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Friday Talking Points [382] -- The Dog That Didn't Bark At The GOP Debate

[ Posted Friday, March 11th, 2016 – 17:58 PST ]

Another week of presidential primary season has slouched by, which means we personally have been watching way too many debates and staying up way too late watching election results come in, once again. Well, actually, that last one was really just a taunt, since living on the Left Coast means we don't have to stay up nearly as late to find out what happened in Hawai'i as everyone to our east. Heh. Every once in a while, being three hours behind works to our advantage!

We had two Democratic debates and one Republican debate last week. The GOP one was shocking -- because nobody said anything shocking! Yes, that's truly how far the Republicans have sunk -- to the Sherlockian level of the dog not snarling in the night being the big news. When "nobody called anyone a playground name" or "no penis-measuring contest took place" are valid headlines the next day, perhaps all the other debates are at fault? As a snarky Washington Post debate wrapup put it: "it is never a good sign when the chairman of the Republican National Committee has to go out before a debate and assure voters everything is going to be just fine, no need to worry, the situation is under control, please move along, nothing to see here."

What was really bizarre about the polite debate which followed is that it was truly the absolute last chance for two of the candidates on the stage. Now, John Kasich has been attempting to run a positive campaign all along, so it was in character for him to refrain from attacks, but Marco Rubio seemed to relish being a (yappy little) attack dog in previous debates. Who knows, perhaps the rumors of a non-aggression pact between Cruz and Rubio are true? This election cycle, anything could happen, that's for sure. Rubio is openly urging his supporters in Ohio to just go ahead and vote for Kasich, and there were reports that a Cruz ad slated for Florida's airwaves has been yanked. So maybe some wheeling and dealing is taking place behind the scenes. It probably won't work, because it falls into the category of "too little, too late" -- where the entire Republican establishment has set up camp, it should be noted.

Donald Trump picked up three states in Tuesday's voting, putting him even closer to victory, so he didn't feel the need to attack anyone. He's up in all the polling for next Tuesday's gaggle of states, as well. We really hate to agree with The Donald on anything, but he is quite right when he says that if he wins Florida next week, then it's over -- and if he wins Florida and Ohio, then it's really over.

Carly Fiorina jumped on the "Stop Trump!" bandwagon this week, throwing her non-existent base of voters to Ted Cruz. Ben Carson, this morning, answered back and endorsed Trump. Incidents of violence seem to be increasing at Trump rallies, so hopefully having Ben Carson introduce him will calm everyone down a bit (if not put them to sleep).

In non-presidential GOP campaign news, the Republican group which is in charge of winning Senate elections sent out a tweet attacking Tammy Duckworth, who is challenging the vulnerable Republican Mark Kirk in Illinois. It read: "Tammy Duckworth has a sad record of not standing up for our veterans."

There's just one teensy problem with this. Tammy Duckworth actually is a veteran -- one who lost both her legs in combat. Get it? She doesn't "stand up" for vets? Stay classy, National Republican Senatorial Committee! Way to support veterans!

In related news, the respected Stu Rothenberg sent out a warning this week under the headline: "Democratic Senate Takeover Probable, If Cruz Or Trump Nominee."

In other bright news for Democrats, Michael Bloomberg officially announced he will not be making a third-party bid for the presidency. Bloomberg always said he wouldn't run if either he thought he had no chance or if he thought Hillary Clinton would beat Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination. He gave the former reason when he declined to run this week, but we wonder if the latter reason might have been the real one. Either way, a Bloomberg run would have likely hurt Democrats more than Republicans, so it's a relief that he'll be sitting this one out.

Democrats held two of their own presidential debates last week, but the biggest bone of contention from either of them was the fact that apparently some people went bonkers trying to figure out what color suit Bernie Sanders was wearing. Bernie otherwise had a good week, which we'll get to in a moment.

