ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [373] -- Underpants Gnomes Will Defeat Trump!

[ Posted Friday, January 8th, 2016 – 19:15 PST ]

That sub-headline may take the prize for the most bizarre we've ever offered up, although it'd have to beat the current champion -- which is, of course: "The Corpse-Like Stench Of Washington's Giant Misshapen Penis." That's pretty tough to beat, if truth be told.

In other words, welcome back to "Friday Talking Points," everyone! And a happy 2016 to one and all! Before we get to the Underpants Gnomes, we'd like to point out that this column has been on hiatus for the past three weeks, as we enjoyed our holidays and as we also got pre-empted by our annual "best and worst year-end roundup" column series (Part 1 and Part 2, in case you missed them). With three weeks of news to make up for, we're not even going to try highlighting all the political idiocy for the entire period, instead we'll just focus on the post-New-Year's-hangover period instead. That'll have to do.

"Ah, but what of the Underpants Gnomes?" you wonder. As well you might (unless you're a regular viewer of South Park, of course). The term came up in two recent articles (one quoting the other), which were interesting because they show how the Left and the Right are still struggling with the concept that Donald Trump could indeed become the Republican presidential nominee. This firm belief of many inside the Beltway has always involved what is usually termed "magical thinking," since nobody could really come up with a good reason why Trump's fall was so inevitable. [Program Note: We have in the past used the Underpants Gnome theory ourselves, to ridicule Republican idiocy and flim-flammery, but we admit we hadn't heard it used in the presidential race before now.] Now that the primaries are getting a lot closer, some are doing mental pretzel-bends to rationalize their gut feeling about Trump's inevitable loss (since their gut feeling can't possibly be wrong, of course).

Righty Ross Douthat begins his New York Times article by admitting the scope of the problem:

Donald Trump isn’t going to be the Republican nominee.

Six months ago, that was a truism. Three months ago, it was the conventional wisdom. Now it's an assertion that inspires sympathetic glances, the kind you get when you tell friends that you think your new personal-investment strategy is sure to beat the market.

I know you really want that to be true, the glances say, but you just might be kidding yourself.

What set this all in motion was a "TRUTH BOMB" (capitals his) from Mike Allen of Politico, which read:

For all you Republicans and pundits who are still talking about a Cruz-Rubio final, here's a wake-up data point: It's been 168 days since Trump took a big lead in national polling, and he has widened his margin by 10 points since then. It's 28 days to Iowa, 36 days to New Hampshire, 47 days to South Carolina, 50 days to Nevada and 57 days to the SEC primary. If you think voters will suddenly get serious -- and that Trump is a "lampshade candidate" who'll eventually wear out his welcome -- you're running out of time to be right. But at least it's 309 days to Election Day.

Lefty Ezra Klein of Vox responded with a column of his own. Which is where the Underpants Gnomes come in. For those who are still wondering what the heck Underpants Gnomes are, we refer you to a synopsis of the "Gnomes" episode of South Park, or to a short video of their infamous business plan. Underpants Gnomes, you see, sneak around at night stealing children's underpants, as part of a grand get-rich-quick scheme. Here is their business plan, in all its glory:

Phase 1: Collect underpants

Phase 2: ?

Phase 3: Profit

Which is how Klein admits precisely what is missing in the conventional Washington "Trump must lose" wisdom:

It's the Underpants Gnomes theory of Trump's loss. Step 1: Trump leads the polls for month after month. Step 2: ??? Step 3: He loses! Even if you think that's likely, it sounds a bit ridiculous when you say it aloud.

So both Klein and Douthat (who included that paragraph above from Klein in his own article) then try to put some meat on the bones of Step 2. Klein's answer is, essentially, that Howard Dean lost and therefore Trump is going to lose. No, really. Douthat's answer isn't much better. He notes that Trump is only at around 30 percent support in the early states, and asserts that he'll never get any higher:

There is no credible scenario in which a consistent 30 percent of the vote will deliver the delegates required to be the Republican nominee. So for Trump to lose, he doesn't actually have to collapse; he just has to fail to expand his support. And in the states where candidates are actually campaigning, voters are paying the most attention, and the polling screens for likely voters are tightening, he hasn't expanded his support meaningfully since he first climbed into the lead.

This sounds a little less magical than other explanations, to be sure, but then Douthat blows it by ending with (you can't make this stuff up): "Loki does not rule in Asgard. And Donald Trump isn't going to be the Republican nominee." Um, what does Loki have to do with anything?

All in all, this is just the first wave of the freakout that's going to become widespread should Donald Trump start consistently winning primaries. And even if all this magical thinking does come true, the alternative might be even worse for establishment Republicans to contemplate -- Ted Cruz as their nominee. So hold onto your hats (and, of course, your underpants), folks, because it's going to be a wild ride indeed!

In other presidential news, Gary Johnson has jumped into the race, vying for the Libertarian ticket once again.

