has basically ceded its power and passed multiple legislative measures, designed to delegate this power to the president.

      Jay, what do you say to this ~ that it was ok as long as Democrat presidents were doing it, and now it’s not, because it’s Trump. When TPP went down, did you set your hair on fire?
      In 1974, Congress enacted a trade act which said : ” Section 301 authorizes the Executive branch to retaliate against a foreign country whose act, policy or practice: (i) violates, or is inconsistent with a trade agreement, or otherwise denies benefits to the U.S. under an agreement, or (ii) is unjustifiable and burdens or restricts U.S. commerce. The retaliatory actions may include the imposition of tariffs or other import restrictions. ”

      Trump is following exactly the path that he said he would follow, when he campaigned on increasing tariffs for steel and aluminum, and complained the the Chinese were “dumping steel” in the US.

      This debate is somewhat above my pay grade, when it comes to judging whether it is a good or bad idea, but this is an interesting 3 minute clip of Peter Navarro, the Director of the WH Trade Counsel and economic policy adviser to the President, defending it on Tucker Carlson’s show last night. (I’ve been trying to avoid posting links, but this one is interesting, and I’d like to get Ron’s opinion on it)

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 11:37 am

        Trump appears to be following a campaign promise.

        But he is WRONG about this.
        I hope this is rhetoric. It is a bad idea.

      • March 2, 2018 1:47 pm

        Yes, that is what I see, Dave. And Trump has been claiming from the start of his campaign that the only way to save certain US industries is by the use of tariffs, saying that free trade doesn’t work if we’re the only ones practicing it.

        I often listen to Larry Kudlow, who advises the President and who is 100% against this idea, because Kudlow is a free trader. Then you have Navarro, as well as Commerce Sec’y Wilbur Rose and Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer, who are saying that investment has moved to China because it is cheating on free trade, using our trade agreements, such as NAFTA, as a back door into the US market, while blocking US imports into the Chinese markets and stealing our intellectual property,

        So, essentially, what I am led to understand is that one side claims that by raising tariffs, we would be starting a trade war with China, and the other side saying that China long ago started the trade war, and Trump is willing to fight it.

        Xi is obviously a dictator, and has assumed a “lifetime presidency.” He is attempting to destroy markets for US goods. I suppose my question is this: if this is true, why should we be opposed to retaliatory tariffs? I’m not clear on why continuing this very preferential deal for China that hurts us is a good thing….

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 4:58 pm

        Even Adam smith got Free Trade. Even Paul Krugman once got it – his noble is in an arcane area of free trade.

        I can wreck the arguments against free trade many times over.

        At their core it is like most everything else we debate here.

        Perfection is unacheivable, Bad things are going to happen, but when we are free, we converge on perfection slowly over time without ever reaching it.

        Nothing else matches that.

        Whether the issue is gun control, drugs, prostitution or trade, greater freedom – short of using force to violate the rights of another produces the best but not perfect outcome.

        getting more into the weeds with Trade,

        free exchange is not zero sum, it is actually nearly always a win win.
        But across any artificial boundary it must be zero sum.

        If the US has a trade imbalance with china, then directly or indirectly we MUST have an investment imbalance. In more concrete terms, if we buy more from china than we sell to china, then china must invest in the US more than we invest in china.
        This can get hidden, because China may choose not to invest in the US, it might sends its dollars to germany, but ultimately they must either be destroyed or come back to the US in the form of investment. And investment means jobs.

        American workers who can not produce competitive value with workers in other parts of the world, will lose their jobs, but at the same time foreign money (actually our money coming back) will get invested in those areas where we are more competitive creating different jobs.

        There is no analysis of trade ever done that did not find that more trade raised standards of living on both sides. – that relationship is actually a tautology. It is intrinsic in the value creating nature of free exchange. NAFTA created myriads of jobs in both the US and Mexico.
        Absolutely it also cost some jobs but on net it is tremendously positive.

        I have said this before – but if we buy far more chinese goods than they buy of ours, they MUST ultimately buy something from us – or the dollars they are paid are worthless.
        That should not require much thought.

        I would also note than if this were not so trade imbalances could not be sustained.

        Americans can not continue to buy chinese goods if WE are not creating not only enough value to buy things in this country, but also from china.

        It is impossible to have the kind of trade imballance we have without being very wealthy.

        Next, there is no difference between trade accross a national boundary and across a state, or county or city boundary. No one talks of the imbalance of trade between Kansas and New York.
        Because we are wise enough to know it does not matter.
        It also does nto matter with China.

        Last and definitely least – things are dynamic and shifting back to favor the US.

        Currently China has about a 15% advantage over the US in manufacturing – that is way down from the 90’s. And that means manufacturing is moving back to the US. Though with fewer higher skill jobs. And that is GOOD.

        The US has the most skilled labor force in the world, We have enormous affordable natural resources, cheap reliable enegry, and the best and cheapest transportation infrastructure in the world. The left like to rant at the failure of public transportation – and the US is arguably behind the rest of the world there. But we can transport a ton of coal or a box from amazon, faster, more reliably and cheaper than anyone in the world.

        Further there are many many ways to profit. Selling something for the highest possible profit margin is only one. And all buying goods from china offers is higher margins.
        Another means of profiting is making the entire process from someones perception that they want something through to delivering it more efficient. China is very bad at that, the US is unequalled.
        Amazon puts a package on your doorstep almost before you order it.

        Increasingly US retailers profit off volume and turnover, not off high margins.
        As I have said repeatedly Walmarts per sale profits are about 1.5% But turn goods every 30 days, so that is 4.5% profit per quarter (it usually ends up being less – about 8%/year)

        That kind of turn is much harder with an unreliable supply chain with a tail in china.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 5:02 pm

        The core issue falsley attributed to free trade is inhernet in free markets, and is bigger the faster growth is.

        Creative destruction assures that we get ever wealthier, that resources are moved from less productive to more productive uses.

        But it also means that those in less productive uses lose their jobs – until they are put to more productive uses too.

        This would happen – even without china. Closing our borders does not stop creative destruction, it just slows it down. And that is BAD – because the faster creative destruction occurs the more rapidly our standard of living rises.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 2, 2018 11:19 am

      Jay lives in a world where if republicans do it, it is bad, whatever it is. If Trump does it, it is pure evil.

      The “sanctions” Jay wants – are essentially a form of tarrif.
      They are a bad idea.

      I find it odd that Jay opposes Trump on Tarrif’s – since Free Trade is a libertarian and sometimes republican thing.

      Everybody in 2016 was arguing to undermine NAFTA – essentially further restricting trade.

      Something is stupid – whether Obama and/or Trump does it.
      Tarrif’s are stupid.

      I am not only not going to defend Trump on Tarrifs, I will attack him – on Tarrifs.

      But I will wait for him to actually do something, as he says lots of stupid things he does not do.

  20. dhlii permalink
    March 2, 2018 1:21 pm

    School shootings have declined since the 1990’s

    • Jay permalink
      March 2, 2018 3:23 pm

      School shooting with military style weapons have increased dramatically, starting at the end of the 1990s at Columbine with 17 murdered and over 20 more wounded.

      The majority of all the other school shootings in the full decade of the1990s from non assault style weapons did not kill or wound multiple victims.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 2, 2018 5:44 pm

        At columbine Dylan has a sawed off shotgun and a 9mm handgun. Eric has a sawed off shotgun and a 995 carabine which has a vague resemblance to the weapon used to shoot Kennedy.
        It is NOT even a semi automatic. It came to market specifically because of the AWB.

        There were no AR-15’s at columbine, or any other AWV banned weapon. The shotguns were 30 years old.

        The 2007 Va Tech shooting was with a paid of hand guns.

        Even Lanza had a Glock.

        Statistics on school shootings are really really hard to draw any meaning from – the numbers are just far too small compared to guns as a whole.

        The long term trend is towards LESS gun violence (and less overall violence) in the US.

        I have read elsewhere that your claim about AR-15’s is actually crap – with respect to school shootings.

        AR-15 like weapons are prefered by those who engage in mass killings in less confined spaces.
        Because it is a good weapon for open spaces. Just as a hand gun is a good weapon for indoors.

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2018 8:17 pm

        You’re full of distorting crap as usual. Get the facts right, you asshole.
        “On the day of the massacre, Harris was equipped with a 12-gauge Savage-Springfield 67H pump-action shotgun (which he discharged a total of 25 times) and a Hi-Point 995 Carbine 9 mm carbine with thirteen 10-round magazines (which he fired a total of 96 times).[35]

        Klebold was equipped with a 9×19mm Intratec TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun with one 52-, one 32-, and one 28-round magazine and a 12-gauge Stevens 311D double-barreled sawed-off shotgun. Klebold primarily fired the TEC-9 handgun for a total of 55 times, while he discharged a total of 12 rounds from his double-barreled shotgun.”

        “The Hi Point Carbine has since been designated an assault weapon in the State of Connecticut with the April 4, 2013 signing of Public Act 13-3 [9] It has been similarly designated by the State of New York with the signing of the NY SAFE Act and as of mid-2013, purchase of any of the unaltered carbines has been restricted to law enforcement officers.”

        If you have a problem with restricting rapid fire weapons to law enforcement and military, you can go f**k yourself.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 9:01 am

        I am not the one distorting the facts.
        And your quotes demonstrate it.

        The 995 was LATER designated an “assault rifle” – a term with absolutely no meaning, in Connecticut.

        It is actually a carbine – as I said much like the gun that killed JFK

        It has about 1/5 the rate of Fire of an AR-15. It is also a short weapon, making it slightly more suitable than the AR-15 in an environment like a school.

        This is just another example of the left changing the goal posts in this case ex post facto.

        By the time your are done, you will have air soft rifles designated as “assualt weapons”.

        Be honest – as far as you are concerned there is no gun of any kind that you beleive anyone should be allowed to own.

        Eric and Dylan used weapons that were not assualt riles and were legal, and remained legal through the entire AWB.

        One state after the fact changing a designation does not change federal law, or the law in the remaining 49.

        You would likely convict whoever sold them the 995 for violating the AWB, because one DIFFERENT state, years later made a stupid designation.

        All this actually points out is the idiocy of the left.

        There is no such thing as an “assault weapon”. It is a made up term without real meaning.

        The 1992 AWB law most accurately described banned scary looking weapons.
        It specifically targeted a set of features that were completely about appearance.
        And essentially said that guns that had some number of features in common with some hypothetical idea of a movie military weapon were “assault weapons”

        This stupidity is actually important, because Kleibold’s 9m handgun is as effective if not more so, in a school than an AR-15.

        No one trusts you – because you are lying relatively openly.
        You are not looking to ban scarry looking weapons.
        When you say “we should do something” what you really mean is that we should incrementally errode peoples rights until their are none left doing things that will not work, guaranteeing we will have to come back again screaming “we must do something” and whittling away even more.

        Do not accuse me of misrepresenting – why I have accurately represented the facts, and you are lying about your intentions.

        You are not after “common sense” gun laws.
        You are not after solutions to a problem.
        You do not really give a damn that people are being killed – if you did you would be proposing ideas that could work, not ones you know will accomplish nothing.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 9:06 am

        Whatever weapons law enforcement in particularly and to a lessor extent the military have – that is what citizens must be entitled to.

        AS has been noted the purpose of the 2nd amendment is the implied threat to tyranical government. Slingshots are not much of a threat.

        A tec-9 which is a PISTOL has a rate of fire more than ten times the 995 carabine.

        A glock 18 something that almost everyone would classify as a pistol – it does nto look “scary”, has a theoretical rate of fire of 1800 rpm

      • Jay permalink
        March 3, 2018 11:50 am

        “AS has been noted the purpose of the 2nd amendment is the implied threat to tyranical government. Slingshots are not much of a threat.”

        Wrong! The purpose of the 2nd was to arm a Well Regulated Militia to fight foreign forces because the US DID NOT have a standing army at the time. Can’t you READ?

        AND what trynical government forces are your armed citizenry going to confront? Local police? The National Guard? The combined might of the US Military?

        And you wonder why I consider you an idiot.

      • March 3, 2018 1:01 pm

        Jay, Surprise, I am going to agree with you partly.

        Please note you are correct, but in addition the right to bear arms was also to protect the country from a tyrannical government.

        This is a good article that seems to be non-political and just presents facts.

        And the way our government is headed, I think it is a wonderful idea!

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 4:22 pm


        While there are many things your link gets right, there is ALOT it gets wrong.
        The constitution provides for a standing Navy – the constitutional convention decided that was not a threat to individual liberty and the US was a maritime nation facing interferance from the most powerful navy in the world.

        But the constitution does NOT provide for a standing army. While it does not litterally bar it, it requires the army can be funded for no more than two years at a time.
        The constitution allows for the existance of a federal army, and assumes raising it on an as needed basis. It does nto presume a standing army.
        We maintained a very small standing army from 1791 forward, to garrison west point, and to deal with ongoing conflicts with american indians. The scale of this army was small.
        In every subsequent military conflict we had to raise a new army and after the conflict we cashiered most of that army – that has been true through the end of WWII.
        Even at the start of WWII the US standing army was extremely small. To a large extent since WWI we mostly kept a large enough standing army to maintain a professional officiers corp, as that was deemed of critical importance when a new war started.

        Regardless, the debates over the 2nd amendment had almost nothing to do with a federal standing army. In 1787 the presumption was in the event of a land war in the US, that the militia of the whole of the people would function as our army, atleast until something more on the lines of the continental army could b trained.

        Arguably history has proven this not such a hot idea.
        But THAT was still the reference frame for the constitution and 23nd amendment.

        Armed citizenry were NOT the counter to a standing army as only a small one at most was envisioned.

        I would further note that our founders understood the revolution first hand.
        On one hand the defeat of the British at Yorktown would not have been possible but for the years Washington spent building a disciplined army.
        But the land conflict with the British was not homogenous.

        Despite the tremendous success of the minuteman at lexington and concord, The british won nearly every attempt by militamen to stand and fight, and won most engagements all the way to Yorktown. They drove the irregulars from Boston, through new york and philadelphia with ease.

        At the same time they were absolutely devestated by irregulars that engaged in harrassing measures. The british rapidly learned they could not occupy any parts of the north – particularly new england outside of major cities. When the British ventured out from cities and the contintals avoided engagements and used harrassing measures, the british forces were slowly anhiliated.

        There were also significantly different tactics used in the south than in the north.
        The formal trained militia structure that the left pretends is what the constitution is about did actually exist in the south. The major british armies were in the north not the south – as the north was considered the center of the rebellion. Smaller british forces fought in the south against better trained millitias, and over time the british were driven out of the south.
        But their presence there was never as great as the north.

        This is also reflected in the 2nd amendment.

        The history of the debate on the 2nd amendment and the language of the amendment was deliberately intended to leave the southern states with the understanding that the 2nd amendment was about millitias. There was an incredibly strong organized militia tradition in the south – much like state guard forces today. And the south remains through today as the fountainhead of most of our officer corp.

        But new england had a radically different tradition.

        The minutemen were no myth to new englanders. While they had been unable to drive the english from Boston or New York, at the same time, they made the rest of new england uninhabitable by british troops.

        I have ignored those in what was the west at that time – because to a large extent they were not involved int he revolutionary war. But they were heavily involved in an individual gun culture.

        These were people who lived in farms relatively isolated from the government, dependent on rifles for food, as well as defense against indians.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 4:34 pm

        While your article is only half right,
        There is one point that Jay does have.

        Whatever the factors that resulted in the 2nd amendment, conditions are radically different now.
        The 2nd amendment does not mean what he keeps trying t make it mean. That was never its intent.

        But we own the constitution – not our founders. We are free to change it as we wish. But we do that in the same way they created it – by constitutional convention or by amendment.

        If Jay were to seek to amend the constitution, I would oppose him. But my arguments would have to be based on circumstances today. What our founders wrote 250 years ago, was about them and their circumstances then. Today is different.

        We inarguably have a standing army today. We are unlikely to face any land invader
        Militias in the sense of our founders are gone. The Guard is the closest equivalent and they are still pretty different and serve a radically different purpose today.

        I think inarguably our founders contention that an armed populace is a disincentive to too much government has great merit.

        I think some on the left want gun control primarly to thwart any threat to progressive power.
        Frankly the arguments that it is effective in any other way are just crap.
        Further those “clinging to their guns” do so among other reasons because they legitimately fear a tyranical government.

        We have seen many of instances in which our government has oppressed local citizens.
        And in some the citizens have partly prevailed – because they were armed.
        As much as I dislike the Bundies as an example, they did thwart an oprressive federal government partly through force of arms and partly through legal process, and absent the arms, they would have lost and been destroyed.

        This may not matter much to manhatanites, but to people who the BLM is trying to take land they have lived on for 150 years, this is a big deal.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 2:30 pm

        For someone engaged in rhetorical arguments, you do not seem to be able to read, nor are you cognizant of history.

        The militia clause is independent. It is unnecescary and adds no meaning, The 2nd amendment could just as easily have been writing

        Sabre Tooth tigers being large and hairy, the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.

        I provided you references to the right to bear arms in the federalist papers in a prior link.
        Clearly you have not read those.

        You are further ignorant of the meaning of militia’s in the founders sense.

        At the time of the revolution every adult male was required to own a gun and was legally defined as part of the militia, to be called up at any time. Police forces did not exit until the mid 19th century in the US and were not the norm until into the 20th.
        This country was founded explicitly without a standing army. Nor was the militia of the time the equivalent of the state and national guard today. As I said EVERY adult male was by law part of the militia.

        Our founders did not want a standing army (or police force) they thought armed government was a threat to liberty. Gun control for our founders – was Government can not be armed except under unusual circumstances, but ordinary people are to be armed under all circumstances.

        That is the context the 2nd amendment was written in.

        To the extent the militia clause has any meaning at all, it is that EVERYONE should be armed, because they might have to overthrow a tyranical government.

        You can deem that view as quint or outdated, but it is the meaning of the 2nd amendment as written and understood by the people of the time.

        If you do not like that – amend the constitution.

        You are free to change the constitution by amendment as you are able.
        You are not free to play semantic games to wish what it says away.

        You are free to argue it is obsolete or outdated. We still update its meaning by amendment, not by semantic games.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 2:40 pm

        Only an idiot would try to read shakespeare using some twisted modern meaning of his words.

        The idiocy is yours. IF you are going to rant further about the 2nd amendment, rather than torture it to conform to some ludicruously stupid understanding of a 21st century urban dweller in the most powerful country of the world, and from an ideology that holds government in religious awe,
        Try that of the people who wrote it. Strong willed independent 18th century people who feared government, viewed it as a necescary evil, had no interest in a standing army, had no police forces, and expected the entirely of the adult male citizenry to be able to take arms on demand.

        You are free to argue their world view was wrong – we have certainly changed our views on slavery. You are not free to claim that they actually help your world view, because they made theirs perfectly clear.

        But the left does this all the time.
        You forget that past progressives were racists, were the progenators of eugenics, that Hilter credited american progressives with the inspiration for the final solution.

        You can and should disown those views of theirs, We have learned, and we have found that most of our past heroes have feet of clay. The same people who pioneered government authority rooted in the people and respecting the individual, also owned people, and left women with no rights.

        You are unable to see the past as it is, rather than as some warped reflection of your own ideology.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 3:03 pm

        In 1783 there was no US army – the founders opposed a standing army, there was no national guard for the same reason, there was no police – federal state or local.

        The “millitia” was all adult males, and they were ALL armed.

        In that environment our founders STILL felt it was necescary for citizens to be armed in order to threaten or overthrow the government if necescary.

        I would further note – as with school shootings, that major reason for an individual right to arms is as a deterent. It is not to go to war against the combined might of the military, but to cause government to fear that it might have to go to war against an armed citizenry,
        That incentive goes even further.
        Do you really beleive that the combined military is going to obey an order to fight and armed citizenry, that is their neighbors and friends?

        Kent State shows the consequences when government oversteps in its use of force.
        Tienamen square shows that even one man can stand up to a tank – when the tank commander is unwilling to murder his own people. East Germany collapsed because the military would not prop up a totalitarian dictator and kill millions of citizens.

        It is not necescary to win a war against the government. “A house divided against itself can not stand”. It is not even necescary to have a war against the government.
        It is merely necescary to keep in the back of the mind of our rulers, that we are still very well armed.

        And yes, that threat is all the more credible if people possess large magazines, and high rate of fire weapons.

        There are more guns in the US than people. I beleive slightly less than half of us own guns.

        Do you really expect the government to confront the people to disarm them ?
        No government survives the slaughter of its own people.
        The more heavily armed they are the quicker the government will collapse.

        Need I remind you of some of the places where government did disarm the populace ?
        Nazi Germany, Lennist Russia, Maoist China

        “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.”
        – Mao Tze Tung, Nov 6, 1938

        “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country.”
        Adolf Hitler April 11, 1942

        “If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves.”
        Josef Stalin

        Idi Amin in Uganda confiscated guns and then murdered 300,000 christians.

        Pol Pot confiscated guns and murdered 2million cambodians.

        “From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good.”
        George Washington

        Prior to WWI Turkey disarmed and murdered 1.5M armenians

        Guatemalla required gun registration at very high fees, and then murdered 300,000 Mayans

        Gun registration and confiscation laws were past in Rwanda shortly before slaughtering 800,000 people.

        During the 20th century 4 times more people were killed by their own governments, than were killed in all wars. Far more people were killed by their own governments than by criminals.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 11:45 am

        What right have you to restrict what others might want ?

  21. Jay permalink
    March 2, 2018 3:40 pm

    This is the kind of unprepared incompetent havoc that permeates the White House daily.
    You Trump cuddlers were warned this would happen with an emotional and strategic DUNCE in charge. And still you continue to rationalize it.

    • March 2, 2018 5:36 pm

      He wasn’t unglued, and he hasn’t started a trade war, Jay. He THREATENED to raise tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, because Mexico and Canada have been unwilling to re-negotiate NAFTA.

      Now, he might start a trade war, depending upon how this goes, but, if I were you, I’d take Dave’s advice, and see what he DOES, not what he SAYS.

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2018 8:23 pm

        Priscilla you have to stop the nonsensical apologetics for this asshole. People like you are part of the PROBLEM. YOU’RE TOO ADDLED TO SEE THAT, apparently. Your MORON rating is climbing higher faster than a thermometer in a flue clinic.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 11:47 am

        Calling those who disagree with you moron’smerely because you disagree is what lost you the last election.

      • Jay permalink
        March 3, 2018 1:35 pm

        Wanna bet calling Trumpster morons Morons is gonna win elections big time – it already has:

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 4:56 pm

        I have already read this. It is cherry picked garbage.
        Republicans have had an incredible record in federal special elections since 2016.

        They have a slight disadvantage in state and local elections – because they hold almost 2/3 of the elective offices in the US. Democrats have lost something like 2000 state and local offices since 2008. The worst shift even in US history.

        A handful of democrats picking up state seats is not a blue wave.

        There have been only two noteworthy elections that have gone for democrats since 2016.
        The VA governors race – were both candidates tacked heavily to the center, and the republicans lost a race that should not have been close, as the growing number of democrats in norther VA are slowly turning the state blue.

        The other is Alabama, which was really about how bad Roy Moore was as a candidate.

        If your argument is that the GOP far too often runs absolutely abysmal candidates – I will agree with you. They would control 60+ seats in the senate, but for very bad senate candidates in electiosn they should have won since 2008.

        As of Feb 18 Saccone was still 6pt favorite over Lamb in PA despite Lamb being a good candidate and Saccone being mediocre.

        The generic ballot is all over the place – but seems to be trending republican with the best poll being +2 for democrats.

        That is very close to where it was for the 2016 election.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 5:01 pm


        It should be self evident that calling people you disagree with morons, merely for disagreeing is “moronic”.

        While I have lobbed insults at you, I have done so not merely because we disagree, but because you are demonstrably wrong on much of what you argue that can be tested by facts.

        There is a difference between calling an idea stupid and calling a person stupid.
        There is a difference between calling a demonstrably bad idea stupid and calling an idea stupid because you do not like it.

        I can be persuaded by significant facts, and good arguments.
        You have not made those.

        As I have noted, I agree with you on some issues.
        Aparently in some form everyone here agrees on Tarrifs.

        In your world anyone who does nto agree with you on everything is a moron.
        In your world everyone who does nto agree that Trump is a moron for doing exactly the same stupid things Obama did is a moron.

      • Jay permalink
        March 2, 2018 9:28 pm

        What the hell is wrong with you?
        He indicated he WAS going to do it.
        Show me in his quotes where he said he ‘might’ do it?

      • March 3, 2018 12:21 am

        “Show me in his quotes where he said he ‘might’ do it?”

        Jay add the www and this will give you that info.
        ..Toward the middle “Seven, if China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets, I will use every lawful — this is very easy. This is so easy. I love saying this. I will use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962”
        …Note on the pennlive that a professor already remarked on the tariffs already on steel imports. Now is Trumps in addition to these or a continuation of Obamas?!!!!
        …Note #4

        You can search for more if you wish.

      • Jay permalink
        March 3, 2018 1:35 am

        Ron, your link is to a statement he made June 28, 2016.
        The recent statement asserts he’s going to do it.
        Don’t you understand what a fucking incompetent idiot he is?
        His own people think he’s a whack job.

      • March 3, 2018 12:44 pm

        Jay “Ron, your link is to a statement he made June 28, 2016.
        The recent statement asserts he’s going to do it. Don’t you understand what a fucking incompetent idiot he is?”

        You did not ask that question. You said show me where he ever said he was going to do it. I found you multiple places in speeches where he said he was going to put tariffs on foreign products being dumped in the USA through unfair trade practices, including steel. I did that.

        People are upset because he is doing what he said he was going to do. People voted for him based on those statements. So maybe next time people need to pay attention to what the candidates say and just don’t assume they are lying about what they will or will not do when they are running like they have for the past ??? years.

        Yes, I think he is an idiot in many respects. I did not vote for him. I will not vote for him next time most likely. I also will not vote for anyone the democrats run if their name is Shumer, Warren, Sanders, Cuomo, Brown, Booker, Gillibrand or Biden. My hatred for socialism is far greater than my dislike for Trump. We can survive a few years of Trump. We can not survive creeping socialism because we can never get rid of socialism once its here. ie Obamacare.

        Give me a democrat that is moderate, does not believe government is the answer, supports the words in the constitution and believes in individuals rights and not forced actions by government to control peoples actions (ie bakers who refuse to decorate queers cakes fined) and I will vote for that individual. (Much like Manchin) Likewise, the same holds true for any republican ( Much like Kasich). Otherwise, I will find someone else to vote for.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 3:38 pm

        Excellent response I differ ONLY in that I do not beleive that you can find almost any politician from either party that would meet your reasonable requirements – MAYBE Sen. Paul,

        But as much as Manchin and Kaisich might be an improvement over the rest of the right or left, if I voted for either – it would be as the lessor evil, not as a positive good.

      • March 3, 2018 4:25 pm

        Dave “But as much as Manchin and Kaisich might be an improvement over the rest of the right or left, if I voted for either – it would be as the lessor evil, not as a positive good.”

        That is because you and I have a very different idea on how to achieve goals in government even though the outcomes would be much alike. Where I have questions is how likely the type of candidate you desire would ever exist. Rand Paul might be acceptible in a positive way for both of us, but the chances either party would nominate him is questionable.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 5:06 pm

        I agree with you about the odds,

        But a left drift is still a left drift, and though far less socialist than much of the rest of the filed, Manchin and Kaisich are not real proponents of limited government, just propoentns of government growing more slowly.

        Trump makes mistakes – alot of them, Tarrifs being an example.
        But in what he is DOING as opposed to what he is saying he is MOSTLY seeking to shrink government.

        He unfortunately wants to expand the military. but otherwise I do nto think Rand Paul could have done as much to shrink government.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 12:58 pm

        Most of us are not so stupid that we think someone who has succeeded greatly in real estate in Manhattan, and then the world, has succeeded greatly as a reality TV star, has succeeded greatly against the odds as a politician, and has managed to get the economy out of the doldrums, and consumer confidence to levels not seen since the 90’s is a moron.

        Trump is alot of things, offensive to say the least, uncouth, coarse, but he is self evidently not a moron, what is self-evident is the stupidity of someone who says he is.

        I know Trump angers you, gets your goat. And he does so deliberately. But that does nto make him stupid. Though your frothing response does not reflect well on you.

        BTW why would anyone care about this nonsense from CNN.

        Trump has purpotedly been spiralling out of control since 2013 or earlier according to the media.
        How well has that worked out ?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 12:37 pm

        He said he IS going to “do it”
        He has said he would do many things,.
        Some he has done.

        I think everyone here has said that Tarriffs are a bad idea

        They are bad IF trump does them. They WERE bad WHEN Obama did them.

        I thing all of us have been sufficiently critical of what Trump MIGHT do.

        No one here is saying he should impose Tarriff’s.

        Apparently the only thing acceptable to you is if we go foaming at the mouth bat shit crazy and impeach Trump for something he says he is going to do, that he can legitimately do, that would be a bad idea if he does it.


      • March 3, 2018 1:13 pm

        Dave “I think everyone here has said that Tarriffs are a bad idea”

        No, everyone has not said that.

        However, 31% most of our steel comes from Canada and Mexico. Only 17% comes from China. The reset comes from South Korea, Brazil and other countries.Trump is also renegotiating the NAFTA agreement.

        My question. What does he want from Canada and Mexico in return for delaying tariffs? I think there is something going on behind the scenes that is not being discussed openly.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 4:43 pm

        From 2011 data

        China is the worlds #1 steel producer 676 metric tons.
        Of which 24MT is exported.
        Japan is #2 producing 106MT and exporting 33MT
        The US is #3 producing 80MT and exporting 8MT. (up to 82MT in 2017)

        Total US Steel imports are 30MT(2017).

        Though there are minor problem because of different dates with my numbers – there is no way that 30% of US steel is coming from a single country.
        30% of US steel imports maybe. But imports are barely above 1/3 of total US steel use.
        I would further note that the US still exports Steel.

      • March 2, 2018 11:25 pm

        Chill, Jay.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 2, 2018 5:50 pm

      I will attack Trump with respect to Tarriffs when he actually does something.
      He has SAID lots of stupid things. He has not done anything about most of them.

      Many of his supporters beleive in protectionism. I am not sure what Trump beleives, only what he says. Hopefully this is just more uproar.

      Regardless, if you want a democratic congress, the best way to get one would be for Trump to start a trade war. So you should favor this.

  22. March 2, 2018 9:12 pm

    Why is it that Trump proposes something and we go ape shit, Obama did something and it goes unnoticed.

    I think I liked it better when all the news was Obamacare.

    • March 2, 2018 11:54 pm

      Ron, I think the ape-shit meter is always 11 on a scale of 10.

      That was an interesting article….”“These final tariffs will help curb steel dumping and level the playing field for Minnesota’s iron ore miners and steelworkers,” she said. “The next step is for Congress to pass our bills to strengthen America’s trade enforcement capabilities and ensure laid-off workers affected by steel dumping receive the support they deserve.”

      I’m betting that Amy Klobuchar is, all of a sudden, no longer a fan of this approach.

      It must be very confusing to be a Democrat these days. They have to keep disavowing all the things that they used to be in favor of.

      • March 3, 2018 12:27 am

        As everyone except jay knows i am not a Trump supporter (other than to be against a liberal democrat), but I have heard many times and said many times when someone makes both sides mad, they must be doing something right.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2018 11:50 am

      Just about everyone in washington is whiggs out and declares the end of the world whenever the other side does the same thing they have done.

      Regardless tarriffs are a bad idea. They were a bad idea under Obama, they are a bad idea under Trump.

      Hopefully Trump is just praying words again.

      • March 3, 2018 12:56 pm

        Dave “Regardless tariffs are a bad idea. They were a bad idea under Obama, they are a bad idea under Trump.”

        I am torn between agreeing and not agreeing. When tariffs are there for raising revenues only and no other reason, I agree.

        When it cost a foreign country to produce a product for say $10.00 and the company sends it to the USA and sells it for $7.00 and then the foreign country uses our trade imbalance to to subsidize that company with a $4.00 subsidy, then I think there is something wrong. Especially when it would cost $12.00 to produce that same product in the USA.

        With the trade imbalance china has with all of our products, taking a few dollars of that imbalance to subsidize products they are dumping seems to be questionable practices to me.

        Can we survive just being a service oriented country with no manufacturing becasue that is where we are headed?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 3:46 pm

        Actually you have it pretty much exactly backwards.

        Economically the specific examples that you consider to be BAD trade that should be subject to Tarrif’s are actually GOOD trade that we should encourage.

        If another country delivers more value to US consumers for less cost – it does nto matter how they do that, it is good for us.

        If they do so through subsidies, it is litterally a wealth transfer from their country to ours.

        I have noted repeatedly that ALL economic advances involve creative destruction.
        There will ALWAYS be losers, but the winners will always outnumber the losers.

        I am sorry about those who lose their jobs – whether because Boeing wants to move from Seattle to Georgia, or because Steel production moves to China (BTW US steel production has increased steadily since the 50’s (and earlier).

        But greater value at lower cost makes us overall better off no matter how it is acheived.

        IF government could effectively do something about those who lose their jobs – I might actually support that. But the evidence is that government jobs programs are worse than no programs at all. Regardless, the data indicates that disruptions of this kind typically last for less than 18m for nearly all jobs.

        Tarriff’s are a bad means of raising revenue to fund government. But ALL taxes are a bad means, and tarriffs are far from the worst.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 3:51 pm

        Any argument that includes “trade imbalance” as an important premise, is economic nonsense.

        You can not have a trade imbalance without a matching capital accounts imbalance.

        In other words, if other countries sell us goods without buying googs from us, they must make up for this by investing in our country.

        There is no way arround this.

        This is also why though the US debt is dangerous and stupid., we will never be in the situation greece is in. Atleast not without radically diminishing the scale of the US as a part of the global market. Out trade imbalance essentially funds our national debt.

        We are never going to default – in the most important sense, and china and others are never going to cease funding our debt. Because they have all these dollars from the trade imbalance that ultimately must be used somehow in the US.

  23. Jay permalink
    March 2, 2018 9:24 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2018 11:53 am

      Insider trading is illegal. Prove it and convict Icahn.

      Of course you may have a problem. Icahn may have come to Trump and argued for tarrifs, and then left dumping his steel stock in the hopes Trump would announce tarrifs.

      Further you would have a much better case if Icahn shorted steel rather than dumped it.

      If Icahn actually knew what was about to happen he would not have dumped steel stock he would have massively shorted it.

      But again – prove something, and you can jail him.

  24. Jay permalink
    March 2, 2018 9:30 pm

    Kutcher and Trump- two pee pees in a pod:

    • Jay permalink
      March 3, 2018 11:52 am

      Obviously not the correct link

  25. Jay permalink
    March 2, 2018 9:35 pm

    You people who keep defending this putz need to flush your head down the toilet.
    He going to start a trade war, numerous nations (including our neighbor Canada) have already warned o& retaliation.

    With the threatened trade war, you are witnessing why every Trump biz other than the one bankrolled & networked by daddy collapsed.

    The fool has no restraint. He acts on impulse. Facts mean nothing. He understands nothing about business or economics, cant read a balance sheet and no US bank will give him a loan.

    • Jay permalink
      March 3, 2018 12:07 pm

      “Swedish appliance manufacturer Electrolux announced Friday that it will delay a $250 million investment to expand and modernize a plant in Springfield, Tenn., after President Trump’s announcement of new tariffs targeting aluminum and steel.”

      • dhlii permalink
        March 3, 2018 3:34 pm

        Just to be clear – Trump’s remarks were stupid. But if we are going to impeach politicians for stupid remarks, no president would last a month in office.

        I am still waiting to see if Trump does anything. As he has talked about things like this before and not done them.

        Actions, not words matter.

        But the left is all afroth over words, they are unable to tell the difference.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2018 12:49 pm

      Who here has defended Trump’s remarks regarding tarriffs ?

      He may start a Trade war.
      I am not interested in your ideas of the dynamics of a trade war.
      Trade is such that the country with the lowest barriers always wins.
      If Canada wishes to retaliate, they should drop their tarrifs.

      Regardless, I am not much interested in debating the bad strategy and tactics of a bad idea that is unlikely to happen.

      I would also point out that Trump has a great deal of restraint and does nto act on impulse and anyone breathing knows that.

      He TALKS alot, but he does not ACT on most of what he says.
      That is the definition of restraint.

      You should not be lecturing anyone about economics.

      Are you prepared to accept that free trade is significantly net positive ?
      That trade agreements are unnecescary and a mistake ?
      That we should just unilaterally lower our trade barriers ?
      That it is not the business of government to dictate what we sell nor to whom we sell it ?

      You are demanding sanctions against Russia – what is that but a “trade barrier ” and a Trade war ?
      If you think that it is economically acceptable to target Russia – then why not china or Canada or …

      I have noted before that our imbalance in trade requires a matching capital accounts imbalance.
      Trump is wise to be borrowing from foreign lenders. The surplus of dollars in foreign hands means favorable treatment.

  26. Jay permalink
    March 2, 2018 9:37 pm

    The main profession Trump has benn good for are criminal defense attorneys

  27. Jay permalink
    March 3, 2018 11:53 am

    When Coincidences Collide:

    “President Trump’s former adviser Carl Icahn sold off millions of dollars worth of stocks tied to the steel industry one week before the president announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum, according to reporting from The Washington Post.”

    Coincidental phone call that week: “Donnie, this is Carl. What’s up, pal?”

    “According to a new report from The Intercept, Kushner Companies met last April with Qatari Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al Emadi to try to secure an investment for its troubled property at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City.
    The attempt to get money directly from the Qatari government apparently went nowhere, however — and then weeks later Qatar was hit by a massive international blockade.”
    “The failure to broker the deal would be followed only a month later by a Middle Eastern diplomatic row in which Jared Kushner provided critical support to Qatar’s neighbors,” the publication writes. “Led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a group of Middle Eastern countries, with Kushner’s backing, led a diplomatic assault that culminated in a blockade of Qatar. Kushner, according to reports at the time, subsequently undermined efforts by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to bring an end to the standoff.”
    Interestingly, the United Arab Emirates was one of the countries that U.S. intelligence officials reportedly found discussing ways to use Kushner’s family business interests to manipulate him to do their bidding.”

    Coincidental phone call that week: “Jared.. this is THE DONALD. Atta boy, glad you took my advice about Qatari, fucking back those who fuck you.”

    “Jared Kushner met multiple times in the White House with leaders of Citigroup and Apollo Equity Group, institutions that subsequently made large loans to Mr. Kushner’s family real estate business, in which Mr. Kushner retains an interest.”

    Coincidental phone call that month: “Mr. Harris this is Jared again, just confirming those special eclairs I brought in to the last meeting were the ones you requested…”

    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2018 3:19 pm

      Qatar has been in trouble with this country for a very long time.
      Diniminish our relations with them is part of the realignment I noted that Kushner has been instramental in.

      Qatar is one of the most two faced nations in the mid east regarding terrorism. They are the “Club med for terrorists”

      We must be careful – because nations we are closer to – such as the Saudi’s and Eqypt have bad records too. Reqardless during the Obama administration the US shifted favor from one set of bad mideastern nations we had nominally supported, to even worse ones. With the results being disasterous.

      I would read your article carefully. An awful lots is spin not substance.

      Why are we to beleive that 666 5th Avenue is “troubled’ ?
      In fact a Chinese group made an offer to buy the building from Kusner in 2017 for 2.8B nearly twice what Kushner paid for the building – and as part of the deal to retire Kushners debt at .20/$.
      That deal fell through because of exactly the same kind of allegations you are making here.

      What seems to be true is that Kushner is actually having difficulties with his own dealings – BECAUSE the left makes ordinary deals he would have had no difficulty with before into claims of influence peddling tanking the deals.

      Approx. 115M of the loan portfolio on a building that is worth nearly 3B is rated as “troubled.”
      BTW Kushner only owns about 1/2 the property.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2018 3:23 pm

      And can you quit making things up – this is the internet. Fake quotes you post, will be the truth according to Louis Mensch and every left wingnut on the web will take them as gospel by next week.

  28. Jay permalink
    March 3, 2018 11:59 am

    FAUX NEWS! The real number is only 2,200!

    ”In the 406 days since he took the oath of office, President Trump has made 2,436 false or misleading claims, according to The Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president.

    That’s an average of six claims a day.

    When we first started this project for the president’s first 100 days, he averaged 4.9 claims a day. Slowly, the average number of claims has been creeping up.”

    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2018 3:24 pm

      Do you know how little credibility that “fact check” sites have today ?

  29. Jay permalink
    March 3, 2018 12:05 pm

    Putin announced Russia has an “invincible” nuclear weapon with IMAGES of it hitting Florida.

    President Asshole soon responded with critical tweets … at his SNL impersonator!

    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2018 3:30 pm

      Lets assume that Putin has some new miracle weapon.

      Do you think he developed it in the past 12 months ?

      Where was Obama ?

      Just to be clear, I am not actually claiming Obama was asleep at the switch.
      We do not know enough to know.
      Which also means we do not know enough to know that this announcement by putin is meaningful, or not already subject to counter – developed either by Obama or Trump.

      Put simply – if this is bad news – it reflect more badly on Obama than Trump.

      If as we are unlikely to find out, it is no news. It reflects more favorably on Obama than Trump, but we are not going to know.

      Further we have no ability to stop a Russian nuclear attack. A new missle or warhead changes nothing.

      We are unlikely to ever be able to stop an all out nuclear attack by Russia or China.

      We need to improve our nuclear defenses – not because of Russia, a threat we can not overcome, but because of NK and Iran which we can.

  30. dduck12 permalink
    March 3, 2018 7:01 pm

    Hatch: 50% are dumbasses.
    Hmmm. If 50% are deplorables and 50% are dumbasses, where does that leave us at TNM.? I demand a recount, we can’t be left without a tribal affiliation.