President Obama hit a milestone this week that he hasn't seen since the summer of 2013, right after he began his second term. His poll numbers are now "above water" once again -- more people approve of the job he's doing than disapprove. Again, this is the first time it has happened in almost three years, so it's worth noting (we scooped everyone else this week, noticing the milestone about a day before the rest of the punditocracy, we hasten to point out in a spasm of journalistic self-congratulation). Perhaps Obama's improving poll numbers have something to do with the public considering the likely Republican nominee to replace him? Gee, just a thought....

The Senate (of all places) actually did something good this week as well -- they passed a bill almost unanimously (94-1) to move the federal government away from an incarceration mode towards a health care mode on the opioid crisis. The War On (Some) Drugs may finally be collapsing of its own weight, folks -- this is good news indeed, and is fitting in the same week that saw the death of Nancy "Just Say No!" Reagan.

And finally, the Supreme Court gave gay rights a big boost this week, when it unanimously overturned a state decision that denied the rights of gay parents to adopt children. That's a pretty good way to end out weekly wrapup.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

There was one impressive legislative effort last week which, while it ultimately failed, may have at least extracted a political price from Republicans. The state senate was voting on another one of those "we won't punish you if you discriminate against gay folks" laws, when Democrats launched the longest (40 hours!) filibuster in Missouri's history. An Honorable Mention is due, at the very least, for such dedication and stamina.

But the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week last week was Senator Bernie Sanders, for his stunning upset in the Michigan primary. Nobody saw this one coming, as Sanders beat all expectations in defiance of polling which had put Clinton as much as 20 points ahead. It was obvious very early on, Tuesday night, that Sanders was doing a lot better than expected. Hour after hour, the Michigan map showed Sanders winning upwards of 90 percent of all counties. When the race was finally called, it stunned the political establishment -- including one influential wonk (who shall remain nameless, out of mercy) who had predicted a "better than 99 percent chance" that Hillary would win the state.

The same people who got it wrong immediately offered up their explanations for what was "really going on" in Michigan. What is really going on is Bernie's campaign is a lot more mainstream than the media likes to admit. Also what is really going on is the sense of betrayal from many Democrats over the issue of trade. For the past 25 years, the one issue Democratic politicians felt free to reliably support what used to be a Republican position was on "free trade." From NAFTA to the TPP, there are a lot of Democratic fingerprints all over America's trade policies.

Some Democrats have figured this out. Some haven't. Heck, some Republicans have even figured it out -- Donald Trump is also quite critical of all of these trade deals. The entire contest for president might just boil down to the "Rust Belt" being the deciding states in November, which is something which all Democrats need to face, and soon.

Bernie's win in Michigan pointed this out in a way nothing else yet has. For both his victory and for driving this point home, Bernie Sanders is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

We do need to add a codicil here, because we almost always see comments accusing this column of favoritism in the Democratic race. While we may express opinions about the race, we think we're pretty fair in our awards section. Hillary Clinton won the MIDOTW two weeks ago, and if the polls are right she is a prime candidate to win next week's, as well. Bernie had a good week, Hillary fans. We calls 'em as we sees 'em, in other words.

[Congratulate Senator Bernie Sanders on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Speaking of Hillary Clinton... (dodges flaming comments hurled in anger).

Wait, wait, let us finish! Speaking of Hillary Clinton, she made a gaffe last week but quickly recovered, meaning she only really deserves a (Dis-)Honorable Mention.

Now, we understand the political impulse which goes back centuries (indeed, the original is often quoted in Latin: De mortuis nil nisi bonum) not to say mean things about a member of the opposition on the occasion of their death, but even so it's best to stick to the facts when offering up such lip service to the dead.

Nancy Reagan died this week. That's all we're going to say about that, because we believe more in the "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything" school of thought. Although we certainly can't pretend we don't applaud when others point out the true legacy of the recently-departed.

Hillary Clinton was forced to do both. She began by -- again, this is standard stuff after a political death -- trying to say something nice about Nancy Reagan. Here is her statement:

It may be hard for your viewers to remember how difficult it was for people to talk about HIV/AIDS back in the 1980s. And because of both President and Mrs. Reagan -- in particular Mrs. Reagan -- we started a national conversation. When before nobody would talk about it, nobody wanted to do anything about it, and that too is something that I really appreciate with her very effective, low key advocacy but it penetrated the public conscious and people began to say, "Hey, we have to do something about this too."