In non-presidential news, a bunch of yahoos took over a federal wildlife refuge, because they had nothing better to do than wave guns around while dressed in camo. While the media moved their usual circus out to East Podunk, Oregon (or wherever this refuge actually is), so far the feds seem to be doing nothing more than ignoring them. Maybe all their jackboots are still out for their yearly polishing, or something.

Speaking of media idiocy, Saudi Arabia beheaded 47 prisoners, which set off a powderkeg in the region (one of the executed was a Shi'ite cleric, which enraged Iran). While every time the Islamic State performs such executions the words "beheaded" or "beheading" can prominently be found in American news articles, because it was the Saudis, the word was seldom mentioned. Yes, Saudi Arabia executes people (dissidents most definitely included) by lopping their heads off with a sword in a public square. But even the editorials condemning the Saudi actions (here are two examples, if you don't believe me) can't quite bring themselves to use the word "beheaded." Strange, isn't it?

OK, we realize there is a ton of political stuff we've missed from the last three weeks, but this is going to be long enough as it is, so let's just move on to the awards.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

We had two candidates for the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. The first was Representative Frank Pallone from New Jersey, who wrote a commonsense environmental bill (banning microbeads from cosmetics, due to how they pollute the water) and actually got it passed and signed into law. From the Washington Post story: "There was an environmental problem; Congress stepped in to solve it. In a time when it seems as though the two parties are at loggerheads on everything, and particularly on issues pertaining to the environment, that seems remarkable." Yes, it does. For achieving this remarkable victory, Representative Pallone gets an Honorable Mention.

But this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award goes to President Barack Obama, for doing what he can to further the cause of gun safety. Obama cried when he announced his plans (remembering the slaughtered children at Sandy Hook), and then followed up his announcement with a town hall that was so balanced even pro-gun-rights folks had nice things to say about the CNN forum. Obama did what he legally could to tighten the "gun show loophole" which allows something like 40 percent of all gun sales to sidestep the background check.

Obama's actions are limited, of course. Real gun safety legislation is going to have to come from Congress, which Obama noted is in thrall to the National Rifle Association (meaning it's not going to happen any time soon, no matter how many kids get shot). Obama's frustration on this issue has been simmering for a long time now, so he decided to kick off his final year in office to take whatever limited steps the executive branch could.

The shocking thing is how popular Obama's newly-announced policies are. The numbers are in:

A new CNN-ORC survey of 1,000 Americans finds that the public supports Obama's plan by a 2-to-1 ratio: 67 percent of respondents favored the executive actions, while 32 percent opposed them. Even more striking, a similar share of people in gun-owning households -- 63 percent -- supported the measures.

Even more striking: 51 percent of Republicans support Obama's executive action on guns. When's the last time 51 percent of Republicans agreed with Obama on anything?

This is even more notable because of the way the survey asked the question -- even with Obama's name clearly attached to the idea, it still got overwhelming support from the public. Here's how the question was asked:

As you may know, this week Barack Obama announced several executive orders that change the nation's gun laws so that background checks are required for more purchases online and at gun shows, and which make it easier for the F.B.I. to complete background checks efficiently. Overall, do you favor or oppose these changes?

Even with Obama's name right up front, a majority of the public -- even Republicans -- agree with the new policy.

That's pretty downright impressive. Which is why President Obama is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Congratulate President Barack Obama via the White House contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

OK, we understand where he's coming from, really we do. Still, "vowing to file a lawsuit" is just unnecessary to point out how birtherism has always been nonsense and always will be nonsense, whether the subject is Barack Obama or Ted Cruz. Here's the story:

Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democratic gadfly running for the Senate in Florida, vows to file a lawsuit challenging Cruz's eligibility if he wins the nomination. Grayson would try to argue that both parents of Cruz, born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father, had to be American citizens for Cruz to be considered a "natural born" citizen under the Constitution. Grayson also has questions about the U.S. birth of Cruz's mother. "The Obama birthers are loons," Grayson told U.S. News this week. But "there's a very good legal argument that Ted Cruz is not qualified to be president."

Watch out who you're calling a loon, there, Alan, because it could come back to bite you later. There's a "good legal argument," after all, to be made that anyone born by C-section isn't a "natural-born citizen," but you don't see us making it. Well, OK, there was that one time, but we were obviously just kidding around... not filing federal lawsuits.

For taking this joke seriously, instead of just sitting back and watching Republicans flounder in self-induced self-destruction, Alan Grayson is (sadly) our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. A light touch is what's called for here, and not imitating the right's previous looney behavior.

[Contact Representative Alan Grayson on his House contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 373 (1/8/16)

A mixed bag of talking points this week. As always, use responsibly!

 

1
   Doom and gloom that never happened

I'm sure President Obama will be mentioning this in his upcoming State Of The Union address, but perhaps not in such a snarky way.