  31. Jay permalink
    March 3, 2018 7:04 pm

    And the Truth shall set you Free:

    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2018 7:24 pm

      The entire left is afflicted with a faith in government that the entirety of history demonstrates as a fairly tale.

      Gun’s are part of the remedy for the inability to trust government.

  32. Jay permalink
    March 3, 2018 7:10 pm

    The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy.

    FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said.

    It is illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections.”


    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2018 7:37 pm

      What a ludicrous proposition.

      Is there some reason the NRA can not accept contributions from anyone who offers them ?

      The NRA is an issue advocacy organization. They do not advocate for candidates they advocate for the 2nd amendment (and occasionally 1st amendment) rights.

      You continue to sell the same garbage – that no one can advocate for causes you do not like if they are affiliated with people you do not like.

      IF the FBI is investigating what you claim and there is no more substance than what you claim – then those at the FBI pushing this need to be fired. It would be little different from the IRS investigating 501(c)3 groups because they had names that Obama did not like.

      But if I were to guess this is more “fake news”.
      The story is over a month old. The claim is “two sources familiar” but there is nothing to demonstrate any credibility of the sources or who they are.
      We have had myriads of these stories over the past 2 years and non pan out.
      But the left continues to wait breathlessly for something that will never come.

      When is it you realize you are being duped ?

      How about thinking a bit ?

      If this story is true – and the FBI is investigating, then the leaks are a serious crime.
      More likely as with most of the rest of this garbage the press is being lied to.
      Fortunately for the sources lying to the press is not a crime.
      But the number and frquency of these that have proven false leaves questions:
      Why aren’t reporters more suspicious of these type of sources ?
      Why do these reporters and editors still have jobs ?

      • Jay permalink
        March 4, 2018 9:34 am

        “Is there some reason the NRA can not accept contributions from anyone who offers them ?”

        Yeah, they can’t if it’s against this law:
        “The Federal Election Campaign Act states in unambiguous terms that any contribution by a foreign national to the campaign of an American candidate for any election, state or national, is illegal. Likewise, anyone who receives, solicits, or accepts these contributions also violates the statute.”

        “The NRA is an issue advocacy organization.”

        Not exempt under the law!

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2018 12:30 pm


        You have the most bizzare relationship to “the law”.

        On the one hand you do not give a dman what they constitution says, you pretend that it says whatever you want.

        Then you pull any of the millions of subsequent paper laws out of your ass as if they are meaningful.

        Everything is against the Law Jay. You and yours have constructed such a morras that we at at the juncture between absolute chaos and absolute tyranny – because when everything is illegal then nothing is. Then we are lawless,

        I address a permissiont of this with the stupid argument of Shoenfeld you refered to.
        If a legal act in the present is illegal because it runs afoul of something in the future – than everything is obstruction, then breathing is illegal.

        So let me ask you again why can’t the NRA or anyone else accept money or anything else from someone who gives it freely, so long as no persons rights are violated, no force is used ?

        I am not interested in your world where right and wrong are arbitrary.

        If you can not explain not merely why something you like is wrong, but why it is actually criminal.
        Then your oppinions your thoughts are worthless.

        If you can not frame your arguments resting on some foundation, some principles that are not arbitrary, that are consequential, and near universal, then you are actually evil.
        Because that is what it is when right and wrong become arbitrary.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2018 12:32 pm

        Just ot be clear – all election laws regulating speach directly or indirectly are not merely unconstituional, they are also evil and wrong.

      • March 4, 2018 12:39 pm

        Jay, please explain for me as I have not been following this. What you posted specifically states contributions to ” campaigns”, and ” anyone accepting” these contributions is breaking the law. Can you provide information as to how ” anyone accepting” is defined. I read that and read it as the candidate or anyone associated with the campaign of that individual.

      • Jay permalink
        March 4, 2018 1:17 pm

        Maybe the link I quoted will clarify it fo you:

      • March 4, 2018 3:47 pm

        This does not clarify anything for me. How do we get from an organization that is formed to promote gun ownership, gun safety and limited government intervention to being a foreign national involved in the campaign of a presidential candidate.

        You really stretched the words they posted to fit your Trump hatred campaign.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2018 4:46 pm

        Jay does not get that the law he keeps citing – besides having serious constitutional problems, just plain does not apply at all.

      • Jay permalink
        March 4, 2018 5:26 pm

        It appears you didn’t UNDERSTAND what you were reading, Ron:

        I didn’t say the NRA was a foreign national, but that they TOOK money from a foreign national to influence an American election: TAKING the money was illegal:

        Read. It. Slowly.

        “Likewise, anyone who receives, solicits, or accepts these contributions also violates the statute.”

      • March 4, 2018 6:39 pm

        Jay I read what was in the words.

        So now lets trace the funds from Russia to the NRA and then to the campaign. If you can do that, then maybe you can make a case. But the NRA has so much money, nothing could be traced or proven. And why hasnt the FEC opened an investigation?

        And then if you can trace funds, the funds would need to be directly provided to a campaign and not spent on issues associated with a campaign.

        And that is the big issue between liberals and constitutional libertarians. Can you control the amount of money spent on promotion of issues when those issues are political. Can we stop the NRA from promoting gun rights and tying that to conservatives, just as controlling money from the Service Employees Union promoting workers issues and tying that to the liberal candidate. For liberals willing to blow up the bill of rights, yes you can. For those supporting the constitution above all else, no you cant.

      • Jay permalink
        March 4, 2018 9:30 pm

        If it’s true, you going to excuse it?

      • March 5, 2018 12:20 am

        Just like Collusion with the Russians, when someone proves it, then I will react. I can’t react to every report of something happening. Like I said, I am not following any of this crap until someone proves something and takes it to court. Not some third party caught in a fishing net, I mean the real thing. Charge someone in the NRA for accepting foreign money and using it directly on the Trump campaign, not on issue ads which most of their spending is.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2018 9:29 am

        I am not intimate with federal election laws. Frankly they are nearly all unconstitutional, so I do not care much about them beyond getting rid of them.

        I do find it odd that we can not convict Sen. Menendez of clear quid pro quo bribery,
        but we want to go after the NRA because they might have received money from a Russian Oligarch.

        Regardless, my rough understanding of campaign finance law is:

        Issue advocacy is pretty much unrestricted. The NRA can get money from wherever they please and spend it as they please so long as they do not openly advocate for a specific candidate.

        PACs are subject to similar rules – except that they can advocate for specific candidates, but not co-ordinate with their campaigns – though co-ordination between the clinton campaign and Hillary PACs was down tot he littlest detail. James OKeefe got Clinton PAC administrators on video saying that Hillary herself personally directed exactly where the Duck Heckler went to target Trump and what he wore.

        I would further note that much of the federal election law only applies if a candidate accepts federal funding. I beleive McCain in 2008 was the last candidate to do so.
        Tying matching funds to laws was an attempt to make restrictions that were otherwise obviously unconsitutional possible – you can voluntarily cede a right in return for a benefit – though NOT to government.

        So much of federal election law has been nuetered. because candidates do not accept matching funds anymore.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2018 9:03 am

        “If it’s true, you going to excuse it?”

        Excuse what ?

        I do not care if the NRA received contributions from Russians.
        If you do – protest, that is the legitimate means of reproving the viewpoint of someone else.

        But you continue to seek to broaden the vile criminalization of speach.

        What I see no excuse for is YOUR actions.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2018 8:17 am

        I would expand a bit.

        This entire debate over “russian influence” makes the fact that the left has been wrong about campaign finance law for decades crystal clear.

        Most of the time the left is NOT complaining about “russian money” – the amount of money involved was tiny. The catch phrase is “influence” the left is claiming that the russians may not be allowed to take positions on social media about US politics.
        Again the reality of Russian activity is small. But it would not matter if it was truly large.

        The contention is that the left may control who SPEAKS in an election.

        The Russians are pretty close to the least desireable speakers in our elections.
        It is still obvious to most of us that we can not prevent them from speaking.
        It is just not possible without creating a draconian society.

        Slightly less of us understand that we should not prevent anyone from speaking.

        Further it is self evident from this that you can not regulate money in politics, because nearly everything associated with a political campaign is about speach.
        Campaigns do not use money to bribe voters, or to rig voting machines.
        They use money to hold rallies, to run radio and TV adds, to post on social media, to send workers door to door. All of which are speach.

        There is very little from the left claiming this is somehow about money.

        It is also self evidence from Jay’s rant and that of the left, that the left seeks to control not only the voice of the candidates, but also voices on issues.

        The courts (erroneously) have distinguished between candidate advocacy and issue advocacy.
        While the courts are correct that they are distinct, it incorrectly beleives that candidate advocacy is not entitled to the same free speach protection as issue advocacy.

        The left correctly gets that the level of protection is the same. But fails to get that government may not restrict free speach. For the most part the courts treat political speach as the most protected form of speach.

        What should be self evident is that the objective of the left, is to control speach.

        From begining to end, that is what this entire debate is about.

        Trump should be impeached for speaking the wrong things.
        His plea to Comey to tell people that he was not a target is criminal speach.
        His pleat to go easy on Flynn is criminal speach.
        Facebook posts are a crime – if the wrong people are responsible for them.
        The NRA is not allowed to speak

        Over and over every issue devloves to the left trying to prevent people they do not like from speaking. This is no different from what is going on, on our campuses where snowflakes seek t make their entire world a safe space free from views they do not like.

        Jay is wrong about the law which is much more narrow than he asserts. That error permeats every claim he makes. And that is important ans also distinguishes the left from the rest of us as Ron has noted. When you do not like the way a law is written, you go to the legislature and change the law. You do not game things in the courts by mangling the meaning of words.

        But more importantly, it should be obvious to most that these laws are wrong, they are unacceptable restrictions on speach.

        That while the Russians did not alter the outcome of our election, their actions were tiny and ineffectual, that even in some mythical world where they did, that ANYONE may attempt to persuade others. That we can not restrict that. That we can not prevent Russians from speaking, and we can not prevent Nazi’s from speaking, and we can not prevent socialists from speaking and we can not prevent conservatives from speaking.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2018 9:33 pm

        No Jay, read the actual stupid unconstitutional law you are fixated on.
        It says nothing about foreigners contributing to issue advocacy groups,
        The violence you do to language and law is unbeleivable.
        Your interpretation ultimately makes all speach illegal, but you can not see that.

        Are we going to arrest john oliver ? He is a foreigner, and was paid to speak about american elections ?

        How is one to make sense of your concept of law or morality, in anyway except that what speach you deem offensive, or what speakers you deem vile may not speak.

        Beyond that you keep repeating over and over the same stupidity,

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with anyone – rich, poor, citizen or foreigner trying to persuade another.

        You keep mangling the word “influence” – but then the misuese of words is the forte of the left.

        In what sick mind is it wrong to try to persuade another person ?

        No one is using force against another. There are no threats.

        You can not seem to grasp you are not permitted to control what one person expresses to another.

        It does nto matter whether we are talkign the NRA or this idiotic russia collusion nonsense.
        It does not matter that what you are so fixated on was inconsequential.

        If in the real world some person or group you do not like successfully persuaded people to vote for a candidate you do not like, and that person won – no real crime was committed, nothing immoral was done.

        If you can say that Russians or the NRA are unable to speak to voters, then you can control what anyone says to anyone about anything.

        It is not the russians committing a crime here – it is you.
        It is not the russians using force against others, it is you.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2018 4:28 pm

        I followed your link.
        It does not answer any of the questions I asked and it is completely irrelevant to the NRA.

        Aside from the fact that government may not restrict the speach of others. – passing laws that are unconstitutional does nto change that.

        You separately have the problem – both in the article that you linked to and in the text of the law you showed earlier that your bad law does not apply.

        The Law bars candidates from accepting foreign money. The NRA is not a candidate.

        This of course just points out the stupidity of the Law – BTW in 2008 and 2012 Obama was receiving credit card payments from donors from all over the world.

        It is easy to jump up and down and say this is against the law and that is against the law.
        We have so many laws breathing is against the law.

        All that means is whatever law you think Trump violated, you can be sure clinton did to.
        As an example the DNC and HFA received campaign support from the Russians and the Ukrainians.

        But as is typical – you only wish to apply the law to those you hate.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2018 12:39 pm

        Further your own idiotic claim fails on its merits (or lack).

        The NRA is a issue advocacy organization. The law you cite is about candidates.
        It is unconstitutional as written, but is even more so as applied to issues.

        You may not make speach – particularly political speach illegal – first because doing so is unconstitutional, but second because it is wrong.

        So in the end even if your entire scenario is correct – which given how erroneous the media has been over the past 2 years is unlikely, even so, it still would not run afoul of the law you cite.

        WE have plenty of bad laws – and this is one. But even those bad laws can not mean any more than they say.

        You are quite literally channeling Beria, and manipulating the meaning of the law to criminalize those you do not like.

        And you wonder why you keep getting compared to nazi’s and soviets and maoists ?

        One of the things that deeply concerns me at the moment is the left is quite litterally channelling the garbage that lead to Mao, and Stalin.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2018 12:46 pm

        What part of “congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech” is beyond your comprehension ?

        Explain to me how what you are claiming does not reduce the excercise of the free speach of the members of the NRA ?

        Unfortunately I have no doubt that although the law you cite does not criminalize the actual conduct of the NRA, that if you look hard enough you can probably find one that you can bend to your purposes. We have so many laws that everything is criminal today.

  33. Jay permalink
    March 3, 2018 7:35 pm


    • dhlii permalink
      March 3, 2018 7:44 pm

      Why is this a “must read” ?

      It is another one of these inside the Trump whitehouse stories written by someone who is clueless about the Trump whitehouse.

      • Jay permalink
        March 4, 2018 1:20 pm

        I should have been more precise:

        If you’re an open minded moderate (see blog title) this is a must read..
        If you’re an idiot-log who likes to nitpick and babble (guess who) pass on it…

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2018 4:32 pm

        Logic continues to elude you.

        You appear to be under the delusion that the facts and truth are unimportant, while who perceives them is determinative.

        If something is meaningful – you ought to be able to explain why,
        Not offer gibberish that its import is only accessible to those who hear your dog whistles.

    • March 3, 2018 11:05 pm

      Very interesting. Good article, something to keep in mind as more info come out. But alot of “he said” unverified information. I still wonder if he will run again given the negative position his daughter and husband are in and the fact Kelly downgraded Kushners security clearance.

      Bet there will be those calling for impeachment based on this article. No basis, but maybe stress will bring on a heart attack, stroke, or for many, the most favorable outcome, death.

      • March 3, 2018 11:35 pm

        I have no doubt that there are some pretty bad days when you’re Donald Trump and you’re working your ass off to push through an agenda, while 80% of Washington and 90% of the media wants to see you pretty much completely destroyed…ruined personally, politically and financially. I’m sure that there are times when he and his inner circle feel pretty isolated and defensive, and for good reason. It’s like that old saying: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.” And, in Trump’s case, being paranoid would be completely rational.

        On the other hand, I don’t believe that this article is any more accurate than all of the other articles about Trump’s mental health, or all of the palace intrigue in the White House. Trump’s response to the Parkland shooting has been exemplary. Never, ever would any president in recent memory host public meetings and round table discussions with victims of school shootings, local and state officials and law enforcement/security experts, and senators and congressmen, some from the liberal, gun-banning side and many with other, reasonable ideas for solutions.

        Meanwhile, the media focuses on some wet-behind-the ears HS kid, who the left is giving his 15 minutes of fame as an anti-Trump activist, trying to figure out why Hope Hicks left her WH job, and rooting for Robert Mueller’s witch hunt to come up with another nothingburger indictment of someone who did something 15 years ago that had nothing to do with Trump.

        I’m sure Trump fumes about the news coverage. Because it sucks.

      • March 4, 2018 12:21 pm

        Priscilla, I agree somewhat, but would you not agree Trump brings on more than 1/2 of all the negatives that come his way. He has good meetings like you point out, and then calls his AG Mr. MaGoo, tweets insignificant crap about Alec Baldwin and continually makes comments that completely distract from whatever good he is doing. To me, that is like hitting your finger with a hammer, complaining how it hurts and then hitting it again on purpose.

        I believe some of these reports because so much is hitting too close to home and close friends. And when you have been the one to snap your fingers and everyone jumps and now they ignore you, just the impact on the ego can be very depressing.

        Thing that really surprises me is Kelly dowgrading Kushners clearance and not a peep from Trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2018 1:07 pm

        Trump and the media are in a verbal spitball contest – and they deserve each other

        I do not have sympathy for Trump with respect to his treatment by the media. He asked for it and deserves what he gets from them. Nor do I have sympathy with respect tot eh media.

        Overall I have more problem with the media – as their job is to honestly tell us what is happening and they have failed.

        But mostly I ignore them both. – or atleast I try to.

        I do not care much about the current crop of reports. If they are actually true – we will not need the news to tell us, because Trump will fail. But I have no means of telling whether they have more substance than the last several dozen breathless rants of the left predicting Trump’s imminent collapse – and yet he is still here.

        With respect to some of the other things – like Kelly downgrading Kushner’s clearance.
        My confidence in the media is really low these days. Even plausible stories are constantly proving false. Maybe this si true. Maybe not. I will pay more atttention to it when I actually know it is true.

      • March 4, 2018 3:39 pm

        Dave ” Trump and the media are in a verbal spitball contest – and they deserve each other”

        Check my comment. What “I” said was Trump brings negatives on himself by himself. Twitter is not the media. If he does not get in a twit war with Balfwin or call Sessions “Mr MaGoo” they have to find something else that may not be so eady to instantly attack him.

        When you win by razor edges in a handful of states, being an immature asshole on Twitter is not going to expand your base.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2018 4:45 pm

        Twitter is Trump’s prefered platform for attcking the media and others.

        And yes, Twitter is “the media”, it is just not traditional media.

        I am not trying to defend everything he does, or everything he says.

        I do not particularly like his attacks on Sessions.
        But I still have problems with Sessions. He was a mistake for AG.
        He was a mistake because his policies are wrong, and he was a mistake because of the Mueller investigation.

        Andrew MacCarthy has written excellent stories on the problems with the Mueller investigation.

        Most of what Mueller is chasing is the domain of congress.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2018 8:40 am

        This is all rumours about palace intrigue.

        Why should I care ?

        There has been a recent full throated attack on Kushner.
        But none of it has actual substance.

        The security clearance story is garbage. It took me two years to get a full Top Secret Clearance. Contrary to press claims this is not unusual, further everyone completely forgets that the entire national security infrastructure in the US is subordinate to the president.

        The president requires no security clearance, has access to anything he wants, can share it with whoever he pleases – including the Russians, can declassify anything he wants, and can demand any security clearance be provided to anyone he wants.
        The president can even excuse or null process violations of national security laws after the fact – though that comes at a political price including a risk of impeachment.

        Obama as an example could have ended the Clinton investigation whenever he wanted – but his doing so would have been very damaging to him, and more so to her.

        There are a bunch of financial allegations that have been made suddenly.
        These all sound interesting but if you examine them they are shallow.

        Kushner got loans – wow! What he actually got is mortgages. The big deal appears to be a mortgage for about 180M on a building he bought for 1.6B and had an offer of 2.8B in 2017.

        The other story is the Icon steel story.
        I have not as of yet been able to actually confirm any of it.
        I expect that some will be confirmed,
        But increasingly so much in the press is made up, I question everything.
        So I want evidence Icahn did visit the white house, that Tarriffs on steel were discussed, that Trump initiated the discussion, that Trump informed Icahn that he was going to place tarrifs on steel, and that Icahn directed that his steel stock be sold afterwards, And finally I want to know if Icahn shorted steel.

        As noted – I expect some of that to be confirmed. If enough is – then there should be an investigation of Icahn.

        But as an example I do not beleive that Icahn directed his steel stock to be sold – merely because a reporter says that happened. An awful lot of what is reported today is litttle more than gossip.

        I specifically noted shorts on steel as that is a far better indicator of prior knolewdge on the part of Icahn.

        You can sell a stock because you think something else is a better investment and you want to change your portfolio.

        But shorting a stock is an unambiguous bet that the price will decline.

        Anyway I am tired of gossip as a substitute for actual news.

      • March 4, 2018 12:30 pm

        Dave “This is all rumours about palace intrigue.
        Why should I care ?”

        Personally none. But keep in mind the slim margins in handful of states that swung the election. Wont take many to believe stuff like this and then we have President Pocahontas or Spendster Brown with Racist Shumer and Crumbs Pelosi leading congress.

        You thought Obama, Reid and Pelosi was bad, the next round will be a tsunami of socialist governmental tske over.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2018 1:13 pm

        I understand that the numbers are small.

        At the same time, there comes a time when less and less people beleive chicken little.

        I am honestly surprised the left has maintained their level of trump hatred and hysteria this long and not burned out. Regardless, they are burning out the rest of us.

        I read an article to day that claimed pollsters are finding that celebrities speaking in favor of gun control is turning people OFF to gun control.

        I do nto know where things are headed, but I think it is extremely premature to be writing the GOP’s political obituary. Democrats are in greater disarray and rudderless. Republicans are merely under seige.

      • Jay permalink
        March 4, 2018 1:30 pm

        Priscilla: “when you’re Donald Trump and you’re working your ass off to push through an agenda,“

        Ha Ha Ha Ha!
        Working his ass of.
        Ho Ho Ho!
        He’s the laziest sonofabitch in the presidency ever.
        The only president who will have booked less work hours is William Henry Harrison who held the office of presidency for 31 days before dying.
        Har. Har. Har!
        So far, he’s spent one day out of ever four, on one of his own golf courses. Guess who pays those Trump owned properties for the time he’s out there? uS taxpayers. Guess who profits for every one of those hours.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2018 4:40 pm

        Who would you rather have as president(or employee) – someone who works their ass off and accomplished nothing, or someone who works little but accomplished alot.

        I recall a story I read a while ago. A programmer at IBM was doing very well, he was productive, and got excellent performance reviews, but no one ever saw him actually working.
        Turns out he subcontracted his job to someone in China for 1/10 his pay.

        IBM fired him (which they were free to do) but they did not hire the chinese programer and as a result the project failed.

        It is not how hard you work, it is what gets accomplished that matters.

        Standard of living rises when more value is created with less effort.
        There is nothing in that equation about how hard you work.

        We get this “goof off” stories about every president. We got them about Obama too, as well as reagan. They are irrelevant. What matters is what is accomplished.

        Though I find it odd, The left has Trump never working, while at the same time tweeting like crazy, nad berating his cabinet and staff, and fomenting chaos, while in a total panic – all from the golf course.

        It would be nice if you could atleast get your meme’s straight.

      • March 4, 2018 6:02 pm

        Ron, I’m not aware that Trump has ever called Sessions “Mr. Magoo.” As far as I can tell, only the “anonymous sources” Speaking to the Washington Post have claimed that he has. He certainly has never tweeted that, or said that in public. And my understanding of why Kushner’s clearance was downgraded was so that potential allegations of business conflicts could be investigated. Kelly said that the downgrade from Top Secret to Secret would not affect Kushner’s strategic role in the WH.

        I also read today, for the umpteenth time, the Gen. McMaster is “on his way out,” which, as far as I can tell, he has been for the entire year that he’s been Nat Security Advisor. Eventually, he probably will leave, as most NSA’s do, and then everyone will say, “See!”

        I’m sure that there are conflicts and disagreements among Trump’s advisors and cabinet members, but I’m not convinced that those conflicts are any worse than in any other administration. Plus, I would rather have the President surrounded by people who are willing to disagree with him, than with the kinds of “wing” men and “yes” men and women that surrounded Obama and would have surrounded Hillary.

        Where I agree with you is in my concern that Trump’s tendency to get into Twitter battles with people like Joe Scarborough and other non-entities will cost him votes in the states that he needs to win congressional seats, not to mention his own re-election. On the other hand, his approval rating is higher than Obama’s was at this point in his administration.

        I don’t think that our constitution could survive another left-wing administration. As it is now, the rule of law has been so degraded that the mayor of a major city, Oakland, CA, is publicly protecting illegal felons and getting away with it. So, essentially, she is openly obstructing justice in a real sense, while Trump has a $10M witch hunt working every day to find anything that he has done illegally…and failing to do so.

        If the media were even 50-50 on Trump, instead of 90-10 against him, his approval ratings would be well over 60%.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 4, 2018 9:38 pm

        It is not possible to trust much of anything on the news anymore – regardless of the source – without hours of verification.

        I do not know if all the stories of palace intrigues are true – I doubt it, nor do I much care.
        Trump has put together overall a pretty good team. His cabinet, and he whitehouse seem to be of strong willed people, they are willing to tell him and each other to go to hell and he seems prepared to tell them to go to hell too.

        I am fine with that. I do not know if all the stories about shouting and name calling are true.
        Nor do I care.
        I am more concerned about the job they do. Which thus far has been pretty good.

        Far from perfect, but still good.

      • March 5, 2018 12:32 am

        Unless you see and hear a person say something, you can’t trust anything if your 1/2 smart. Just because its called a “smart phone” does not mean the information it provides is smart!

    • dhlii permalink
      March 4, 2018 8:22 am

      So you have gone to telling people what they think, to telling people that someone else accurately depicts what a four person is thinking.

      I have no idea if Trump is “fuming”. Nor do you, and I doubt the reporter or his source does based on the recent history of the press.

      Further, in the unlikely event that the reporter is correct about Trump’s thoughts.
      I do not care.

      What you or anyone else say Trump is thinking, is not important.
      What Trump says is not really that important.
      What Trump does is what matters.

  34. dhlii permalink
    March 3, 2018 7:42 pm

    Fascinating things I learned from liberals about firearms this week:
    -There are fully automatic magazines
    -There’s a “full semi-automatic” firing mode
    -We still use “clips”
    -The “AR” in AR-15 stands for assault rifle not ArmaLite Rifle
    -Revolvers don’t fire with each trigger pull

    I can add

    That a carbine is an Assault rifle.
    That an AR-15 can fire 10 times a second and 1800 times a minute.

  35. Jay permalink
    March 3, 2018 7:59 pm

    Great, he’ll give it a shot some day…

    “CNN obtained a tape of Trump at a closed-door fundraiser. He said this about China’s president: “He’s now president for life. President for life. And he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot some day.””

    • dhlii permalink
      March 4, 2018 8:24 am

      Again with the fixation on words rather than actions.

    • March 4, 2018 6:44 pm

      Jay, even Buzzfeed acknowledged that Trump was joking, which of course he was.

      I remember that Obama once joked that someone had been caught trying to jump the White House fence. The punchline was “But, it’s ok, we caught Michelle, and she’s back home safely now” I thought that was quite funny, especially because it followed some new articles that had speculated that Michelle felt “trapped” in the WH.

      But when Trump joked last night that no one knew who would leave the WH next, Steven Miller or Melania, the press interpreted that as a signal that the Trump’s would be getting a divorce soon.

      A sense of humor would help…

      • Jay permalink
        March 4, 2018 9:33 pm

        Truth oft told in jest…
        We’ll wait and see…
        My guess is that his wife hates his guts, and everything else attached.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2018 9:08 am

        Which wife ” Melania or Michelle ?

        It does not matter because in both cases it is not your or my business.

        That is one of the huge distintctions between us.

        You seem to beleive you are entitled to know and judge the thoughts of anyone else in the world you wish to.
        Oddly you want to preclude people from speaking – the best way to determine their views,
        but you demand to know evey private detail of their life.

        How do you create this state where you have an infinite right to know, and total control on the right of others to speak ?

        Why do you seek to repeat the mistakes of failed totalitarian states ?
        Why do you think it will go different this time ?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2018 8:29 am

        I think the picture we have of the Trump White House is so warped by the left that it is truly impossible to know or to trust anything that is reported.

        But my guess is that while it is chaotic and stressful – I think that is Trump’s style.
        That it has clashes of strong personalities and diverse views – again Trump’s style,
        that it is not in Crisis.

        I think Trump fumes occasionally. I am not sure whether that is real anger, or for show.
        But I think he does it.
        He tweets and often apparently angrily and provocatively and offensively.
        I do not know if that is blowing off steam, or intent on needling the left.

        I am not happy about it, but I am no as sure as Ron that it is inherently harmful.

        One of Trump’s unique political observations is that there is no political price for pissing of the most extreme wing of your political opposition. That there is little sympathy for the extreme and that they are never voting for you anyway, so their total hatred of you may benefit you.

        Democrats lost the last election for a multitude of reasons, Any one of which likely could have changed the outcome.

        But among those are that they alientated working class america big time.
        Trump drove a wedge between the extreme intellectual left elites and blue collar democrats.
        Further democrats bent over backwards to let him do so, and they continue to make that same mistake.

        Fortunately for Democrats that trend is not universal. With a few exceptions we have seen democratic candidates – particularly the successful ones moving to more moderate positions.
        Particularly those that have managed to win elections.

        The purportedly noteworthy GOP losses have all been to moderate democrats.

  36. dhlii permalink
    March 4, 2018 8:49 am

    Priscilla – your speculation about Trump might be right.

    But we do not know it anymore than the other gossip about the goings on in the white house.

    I beleive – I do not know, that Trump has a very chaotic management style.
    I think he enjoys throwing people off balance.

    My sense is that Trump is actually happy as president.
    I think he enjoys the attention he gets,
    I think he even enjoys the bad attention.
    I think he enjoys tweeting these uproarious remarks and the chaos they cause in the media.

    I think he is more politically savy than he is given credit for.
    Everything has not gone his way.
    But most of the attacks on him have fizzled.

    I am personally surprised that the left has been able to sustain this, thus far without burning out.
    I still think there is a great danger of that.

    We here less and less about Trump/Russia – because it is a dead horse.
    We are getting some new stories to keep the level of anger and discord up.
    But these new stories are very weak on substance. They essentially amount to rumors.
    They appear to be effort to start more baseless investigations.

    I do not have a problem with going after people for misconduct, but I want more than we have before unleashing the FBI.

  37. dhlii permalink
    March 4, 2018 9:32 am

    Here is MacCarthy’s response to the Schonfeld lawfare series on Obstruction.

    Because some parts of the debate are arcane, unfortunately some parts of MacCarthy’s response are too.

    If you can not follow the legal intracacies in the middle, the conclusions at the end are excellent and far easier to understand.

    I actually disagree with MacCarthy on some points. More of what the law should be than what it is. I do not think that otherwise legal actions should ever be criminalized merely because there is an investigation. Schoenfelds reading of obstuction is so broad that it would be trivial to trap most anyone. The expansion of the Law Schoenfeld argues to “get Trump” would if similarly applied result in prosecution of much of the Obama administration. Do not get me wrong, there are many from the Obama administration I would like to see prosecuted. But I am not prepared to give infinite breadth to the law in order to investigate and prosecute people whose conduct I am not happy with.

  38. March 4, 2018 6:34 pm

    I watched Sunday Morning Futures this morning, because Wilbur Ross was on to explain the thinking behind the steel and aluminum tariffs. It was very interesting, because he explained the use of a section in the Trade Act of 1962 that deals with national security, and why that forms the basis of the tariffs.

    The basic point he made was that, for the last 30 years, US trade policy has been driven by the huge multi-national corporations and Wall Street and the result has been the hollowing out of American manufacturing, the loss of hundreds of millions of US jobs, and the rapid shrinking of the US middle class. He also noted that, with declining steel and aluminum industries, our military capacity would continue to decline in comparison to Russia and China. He said that Trump’s aim is to restore manufacturing balance to the US economy.

    He also said that the retaliatory measures that some of the EU countries have said that they would call for, if we enforce the steel tariffs, would only amount to a tiny fraction of 1% of our trade, and that he doubted that those measures would even happen.

    Bottom line, he made the case that the Trump administration is not interested in a trade war, but that if one occurs, it will not be the US that loses, but rather countries like Canada, Mexico, and other nations that have used their trade agreements with the US to sell us down the river in return for Chinese investor cash.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 4, 2018 9:48 pm

      Priscilla – NO ONE WINS A TRADE WAR!!!.

      Honestly our government should get entirely out of foreign trade. (and the economy period).

      Set a small fixed tariff across the board, the same for every country and every good, and allow other countries to do stupid things if they wish.

      Ross is correct that Businesses have had too much influence on government.
      There is only one fix – disempower government, and leave busnesses unable to seek protection or advantage from government.

      I suspect this is a negotiating ploy on Trumps part.
      It is STILL stupid.

      And trade games are far far more dangerous than is perceived.
      This is not some 1% game.

      The US tried tarrifs as a response to a serious recession in 1929 and we ended up with the great dpression.

      While few economicsts beleive the Tarrifs caused the depression, there are none who do not think it made things worse.
      Foreign trade came quickly to a stop.

      With respect to your win-lose argument.

      We do not lose when foreign countries sell more to us when we buy from them.
      We do not lose when foreign countries “dump” or subsidize the products they sell to us.

      The trade arrangements we beleive are the most evil, are a wealth transfer from the “evil” country to the US.

    • March 5, 2018 9:08 am

      Dave, I agree that this is likely a negotiating ploy ~ both to pressure our NAFTA partners into negotiating an agreement that cannot be exploited by China and to set the state for a resurgence of the steel industry with the passage of an infrastructure bill.

      I agree that , in the long run, we will not punish our “good” trading partners by levying higher tariffs on them, but the opening gambit in Trump negotiations is always bold and even somewhat outrageous. As Ross said, this is something that has been planned for some time, so I assume that there is a strategy to it. Of course, the Washington Post says no, but we’ll have to wait and see, I suppose.

      What I do know is that virtually every one of our major partners is practicing protectionism, while we have not been. So, why would WE be blamed for protectionism? That’s an honest question. The concept of free trade was never meant to destroy the American middle class.

      • March 5, 2018 9:10 am

        “set the stage” not the state.**

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2018 9:42 am

        I agree with pretty much everything that you wrote.

        I do not agree that because other nations are stupid, we should be too.

        Many other nations are more socialist than we are.
        That is no reason for us to become more socialist.

        Socialism does nto work.

        Tarrif’s do not work.

        Tarriff’;s punish your own people. they assure that consumers will pay more for things without receiving greater value.

        The behavior of other countries that offends you, has the absolutely clear effect of assuring that US consumers will get more value for less cost.
        Whether another country uses cheap labor, subsidizes production, or dumps products,
        Our consumers still get more value for less cost.
        At best that is a norm of the free market and should not be interfered with.
        At worst the other nation is transfering the wealth of its people to the US – again not something we should discourage.

        Conversely if another country wishes to artificially raise prices to its own people – what business have we, in interfering with that country screwing its own people ?
        And why shoudl we repeat the same mistake.

        There are few things in economics so universally accepted as the idiocy of trade barriers.

  39. March 4, 2018 9:24 pm

    Here ya go…Joe Manchin is supportive of steel tariffs 😉

    • March 5, 2018 12:15 am

      Another reason he would not stand a chance if he wanted to be president.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2018 9:13 am

        60% of americans support Steel Tarriffs. That does not change the fact that they are a bad idea.

        But if does mean there is little political cost for advocating for them.
        But there could be a great cost for imposing them when the economy hiccups.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 5, 2018 9:00 am

      It is irrelevant how many people support them. They are still a bad idea.

      I found in the news today a Krugman editorial in praise of Free Trade.
      I expected as much.
      I am sure there is a Krugman editorial opposed to it when Obama imposed tarriffs on Steel.

      I have no respect for people whose views on subjects are determined by who is in power – even when they are fecklessly agreeing with me.

      This is one of the reasons I have great respect for Glenn Greenwald and the intercept.
      I do not always agree with him, but he takes on conservatives and progressives consistently over the same issues.

  40. Jay permalink
    March 4, 2018 9:37 pm

    Keep The Pee Pee Tapes Hidden Repression:

    • March 5, 2018 12:29 am

      Just because one agency is reducing spending does not mean they all are. The state department is reducing expenses agency wide.

      Stop being like MSNBC picking and choosing statistics that fit your narrative. Statistics don’t lie, but liars can develop statistics.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2018 9:32 am

        I am opposed to wasteful government spending.

        I am not sure how State has any role in this at all.

        I would further note that we should badly want to avoid any federal agency excpt DOJ from having any involvment in elections – that is jut a huge opportunity for corruption.

        Regardless, every dollar not spent is a dollar not taxed.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 5, 2018 9:10 am

      I would not expect state or any other part of the federal government to use this Russia money atleast not in the way you and the left expects, because speach supression is about as evil as government can get. It is also horribly ineffective.

  41. March 5, 2018 9:24 am

    “The White House announced on Aug. 18 a long-planned move to elevate Cyber Command to the status of a full combatant command.”

    You are obsessed with the fake dossier, Jay. This has nothing to do with what you call the “pee pee tapes.”

    • dhlii permalink
      March 5, 2018 10:01 am

      In early February Isakoff – the author of the Yahoo News Peice that the FBI used to independently verify the Steele Dossier, confirmed in an editorial, that Steele was the source for his story and that he was very surprised to learn that the FBI relied on his story to confirm the Steele Dossier.

      This BTW flat out rebuts a claim by the Schiff memo that the Yahoo News story was actually independent coorobration. Worse still Isakoff’s statement came BEFORE the Schiff memo was released. So the Schiff memo is not merely wrong, but either knowingly or recklessly wrong.

  42. dhlii permalink
    March 5, 2018 10:28 am

    Interesting article on controling the budget.
    The details do not actually matter much.

    The fundimental point is that it is within the power of congress to construct rules for itself that would change the incentives regarding government spending.
    Though there are details that Are interesting.

    A big one is the elimination of crystal ball forecasting.
    Requiring forward revenue forecasts to be based on PRIOR trends.
    i.e. instead of saying CBO or OMB says revenue growth will be 2% next year,
    Say Revenue growth will be estimated at the trend for the past 2 or 5 years.

    The objective is NOT to nail congress to that number, but to establish a baseline that is less political, and can be overridden by the legislature – put the political parts in the hands of politicians.

    Essentially what I think the author is talking about is a revised version of what we call the budget reconcilliation process.

    Reconcilliation is an important congressional rule today – because it does not require super majorities to accomplish anything that conforms to the reconcilliation rules.

    The fundimental problem with reconcilliation – and much of what has happened in government over the past 100 years is that the the “rules” heavily favor government growing faster than the economy on autopilot.

    If I were to formalize a hypothetical set of “rules” from this article:
    CBI will provide congress with a revenue projection based on the trend of the prior 10 years with the two worst years and the two best years removed – this smooths out recessions and recoveries.

    Congress then votes on a total budget amount. So long as that total budget amount conforms to the projected revenue, only a majority of votes is needed to pass the total budget.
    If the budget exceeds the projections the proposed budget is subject to Senate Cloture provisions.

    Once congress has approved a total budget amount, it can proceed on the 13 revenue bills that make up the federal budget. If any of those bills require revenue exceeding the approved budget limit, they too are subject to super majority requirements.

    IF the combined budget exceeds the previously approved budget, congress has 30 days to revise it, or the entire budget is sequestered by a percent necescary to meet the approved budget.

    This is just one possible scheme. The objective is to enact rules – similar to the reconcilliation process, but more heavily favoring fiscal responsibility.

    Other similar possible changes – While Nixon was president congress passed a law that required the president to spend all funds congress allocated.

    There are arguably good reasons for this – but there are also good reasons to allow the president essentially a line item spending veto.

    I would suggest revising the law such that the president can inform congress that he will not spend or reduce spending on any specific items in the budget, and that after doing so congress has 30 days to vote up or down on that specific spending items by a simple majority.

    This is not the same as a veto override – where 2/3 of congress is needed.
    All that is required is the majority of congress to vote in favor of a spending item as a stand alone item.

    The purpose is to significantly constrain log rolling and other forms of congressional deal making.
    There is no reason for Nebraska to trade some special favor to New york, if the president could refuse to spend a specific item forcing the congress as a whole to vote on an item preferential to a single state, senator or representative.

    The other point that I and the author are making is that it is not hard to come up with schemes that incentivize fiscal responsibility in govenrment.

    • March 5, 2018 10:57 am

      Dave, new budget rules will not happen until we have a debt meltdown. Once that happens, foreign countries will stop buying our debt and government will then be forced to balance.

      But until then there are too many onbthe keft that would demand increased taxes to pay for currect spending, too many “Daves” that would demand reduced government spending without much tax increases and not enough “me’s” that would use a combination of both to accomp!ish a balanced budget.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 5, 2018 12:09 pm

        Ron even data from left economists such as Christine Romer Obama’s Cheif Economic advisor will tell you that increased taxes are not going to work.

        Do you dispute that revenue from a tax is going to follow a curve ?
        That at 100% tax rate the tax will produce no revenue because no one will work for nothing ?
        That at 0% tax rate the tax will produce no revenue because 0 times anything is zero.

        Romer’s work – though targeted at something else provides solid evidence that the revenue maximizing tax rate for anything where the party being taxed has large ability to decline to perform the taxed activity, peaks at tax rates about 1/3 of income.

        Between the double taxation of corporate profits and upper marginal rates – we are slightly over that threshold.

        Put more simply unless you are going to substantially increase taxes on those who can not avoid them by declining to engage in productive actions, i.e. unless you tax the crap out of the middle class, you can not actually increase revenue by increasing tax rates.

        If the upper margin tax rate were 10% not 35% we might have some room for discussion.
        But the indisputable fact is that we are past the point where tax increases will bring in more revenue.

        That means the ONLY solution is to cut spending.

        That is not the conservative solution, or the moderate one or the progressive one.
        It is the only one that will work.

        The US tax system is relatively close to peak revenue – even after the recent tax cuts.

        With respect to rule changes – actually I think these can get through congress.

        It only takes 51 votes to change the rules.
        The primary problem doing so, is avoiding the appearance of partisanship.