Unfortunately for Clinton, this is precisely the opposite of the actual history. Nancy and Ron were most decidedly not pioneers in any way when it came to AIDS, unless you count "pioneers in sticking our heads in the sand" over the issue. Clinton, to her credit, quickly acknowledged this reality, and tweeted:

While the Reagans were strong advocates for stem cell research and finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease, I misspoke about their record on HIV and AIDS. For that, I'm sorry.

That apology seemed honest enough, and should be accepted. But Clinton's mixup doesn't rise to the level of the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award. In fact, no other Democrat truly disappointed us last week, meaning we're not going to hand out the MDDOTW at all.

Instead, we've got a followup from the MDDOTW award we gave out last week, which went to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, for crossing the aisle and supporting Republican efforts to gut federal regulations on payday lenders in another effort to kneecap the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

It seems we're not the only ones upset at D.W.S. (as some people affectionately call her). A group called the "National Peoples Action" held a protest outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters (Debbie chairs the organization, of course) and called on her to resign over the issue. Protesters created a truly hilarious movie poster for the occasion, starring Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the upcoming Sharknado 4.

So while we can't say D.W.S. deserves a second MDDOTW in a row, we did want to provide that link, since the movie poster is pretty funny. It's a pretty easy-to-understand message: Democrats shouldn't be defending loan sharks. Period.

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 382 (3/11/16)

President Obama had Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over for dinner this week, and he framed two very important issues during the joint press conference they held. Obama made these points at length, and we think they're important enough to quote in full. So instead of seven talking points this week, we have two extended examples of how Democrats should correctly frame important issues from President Obama.

There were lighthearted moments to the visit, of course, and even a wonky tidbit that really should merit whatever aide dug it up a fat bonus or raise. Obama opened his dinner toast with:

So tonight, history comes full circle. Forty-four years ago, President Nixon made a visit to Ottawa. And he was hosted by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. At a private dinner, there was a toast. "Tonight, we'll dispense with the formalities," President Nixon said, "I'd like to propose a toast to the future Prime Minister of Canada -- Justin Pierre Trudeau." He was four months [old] at the time.

Obama followed this up with a Justin Bieber joke, just for fun:

All these years later, the prediction has come to pass. Mr. Prime Minister, after today, I think it's fair to say that, here in America, you may well be the most popular Canadian named Justin.

Trudeau later made his own Bieber joke, which bordered on life imitating art -- specifically, the South Park movie (Canadian Minister: "Now, now, the Canadian Government has apologized for Bryan Adams on several occasions!"). Think that's overstating it? You decide:

And one of our most popular exports to the United States, and I need you to stop teasing him, has been another Justin. Now, no, no, that kid has had a great year. And of course, leave it to a Canadian to reach international fame with a song called "Sorry."

We have to say, Trudeau's quip sounded funnier than Obama's. But Obama did get people laughing when he spoke of the current state of American politics:

This visit has been a celebration of the values that we share. We, as a peoples [sic], are committed to the principles of equality and opportunity -- the idea that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can make it if you try, no matter what the circumstances of your birth, in both of our countries. And we see this in our current presidential campaign. After all, where else could a boy born in Calgary grow up to run for President of the United States? Where else would we see a community like Cape Breton, Nova Scotia welcoming Americans if the election does not go their way? And to the great credit of their people, Canadians from British Columbia to New Brunswick have, so far, rejected the idea of building a wall to keep out your southern neighbors. We appreciate that. We can be unruly, I know.