"When President Obama ran for re-election, Republicans predicted a heavy dose of doom-and-gloom for America. Looking back on some of these predictions shows how little attention should be paid to conservatives' dire warnings, of course. Gas was supposed to be over six bucks a gallon by now. Unemployment was supposed to be stuck at eight percent. Obamacare was supposed to have entered a death spiral. Instead, take a look around you. Gas is cheap, the economy is adding 300,000 jobs per month. Obama has averaged more jobs added to the economy per year than George W. Bush and his father combined, in fact. Unemployment is at five percent -- a full point lower than Mitt Romney promised by the end of his first term, mind you -- and over 11 million people have signed up for Obamacare already this year. The reality is a lot brighter than Republican predictions -- keep that in mind as you listen to them campaign this year, folks."

 

2
   Be afraid! Be very afraid!

Of course, being wrong never stopped them before, right?

"Take a look at the Republican candidates' ads, and all you see is naked fear. Fear of this, fear of that, fear of just about everything under the sun. Donald Trump is selling fear of hordes crossing our border, even though his first ad showed a border in North Africa, not North America. But when people are afraid, they discount such important details. If there's one common theme running through the Republican Party, it is: 'Be afraid -- be very afraid!' Whatever happened to the optimism of Ronald Reagan? There doesn't seem to be much 'morning in America' thinking left in the GOP, does there?"

 

3
   One candidate has actual proposals

You just know who I'm talking about, don't you?

"Bernie Sanders continues to offer up progressive policies that are wildly popular with the public, even when the media refuses to report on the specifics. Bernie just gave a speech on economics and Wall Street where he announced he would push for laws to cap all credit card rates at 15 percent and ATM fees at two bucks. That is the type of change the American people truly want from the government. And yet the media completely ignored such a fundamental proposal for fairness. Think credit card interest rates are obscene? Think ATM fees are outrageous? Then Bernie's your candidate!"

 

4
   Rubio admits Republican Congress is a joke

This was pretty jaw-dropping... considering who is running the place, after all.

"Marco Rubio just admitted that: 'We're not going to fix America with senators and congressmen,' because 'presidents set the public policy agenda.' He offered this up as an answer to why he is blowing off so many votes in the Senate, even though he's being paid over $170,000 a year to represent the citizens of Florida. If Rubio believes that Congress is this powerless -- a Republican Congress, mind you -- then why shouldn't he step down from such a worthless job? If I lived in Florida, I'd be pretty annoyed at a well-paid civil servant who continually refused to do his job while still cashing his paycheck every week. If showing leadership in the Senate is beyond Rubio's abilities, then he should step aside and let someone else take a crack at it."

 

5
   Maybe Rubio's right, though...

It was a good week for naked hypocrisy in the hallowed halls of Congress.

"Maybe Marco Rubio is right, though. Paul Ryan began the legislative year by voting on a bill to defund Planned Parenthood and kill off Obamacare, which he knew full well was going to be vetoed. Immediately afterwards, Politico reported that: 'Senior House Republican aides and lawmakers say they do not plan to hold votes on many of the agenda items the party plans to unveil -- such as a health care plan to replace Obamacare, or tax reform -- because of a tight legislative calendar over the next few months and the reality that none of the bills would be signed by the president, anyway.' Got that, folks? We're going to start off the year passing a bill we know the president will veto, and then we're going to follow it up by not passing any of our agenda because we don't have enough time -- in the entire freakin' year -- to vote on any of it. No wonder Republican voters are so upset with the Republican congressional leadership! The first week of the new year, and all they've got is: 'Here's one bill that won't become law, and then we can just wrap things up for the whole year because we won't have time to get to anything else.' Man, that's truly pathetic."

 

6
   JAQ-ing off

A new term, but an apt one.

"Donald Trump is the master of a new phenomenon known as 'just asking questions' -- or, more colloquially, 'JAQ-ing off.' Trump never comes out and directly attacks his Republican competitors, he almost always frames it as 'some people are asking,' or 'the question has been raised,' while he keeps his own fingerprints off the attack. This seems to be catching on. Trump just JAQ-ed off on how -- you know, some people are saying -- Ted Cruz might not be eligible to be president because of his Canadian birth. This was amusingly followed by Senator John McCain joining in the fun with his own 'Jeez, I dunno,' sort of answer to Cruz's eligibility -- even though McCain himself wasn't born within the United States! The most hilarious aspect for Democrats in this whole fracas, though, is hearing Republicans finally admit that a child born to an American mother is a natural-born American citizen whether he was born in Hawai'i, in Kenya, in Canada, or on the moon. All of that Obama birtherism nonsense was precisely that -- utter idiocy, unconnected with reality. As the case of Ted Cruz proves, it doesn't matter where future presidents are born as long as one parent is an American citizen."

 

7
   Lock up the white women!

And their underpants, of course.

"The title of 'most embarrassing governor in the nation' gets passed around from state to state, as time goes by. It used to be Jesse Ventura, or Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Rod Blagojevich. But these days, the clear winner is the governor of Maine, who recently warned of drug traffickers named 'D-Money' coming up from the big cities to sell heroin. As if this weren't bad enough, according to the governor: 'half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave.' Wow. Normally, I'd say something like 'what year does he think we're in,' but in this case it would have to be 'what century guides his thinking?' Congratulations, Maine, he's all yours."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

53 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [373] -- Underpants Gnomes Will Defeat Trump!”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I think Grayson is just schadenfreude trolling.