        IF you want to deal with that you avoid doing the rule changes at times of crisis.

        I would further note that what is being proposed is relatively consistent with the “reconcilliation” rule change that was put in place in the 60’s.

        The objective is to make passing budgets relatively easy. But the price to be paid for passiing a budget easily, is to constrain what can be done. The reconcilliation rules are NOT that different from what is being proposed. Mostly these changes FURTHER diminish the inherent bias in the budget process for uncontrolled growth – BTW Reconcilliation was intendend to accomplish that too, it is just not strong enough.

        What is proposed is NOT much different from the 2013 sequester deal – except that it is incorporated into the formal rules, and that it determines the new baseline in a less expansionary manner and provides a more fine grained option than sequester.

      • March 5, 2018 1:21 pm

        Dave in this day and age where careers are more important than country and party control is more important than country and that only is one step below careers, you tell me how many senators and representatives are going to cut Medicare, Social Security and other trust fund programs. Those programs have been destroyed by incompetent management of funds and illiterate officials that would not adjust the programs to meet the outgoing funds, including those spent for none-trust fund expenditures and incompetent investment of funds they had control of.

        It IS NOT going to happen, no matter how much economists say increasing taxes blows up the economy. Increased taxes gets liberals elected. Decreased taxes gets conservatives elected. Increased spending gets liberals elected. Sitting back and doing nothing about spending gets conservatives elected. Its about getting elected, not doing anything right for the country, especially in the future when those in office will be long gone and retired, if not dead.

        A balanced budget is a fairy tale, and not even close to a best seller at that.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2018 7:14 am

        SS is being managed exactly as the law dictates.

        Yes, a decent private investor could have done far better, but you can not blame the SS trustees for doing what they were obligated by law to do.

        The problems with SS and medicare are by design.

        First and foremost is that they are an attempt to managed something highly dynamic by something rigid and inflexible.

        I have little doubt that SS and Medicare will go away eventually – just as the UK is slowly migrating to private hospitals and private insurance.
        But it may take a lifetime.

        As to your rant about politicians – while I agree, politics is fungible and politicians can self incentivize themselves to do the right thing so long as they can find a way to avoid blame.

        The sequester was imperfect – but it actually worked and proved that restraint was possible.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2018 7:20 am


        You proposed increasing taxes as a means to fiscal responsibility.

        My response noting that will not work was addressing your argument, which I presumed to be that a mix of spending cuts and tax increases was the “common sense” solution.

        I was pointing out that it is not – you will not likely get more revenue from increased taxes.

        It is going to be curious to see what the actual revenue effects of the recent tax cut are,
        I am not prepared to predict for certain myself, but I beleive that the projections used by congress were way off. There is as an example some evidence that the much reviled Bush tax cuts which were very badly structured very nearly paid for themselves despite claims to the contrary.

        The current set of cuts are partly structured in a way that will increase growth and revenue and partly in a way that will reduce revenue.
        My guess is that they will reduce revenue far less than predicted. But we will see.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2018 7:28 am

        I am more optomistic about the future than you are.

        One way or another we will get by. That is not really in question. What is unknown is how well we will thrive.

        The Obama Administration gave us a good view of what progressive government would be like.
        Not a perfect view because alot of the cost was being kicked into the future.
        But still a good view.

        In some twisted ways Trump is showing us what more freedom from government is like – growth is higher, oportunities for those who want them are greater, optimism higher, the future appears brighter, but everything is also more chaotic.

        Ultimately we will pick one future or another, or something in between or something different,

        Bad things will certainly happen, and we will get by. And we might even learn from them.

        I am also far less worried about catastrophic failure than you are.
        We actually have historical examples, and the problem with catastrophic failure is it usually results in a choice between freedom and totalitarianism. When we have picked freedom, recovery is rapid and strong. The negative impacts of our past mistakes are disipated rapidly.
        Unfortunately all too often we pick totalitarianism.

  43. dhlii permalink
    March 5, 2018 10:43 am

    The linked article is an excellent story of science run amuk. though it is far more than that.
    It is also a demonstration of how misuse of language particularly in the context of govenrment and the law where countering bad information is extremely diffucult colors outcomes.

    It is further evidence of why “common sense” is a poor criteria for law or government action.

    Much of what we call common sense, is neither common nor sense.
    Quite often what we beleive to be true, what we think is self evidently true, is not.

  44. dhlii permalink
    March 5, 2018 10:56 am

    The article linked may be wishful thinking. I think that has yet to be determined.
    But it is certainly something to be considered, while Jay and the left continually tell us that Republicans are toast, that a blue wave is coming, that trump will server one term at best.

    Root noting that Heritage is scoring Trump as the most conservative president ever – above even Reagan is quite interesting. Trump is quite obviously not a real conservative – or atleast he does not talk like a real conservative.

    Root notes that Trump has tacked strongly to the center on numberous issues recently.
    Ticking off true conservatives. in the procress.

    But each of these swings reflects another pattern too.
    In each instance, trump moved to a position that most moderates would be prepared to accept and the issue died. Trump gets the political benefits of appearing more moderate, without the actual cost of enacting something that conservatives oppose.

    I tire of the claims that Trump is playing 4D chess or that he is a moron who stumbled into the presidency.

    He has proven both at one time or another. He will make further mistakes, as well as brilliant moves.

    To those like Jay I would say it is very dangerous to beleive your own memes.
    You are living in a bubble.

    Maybe it will not burst – but I would remind you it did in 2016.

  45. March 5, 2018 11:25 am

    We comment on trade. We have diverse opinions. Dave is completely against any tariff. I lean to the other side of the issue when trade seems to be “unfair”. We can continue to post comments and no one is going to change their minds for the most part.

    But this article provides information from the position as to why tariffs are appropriate. Again no one will change their mind and we will probably post numerous comments going forward supporting one position or the other.

    What I would love to see on one of the financial cable channels is a true debate from both perspectives. One person providing a position, then the other side refutes that position using facts and statistics and references the sources for those facts.

    Again no one may change their minds, but it would be an interesting exchange of ideas.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 5, 2018 12:34 pm


      I am not opposed to ANY tarriffs.

      For a century tarrifs and excise taxes were the means by which the federal govenrment was funded.

      I do not appose tarrifs as a tax for the purpose of funding government.
      But such a tarrif must be small – or it is too damaging, and it must be FLAT – all goods are subject to the same tarrif.

      In terms of the debate we are having I am opposed to government using tarriffs as a form of protectionism.
      That is more than an oppinion. We have centuries of data on that.protectionism just plain flat out does not work.
      It does not work because the data shows conclusively that it does not.
      It also does nto work because simple logic shows that protectionist tarrifs are atleast as destructive to the country imposing them. I do not understand why a country would seek to shoot itself in the foot deliberately.
      Both Smith and more satirically Bastiat wrote of this in the 18th and 19th centuries.

      I am not a proponent of “trade deals” – because they are unnecescary.

      Every single thing your article identifies as “cheating”, harms the nations doing the cheating more than the nation being cheated on.

      If one nations subsidizes its exports it is quite clearly and obviously subsidizing the consumers in the foreign country. Why should we ever stop the Chinese or anyone else selling us things at below costs ?

      Also why do we think that a process that has never worked between cities, or counties or states, or between competing companies will work when practiced by states ?

      There is no difference between a country subsidizing its products to grow market share, and a company selling below costs to gain market from competitors.

      We have vast amounts of data on this – it does not work, further even trying ultimately benefits consumers not the company.

      We recently saw a version of a “trade war” involving US Fracking.

      The Saudi’s tried to put US Frackers out of business. The Obama administration turned a blind eye to this – one of few economically wise decisions they made.

      Fracking originally required oil prices of 60/barrel to be profitable.
      The saudi’s are pumping oil at a cost of $6/barrel, and transportation to the US add’s another $9/barrel. So the Saudi’s could in theory go down to $15/barrel to drive frackers out of business.

      So the Saudi’s lowered prices. Some frackers went out of business, some figured out how to frack even cheaper. By the time the Fracking war ended US frackers were able to affordably produce oil at below $20/b and that was sufficiently close to the Saudi’s that the Saudi’s could not keep the war up. The moment the Saudi’s backed down – many of those frackers that left the business returned quickly.

      And all of the above completely ignores the fact that there is no absolute requirement that oil or steel be produced in the US.

      The US does not produce coffee. Do we need protectionist tarrifs on coffee to foster an american coffee business ?

      I happen to think that US steel and aluminum producers can compete with those from China and Canada. But if I am wrong – so what ?

      The concept that everything must be made in the US is insantiy.
      We should produce what we can do most efficiently and profitably and every other nation should do the same.

      That process is called the division of labor, it was first conceived by Adam Smith, it is a fundimental principle of economics. It applies to individuals, small businesses, big businesses and nations.

      The goal of an individual or a nation is not to produce everything they need themselves.
      It is to produce the maximum possible value for the least effort.
      If the US can not produce steel competitively it shoudl not.
      The failure of US businesses that can not compete is not a flaw, it is an asset of free markets.

      Adam Smith: “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production.”

      The goal is not to produce everything, but to maximize our ability to consume.
      That does not means producing everything we need.
      It means producing the greatest value.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 6, 2018 7:34 am

      A portent of what ?

      This is a contract dispute. It is nearly impossible to tell from the article the merits of either side.
      It is for the panamanian courts and legal system to sort out.
      I have no clue whether they are up to it.
      I have no clue who is “right” or who is “wrong” in this despute.
      Central american countries (and Panama) have a history of corruption in their legal systems,
      so whatever the courts decide it is going to be hard to tell if it was appropriate.

  46. Jay permalink
    March 5, 2018 7:58 pm

    Ha Ha Ha Ha
    Ha Ha Ha Ha
    Ha Ha Ha Ha
    Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Sam Nunberg
    On cabletv
    Frothing at the mouth
    Another bat shit crazy ex Trump hire

    Unfuckin’ believable!
    Can’t wait for the nickname Dumbass Donnie hangs on this guy…

    • Jay permalink
      March 5, 2018 8:05 pm

      Actually, not so funny…
      The guy is acting weird.
      Is he having a breakdown or tv?
      Maybe they should get him a doctor…

      • March 5, 2018 10:14 pm

        Jay, seems like this guy was fired in 2015. Then he was caught lying after saying something in a report. Now is being interviewed by Mueller about Russia when he had aleady left the campaign, so this shows Mueller is not investigating Russia collusion, he is investigating anything he can possibly get his hands on.

        I am not a legal expert, but I am totally against a government stooge having free reign to find anything possible on anyone when they cant find the reason for their existence, so they keep digging to justify their expense.

        This whole thing is like the cops investigating a robbery, with one suspect and they cant prove that, so they finally find where they took $5.00 out of the cash register at the local Chomp and Puke Hamburger joint 10 years ago when they worked there.

        By the way, who is going to believe this imbecile once he starts ranting like he has to the media outlets. Maybe you would because you want anything to hang Trump. Thats putting the country on thin ice when lies and false information is used to convict someone.

        Nothing has come close to Russian collusion yet and not getting any closer. Mueller just want to prolong this through the 2018 elections to help Democrat candidates.

      • Jay permalink
        March 6, 2018 1:16 am

        He may be ranting… about things he knows about.
        People who are inebriated often reveal things they never would when sober.
        And he wasn’t sloppy drunk.
        He wasn’t slurring his words drunk, or free associating like when you’re stoned.

        Some of the things Sam Nunberg said on TV:

        -Carter Page colluded with Russia
        -Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting in advance
        -Trump bodyguard told him Emin Agalarov offered to send women to Trump’s Moscow hotel room in 2013

        Even if it’s ‘hearsay’ he heard it from others inside the Trump administration, which lends it more credence than if Nunberg was relying on sources outside the administration.

        And your criticism of Mueller is bullshit.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2018 8:02 am

        No one has given me a reason to care about this guy.

        As I understand Nunberg was fired in 2015.
        He has an axe to grind with Trump.
        There is no good reason to beleive he actually knows anything.

        I am not sure how someone Trump fired long ago, and who is suing Trump is a reflection of Trump.

        My guess is that his threat to defy a Mueller subpeona is a publicity stunt to raise his non-existant public profile.

        At the same time like Ron I am currious as to why Mueller is subpeoning him – though there is the possibility that Nunberg is lying about that.

        Ron’s criticism of Mueller is spot on. Meuller has come up with nothing at all regarding what he was appointed to do. He is now off in the weeds investigating all kinds of unrelated things.

        Even Ken Starr went to congress for authorization every time he expanded the scope of his investigation.

        Accepting that the leaks are true – which itself is dubious,. Mueller has cast a very wide net HOPING to find a crime. That is not how a criminal investigation works.

        My expectation is that the outcome will be Mueller interfering with the operation fo the Trump administration – atleast through the election, while never actually finding anything.
        That has been his pattern thus far.

        Mueller is also taking advantage of the fact that the house and senate investigations are likely to be quiet until after the election, as congress is busy with the election.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2018 8:11 am

        “-Carter Page colluded with Russia”
        Carter Page has got to be the most investigated person in this.
        He has testified under oath repeatedly, he has appeared on the news constantly.
        Mueller has made it clear he will rake you over the coals for tiny errors in your remarks.
        Page would be in jail right now if there was even a hint of a shadow of a lie in anything he has said. Go look at Page’s CV. He is a Naval Acadamy Grad, and he worked with the FBI to catch other Russians. The questions regarding Page are why did the FBI try to spy on him rather than bringing him in an interviewing him.
        Regardless, Page is a dead end.

        -Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting in advance

        There is no reason for Nunberg to know this.
        If true so what ?
        You keep trying to make something of a perfectly legal meeting.

        -Trump bodyguard told him Emin Agalarov offered to send women to Trump’s Moscow hotel room in 2013

        I beleive that has already been confirmed – and Agalarov was told NO! emphatically.
        But again lets say it was true – so Trump had women in his room in Moscow.
        I would be surprised if Trump NEVER had women in his room in Moscow.

        As usually you are trying to make nothing into something.

        Do we even know that Mueller actually wants to subpeona Nunberg ?
        Or is Nunberg catfishing you ?

        Regardless, If Mueller wants to interview Nunberg – more power to him.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2018 7:46 am

        Mueller should constrain his investigation to the scope he was given.

        I am having serious problems with his near infinite scope – we keep getting stories that Mueller is going here, or there, and nothing materializes.

        Mueller is allowed to go after other crimes he actually finds.
        But thus far the indications are he is not chasing actual crimes, he is going everywhere in hopes of finding a crime.

        Mueller should have been reigned in long ago. But Rosenstein is not going to do that.

        I do not think this is the end of the world. What it means is far more pressure will be brought on Sessions to open a 2nd SC investigation.

        The more lawless Mueller becomes the stronger the political argument for a lawless SC to go after the obama administration.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2018 7:41 am

        Why should anyone care about this guy ?

        Maybe he has a problem, maybe he doesn’t.
        It does not appear he actually knows anything.

  47. March 5, 2018 11:31 pm

    Interesting how the double standard continues to boil up. During the Oscars, there was much ado about #metoo and sexual improper behavior. There was even one comment made today about someone being a winner last year not being able to be there to present the Oscar this year.

    And then they give Kobe Bryant, the lifelong LA Laker basketball player that was the cherry on top of the cake for many of those individuals at the Oscars. He received an Oscar himself for some minor achievement. One could see many of the celebrities sitting court side when he played and many attended his last few games to honor him. This is the same Kobe Bryant that was charged with rape in Colorado in 2003. This was in the era when women either would not put themselves in the public by filing charges or them refusing to testify in court, which is what happened. One is charged and given an Oscar, one is accused of something years ago, and they refuse to invite him.

    This was made even worse based on a comment made today by Kevin Blackstone, a sports reported, who reported today that reporters were told not to ask Bryant anything about 2003, the only questions allowed were about the Oscar or his acceptance speech.

    No wonder the rating for this show was down 16%. People know hypocrites when they hear them.

    • Jay permalink
      March 6, 2018 1:27 am

      Daytona 500 drew a 5.1 overnight rating on Fox last month, a record low down 22 percent from the overnight rating scored by the 2017 edition, and down 16 percent from 2016 and down 30 percent from 2015.

      Isn’t that a mostly right wing Trumpster fan base? Why are they abandoning it?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2018 8:17 am

        Is there an argument in this ?
        I certainly can not make one out.

        The Oscar’s ratings are down – because the Oscars have become uninteresting – even to its core constitutents.

        I still watch movies – even by actors whose political views I think are moronic.
        I think some of those actors are incredibly talented.
        But I am not interested in watching the Oscars.

        I have never been a Daytona fan.
        To the best of my knowledge NASCAR and its coverage does nto involve politics.
        If ratings are down, probably viewers are bored, but it says little about politics as NASCAR is apolitical.

        Or is there some other argument you are making ?

      • March 6, 2018 9:49 am

        Jay, I do know that NASCAR has always had a loyal following of fans that, somehow, find it thrilling to watch cars drive round and round in circles, but why they may now find it less exciting is a mystery to me. Maybe they finally got bored?

        Which pretty much explains why many people have stopped watching the Oscars…it’s gotten boring. There are too many Hollywood award shows now, and they’re all the same: a bunch of vapid actors, who think that they’re edgy and important, vying for the chance to get up on a stage and blather on about how brave and wonderful they all are for “standing up” to sexual abuse and gun violence (while their armed body guards await backstage, lol). Most people haven’t even seen the nominated films, so they couldn’t care less which one wins.

        It used to be that the Oscars were glamorous and entertaining. Now they’re just boring And there are a lot more options of things to watch on TV.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2018 12:35 pm

        Good points.

        I do not think NASCAR has changed much. If we are bored with it, it is because our tases have changed.

        The oscars have changed. They are increasingly political.
        We still watch the TV and Movies in record numbers. But we do not pay attention to the awards – because they are no longer about the Movies. They are about the political preening of Hollywood
        and we do not care, or are even turned off.

      • March 6, 2018 3:27 pm

        Dave “I do not think NASCAR has changed much. If we are bored with it, it is because our tastes have changed.”

        This one you are totally wrong! NASCAR has changed totally in the last 25 years. Until 2007, the cars body was close to manufacturers specs. In 2007 NASCAR introduced the “Car of Tomorrow” , a common template body that was no where in the same universe as the car we buy. This was the beginning of NASCAR’s decline.Only the decals on the nose were somewhere near what the manufacturer provides. In the 80’s, and 90’s, the cars were manufacturer sheet metal, “tweeked” by the teams. Up till the 90′ manufacturers had to sell a certain number of models to be sanctioned by NASCAR.

        NASCAR today is nothing like it was before 2000.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2018 5:35 pm

        Obviously you know far more about NASCAR than I.

      • Jay permalink
        March 6, 2018 1:51 pm

        I agree with your Oscar assessment.

        It’s boring in the sense that ‘Hollywood’ (its product) is more and more becoming a minor entertainment provider to cable,TV, and streaming services like Netflix. The ‘movie-goer’ market is shrinking. U.S. movie ticket sales in 2017 were lowest in 25 years.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2018 2:48 pm

        See there are things we can all agree on.

        I am actually happy with “hollywood” though maybe it is not really hollywood, but the TV and movie industry.

        I can get on netflix, Amazon, Hulu, … and find something entertaining.
        I will highly recommend “Three Billboards …” to you, The three leads are excellent,
        I think Woody Harelson put in a fantastic performance and he deservedly lost to the other male lead.

        There is also a huge amount of good british production available.

        Streaming means that there is far more work for lessor known actors and shows that could not have been made two decades ago do fine today.

        I do not go to the movies much, and I really never have. But I do watch many movies when they become available at home.

        My point is that entertainment has become more of a widely available and produced product and that means more choices and more employement, but it seems to mean less super stars.
        And it means Hollywood as an institution is less significant.

        Anyway, I see most of that as good. I also think that part of the reasons for the #metoo explosion is that we are past the tipping point.

        That entertainment is transforming much as the news has transformed, and it is moving to more and smaller studio’s and sources.

        And that means that power is more diffuse and less concentrated and the Weinsteins of the world have less ability to silence complaints.

        But I would imagine that you would go out of your way to avoid recognizing that growing and freer markets would lead to improvement for both consumers and for the people employed in producing.

      • March 6, 2018 11:02 am

        Why are they ignoring it?
        1. The big name drivers retiring.
        2. Fathers took their kids to the track, watched “stock” cars on the track and on Monday, they went to the dealer and looked at the cars they watched on Sunday. There is nothing close today on the track, not the bodies , ( much wider,taller and longer), not the eng ines not the transmissions.
        3. Tickets that cost $10-$20 now cost more than a family can afford to attend.
        4. NASCAR signed multi-billion dollar TV contracts that require many more commercial breaks. Now we get 10 laps of racing and 5 laps lost to commercials. People know 3+ hours of time in front of a TV on Sunday with almost 1 hour of that being commercial time is a waste of time.
        5. Viewership of all sports except NBA s down. NBA is just over two hours. Shorter attention spans cause longer sporting events to lose viewers.
        6. Stage racing. Older fans do not like the gimmick racing.
        7. Constant rule changes. Who knows what the rules are ( locking bumpers in the draft, pit crews over the wall, passing below the line at the start/ restart being different). Compares to NFL’s what the hell is a catch rule.
        8. Very bad racing, no passing, lost interest in cookie cutter tracks results in decreased fan interest at all tracks and TV.
        9. Putting races on premium cable cuts fan interest since many do not have it, so they stop watching them all.

      • March 6, 2018 11:46 am

        Jay, now that I answered your question about why NASCAR is losing fans, I will reiterate my original comment.

        If you take a position, stand by that position. As I have said I am not a Trump fan, I did not vote for him and would not vote for him in the future unless the two other candidates are liberals from the Warren/Pelosi wing of the Dems. I also have said multiple times I am waiting for the Russia Collusion conclusion and when that comes out, I will make my positions known. There is no waffling on that. And I have said many times when a SC is put in place, they should investigate that crime and not go searching for something other than that crime unless the minor crime supports the major crime and that is charged. But Hollywood makes a big deal on sexual misconduct and then awards something to a sexual abuser.

        Is that not a double standard. They rant ad rave about Trump and his double standards, but should they not follow their own advise?

        Its just like a baker in Oregon that decides they do not want to decorate a cake for queers because it is against their personal beliefs and the left has a cow and the bakers are finally fined for sexual orientation discrimination. Then Dicks, Walmart and other sporting good stores make a decision not to sell guns to people under 21 and everyone thinks that is great. But the same law that said the bakers can not discriminate also says you can not discriminate based on age. And another current law says people over 18 can buy that gun. How can you support part of anti-discrimination and not the other? Its the law!

        I don’t care if you’re the president, the pope or the homeless guy that picks through trash, when you take a position, stick to it until someone gives you a very good reason for changing. Double standards only defeat your purpose.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2018 12:51 pm


        Mostly I would agree on SC’s.

        Andrew MacCarthy has done many articles on the illegitimacy of the current SC.

        Mueller was given a counter intelligence mandate.
        While that is a legitimate investigation, it is NOT a legitimate SC investigation.

        I do not have a problem with an SC following additional crimes he finds.
        BUT the process requires getting permission to expand the scope.
        Probable cause that a crime was committed.
        We do not even have probable cause of collusion much less the tangential crimes.

        Further an SC keeping some other crime he has found requires it to be useful to what his is investigating. Papadoulis is reasonable for Mueller to persue – even though I think this lying to the FBI stuff is garbage.

        Flynn is iffy.

        Obstruction related to Flynn is completely outside. That would be an entirely separate SC investigation, and would require a determination by someone other than Mueller that there was probably cause that obstruction occured. I do not think you can meet that test.

        Gates/Manafort – absent a credible claim that Gates and Manaforte can provide some useful information regarding the main investigation, Gates and Manafort should be turned back to DOJ.
        The indictment is for acts unrelated to Russia, for tax evasion,

        There are claims at the moment that Mueller is now looking at Kushner and his deals in the mideast.
        The first problem here is all we have is a rumor and most of those prove false.
        But assuming truth, that is out of scope and nothing I have heard so far raises to the level needed to be able to issue subpeona’s seek warrants and convene grandjuries.

        If those criteria were met, Mueller should seek authorization to pursue those,
        Those are outside his scope, BUT they would require an SC, so he might as well get them.

    • March 6, 2018 1:51 pm

      Re: the Oscars…I think that the political double-standard nonsense has turned off many people, not just “right-wing Trumpsters.” I’ve mentioned before that my brother-in-law is a actor /director. His father is also an actor, who has actually been nominated for an Oscar 3 times, and won once. My BIL is a typical Hollywood liberal, and it used to be that, every year, he and my sister would host an Oscars viewing party.

      They stopped doing that several years ago, because even they were sick of the hypocritical lecturing and obnoxious political speeches. They say that the show isn’t the same, and nobody cares anymore, except the nominees. They do, however, still hate Trump.

      I don’t think that Trump has much to do with the declining ratings, Jay ~ although he probably likes to think he does……

      • dhlii permalink
        March 6, 2018 2:56 pm

        I thought I posted a link earlier where a survey actually found that Hollywood types lecturing on gun control caused more people to join the NRA and buy guns.

        Could be “fake news” but still funny.

        Watching the awards shows used to be a big event. Today it is a yawn.

        I am pretty much uninterested in any talking head of any form lecturing me on what I should think.

        I rarely watch Hanity or Maddow or any of those. I am not interested in any of the late night people. I do not care to watch actors at the Oscars of Globes or … lecturing me.

        I will choose who to read – and I usually read, for political oppinions, and for information.
        I read people from all sides, but I try to read the best people – including the best of those I disagree with.

        We live in the internet world, why settle for less than the best.

        If I can google to find the best people and information to help with my job, why can’t I do the same with everything else ?

        While I am turned off to Hollywood lecturing. I am very happy with the entertainment available affordably today.

        And I am very happy with the information I can get on the internet.

        I wonder how I lived without it 30 years ago.

  48. March 5, 2018 11:35 pm

    Who wants to bet the GOP will find the most extreme un-electable individual to run and then wonder why they lost.–politics.html

    • dhlii permalink
      March 6, 2018 7:51 am

      We shall see. As I understand Cochran’s mental health has been a known issue for a couple of years. That arguably he has been a paper senator for some time, and Mississippi has actually be represented by his staff.

      I beleive I had previously heard that several capable people have been jockeying for his seat for some time.

      I know that there are several capable people after McCain’s seat – and then there is Sherriff Joe.

      We shall see

  49. Jay permalink
    March 6, 2018 7:38 pm

    Yeah these Lefty Democrats are just partisan Trump haters:

    “Listen, the president’s most authentic moments are when he’s lying…“He misled the American people on Russia, on North Korea, and White House personnel.”

    “Bob Mueller is at his doorstep and he doesn’t know what to do about it when it comes to Russia. “When it come to personnel, this is somebody who hired somebody off of The Apprentice, Hope Jicks was an unqualified communications director from the fashion industry, you have a chief of staff who made a deal with the devil … and a son-in-law and a daughter who are completely unqualified to do their work.”

    “Other than that… There are no systems, there’s just a president on Twitter. It’s not a real White House,” concluded Wallace, who served as communications director for President George W. Bush… As a result of a lot of factors, I would say we’ve never seen a Republican majority on Capitol Hill less prepared to govern in the shadow of Donald Trump either,”

    Oh wait! That’s Former Congressman David Jolly (R-FL) talking today! not a demagogic Dem!

    • dhlii permalink
      March 7, 2018 12:03 am

      Is there anything but speculation in any of this ?

      I would suggest Ed Rogers column in WaPo today about Nunberg.
      It pretty much captures things.

      Either Mueller is wrapping things up, in an oddly hateful way,
      or he has failed miserably and knows it, and is getting desparate.

      Regardless, the Nuberg subpeona is nuts. Mueller asked for years of data from nunberg about Trump and many others who Nunberg had no relationship with.

      Nunbergs drunken interview and ludicrous bravada is more a bad reflection on Mueller who has taken to hounding broken men who could not possibly no anything.

      I have said this before, but I will repeat it.

      For me the most despicable thing that Hillary ever did was to scapegoat Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. When you have power, you do not piss all over broken peons and hound them into jail.
      Matthew 18:21-35

  50. Jay permalink
    March 6, 2018 7:43 pm

    And keeps lying:
    “Former Director of National Intelligence Clapper just called @realDonaldTrump a liar on @CNNPolitics. Trump today said other countries and individuals, beyond Russia, may have tampered with our election. Clapper says it’s simply not true. Trump lied to protect Russia.

    #TraitorTrump keeps selling us out to the Russians.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 7, 2018 12:05 am

      You are talking about the James Clapper who perjured himself before congress ?

  51. Jay permalink
    March 6, 2018 8:07 pm

    Growing numbers of Americans, from the left, right, and center believe this assessment is true:

    Trump is a disaster in progress.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 7, 2018 12:10 am

      I found Krugman’s recent column extolling free Trade charming.

      Krugman won his nobel for arcane work on free trade – he was a free trader when he was a real economist. But Krugman the political hack of the past two decades has been virulently opposed to free trade. Until Trump was opposed to free trade.

      If Trump became pro-choice tomorow you and half the democratic party would instantly become Prolife.

      I do not place much value in the oppinion of someone whose views change with the party in power.

      My stands on issues are independent of whether democrats or republicans, Trump or Obama are in power.

  52. Jay permalink
    March 6, 2018 8:11 pm

    How much money is Trump secretely getting in payoff for advance information about his aluminum and steel tariffs?

    “Icahn Sells $31 Million of Stock in Company That Tanked on Trump Tariff News”

    • dhlii permalink
      March 7, 2018 12:11 am

      Why do you think a multi-billionare needs money ?

  53. Jay permalink
    March 6, 2018 8:18 pm

    Dubious Dopey Donald earlier today: Everyone wants to work in my White House! Everyone is happy!

    —-One Hour later—

    Gary Cohn: Get me the hell out of here! This moron couldn’t run a casino without bankrupting it.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 7, 2018 12:15 am

      Aparently you heard a different Trump remark than I.
      The one I heard was Trump saying he deliberately sought out people with strong oppinions willing to forcefully advocate them – even if they disagreed with him or each other.
      That way he would get the best advice.

      I have no doubt working for Trump is hard, and some can not take it.

      Do you really want whitehouse jobs to be easy ?

  54. Jay permalink
    March 6, 2018 8:22 pm

    This is turning out to be a WONDERFUL day:

    • Jay permalink
      March 6, 2018 8:23 pm

      Can Melina break her pre nup over this?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 12:23 am

        Would that be Melania’s business ? Or yours ?

    • Jay permalink
      March 6, 2018 9:25 pm

      If @realDonaldTrump was involved in this hush money negotiation, that’s a campaign finance violation.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 12:32 am

        If that were True Bill and Hillary would have been jailed long ago.
        They paid off numerous women to shut them up during the 1992 election.

        You do not seem to grasp that pretty much any thing that you THINK Trump might have done that was evil or illegal. One of both of the Clintons actually did – usually repeatedly.

        Anyway, can we quit this garbage about infinitely extending the law.

        You do know that Obama received myriads of campaign contributions by credit card from the mideast during the 2008 election ?

        So are we going to Jail obama alongside Trump ? or are you going to let go of this idiotic garbage ?
        Nothing bothers me more than hypocracy.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 7, 2018 12:21 am

      Clinton was impeached for lying under oath.

      I would further note that he had sex with an intern – that is a very junior employee,

      Most allegations regarding Trump allege consensual sex. A few allege he is a groper.

      Allegations against clinton range from peodophilia, to sexual assault to rape.

      Is this your idea of equivalence ?

      Do you think that lying under oath is the same as having sex with a porn star ?

      With respect to Daniels, I think she is trying to maximize her personal value – and I have no problem with that. I think the lawsuit is brilliant. It does nto matter whether she wins or loses, her profile is raised, and she will certainly benefit.

  55. Jay permalink
    March 6, 2018 8:31 pm

    I can’t stop watching this:

  56. Jay permalink
    March 6, 2018 8:33 pm

    Is Sam Nunberg the Martha Mitchell of the Trump Admin?
    Please advise

    • dhlii permalink
      March 7, 2018 12:26 am

      Nunberg is a nobody, whose life sucked before Mueller subpeonad him and sought to make it worse.

      Numerous people have pointed out, there is zero basis on the planet to subpeona Nunberg, there is no credible reason to beleive he could no anything about anything.
      Mueller is just pulling the wings of fly’s.

      If watching Nunberg implode gives you pleasure – you are a sick puppy.

  57. dduck12 permalink
    March 6, 2018 9:57 pm

    Wacky as Billy Carter but not as, er, slick, as Hugh Rodham.

  58. dduck12 permalink
    March 6, 2018 10:28 pm

    Trump did little to “drain the swamp”, but in firing Comey, he caused the rise of Mueller who is draining the swamp including Tony Podesta:

    • March 7, 2018 12:14 am

      Sounds to me like a hell of a lot of draining the swamp occurred. If there were less than 100 foreign agent lobbying in the capital before and now there are over 400, a lot of “gators’ are now out on dry land because the swamp disappeared around them.

      Why the hell has the law not been enforced previously? Why is it that it takes a special investigator to find this stuff? What the HELL are we paying the FBI to do, sit on their asses in Washington and ignore calls about crazy kids wanting to shoot up a school? This is the same thing that we have with fraud in medical billing. Everyone knows it is happening, everyone knows you can do it and the chances of getting aught is slim and everyone knows the government is so inept they can’t find it. Pad your billing somewhat to increase profits and no one is the wiser because no one is enforcing the laws

      The whole damn FBI agency needs to be fired and a whole new group of investigators brought in that want to work and enforce the laws on the books.

      This is getting F’in ridiculous when we have laws on the books that people pick and choose if they are going to enforce them or not. Foreign lobbyist, forget it, they are friends with “Big Wig” chariman for the XYZ committee. Illegal immigrant, forget it, they are in California and a sanctuary state. Major warns hundreds of illegal criminals in Oakland, look the other way, she was elected by the people of Oakland.

      I heard today that the House and Senate investigations into Russia will not be done until after the election because “of the election and time required for that”. BS, do your damn job and if that infringes on your election, to damn bad.

      Muller needs to stop this crap where he is extending this investigation into the election cycle and get this thing done. Its been a year and so far 9 people have been charged with minor crimes. At this rate he might have something by 2020. If it takes 18 hour days too bad. Work 18 hours. He has an obligation to get this done a finished. Hell will freeze over as fast as he is working.

      The only winners in all this is the Russians. They did exactly what they set out to do, cause turmoil in democracy. And the longer Muller takes, the more they win. to win a political war, divide, ten conquer. “They learn well grasshopper”

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 9:59 am

        The logan act was not enforced because it is likely unconstitutional.

        Frankly I do not think that FARA is constitutional.

        Too many – left and right are fixated on the WRONG side of the problem.

        You may not attempt (and fail) to prevent government corruption by restricting the rights of others.
        Lobbying is an exercise of free speach. We may not like lobbyists or what they say, but we can not restrict their right to do so.

        It is ONLY government and those in it whose rights and powers we can restrict.

        I find it disturbing that Mueller is going after russians in russia for posting on facebook,
        but Sen. Menedez we received millions in return for the use of his office to benefit a private actor goes free.

        The Russians did succeed at what they intended – with the help of the left, the mediam the FBI and DOJ. But our problem is not in the kremlin. The Russians did nothing they were not free to do, and frankly little of that. Our problem is in DC, it is with those we elected, and with those we have hired purportedly to work for us.

        One of those problems – the the left completely fails to understand is that THEY WORK FOR US.
        There is no provision in the constitution or the social contract that permits us to be governed by unelected elites.

      • Jay permalink
        March 7, 2018 11:09 am

        Blah. Blah. Blah.

        -A law isn’t unconstitutional until it’s declared unconstitutional.
        -Russians aren’t ‘free’ to break our laws for subversive purpose.
        -Unelected elites? Like Trump’s daughter and son-in-law?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 12:03 pm

        Bzzt, wrong – and ludicrously so.

        So you think a law requiring men to rape women would be constitutional until SCOTUS declared otherwise ?

        With specific respect tot he Logan act – there have been very few efforts to prosecute using it EVER, because nearly all prosecutors since its creation have grasped it is unconstitutional, and they are not interested in wasting their time pushing forward on something they are going to lose.

        Personally, I am not fixated one the constitution.

        Something is not just or unjust, right or wrong, because the constitution allows or disallows it.
        Morality rests on free will, without free will there is no morality.
        Government rests on that portion of ethics and morality concerned with the external protection of negative rights. Constitutions are legitimate in so far as they conform to that social contract, laws are legitimate in so far as they conform to a legitimate constitution.
        Our Supreme court is empowered to determine conformance. They are not empowered to change the social contract that the constitution rests on.

        Legitimacy is not a product of the vapors.

        You constantly claim not to be a creature of the left – whether that is litterally so or not, you embrace the malignant philosophy of the left that makes anything legitimate or not without any basis or foundation. You are not even honestly majoritarian – as you embrace the use of power against the will of the majority. Nor are you honestly authoritarian as you embrace the destruction of those legitimately in power without basis.
        You make the rules up as you go, and do not subject yourself or those you choose to the same rules you apply to those you hate.

        You are the epitomy of “the rule of man, not law”.
        There is no good that can possibly come from you.
        Should you prevail in any conflict, that will merely set the stage for the next conflict.

        You rant about guns and do not grasp that as you errode the actual rule of law, you increase the likelyhood that the next time you lose power may be at the end of a gun. Of course you want gun control, it is the only means by which you can continue to excercise arbitrary power.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 12:15 pm

        You have a very bizzarre concept of law.

        According to you, the US can not only legitimately make laws restricting the speach of its citizens in the US, but it may make laws restricting the speach of the citizens of other countries residing in other countries.

        Are we also obligated to prosecute russions for burglaries committed in russia ?

        Are you capable of answering direct questions ?

        Do you honestly beleive that US law is global in jurisdiction ? That the US can punish the citizens of other countries for acts committed in their own countries ?

        Do you honestly beleive that the US has the ability to restrict the liberty of people in other countries ? To restrice speach by people in other countries ?

        Do you beleive that the US has dominion over the entire internet ?

        You seem to think that we can punish Russians for political speech in Russia, when we can not bar americans from the same political speach.

        Further you offer this nonsense about the constitution.

        Neither the US constitution nor out laws apply outside of the US.

        I continue to note that rights are supra constitutional – that their foundation is not the constitution,
        this current mess should make that clear to you.

        Neither our laws, nor our constitutional rights apply to russians in russia.
        Even so, we are obligated to respect their right to free speach.
        Rights exist even when the law, constitutions of nations do not recognize them.
        Rights exist even when you can not get 5 octagenerians to grasp that.

        Our discomfort at others excercise of their rights does not vitiate those rights.

        I am straight, I find male homosexual conduct thoroughly repugnant.
        But my disgust – nor that of a large minority, or even a large majority of others, does not permit abridging the rights of homosexual men.

        Rights are not determined by 5 old men. They are not determined by the whim of the majority.
        They are not determined by constitutions or law.
        They are not determined by our distates for others.

      • March 7, 2018 1:56 pm

        Dave, there is a large group of Americans that believe they can interpret the law anyway they want, they can follow whatever law they want and they can impose their own beliefs on others without regard to laws.

        Take for instance the law covering sex, sexual orientation, religion, race and age. There are many who believe you can force a baker to make a wedding cake for gays and when they won’t based on their religious beliefs, they are charged with violating that law based on discrimination of sexual orientation and eventually fined. But those same individuals that fully support that law find it acceptable for a company to refuse to sell firearms to people under 21 when the laws of the state allow those arms to be sold to individuals at 18. And they will fully support those companies when, and if, a lawsuit is filed for age discrimination in violation of that same law that took down the bakers.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 12:20 pm

        Again with the language nonsense.

        If a law is actually valid – the purpose of the person violating it is irrelevant.
        You may not violate valid laws – even for good purposes.
        If your purpose is bad, but your conduct does not violate the law – government has no role.

        Your purposes are irrelevant. You are free to advocate for “subversive purposes” whatever those may be.

        You repeatedly continue this nonsensical argument that government adjudication of right and wrong are determined solely by your understanding of what is in the mind of others.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 12:23 pm

        If you have a legitimate allegation of misconduct by Trump’s daughter or son-in-law that meets the legal standard necescary to do so – then you may demand an investigation.
        But you are similarly obligated to demand an investigation of the same allegatiosn to the same standards of those whose views you like batter.

        Your hostilitiy to the view point of others is the most illegitimate possible means for justifying an investigation.

        While you are wrong on the law, your error would self correct, if you would just apply the same ludicrous understanding of the law to your friends as well as your enemies.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 7, 2018 12:36 am

      If Mueller actually indicts Podesta – who is easily arguably more culpable than Manafort for violating the unconstitutional Logan act, I would be impressed.

      Podesta should be scared. But I would be shocked if Mueller indicts a single democrats – though we have a long list that should be.

      • March 7, 2018 12:43 am

        Is this Podesta the one who worked for the Clintons or a relative? Not that common of a name.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 10:38 am

        Tony Podesta is John podesta’s brother.
        John ran the Clinton campaign.
        John is also patient zero in the DNC email hack.
        He responded to a fishing attack that allowed the hackers into the DNC network.

    • March 7, 2018 12:41 am

      Word press needs an edit function. too many typos in previous comment.

      Another law that I bet is being overlooked. Fact: congressional members sleeping in their offices. If that is done nightly and not just occasionally, is that not a benefit that needs to be added to their 1099 or whatever document they get for the income reported? They use the gym and the showers, another benefit.

      I can almost guarantee if you or I did this and we were audited and this was identified, we would have to report it as some kind of income, much like the use of a company car that gets used for personal use for a part of the miles added to the car. Those personal miles have to be reported as “other income” based on the cost per mile or lease value of the car.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 10:19 am

        The IRS would not go after me for sleeping in my office.
        Further it would certainly allow my business to purchase gym equipment for my and my employees use.

        Dealing with our problems in DC by whacking away at the perks of congressmen is not the right approach. The problem is with how they do (or do not do) their job.

        The courts have allowed congress to delegate its legislative power to the executive.
        There is no provision in the constitution for that. We must end that. Congressmen were elected to make our laws – they are obligated to do so, and responsible to voters for the laws they enact.
        Not unelected bureaucrats.

        This delegation is part of the reason we have too many laws.

        In a similar vein, congress was never supposed to be full time employment, nor in permanent session. We do not need a fulltime congress if we only have the government that the constitution allows.

        Further if you really wish to reduce political corruption you may only do so by reducing political power. What powers congressmen or bureaucrats do not have, they can not sell.

        I would further note that the rules and our rights in private life are quite different from government.

        Jay, the left and others even on the right are trying to scape goat the russians.
        They are an easy target. We do not like outsiders expressing themselves in our politics.
        But whether we like it or not they are free to do so.
        The current mess should make clear that rights do not actually come from government or the constitution. Russians have the right to free speach – even in our elections, and that should be obvious because it is not in our power to prevent. Just as they can not prevent our voice in theirs.

        But just as the evil russians are NOT the problem, neither are the lobbiests – even though we might not like them very much either. They too are free to excercise their rights – including free speach. In private life people have the right to persuade others to whatever extent they can.
        We are even free to pay for preferential treatment – even though that might be unfair.
        We can pay extra for the best seats in the house,. We can pay for the better car, or bigger house.

        Yet we pretend that when it comes to our relationship with government that private actors are not free to do in relationship to government what is the norm in their relationship to others. That they are not free to pay for preferential treatment.

        Do not get me wrong – absolutely no one is entitled to preferential treatment by govenrment,. at the very least the 14th amendment assures that.

        But the requirement of equal treatment is a condition imposed on GOVERNMENT, not private actors. It is not offering a bribe that is a crime. It is only accepting one.

        It is important that we understand the swamp in washington is not all those seeking to curry favor from out government – that is normal and legitimate conduct of free people.
        It is the granting of favor by those with a duty to govern with equal responsibility to all.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 10:37 am

        Various house committee chairs are once again calling for a special councel to look into the FISA mess.

        I beleive I linked a biographical article regarding Nunes recently that sort of addresses this towards the end.

        Nunes did not want to conduct the investigation that has given him such a high profile.
        He and several other members of the House beleive it is more properly a criminal investigation, and that as it has potential targets in the FBI and DOJ must be a special counsel investigation.
        While they have no problem with the IG or his investigation, the IG does not have subpeona power nor the ability to convene a grand jury, nor prosecute any misconduct found.

        With time more and more is coming out. Strzok’s texts are becoming very damning – not merely because they reflect his bias, but because they document the Clinton and Trump investigation overreach and failure.

        Strzok’s texts document that the FBI/DOJ became aware that Clinton’s private email server was actually hacked sometime after Comey’s exhoneration fo Clinton, and yet further investigation of that hacking was thwarted from above.

        We have Mueller busily persecuting Flynn for alie to the FBI that few people can find. We have the left contending that Trump asking Comey to go easy on Flynn is obstruction of Justice at the same time we have Clinton meeting with the AG, we have the DNC and HFA manipulating the FBI and DOJ, and we have the FBI and DOJ bending over backwards to avoid actually investigating Clinton – or pretty much anything else.

        Whatever the law is, we have one law for all. Not one law for the Trump administration, and another for Obama.

        While I do not beleive the fiscal conduct of Kushner constitutes proof of misconduct, it meets the minimum standard necescary for an investigation. As does the speaking fees of Bill Clinton and the hundreds of millions to the Clinton foundation that appear to be for favors or access to Sec. Clinton. If one must be investigated so must the other.

        I do not beleive there is anything to Trump Jr.’s meeting with Natalia. But if that is a basis for an investigation – then absolutely the DNC/HFA to perkins coie to Fusion GPS, to Steele, to Russian FSB agents with a heavy does of Sidney Blumenthal to Steele on the side is atleast as bad.
        Further the entire Steele mess becomes exponentially more corrupt when it becomes an effort to compel the FBI to investigate a political opponent.

        One of the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon was that he attempted to use the machinery of government to persecute political enemies.

        In myriads of ways the Obama administration did exactly that.
        That must be thoroughly investigated and we must make sure that can never happen again.

        Because if we do not, you can be sure that it wll.

  59. dhlii permalink
    March 7, 2018 12:54 am

    Here is Samatha Power explaining how Russians sabotaged the Italian election.

    It there nothing that left wing nuts find unbeleiveable ?

    • dhlii permalink
      March 7, 2018 12:32 pm

      There are myriads of legal issues raised here.

      Pretty much all of which pivot on whether Trump’s Twitter account is that of President Trump or Citizen Trump.

      I think that Trump has blurred that line and risks losing as a result.

      Regardless, you have no free speech rights with respect to the personal twitter account of Donald Trump – even though he is president, at the same time government may not restrict your speach in a public forum, and the twitter account of the president of the united states would be a public forum.

      What bothers me about you is that I doubt you care about the issues of rights, or constitutionality or legality. You are only interested in winning or losing. Anything that embarrasses Trump you favor – regardless of right or wrong.

      • March 7, 2018 1:15 pm

        I’m not understanding the whole concept of this suit. For one thing, Trump’s Twitter account doesn’t belong to him, it belongs to Twitter. Many lefties have asked Twitter to ban Trump, as it has banned other conservatives, and there is strong evidence that he is already being “shadow banned”. So, I’m not clear on why Trump can’t block this person. He’s not blocking her from using Twitter, he’ s just not blocking her nasty tweets.

        Seems to me that, if the plaintiff had a case here, then so would anyone who claimed to have a “right” to use Twitter to contact the President, as if there was no other way to express one’s opinion. I’m guess I’m not understanding how Twitter is a public forum…

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 2:47 pm

        I am not discounting your points, they all are worth discussion.

        But the critical factor in this case is:

        Does Trump’s twitter account constitute a government created public forum ?
        Is it the expressions of President Trump or Citizen Trump.
        If it is the former, then he may not block people.

        There was a case I believe in GA recently where this went to federal courts.

        A planning commission member used her personal facebook account to make Planning Commission announncements, The courts found should have created a public forum and could not ban people.

        My guess is Trump has done a few things on @realdonaltrump that are to close to “official”.

        But the remedy is trivial – Trump needs to not make official remarks on @realDonaldTrump.

        There are some further complexities – because ht eharm is incredibly low – that does not allow government – in this case president Trump to do as he pleases
        But a person banned from Trump’s twitter can open another account to access it.

      • March 7, 2018 5:21 pm

        I think you will find multiple twitter sites for Trump. Only one is the official POTUS site. He seems to use the other one for his ignorant or obnoxious remarks.

      • March 7, 2018 1:17 pm

        **he’s just blocking her nasty tweets…..not “not blocking”

      • Jay permalink
        March 7, 2018 1:44 pm

        He’s blocking her and others on a MEDIUM he doesn’t own.

        Blocking someone on a Twitter prevents them from reading that person’s words as well as responding to them. If he’s giving a Speach on a television network he doesn’t own, and technology existed to block some Americans from hearing him but allow others to hear, would that be Constitutional?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 3:02 pm

        The relevant question is did “President Trump” as opposed to “Citizen Trump” create a public forum. IF he did – he loses.

        Ownership is not important.
        CONTROL is. Twitter allows users to control their feed. Trump inarguably has control and the right to control.

        But President Trump may not use control to the same extent citizen Trump can.

        This issue has come up before in contexts not involving Trump.
        I think he is likely to lose.

        But the stakes here are tiny.

        The eventual result is going to be bright lines distinguishing government social media from that of individuals who are also in government.

        @realDonaldTrump can block whoever he pleases, but he can not conduct “official business”.
        While @PresTrump (if there is such a thing). can either block everyone or no one, and can not post personal comments.

      • March 7, 2018 3:15 pm

        I still don’t see how it is a freedom of speech issue. If a president grants an interview to a cable station and there are people who don’t have access to that station, for whatever reason, that is not a free speech issue. It just means that they have to read about the interview in the papers or on some public broadcast network.

        Plus, my original point still stands ~ it’s Twitter’s platform, not Trump’s, not the White House’s. If this woman wishes to rant at Donald Trump, or threaten him, or call him names, she can do so ~ she can send him emails, she can stand on a street corner, she can parade around the White House with a billboard. It is not Trump’s obligation as president to read what she tweets. Twitter can easily adjust this by simply allowing her to see Trump’s tweets, while allowing him to block her abusive ones to him.

        However, as it is now, I have not seen a tweet from Trump for many months, other than what is reported on the news. If I want to see it on my phone (and I do follow him) I have to proactively go to his feed, it never shows up on mine.

        Social media is not the same as public media, and while I agree that there are free speech issues to work out on FB and Twitter, among others, I think that this case is stupid and frivolous. If we want to make a big deal of freedom of speech, we should be looking at more serious cases, in which speech is being criminalized and/or suppressed….

      • March 7, 2018 5:32 pm

        Another issue I have not been following. But from your comments I have a question.

        Newspaper do and always gave picked the news they want to report. They have editorial pages where individuals could write a letter to the editor. The paper picked the ones to publish or not.

        So now we have twitter and facebook. People post comments to their sites. Do they not have the same rights to their own site that newspapers have to theirs?

        In my mind, freedom of speech is unrestricted speech in a public location with few restrictions. It does not provide me freedom of speech in a the newspaper or any other privately owned company.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 8, 2018 12:19 pm

        A news paper is not analogous to social media.

        A news paper decides who may post an editorial and who may comment.
        The newspaper is not government and is free to do so.

        This is loosely also true of blogs, and blog comments.

        On facebook and twitter, the account holder can block people from seeing or commenting on their posts.

        Control is legally a right of ownership. So Social media accounts “own” their feeds.

        Just to be clear – Twiiter and Facebook have superior rights of ownership.

        You can think of it like renting.
        I own an apartment building. It is mine. I am the clear final owner.
        But my tennants lease their apartments. They too have rights of ownership – they can exclude others from their apartment.

        If President Trump posts on twitter – posts that are equivalent to official statements, then he has created a public forum and he can not block others from it.

        If citizen Trump posts oppinions on twiiter he is just as free as any ordinary citizen.

        But Trump must be careful because a single post that can be viewed as an official statement or a statement of policy rather than oppinion would make the entire twitter account a public forum.

      • March 8, 2018 1:02 pm

        Just to be clear.
        1. That is why there are two accounts, @RealDonaldTrump and @POTUS. He can post non-official stuff to the first and official stiff to the second. Right????
        2. As the owner of the rental properties, you can make certain rules the renters have to follow, like no parties after 10:00pm, no kids, no pets, no sticky notes on the doors. So as the owner of the social media site, can not Twitter and Facebook say no “XYZ” can be posted or we will take it down? For instance, lets say the Christian Conservative coalition provided a social media site and would not allow gay, lesbian, transgender or atheist comments, wopuld they not have the right to block those post, much like the newsparer has the right to not publish whatever they did not want published?

        Or is this another case of someone owning something, but the government controls your ownership and you have little to say over who and what is said?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 8, 2018 1:42 pm

        1). So long as Trump does not use @realdonaldtrump in any way that can be deemed official he has not problem. Whether he has a 2nd account or not.
        But he could have a problem if he announced policy even once.

        This is a new area, and we are trying to work out the “rules”. but there is alot of existing caselaw on similar things.

        2). The renter analogy was solely to point out that actual ownership is not required.
        Government can not circumvent the constitution by renting a forumn.

        The issue in the Lawsuit regarding @realdonaldtrump is whether that is a government created public forum. If that is the case Trump can not block.

        Much of the rest of your remarks are on unrelated areas of first amendment law.

        But as a general rule – which has been repeatedly violated,

        Government can not compel you people to do something it can not do itself.

        If can not order Twitter to censor, if it can not directly censor itself.

        That does not mean that twitter can not censor, even censor in exactly the way government would like.

        There are also complexities because of the DMCA which broadly bars provides such as twitter from liability for content on their cites, so long as they follow strict rules for 3rd party censorship of content that infringes on rights, and generally do not otherwise police themselves.

        There is a common law proposition that if you do something that you are not obligated to do, you are still liable if you do it wrong.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 5:41 pm

        The internet confuses the hell out of 2 centuries of assorted law – particularly constitutional law.

        This is even a factor in the argument I am making regarding “russian influence”.

        In 1916 if Russia wanted to speak in a US election it would have to send people and money to the US.

        Had the courts properly grasped then that money is merely a means of transporting a right from one place to another, we would never have had campaign finance laws.

        Today we have Mueller indicting Russians in Russia for paying people in Russia to make posts on the internet in russia about US elections.

        You can wish all you want that Russians would keep their mouths shut about US elections – you can not prevent it. Nor does government have any more legitimacy doing so than in silencing the NRA, or Citizens united, or Koch’s or Sorros.

        We have not had the ability to trivially speak from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world withough anything but electrons crossing borders. Regardless, the laws of governments do not apply to electrons and we are idiots if we think we are entitled to impose our laws on actors in a foreign country.

        With specific respect to @realDonaldTrump. A twitter account is a forum – not only can you speak, but people can speak back to you.

        Individuals can speak as they please and can limit who can speak to them as they please.
        I am not obligated to allow you into my home to speak to me. I am not obligated to accept emails and tweets from you.

        But government is different, we do not often grasp this but constitutional rights are for the most part about GOVERNMENT, not individuals. As noted before there is no right to free speach in another persons space. The right to free speach applies to PUBLIC forums, as well as to government restrictions on private speach.

        If Government creates a public forum for people to speak, it can not limit who can speak or what they can speak about.

        A twitter account is a two way vehicle – even if it MOSTLY goes one way.

        @realDonaldTrump could probably legitimately block EVERYONE, but if that account is considered a government forum, he can not block selectively.

        The fundimental question is who controls the account
        President Trump or Citizen Trump.
        President Trump can not restrict speach on a public forum.
        If the account is controlled by President Trump that is the end of discussion.
        Eitehr he can block everyone, or no one. But nothing selective.

        If the account is controled by Citizen Trump he can block as he pleases.

        Note I am using control not own.
        Government often gets away with doing things it should not by leveraging private parties.
        We see this with banks and congress is threatening that with social media.

        Government can get a bank to share information with it, that it would not be able to obtain from you directly. This always should have been a 4th amendment violation. But the courts have bought a bunch of garbage that we do not have rights, or we have less rights when we engage in exchange, the courts have also bought garbage that your rights do not exist when there is a third person internediary.

        With respect to social media – Twitter can censor however it pleases.
        But government can not actually pass a law compelling Twitter to censor.
        But it can threaten to – and has and we have seen social media comply.
        Bussineses are terrified of government stepping in to regulate them in ways that will not produce money. But it is just as unconstitutional for government to tell Twitter to censor its users as to do so directly.

        Anyway, I think Trump is likely to lose this fight. But the fix is trivial.
        A 2nd twitter account, with Trump currating his tweets carefully so official pronouncements go out under a PresidentTrump account, and personal expressions go out over a personal account.

        While everything the person who is president says is significant, most of what is tweeted by @realdonaldtrump is not “official” But it only take one thing to make the account a government forum.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 5:48 pm

        Just to be clear – if govenrment creates a public forum, it can not restrict those who use it.

        Government can no circumvent this by renting the forum. It does not matter that the space is owned by others, it is control that matters.

        When Trump goes on “face the nation” the media controls who can call in, and who can ask questions. If Trump as president had control, he could not block anyone.

        There are some messy aspects to this – though not that many.

        The govenrment can restrict profanity in a public forum, it can impose TRULY content neutral rules – such as only speaking during certain hours.
        In some instance it can impose content based rules – at a zoning board meeting you can not speak about the botany of mars.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 7, 2018 5:52 pm

        The case is stupid and frivolous.

        But frivolity and stupidity is not a basis for government to restrict the speach of another.

        The speaker has other means to speak – but that is NOT the test.
        If government creates a public forum for anyone, it must be open to all.

        The only question of consequence is whether @realdonaldtrump is the twitter account of President Trump. And it does not matter if it is only occasionally the account of president Trump.

      • March 7, 2018 5:33 pm

        I was not disagreeing with you, btw, Dave. I agree with your comment that the stakes here are tiny.

        I’m sure that part of the goal here is to separate Trump from millions of his Twitter followers, many of whom were acquired long before he ran for president.

        Trump uses Twitter in a way that no other politician does ~ it’s very effective, even when it’s outrageous. Compare to Obama’s Twitter account, when he was POTUS~ it was obvious that someone other than Obama was tweeting out most, if not all, of the things on that account. I followed that account, and it was more like reading tweets from a PR firm than an actual person.

        When Trump tweets, everyone knows that he has typed out the message with his own stubby little fingers, away from the watchful eyes of General Kelly, Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell (much to their dismay!) But it establishes a bond between Trump and his followers that I imagine is very powerful. It’s that bond that his opponents want to break, and I can understand why.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 8, 2018 12:29 pm

        I do not think the objectives are so well thought out.

        I think those involved are just looking to tweak Trump.

        That does not bother me. Turn about is fair play.
        Trump tweaks others, Sometimes I enjoy his tweaks of others.

        I know Jay and the left can not grasp that it is actually possible to find Trump annoying, irratating, as well as to find him humerous.

        Trump is neither Satan nor Jesus.

        The big battle of the moment is over Tarriffs.

        I have been a free trader my entire life. I oppose Trump’s proposed tarrifs as stupid and dangerous. I do not know why he would risk harming his strongest asset a growing economy.
        But I would note that Trump spoke at my brother’s graduation in 1983 and he was a propoent of Tarrifs then. Trump has not changed either.

        Bush II imposed Tarrifs on Steel and aluminum and they failed. Obama imposed them and they failed.

        All too many of the people who supported Bush’s or Obama’s Tarriffs, people who generally support tarriffs are frothing at the mouth over Trump’s tarriffs – because it is Trump.

        Trump can do nothing – not even excatly the same things that Clinton or Bush or Obama did without it being the worst thing that was ever done buy any president.

        If Trump proposed doubling the funds to Planned Parenthood tomorow the left would scream that was evil.

        It is impossible to have a discussion of what the right and wrong policies are when one side opposes anything that Trump does just because it is Trump.

  60. Jay permalink
    March 7, 2018 1:31 pm

    Dave, I’m Guessing that the convoluted and detailed explanation of the Stormy-Donnie legal hustle to follow will trap you in legal contract law of possibility like a a fly in a web, and I won’t Be bothered with inane verbosity for a long while.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 7, 2018 2:55 pm

      Absolutely there are fascinating legal aspects to the Daniels lawsuit.
      As Turley and others have noted – Daniels is making the wrong claim.
      The signature argument is very weak.
      Payment of money made the contract binding, and the contract need not have been with Trump.

      In your context – the “I hate Trump, and somehow this must be a crime” context – there is nothing here.

      Daniels pleadings now assert an affair. Pleadings are sworn. That makes it highly likely they are true – though I am in the midst of a legal morras that has been ongoing since 2013 over my fathers estate where the executor has stated absolutely contradictory things in his pleadings – sometimes in the same pleading. So I am disinclined to presome the truth of sworn statements aside from my own.

      I do not think the Daniels suit is of any consequence regarding Trump – aside from his relationship with Melania, which is between them. I do think it is brilliant regarding Daniels.

      I saw her on Kimmel and was very impressed. She is going to leverage this to further wealth and fame – and I say more power to her.

      • March 7, 2018 6:14 pm

        I don’t think that it’s worth Trump’s effort to make this any bigger of a deal than it already is. Let the courts decide whether this woman can rake in her millions, telling a story from a decade ago, that may or may not be true, may be partially true, may be slanderous, etc. And if it’s decided that she can? I suppose that she’ll get her 15 minutes of fame, and there will be the usual hypocritical condemnations of Trump’s character by people who worship Bill Clinton.

        Ho hum.

      • Jay permalink
        March 7, 2018 7:13 pm

        “ there will be the usual hypocritical condemnations of Trump’s character “

        And the usual hypocritical shoulder shrugs from apologists like you, defending the moral hypocrite.

        At this point, after ALL the other many corroborating stories of his promiscuity when married, and the confirmed existence of the non disclosure payoff, it’s blindly naive to suggest her story isn’t MOSTLY true.

      • March 7, 2018 9:29 pm

        Jay, provide the legal document that states a president can be impeached for promiscuity and being unfaithful to his wife and I will stand right next to you supporting impeachment based on that documentation.

        But everyone and their kid brother knew this guy was a sexual predator from the start. Just look at his history well before ever getting into politics. Three wives should tell you that!

        So if the people voted for him knowing what kind of person he was, do you REALLY think they are going to change their minds now?

        This was one of the reasons I did not vote for the guy.

      • Jay permalink
        March 7, 2018 11:16 pm

        If the $130000 payment for non disclosure was made in consultation with Trump or his campaign, they likely violated federal campaign-finance law, which I believe is a felony.

        If Dems take over Congress, they will impeach for that, and by then Mueller’s investigation will have been completed and obstruction of justice charges will likely be filed (it’s pretty obvious Trump has obstructed). Nixon was impeached for obstruction, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress. I’m betting they will have more on Trump by then. And maybe Putin will hang him out to dry once it’s obvious Traiterous Trump is no longer useful and we’ll see the peepee tapes in living color streaming on the internet

      • dhlii permalink
        March 8, 2018 1:01 pm

        Bzzt, wrong.

        There have been payoffs of this type for decades. Unless they come directly from campaign funds, they do not violate the law.

        Trump or anyone else can be consulted. You keep trying to expand campaign finance laws, which are inherently unconstitutional into infinity.

        I would also note that you have to be very careful with many campaign finance laws – as they only apply if you take federal matching funds. I beleive McCain was the last presidential candidate to do so.

        The only thing that would actually be illegal – because it would be wrong, would be to take political contributions where the donor had no reason to expect they would be used for payoffs and use those.

        If Trump repaid his lawyer – that is not a campaign issue. If a large Trump donor repaid his lawyer – knowing what he was paying for, that is not an issue.

        But if Trump used someone’s money that they intended to be for campaigning, that would be fraud.

        It would help you to be able to figure out the law, if you thought about what underlying actually wrong act the law seeks to prohibit.

        Spending money in and of itself is not and should never be a crime.
        Spending money for things you do not like – still not a crime.
        Spending money for a purpose other than that the person who provided it intended – is fraud.

        If you give a baker $10 for a cake, and they snort cocaine and do not give you a cake – that is fraud. But if the baker gives you a cake and spends what is now his money on cocaine – that is not fraud. Or is you gave the baker money for cocaine – that is still not fraud.

        The exchange of money is not in and of itself inherently criminal.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 8, 2018 12:44 pm

        A president can be impeached for anything.

        But the house – not even controlled by democrats is not going to impeach over this.

        IT is increasingly likely that Danials did have a voluntary relationship with Trump.
        that is not a crime.

        The story is not that troubling, because it tells us nothing about Trump we did not already beleive.
        That does not make it a good story for Trump.

        Though I think having sex with a porn star might earn him favor with blue collar white males.

      • March 8, 2018 1:22 pm

        Dave “A president can be impeached for anything”

        Well you must be living in a different country with a differenct constitution than I am.

        In the country I live in (USA) impeachment is defined as ” impeachment at the federal level and limits impeachment to “The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States” who may be impeached and removed only for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”.

        How does screwing other women while married to another fall into “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors”

      • dhlii permalink
        March 8, 2018 1:52 pm

        When the house impeaches – there is no appeal, there is no right of appeal.
        The penalty for congress impeaching on improper grounds is the displeasure of the electorate.
        The house can impeach on any basis for which the electorate will allow them.
        There is no legal definition of that.

        Having impeached – the Senate holds a trial and a 2/3 vote is required to remove.
        That is the other check on impeachment overreach.

        I think it is highly unlikely that Trump will be impeached – even if democrats take over the house.
        I think it would be a policicat disaster if they tried, but they are free to do so.

      • March 8, 2018 6:17 pm

        “The house can impeach on any basis for which the electorate will allow them.”

        So the president can be impeached just because the majority of the voters decided they do not like him.Then what the hell good is Article 2, section 4 of the constitution?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 3:27 am

        The requirement is not “the majority of voters”
        Impeachment requires the majority of the house.
        The judgement on the legitimacy of impeachment is at the hands of voters.
        Removal requires 2/3 of the senate

        I do not think the House should impeach willy nilly.
        I do not think the Dems will impeach even if they retake the house.

        But they can

        There is alot of legal discussion of what constituties “high crimes and misdemenors”,
        Most what something of real substance.

        The senate decided in 1998 that perjury was not enough to remove.

      • March 9, 2018 11:50 am

        Dave ARTICLE 2 SECTION 4!!!!!!
        Read it!!!

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 1:39 pm

        I have. The terms are not defined (except Treason),. their meaning is left up to the congress,
        there is no provision for a judicial override.

        I doubt SCOTUS would consider an appeal to impeachment on any basis, much less “not high crimes and misdemeanors”.

        There has been substantial legal debate over this since Nixon.
        The concensus is that congress should procede carefully.
        While they can define anything they want as “high crimes and misdemeanors”,
        impeaching over something non-serious diminishes the congress and the process.

      • March 9, 2018 2:12 pm

        JAY!!!!JAYllll Lets do it! Based on this information, I did further research. Time for me to help you push for impeachment. I might even vote for the democrat house nominee in November to get Pelosi back in power.

        Thanks Dave, would not have done that without your info.

        Now I see where Ben Franklin said that” the power of impeachment and removal was necessary for those times when the Executive “rendered himself obnoxious,””. High crimes included things like being kbnoxious when the constitution was written.

        Well I fully agree Trump has rendered himself obnoxious. And other things to go along. So lets work to get Pence in and let him be the leader of the GOP for 2020.

        Everyday I am mkre impressed with the intelligence and forthought the founding fathers had. How could they have know 240 years after they wrote that document we would be stupid enough to nimonate two obnoxious asses.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 2:28 pm

        Read the campaign literature of the founders.
        Our modern politicians are tame by comparison.

      • March 9, 2018 5:31 pm

        But this is wonderful. It gives me hope that when someone like Hillary is elected and is her bitchy self, the house can impeach her. But first we need to impeach Trump for being obnoxious.
        WooHoo, we can impeach for anything!

      • Jay permalink
        March 9, 2018 5:49 pm

        You have to understand the word ‘obnoxious’ in its historical context to make sense of justifying it for impeachment.

        It wasn’t as frivolous a charge in the Founders time as you’re interpreting it now.

        “1580s, “subject to the authority of another,” from Latin obnoxiosus “hurtful, injurious,” from obnoxius “subject, exposed to harm,” from ob “to, toward” (see ob-) + noxa “injury, hurt, damage entailing liability” (from PIE root *nek- (1) “death”). Meaning “subject to something harmful” is 1590s; meaning “offensive, hateful” is first recorded 1670s, influenced by noxious.”

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 6:07 pm

        While I beleive that the constitution allows congress to impeach for any reason at all – subject to paying a political price if they overreach, at the same time textualism is not 12 layers deep.

        It is the meaning of the words in the constitution that must be understood in the terms of the people who ratified it. Franklins remarks are ONE source of understanding. Textualizing Franklin, and then textualizing the definitions of the words franklin used and then ….

        distracts from the fact that Franklin is once voice. what is important is not absolute precision in understanding Frankin in the context of the times.
        But precision in understanding the constitution in the context of the times.

        You are drilling vertically, when you need to be moving horizontally.

      • March 9, 2018 7:37 pm

        Jay, your raining on my parade! And I thought I found something we could agree on
        SILLY ME 😀😀😀

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 5:54 pm

        Can and should are not the same.

        I may be wrong, but I do not expect the democrats to gain significantly in Nov. and I do not expect them to retake the whitehouse in 2020.

        Democrats appear to be repeating the events in the GOP in 2010 – with one important difference.

        The Tea Party took on establishment republicans in 2010. With few exceptions they won primaries. Further because they won primaries in republican districts that were deep red, they also got elected nationally.

        Democrats have the same insurgent vs. extablishment dynamic going.
        Except the insurgents are challenging and winning against the establishment in pink districts, not dark blue ones.

        All democratic victories against Republicans since Trump have been by establishment democrats. The extremists can not win outside of dark blue districts that they already own.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 2:36 pm

        Just to be clear regarding impeachment – the fact that we can do something does not mean we should.

        I have an entirely different view of the entirety of what is going on.

        Much of Mueller’s investigation is a counter intelligence investigation.

        If our government is so conflicted that it can not conduct a counter intelligence investigation inside the FBI and DOJ then those agencies should be burned down and rebuilt from scratch.

        There is no basis in law for a counter intelligence special counsel.

        There are no actual criminal allegations against Trump or the Trump campaign.

        Absent that ONLY congress has the power to investigate.

        We have inverted almost everything.
        As Trey Gowdy has noted – the Mueller investigation is usurping the role of congress,
        The IG though persistent has no subpeona power and limited ability to compell people to work with him.
        Everything the house and senate intelligence committees have investigated really should have been the job of a special counsel. While everything Mueller investigated should have been the job of vongress.

      • March 9, 2018 5:39 pm

        Dave, Im back to being serious.
        “As Trey Gowdy has noted – the Mueller investigation is usurping the role of congress”

        Maybe if congress did its job, instead of being so dang interested in getting reelected or making speeches in an empty chamber in front of TV cameras, the we would not have SC’s.

        I doubt too many people would argue that congress actually does much these days.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 6:01 pm

        Congress did the job of DOJ/FBI because DOJ/FBI did not, and sessions to this point has resisted a 2nd SC.

        I am increasingly convinced he is wrong.

        Sessions is now claiming there is a DOJ/FBI investigation into the misconduct of the DOJ/FBI during the 2016 election, that is being performed by a DC outsider.
        That is all well and good and appropriate, But I think it really needs to be an SC.
        DOJ/FBI can not investigate itself.

        There is also a political reason this needs done soon.
        Congress is bound to political seasons. I think little more is coming from the Intelligence committees as members are going to be working on getting re-elected.

        Mueller is off in never never land, investigating things that happened after the election.
        There does not appear to be anything Mueller thinks is outside his scope.

        While I think I am a proponent of permanent investigation of politicians, I am not in favor of permanent partisan investigation.

      • March 9, 2018 7:58 pm

        Sessions is too interested in marijuana/cannabis oil/medications enforcement since he has been bought and paid for by big pharma to get involved with other investigations that mean something.Sessions is about as effectjve as a neutered rooster.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 10:05 am

        I do not hate Sessions or think he is “owned”.

        He is just the wrong man, with the wrong policies for the job he has taken.

        Nor is he a good fit for Trump. Who though not strongly left leaning on these issues was also not rabidly right.

      • March 10, 2018 12:11 pm

        Dave,” I do not hate Sessions or think he is “owned”.

        You are an enigma to me. You do not trust government, but you trust the ones in government.

        How is that?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 1:51 pm

        Corrupt and wrong are not the same thing

        Sessions is sincerely wrong – about nearly everything that is relevant regarding DOJ.

        He honestly beleives in the War on Drugs,
        He honestly beleives in Asset Forfeiture.

        He honestly beleives in alot of things that are just plain wrong.

        I have little doubt of his integrity.
        I do not think he can be bought.

        I trust that he will do what he beleives is right.

        I do NOT trust him to be right.

        He is sincerely wrong.

      • March 10, 2018 5:41 pm

        Well you believe he is not bought until proven.
        I am like Jay with Trump and his issues. Concerning most all politicians I believe they sold their soles to big business, lobbyist and others with money until proven thay have not.

        What other reason would he go counter to the GOP’s state right issues they have supported for years and ignore the hundreds of parents who have faced legal prosecution in states where Cannabis is not legal to give their kids with massive seizures a somewhat normal life if he was not bought and paid for by big pharma.

        No one can be this ignorant of the facts can they?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 6:55 pm

        Overall the difference between me, you, and Jay on that issue is:

        I do not assume every politician I disagree with is corrupt.

        Corruption is inherent in the fact that govenrment has power.
        If business did not exist, politics would still be corrupt – look at all the socialist regimes in the world – Cuba, the USSR, Venezuela, China.

        Businesses will rent government power.
        The wealthy will rent it.
        But in a poor society with no business, government power will still be corrupt.

        Corruption is a funtcion of power – not money.
        Money is at most a means of renting power.
        Nothing more.

        With respect to Sessions, I think he is what is called a true believer.
        There are many such on the left too.

        His is sincerely wrong.

        But in the end – it does nto matter much.

        True beleivers are as dangerous if not more so than the corrupt.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 1:53 pm

        Sessions is also a demonstration of why getting good people is not enough.

        I think that Sessions is a very good person.

        He is also very wrong.
        He is very willing to use the power fo government to do what he sincerely beleives is right and in doing so causes a great deal of harm.

        Sessions is the perfect refutation of the meme that governmnt works if you just get the right people.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 8, 2018 12:40 pm

        Has someone claimed that Trump was moral ?

        The only claims from those of us not frothing at the mouth over Trump is that he is less immoral than most of washington.

        This story is no different from those that have plagued just about every democratic presidential candidate for decades.

        Infidelity and payoffs are the norms for myriads of politiicians left and right.

        About the only thing that distinguishes this story from all of the Clinton “bimbo erruptions” is that Daniels is a porn star, and the relationship was completely voluntary.
        That can not be said of most of clinton’s which either involved violence, coercion, or subordinates.

        Is Trump some paragon of male virtue ? Not a chance. But neither is he Bill Clinton or Harvey Weinstein. Or apparently Mark Cuban.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 8, 2018 12:32 pm

        I think the story actually serves Trump. Atleast with blue collar men.

        From their perspective Trump did what they all want to do and bedded a porn star.

        There are no allegations of sexual assault here. No allegations of harrassment.
        The only harm done was to his relationship with Melania. And that is between them.

      • March 7, 2018 10:46 pm

        As Ron points out, Jay, cheating on your spouse is not a disqualifying factor for the presidency. It’s unfortunate that sexual promiscuity is so tolerated in our society, but it is. I’m not an apologist, I’m a realist. You seriously want to argue that the Clinton’s marriage is one to hold up to moral scrutiny?! And you voted for both of them, didn’t you?

        Let’s see, FDR, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, Bush 41, Clinton are all known to have had affairs, in some cases while they were serving as president. Nixon, as far as I know, was faithful in his marriage. But I’m certainly not going to argue that Nixon was a better president than the others, because of his marital fidelity.

      • March 8, 2018 12:23 am

        Priscilla, it would be interesting to know where Nixon would rate if the Watergate issue was removed. Nixon ended the draft, negotiated arms control with Russia and made a diplomatic breakthrough with communist China. He also was on track to provide a bipartisan healthcare plan until Watergate occurred.

        At the time, Nixons healthcare plan was supported by the voters and employers. It did not mandate individuals having insurance like Obamacare, but it required employers to provide healthcare coverage as a benefit. It also had some coverage requirements but nothing like Obamacare and it had caps the employees could reach and then not pay shared expenses after that. Everyone, for the most part, supported this plan as it was a market based plan and the marketplace drove the cost and services.

        Had Nixon never been paranoid about losing and Watergate had not happened, I think he would be considered an effective leader given the opening of China into the worlds economics, his stance with Russia and his moderate positions on economics in the USA.

        Our friend Dave will completely refute this and give multiple reasons about free market, anti government involvement, but I expect that to happen. This is just my thoughts only.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 8, 2018 1:04 pm

        I barely remember Nixon’s plan.
        I have already noted repeatedly that ANY government top down solution – whether to healthcare or anything else will prove disasterous.

        Beyond that Nixon is an enigma. He has a large number of amazing accomplishments particularly in foreign policy. Only Nixon could go to China.
        But he was also incredibly progressive as a repubican.

        Absent watergate I would score him D- on domestic issues and probably an A+ on foreign affairs.

      • March 8, 2018 1:33 pm

        Dave “Absent watergate I would score him D- on domestic issues and probably an A+ on foreign affairs.”

        No surprise there. I would give him a c+ had it not been for Watergate, overall “B”. But then again I am much more moderate in my positions than you are.

        Knowing what I know about healthcare reimbursement and how we got into the mess we are in today, my personal belief is we would be far different had we had an employer based plan like Nixon promoted, Medicare would not have been the crappy high cost program it created and Manage care may never have come to be the monstrous albatross that it is today.

        But getting into that discussion would take a six pack of beer, many snacks and a few hours to actually discuss before anyone could come to understand even a piece of my thinking on that. Lets just say when someone reimburses another for their costs, there is little incentive to control costs.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 8, 2018 3:36 pm

        I have no doubt the mess we have today could have been tweaked to be less of a mess.

        But all top down systems fail in much the same way as Health insurance.

        We may not be about to abolish Social Security but only an idiot thinks that SS delivers better than private investment would.

        There are so many flaws to what we have today with Health Insurance.

        First what we have only came about because of wage controls during the depression.
        Since employers could not compete for wages, they found something else – benefits.
        The same thing happened with airlines when prices were regulated.

        If you want quality and affordability you need free markets.

        There has never been any other means anywhere ever to deliver quality at low prices.

        There is nothing that you can buy or sell that is unique in some way that it should be removed from normal market processes.

        In the 20’s the primary health problem of working class people was not the cost of healthcare – basic healthcare was readily affordable to everyone. It was the cost of lost work.

        Today from top to bottom everything about healthcare is structured – primarily by government to be expensive.

        There is far less regulation on a hamburger than a new drug, but far more hamburgers are ingested each day and mistakes with hamburgers are as likely to kill you as a drug.

        A new hamburger costs very little to bring to market. A new drug costs about $2B today.
        That means nothing that can not generate atleast 2B in profits will make it to the market.

        There are so many constraints on the care a doctor gives and so many additional requirements.
        These all increase costs.

        Way to many of you think that law and regulation is magic and somehow free. It is not, it is quite expensive. Regulation and law are only NOT a failure and wasteful, if they exactly correspond to the choices that would have been made absent law and regulation AND over the long run.

        As we become more affluent we spend more for better. Better products, and better care.
        But in a free market WE choose the better that we want.
        If we want better food – we get better food, if we want better drugs we get better drugs.

        But what we can get is limited by what we produce – that is true whether we have a free market or not. We however know that the more free we are the more we produce, therefore the more we have to get more of what we want – including better healthcare – it that is what we want.

        When you involve government, when you legislate and regulate, you destroy dynamic change, and you invert incentives. First the incentive is to meet the demands of government – not individuals. next it is to manipulate government for profit.

        All things equal people will buy the lower price.
        More people will buy if the price is lower – even when things are not equal.
        Even when things are not equal, people buy the best value comensurate with their ability to pay – which includes choose what they want most of all the things they want based on what they can afford.

        The more top down structure you impose on that the more you destroy those incentives – and the higher prices will go.

        Contra the beleive of most, free markets are not about profits.
        They are about delivering ever greater value for ever lower human cost.
        Profits are a reward for acheiving that

        Neither Nixon, not Clinton nor Obama nor anyone can acheive more value at less human cost from any scheme of top down control. Only markets EVER do that.
        When we get more value at less human cost it is ALWAYS a consequence of markets – even in highly regulated environments improvements come at the margins in whatever small areas of freedom are left to us.

        If some plan such as Nixon’s or Clinton’s or Obama’s was so great – government would not be needed. If you think Nixon’s plan was great – then go out and persuade people to impliment it freely on their own.

        Government is necescary not because these ideas are good, but specifically because they are bad and therefor would never happen on their own without government

      • dhlii permalink
        March 8, 2018 3:41 pm

        Given that it is evident that you understand moral hazzard, why do you want an employer based plan ?

        I am not inherently opposed to employer based insurance.
        I am inherently opposed to anything that requires force (government) to accomplish.

        We had little in the way of employer paid health insurance prior to FDR’s wage controls.

        It is reasonable to predict in a free market very little of health care would be the consequence of employer provided programs.

        Moral hazard is created whenever the person chosing the service is not the person paying for the service.

      • March 8, 2018 6:26 pm

        Dave “Given that it is evident that you understand moral hazzard, why do you want an employer based plan ?”

        Couple responses.
        1. Back when we had little employer based healthcare, we basically had little healthcare at all. A few antibiotics, some surgeries, but basically everything was home remedy and when you went to the hospital, it was basically to die. Times changed drastically since then.

        2. If you read my remarks again, I said we would be better off today had we had the plan Nixon wanted back in the early 70’s. Again times have changed drastically and what the environment is today is totally different. Had Nixon’s plan be instituted, we would be in a very different healthcare environment because there would have been 50 years of different decisions made between then and now on everything associated with healthcare cost and how it was covered. I cant get into the weeds on this because it is way to difficult to explain why we have the mess we have today, let alone say why if something had not happened there would be some different outcome. Its all speculation on my part anyway, but I do know that each step taken by the government from 1968 until the ACA was adopted contributed greatly to the costs we see today.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 3:30 am

        There is more we can do today than in the 20’s and 30’s. But hospitals were not merely places you went to die. They dealt with all kinds of problems that were harmful, but not necescarily life threatening. Broken legs, even illness – absent antibiotics MORE of us died, but not all, and fewer if you were cared for in a hospital.

        And the cost of medical treatment was inside the range of blue collar workers.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 3:34 am

        I read what you wrote.

        50 years of one form of bad, is not inherently better than 50 years of another.

        There is no reason to beleive we would have made better decisions.

        A major part of the problem is the idiotic beleive that WE collectively can morally make decisions for we individually.

        Explaining why we have the mess we have today is trivial – it is the consequence of the moral hazard that results when those who decide to consumer services are not those who have to pay for them. To some extent that is the inevitable consequence of government.