  2. [2] 
    Teacher1941 wrote:

    James Fallows (Atlantic) today offered up a link to this long essay that is well worth the time:
    http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/16/military-strategist-explains-why-donald-trump-leads-and-how-he-will-fail/

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Teacher1941,

    What are your thoughts on the piece?

  4. [4] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    regardless of how it does or doesn't apply to donald trump, it's an interesting article. people really do act this way in all walks of life, especially when they feel inadequate or want to exert power over others.

    JL

  5. [5] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW- As I see it, the Underpants Gnome Theory applies equally well to Trump winning the Republican Nomination and becoming President.

    Phase 1: Say anything to generate publicity

    Phase 2: ?

    Phase 3: Hang drapes in WH

    Attempts to fill in the question mark still depend mostly upon national polling data, which while not entirely irrelevant, has never been a very reliable predictor in equivalent time frames of past elections. Lot's of early front runner bubbles have burst in the past...and past tends to be prologue. If not everybody ought to get out of the forecasting biz.

    Trump has to somehow convert roughly (maybe) 33% popularity into a >50% popularity by siphoning off support from other Republican candidates. I see Condorcet hurdles for Trump doing that. Being an acceptable 2nd place choice may be the key to success.

    As for the lede, I can't help but think of The Blue Haired Lawyer from the Simpsons saying.

    "I represent the heirs of George Washington, who are deeply offended by your unfounded allegations regarding his private part."

  6. [6] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Teacher41 -

    Interesting article. Boyd was much in vogue in my line of work during the '80s; I always thought it more like a metaphor than a model...and it morphed a lot depending upon who was trying to apply it....too many lines, not enough boxes!

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    I see I have a LOT to catch up on.. :D

    Just let me get settled in.

    I'll start with a big HELLO from Haiti...

    http://sjfm.us/temp/LabbadeeA.jpg

    :D

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trump has to somehow convert roughly (maybe) 33% popularity into a >50% popularity by siphoning off support from other Republican candidates. I see Condorcet hurdles for Trump doing that. Being an acceptable 2nd place choice may be the key to success.

    A new survey of likely voters might at least raise momentary dyspepsia for Democrats since it suggests why it wouldn't be a cakewalk.

    The survey by Washington-based Mercury Analytics is a combination online questionnaire and "dial-test" of Trump's first big campaign ad among 916 self-proclaimed "likely voters" (this video shows the ad and the dial test results). It took place primarily Wednesday and Thursday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

    Nearly 20 percent of likely Democratic voters say they'd cross sides and vote for Trump, while a small number, or 14 percent, of Republicans claim they'd vote for Clinton. When those groups were further broken down, a far higher percentage of the crossover Democrats contend they are "100 percent sure" of switching than the Republicans.
    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-01-08/new-poll-shows-donald-trump-is-a-real-threat-to-hillary-clinton

    You were saying?? :D

    Here's the one question that, when answered honestly, indicates the folly of ya'all's claims..

    To a ONE (except THIS one), all of you laughed and ridiculed Trump's candidacy and said it wouldn't last the month.. ANY month...

    Ya'all were wrong then.. Again and again and again..

    Can ya'all concede that ya'all just MAY be wrong again about Trump's ascension to the POTUS-ency??

    In another vein, everyone on the Right **AND** the Left ridiculed Obama's possibilities at this point in the 2008 election...

    We KNOW how that worked out...

    So, don't get too comfortable, people... You might have to get used to saying PRESIDENT TRUMP...

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Which brings me to my next point..

    Hillary’s EmailGate Goes Nuclear
    Does the latest release of Hillary’s State Department emails include highly classified U.S. intelligence?

    http://observer.com/2016/01/hillarys-emailgate-goes-nuclear/

    It's becoming clear that Hillary's home-brewed insecure email server issues are becoming more and more acute...

    There is absolutely NO DOUBT that Hillary sent classified email thru the afore mentioned home-brewed insecure email server..

    Step back and look at things logically and rationally and politically agnostically...

    FACT: Hillary was the Secretary Of State for the United States Of America

    FACT: Hillary used the afore mentioned home-brewed insecure email server *EXCLUSIVELY* for her correspondence as the afore mentioned US Secretary Of State.

    Now, for the Hillary-bots amongst the Left Wingery to be correct, they would have us believe that Hillary never.. ever... EVER... **NEVER** corresponded about ANYTHING classified during her ENTIRE tenure as the afore mentioned US Secretary of State...

    Now, is there ANYONE (who is rational and logical and objective) who could believe such complete and utter felgercarb!??

    That our SecState NEVER corresponded about ANYTHING classified???

    EVER???

    Anyone who believes that, I have a cruise ship I want to sell ya... :D

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Loki does not rule in Asgard. And Donald Trump isn't going to be the Republican nominee." Um, what does Loki have to do with anything?