  61. March 7, 2018 5:46 pm

    Many articles about Mark Cuban running for president in 2020.
    Looks like he has the qualifications.

    • March 7, 2018 6:16 pm

      Hahaha! Yes, it’s a qualification now, I suppose. Cuban/Weinstein 2020 !

    • Jay permalink
      March 7, 2018 7:16 pm

      There was a rush of interest his candidacy a couple of months ago, and he said he wasn’t going to get involvoled in it.

  62. dduck12 permalink
    March 7, 2018 10:36 pm

    Eh, so far Cuban is OK. If he were to run, they will dig and dig until he is accused of pinching a girl, or boy, when he was six years old. For now, until any further charges, I would ignore that stuff, and see if he has any policy smarts that jibe with the Dems positions.

    “It takes a good billionaire to knock off a bad billionaire.”

    • March 7, 2018 10:57 pm

      Or perhaps a “good sexual predator” to knock off a “bad sexual predator”? 😉

      • March 8, 2018 12:31 am

        Well lets see. How can we shape this next election.

        Keep in mind that California’s primary is now in March, providing the cement for the foundation to anyones run for the nomonation.

      • Jay permalink
        March 8, 2018 11:06 am

        Ron, isn’t that link to a 10 year old article?

      • March 8, 2018 12:12 pm

        Ron, isn’t that link to a 10 year old article?

        He is anywhere in many analysts top ten for democrat nominees. Moving up since CA moved its primary. If he captured a large number of votes during that, he would capture a lot of support moving forward.

        If you thought the last election was nasty, what the heck would Trump do with running against a gay man. I don’t know if this has ever been proven or if Brown has come out himself, but just the thought of what took place with hand sizes in the last election really intrigues me as to what would take place if these were the candidates. And then add to that his past of being “moonbeam” and we would be off and running. WooHoo!

        Manchin-Kasich tickets, where are you????

      • Jay permalink
        March 8, 2018 5:23 pm

        “Manchin-Kasich tickets, where are you????”

        I’m in the anyone but Trump camp.

        I see both as genuinely more coherent than DickheadDonald (but both more conservative than moderate) but both seem sincere and truthful (relatively speaking) and far more stable mentally than DD.

        If they ran as a third party, against another Donald debacle run, I’d have to see who the Dems nominate before deciding

    • dhlii permalink
      March 8, 2018 12:50 pm

      I do not know much about Cuban. But of what I know I am favorably disposed – presuming there is nothing to the current allegation.

      One of the problems I have with this garbages that any financial activity that Trump or his family is involved in MUST be corrupt is that it will drive anyone who has been privately successful out of politics.

      I saw this locally when I was younger. The state imposed a requirement that anyone running for any local office – school board members, zoning boards, planning boards, had to disclose their taxes.

      The result was local businessmen quit seeking local offices.
      This was disasterous. The people we got were incompetent or political hacks.

      Business and government are different. It is wrong for a successful business person to beleive they can repeat exactly the same thing in government.,

      At the same time most are more skilled at critical capabilities than politicians. We do not want government of all business people, and we do not want it of all politicians.

  63. March 8, 2018 12:00 pm

    Is there anything the liberals don’t think this snowflake society needs to be protected from.

  64. March 8, 2018 1:16 pm

    “The only harm done was to his relationship with Melania. And that is between them.”

    Well if Melania did not know what type of person Donald Trump was, then she was naive, ignorant or a complete moron. Trump has an affair during his first marriage and it ends in divorce, marries the second, and then Trump begins dating others, including one that became Frances first lady, all while married . This was widely published in the papers and gossip columns, so its on Melania if she is that stupid.

    My personal belief is she liked the money he had and he was her ticket to America. Given the body language that surrounds them, I think Bill and Hillary have a closer relationship than Donald and Melania.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 8, 2018 1:48 pm

      You may be right. I do not claim to have any insight into either Bill and Hillary or Donald and Melania.

      Neither have any resemblance to my relationship with my wife.

      My wife is my soulmate. I can not conceive of doing something that would hurt her for most any reason. Certainly not for any reason Donald or Bill might have had.
      We have each been there for the other when things were very bad.
      I can not see anything that Bill and Hillary have or Donald and Melania that I would trade for.

      But they are free to have whatever relationship they wish.

  65. March 8, 2018 6:44 pm

    Jay “If they ran as a third party, against another Donald debacle run, I’d have to see who the Dems nominate before deciding”

    I was not talking about a third party. I said “Manchin-Kasich tickets” meaning moderate, intelligent policies on both sides with Manchin leading the democrat ticket and Kasich leading the GOP ticket.

  66. dduck12 permalink
    March 8, 2018 10:10 pm

    Nice thought, Ron, but I don’t trust the big money. That is the big oligarchs that fund the big parties. They have no interest in good government, only government that they can control.
    Sorry, the system is too corrupted. 😦

    • March 8, 2018 11:56 pm

      I think you’re right, Duck.

      The truth is, in a way, we’ve already elected a third party candidate. Trump basically executed a successful hostile takeover of the Republican Party…once he won the primaries, there was some doubt as to whether some of his delegates would even cast their votes to nominate him. But winning the election smoothed over most, but not all, of the serious divisions in the party. We’ll see how long that lasts.

      And the Democrat Party is in even worse shape, because they’ve been losing. Seriously, how can Joe Manchin and Bernie Sanders be in the same party? How can any self-respecting person vote for Keith Ellison, deputy chair of the DNC and friend and protégé of Louis Farrakhan?

      Neither party is in very good shape right now. “Corrupted” doesn’t even begin to describe it…

      • March 9, 2018 12:21 am

        Priscilla, there are those that are so “anyone but Trump”, that they would vote for Keith Ellison for President instead.

    • March 9, 2018 12:15 am

      Not sure the response to which thought was nice. But I agree about the money funding the big parties and their just having their money spent to protect their interest.

      I’m not sure what the answer is because of the way the constitution was written. While it protects us from some over reach of government, it really does not go far enough. And in the case where it does protect us from the over reach, it makes it very difficult for some change to occur that may be useful.

      For instance, people like Fahr ( “Fahr LLC is privately owned by Thomas Fahr Steyer, a billionaire hedge fund manager, environmentalist, and a leading Democratic fundraiser in the United States. It is likely a “shell” or wealth-holding company that serves no purpose other than to hold some of Steyer’s assets” .like the $75 million contributed by Fahr LLC during the 2014 election cycle to groups supporting the liberal agenda and politicals. No number was provided as to his total contributions to liberal issues and candidates

      Also, the Koch Brothers who own Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company in the United States, of which they own 84%. they contributed over $400 million in 2012 and budgeted over 800 million in 2016 for political issues. They are very Libertarian in their beliefs, support drastically reducing the size of government and its oversight in areas from the environment to the Patriot Act (they provided the ACLU $10M each, total $20M to fight the Patriot Act). Very close to Dave’s libertarian positions, much more than mine.

      The issues with individuals like this is how do you stifle their speech without running up against the 1st amendment. On January 21, 2010 SCOTUS ruled on Citizens United that the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for communications by nonprofit corporations, for-profit corporations, labor unions, and other associations. There was a lot of debate about this ruling and there is still a lot of debate, but I take the same position on this legislation as I do with gun control or other legislation that runs counter to the bill of rights.

      While it may have been a good idea, where does the legislation creep stop in the future? The system is so corrupted by the leaders that we have elected that you can’t trust any of them. They can tell us we will only restrict “X”, but then something comes up in the future they don’t like, so they write another law further infringing on one of the rights and because there was a favorable ruling on the first one, precedence was set. For instance ruling against Citizens United could be used as precedence for legislation to prohibit Planned Parenthood from promoting Womens issues under the “other organizations” if conservative legislators had enough control to get that legislation passed.

      As I have said over and over to Jay and he thinks I am a damn fool for not trusting government, if changes to these basic rights need to be changed, their is a method to do that, Amendments. Otherwise, what one congress passes, the next can change and issues like this need to be permanent, not fleeting based on a political environment at the time.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 3:42 am

        The money is in politics because the power is in govenrment – not the other way arround.

        Further you are all way to fixated on money.

        The 2016 presidential election involved less money than we spend on potato chips in a year.

        Trump spent just over half what Clinton did and won.

        Money is OBVIOUSLY less significant than everyone perceives.

        There is some evidence that a certain amount of money is necescary to be able to compete at all.
        But past that the significance of money diminishes rapidly.

        Candidates and parties raise lots of money – because it is all they have to do.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 3:47 am

        The Koch’s are not even close tot he largest political contributors,
        There are numerous wealthy democrats that match them.
        Their contributions do not come from their company – which is tiny compared to Apple or Amazon or Microsoft. Many of the Forbes 400 are politically active, and most contribute more heavily to democrats than Republicans.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 3:57 am

        Only the left was surprised by CU.

        Contrary to what you are told it is the opposite outcome that would have reversed precedents going back 100 years.

        Further the issue is not money – as should also be evident from the Russian Influence issue.

        The issue is speech. Virtually all money in politics pays for political speach in one form or another.

        Long before CU SCOTUS ruled (repeatedly) that you can not restrict speach through the back door. You can not pass laws that do not directly regulate speach, but still make speach difficult or impossible.

        Finally – and again as with the russians, what is it that you fear from Money in Politics ?

        Jay and the left have ranted about Russian Influence.
        but ignoring the fact that Russias actions were tiny, they were also all clearly SPEECH.

        If voters actually change their minds as a result of the adds of Sorros, Bloomberg, the Koch’s or the Russians – there is nothing wrong with that.

        The left is not only seeking to criminalize speach they are seeking to criminalize persuasion.
        The left is litterally striving to bring about 1984 and Brave new world with a dask of animal farm.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 9, 2018 3:36 am

      It is not money that corrupts, it is power.
      Disempower government and the money will go away.

      The system is too corrupt. So long as government has broad powers it will remain that way, no matter what you do.

  67. dduck12 permalink
    March 9, 2018 12:21 am

    Yes Priscilla.
    I forget, was the Manchurian candidate a Dem or a Rep.
    This Trump candidate is turned on by thoughts of self aggrandizement and his card is a picture of a $100 dollar bill.

    • March 9, 2018 8:01 am

      Actually, I don’t think that Trump is motivated by money, duck, at least not in the sense that he is beholden to big donors. And I certainly don’t think that he’s beholden to Russia~ the whole Russia story is just that. A story.

      I know that many anti-Trump people think that, somehow, his run for president had to do with making money, but I tend to be swayed by evidence, and the evidence that we have, at present, is that he’s an outsider, who is not supported by the “big oligarchs” of either side.

      I think that Trump has always believed that he could run the country better than the politicians could. He’s got a pretty big ego, no? If you watch some of his interviews from the 80’s and 90’s, he pretty much says that. And up until about 10 years ago, he seemed more aligned with the Democrat Party than the GOP. But it was obvious to everyone that Hillary was going to be the Democrat candidate in 2016, so he jumped into the Republican race. If you recall, everyone originally thought that Jeb would win, because he was backed by all the big donors, but Jeb spent all of his money destroying Rubio, and pretty much ignored Trump until it was too late to stop him.

      I think it is rational to dislike Trump, but to still recognize that he won the election because 1) he took advantage of the weaknesses of the other major candidates from both parties and that 2) there was a populist, anti-big money “wave” that enabled him, as well as Sanders, to rise. Sanders would likely have been the Democrat nominee, had Hillary and the DNC (which she basically owned) not rigged the primaries against him.

      So, while I agree that both parties are corrupt, I disagree that Trump is a puppet of the big donors. Just the opposite. His election may have signaled the end of the two major parties, as we know them.

      The question is whether what we get next is better or worse than what we’ve had.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 10:05 am

        You made some astute observations. Priscilla.

        I try not to judge others motivations – they are too difficult to know, and not all that relevant.

        Regardless, the claims about Trump’s motivations are all ludicrously stupid.
        While Trump is likely driven to enhance his own oppinion of himself,
        the claims he is motivated by money or a stooge of Putin are ludicrously stupid.

        Out fixation on Russia and Putin are stupid.
        While Russia under Putin punches above its weight, Russia is still relatively inconsequential on the world stage, a has been world power who would be forgotten but for the worlds largest stockpile of nukes.

        Why would someone who lives in multiple homes more ostentatious than the White House need more money ?

        Trump is a huge threat to the established power – not enthralled to it.

        He does not need big donors.
        He does not need either party.
        He does not need entrenched washington.
        He does not need the press.

        He is very nearly a pure populist.
        He won by appealing to the self interest of people that the power that be had completely ignored.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 9, 2018 9:53 am

      I find it amazing that so many people make their judgement of people and things based on appearances and words, rather that acts and results.

      Why should I care what you think turns someone else on ?
      Why should I care what might actually “turn them on” ?

      It may even bee likely that your assessment of Trump’s successes and failures as president are different from mine. But wouldn’t it make more sense to debate those ?

      Even Christ who knows our minds judges our acts, not our thoughts and words.

  68. dhlii permalink
    March 9, 2018 11:00 am

    A very interesting article on the Obama Administrations activities regarding “russian Hacking”.

    I think there is alot of after the fact spin in the story, as well as evidence of strong confidence by the administration in things that have subsequently proven false.

    The issues with voting machines and voter registration are real, and need to be addressed. They need to be addressed regardless of Russia.

    Computerized voting machines are just plain a bad idea. They are very hard to protect, and more importantly you will NEVER be able to persuade people they are unhackable.
    Nobody thinks about organized hacking of paper ballots.
    There are many reasons that many of us have been urging the elimination of computerized voting machines since 2001.

    Voter registration is an issue that democrats are never going to address. Independent of Russia we have massive potential for fraud already. Many many jurisdictions in the US have more registered voters than people. But all efforts to validate voter registration turn into accusations of voter supression. Trump formed a committee that ultimately descended into partisan rancor and had to be disbanded.

    Ultimately there is no evidence of success by the Russians at targeting out actual voting infrastructure. But there is also no doubt they attempted to and that we should be doing some obvious things about it – which we are not.

    The rest of this suffers from the same problem as the entire remaining Russian Collusion Narrative.

    All hat no cattle. Washington leaks like a seive – and the Obama administration is freaked out about Guccifer 2.0 Wikileaks, DCleaks.

    WE are told the administration thought these were a big deal – yet there was absolutely no FBI or DHS investigation of any consequence into the DNC attack. The entire Russia Hacked the DNC meme rests on poor analysis by a cybersecurity firm with a reputation for providing attribution (usually to Russia) or attacks that can not be attributed.

    The best cybersecurity people will tell you that absent dependable human intel, you can not know where a cyber attack came from today.

    What I read is an administration that is paranoid and out of control.

    We now know Papadoulis had no contact with real russians.
    The IC could easily have known that in early 2016.

    It also appears from the article that the IC was completely oblivious to the social media issues.
    After 2 years of digging these are the only issues that have not been thoroughly discredited.

    So the administration was running arround like a chicken with its head cut off fretting about Russian attacks that mostly were not taking place, while oblivious to the one that was.

    What I read about is an IC that is inept. That does not actually know what is occuring.
    These are the same people who missed the collapse of the USSR,
    Missed OKC, Missed 9/11, have been inflitrated by numerous Russian spies and botched investigation after investigation.

    I do not think it is any better today.

  69. dhlii permalink
    March 9, 2018 11:29 am

    The failure of the courts to follow the constitution as written is mostly viewed as an issue of the right. Here is an article with a left lean that demostrates the same failure has the same kind of negative impacts on issues that are typically viewed as favoring the left.

    Again Libertarian is not left or right. It is sometimes – “extreme” in that it is uncompromising.

    The fact that neither the left nor the right have the correct answers, does not mean that the ansers are to be found in the middle.

    The ability of citizens to hold government accountable through means besides voting is critical to reigning in government corruption. Yet our courts have bent over backward to assure that there is no other remedy for bad government,

    We have a raging debate on guns right now. Resisting government by force of arms is the last resort when all other means of confronting government corruption have failed.
    Our right to bear arms is unimportant, when our rights to redress of grevances are real, when there are remedies for corruption in government.

    I get very pissed at those who buy this garbage that money is the corrupting force in government.
    Throughout the world even tinpot countries have corrupt governments.
    Government will corrupt without money.
    It is not Koch’s or Sorros’s willingness to put their billions to political use that corrupts our country,
    but the willingness of our public servants to infringe on the rights of the citizens they have sworn to serve – regarfless of the claimed justification.

    If a legislator, judge, or policemen does not give a damn about the law or the rights of citizens, it is unimportant whether that failure is due to money or any other cause.

  70. dhlii permalink
    March 9, 2018 2:26 pm

    Russiagate – where are we two years later ?

    We know that some oligarch – possibly at the direction of Putin put 100M into the IRA – a tech shop in St. Petersburg whose role is to push things on social media.
    Most of that money was spent pushing pro-putin messages for russian domesitc consumption.
    A small portion was spent on the 2016 US election. Of that the messages were crude, mostly issue based rather than candidate based, mostly targeted at stirring controversy rather than favoring a specific candidate. Beyond that most of the messages did not take place until AFTER the election.

    The actual scale of this operation was tiny, and its “influence” non-existant.

    That skips entirely the question of what if the scale had been much larger, and if the messages much better ?
    The answer still is SO WHAT ? You can not bar the world from speaking about US elections.
    If anything the “russian influence” meme should make clear that rights do not come from government or the constitution, and that you can make all the laws you want restricting speach and money facilitating speach, you can not actually prevent political speach you do not like.
    As Justice Brandeis noted a century ago, the legitimate response to bad speach is more speach, not enforced silence.

    We know that Clinton’s disasterous handling of her Sec State email severly hurt her in the election. This is a self inflicted wound.

    WE know that many people beleive – and it is likely true that the Russians hacked Clinton;s private email server. Even the FBI beleives it was hacked – probably by the russians.
    That is a huge deal, was known by the FBI shortly before the election and has not been reported until recently.

    Still despite efforts, by Trump himself, some of his surogates, and some people who claim to be his surrogates, no one has ever gotten any emails from Clinton’s private state department email server in anyway but through the US government.

    Papadoulis had several exchanges with fake russians in england attempting to obtain those emails, and failed. Probably because he was not dealing with real russians.
    Papadoulis plead guilty to false statements to the FBI – because in atleast one interview he misrepresented a time line. Regardless, there is no actual evidence that Papasoulis ever had contact with real russians. Or ever got Clinton emails.

    Of course had he managed to – AFTER THE FACT that would not be illegal.

    Next we have Carter Page who is besmirched throughout the Steele Dossier, Who has testified repeatedly under oath, who was an FBI informant against Russians before the FBI/DOJ decided to spy on him, People continue to cast apsirsions on Page, but despite intense scrutiny NOTHING has ever materialized. In all likelyhood Page wiill win the defamation claims he has filed.

    Then we have the Trump Jr. Trump tower meeting with Natalia. Trump Jr. was absolutely salivating over the prospect of dirt on Clinton from the russians. But he got bupkiss and a lecture on russian adoption. Meanwhile Clinton who got reams of garbage and sold that to the FBI is not even being investigagted.

    Further the Trump Jr. meeting actually confirms that there were no secret back channels to the Russians. There is no reason to meet with Natlia if you already have a secret back channel.

    So much for the Trump Jr. meeting.

    After that we have the DNC emails. There is zero evidence to this day that Trump or anyone associated with him had prior knowledge of or involvment in the hacking of the DNC.

    Absolutely the emails harmed clinton – because they were True. Because they revealed the DNC and the Clintons as they are.
    It was absolutley a crime to acquire those emails, however that occured. The claim that it was done by the russians is more dubious than ever, but it is certainly inside the ability of russia to do so. Of course this all begs the question do we ignore the truth because we only leared of it as the result of a crime ? It also raises the question. where was the press ? Much of what was learned from the emails was discoverable by investigative reporters. And in fact the Sanders campaign had been complaining bitterly for a long time.

    Regardless, there is not even a tenuous connection between Trump and the DNC emails, and what connection there is to Russia is poor.

    We have some russian attempts to hack voter registration databases, efforts that failed.
    Absolutely we need to do lots of things about voter registration. Including protect it from hackers and myriads of others who make those records fraudulent. But you are not going to see the left talk much about voter registration as that is a swamp for them.

    We have no evidence that the Trump caimpaign participated in any watergate like illegality.
    But we have substantial evidence that the Clinton campaign subverted DOJ/FBI and the IC to serve their ends, to spy on an oppoenents campaign to subject an opponent to unjustified criminal scrutiny. That the left and the press turns a blind eye to. That is worse than watergate.

    Beyond that we have lots of tangential junk.

    Whatever you think of issues related to Flynn – they all took place AFTER the election.
    To those of us who do not think the only good russian is a dead russian, Flynn was targeted and politically destroyed for actually doing his job. Most of us can not even figure out what it is that Flynn lied about.

    Everything related to Manafort and Gates has to do with Ukraine long before the Trump campaign and having nothing to do with Russia.
    Manafort is a troll, the prefect reflection of myriads of similar trolls of both parties throughout washington. Indeed if Mueller was serious about his job, Manafort leads to Podesta and other democratic powerbrokers. Pretending that the manaforts or podesta’s are about party of policy rather than power is folly. These are not partisans or ideologues. They are profiteers.
    We can argue about how big a criminal Manafort is, but inarguably his bad conduct has nothing to do with Trump/russia.

    Mueller has several scalps so far – but none have anything to do with anything he was directed to investigate, and what he is purportedly looking into – if leaks and rumours arre true, has nothing to do with his brief in any possible way.

    So what is it that we have wasted two years on ?
    The only consequential thing that has been uncovered is how deeply corrupt the Obama administration was.

  71. dhlii permalink
    March 9, 2018 4:38 pm

    This is how you teach/learn critical thinking.

    In the real world most of what you hear that masquades as science is either completely or partly false. Far too offten we establish what to beleive and what not based on ideology or tribalism, or appeals to authority. We are woefully unequiped to evaluate claims and determine truth and falsehood using facts, logic reason, rather than politics, and ideology.

    Politics today whether right or left has become like religion of the past, to be taken on faith, and accepted as superior to facts, logic reason.

    Even too many moderates here substitute a religious faith in a middle way for evaluating arguments and determining what is true and what is not.
    Both the left and the right ideologies contain germs of truth as well as falsehoods.

    Past advocates of free speach where primarily from the left.

    Often the ideology asking for the law and constitution to be understood as written – not broadly expanded by jurists, were on the left, not the right.

  72. dhlii permalink
    March 9, 2018 5:01 pm

    Mostly an excellent peice by NYT – though still drowning in left bias.

    Emotion is NEVER a legitimate basis for the use of force – PERIOD.
    The left can not “win” any debate by forcing us to “care” about the less fortunate.
    That is the duty of the individual NOT the state, and can never be otherwise.

    The author while accurately representing Haidt’s works on conservatives vs. progressives, failed to note that Haidt discovered in his work a third significant moral foundation.
    Those who did not make public choices based on santity, purity, pipularity, authority, tradition, or emotion – who relied on reason above all else. Hadit found sanity in our moral foundations – he found the same people who created our nation. He found libertarians.

    The authors lecturing about college speakers is also oddly disonant.

    Ben Shapiro and Coulter are not the antichrist.
    Their views are as entitled to legitimate expression on campus as those of Rachel Maddow, or John Stewart.
    Pretending that asking Coulter to speak to campus republicans somehow makes the campus unsafe for progressive snowflakes is ludicrous. If you do not want to hear Coulter speak at your campus – do not attend. Though honestly if you don;t, you probably are the person who needs to the most. Further campus’s are mleting down in violence – not because Richard Spensor is speaking, but because Charles Murphy, or Christina Summers, or David Rubin are – all reasonable voices far closer to the middle than the extremes.

    Both the left and right bear responsibility for our divisive public discourse. But inarguably today, at this moment in time the left bears far more responsibility than any others.
    Nor is this smug left elitism we are facing, but violent histrionic left terrorism.

    I have not heard of actual “alt-right” violence since Charlottesville, I do not hear at all of the alt-right, except fromt he left media, where they seem to always be lurking. But left violence occurs weekly – whether labeled as Antifa or not.

    No one is throwing molotov cocktails at the most extreme left speakers. No one seeks to silence anyone on the left today.
    The fountain of modern intoloerance is on the left.
    Yes, sometimes the rest of us smile when Trump says something outrageous – because someone needs to put the intolerant left in its place, and we do not always get to chose saints to do the work of angels.

  73. dhlii permalink
    March 9, 2018 5:11 pm

    Today the news is alll a flutter presuming permanent peace with North Korea.

    I am completely appalled by two things:

    First the presumption by nearly everyone left and right that this is all going to work out.
    We all hope it does, but this is not likely the begining of the end, it is not even the end of the begining. It is at best the begining of the begining of a road that MIGHT lead to more peace.

    The 2nd is that Trump has fouled everything up by doing this in the wrong way. By failing to abide by various protocol.

    If the traditions of statecraft had the answers we would not face a north korea with strategic nuclear weapons.

    It is entirely possible that Trump will F this up entirely. But no one else has succeeded before him.
    Following traditions and protocols and procedures brought us to the mess we have today.

    Maybe Trump’s approach worked. Maybe the stars are all aligned just right. Maybe Trump will still find a way to blow it. But the past 4 US presidents have failed – barely even trying.

    I am not prepared to hold Trump to a higher standard than Clinton Bush or Obama.

    I hope this will not get F’d up.
    I have no reason to know what the right approach is, or even if there is one.

    I choose to credit Trump with bringing this about – because recent past history tells us that the way of Clinton, Bush and Obama did not work. I may be wrong. Maybe this is just the right moment for peace.

    Or maybe things will go to hell tomorow.

    Atleast Trump is trying. That is more than can be said of his predecessors.

    • March 9, 2018 5:58 pm

      One of the major differences with this announced meeting is the two leaders are meeting, not some minions that do not have the authority to negotiate beyond a certain point.

      I am doubtful anything will come of this. The midget is paranoid that the United States will do the same to him as we did to Kadifi and others after they gave up their weapons. I dont trust our givernment to stand by their word, so why should he?

      But who would not want to be in thatvroom with these two egotistical assholes once they start?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 6:23 pm

        I am disinclined to make predictions.

        I am glad something is happening. and hope some good will come of it.

        Kim has good reasons to be suspicious of the US.
        But that cuts both ways.

        Trump has been talking of first strikes, he has been talking of decapitation.

        Kim’s current strength is also his biggest weakness.

        Trump is in a position where Kim has incentivized him to act first.

        Kim can not be certain Trump will not try to decapitate.
        Nor can he be sure Trump will not succeed.

        We might not go after Kim based on 50:50 odds.
        But will Kim bet on 50:50 odds on his side ?

        Much of what I read suggests the biggest problem here is that the North Koreans beleive their own propoganda. It is not that they will not act in their own best interests, it is not that they are suicidal, it is that they do not see the world accurately and therefore do not see what their interests are.

        Regardless, Kim wants something, or he would not have asked for this meeting.
        He has atleast paid lip service the the US preconditions for negotiation.

        Anyway, I do not know how this will go. Nor do I think the “experts” do ither.

        I think far too much depends on the unique personalities of Kim and Trump.
        And I do not know how that plays out. And I do not think the experts do either.

        War would be hell. In the worst case of a non-nuclear confrontation more people could die in a few hours, than have died in war since WWII. Nothing since WWII resembles what even a non-nuclear conflict in Korea might look like.

        There is actually zero doubt the US and south korea will prevail – and probably quickly.
        But the bloodshed could be enormous.

        That is the US downside.
        I think the worst case scenario is highly unlikely.
        But even a moderate scenario is bloody as hell.
        Is 100,000 dead in the first day something to celebreate, when the worst cases is a million ?

        At the other extreme, the US might actually succeed at decapitation.
        And the NK regime might collapse quickly thereafter without much of a fight.

        If the US is committed to “decapitation” it can wait for the best oportunity.
        That leaves Kim sitting for possibly years with his head in a guilotine.
        Waiting and hoping his security people never make a mistake.

        It does not matter how deep his bunkers are.
        Unless he goes into permanent hiding a mile underground, he can not be sure of being safe.
        Every time he sticks his head up could be the last.

        That is Trump’s hole card.

        Not being able to Trust the US works BOTH ways.
        It is a reason to not make a deal.
        It is also a reason to make a deal.

      • March 9, 2018 8:14 pm

        Well a sane individual may look at this for different reasons.
        1. Sanctions seem to be working ( I have no idea)
        2. Kim wants sanctions lifted and thinks meeting eill get it done.
        3. Trump has little hope meeting will lead to anything.
        4. Trump decides to meet anyway so he can use this with China.
        5. If and when NK does not act accordingly, Trump tells China he did what Kim wanted, Kims demand were something that could not be provided since it was way over the line and China needs to cooperate more with sanctions since nothing is working.
        6. And he has campaign issue he can run on. 1st president in years that has negotiated personally with NK.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 10:34 am

        I do not want to analyze this. I think most of the analysis is clouded by preconceptions.

        I do not think Kim would have asked for this meeting if he was not after something and willing to make concessions to get it.
        That does not mean something will happen.

        Sometimes negotiations are long and arduous and involve taking years to advance inches.

        Sometimes big deals are reached quickly.

        Reagan very nearly negotiated the near elimination of nuclear weapons with Gobachev in Resevjick. Trump is exactly the kind of person who could negotiate a big deal quickly.

        But anything could happen, or little could.
        Mostly this is actually a victory for Trump.

        Bush and Obama left us behind on ABM capability. They were too afraid of irratating Russia.

        If we are going to counter tin pot dictators with Nukes we need a space based ABM system.

        It is the only scheme that has a very high probability of being able to take out a small number of ICBM’s. We know how to do it. But it takes time.

        Right now Kim and probably Iran are ahead in threat compared to our ability to defend.
        That could change quickly. The US needs time.
        Kim is already offering time. Our precondition for negotiations was no further tests.
        That was met.

        Beyond that, this all depends on what Kim wants.

        All the US, China, Japan, Taiwan and SK want is NK not to be a threat to its neighbors.
        If Kim wants to be left alone – he can get that.
        But if he wants to bully neighbors, no deal is happening.

      • March 10, 2018 12:18 pm

        Dave “Right now Kim and probably Iran are ahead in threat compared to our ability to defend.”

        So right on that one. Our government keeps telling us that we have defensive weapons based around the globe on land, sea and space monitoring for missiles coming our way. But the fact is the system of missiles to take down a nuke is far from perfect and the odds of one making it to the mainland is very good.

        No one, not even Trump, is telling America the truth. What we get is “feel good” information.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 2:16 pm

        We have two ABM systems. The Aegis/patriot/THAAD system that is a tail chaser, that is very very good, but we have a very narrow window of oportunity.
        The ABM must be launched within 2-3 minutes of the launch of the ICBM and the ABM must be in reasonably close proximity. Otherwise the ABM run out of fuel before intercepting.

        The other system is the land based ground to ground system.
        This is far less capable. It probably has a 50:50 likelyhood of intercept. But we can launch multiple interceptors. These systems to be effective must reach their target before re-entry or MIRV.
        That again creates a narrow time window.

        It is not as good as Patriot/Aegis/THAAD and never will be.

        The 3rd alternative which we might have – but are not admitting if we do, is a space based interceptor. If deployed and tested this has all the ability – against and ICBM of THAAD while avoiding the chase scenario which all too often is a loser.

        If we do not have a deployed and tested space based interceptor, we can in a few years. They technology is not hard. It is basically a combination of the easiest parts of the other two systems.

        We have not done space based ABM’s because we have treaties preventing that.

        A working space based system would have an incredibly high probability of success, but would be limited to intercepting small numbers of ICBM’s – i.e. it could never protect against Russia.
        But it could easily protect against NK or Iran.

        With what we likely have at the moment the problem is not that it is highly unreliable.

        It is the the price for failure is 100,000’s of lives. Lets say between THAAD and the ground based interceptors we have a 90% probability of success.

        That is a 10% chance that a larger than Hiroshima weapon strikes LA or NY or DC.
        Minimum casualities are in the vacinity of 100K.

        The other choices is an EMP burst high over the US.
        That would destroy 90% of the electronings in about 75% of the country.

        The power grids would fail, all cars would fail, all computers would fail, refridgerators would fail, gas pumps would fail,
        Within a few weeks most of the country could be starving.
        While recovery is in theory possible – all that is needed is to replace destroyed electronics from areas outside the EMP zone, that could take months, Lots of people would be dead first,
        For a few months atleast 75% of the country would be knocked back to the stone age.

        The odds of failure might be small, but the cost is enormous.
        No one, not even Trump is gambling on 10% possibility of unbeleiveable catastrophe unless they are forced to.

        I would further note the above presumes the US is the target.

        Japan is as likely a target as the US and much easier for NK to reach and only THAAD can intercept there.

        I would further note that whatever happened – success or failure, would be followed by a huge war with NK.

        Even a failed launch would require the US to completely take out NK’s ICBM capability near immediately.

        Even a failure launch would result in NK launching a ground war with SK, that alone would have hundreds of thousands of casualities in a few days.

        NK has substantial artilery fired chemical weapons – I beeive they have one of the largest stockpiles of VX in the world.

        They have a mass of conventional artilery that is all pointed at Seol.

        NK would absolutely lose a ground war with the US and SK.
        But enormous numbers of people would die.

        Nothing we have seen since WWII would be like this.

    • Jay permalink
      March 9, 2018 5:58 pm

      “First the presumption by nearly everyone left and right that this is all going to work out.”

      There ya go, wrong from the get-go.

      The overwhelming opinion from the left today is that it’s NOT going to work out.

      That’s the same opinion from NeverTrump Conservatives.

      And from head-scratching Moderate Conservatives, like Joe Scarborough, who made this mocking statement: “He can’t even make a deal with a porn star.”


      • dhlii permalink
        March 9, 2018 6:32 pm

        You seem to be getting your “news” from the fringes.

        I am listening to pretty extreme lefties who are angry because he went about this the wrong way, who still seem to be presuming this is going to work out.

        I do personally beleive this is a big milestone.
        But to paraphrase churchill it is just the begining of the begining.
        There is reason to be caustiously optomistic.

        At the same time left wing nut hosts an CNN are saying it will go down as a GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT. Even mouthing those words on CNN is beyond beleif.

        I am cautiously optomistic, because it is in everyone’s best interests to work this out.

        Because historically, we get things right – or right enough far more often than we get them wrong.

        But once in a while someone shoots the archduke, or invades Poland and the world goes to hell.
        Disaster is still possible.

        Trump could cause disaster all by himself.
        Or he could do everything right and still be unable to avoid it.

        There is zero certainty here.
        Nor is there any reason whether the left likes it or not, to suspect that Trump will do worse than Obama or Bush or Clinton.

        There are 3 possible options – dramatic failure and war.
        mild failure and a return to the status quo,
        and dramatic success over time.

        Trump actually wins 2 of three of those, and even has about a 50:50 chance of winning the 3rd.
        If this devolves to conflict and Trump successfully decapitates AND NK capitulates quickly – that is still a Trump victory.
        That is just victory in the most dangerous scenario.

      • March 9, 2018 7:50 pm

        Jay, you are talking about MSNBC Joe Scarborough, right? If so, you have confused the crap out of me. If that is a moderate conservative, I now understand your disagreement with most of my positions. He makes me look like I am twenty points right of Ted Cruz on a ten point scale.

        I will have to do some self analysis and find a different way of describing myself. Moderate right does not seem appropriate now.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 10:03 am

        Scarboro was once a Republican congressman with some stature. At the time he was conservative/moderate.

        The NRA has taken to embarassing him recently with the questionaires he filled out for them seeking their endorsement. He answered them as a 2nd amendment absolutist,
        As a commentator he is about as pro gun control as they come.

        He has never made any reasonable explanation for his radical political shift on myriads of policies except expedience.

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2018 9:50 am

        Ron, you’re right. We must have a different understanding of the meaning of Moderate Conservative.

        During his congressional career, Scarborough received a 95 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union. That would define him as very conservative. Now, he’s ‘moderated’ that stance.

        I think he’d make a strong showing as an anti Trump candidate for the 2020 Republican race. I’d vote for him against Progressive Democratic candidates. Wouldn’t you?

      • Ron P permalink
        March 10, 2018 10:27 am

        Jay, I would vote for almost anyone other than a progressive (extreme left) or extreme right conservative. As for Joe, all I know about him now is (1) things I hear him say and (2) he works for MSNBC. Comments I hear are not “moderate” and working for MSNBC supports my thinking no one can be moderate and work for MSNBC.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 11:17 am

        You are correct about Scarboro’s past.

        But he has pivotted on most every important issue as a media personality – without serious explanation.

        That is a reason not to trust him. I would be more incluined to vote for an honest progressive. Atleast I would know where they stand.

        In case you have not noticed I have a low tolerance for hypocracy.

        Today that is most commonly found on the left.

  74. Jay permalink
    March 9, 2018 6:11 pm

    But Clinton haters will be deaf DUMB and blind to this.
    And will keep sliming Hillary.
    And keep sucking Trump’s porn poking penis.

    “WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An informant whom House Republicans have said could reveal a link between a 2010 sale of U.S. uranium supplies and donations to the Clinton Foundation provided no evidence of that during a four-hour interview with congressional staff last month, Democrats said on Thursday.

    The informant, lobbyist William D. Campbell, “provided no evidence of a quid pro quo involving Secretary (Hillary) Clinton or the Clinton Foundation and no evidence that Secretary Clinton was involved in, or improperly influenced” the uranium sale, the Democrats said in a five-page summary of the Feb. 7 interview.

    Democrats said they were releasing a summary of the session because majority Republicans, who control the panels involved, refused to approve the preparation of a full transcript.

    “Mr. Campbell identified no evidence that Secretary Hillary Clinton, President Bill Clinton, or anyone from the Obama Administration took any actions as a result of Russian requests or influence,” the summary says.“

    • March 9, 2018 7:09 pm

      “The informant, Douglas Campbell, said in the statement obtained by The Hill that he was told by Russian nuclear executives that Moscow had hired the American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide specifically because it was in position to influence the Obama administration, and more specifically Hillary Clinton.”

      So, there you have it Jay. An undercover FBI informant who worked on the case for years submits written testimony and the Democrats say “Oh, but he provided no proof!!!! Na, na, ha,na, na!”

      • Jay permalink
        March 9, 2018 9:31 pm

        From link:

        “APCO officials told The Hill that its support for the Clinton Global Initiative and its work with Russia were not connected in any way, and in fact involved different divisions of the firm. They added their lobbying for Russia did not involve Uranium One but rather focused on regulatory issues aimed at helping Russia better compete for nuclear fuel contracts inside the United States.

        “APCO Worldwide’s activities involving client work on behalf of Tenex and The Clinton Global Initiative were totally separate and unconnected in any way,” APCO told The Hill in a statement. “All actions on these two unconnected activities were appropriate, publicly documented from the outset and consistent with regulations and the law. Any assertion otherwise is false and unfounded.”

        It’s this kind of nonsensical accusation from you that makes me have a low opinion of your political posts in general, Priscilla. The criticism of the Clinton Foundation on U1 is 99% Bull Shit.

        How much donation money in did APCO Worldwide spend to bribe the Clinton Clinton Foundation so that Hillary would facilitate the Uranium One Deal? Are you too intellectually lazy to have checked that? How HUGE was the bribe?

        It was under $50,000 dollars! That amount, posted on the Foundation Donor List, is way way way way way way way way way down at the bottom of $$$ donated. The 9 ‘ways’ is accurate. Look it up yourself to confirm at ClintonFoundation.Org. And check out the rest of the donor list, to see how full of Shit are the criticisms of Muslim foreign donations in general – a tiny amount overall.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 10:39 am

        And Al Capone told officials he paid his taxes.

        Not to mention everything APCO is saying could well be True – and still irrelevant.

        The question is not what technically did CGI do for Tenex, APCO, ….

        But why did APCO, Tenex use CGI ?

        When Tony Suprano tells you which body shop to use to fix your car.
        Your car still gets fixed.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 10:52 am

        The total amounts of money that eventually ended up in CF from Russian oligarchs affiliated with the US deal is over 100M, this is well documented. It is not debated. CF went to a great deal of trouble to move the money arround, while at the same time publicly touting the contribution.

        You are fixated on the precise what that the money got to CF, which is only mildly important.
        You are also fixated on the formal reasons for some of the payments.
        No Doubt CGI did some legitimate work for APCO and Tenex.

        But the millions that ended up in CF coffers were not for a tiny bit of lobbying.

        I would further note you do not understand the political importance of the Clinton’s organizations.
        These are not merely “charities”. The clinton’s have built a huge political sinecure for out of power and/or aspiring democrats.

        This is where the Abendin’s and Mills’s go for the winter. Or where they privately double dip.

        Do you really think that Hillary needs to tell her army of thousands who are getting a 2nd income or a safe landing from CF how to act regarding U1 ?

        This is an incredible structure they have created.

        A charity whose primary work is global schmozing with the powerful elite from arround the world.
        No actually getting your hands dirty, or actually dealing with the people you claim to be helping.

        Most everyone in the charity is either double dipping in government, or is wintering in the charity waiting for the next government job,

        And wealthy donors across the world are lining up to fump money on the charity.

        Not to improve the world or advance the goals of the charity, but because nearly everyone part of it is or will be influential in govenrment.

        The emails from the CF to Clinton’s office at Sec. State were always simple – take care of these people, they are “our friends”.

        Nothing more needs ever be said. And CF’s intertwinement with the Obama administration went far beyond the state department.

      • March 9, 2018 9:54 pm

        Of course the company that facilitated the Russian bribery is going to deny it! Seriously, Jay, you must have recently fallen off a turnip truck.

        An undercover informant gave written and sworn testimony that an American lobbying firm acted as go-between for Rosatom executives and the Clinton Foundation, and you believe the lobbying firm’s denial? 🙄

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2018 9:37 am

        Interesting how you’re willing to give credence to some anonymous undercover agent when it reinforces your Clinton disparagement, but ignore the charges (more and more now corroborated) from the Steele dossier.

        And if it turns out Trump facilitated an abortion for Stormy, I’ll bet you’ll shrug that off as well in hypocritical Trumpster fashion.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 11:14 am

        Campbell has never been anonymous.
        He was subject to an FBI/DOJ gag order until recently.

        I worry alot more when government is trying to supress information than when private actors do.

        With Campbell many of us choose to beleive what he has actually said.

        With Daniels you already beleive what you HOPE she might say.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 9:59 am

        Jay and the left are capable of unbeleiveable flights of fancy if they are salivating over potential Trump misconduct.

        Kushner refinancing a mortgage is self evident corruption, but the Administration tanking an investigation that threatens a deal they want as well as exposing more connections between the Clinton’s and Russia.

        I would further note that the entire Trump/Russia nonsense operates on the presumption that Putin hates Clinton.

        There is no doubt that Putin opposed Clinton’s meddling in Ukraine.
        But even that worked out well for Putin and badly for Clinton.

        In most every other way the Clinton’s lead a charmed life with respect to their relations to Russia.
        We are all expected to beleive that often the same Russian Oligarchs that were purportedly helping Trump, were also contributing hundreds of millions to the Clinton’s – while Putin Hated Clinton so bad he sought to run her out of town on a rail ?

        This is just one of many parts of Trump/Russia that never made sense to me.

        But then Democrats manufacture enemies – often from friends out of whole cloth as is politically expedient.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 10, 2018 9:52 am

      I do not recall myself or anyone else of consequence claiming that Campell would tie the CF to Tussie U1 in significant ways beyond what has already been done.

      The Claim’s regarding Campbell were that he was shutdown to stop further investigation,
      and that there was more corruption that was prosecuted.

      Campbell was stopped because revelations of russian corrupt influence threatened to become public and derail the deal.

      There is a separate STILL plausible beleive that further investigation would have revealed even more ties to the Clinton Foundation.

      Campbell can not testify to what would have occurred had the investigation continued.

      What we can know, is there was much more corruption to be found, and it was not uncovered as a result of halting the investigation.

      As to CF – there is already enough on CF and U1.

      As to a “summary by democrats” given that the Schiff memo was self refuting, and that democrats have been in full obama administration protection mode, why should this memo’s unsupported conclusion be accepted ?

      We KNOW as a fact that the investigation was shutdown prematurely by the administration.
      That is really all we need to know.
      It is possible the only reason was to preclude Congress from finding out about the corruption.
      But that alone is sufficient to make shutting the investigation down corrupt.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 18, 2018 8:10 am

      This “story” has been pretty well debunked at this point.

      The Hill which ran the story stated the story is a reflection of what democratic committee members told them – not the actual facts.

      Increasingly we get alot of this in the media today.

      All that is necescary is to get someone to say something – and the media can then report on it as if it is fact.

      In other cases – all that is needed is one media outlet to report on something and others will follow.

      Journalistic standards and ethics do not apply – once one outlet or another has run a story.

      This is why people need to learn critical thinking.

  75. dduck12 permalink
    March 9, 2018 8:00 pm

    Ho hum, more word pollution. We do know words can make you drunk with yourself. But still it is cheaper than booze, better for your body and keeps you out of sleazy drinking places-except the internet bars like this one. Great, no problem.

    Trump is a man of action, not too verbose, not too articulate either (hard to believe he had an expensive education), that speaks of action before his brain ever considers the full complexity and consequences of his “plan”. (That’s OK, he is as “flexible” as Obama.) Granted, he accumulated a lot (not as much as he would like us to think) of “wealth” and more importantly publicity which may be more important to an egotisticall mind, BTW.

    I give him some credit for being a reasonably good real estate manipulator, but others have done better in that field.
    In NYC, we spotted him for a phony con man decades ago, and I believe the rest of the country may catch on, but unfortunately not before a major F-up rips his populist cloak off.
    I don’t blame people that followed this Pied Piper down the political road, they saw what a screwed up life they led (think empty factories) and how politicians just gave them lip service, so why not try one more empty suit. Worn out mentally after two plus years (which cost a lot of money compared to any other country) of campaigning, and then a less than sterling choice of candidates, they said WTF, can he be worse than all the other politicians.
    Well, yes he could and is. I know, he has accomplished so much in some people’s eyes and he tries to keep his promises, impractical as they may be.
    But what the hell, he does “speak plainly” and darn it I voted for him, so let’s see how it works out.

    Hey gang, sorry for the overly long diatribe, just calling him a schmuck would have worked, but I needed a catharsis after reading all the endless BS rationalizing this mess the country is in.

    • Jay permalink
      March 10, 2018 9:15 am

      Yes. I agree. And as an ex New Yorker I also agree with the shortened Smuck version as well. As does anyone who heard Ding Ding Donnie on the Howard Stern show those years revealing himself as a classless idiot.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 10, 2018 10:23 am

      You seem completely unable to avoid looping back to “its all about words”.

      You grudgingly admit that Trump has succeeded in several different fields.
      It is unimportant whether he is a multi-billionaire or just has several times what he started with.

      He has also succeeded in the world of Beauty pagents, and in the world of reality TV, and in politics. And done so all pretty much on his first attempt.

      There is absolutely a bit of luck in all successes.
      At the same time, almost no one succeeds once as a result purely of luck.
      Multiple times is impossible.

      Why people voted for Trump is complex and a question of politics.
      That he managed to persuade sufficient people to vote for him is a reflection of his own political skills and insights.

      You claim that he suckered a bunch of voters. We shall see how true that is.
      Regardless, whatever he did, Clinton could have done too!

      Attacking his voters is just stupid – if they are so guilible, then they would have been equally manipulable by Clinton.

      In fact Clinton offered them more. Trump was threatening the freebies. Trump was offering to put them to work. Clinton was offering to give them more free things.

      Both were lying somewhat, but Trump’s lies were more credible.

      Further Trump’s most resonant message was “Make America Great Again”.
      And most of that message was that ordinary americans – his voters are what makes america great. That acheiving american greatness only requires government to get out of the way.

      That is a message he is actually right on.
      And that is a message that he and the left are TOTALLY at odds over.

      Obama spent 8 years apologizing for this country.

      The US has made many mistakes. But our successes are not the result of exploitation as the left beleives, but despite our mistakes.
      Our successes are the result of our people, and of the greater freedom and opportunity we give them.

      Trump understood that, Obama and Clinton did not.

      That is also why the left could still get clobbered in 2018 and will likely get clobbered in 2020.

      MAGA is an incredibly powerful message, it won the 2016 election, and it will win further elections easily with a booming economy.

      It is much like Reagan’s “Its morning in America” message.
      You will recall how well that played.

      The left has been selling what is wrong with the US for decades.
      Trump is selling the fact that we are different, better and entitled to be proud.

      • dduck12 permalink
        March 10, 2018 7:02 pm

        Hey clueless rationalizer, it is “words” as in too many; not Trump’s- but yours.
        Many people are successful including several politicians and world leaders that are totally corrupt and often immoral. That is not my standard, I don’t care what you think, just keep it short and sweet and stop overflowing the TNM threads- this is not your home commode.

        At the current rate the “diversity” thread will soon be flooded with your lengthy and serial comments. I don’t read the long ones and your pearls of wisdom are wasted on this swine. I don’t know how other commenters feel.

        Rick is gone, and once we go through all the old treads, it is over around here.
        I know you don’t care, since you are content to talk to yourself and don’t care about other people’s opinions, but others would like (ideally) a nice balanced (tribally and volume wise) blog.
        Stop fouling the communal nest.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 11, 2018 9:28 am

        Wow! So the right to free speach has a word limit on it ?
        Speaking of clueless – your freedoms include that of not listening, not reading.
        Bitching about the “words” of another that do you no harm is whiny and egotistical.
        I pay in my time for what I write – you pay nothing, no one forces you to read.
        Yet you wish to argue that you have the right to silence my speach ?
        Grow up, get a clue. Learn that the world is not about you.
        Your freedom ends when you seek to limit the freedom of others to do anything that does not harm you.

        Your remarks are offensive, they are rooted in idiocy. the bizarre notions that there are limits to the limitless, and that you own the internet. The only overflowing comode is your own.

        Stalin and Mao were “successful” – if success is not precluded by the murded of your own people or the destruction of their rights.

        Get a clue – you live in the real world, you are not entitled to what you would like from others.

        If you want me to care about your opinions – say something worth caring about. Say something that is not idiocy. You earn respect, it is not a right. Among other things, you earn it by not making incredibly stupid arguments.

        Regardless, you are NOT free to impose the costs for your desires on others.
        Your entire rant is the proof that your own values and reasoning are bankrupt.
        There are no communal rights.

      • Jay permalink
        March 11, 2018 2:15 pm

        Dave: you are a tedious blabbermouth.
        That’s a fact.
        And, as you’ve said previously, this is Rick’s blog.
        You have no free speech blabbermouthing rights here.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 11, 2018 6:10 pm

        I have exactly the same rights as you.

        I would note this effort to silence dissent comes only from the left.

        We are reliving the macartyite 50’s only today it is the left an their sympathizers who think that divergent opponions must be supressed.

      • Jay permalink
        March 11, 2018 8:14 pm

        I’m only trying to restrict your blabbermouthing comments Dave, in the say way I’d try to moderate someone ceasingly Bloviating in a stagecoach crowded with three or four other passengers who don’t want to hear unending BS as tedious as the hoofbeat of the horses.

        But, overall, I rather have you blabbering here on this site, with no one listening.
        But I do have a venue for you where you may be more welcome: check it out, you’ll feel at home there (I’m banned). Priscilla too.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 12, 2018 1:33 pm

        And as usual, you are presuming to have rights and powers that you do not have.
        That makes you the actual moral offender.

        Further your analogy is garbage, this is not a stagecoach.
        You are not obligated to be here, nor has someone promised you something, nor are you obligated to read posts you do not wish to.

        You keep trying to reframe blog comments in some arrangment that matches purported commons in the non-virtual world.
        But first they do not match, and further I would suggest reviewing the work of Nobel winner Elenor Olstrom – even int he real world the commons does not need your protection, and the cost of those such as yourself “protecting” it always ends up being higher than leaving it alone.

        If you would rather something that is actually inside of your power and rights – they do it, no one is stopping you.

        It is what you seem to think you are entitled to that is outside your power and rights that is immoral.

        It is self evident that if you had the power to do so, you would be a tyrant.
        You would lie to your self that you were benevolent and that is was for come greater good.
        But it is self evident that it is not.

        And you are entirely oblivious to the fact that you have very limited justifications for interfering in the rights of others.

        John Stuart Mills comes to mind most every time you write.
        In “On Liberty” Mill devotes several pages to noting that self government trends towards being much more tyrannical than monarchies. Because ordinary people feel more entitled to meddle in the lives of their neighbors than kings.

  76. Jay permalink
    March 9, 2018 9:37 pm

    Where’s your Libertarian outrage on the Tariffs, Dave?
    You were hedging your criticism the other day, saying you were waiting to see if he wasn’t talking out of his ass again (my poetic license).

    Tariffs are taxes, right?
    So where’s your outrage?

    And BTW, I’m predicting Stormy is going to reveal Trump facilitated her aborting his fetus.
    The NDA apparently has some unusual wording prohibitions for her mentioning the term ‘fatherhood.’

    • March 9, 2018 10:03 pm

      Have you always been this fascinated by the secret sex lives of politicians before they held office, Jay? You do know that this affair, if it happened, happened 12 years ago, right? And that there is probably no Trump voter in the country that did not know that Trump’s past life included promiscuity and scandal, but they still decided that he was better than Hillary?

      This salacious obsession with Trump’s private parts does not become you…..

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2018 9:24 am

        Trumps sex life isn’t private. He BRAGS about it. Again I refer you to NUMEROUS outlandish claims he made on the Howard Stern radio show. And the braggadocio on the Groping tape.

        If he’s not reticent to talk about it, why would you define it as private?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 11:10 am

        Private – in the sense of not related to government.

        If Trump wishes to talk about it – fine. Though given the non-disclosure it seems he does not want to talk about it.

        Further Trumps sexual bragadocia has always been generic – non-specific.

        Regardless, I am not fascinated by it. I am not particularly interested in it.

        While I did not vote for Trump and his treatment of women was a significant factor,

        From what I can tell, his treatment of Daniels would not be a factor, now or in the future.

        From what we know they had a consensual relationship.

        Let me put it differently.

        If Harvey Weinstein or Al Franken hired prostitutes they would still have their jobs.

        Absent some actual misconduct, I think you will find the Daniels story helps Trump with his base, possibly even with women, as it actually discredits claims of sexual harrassment.

      • Anonymous permalink
        March 10, 2018 9:56 am

        Because Priscilla never does such things, never gossips about the sex lives or cares about the sexual morality of politicians, never talks or thinks about such things, never complains, mentions or is outraged. Unless of course, they are democrats. But, still, that was not her regurgitating national enquirer gossip about hillary and huma abedin being a lesbian couple.

        What a load. Support your team no matter what, never miss a chance to dump on the other side.

        Zero credibility outside of your own tribe is the result of such one-sided obliviousness and hypocrisy.

        The Trump administration continues to be a bad joke. Someday it it blow up on all its participants. Unfortunately, the costs will have to be paid by everyone, not just the guilty parties.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 11:24 am

        I can only speak with certainty about myself.
        That said I do not recall National Enquirer gossip about Hillary and Abedin surfacing in TNM ever – not from Priscilla or anyone.

        Discussions about the sexual misconduct of politicians here has to my recollection been focussed on NON-CONSENSUAL conduct.

        Even with Lewinsky, there is a small issue that Monica was an intern. But the big issue was that Clinton lied under oath about it.

        Frankins groping was non-consensual.

        Roy Moores conduct was either non-consensual or with kids who are not permitted to give consent.

        My concern’s regarding Trump are that some allegations against him were for sexual harrassment.

        Biden’s groping was non-consensual.

        Republican, democrat I do not care. You may not force yourself on others.

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2018 1:22 pm

        Thank you Anonymous -Most of the time I feel like I’m talking to the wind here…

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 4:34 pm

        Everyone hears you.

        We just do not agree.

        You seem to grasp that no one else can force their views on you.

        But you do not grasp the converse.

        Nor do you grasp that if no one can force their views on any other – the only valid position is libertarian.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 11:03 am

        If Trump is paying to have sex in the whitehouse right now,
        I do not care – so long as it is not with employees, and so long as it is consensual.

      • March 10, 2018 12:26 pm

        I’m with you. A woman’s body is her body. People argue over abortion and they say the woman has a right to do whatever she wants with her body and if she does not want to continue a pregnancy, she should not be made to do so. That is her right.

        But then those same people will say prostitution should be illegal, that it is taking advantage of the woman.

        Please, if a woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy because that is her body, then she sure as hell has the right to rent out her vagina for that same reason.

        And if a man is willing to pay for it, then that is his right. No one is forcing him to do that.

        And everyone else should worry about their own life and living that and forget about living someone else’s.


      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 4:32 pm

        I am not aligned with either side on abortion.
        A woman has the absolute right to not be pregnant right up to the instant of birth.
        Her right to not be preganant trumps that of the fetus.
        Meaning she can choose not to be pregnant even if that results in the death of the fetus.
        But that is not the same as a right to actually kill the fetus.

        Put differently the woman has the right to remove the fetus even if that results in the death of the fetus, But not the right to intentionally kill the fetus.

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2018 2:05 pm

        I’m in favor of legalizing prostitution.
        I don’t have a problem with a married president paying for sex.
        I have a BIG problem with sanctimoniously lying about it.
        A BIGGER problem with hypocrites on the right pretending it’s morally wrong for Democrats to be promiscuous while married, but shrugging it off for Trump.

        A lying hypocritical asshole demeans the office.
        I criticized B. Clinton for the Oval Office blowjob, and wanted him to resign.
        Trump is 10 times worse a LIAR than B. Clinton was.
        And 50 times more demeaning to woman. Lies. Denials. NDAs. Threats to sue accusers. Insults to their character. That is the moral profile you Trumpster apologists keep defending. A moral profile that infected his business. And infects the Presidency. You have to be morally obtuse not to ceasefully condemn him.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 4:46 pm

        I have little problem with people lying about things that are none of my business.

        Roy Moore was sanctimonious.
        Franken and Biden MIGHT be sanctimonious.

        Trump is not sanctimonious.

        He does nto pretend to be something different than he is.
        Nor is he demanding that people live differently than he does.

        Clinton lied under oath. That is a huge deal.

        I do not beleive the jones lawsuit should have been allowed during Clinton’s presidency.
        But that does nto excuse Clinton for lying under oath.

        Sorry Jay, but lying under oath is just about the worst form of lying that there is.
        And this was a bald face absolute lie. There is no faulty recollection. What clinton said he knew to be false when he said it. And he knew it was important.

        Clintion is ABSOLUTELY physically abusive to women, He is likely a rapist. He may be a peodophile.

        Trump MIGHT be abusive. But nearly all allegations are consensual

        There is a world of difference. Trump is not even close to Clinton’s level of criminality and mysogyny.

        “Threats to sue accusers. Insults to their character.” aparently your memory is cloudy.
        Were you arround for the 90’s ?

        “A moral profile that infected his business.”:

        So describe SPECIFICALLY Trump’s moral profile – and contrast it directly to Clinton.

        There are few claims Trump has used force. There are many that Clinton has.
        Trump has not to my knowledge lied under oath – do you know otherwise ?
        The world knows Clinton has.

        Trump has made the wealth he has trading value for value.
        Clinton has made his selling access to power.

        I am not all that happy with Trump but he is far more moral than your ordinary politicians.

        You seem to have a very bizarre idea of morality.

        There is plenty of room for moral criticism of Trump.
        But in most every way he still morally superior to most politicians.

        That does nto reflect well on Trump, but it reflects badly on politicians.

      • March 10, 2018 2:22 pm


      • March 10, 2018 4:01 pm

        Far be it from me to say I never gossip! Or that I’m not interested in gossipy things. I read the headlines on National Enquirer when I’m in the grocery line, and, if they are intriguing enough (and the line is long enough) I’ll pick it up and read the article.

        Look, I’m not the one who keeps bringing up the Stormy Daniels story here…and I’m not saying that I think that she’s lying. Nor am I saying that she’s telling the truth. Personally, I’m assuming that something went on between her and Trump, but it was probably nothing as dramatic as she will make it sound once she eventually violates her NDA (and we all know that she will, right?)

        I’m saying that this is something that surprises maybe one person on the planet, and that the average Trump voter assumed that these kinds of people and this kind of behavior existed in Trump’s past, so it’s unlikely to change any opinions. And I don’t think that it will result in Trump’s removal from office…Clinton was impeached for perjury, not for abhorrent sexual behavior, and Democrats kept saying it was “no big deal” because he perjured himself about sex. So, now, sex IS a big deal? And how exactly has Trump perjured himself?

        I just think it’s so unimportant in the scheme of things. Roby (I presume) , good to see you back, even to bash me 😉 Jay, what is it you think is so important about the Stormy story? Maybe I’ve missed something, and there is no hypocrisy going on here….

    • dhlii permalink
      March 10, 2018 10:57 am

      Is my opposition not real to you, unless I am frothing at the mouth ?

      I am still unclear what if anything is happening and whether this is anything more than a negotiating gambit.

      Regardless I have REPEATEDLY stated for as long as I have been posting her, that I Oppoise Tarriffs, that I am a proponent of the freest possible Trade.

      If Trump is actually imposing Tarriff’s it is a mistake.
      But Bush and Obama did so – and they worked horribly.

      If Trump wants re-elected in 2020 or to keep a republican congress, he should be careful about tanking the economy. Which Tarriffs risk doing.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 10, 2018 11:01 am

      Still fixated on Daniels ?

      I think Daniels is doing an excellent job of using her relationship with Trump to her own benefit.
      I think that is great. I think even trump would be proud.

      Beyond that I do not care, nor do I think most anyone else does.

      There are no allegations of sexual assault or harrassment.

      Daniels got paid for services, and paid to keep quiet and is now may get paid again.

      If that is exploitation – someone please exploit me!

      • Jay permalink
        March 10, 2018 2:16 pm

        There you go again, Dave, distorting the facts with your assumptive bullshit: Stormy didn’t get paid for her services; Trump offered her money for the sex after their first intimacy, but she says refused it. And never took any money for sex subsequently.

        I believe her. And you apparently believe she had sex with Donnie Dingle, as opposed to his claim he didn’t. So how did you come up with the payment accusation?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 4:56 pm

        I have no reason to doubt daniels, and no reason to care – and that is the point.

        I do not care if she got paid, or got perks, or got nothing – that is between her and Trump.

        She did get paid for the non-disclosure I would note.

        I do not care whether Trump or his lawyer paid her to be quiet.
        I sign NDA’s all the time. Though my context is different from Trump’s.

        Regardless, Daniels was paid for an NDA in return for control of the story.
        That is how that works.
        NDA’s do not prevent people from telling the truth. They prevent people from talking at all.
        They can not tell the truth, they can not lie, they can not go to the press, they can not exagerate,
        They get money in return for silence.

        I am not aware that Trump has spoken about Daniels at all.

        Maybe he has lied, maybe not. Regardless, he paid for the perogative, and I am OK with that.

        Daniels is looking for her own ways to profit – and I am OK with that too.

        I think this is all fun. I think it is an interesting lesson in free market economics.

        You think it is some morality play. But I can not make sense of the moral issues you seem to think are in conflict.

        I would note that you are so intuitively socialist that you think that free exchange is an accusation.

        Paid, not, or paid in different forms – it does not matter at all to me.
        Daniels and Trump are free to whatever consentual arrangement they wish.

        That is not an ACCUSATION. It is how things are in the world.

        If I say you bought a hamburger – and I am wrong – that is not an ACCUSATION.

      • March 10, 2018 2:24 pm

        And, of course, if Jay believes her, everything she says must be true!!

      • dhlii permalink
        March 10, 2018 5:01 pm

        I do not care if what she says is true.

        Jay is making a huge deal of the fact that Daniels and Trump had a consensual relationship.

        I beleive that Trump has admitted to going out with her. I beleive has has not answered whether they had sex.

        Beyond that Jay is making a huge deal out of the fact that Cohn sought to pay Daniels not to talk.

        I have no problem with that either. 130K to not talk sounds good to me.

        Somehow Jay thinks a crime has been committed because he was unable to get all the purient details at his convenience.

        Further Jay seems to think that whenever money is involved there is something bad going on.

        I guss his pay chack makes him a criminal.

  77. March 10, 2018 2:38 pm

    This is interesting. Particularly so, since it’s happened pretty much simultaneously with Trump’s announcements of steel tariffs, which he said were based on “national security concerns”. I suppose it could be coincidence, but I wonder. Kobe Steel’s CEO has resigned, after admitting that the company had engaged in data fraud, going back to the early 70’s.

    I was thinking that the tariffs were mostly targeting China, but….Japan?

  78. dduck12 permalink
    March 10, 2018 7:11 pm

    This issue is right up Trump’s alley because he has flexibility and Congress and the Courts have diminished powers to interfere. He can pick and choose, schmooze and snooze, beg or lose, with the countries and stoke his ego too.
    He loves being able to cut deals, favor some and screw others that don’t play the game his way.

    • March 10, 2018 7:47 pm

      I guess my question is whether anyone other than the Japanese have been getting away with this for the last 50 years? Did anyone in our government (or any other government that was affected) know, or suspect? And how many cars (or bridges, or rails, etc.) have been affected? And have we purchased military grade steel from Kobe or any other steel dumping country (China, Russia, India, So. Korea) that has also falsified stnadards?

      This is not a “Trump issue,” as far as I can tell. But, it may be that this administration has decided to deal with it.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 11, 2018 9:39 am

        The enforcement of contracts is within the role of government.

        If a manufacturer of Steel promised steel of one quality and delivered something less, then the buyer is entitled to damages, possibly even punatives.

        But the role of government is to arbitrate the dispute, nothing more.

        I would separately note that steel quality is a never ending issue. Roebling specified steel of a particular strength for the Brooklynn bridge, falsely hoping that the quality requirements would preclude incompetent producers. During construction it was discovered that much of what was supplied was way out of spec. Roebling approved continuing construction anyway.
        Most of the wire in the suspension cables for the Brooklynn bridge does not meet specs.
        100 years later there has never been a failure.

        I am not aware of a single failure of structural steel in all of history. There are plenty of design failure and occasionally construction failures, but I can not think of a single materials failure.
        The factor of safety in steel is 1.6, Further steel fails by stretching not breaking. Reinforced concrete structures are deliberately designed so that the steel will fail before the concrete – because concrete fails suddenly, explosively and without warning, while steel stretches.

      • March 11, 2018 5:17 pm

        I personally don’t know much (read: I don’t know anything) about steel, but my husband in a retired civil engineer, and worked for the Port Authority if NY/NJ. He was involved in marine construction, as well as trains, tunnels and bridges, and also airports (Newark, La Guardia , JFK, Teterboro). He agrees with you that most structural failures are due to design, not material.

        On the other hand, he says that materials used generally have to be 3 times the strength specified in the design specifications. If the material, including steel, is significantly weaker or of far less quality, there could definitely be a materials failure, and he would not have ever signed off on a repair or construction that used less than the 3x steel.

        He says that most steel failures come about due to heat…boiler tanks etc, and that military vehicles could be rendered less effective (jets, tanks, etc) if they were of lower quality

        So, there’s that. There is also the fact that, just because cheap, inferior steel has never been labeled as the cause of a structural failure, doesn’t mean it can’t happen, particularly if design engineers are assuming a certain load strength.

        If we’re importing steel that we believe is of a certain strength and it’s far below that strength….that’s bad. It’s worse if the country and/or company that’s selling us that steel knows that it’s far below the strength that they say it is. That becomes a serious national security concern, I believe.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 11, 2018 6:55 pm

        The standard factor of safety for steel is 1.6. It has been that since the 50’s atleast, possibly longer. That factor of safety is based on long term historical data concerning the variations in materials. Esentially the factor of safety reflect the probability that the steel does NOT meet specs. The lower the factor of safety the higher the probability that the material is homogenous over time, over different forms of manufature, and from different vendors.

        Wood has an incredibly high factor of safety – because wood just is not uniform, and faries too much

        Concrete as I recall falls between wood and steel. Concrete and wood also have a higher factor of safety because their failure mode is sudden and tends to be explosive – wood and concrete fail in compression. Concrete particularly as it has no tensile strength of consequence, that is provided by steel reinforcing.

        While steel fails in tension and tends fo fail gradually – it slowly distors and stretchs.

        The factor of Safety for steel is also based on the fact that you can over load it by 60% and when the load is removed it will recover. More than 60% results in permanent damage though still not catastrophic failure.

        I have not heard of the factor of 3 your husband is refering to, but my guess is we are refering to a design parameter not a materials parameter.

        As an example earthquakes subject structures to loads far in excess of their standard design loads. Earthquake design is going to use aditional safety factors you are not going to find for a steel frame building in a location that has tichter 5 earthquakes at most once a century.

        Earthquake design is an entire specialty in and of itself. Among other things it deals with highly dynamic oscilating loads rather than the static loads that are typical of most structural design.

        Regardless, the 1.6 value I am refering to is the standard steel MATERIALS factor of safety.
        It is in addition to any design values.

        There are all kinds of other factors involved too.

        I still remember 9/11 after the first plane crashed into the towers, telling my wife that there was only a short period of time available to put the fires out before the tower was coming down.

        I did not know how much time they had, but it was not going to be long.
        Steel loses 50% of its strength at about 800F if I recall correctly. Keroscene – jet fuel burns at a bit over 500F The burning of the fuel alone was not going to bring the buildings down.
        But the burning keroscene was causing the rest of the contents of the building to ignite and paper, paint and furnishing burn hot enough to weaken steel to failure.

        Normally this is not a problem. The steel in the WTIC was likely 2hr fire protected.
        But the 747 ripping through the building likely destroyed alot of the fire protection.

        Regardless the point is that the design of a building like WTC is primarily a static design.
        Only small amounts of movement – and nearly none vertically are designed for.

        Basic physics says that force is mass times acceleration. The moment the steel in the WTC weakened enough to allow the slightest vertical movement, the building was going to collapse.

        Take the mass of the building above the fire floor and multiply by even 1mm of motion and the force is infinitely larger than the design loads. There is absolutely no possible way to design for even small vertical movements of even a few floors of a building like that.

        In my lifetime. or even beyond I can not recall ever a single structural failure involving steel that was the result of a materials failure.
        Design failures – absolutely.
        Construction failures – plenty.
        Fabrications failures – bad welds, bad rivits – plenty.

        The only materials failures I can think of ever in steel were the result of fire
        Of you get a steel building hot enough the steel turns to spegetting.

        This is the one area with concrete and ever wood significantly outperform steel.

        In architectual school they made us sit through a 2 hr film that was essentially a horrow story for architects. Some time in the 60’s an about 25 story concrete business tower in the netherlands caught fire at about the 12th floor. Building was very nearly as fire resistant as you could make it.
        But fairly quickly about 2 floors were burning at once. Every half hour the lowest fire floor would burn out – all fuel – furniture and paper being consumed, and every half hour the next floor up would finally get hot enough for the furnishing to “spontaneously combust”.

        There were something like 280 people in the building at the time the fire started.
        Fairly quickly the stairwells became unusuable – with temperatures over 500F for several floors.
        Humans can get through temps like that BREIFLY – for seconds, but not the minutes needed to pass through 2 floors that are burning. Firefighters could not get up the stairs for the same reason.

        But the elevators – you know those things you are NOT supposed to use in a fire continued to work and got dozens of people out – until the steel in the shafts warped badly enough the elevators jambed.

        Some “wise” people sought refuge in the bathrooms.
        They well litterally steamed to death when the fire got close enough.

        Something like 80 people jumped – less than 6 of those lived, and I would guess they were quadrapelic.

        A few people were rescued from the roof – but very quickly the thermals from the fire made it too dangerous for helicopters to get near the building.

        Ultimately slightly more than 80 people lived by going to the roof and crawling between the concrete roof deck and the roof insulation. There was nothing in their to burn, the insulation reduced temperatures just enough that the fire burned itself out before killing them.

        The end of the story is the insurance company was quite happy. The building was concrete and there was no permanent structural damage. The building was cleaned, refurbished and back in use in 9 months.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 11, 2018 7:15 pm

        Normal structural steel is 36KSI if I recall. That is 36,000lbs/sq. inch. with a 1.6 materials factor of safety that means the actual strength is likely almost 60KSI That is stronger than the next design grade up 50KSI steel.

        I have absolutely zero problems with suing the crap out of somebody who provides inferior steel.
        But you are not going to see a failure as a result of it.

        I would note the 3x factor of safety your husband is refering to is likely a design factor, not a materials factor. It likely reflects the possibility that the loads might be dynamic.
        Dynamic loads in buildings are wind which is small and perpedicular to normal loads, and earthquages – also mostly perpedicular.

        Bridges, stadiums and a few other structures are subject to significant dynamic loads. That is an entirely different aspect of structural design that I have little experience with. Regardless, the factors of safety are much greater.

        The dynamic loads MOST buildings are subject to, are well inside standard factors of safety.

        As an example Floors are designed for an allowable deflection of L/360. That means the maximum allowed vertical motion in a floor is the length of the floor span divided by 360.
        That is quite small. But the L/360 number does not come from structural strength. It comes from human psychology. People get scared when the floor “bounces” more than that.
        The actual structural failure allowable deflection is L/120. If you ever walked on an L/120 floor it would be so springing you would be teriffied. But it is perfectly safe.

        Finally I would note that one of the big differences between Iron and steel is that Iran will crack and break if its limits are exceeded. Steel stretches, it does not break (joints can shear but that is a different kind of failure)

        Except for shear failures at joints which are weld and fastener failures, steel fails “safe”.
        The building may be destroyed but there should be no human harm.

        Again this is also presuming that you do not get the building moving vertically, in which case all bets are off.

      • March 11, 2018 7:18 pm

        Yeah, he’s pretty insistent that the PANYNJ uses a factor of 3. Maybe they have been presuming that cheap steel is inferior.

        In any case, the fact that inferior steel has been sold in this country for decades is not a good thing. And the fact that foreign companies, at least Japan, have been falsifying the quality data is something that the US gov’t needs to address. I don’t know that tariffs are the best way to address it, but since the trade act that gives the president authority to curb imports through tariffs specifically designates national security as a rationale to do so, I suppose he took that route.

      • March 11, 2018 8:15 pm

        Dave “And the fact that foreign companies, at least Japan, have been falsifying the quality data is something that the US gov’t needs to address.”

        WAIT! You tell us daily government should not be involved in business. That is between the buyer and sellor. You have said many times drugs should not be under the federal government, if the drugs were misrepresented, bad and killed someone, then that company would have to face the consequences. You have said government should not be involved in health care insurance, if someone has a preexisting condition and they cant afford insurance and die, then that is facts of life. Everyone dies, why should you be concerned!

        Now you say government should be involved with steel. Why? If a contractor uses inferior steel on a bridge and 25 people die, thats just life! The steel producer will face charges and bankruptcy because they provided unsafe material. Same as the drug manufacturer.

        Dave, whats the difference? I say oversight is needed, you have said for as long as I can remember government does not play a role in a market system.

        Is there something special with steel?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 12, 2018 1:51 pm


        The quote you attributed to me, was actually Priscilla’s.

        I do “agree” with it – but only very narrowly.

        Actual fraud is within the limited scope of the government.

        I would still greatly prefer that governments role be as limited as possible.
        Primarily to the adjudication to disputes – contract law.
        And the adjudication of claims of harm – tort law.

        But very rarely fraud is also a crime, and government has some role in that.

        I keep reminding you over and over that libertarian is NOT anarchist.

        The government both adjudicates claims for breach of contract, and FORCES compliance with the consequences.
        There is no point ot a court system if when you win, the defendant does nto comply, because no one will FORCE compliance.

        What I have said regarding Drugs – and pretty much everything else, is that government should not treat any good uniquely, and should not engage in a priori constraint of free exchange.

        If you kill someone without justification that is a crime, and you should be prosecuted and punished – BY GOVERNMENT. You should be prosecuted whether you killed someone with a gun, or a knife or a bedroom slipper or with ibuprofen.

        There are different degrees of criminalty so we punish murder differently than manslaughter or negligent homocide.

        Government is not particularly good at dealing with crime – but there is no better alternative.

        Government is also legitimately there to adjudicate whether you met your contractual obligations to others. Government does not get to write the contracts, only enforce them.

        Finally when you claim to have been harmed by a third party government is their to adjudicate that harm and enforce compensation.

        Each of these legitimate functions of government shares several common attributes.

        1). Governments role is AFTER THE FACT.
        2). The specific instance is adjudicated based on the facts BEFORE any punishment is imposed.
        3). Government enforces consequences AFTER there has been a determination that actual harm has occurred.

        You may not infringe on someones rights because of what you think MIGHT happen if you do not.

      • March 12, 2018 4:23 pm

        Dave. Apology. That statement was not in ” ” so I was unaware that it wzs not yours. I was really surprised when I thought you had made it.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 13, 2018 1:11 am

        We have all misread posts,

        I have also mistyped many times.

        Regardless, I clarified though I do not agree with the broad statement made.

        There is absolutely a legitimate role for govenrment in addressing conduct that is actually harmful AFTER the harm has occurred

        I am not an anarchist,. there is a legitimate role for govenrment – even in the economy, but it is narrow, and limited. .

      • dhlii permalink
        March 13, 2018 12:37 am

        The fact that the world does not function perfectly does not demonstrate that government intervention is necescary or even good.

        We have just had ample evidence that the Broward sherriff’s and the FBI can not get deal with a terribly troubled teen with an open violent streak.

        Arguably the efforts of government were WORSE than nothing.
        If there was no expectation that reports to police would produce results, it is likely the people doing the reporting might themselves have acted more proactively.

        It is like 9/11. Prior to the first plane striking the first tower the unwritten rule in a hijacking was stay calm do not cause trouble. Your best shot at survival is to let government and the terrorists work it out. The instant the first plane struck the tower it became self evident to every passenger on every plane from that moment forward, including the 3 hijacked planes still in the air, that government was not going to be able to fix things. That passengers were going to have to act on their own, or die. and possibly kill alot of others.

        I am not looking to berate government, just pointing out that too much faith in government precludes our acting on our own.
        And that government does not take an imperfect world and make it perfect.

        I do beleive there is a role for government in this Japanese steel fraud – assuming that it is real.

        That is the same role government has had since the begining of time.
        Punishing harms that have already occured.

        I do not know the details of this particular event, and I am highly skeptical of the press hype.

        But that is not critical.

        If a private actor intentionally, or with extreme negiligence cause harm to another – an individual, a company, ….

        That is a crime, and government is supposed to prosecute crimes.

        If a private actor failed to live up to a contractual obligation, it is governments legitimate role to adjudicate and force performance or force payment for damages.
        That is most civil law.

        If a private actor through unintential action causes real harm to a third party with which they do not have a contractual relations ship. That is a tort, and again government may legitimately adjudicate that and force compensation for damages.

        I have repeated this over an over. These are the legitimate actions that govenrment can take.

        ALL of them require some harm to actually occur. We may not morally infringe on someones rights – aka use force against them, merely because we are afraid they might cause harm.
        But we can punish them as appropriate when they have caused harm.

        Beyond what government can legitimately do, there is a vast breadth of things we can do on our own.

        We can do them in addition to what govenrment may legitimately do.
        We can also do them in instances where government can not act.

        We can a priori boycott a store because we do not like its values or actions, we can do so even if its values or actions are all perfectly legal.
        We can picket and protest – for whatever reasons we wish.
        We can even be wrong in our reasons.

        We can do most anything that does nto involve force and therefor violate the rights of others.

        I am not arguing that what are essentially market forces are sufficient to stop all bad things.
        Though they are more effective than they are credited with.

        But I am saying they we may not use force – not as an individual, nor through government, absent actual harmful conduct having taken place.
        Our fear or expectation that someone else’s actions may cause harm do not justify the use of force.

        Most of us understand you can not murder another person merely because you fear them.
        That other person must convert the any threat to action before the use of force is justifiable.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 12, 2018 1:20 pm

        My guess that that 3.0 is a Design factor, not a materials factor.

        Tarriffs have nothing to do with this – except in the political/psychologicial sense.

        If you were sold a defective product – you have a breach of contract claim and substantial potential damages.

        If you are a third party injured as a result of a failure of a defectinve material you have a tort claim including punatives.

        The only role of government is to arbitrate those claims – i.e. to provide courts and enforce their results.

        We specifically do nto want a different approach – as the last thing we want is government to punish and therefore collect the damages.

        The Tobacco settlement should tell you exactly why.

        Tobacco companies settled with state AG’s for 287B. That money was to be paid over time,
        to be spent by states. Nothing went to the “victims’ of cigarettes.

        In many instances the states were paid and turned arround and used the money they were paid to subsidize the local tobacco industry.

        My point is that when government steps in to remedy a harm caused to others, it is the government that benefits – not those harmed.

        I do not know what the real significance of this Steel story is.
        I am highly dubious that it is consequential.

        While independent steel testing is rare – primarily because it is pretty hard to screw up 36KSI steel and still get steel. Regardless, it is hard to beleive that a major manufacturer went more than a decade and no independent source tested their steel.

        Concrete testing is incredibly common, pretty much every structural and many non structural pour is tested. That is because it is so easy to screw concrete up.
        At the same time I have often seen structural engineers approve concrete that failed tests – because in many uses the concrete does not need to be as strong as specced.
        As an example concrete foundations only need to be slightly stronger than the ground they bear on.

        Regardless, there are testing labs throughout the country, both private and as part of engineering schools. These are constantly doing independent materials testing – either as a requirement for a project, or as part of their engineering curriculum.

        I just find it extremely hard to beleive that steel that did not meet spec’s could exist on the market for long.

        Some of the (many) problems with most of the fixations that people have with corporate greed and the assumption that businesses will take shortcuts and deliver inferior products to profit,
        is that:

        Hiding a problem for a long period is usually much more expensive than fixing it.
        It is not actually cheaper to make poor quality steel.
        The consequences when you are caught – and you always will get caught are the destruction of the business.

        John Stossel started out as a consumer products reporter for a local news statition.
        He went out as an intrepid reporter intent on finding skuldugery, corruption and greed.

        Overtime he became libertarian – because he found very little of the misconduct that was supposed to be rampant, and most of that was employees covering up for their own mistakes and hiding it from their employers.

        Regardless, the “Answer” to these problems when they do occur is with contract and tort law.

        Those aske the right questions –
        did one party fail to do what they agreed to do.
        What was the cost of that failure.
        Was there harm to thrid parties.

        Further they provide compensation to those actually injured, rather than filling the coffers of government.

  79. dhlii permalink
    March 10, 2018 7:29 pm

    Gun control

  80. dhlii permalink
    March 10, 2018 7:30 pm

    George Carlin excellent as ever.

  81. dhlii permalink
    March 10, 2018 7:31 pm

    Gun ownership rates vs homocide rate

  82. dhlii permalink
    March 10, 2018 7:32 pm

    The world according to to many of you.

  83. dduck12 permalink
    March 10, 2018 7:36 pm

    Anon: me too

  84. Jay permalink
    March 10, 2018 9:24 pm

    Priscilla: aside form the smarminess of the Donnie-Stormy affair, and that he hid it from the electorate during a possible tipping point in the election, there’s this borderline illegality, which, hopefully, a Democratic majority can use for another nail in Trump’s impeachment coffin:

    • March 10, 2018 11:56 pm

      Jay, it could be a violation if they can tie it back to Trump with documentation.