    It's a controversy amongst those that have seen THOR II:DARK WORLD...

    At the end, Odin turned into Loki thereby leading some to believe that Loki does, in fact, rule Asgard...

    What it has to do with Trump, I am not sure.. But that's where the reference comes from...

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    For the convenience of all, I am going to jaunt back thru the last week and bring some points forward..

    Just so ya'all don't have to go back searching the the previous commentaries...

    Liz,

    In the case of the gun-toting anti-government shit disturbers now occupying federal buildings in Oregon, it is worth pondering what would happen to America if everybody decided to settle their grievances in this manner.

    What's wrong with gun toting shit disturbers???

    Are they any worse than shit disturbers that hold signs advocating the murder of cops??

    Advocating violence against a specific group seems to bother the Left Wingery...

    .... when the Right Wingery does it...

    I'm just sayin...

    Now is the time to send a clear message to these zealots - if you have legitimate grievances with the government, then put down your precious weapons, end your nonsensical occupation and pursue legal ways to have those grievances addressed.

    Why was this advice never advocated against the Oowsers (rhymes with Lusers) and the racist hate group BLM???

    Just curious...

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Regarding Obama Poll Watch....

    Obama's useless and completely unnecessary executive orders on gun laws is going to drag his poll numbers down in January...

    Put another way... If Obama's execute orders had been in effect for the last 10 years, do you know how many shootings it would have prevented??

    ZERO..

    Do you know how many lives it would have saved??

    ZERO..

    Of course, the Left Wingery will say, "Well it's something.."

    How is it "something"???

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mopshell,

    It also cost $600,000 to fight the deliberately lit fires and more than two years for the area to recover.

    And it cost $5.7 MILLION to clean up the destruction JUST in Ferguson by the racist hate group, Black Lives {DON"T} Matter...

    Probably similar costs in Cincinnati, Baltimore and a host of other cities..

    Funny how no one cares about the costs in THOSE instances, eh???

    Funny, iddn't it...

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/01/10/exclusive-kathleen-willey-urges-clinton-sex-victims-to-break-silence-nobody-can-touch-you-now/

    Let the "bimbo eruptions" (Hillary's word, not mine) commence....

    Regardless of any feelings I may have for Donald Trump, he deserves credit for making the Clinton's pay for their past transgressions...

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Happy New Year everyone!

    p.s. That governor of Maine ... whacky. Wonder if this is the Trumpster effect.

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    You just know who I'm talking about, don't you?

    "Bernie Sanders continues to offer up progressive policies that are wildly popular with the public, even when the media refuses to report on the specifics. Bernie just gave a speech on economics and Wall Street where he announced he would push for laws to cap all credit card rates at 15 percent and ATM fees at two bucks. That is the type of change the American people truly want from the government. And yet the media completely ignored such a fundamental proposal for fairness. Think credit card interest rates are obscene? Think ATM fees are outrageous? Then Bernie's your candidate!"

    If the Democrat Party nominates Sanders, then I will agree that the DP is willing to walk the walk instead of just talk the talk..

    If the Democrat Party nominates Hillary Clinton then ya'all MUST concede that the DP is no better than the GOP...

    It's really THAT simple...

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-7

    Haiti. Hmmm..attending a voodoo economics conference? I'll bet some of the best brains are there for the picking. Ummm, brains!

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Haiti. Hmmm..attending a voodoo economics conference? I'll bet some of the best brains are there for the picking. Ummm, brains!

    heheheheheh Nope, I didn't get to play in the fun part of Haiti...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labadee

    It's a private compound for the cruise lines..

    But, if you see it, you would swear it looks like the JURASSIC PARK island... :D

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    I will assume that no one wants to respond to comment #16 because I am dead on ballz accurate in my assessment and no one can dispute it..

    I'll take it.. :D

    Gods, it's good to be back!!! :D

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Close your eyes for a minute and imagine it’s Feb. 10. In the past nine days, Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) has beaten his Democratic presidential challenger Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. There won’t be another vote for 10 more days (Nevada), and then it’ll be another week until South Carolina, the last of the big four early states, votes.

    That scenario would be a total nightmare for Clinton. Period. It’s also a lot more likely to go from fantasy to reality than most people — including most establishment Democrats — understand.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-fantasy-scenario-that-could-become-reality-for-clinton/2016/01/10/085496a6-b7d6-11e5-829c-26ffb874a18d_story.html

    Ya know what's REALLY funny???

    It's that, with one possible exception, EVERYONE here in Weigantia is hoping for the above to come to pass..

    We are ALL in agreement on that!

    How kewl is that!!?? :D

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    And another musical great has passed the veil..

    RIP David Bowie

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now we know why Hillary Clinton can claim she sent/received NO EMAILS that had any kind of classification header..

    She can make that claim because SHE ORDERED HER STAFFER TO REMOVE SUCH HEADINGS and send them thru her non-secure server...

    “Turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.”
    -Hillary Clinton's order to staffer Jake Sullivan

    There's yer smoking gun, people...