      One thing that seems strange to me is the fact Trump never signed the agreement.
      1. Did he know everything going on, was part of the payoff, reimbursed the legal team under “other undocumented expenses and was advised not to sign anything?
      2. Did he know about the agreement, nothing else and was told not to sign it.
      3. Did he tell his legal team “make this go away”, left everything to them, they took care of it, he knows little of what took place and did not sign anything.

      If this were a TV movie, it would be #3. Not sure what it is in real life.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 11, 2018 10:18 am

        If you get something from real experts, the absence of Trump’s signature is irrelevant.

        Trump need not even be a party to the contract. He need never have known about it.

        I can form a contract with you to preclude you from talking about Joe DiMagio. Joe need not sign the contract.

        I would further note that based on what we know thus far the legal risk is to the lawyer, not Trump.

        It appears reasonably well documented that he paid Daniels from his funds.

        IF he asked for reimbursement – without being clear – that would be fraud on his part.
        But I doubt Trump is going to come after him for fraud.
        There is no government enforcable fraud unless the funds ultimately came from campaign contributions from people who were not aware of their use.

        Even a third party wealthy trump contributor – or Trump himself re-embursing the lawyer would be legitimate.

        Remember any crime here is NOT with regard to what the funds were used for, but rooted in a fraud against the ultimate source of t the funds.
        You can not defraud people who know what is going on.

        I would note that there is a far stronger cause of criminality regarding the payment for the Steele Dossier.

        Before you decide that some laws were broken here, Think about the implications in other areas of that particular interpretation of the law.

        There are no laws precluding “hush money”. The only time you can not pay for someone else’s silence – would be paying for their silence about a crime.
        IF the NDA is legitimate then the only question was whether the way it was paid for was legitimate. Finding a crime their requires it to be paid for by people who did not know the purpose of the payment and had no reason to expect they were paying for silence.

        That same standard would apply to payment for the Steele Dossier – except that we KNOW those payments came from DNC anf HFA.

      • March 11, 2018 1:42 pm

        Dave “IF he asked for reimbursement – without being clear – that would be fraud on his part.”

        I was not referring to anyone doing anything that was fraud. You have a legal retainer with a legal firm. Its has couple millions dollars in it. In some cases, the legal firm will detail out every minute of every day the attorney spent on your account when that contract with them calls for that detail. In other instances, the contracting company will state in their agreement that any expenditures less than “x” need not be detailed for the sake of both the contractor and contractee. Only “other reimbursable expenditures” need be listed on invoice.

        As for how the legal team handled this if that was the case, is different. They had to handle the flow of money as revenue and expenses. That could be done as revenue coming in from the Trump organization and a bonus or some other salary to the attorney for reimbursement for the $130,000. Basically laundering money without the required details to show the laundering. A yearly bonus of $1,000,000 becomes $1.2M. Anyone in the position they were in know how to direct financial transactions to make it very difficult to determine why something took place.

        But then, Mueller will probably spend a million or so investigating this and another 8 months before coming up with whatever dung he can find. Taxpayer money well spent.

        I read an article this morning about the college basketball investigation into payoffs to coaches by shoe companies. They have spent many months WITH 11 teams of FBI agents looking into that situation. They have spent millions in the investigation.

        All while that same FBI investigated the president, coaches and shoe companies, they ignored information received concerning possible school violence in FL high school. Led to 17 dead.

        We do have our priorities straight!!!

      • dhlii permalink
        March 11, 2018 5:37 pm

        I am not sure who Cohen worked for.

        It is different if he worked for Trump, than if he worked for the Trump campaign.

        There is only one arrangement that gives Mueller and the Feds an in.
        That is if Cohen spent Trump general fund Campaign money directly for payments to Daniels.
        That would defraud Trump campaign contributors.

        The next potential fraudulent arrangment would be if he worked for Trump directly or a non-campaign related Trump entitty – in that instance it is possible that he Defrauded that entity if he sought re-imbursement without being clear regarding what the expenditures were for.

        That is an entirely uninteresting scenario as it would require Trump or some non-campaign Trump entity to go after him – not Meuller, and there is no chance in hell that is happening.

        It is also possible that Coehen was paid directly by a wealthy Trump supporter.
        That would be perfectly legal – though it would annoy most of us.

        I would remind everyone there is really no difference between the payment to Daniels and the payment to Steele. Except that inarguably Steele was Paid by DNC and HFA.

        Regardless, Daniels silence and Steele’s research are both the value in exchange for the money they received, and in both instances the respective campaigns/candidates benefited.

        Frankly most of our campaign laws regarding money are inarguably crap and the left’s desparation to “get Trump” only exposes that.

        Every single instance some left leaning Law profession comes up with some expansive theory of campaign law that by some stretch Trump’s actions violated, it is equally obvious to anyone with half a brian that not only has the DNC/HFA violated it more egregiously, but that campaigns all my lifetime have been doing so.

        Broad interpretations of the law make everyone into criminals.

        We can debate whether some conduct should be legal or not,.
        But only hypocrits on the right and left think it should be illegal for their oponents but not for themselves/

    • March 11, 2018 9:13 am

      It would be hard to imagine that Trump didn’t know anything. And, over the years he has had, like most famous men, to have to pay settlements to women who threatened to expose some sort of extramarital behavior….often they pay out to women who are lying, just to make them go away. Daniels has made this accusation before, because Sarah Sanders said that Trump “won this in arbitration.”

      So, both sides are probably being dishonest, but to what degree, it’s hard to tell. As Ron says, Trump may have told Cohen to fix this anyway he could, and so Cohen went ahead and made the payment out of his personal funds, and got reimbursed somehow.

      We really don’t know….but the media has latched onto the story like a pitbull, and will keep bringing it up, until something better comes along.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 11, 2018 10:34 am

        Trump’s knowledge or involvement is irrelevant – unless the funds for this came from unknowing campaign contributions.

        The reference to having “won this in arbitration” is in reference to events right now.

        Trump’s lawyer RECENTLY brought Daniels to binding arbitration as specified by the agrement and won. Daniels is required to conform her speech to the requirements of the NDA or she is subject to $1M in punitive damages.

        She is currently suing in court – essentially as an end run arround the arbitration.

        There is also a bit of legal gamesmenship involved in the lawsuit – court pleadings are usually not considered breaches of NDA’s. So Daniel’s can say most anything she wants in a court pleading. – there are requirements for “truthfulness” but the standards are low, and the consequences are low.

        If you want to defame someone publicly and completely escape consequences – the best way to do so is to file a lawsuit and incorporate the defamation into your pleadings.

        I find this entire game fascinating. Just not criminal.
        I watched Daniels on Jimmy Kimmel and she was obviously very smart, and knew exactly what she was doing.

        The publicity from this has got to be incredibly good for her.

        I think that she is playing this all brilliantly.
        I would suspect that Trump admires her efforts.

        But beyond the titilation value and the PR skills there is nothing here.

      • March 12, 2018 11:04 am

        Ah, I did not realize that the arbitration remark was related to the current NDA dispute. Thanks for clarifying that. I suppose that there is some suspicion, or hope, that campaign funds were involved in this payment, and this is all an attempt to find out. Since Trump self-funded much of his primary campaign, I wonder how that impacts the legal definition of “campaign funds.”

      • March 12, 2018 12:16 pm

        Priscilla, the info about Trump funding most of his campaign against the Bitch is a fallacy promoted by the conservative “fake news”. Trumps campaign spent over $340M, with Trump contributing about $67M of that amount. So if the money could possibly be traced back, then there would be an issue, IMO.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 13, 2018 1:08 am

        The issue is not specific to campaigns.

        The fundimental issue is did the people who provided the money know what they were providing it for. Not whether it is campaign funds.

        If you come to me solicit money to feed children in china, and I give you money, and you spend it on wine and women – that is fraud and it is a crime.

        If you come tom me and solicit money for wine and women and I give you money, and that is what you spend it on there is no crime, no fraud.

        If money for Daniels came from ordinary campaign contributors, who thought they were paying for normal campaign expenditures that would be fraud.

        If the money came from some big donors, who were technically contributing to Trump, but knew where their money was going – that would not be fraud.

        I would be very much surprised if there is actual fraud here.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 13, 2018 1:03 am

        Trump can spend his own money on his campaign as he pleases.

        As can others who wish to provide Trump with specific assistance.
        If some donor wishes to pay for Daniels silence, that is perfectly reasonable.

        That is also BTW why the NDA is binding whether Trump signed it or not.

        I can pay you 130K to not talk about Ron. If you take the 130K you are bound by the conditions that come with it. Ron, need not participate at all. In fact Ron can want you to talk.

        The contract is between me and you, not you and Ron.
        There is no requirement that Ron even know about it.

      • March 12, 2018 6:19 pm

        I think he did self-fund his primary campaign though, Ron. I was thinking that this issue of this pay-off happened during or right after the primaries.

        But I was wrong about that, and it was right before the election when Daniels threatened to violate her NDA. So, I was actually wrong on both counts..

        In any case, I haven’t read anything that seems to indicate that any campaign funds were used, and it certainly wouldn’t make sense that Trump’s private attorney would use them. And the idea that, by paying Daniels with his own money, Trump’s lawyer was exceeding the limits of “campaign contributions,” seems a stretch.

        The latest thing I read is that Daniels wants to pay the money back, so that she can talk, lol. I’m sure that idea will go over big with Trump.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 13, 2018 1:33 am

        As noted I find the entire thing amusing.

        I have no idea whether Daniels really wants to “talk”

        I think what she really wants is to attract public attention for as long as possible.

        My guess is her old porn videos are selling like hotcakes right now.

        And I say more power to her.

        Whether you can return the money to get out of a contract is a function of the law and the contract. My guess would be the answer is no.
        From what I had heard there is a $1M damages clause if she violates the agreement.

        At the same time, I highly doubt anyone will enforce that should she talk.
        Though I would not gamble on it myself.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 11, 2018 9:59 am

      Hiding things from the electorate is not a crime.

      Hillary For American and The DNC tried to hide their collusion against Sanders.

      The most sound argument the left has regarding the elections is that if they had been better able to hide Hillary’s faults she likely would have won.

      BTW, again your “legal experts” are full of crap. You keep playing this game that law is infinitely maleable, and can be made to mean whatever you wish.

      Non-disclosure agreements are very standard agreements. I sign about a half dozen or so a year. Most employment agreements include non-disclosures, most separation agreements include non-disclosures.

      It would help if you understood the moral foundations of law.

      The legitimacy of a law – of our entire system of laws rests on the fact that the law itself conforms to our moral foundations. To first principles, Those principles I keep repeating that you ignore.

      When you make a law that is outside that scope, it is largely ignored – for good reason, it is ilegitimate and the only mechanism for compliance is fear.
      Government that rests on fear is totalitarian.
      The reasons that laws must conform to universal principles, is to assure that for most of us compliance is a natural consequence of moral conduct, not knowledge of the law.

      This is best reflected by the “mens rea” requirement that used to be in most law.
      To break the law you must know that you are doing something wrong.
      It is not necescary to know that what you are doing is illegal – ignorance of the law is not an excuse. But the mens rea requirement is a recognition that the law itself must be a prohibition against something that people would recognize as wrong even without a law.

      Start with that. How is paying for someone to be silent about actions that are legal wrong ?

      There is one and only one thing that Trump could do that would actually be wrong, with respect to this, and that is to without their knowledge, use the money of campaign contributors to pay for Daniels silence.

      Trump can pay her himself. Someone else can pay her. The only thing that can not be done is to use other peoples money for something they did not approve.

      This is why nearly all our election laws are tied to the receipt of federal matching funds.

      There is a far better argument that the DNC and HFA violated the law in paying Perkins Coi for the Steele Dossier. That was done using actual campaign contributions, and it is not reasonable to presume that contributors intended to pay russian spies for rumors and inuendo.

      Regardless, you should always remember that whenever you try to make the law overly flexible, you will criminalize your own conduct too.

  85. dduck12 permalink
    March 10, 2018 10:16 pm

    Looks weak so far. It ain’t the “incident”, maybe a nothing or maybe just embarrassing, but the “cover up”. Trump hasn’t lied to the FBI/etc. so worst case he pays a fine for an inappropriate (who new?) campaign contribution.
    What else is going on in the world?

    • dhlii permalink
      March 11, 2018 10:05 am

      I have seen no evidence thus far that this was run through the campaign.

      There is only a crime here, if the ultimate source of funds is from someone who did not know what it was being used for. Typically that would be campaign contributions.

      Any thiri party The lawyer, Trump, or some specific campaign contributor can pay for this legally.
      It just can not come from generic campaign contributions.

      I would note that exactly the same standard would apply to the payment for the Steele Dossier.

      I get very tired of this legal garbage trying to expand law infinitely.
      When you try to stretch a law, you inevitably find you have defined as criminal other conduct that you did not intend to catch.

  86. dhlii permalink
    March 11, 2018 10:49 am

    Some interesting tarriff history from Fobres.

  87. dduck12 permalink
    March 11, 2018 8:58 pm

    Dave’s clueless remark from way above: “We are reliving the macartyite 50’s only today it is the left an their sympathizers who think that divergent opponions must be supressed.”
    You refuse to understand (are you mentally challenged?) that you are just a common blabber rnouth as JJ and I have have pointed out multiple times. Your opinions become irrelevant if they are just endless farts in a wind storm. You have the right to bloviate, yes, but this is now a COMMUNAL blog and it only has a finite amount of space. So let’s conserve it; be a mensch, not a schmuck.
    Now, again, I am a 60-year registered REPUBLICAN, not a lefty. I’m sure you will ignore that, AGAIN.

    • Jay permalink
      March 12, 2018 4:40 pm

      It’s close to the end from congestion.
      I’m having same problems with posting as before.
      So Ducky, in future I’ll keep an eye out for you on the other Moderate site

      • March 12, 2018 5:03 pm

        What “other moderate site”. Does another really exist?

      • Jay permalink
        March 12, 2018 5:31 pm

        Moderate in name only:

        dDuck still posts there occasionally I believe…

      • March 12, 2018 7:31 pm

        I posted. there many years ago. I was called every name in the book, accused of being one who would overthrow the government, labeled as a neo-nazi extremist and homophobe. And that was the mild stuff. Never could have any debate on issues as no one there commented on issues. As long as you rehurgitated the Pelosi agenda, you were fine. Otherwise not.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 13, 2018 12:41 am


      your opinion and that of Jay with respect to my posts is just an opinion. Nothing more.

      As your own poor analogies point out, there is no actual harm to you or anyone else.

      Just as you have no moral right to dictate the clothes another person wears, or anything else about their conduct absent ACTUAL harm, not merely self inflicted annoyance.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 13, 2018 12:48 am

      There are absolutely no such thing as “communal” rights.
      All rights are individual.

      This is NOT a communal blog, it is Rick’s blog. He can make whatever rules he please.

      You are free to try to persuade, but you have no right to use force.
      If you wish control – start your own blog.

      In some instances humans do act in voluntary groups.
      Rights remain individual, but the individuals in the group acting in concert get to make rules for that group. As membership is voluntary, if you do not like the rules, you are free to leave.
      EXACTLY like when an individual makes the rules.

      HOWEVER, Government is NOT humans acting in voluntary groups.
      Government is force. You are not free to murder someone and then decide you no longer wish to be a citizen and leave the country to avoid consequences.

      Because government is not voluntary, because it is force, it is NOT free to make rules at whim or merely based on the wishes of the majority on some specific issue.

      Things like Free speach are not rights merely because the constitution asserts them as such.
      But because people can not use force against others except under very narrow conditions.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 13, 2018 12:57 am

      You like everyone else here, only get to decide relevance for yourself.

      No one has empowered you to make choices for others.

      I honestly do not care how you are registered,

      As evidenced by your own posts you are a statist and a tyrant.
      Left, right, does not matter.

      At this moment in time, statist tyranny is most openly advocated by the left.

      At this moment in time those most commonly demanding that unwelcome opinions are silenced are on the left.

      Whatever you claim your politics to be, your conduct and your opinions reflect the values currently most often expressed by the left.

      Regardless, intolerance, tyranny, attempting to silence dissent, broad willingness to use force without justification – those are all atributes you express.

      If those are “republican” – that would be why I am NOT republican.

      Fortunately those are NOT the values off that many republicans today.

      If you are a republican – then you are part of what is wrong with the republican party today.
      Just as the social justice warriors with whom you share a large number of values are what is wrong with the democrats.

      You certainly are not a “moderate”.

  88. Jay permalink
    March 12, 2018 4:43 pm

    Will Putin’s Puppet speak out against this?
    Yeah, he’ll probably blame Hillary.

    • Jay permalink
      March 12, 2018 5:34 pm

    • dhlii permalink
      March 13, 2018 1:17 am

      Bad things happen throughout the world daily. It is horrible.

      Failing to start the day with a litany of all the evil deeds of the day before is not the same as condoning them.

      It appears that Russia has screwed up here.
      I expect that Trump may say something.
      I am sure the US government – which he directs will say something.

      But I doubt you will be satisified with anything less than nuclear war with Russia.

      You seem to think if you can not stick your hand up Trumps Anus and move his lips for him to get him to say exactly what you want, that anything less is an outrage.

  89. Jay permalink
    March 12, 2018 5:06 pm

    Why is the ‘notorized’ NDA improperly UN-notorized?

    “Officials in Texas are investigating the nondisclosure agreement signed by Stormy Daniels after it was revealed that the notary did not sign or date the document, the Dallas Morning News reported Monday.

    Texas notaries are required to sign and date agreements, as well as provide a certificate verifying those who sign documents.

    However, notary Erica Jackson is now facing an investigation after she failed to do all three for the 2016 nondisclosure agreement regarding Daniels’s alleged affair with President Trump. Jackson’s stamp is on the document.

    “Attaching your seal to a document without a notarial certificate constitutes good cause for the secretary of state to take action against your notary commission,” a Texas official said in a letter to Jackson, sent last week.”

    • dhlii permalink
      March 13, 2018 1:27 am

      Bzzt, wrong.

      In every state in the country even ORAL agreements are binding – with few exceptions.

      The UCC and every state incorporates the “statute of frauds” into their law.
      Despite the name, the statutue of frauds specifies what the requirements of a legally binding agreement are.

      Notarization is NOT one of those.

      The fundimental purpose of a notary is to confirm that the person signing something is who they say they are. That is all.

      I recall adopting my daughter from China – we had to produce accounting statements that absolutely violated the standards and practices of accounting in the US.
      Had I used them for any US contract, I would have been arrested for Fraud.
      They were that bad.
      But they were required by the chinese in precisely their format following their rules.
      Further they required these statements to be notariazed and then state certified.

      The result is an incredibly impressive document, with bindings, and gold stamps.

      It is still crap.

      A notary will notarize anything – so long as you are who you say you are.

      The state will certify anything that is notarized – providing that the notary is registered with the state.

      A contract is a contract whether it is signed, notarized or ….

      When you go to McD’s and order a hamburger, and they take your order and accept your money, that is a contract – no signed paperwork, no notary. You do not even have to be who you say you are.

      • Jay permalink
        March 13, 2018 3:13 pm

        Yeah, and in every state all those notarized documents are merely ornamental, so that Notories can earn pin money. Verbal contracts, you moron, are far more difficult to prove and enforce. Let’s see Trump-and his lawyer prove the legitimacy of that NDA in court under oath.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 13, 2018 4:49 pm

        Aparently you can not read.

        A notary verifies the identity of the person signing a document
        That is ALL.

        But that is SOMETIMES important.

        Sometimes people agree to things in writing and then claim the signature is not theirs.

        Regardless, a notary has ZERO responsibility for anything beyond verifying the identity of the people who sign a document.

        Oral contracts are harder to prove and enforce. That is why we avoid them for important matters.

        That same “statutue of frauds” I refered to that is incorporated by the UCC and derives from our english legal heritage asserts that certain types of contracts – such as those for the transfer of real estate can not be oral.

        But I would note that even the statue of frauds has exceptions.
        An oral contract that is made in court is an exception to the statue of frauds.
        There are many other exceptions.

        Proving this NDA in court is absolutely trivial.

        Daniels has repeatedly publicly acknowledged it.

        No court on the planet is going to seriously consider her staying that she did not sign the agreement.

        Further she accepted money. That is an element of proof that an agreement exists.

        She has also acted in compliance with the agreement.

        There are many many thing that can be done to establish the existance of an agrement between two people.

        I know that left wing nuts are used to just making things up as they go along,
        and really do not give a crap about logical consistancy

        But in the real world most people do not lie about what they agreed to or who they are or whether they signed something
        And in the rare instances they do, there are usually many ways to demonstrate they are lying.

        Notarized documents are ONE means. Not the only means.

  90. March 12, 2018 6:00 pm

    Will she ever accept the fact she is a bitch and voters in key states with a mind of their own did not like her? How can she call women docile, subservient, submissive “belles” that do whatever their husbands tell them to do and not be considered an absolute ass right up their with DT.

    • March 12, 2018 6:25 pm

      Unbelievable. Hillary comes off as an angry, bitter loser. This is a woman that stayed married to a famous sexual abuser of women, and trashed his victims, all so that she could use his name and power to make money, and to lay the foundation for a presidential run…two runs, actually. What a feminist role model!

      She really is one of the worst politicians ever ~ no charisma, shrill, no positive message.

      • dduck12 permalink
        March 12, 2018 9:22 pm

        Ditto in spades, Priscilla. I always been anyone but Hillary, then 2016 screwed me up.

  91. March 12, 2018 7:04 pm

    So, Ron, Dave, duck (if you’re interested) ….I’m wondering about the whole tariff issue.

    I get that tariffs are generally a lose-lose proposition, because they not only cut the profits of the nations that have to pay the duties, but they raise the price of goods to the domestic market.

    But, that presumes that free trade actually exists, and that there is not an imbalance that has been engineered by subsidies and protectionist tariffs on the part of the nations that we trade with, right? So, in the example of China ~ if China has a strategy of destroying the American steel industry, and does so by violating international trade laws, why should we refrain from imposing punitive tariffs on their steel? If China is price-fixing through subsidies and over-production (to protect its own economy) and then dumping cheap steel into the US, or “trans-shipping” through other countries to avoid export duties, why should we refrain from trying to combat these illegal strategies by imposing high tariffs on steel coming in from China and/or countries which we know are shipping us Chinese steel?

    I get the dangers of a trade war, but I don’t see how it could be any more dangerous than allowing the Chinese to continue to profit by attempting to monopolize the world’s steel supply.

    I’m open to being proven wrong here, but thus far, the pro-tariff argument strikes me as stronger than the anti-tariff one….

    • March 12, 2018 8:17 pm

      Priscilla, I am not a free trader, I am a fair trader. I do not know enkugh about this steel issue and need to learn more. What I do know.
      1. Reports indicate we import a relatively small amount of Cinese steel.
      2. Reports indicate that some countries may be in third party agreements wit China. Buy for a buck, sell to USA for buck fifty and it still cheaper than domestic product.
      3. 200,000 steel jobs left in USA
      4. Millions of jobs dependent on steel products.
      5. Tariffs may create one job, while impacting 1+ jobs elsewhere

      If countries are buying cheep steel and exporting it to America, while slapping tariffs on our products, that does a couple things. Earns them money twice, once on the passthru and on the tariff on our stuff. It reduces our cost to produce somethjng, but also reduces jobs in the steel industry and in industries they put on a tariff.

      Free trade also does not provide the most efficient trade agreements. For instance, do we slap tariffs on India products when they have a 100% tariff on Harley motorcycles?

      Last, congress never saw a tariff they liked until they did.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 13, 2018 2:00 am

        The US has produced more steel every year since steel was first produced.

        Steel jobs have disappeared for the same reason myriads of other manufacturing jobs have disappeared – automation and moderization.

        The US steel industry has changed radically since Reagan.

        If Trump miraculously succeeded with his Tarriffs – it would create few new jobs.

        A tarriff is a TAX on your OWN people, it deprives your people of cheaper goods and a higher standard of living.

        You absolutely NEVER want to interfere with the market delivering greater value at lower cost.

        No matter what you think about how it is done.

        There is no such thing as “FAIR”. Fair is an evil word. Most parents learn with their toddlers that fair is stupid and does not exist.

        “unfair” is what people who try to make a right out of something that is not scream.

        There are no jobs that depend on US steel production, there are many jobs that depend on US steel consumption. Those do not care where the steel is produced.

        Cheaper steel means MORE jobs. It means being able to build things cheaper, and therefore building more things.

        Tarriffs will have zero positive long term jobs benefits, and likely zero positive short term benefits.

        They are just plain flat out a horribly bad idea.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 13, 2018 2:11 am

        We should have NO Trade agreements of any kind.

        Trade – whether domestic or international is not the business of government.

        Trade agreements – even purportedly “free trade” agreements are inherently evil.

        The way the Trade agreement process tends to work is US trade negotiators gather with foreign trade reps. And they conspire to wreak havoc ont eh laws of their own countries.

        US Trade negotiators actually use trade negotiations to get foriegn countries to agree to allow us to impose new stupid laws on ourselves.

        Remember Trade agreements are treated as “treaties” and do not require the house to approve, further they tend to get up/down votes.

        One example is the destruction of US copyright law.

        Our founders did not like copyrights, but they felth they were a necescary evil.
        They deliberately created some of them most limited copyrights in the world.

        For most of US history copyrights were 14 years, with a single 14 year extension.
        Further you had to apply for a copyright.

        Today US copyrights are the longest in the world,
        Nearly all that change has occured during my lifetime.

        Almost nothing is entiering the public domain anymore.

        Disney is making billions off of copyrights on fairly tales that were written more than 100 years ago,

        We have become accustomed to the stupid notion that ideas can be owned.

        “If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.”

        Thomas Jefferson – who created the US PTO.

    • dduck12 permalink
      March 12, 2018 9:36 pm

      Yes, Priscilla, I am interested but conflicted on tariffs and quotas. We should try to protect our homegrown industries and producers, yes, but ignoring the basics of cheap labor and cheaper materials from abroad that are not being “dumped”, is also not wise under the case specific situation.
      Yes Trump, who knew trading was not so simple. It takes balancing interests of industries, consumers, trading partners and more.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 13, 2018 2:21 am


        Free markets thrive and make us prosperous by creative destruction.

        Protecting anything from competition is condumening us to stagnancy.

        If the chinese can make something that we want more than something we make – great, that makes us better off.

        IF the Chinese can make steel for half the price the US does – no matter how they do so.

        WE are better off.

        If they subsidize – that means they are sending THEIR wealth to US.
        If they wish to do that – we should take it.

        If the chinese make steel cheaper than we do – no matter how they manage to do so,
        WE are better off.

        Our buildings and factories and cars are then cheaper to build. Not only do we pay less for steel, but we pay less for all those things made of steel.
        And if we are buying steel from china – we are building those things in the US.

        If we buy more for less – no matter where or how we get more for less – that means we have more, and we have more to spend for something else. That means more wealth and more jobs,

        Tarriffs are a disasterously stupid idea.

        Trump could very easily destroy all the economic good he has done.

        There is no good comes from this the only question is how bad it will be.
        Hopefully it will be less bad than I expect.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 13, 2018 2:22 am

        Government has never successfully “balanaced” interests or anything else.

      • March 13, 2018 7:55 pm

        We part ways on this, Dave. I believe in free trade, but it has to be reciprocal. China has created a steel cartel, and has used deception and illegal practices to do so. There is no way that we should allow this to continue, particularly since there is a high likelihood that, among its other goals, one of China’s strategies has been to destroy the US steel industry.

        That’s what I call a trade war.

        Trump has already exempted Canada and Mexico from the steel tariffs, and will exempt any other country that agrees not to be manipulated by Xi’s regime. I think that we’re looking at something much different than the kind of trade war that tariffs might usually instigate.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 13, 2018 10:32 pm


        I used to beleive as you do.

        But the facts do not support anything except free trade.

        It does not matter if it is reciprocal.

        In fact as I noted, even the supposed “free trade agreements” are as much vehicles to allow our businesses to change our laws to favor them in the guise of trade by bypassing the house of representatives and framing trade agreements as treaties.

        In Trade negotiation OUR Trade reps constantly demand conditions that are at odds with OUR laws, then they tell us that these changes were needed to “harmonize” with other countries.

        We have ruined one of the best intellectual property systems in the world through trade agreements.

        And intellectual property is actually important – though not in the way businesses tell you.
        Actual IP rights are of nominal importance. IBM did a study in the 80’s and found that their use of IP was primarily defensive. They would be better off, with no IP laws at all.

        But short patent and copyrights are not that harmful.
        Long ones are incredibly destructive.

        Thus far we have not extended patent terms, but we have extended copyright near to infinity.

        Back to Trade in general.

        The FACT is those countries that try to game the system harm themselves.

        This is no different than Minimum wage or the myriads of other arguments we have.

        Driving prices DOWN is GOOD – even if it costs jobs.
        Job losses are short term.
        My understanding is that NAFTA actually cost the US 4M jobs – but these were replaced in 18 months with BETTER jobs.

        Protectionists assume there is a way to game the system to get the benefits without the harms.

        There is not. Even if we ended all exchange with other countries.
        We would STILL want an economy that constantly drove prices down – even at the cost of wages.

        Every american buys cloths. We have more and better clothes than ever in history.
        And we spend less on them that ever before.

        Yet a century ago the US was the clothes producer of the world.

        Today we produce almost no clothing.

        I was online today and I can get a wonderful multicolored Yoda teeshirt for $5 from china.

        You could not make that in the US for that. If you did make teeshirts in the US the cost would be high and the jobs would pay crap.

        We WANT the chinese, indians, bangeledeschi’s to produce out cloths.

        We want them to do so for wages thye thing are luxury and we think are garbage.

        It is a win win. We give up crappy low paying jobs, they get jobs that are far better than what they have we pay far less for some basic need and therefore have far more to spend on other things.

        Further this is a continuing process.
        Clothes makers are LEAVING china.
        It is now too expensive to produce clothes in china.
        “our jobs” that moved to china are now moving to bangeledesch

        We want to be as close to the top of the pyramid as possible.
        Shedding crappy jobs to other nations and creating new higher paying more productive jobs.

        This is how the economy is supposed to work. It is how we want it to work.

        If you are doing the same thing at 50 as you were at 25 in the same way, with the same productivity. You should not expect to be paid more.

        Our standard of living rises ONLY because we are constantly shedding less productive uses of our time and shifting to more productive uses.

      • Ron P permalink
        March 14, 2018 2:10 am

        Dave, you may want to do some further research on your comment about jobs since NAFTA. The two largest growth industries since NAFTA is healthcare and state and local government. Digging deeper, is growth of more government jobs really good? In healthcare, much of that growth is overhead costs due to government regulations, which adds nothing to quality outcomes, while adding cost.

        And other industry sectors with growth are measure and hospitality, not high paying for the moist part.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 16, 2018 3:02 pm

        The economy is vast. NAFTA is NOT the cause of all changes or jobs gained or lost since it was passed.

        There are lots of studies of the actual effects of NAFTA specifically.

        I will qualify remarks about those by noting that all those studies – like all economic studies suffer from have to sort out exactly the problem I noted above.

        Deciphering what are the effects of a specific change from what are other unrelated changes in a vast economy.

        But we do the best we can. And then we criticize what has been done.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 13, 2018 10:41 pm

        The Saudi’s tried to destroy the US fracking industry.

        How well did that work out ?

        In the real world there is no such thing as predatory pricing, dumping, etc.

        Absent government prices go DOWN Always. If you adjust out for inflation – the only US prices that rise are things that are highly regulated.
        Often if you do NOT adjust for inflation even nominal prices are lower.

        This is not the first time the US steel industry has been threatened.

        The last time the dinosaurs were destroyed, – But modern US mills had no problems competing.

        US Steel production is radically different than in the 80’s.

        Today most steel is recycled – because it is now more cost effective to do so. And with the perfection of that process the quality is better.
        That is not true in the rest of the world.

        They have some advantages from cheaper labor, but mostly that is it.
        Further they must ship things to US markets – at significant cost.

        Regardless, if the Chinese are lowering prices – artifically or otherwise
        they will have to keep those prices low PERMANENTLY to “destroy” US steel.

        The instant prices rise – US steel return.

        And that presumes they can actually “destroy” US steel.

        The US has produced more steel every year than the last since we started making steel more than a century ago.

        The economy just does nto work as protectionists pretend.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 14, 2018 8:24 am

        We label things “war” that are not.
        That distorts our thinking.

        Russia did not “attack” our democracy, or commit acts of war against us.
        It attempted to persuade.

        There is no “drug war”

        There was no “war on poverty”.

        There are no “trade wars”.

        The rhetorical flourish is an effort to deceive us into believing that force is being used against us and therefore force “aka” government can be used to respond.

        Everything we do not like is not an act of force against us.
        Everything we do not like is not a justification for the use of force in retaliation.

        It is also important to distinguish between what is a right and what is not.

        A job is not a right. Just as a customer is not a right. You do not own it.
        You can lose a job or a customer for an infinite number of reasons,

      • March 14, 2018 8:12 am

        But the Saudi’s tried to do that by convincing the world (and specifically the US) that fracking was bad for the environment. Environmentalism, of the phony, evidence-free type, has been an effective tool in attacking the American economy in general.

        In the fracking case, it didn’t work. But the Chinese have become, by far, the largest steel producing country in the world, followed by the Japanese . And steel has become the foundation of the German economy. If you look at the largest steel corporations, Nucor is the only American steel company that cracks the top 20. And its place on the list has been dropping.

        And Ron’s point about jobs increasing only in the healthcare and government sectors is relevant, as is the fact that now the average salary of a government worker (not to mention benefits) exceeds that of the average private sector employee. Is that really the direction that we want to be going ~ a largely “consumer” economy, a shrinking middle class, expanding government, low-paying service jobs growing?

      • March 14, 2018 11:58 am

        Priscilla, this thread is so long now I dont know if I have posted this and cant find if I did or not.

        Steel. Since 2004 the man hours to produce a unit of steel in USA has declined from just over 10 to just over 1. So labor cost is of little substance.

        According to a couple websites on fixed and variable costs to produce steel, the major cost is variable and that is coal. In USA it takes $142+ of coal to produce a unit of steel. In China, at the current conversion rate, Yuan to dollar, it takes $67+ for that same unit.

        So China has a 50% advantage on the major component of steel production. That is why they can sell cheaper. But China is minor to Canada, Brazil and South Korea in the imports to USA. Canada is our major supplier of steel products.

        My questions:
        Why does Canada produce more steel than we do?
        Does canada have a cost advantage?
        What good does tariffs do if we exempt the largest exporter to the USA from tariffs?

        China is Trump’s whipping post. Canada is the problem if protection of the USA companies is the issue. I have searched 3-4 different ways and can find no data on Canadian production costs, but it could be how they fire their furnaces or the fact they can get to ore easier and cheaper than us. Could also be we dont have enough ore to begin with.

        The more I research on this issue, the more Trump is lacking in his thinking other than being a ploy to redo NAFTA. Ross Perot where are you?????😁

      • dhlii permalink
        March 16, 2018 8:45 pm


        You pose alot of questions – but unless you are a steel producer – they do not matter.

        Unless I am looking to sell more steel, why do I care why Canadian steel is cheaper than in the US ?

        Where do we get the idea that we should produce everything ?

        Does the US need to be the worlds leading supplier of goat turds ?

        What matters is does the US produce more value per person each year than the year before. So long as that is the case our standard of living is rising.

        To accomplish that we sometime may have to shed jobs that produce less value.

        I would note that you gave US labor costs to produce steel you did not give Chinese.
        I would guess that even though the US coal costs are higher the US uses much less labor.

        I would also be careful about the coal costs.
        US coal likely costs more, but I would be shocked if we do not get significant more useful output per ton.

        But again unless you are a coal producer who cares.

        I just finished 3 days work checking Trailer’s to make sure they were sealed when they were delivered to a job site.

        This is a crappy job, and outside of what I normally do, but it was reasonably well paid and mindless. And it is something I can continue to do for a couple of decades on the side for extra money.

        My point is people do not OWN jobs, If no one will pay you for what you wish to do, or they will not pay what you want to be paid – thats tough.

        If someone in China will do your – or my job so much cheaper that it does nto matter that they are not as good – well that is life.

        We do not want government protecting us from Job Losses.

        Destruction is a very important part of the economy.

        We can not increase our standard of living if everyone is doing the same job the same way next year.

        We must frequently destroy jobs that can be done for less cost elsewhere to free those resources to a better purpose.

        And that does happen.

        In fact it must. It is a significant factor in rising standards of living.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 16, 2018 3:20 pm

        The Saudi’s are free to try to persuade the world that Fracking is bad.

        But that is not what I am refering to.

        Over the past decade the Saudi’s declared economic war on the US fracking industty.
        The relentlessly drove oil prices down from about 180/bbl to a low of about 26.
        In an effort to bankrupt US frackers.

        They did bankrupt many, but they were unable to stop them all.
        As prices declined the Fracker got more competitive.

        When the Saudi’s finnally gave up and prices rose a bit – many “bankrupt” frackers returned to business.

        The cost to enter a market – particularly for people who have already been there is low.

        There is some solide economic work that has demonstrated that even an actual monopoly can not engage in preditory pricing and must keep prices low – because when they rise others will re-enter the market.

        Why do I care is the US is not the worlds largest steel producer ?

        We still produce steel – competitively, and in quantities not much below our total demand.

        Though even that is not important.

        Today we produce very little in the way of textiles – though once we dominated the world.

        That change has been good for us. Textile jobs today pay crap. They are so poor paying they are leaving china, for places so impoverished that a couple of hundred dollars a year is a life saver.

        We benefit because our cloths cost very little – they benefit from the jobs.

        AND as I keep noting which no one is listening to

        Standard of living rises when we produce and consume more, for less.

        The destruction of the US textile industry was good for he US and good for the world.

        Ron and you note some valid problems in our economy.

        But they have nothing to do with NAFTA or Tarrifs

      • March 14, 2018 7:41 pm

        So, my understanding is that Canada does not really manufacture much raw steel, it manufactures finished/semi-finished steel products, and imports the majority of their raw steel from China.

        China dumps tons of cheap raw steel into the Canada, which then finds its way into the US, via steel products exported under the NAFTA agreement. China also invests in manufacturing and assembly plants in both Canada and Mexico, in order to exploit this back door access to the US market.

        Basically, by building, assembling or manufacturing products in Mexico/Canada, China can avoid U.S. trade tariffs, by using NAFTA as a back door. And it never has to worry about negotiating with the US, because…why bother?

        So, essentially, Trump is both targeting China with tariffs and using them as a ploy to redo NAFTA, as you say.

        All of this confuses me, but I can see where Dave is coming from with his argument that we shouldn’t have trade deals. On the other hand, the global economy and multinational corporations have created an environment that didn’t exist in the past. Although, I don’t know if that’s an argument for or against trade agreements.😬

      • March 14, 2018 8:24 pm

        Where did you find where Canada is importing steel, refining it into finished steel and then selling to us. I have been looking for that since it was first mentioned.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 11:26 am

        I do not know where Priscilla’s data came from – but my understanding is that US steel production is uniquely primarily from scrap.

        i.e. we produce steel from junked cars and similar sources – that is a new development – in the past 20 years or so. It has resulted in the near destruction of US iron mining.

        But once the problems associated with recycling scrap steel were resuled it is overall much cheaper and more efficient. It takes less total energy. and produces higher quality with less steps.

        US processes are capital intensive, and they are skilled labor intensive.

        Foreign processes – particularly those of china are resource intensive, and labor intensive.

        China’s purported advantages do to low labor costs, are substantially dimineshed by radical differences in US processes.

        I do not know what Canada does.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 10:02 am

        Greater freedom of any kind – short of that to use FORCE, ultimately leads to greater prosperity and smaller less intrusive government.

        One of the majro factors driving the recent corportate tax cuts is that the US tax policy is not competitive in the world.

        Treaties, trade agreements, and all kinds of international agreements are quite often just the means to preclude a form of successful international “federalism” from working.

        In the US proponents of “federalism” argue that the states are laboratories where experiments can be tried at substantially less cost.

        Essentially state governments compete. in much the same way that business compete.

        That is imperfect, but is still a very good model.

        And to the extent we can get it we want the same model for national govenrments.

        You say China has gamed out rules. I say good for them.

        I would further note that any “rules” that are not inherently based in very strong moral values – like thous shalt not kill, will always be gamed. People, business, government will ALWAYS look for a loophole and they should. That is what tests our system.

        Quite often – what you see as bad, I actually see as good.

        My ability to get cheap electroninc components from china is atering my business.
        It is getting me more heavily into areas I could not afford to get into before.
        And it is making me think seriously about changing my business model in some areas.

        More freedom that does not involve the use of FORCE improves our lives.

      • March 16, 2018 8:39 am

        I was listening to a panel discussion on some business channel, Ron…I don’t know which one, since it’s my husband who usually watches the business shows.

        But the subject came up in the the context of discussing a Chinese billionaire who was caught stockpiling aluminum in Mexico, in order to avoid US tarriffs. His name is Liu Zhongtian, and he apparently hid “six percent of the world’s aluminum, worth some $2 billion and enough to make 77 billion beer cans, according to the Journal’s fascinating report.”

        One of the other panelists brought up the steel issue, and the problem of China trans-shipping steel, using satellite manufacturing and assembly plants that they had in Canada.

        It’s really hard to find any articles on this subject ~ I’m not sure why. There are a few recent articles about how Canada is exploring ways to prevent further steel dumping by China as a result of the new tariffs some of which I found in a Canadian journal, the Financial Post. But it’s not easy to try and research this!

      • March 16, 2018 9:42 am

        Priscilla, I understand the aluminium issue and Mexico, but I have questions concerning the Canadian steel.