    There is PROOF POSITIVE in Hillary's own words, her intent to subvert and circumvent the rules..

    Hillary's gonna do da perp walk...

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, they haven't shot anyone yet but they have threatened violence, which the Occupy folks never did. Nor have Black Lives Matter activists.

    Really??

    NO BLM violence??

    A “Black Lives Matter” march against police brutality in Oakland turned ugly, with protesters reportedly attacking a journalist, smashing shopfront windows, throwing bottles, and defacing the main Christmas tree in the heart of the city.

    As Black Lives Matter activists gathered this week in Ferguson, Missouri, to mark the first anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, their planned anti-police brutality demonstrations were marred by violence that gave opponents more pretext to attack their movement. As the world watched the demonstrations on Twitter and Facebook, protesters were branded criminals and hooligans amid isolated incidents of shootings, looting, arson and assault on police officers.

    The BLM group is FOUNDED on the concept of violence...

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    A strategy that cuts them off from the outside world and an offensive that protects law enforcement but fires no offensive shots, aimed at towing their vehicles (and confiscating them for being used in a crime, as much as I hate civil forfeiture laws) would seem to be a reasonable response strategy that would be effective.

    In other words, civil forfeiture is fine in pursuit of a chosen ideological agenda...

    Hmmmm Where have I heard something like that before??? :D

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    If you are threatening violence in pursuit of your political goals, then you're a terrist.

    So....

    Black Lives Matter is a terrorist group..

    OK... I'm down with that... :D

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    As far as the overall issue of the Oregon squatters, I think the main point has been grossly missed..

    As I understand it, these guys were charged, tried, found guilty and served their sentence..

    Now, the Obama Administration wants to CHANGE their sentence to make it harsher..

    Surely that comes under the scope of Double Jeopardy, eh??

    Obama and his minions fraked up... Why should they get to impose ANOTHER sentence without another trial??

    And they CAN'T have another trial because that would be TEXTBOOK Double Jeopardy....

    Regardless of how I feel about their methods, the fact is that the Federal Government is in the wrong here..

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    In fact, there's really only one reason Rubio would continue as senator instead of doing the honorable thing and stepping down early. That reason, plainly, is that Rubio would have to forego that $174,000 of the taxpayers' money he'll continue to get in his paycheck all year long -- for not doing his job.

    And, of course, I am sure that ALL of you would say the same thing about Bernie Sanders, right??

    Bernie MUST relinquish his Senate seat immediately..

    Right??? :D

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    I said, only Ben Carson has ever gotten above 20 percent, and Trump is now solidly above 35 percent.

    Didn't you say something along the lines of that if Trump polled consistently above 30% than his nomination is all but assured???

    Trump said a lot of things in December that shocked the inside-the-Beltway set. His proposals were declared political poison by many. His fellow Republicans (some of them, at least) even tried to denounce him. And his poll numbers went up.

    And *WHY* did that happen??

    Until ya'all come to grips with the WHY, all of the Trump predictions will be as inaccurate and worthless as all the Global Warming predictions...

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, I think I am caught up now...

    Feel free to chime in if any of ya'all disagree with my points..

    Like me and Biga agree..

    SILENCE GIVES ASSENT :D

    heh

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale [#29]

    SILENCE GIVES ASSENT

    Absurd. Silence can also indicate...
    ...not enough hours to respond to everything posted in the comments section on an Internet blog.
    ...a sense of futility that what one posts is unlikely to persuade or otherwise be engaged with meaningfully.
    ...one is not ready to take a position because one is still thinking through what has been written before or doing some research of their own.
    ...other people have already expressed the same POV and one doesn't want to waste others' time with a "me too!" reply.

    Silence gives assent is an important sentiment when one wants others to have the courage and conviction to be counted on a particular topic of controversy that a group is ready to commit to prosecuting. It's a call to arms, a call to action.

    "Silence gives assent" is not an affirmative proof that if one doesn't reply in particular to every post you seem to find time to make, one must agree with you. What form of rhetoric is that? Proof by exhaustion?

    Oh, and welcome back, Michale!

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Absurd. Silence can also indicate...
    ...not enough hours to respond to everything posted in the comments section on an Internet blog.

    OK, I can agree with that..

    ...a sense of futility that what one posts is unlikely to persuade or otherwise be engaged with meaningfully.

    Oh THAT just can't be it... :D

    ...one is not ready to take a position because one is still thinking through what has been written before or doing some research of their own.

    A possibility as well..

    ...other people have already expressed the same POV and one doesn't want to waste others' time with a "me too!" reply.

    THAT must be it!!!! Which would mean that "silence gives assent"... :D

    What form of rhetoric is that? Proof by exhaustion?

    Often times the only proof I get.. :D

    Oh, and welcome back, Michale!

    Tanks.... And planes!!! :D

    Now that we are past the holidays and I have caught up with what I missed, I am sure things will settle down around here.. :D

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, for Hillary, the hits just keep on coming...

    EXCLUSIVE: The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as secretary of state has expanded to look at whether the possible “intersection” of Clinton Foundation work and State Department business may have violated public corruption laws, three intelligence sources not authorized to speak on the record told Fox News.
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/01/11/fbis-clinton-probe-expands-to-public-corruption-track.html

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Paula wrote:

    rdnewman (30): Exactly!

  34. [34] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Trump vs. El Chapo - who wins?

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/L9cKio2rE1g/maxresdefault.jpg

    JL

  35. [35] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale [#31]

    THAT must be it!!!! Which would mean that "silence gives assent"...

    So to whom am I giving assent when I'm silent? You or the commentor who disagreed with you (or that you disagreed with)?

  36. [36] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    M-

    Welcome back from Haiti....the fun part of Haiti is a great way to make a contribution to the local auto repair economy and also to provide additional support to the local law enforcement officials detailed to support your security.

    And, of course, I am sure that ALL of you would say the same thing about Bernie Sanders, right??

    Bernie MUST relinquish his Senate seat immediately..

    Right???

    I might be inclined to agree with you if Bernie wasn't doing his job. If Bernie was skipping votes at the level Rubio has been on the campaign trail AND additionally at the same rate in the 9 month lead up to the kickoff of mind numbingly LIV voter season you might have a point.

    But he is....so you don't...

    Rubio is currently, Pre-anouncement of the congress totally abdicating their responsibilities, skipping 30 to 32 percent of his votes, Bernie 3 percent.

    I thoroughly expect the vote records to change over the course of the coming campaign assuming of course that there is anything to vote on allowed to the floors....

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    GT,

    Rubio is currently, Pre-anouncement of the congress totally abdicating their responsibilities, skipping 30 to 32 percent of his votes, Bernie 3 percent.

    That seems to be a criteria cherry picked to support the position you hold..

    Convenient that, based on the cherry picked criteria, the Democrat is OK, but the Republican is bad... :D

    Funny how that always works out that way, eh?? :D

    Welcome back from Haiti....the fun part of Haiti is a great way to make a contribution to the local auto repair economy and also to provide additional support to the local law enforcement officials detailed to support your security.

    I didn't much test the defenses of Labadee, being too much enamored with drinking.... and drinking.. and drinking.. :D

    ON a serious note, I would not have minded seeing the non-touristy parts of Haiti.. Unfortunately, that wasn't an option..

    RD,

    So to whom am I giving assent when I'm silent? You or the commentor who disagreed with you (or that you disagreed with)?

    Shr0edingers Cat... :D

    JL,

    Trump vs. El Chapo - who wins?

    Obama vs. Idi Amin - who wins??

    Depends on the category... :D

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Shr0edingers Cat

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Whoaaaa.... Auto Correct!!! :D

    I wrote Shr -0- edingers Cat.. The system replaced the 0 with an o...

    Something new, CW??? :D

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hmmmm

    Looks like the ZERO (0) is universally replaced with the (o)...

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama vs. Idi Amin - who wins??

    Depends on the category... :D

    Or, more accurately.. The criteria....

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

  43. [43] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    M-37

    Mighty is the Argle Bargle in this one.... :D

    That seems to be a criteria cherry picked to support the position you hold..

    Sorry it is not cherry season, so none were picked....

    The criterion used is one that allows for a true apples to apples comparison....in other words both in office and both having the same number of voting opportunities... but since you have never really been into that sort of thing here is the unvarnished apples to oranges.

    Sanders: Jan 2007 to Dec 2015, 2835 voting opportunities 102 of which were missed or percentage wise 3.6 percent of voting opportunities missed.

    Rubio: Jan 2011 to Dec 2015, 1482 voting opportunities 197 of which were missed or again percentage wise 13.3 percent of voting opportunities missed.

    Convenient that, based on the cherry picked criteria, the Democrat is OK, but the Republican is bad... :D

    Not really, I find it "bad" in general, using my original comparison criteria I find it a bit odious that once the " season of pandering " began his job performance dropped to 70 percent from a high of 86.7 percent and has remained that way thus far into the campaign season. Sanders on the other hand has held at a steady missed vote curve and is kind of in the middle of the pack missed vote wise so to speak.

    Rubio has missed votes that are of ideological import to his political world view and issues he is campaigning on. Sanders has not missed those important votes.

    Rubio has missed important votes to ensure the operation of the government and important votes for items in his committees....Sanders again has not.

    I will at this point mention that i freely give passes to both for missed votes on bills on non consequence...I.E. "declaring February the year before an election cycle national political pandering month" or " the resolution to require obfuscation in political debates act " .... of which both have done and is counted against their total missed vote tally.

    Funny how that always works out that way, eh??

    In your world view you might perceive that is how it works...poor poor republicans always getting picked on...:D

    In the initial BHO run for office I was a huge proponent of him resigning his seat, precisely because of the fact he was not doing the job he was elected to do which is to read legislation and vote on it on behalf of the people who elected him and to press for the interests of his constituency....(or... at least that is how it is supposed to be, but lets face it they really just need to make sure they are voting on the bills that their corporate interest block pays them off to vote on, screw the rest of us).