        It pertains to value added. Is there economic value added when it goes through Canada, or is China settling up “shell” companies just to remarket Chinese steel. And if there is some industrial process that adds value to Chinese steel in Canada, then at what point does Chinese steel become Canadian steel.

        I am neutral on the tariff issue as I dont trust any of the information that is being reported. I am leaning toward the administrations position, but there are too many politicians and business interest that may be using rising consumer cost as a wedge to decrease support for “fair” trade.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 3:05 pm

        Value is added anytime you can buy something at a low price and sell it at a higher one.

        That is by definition. IF you store grain or aluminum during times of surplus and sell it high during times of shortage – you have taken low valued grain and aluminum and stored it over time until it became more valueable. That sevice provides a value add

        Besides the obvious – it ALSO increases the price during times of surplus – by adding your demand, and decreases the price during times of shortage – by increasing supply.

        The only time that a higher price represents a dubious value add – is when the price is higher as a consequence of government interferance in the market.
        Then it is just a form of political corruption.

        The higher prices caused by zoning laws are an example of government corruption.
        They increase prices for everyone in return for the exclusionary benefit valued only by those who craft the laws.

        If you want to live in a gated community – buy a home in a private gated community.

        Do not compel government to create a zone where only people like you would choose to buy.

        There are good reasons to ask what the “value add” is in some instance – but NOT to question its legitimacy. If you can get a higher price then you have by definition added value.

        The reason for asking what someone else’s value add is, is so that you can learn and increase the value yourself.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 3:51 pm

        Trying to make sense out of the “data” is always going to be problematic.

        Nearly everything in existance has both negative and positive effects.

        What matters is the NET. But people fixate on one or the other to make their point.

        Real people lost their jobs because of NAFTA. That is indisputable,

        Further markets – even not so free ones are invariably places where some people get screwed some of the time. The more free the market is the more people will get screwed.

        BUT the more free a market is the more dynamic, the more opportunity, and the greater the overall increase in standard of living.

        You can not mitigate any of the harms in an actual free market (except those resulting from the use of force) without causing more harm than any benefit you acheive.

        You keep fixating on what is the value add, or other facets, that though interesting have NOTHING to do with government.

        Government is there to punish those who vicitimze us through the use of force.
        Or by actually deceiving us – selling us a tomato when we bought a potato, or by causing actual harm to us as a thrid party – like during their car through our porch.

        It is not there to prevent us from getting a bad deal, or from making poor choices.
        When you prevent one persons poor choices – first you take their freedom.
        You are not free if you are free to do anything you want – except those things someone else thinks might harm you, second you take good choices from others.

        The real data – the data on the net benefits is conclusive and has been tested for centuries.

        The greater the economic freedom – including that of free trade, the more rapidly our standard of living grows.

        Will there be losers – always, Though I would note just as only a miniscule portion of people win absolutely all the time and become part of the .001, only an even more miniscule portion lose absolutely all the time.

        Free exchange has winners and losers – but most of the time it is a win win.
        Equally important your entire life does not rest on a single roll of the dice.

        IF you lose because steel goes to china, you are likely to win the next exchange.

        People who lose their jobs do not lose them for ever.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 2:57 pm

        There were “stockpiling” articles about Goldman Sachs during the Obama administration – I believe with regard to Aluminum also.

        And there were excellent rebuttal articles.

        Loosely this mirrors the stupid arguments against “speculators” who purportedly profit of the misfortune of others.

        The first historical record of such “speculation” was Joseph in egypt with teh 7 good years followed by 7 bad. And just like the bible every single credible economist including Smith and particularly Basiat has noted that speculation or stockpiling ALWAYS serves society, usually at the EXPENSE of the speculator. But SOMETIMES the speculator profits, by doing society a service.

        The entire thesis of speculation is to move goods from surplus to shortage.
        Usually that is accross time – which means wharehousing them – which is expensive.
        but it can include moving surplus food to places where it is in shortage – or any other commodity.

        Speculators have an evil reputation – because they buy low when something is in surplus and sell high when it is in demand – ticket scalping is a form of speculation.

        But we entirely ignore that they only profit – when they can move something from a place/time of surplus to a place/time of shortage. and that is a service.

        Look at the average ticket speculator – they must buy tickets usually in quantity usually when they first become available, The tickets they buy ensure that the promoters of the event get paid.
        If the show is in demand – the scalper can sell tickets at the last minute to people who did not buy ahead for higher than normal prices. But if there is not enough demand the scalper ends up holding alot of tickets that have little value.

        Regardless, they provide TWO services – they ensure demand at the beginging by buying tickets before others, and they ensure that people who wait til the last minute can still buy tickets – but at a higher price because demand is high and that is what it costs at the last minute.

        One of the problems and the reason for the bad reputation of speculators is that we fail to grasp they are performing a service, and we are under the delusion that prices are objective.

        That is total bunk. You have heard me say many many times – PRICES ARE SUBJECTIVE.

        There is no producer in the world that will not heavily discount their prices to someone who buys and pays for in very large quantities before the goods are even produced.

        There are myriads of factors that cause prices to increase or decrease.

        We have a similar but opposite problem caused by US drug importation laws.

        Drug producers depend on the US market to make sufficient revenue to pay the cost of the drugs.
        Because the market is CLOSED – by government laws that prevent drug re-importation, their US prices are protected from outside competition – even from themselves.

        That means that AFTER they have paid off the cost of the drug – they can keep US prices high, but go to other poorer countries and sell the same drug at far below US prices.
        Because the marginal cost for all drugs is very near zero but the upfront cost is enormous.
        So selling a drug cheap to Nigeria or some other country – is still all pure profit.

        Marginal prices – that is prices at the edges, usually those prices for goods that have already paid off their development costs, can be either high – where demand is huge, or low – as in the case of drugs to poor countries where a high price means no sales.

        If the US eliminated drug re-importation laws, US prices would drop alot and foreign prices would increase slightly until equalibrium was reached, regardless americans would benefit from the fact that marginal prices are nearly always lower.

        Anyway the only thing we do NOT want is government to ARTIFICIALLY create shortages.

        That is what drug importation laws do. That is what Tarriffs do, that is what price controls do.
        That is what laws guaraneeing access do, That is what medicare has done.

        Because artificial shortages mean high profits by exploiting market shortages created by government without the normal risk of speculation.

        Anyone can get incredibly rich – if they know the can buy low and sell high ahead of time.
        The only guarantee of that is when you can manipulate government.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 13, 2018 1:47 am

      It is irrelevant whether free trade exists or not.

      Economically the NET winner of any trade conflict is the side with the least restrictions on Trade.

      Tarriff’s subsidies, bad trade policies, dumping, ….. all these do more harm to the side imposing them than the side that does not.

      There is actually an incredible amount of data on this – remember that through the 19th century the US and many other nations in the world financed government substantially through tarrifffs.

      Contra Trump there is no “winning” a trade war.

      The misconduct that Trump is trying to stop – actually BENEFITS americans.

      Subsidizing exports is a wealth transfer from the country doing the subsidies to the country buying the goods.

      Tarriffs are a tacx on your own people depriving them of cheaper goods, and a higher standard of living.

      Addressing some other points.

      China can no more “destroy” the US steel industry than one company can “destroy” its competion by selling below costs.

      There have been very few real world examples of actual predatory pricing and those have failed.

      We had a real trade war with Saudi Arabia over fracking during the obama administration.

      The Frackers won.

      Some of them were driven out of business or into dormancy – those that were the lest efficient.

      Regardless, The instant the Saudi’s allowed oil prices to rise even a little, the frankers went back to business.

      To “destroy” the US steel industry the chinese would have to subsidize their steel forever.

      There is no danger in “allowing” someone or some country to try to gain a monopoly.

      The price of oil went down relentlessly for something like 70 years as Standard oil built its purported monopoly.

      Immediately on standard oils breakup – oil prices increased and have been doing so off and on since.

      Rockefeller get significantly richer because standard oil was broken up.

      • March 17, 2018 8:35 am

        “To “destroy” the US steel industry the chinese would have to subsidize their steel forever.”

        Well….yeah. And why wouldn’t they?

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 5:22 pm

        If the chinese wish to subsidize their steel industry forever – that is to OUR benefit.

        That is LITTERALLY a transfer of the wealth of the chinese people to anyone who buys chinese steel.

        Most of us understand that the US subsidizing businesses is a ludicrously stupid idea.
        Why is it better for China ?

    • dhlii permalink
      March 13, 2018 1:50 am

      The pro tarriff argument is garbage. It is no different from any of the other lousy arguments against free markets.

      The fact is that markets just do not work in the shallow ways that those favoring government manipulation fo the market think they do.

      • March 17, 2018 8:40 am

        Dave, I think that you are overlooking the effects of large centrally planned economies like China’s, as well as the difficulty of reciprocity in an era of multinational corporations.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 5:30 pm

        1). Read
        You can get it used for about $10 and it is well worth it.

        Coase is one of the easiest to understand economists who has lived. He is one of the top 4 economists of the past century.

        China’s economic growth since Mao’s death is entirely because it has allowed portions of its economy to DECENTRALIZE.

        The history of centrally panned economies is UNIVERSALLY shitty.

        Chavez took one of the most prosperous countries in south america and turned it into a hell hole in a decade.

        And no – I do not care about reciptocity.

        What I keep trying to stress over and over – which is accepted by nearly all economists for the past two centuries is

        ALWAYS AND EVERYWHERE – the country with the lowest barriers to trade WINS.

        Protectionism harms the very industries it tries to protect.

        You can name 100 things I am “overlooking” and that may be true.

        But i can “overlook” them because the NET effect is still all forms of protectionism are net negative.

        This may be one of the closest things to a universally accepted position amoung economists.

  92. dduck12 permalink
    March 12, 2018 9:51 pm

    JJ, Ron, Priscilla and especially any word hogs: TMV is chock full of rules and left slanted. And since there are many topics going at any one time, it lends itself to shorter comments. It also has moderators, BTW.
    After being hacked several times, it is not as smooth flowing as it used to be due to necessary repair work. We used to be alerted to specific replies, real time, so the conversation was not so disjointed. Not any more- F—— hackers.
    The financing is also tight so expect calls for donations.
    All in all, a pretty good group as long as one is somewhat “moderate” and not too strident.

    • March 12, 2018 10:13 pm

      dduck, thanks for the info. But even with the changes you list, I think I will just stop comments before returning to that site. “Once burned…..” and all that.

  93. Jay permalink
    March 13, 2018 3:54 pm

    Trump fired the Sec of State via Twitter.
    What an asshole.
    Then he ordered the firing a top State Dept official for contradicting the dishonest official account of Tillerson’s firing. For telling the truth.
    What a Shithead.

    trump’s personal assistant was fired Monday, escorted out of the White House, for “a security issue:” turns out he is under investigation by the Secret Service for serious financial crimes. How did Theiving Donald’s administration react to this news? They announced on Tuesday that McEntee is rejoining the campaign as a senior adviser…
    Shitheads of a feather…

    • March 13, 2018 7:43 pm

      Tillerson has been at odds with both Trump and Nikki Haley, not to mention much of the Pentagon, over the Iran Deal. That, among other things, was a bone of contention between Trump and Tillerson for many months. Apparently, John Kelly contacted Tillerson on Friday and said that he should return home and that he was to be terminated. I think it’s safe to say that Tillerson knew that something was up, and that his failure to back the president’s position on Iran was going to be his downfall…

      “White House allies warned Tillerson’s senior staff for weeks that efforts to save the nuclear deal and balk on Trump’s key demands regarding the deal could cost Tillerson his job, a warning that became reality Tuesday when Trump fired Tillerson by tweet.”

      Warned him for weeks. Maybe Tillerson was the dishonest one. Or his senior staff didn’t communicate very well…

      And Kelly has been cleaning house of WH staff who have had interim security clearances, but not received final clearance. He learned his lesson after the Rob Porter scandal. That’s a good thing, no? Trump obviously still likes McEntee and vice versa, since McEntee will still be working for Trump. I’m not sure what “serious financial crimes” are, but CNN says that they’re “not Trump related.”

      Between Hope Hicks and John McEntee leaving, the WH is a lot less good looking these days.

      • Jay permalink
        March 13, 2018 8:27 pm

        “Apparently, John Kelly contacted Tillerson on Friday and said that he should return home and that he was to be terminated.”

        Apparently according to an unnamed White House aide. No other confirmations. Keep hearing what you want to hear.

      • March 13, 2018 9:18 pm

        NBC reported the same thing. Thats about as Trump hatred you can get and would seem to be true if they report it.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 14, 2018 8:55 am

        “apparently” is true of just about everything reported.

        There is no reason to trust the reports that Kelley notified Tillerson ahead of time.
        There is no reason to trust the reports that Tillerson’s only notice was via twitter.

        The overwhelming majority of what is reported is substantialy wrong with respect to details.
        Normally that would not matter, except when the press and the left are foaming over how purportedly vile the details are.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 13, 2018 10:12 pm

        Trump has done reasonably well in Foreign Policy thus far.

        Whether that is due to Tillerson or Despite Tillerson is yet to be seen.

        There has been alot of administration turmoil over Iran and Afghanistan.

        Flynn actually lost his job because the Obama holdovers went after him with long knives over Iran. There has been a major split since Before Trump over Iran in the federal government.

        Generally the Pentagon has been opposed to deals with Iran while( CIA/NSA NSC and State) under Obama have favored it.
        Trump ran at odds with Obama’s Iran policy.
        Flynn, Bannon, Kushner have bee for flipping priorities away from Iran.

        Afghanistan has been another related but not identical issue.
        Bannon and Trump were for getting the US military out, and either privatizing Afghanistan or dumping the problem back on the Afghani’s.

        I do not know where Tillerson was on these.
        But Trump was close tot he opposite of Obama on all of them.
        He has not completely walked away from the Iran deal, but we are not actively favoring Iran anymore. That has dramatically improved our relations throughout the mideast.
        Including with Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
        It has also brought about real prospects for improvement.

        I do not think we know where Tillerson was in much of this.
        I do not care much if he opposed Trump.
        As Trump has said and he is correct. Perfect agreement is not a good thing.
        You need people who will tell you they think you are wrong.
        But they also have to do the job once decisions are made.

        I do know that Tillerson has RADICALLY cut back staffing at State – and that is a good thing.

        Kelly has been acting on Security Clearances – but not quite as you said.

        The White House office responsible for reviewing the FBI’s evaluations – which is carreer staff,
        has been deliberately sitting on flies, and leaking information about problems.

        Kelly changed the protocall and the FBI now delivers their evaluations to Kelley.
        Kelley then terminates those who have problems while forwarding the rest.

        There is still a huge lag – because the white house office will not do its job.
        But it is harder to sandbag Trump and Kelley when there is a problem.

        There seems to be alot of turnover – but partly that is because the press is fixated on making everything appears as bad news for Trump.

        From sources that I think are correct, the “turnover” is not unusual for Year 1 of a new administration. What is unusual is the press fixation on ever minor change.

        But ultumately I do not care.

        I am more interested in the job getting done.

      • March 14, 2018 7:51 am

        Ah, I hadn’t read about the WH office slow-walking the files, Dave. But it’s not a surprise…seems as if sabotage on every level is the strategy of the #resistance.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 16, 2018 3:07 pm

        I have no problems with #resistance.

        But if you are employed by the executive branch – in your capacity as an executive branch employee, you follow the dictates of the current administration – that means the president.

        If you can not do so for whatever reason you must quit.

        If you wish to be part of government and attack the current administration – get a job with an opposing member of congress.

        This is true whether democrats or republicans are in power.

      • Jay permalink
        March 16, 2018 7:19 pm

        “This is true whether democrats or republicans are in power.”

        The exception to that rule is when you have a lying traitorous impulsive fool as president. Then, the patriotic thing to do is stay and RESIST and UNDERMINE his stupidities whenever possible for as long as possible.

        The fact that you don’t realize that and praise those doing it is truly sad and disappointing.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 4:11 pm

        There is no exception.

        Trump was elected. He is entitled to do whatever the constitution and congress allow.
        If he actually violates the constittution we have an independent branch of government – the judiciary to address that – as well as an impeachment process,
        If he does anything else that pisses you off there is congress again.
        Beyond that as an employee of the executive your choices are do as directed or quit.
        Anything else is actually criminal – lawless, not lawful,

        You keep saying Trump is impulsive – yet it has taken over a year to get the sanctions you want – that sounds like he is very deliberative.,

        Hardly a day passes that you do not tell me he has not condemned whatever your outrage of the moment is before learning everything there is to know.

        That sounds like you want impulsive.

        It think most of your criticisms apply better to Obama,

        Does the fact that I beleive Obama was worse than you think Trump is, mean I can behave as lawlessly with respect to Obama as you clam people should regarding Trump.

        Sessions just fired McCabe – based on the IG report and reviews and recomendations of the DOJ ethics departments.

        As I understand he was the source for several criminal leaks to the press, and he lied repeatedly when questioned.

        That is NOT resistance, that is corruption.

        I happen to beleive heavily in open government – though criminal investigations are not and should not be “open”. But if my value of open government conflicts with the existing law – we work to change the law.

        You want to stretch laws beyond recognition to criminalize conduct of Trump’s that no one contemplated the law applying to.

        I just want the laws as they exist applied as written.

        BTW I do not care if you are “sad and disappointed”.

        Do you have an actual argument, beyond “I am right, your wrong” ?

  94. Jay permalink
    March 13, 2018 4:25 pm

    • March 13, 2018 8:01 pm

      Sheesh! A law like that would be Orwellian.

      One would hope that the bill fails. Then again, Maryland is a pretty deep blue state.

      • March 13, 2018 9:15 pm

        Well the Illinios house just passed a bill that requires all uber 21 individuals to turn in legal guns that may have been ourchased by them, a family member and given to them or acquired legally in other ways.

        But then there are those that see nothing wrong with trampling consitutional rights

        The crabs a feeling all warm and cozy in that big pot of warming water😤😤😤😤😤

      • dhlii permalink
        March 14, 2018 8:51 am

        Try keeping a government agent out of your home or off your property.

        It is already likely in most places they do not need a warrant or an invitation.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 13, 2018 10:13 pm

      Yes, this bothers me. No it does not surprise me.

      It is way too easy for inumerable reasons for the state to conduct a search of your home or property without a warrant.

      It should be impossible.

  95. Jay permalink
    March 13, 2018 8:29 pm

    Yay. The blog is starting to collapse again.
    I can stop wasting frustrated time here soon.

    • dhlii permalink
      March 14, 2018 9:13 am

      You do not need the failure of your tablet or other device to handle comments to take a breath and do something else.

      No one is forcing you to do anything.

      You have these bizzare delusions – that you can not resist commenting until your device fails, or that someone else’s comments are an infringement on your rights.

      BTW there are 550 comments in this section. There are many topics we have hit 3000 comments.

      I did not find a single video.
      There were a very small number of links,

      And there were about a dozen linked tweets, some with graphics all yours.

      I do not know what “slows things down” on your device – nor does anyone else.
      But a highly educated guess would be that different types of posts have different costs.

      Pure text posts – regardless of size should be the lest costly.
      They involve no additional processing or linking and only one internet access per comment to load. A 50,000 character post should require less bandwidth than a relatively simple graphic.

      Posts containing links should be the next most expensive as they require atleast one additional internet access.

      Posts containing links that get “special” handling – such as links to images or tweets should be the next most costly. A single graphic image can require more network bandwidth then every single text comment combined on this section.

      Posts containing links to video’s are likely the worst. Even if they are very well handled and only the key frame is displayed they require atleast as much bandwidth as a high resolution gif.

      It is possible that I am wrong about the “cost” of comments.
      But it is unlikely. More important still is that it is highly unlikely that any number of plain text comments by any poster are a significant factor in the “cost” of viewing a section.

      It is probable given almost means that wordpress uses to process pages that by far the poster whose comments require the most bandwidth to download or refresh in this section would be YOU!

  96. dduck12 permalink
    March 13, 2018 11:55 pm

    You lefty’s always worried about collapses and disasters. Instead of freedom of choice and not forcing others to your view.
    Relax enjoy what time we have left and as they said on the Titanic: “forget about that ice, let’s rearrange the deck chairs”.

  97. dduck12 permalink
    March 14, 2018 12:06 am

    Priscilla. This is what happened:

  98. March 14, 2018 2:26 pm

    Well Dave, Pennsylvania 18th district, one that Trump carried by almost 20 percentage points just elected Conor Lamb, a liberal in moderate clothing. I say that because he says he is pro gun, pro business etc, etc, until Pelosi gets a hold of him and tells him the rules the House in DC play by. Ten he’ll be just like all the other democrats walking in lock step off the extreme liberal bridge.

    This is after one of the strongest jobs reports in years, after a huge tax reform package, after an unprecedented increase in the stock market, after Trump said he was placing tariffs on steel to protect jobs in the rust belt, after deregulating the coal industry, etc etc.

    So you keep telling me and everyone else that the house and senate will not flip, but I would bet good money on a democrat sweep in 2018 giving Shumer and Pelosi control again. And then we will have two years of impeachment proceedings, bills to raise taxes, bills to screw people out of their rights and a return to forced purchasing of a product (Obamacare) that is anything but market driven, not to mention the fact that when Kennedy resigns, the democrats will insure not one Trump nominee gets confirmed as pay back for wht the GOP did to Obama’s appointment.

    The only thing that may save the GOP is a primary where the establishment gets behind a sane candidate and forces Trump to withdraw, much like what happened to Johnson in 68. But that is just wishful thinking on my part,

    Jay will get his wish and we will return to big government, liberal legal opinions and loss of constitutional rights.

    • Jay permalink
      March 14, 2018 6:12 pm

      Stop jumping to clumsily articulated conclusions, Ron.

      Yes Trumps gotta go – and if a suitable moderate Republican challenges and replaces him, and the Dems field too progressive a candidate, I’d likely vote Republican. That was my stance last election: I likely would have backed Kasich or J.Bush over Hillary.

      My choice for Republican nominee at this point: Nikki Haley, a common sense, practical non confrontational, non abrasive conservative. My strongest disagreement is with her pro life position on abortion. But I sense a moderation in her views that would likely calm down the cauldron of antithesis set boiling by Prez Shithead.

      • Jay permalink
        March 14, 2018 6:15 pm

        Coincidentally I just saw this:

        Nikki Haley blames Russia for poisoning ex-spy after White House hesitated to

        President Putin’s Puppet still has not officially said or tweeted anything critical of Russia.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 9:43 am

        It is highly likely that Putin and Russia are responsible for recent political assassinations.
        But the British likely jumped the gun on pointing fingers.

        These types of assassinations have been part of russian politics dating back to Trotsky.
        They are nothing new. They are not unique to Putin.

        They should be condemned and should have consequences.
        But both should be constructed pateintly with the best evidence.

        It is not necescary for every politician to knee jerk condemn and spray consequences the instance some likely malfeasance surfaces.

        That would behaving the way the left CLAIMS Trump behaves rather than as he actually does.

        Further, we are just not going to war with Russia, and short of that we are very close to the end of our leverage.

        There is a reason we have been playing games with diplomats – which as stupid and destructive, it is because there is little more we can do.

        The amount of commerce between the US and Russia is small, and without any sanctions at all self regulates in response to Putins misconduct.

        But again I wonder why you think you are a republican.

        Is there something wrong with allowing people on their own to decide whether to do business with Russia ?

        Why are those railing against Trump’s Tarriff’s, supporting Russian sanctions – which are pretty much the same thing.

      • Jay permalink
        March 17, 2018 11:26 am

        I don’t think I’m a Republican, Dummy.
        Again, you miss the point – not only the one atop your cranium.
        (See McCaffrey, above)

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 6:28 pm

        No, I noted you did not make your point, and instead meade another of my own.

        You are useful in that way.

      • March 14, 2018 6:54 pm

        Jay sorry. When one acts like a reporter and talking head on MSNBC, it is easy to misinterpret that persons political position. This may be the first time, or first time since Trumps election you have stated what you support. It is hard to reconcile someone suppkrting a southern gun supporting conservative, while also supporting laws that wohld evdntually lead to severe restrictions on gun ownership.

      • Jay permalink
        March 14, 2018 8:07 pm

        Nikki moderated her stance on removing the Confederate Flag from state buildings. Originally against it, changed her mind because she says she realized it caused a segment of the population pain to see it displayed.

        If Dems take over congress and make military weapons illegal, I’m betting she wouldn’t veto it as president. I’m hoping for a reconciliatory President, not another divisive moron like Trump. Or worse, Cruz.

        Electing Trump has been a FATAL undermining blow to this country.
        I don’t see us recovering in my lifetime. But if he isn’t removed, soon, it WILL get worse.

      • March 14, 2018 8:57 pm

        Jay I believe we would be much different had the presidents since Bush been more like a Mark Warner, Joe Manchin, Lindsay Graham or John Kasich. Much different with Richard Burr type as Majority leader and had Ryan been speaker when the other two stooges were in that position, legislation would be different.

        The vitrolic hate that has existed in this country since Obama was elected might not have developed. Government intrusion into lives through executive EO’s may have been greatly reduced. And had the hate that is verbalized about Obama and Trump may not have developed with different leaders, leading to an environment where people would not feel so hopeless that they resort to violence as the way to solve problems.

        The democrats moving aside because they were going to name the heir to the throne opened the door for Obama. Obamas racial accusations everytime a black was killed led to the extremes taking over the GOP. The Tea Party members were fiscal conservatives, the extremist took over. That divided the GOP, Leading to Trump.

        We are well past moderates ruling in this country. I am sick of the left and the right thinking their way of life is the only way to live. Be it removing large sodas because someone thinks its bad for them, so they dont want anyone to have a big soda, to banning pot where it is legal because one person does not want to partake, so no one can, we are in for a tsunami of legislation making it illegal to buy weapons to large SUV’S once the extremist left take over.

        Thank God I have lived most of my life already in a mostly free country. Wont be that way for long going forward.

        And I define freedom as being able to live, buy, sell, speak and act as long as it does no harm to others. Liberals and the extreme right do not believe in these same rights.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 12:09 pm

        Why in god’s name would you want the ONLY candidate in 2016 that was more of a war monger than Clinton ?

        Regardless, while only Graham looks to me to fall into the actually evil catagory, not a single one of your candidates is in the slightest appealing.

        Regardless, both Bush’s were pretty much this type of people. They were failures.

        I would note that Warner is actually tied into some of the nonsense associated with the Steele Dossier. While his actions appear to have been legal they are not something that would make me vote for him.

        I think the excerbated political divisions in this country are reflected by congress – not cause by it.

        A significant part of this is the ending of the “great sorting” the shift of conservatism from the north to the south, as well as the increasing political homogenity of urban areas.

        All of us are less and less exposed to people who think differently from us in our ordinary daily lives.
        The only place we see people with completely different political values is on the net.

        I think this is also the results of the end of the “culture war”.

        Most major culture war issues have ended – and the left won – sort of.

        I find it absolutely hillarious that at a moment in time when in so many ways we are not only diverse but accepting of the diversity of others, so many of us think that we are more racist homophobic, …. than ever.

        We have not ended predjudice – and never will. But we are the least predudiced sociery that has ever existed.

        Social Conservatives have pretty much entirely caved on diversity issues.
        They seek one and only one thing – essentially the LIBERTARIAN position,
        The accept that whatever your differences government must treat you equally,
        But they do not wish to be forced to violate their own religious values in their private lives.
        They wish to be allowed to not include gay or trans couples in their churches. They wish to not have to restructure their businesses to reflect the secular religion.

        Too many on the left do not understand that their “godless” humanism is still a religion.
        The establishment clause bars government from adopting ANY religion.

        Anyway, back to my point.

        This is a part of why Trump won. The left has been horribly ungracious in victory.
        Further they have treated the “culture war”as an actual war and are looking to anhilate their enemy.

        Whether is it social conservatives or just the blue collar Trump voters,
        way way too many of us think the government and the left have gone too far regarding many of these issues.

        The left is ranting about white priviledge – which may be real if you are a male tall handsome WASP, from a good family and with a good education, but is completely meaningless – and has been for more than a generation if you are a young white male highschool educated young adult headed for a blue color job.
        You are headed for the back of the line, and it is OVERT, and they know it.
        They are looking at an employment world in which they – by government mandate are quite often actively discriminated against.

        And at the very same time they are being called vile names, and racist merely for being upset about that.

        I do not believe the so called alt-right is significant.
        But I do believe that if the left continues its vilification of half the country that it could become significant easily.

        Trump is the consequence of the political hatred of the left for much of the country.
        Keep it up and Trump II will be worse.

        Yet things are worse not better.

        Obama did not create this hatred, to the extent he may have made it worse that would be because all too many Trump voters said – we voted for your black president – how much more equality could you want, and you still call us racists ?

        I do not BTW think the GOP is dominated by “extremists”

        Who in the GOP today supports Richard Spensor ?

        Who in the GOP today is to the Right of Jesse Helm’s ?

        There are virtually no social conservatives left.

        The left is literally vilifying fiscal conservatism as racism.

        I am not in sync with every member of the house freedom caucus.

        But it is likely I share more values with them than with the Boenhers or the McConnells – or the Graham’s Bush’s and Kaisich’s.

        I shared a link to a very long Bio on Devin Nunes recently. It is excellent reading.

        It will give you a much better idea of who you are villifying.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 10:23 am

        You keep spouting this “military weapons” nonsense.

        The firearms that ordinary americans nearly universally owned at the time of the revolution were the state of the art Military weapons of their day.

        Further individuals owned cannon and artilary – BTW it is CURRENTLY legal for an individual to both make and own their own cannon, individuals owned warships.

        Whatever you may wish to think it is absolutely clear our founders did not intend to interfere with private ownership of state of the art military weapons.

        It is also quite clear from their own writings that::

        They considered private individuals owning weapons as BOTH a critical defense against foreign aggression, and a critical check on political tyranny.

        I would note that AR-15’s are NOT military weapons,

        They have a bunch of attributes that annoy the hell out of left wing nuts.

        First they are “scary looking” – the 1992 AWB was nothing more than an ineffectual ban of “scary looking weapons” It had absolutely nothing to do with the capability of the weapon.
        It is hard to take seriously laws or the people who advocate for them that are founded in cosmetics.

        Next the AR-15 is essentially the erector set of guns, you can construct one from parts in an interchangeable fashion to suit your personal wishes.

        Because we have stupidly armed police with actual “military weapons” such as M16’s and grenade launchers, we are under the false impression that these are far more effective than they are.

        Our warrior cops serve pot warrants in full military drag with assualt weapons and swat teams for exactly the same reason that paranoid schitzonprenics use AR-15’s and the like to shoot schools.

        because it looks and feels COOL!. Not because it is effective.

        At the distances involved in schools and SWAT actions just about ALL long guns are the WRONG weapon.

        So should we ban AR-15’s because Police SWAT Teams are quite stupidly using M16’s when the right handgun would be a far more effective choice ?

        Beyond that is should already be self evident you can not stop people – particualrly nut jobs from getting AR-15’s. or any other weapon they want.

        As I have already noted, it is now possible to 3d print an AR15 lower receiver – the critical part that will hold up for 100 rounds, and that will improve further over time.

        If you need something that will hold up longer today – then get a CNC machine for about 3 times as much as a 3d printer – still affordable, and you can make a better than commercial lower receiver.

        The increasingly wide spread ability to home manufacture is rising and will gradually change the world. Weapons like AR-15’s are not its primary purpose. But they are a consequence whether you like it or not.

        Ultimatley the point is that real PROGRESS is inherently libertarian. Progreess comes from freedom and inherently increases freedom.

        This concept that there must be a law against everything, is at cost to our future prospertiy,
        at odds with the rule of law.

        Anytime a significant portion of people – much less than a majority are willing to violate ANY law, the problem is with the law, not the people.

        Have we learned nothing from prohibition, drug laws or the 55mph speed limit ?
        Bad laws undermine respect for ALL laws.

      • Jay permalink
        March 17, 2018 11:57 am

        “The firearms that ordinary americans nearly universally owned at the time of the revolution were the state of the art Military weapons of their day.”

        That’s because THEY WERE THE MILITARY then, you idiot.

        After the war was over, to own those weapons, the 2nd Amendment specified they had to be part of a Well Regulated Militia.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 7:10 pm

        “That’s because THEY WERE THE MILITARY then, you idiot.

        After the war was over, to own those weapons, the 2nd Amendment specified they had to be part of a Well Regulated Militia.”

        Absolutely wrong.

        Have you ever read a damn thing about US history.
        The Pennsylvania Long Rifle – later mis-attributed as the Kentucky rifle was created by Martin Meylin in Willow Street, PA in 1719. That is almost 60 years BEFORE the revolution.

        It could fire 2 rounds per minute with a muzzle velocity of 1600fps with a range for 100-300 yards – about 6 times that of a musket.

        This was a high power sniper riffle that was used as such through to 1900.

        This was primarily developed as the state of the art HUNTING weapon of its time,

        IT was NOT even close to the most common weapon of the Revolution, but it was one of the most feared. American Sharpe shooters acheived practically mythic stature during the war.

        The tactics used by colonial irregulars – particularly in new england made it impossible for British forces to operate far from major cities.

        Essentially colonists “Hunted” british soldiers – and particularly officiers.
        They did not engage in set peice battles but harrassed the british staying out of range of british muskets while slowly whitlling away at British soldiers – particularly officers.

        Ultimate victory in the revolution required Washington and a regular army with the discipline to stand up to and fight the british toe-toe in a traditional battle, But the colonial irregulars and their “hunting riffles” which were the superior fire arms of the revolution, where the critical force that gave Washington the years it took to build a well disciplined regular army capable of defeating the British.

        I would further note that in the colonial era EVERYONE was part of the militia by law.
        Most state REQUIRED every adult male to own a gun and to become proficient in its use, and they were subject to be called up at anytime.

        You do not seem to have a clue what “militia” meant, it was NOTHING like what it means today.

        It essentially meant “citizen”.

        I would further note that when the 14th amendment was passed – that is nearly a century later, and at a time when we had the first machine guns, repeating rifles, and very high power revolvers like the Walker Colt, Congress speficically noted that the rights of citizens that could not be deprived on account of race INCLUDED the right to own guns.

        The specific intention of the 14th amendment was to allow southern negros to be ARMED,
        And if you are even the slightest familiar with the history of negro’s in the south after the Civil war right through MLK,. a very large part of it was about guns and gun control as the means of controlling negro’s.

        A high portion of negro’s were armed. And disarming negro’s was a task relentlessly persued by the KKK and other white racist groups.

        If you bother to read about Black Civil Rights meetings in the South in the sixties – leaders like MLK all came with GUNS.
        Depsite the fat they were illegal many civil rights leaders owned tommy guns.

        In many black families in the south there was a rifle in every corner of the bed room.

        The individual ownership of guns has been an american tradition since Jamestown.
        I provided a link with some history on it some time ago.

        American settlers diverged from their English ancestors on Guns shortly after arriving in the new world, Settlers learned quickly that Indians would trade anything for guns.
        And the indians became very proficient with them very fast.
        Colonists quickly learned they had to match skills with Indians or be anhilated by them.

        Through to atleast Custer’s last stand – contrary to school book depictions Indians were typically better armed than Soldiers and sometimes than settlers.
        And Settlers mostly did NOT rely on soldiers for protection. They relied on themselves.

        At Little Big Horn Custers Troups had Springfield 1873 bolt action carabines.
        While the Lakota and Cheyene had Spencer and Henry Repeating rifles.

        You are totally completely clueless about american history and guns.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 7:15 pm

        Just to be clear, From the time of Jamestown, through for atleast 50 years after the revolution,
        Nearly every adult male in the colonies and later the US OWNED atleast one gun, often a rifle.
        In many states and times they were required to. While individual gun ownership was more common in the north and west, where is was almost absolutely unviversal, even in the south every white man of substance owned guns.

        The big difference in the South was that southern whites were deathly afraid of slaves getting guns, As slaves substantially outnumbered whites, and all that kept slaves in control was the threat of guns. Therefore in the south though guns were very common, they were much more carefully controlled so that Slaves could not gain access to them.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 11:21 am


        The country is doing fine.

        There are lots and lots of things I can complain about – we could be doing much better than we are without the burdens the left has saddled us with.

        But we continue to grow and improve, the future will be better than the present.
        And the only threat to that is from the left – not Trump.

        Trump is “fatal” to nothing.
        We survived 8 years of Bush, we survived 8 years of Obama.
        We are arguably doing better under 1 year of Trump than we have since Clinton was president.

        Ranting and raving and frothing at the mouth does not change reality.

        We could try to talk rationally about the good and the bad of Trump,
        but you are incapable of seeing anything Trump does as less than a trumpocalypse.

        There are many things Trump has done that I do not like.
        But thus far he has not made any mistakes larger, and few even different from those of Obama or Bush. Thus far he is on track to be a better overal president than either. That may change.
        His Tarriff’s threaten that. But none of the other things you are calling FATAL or the end of the world are.

        The sky is not falling

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 9:51 am

        I can make no sense of the few postitions Jay takes as being consistent with what he claims to be his politics.

        I am not doubting what he says, just questioning whether he has any foundational values.

        As I noted before, I do not think there is a Trump voter among us.

        Something that does not serve us well. I would actually like to hear the views of people who supported and voted for Trump.

        I think I am better at understanding them than many others here – but the best way to know is to hear them out.

        We have had plenty of input from “nevery trumpers” of all stripes. We have had plenty of input from the left.

        But almost no one is actually speaking for or from the 65M people who voted for Trump

        This entire Russian influence nonsense is rooted in the assumption that 65m voters are complete dolts.

        I do not understand why so many people do not understand that you will never sell Russian Influence, to those people so long as what you mean is persuasion.

        Very few people EVER beleive they were duped.

      • March 17, 2018 12:51 pm

        Dave “This entire Russian influence nonsense is rooted in the assumption that 65m voters are complete dolts.”

        Well maybe. I’ll take the position that 32.5 million are the dolts and the other 32.5 million are the women that followed their “dolt” husbands directions to vote for him.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 7:24 pm

        God no! you are actually buying the Hillary meme that female Trump voters are enthrall to their husbands.

        There are plenty of idiots – on both sides that vote in every election. Neither side has some preponderance of idiots.

        Elections are not decided by the idiots.

        The primary driver of the outcome in this election was that Trump worked overtime to appeal to a subset of historically democratic voters in the rust belt that felt abandoned by democrats.

        It was obvious that was his strategy from the first day of his campaign.

        And yet apparently all democrats except Bill Clinton missed it.

        It is frequently noted that about 80,000 voters tipped the election.

        It is actually a much larger number than that – Trump had to overcome a republican deficit in those states and THEN add another 80,000 votes.

        But All Clinton had to do was hold 40,001 of that entire group of blue collar normally democratic voters, and she failed to do that.

      • Jay permalink
        March 17, 2018 8:27 pm

        “Elections are not decided by the idiots.”

        This one was.
        If you make an Idiotic choice, you are by definition idiotic.
        Those who voted for tRUMP, no matter their IQ, were idiots.
        Those who continue to support him are doubly idiotic.
        They idiotically convinced themselves he wasn’t an idiot.
        Like the subjects in the Emperor’s New Clothes convincing themselves they couldn’t see his naked ass.
        An idiotic constituency.
        A retinue of retards.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 8:49 pm

        “This one was.
        If you make an Idiotic choice, you are by definition idiotic.
        Those who voted for tRUMP, no matter their IQ, were idiots.
        Those who continue to support him are doubly idiotic.
        They idiotically convinced themselves he wasn’t an idiot.
        Like the subjects in the Emperor’s New Clothes convincing themselves they couldn’t see his naked ass.
        An idiotic constituency.
        A retinue of retards.”

        One of the most massive appeals to your own authority I have ever read.

        The sky has fallen – because you say it has.

        Maybe the reason no one think that emporer Trump is running arround naked – is because he isn;t.

        The only one fixated on his gentalia is you.

        People are not stupid because they hold views you do not like,
        they are stupid because they are ignorant of actual facts.
        Your entire argument is that voters are idiots because they disagree with you.

      • March 17, 2018 9:08 pm

        Come on Dave, you have read enoungh of what I post about the Bitch to know I dont buy this hatred she spreads. Dang I hate printed sarcasm. It never gets taken that way.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 18, 2018 8:14 am

        I have mostly given up sarcasm, Irony and Satire on the web.

        But occasionally I just have to.
        Posting is less fun when you can not use them.
        And you come off much more dull and pendantic.

      • Jay permalink
        March 17, 2018 2:02 pm

        “As I noted before, I do not think there is a Trump voter among us.”

        Priscilla voted for him

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 9:34 am

        We have had two Bushes – that is your idea of good government ?
        I know very little of Kaisich and what I know I do not like.

        Non-controversial is not the same as good government.

        Nor do I know much about Haley’s politics except that she is a rising star.

        Aborting is one of those issues that democrats are increasingly on the wrong side of the politics.
        I do not share either sides view. But the growing super majority position in the US is abortion after 20 weeks only under very limited circumstances.
        Whether you like that or not, that is the position that will engender the strongest political support.

        Democrats are pretty far from that, and absolutley intolerant of any deviation from the orthodoxy of limitless abortions to the moment of birth.

        Regardless, as you repeatedly claim to be a life long die hard republican.

        Why not enlighten us on your personal positions on very issues.

        I have not seen anything that suggests that you are republican or conservative by your posts here.

        You seem to loath Trump so much you will burn down absolutely everything to get rid of him.

        I do not think any of us here are “Trumpsters” I am not sure any of us voted for him.

        Yet many of us are capable of seeing that along with the bad there is good.
        That you can not define what is good or what is evil by which side Trump is on.

      • Jay permalink
        March 17, 2018 9:41 am

        You’re a fool.

      • dhlii permalink
        March 17, 2018 6:17 pm

        Can I assume from that, that you think the Bushes were g