    For me R or D does not matter ( I am an equal opportunity bigot....I hate all politicians equally) it really is as simple as if you are not doing your day job while running for higher office GTFO and let someone who has the desire to actively do the job take your place.

    If Bernie starts to falter in his job performance I will be right there to suggest it is time for him to pick one or the other....

  44. [44] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    M-

    ON a serious note, I would not have minded seeing the non-touristy parts of Haiti.. Unfortunately, that wasn't an option..

    I was in the very non-touristy parts a few months ago, if you want to experience a society devoid of a middle class, high corruption, and virtually no infrastructure it is THE place to go for that close to home that is not an active war zone.

    If you do get the opportunity, make sure you have a battery of Cipro, and Azithro, body armor that fits Medium weight or better, lots of money for bribes and payoffs, local security, and a gun (mainland HND is the only other place I carry... albeit illegally).

    Don't get me wrong there are some wonderful humans in Haiti, it is just a hard scrabble as is to be expected when you have to fight for everything....when you only get nothing.

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sanders: Jan 2007 to Dec 2015, 2835 voting opportunities 102 of which were missed or percentage wise 3.6 percent of voting opportunities missed.

    Rubio: Jan 2011 to Dec 2015, 1482 voting opportunities 197 of which were missed or again percentage wise 13.3 percent of voting opportunities missed.

    Those stats are meaningless without knowing WHAT votes were missed..

    For example...

    All of Rubio's votes that were missed had to do with naming post offices and such..

    All of Sander's votes that were missed had to do with civil liberties, declarations of war, domestic surveillance and patriot act additions..

    You see my point?? :D

    Rubio has missed votes that are of ideological import to his political world view and issues he is campaigning on. Sanders has not missed those important votes.

    Rubio has missed important votes to ensure the operation of the government and important votes for items in his committees....Sanders again has not.

    Apparently you do... :D

    I stand corrected...

    So, basically, it's a numbers game. Missing SOME votes is OK.. Missing a LOT of votes... Not so much..

    I tend to be more of a black and white guy.. A senator is either doing his job or running for POTUS... Can't do both effectively..

    In your world view you might perceive that is how it works...poor poor republicans always getting picked on...:D

    I don't give a rip about Republicans..

    MY beef is that Democrats ALWAYS {sic} get a pass for the exact same transgressions that Republicans are getting "picked on"...

    For me R or D does not matter ( I am an equal opportunity bigot....I hate all politicians equally)

    That's my line!!! :D

    But hay, I'll take you at your word... It would come easier, though, if you could point to anytime you took Democrats to task as equally as you take Rubio to task... :D But I accept your word, regardless...

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    I was in the very non-touristy parts a few months ago, if you want to experience a society devoid of a middle class, high corruption, and virtually no infrastructure it is THE place to go for that close to home that is not an active war zone.

    I have seen my fair share of shitholes, albeit not this particular one...

    While it is patently obvious that places such as these bear witness to the depths of human depravity, you also (if you are lucky) see the heights of human kindness and compassion...

    If you do get the opportunity, make sure you have a battery of Cipro, and Azithro, body armor that fits Medium weight or better, lots of money for bribes and payoffs, local security, and a gun (mainland HND is the only other place I carry... albeit illegally).

    Tempted to explore how you feel about the Left Wingery and gun control, but my dinner is ready.. :D

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Turning to other news..

    Record numbers of sexual assaults by Syrian refugees are being committed in various European countries where record numbers of refugees have been accepted...

    If I were inclined to spin things, I could say that those who advocate the welcoming of these refugees are committed to a....

    .....wait for it....

    WAR ON WOMEN.....

    Good thing I am not prone to "spin", eh? :D

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Obama vs. Idi Amin - who wins??

    Depends on the category... :D

    Or, more accurately.. The criteria....

    well, Idi amin wins at being dead, wins at being a dictator, wins at being born in africa.

    IMHO, Trump vs. El Chapo is a much more interesting contest.

    JL

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    IMHO, Trump vs. El Chapo is a much more interesting contest.

    Aber naturlich... :D

    Personally, I think El Chumpo has more in common with Obama than with Trump..

    Both lord over the common people and believe that the rule of law doesn't apply to them...

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    Since yer here...

    EXCLUSIVE: Textbook sales leader says national Common Core education standards are 'all about the money' as teacher insists bureaucrats created a 'new f**king system that f**king sucks to sell more books'
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3394331/Textbook-sales-leader-says-national-Common-Core-education-standards-money.html#ixzz3x2sQLXLx

    Comments?? :D

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @michale [50],

    i agree.

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    I thought ya might.. :D

    Kudos to O'Keefe for bring this out into the light..

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ooooo TheStig??? :D

    Trump New Favorite to Take Republican Nomination, Betfair Says
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-13/trump-new-favorite-to-take-republican-nomination-betfair-says

    :D

    Michale

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