But the jokes were all made at the dinner. During the press conference, more serious matters were discussed. While the questions (some in French) that Prime Minister Trudeau got asked all related to U.S.-Canadian relations, the questions President Obama got were broader. On two subjects in particular, Obama presented his case so well that we're running them as extended excerpts. Neither of these statements made much news, because both subjects look towards the future -- towards the Republican presidential nominee and towards the upcoming fight over a Supreme Court nomination. We should mention that all text is from the White House's official transcript, with only crowd reactions ("Applause" or "Laughter") edited out.

The Supreme Court question came first. Obama answered by reminding everyone of a basic fact: the Constitution lays out the process, and anyone who would delay that process is the one interjecting politics into the fight. Even Lindsey Graham admits that to do so would set a new precedent, because it has never happened before. The American people are not supposed to have a direct say in judicial nominations -- that's the way the Founders laid it out. Deal with it.

With respect to the Supreme Court, I've told you, Julie, what I'm looking for. I want somebody who is an outstanding jurist, who has impeccable legal credentials, who, by historical standards, would not even be questioned as qualified for the Court.

Obviously, it's somebody who I want to make sure follows the Constitution; cares about things like stare decisis and precedent; understands the necessary humility of a judge at any level in looking at statute, looking at what the elected branches are doing; is not viewing themselves as making law or, in some ways, standing above elected representatives, but also recognizes the critical role that that branch plays in protecting minorities to ensuring that the political system doesn't skew in ways that systematically leave people out, that are mindful of the traditions that are embedded in our cherished documents like the Bill of Rights.

So in terms of who I select, I'm going to do my job. And then my expectation is going to be that the Senate do its job as outlined in the Constitution. I've said this before -- I find it ironic that people who are constantly citing the Constitution would suddenly read into the Constitution requirements, norms, procedures that are nowhere to be found there. That's precisely the kinds of interpretive approach that they have vehemently rejected and that they accused liberals of engaging in all the time. Well, you can't abandon your principles -- if, in fact, these are your principles -- simply for the sake of political expedience.

So we'll see how they operate once a nomination has been made. I'm confident that whoever I select, among fair-minded people will be viewed as an eminently qualified person. And it will then be up to Senate Republicans to decide whether they want to follow the Constitution and abide by the rules of fair play that ultimately undergird our democracy and that ensure that the Supreme Court does not just become one more extension of our polarized politics.

If and when that happens, our system is not going to work. It's not that the Supreme Court or any of our courts can be hermetically sealed from the rest of our society. These are human beings. They read the newspapers; they've got opinions; they've got values. But our goal is to have them be objective and be able to execute their duties in a way that gives everybody -- both the winning party and the losing party in any given case -- a sense that they were treated fairly. That depends on a process of selecting and confirming judges that is perceived as fair. And my hope is, is that cooler heads will prevail and people will reflect on what's at stake here once a nomination is made.

This is a solid shot across the bow of Republicans in the Senate who think that they will be able to ignore their duties just because it's an election year and then pay no political price for doing so. Obama welcomes this fight, and all Democrats (especially those running for vulnerable Republican Senate seats) should welcome it as well.

The second question was about the presidential campaign, and the bizarre conspiracy theory that Barack Obama is somehow responsible for Donald Trump winning Republican primaries. Even back in the days when all Democrats were blaming George W. Bush for everything, we don't recall the subject of Barack Obama's rise in the polls as being somehow Bush's fault, by way of comparison. The notion is downright delusional, in fact, but that didn't stop the question from being asked:

Some of your critics have pointed to the incredibly polarized political climate under your administration as contributing to the rise of someone as provocative as Donald Trump. Do you feel responsibility for that, or even some of the protectionist rhetoric from some Democratic candidates?

President Obama's answer made some news (more than his Supreme Court answer), but most organizations edited it down to a few sentences or a soundbite. This is a shame, because Obama's answer was a pretty sweeping indictment of the Republican Party's behavior during his entire term in office, and as such, deserves to be read in full. Obama not only smacks down what needed to be smacked down, he points out that Republicans are the ones who fed this monster, and that even if Trump weren't running, the GOP platform would remain essentially the same.

So here is President Obama's answer in full. It's long, but it's definitely worth the time it takes to read.

With respect to your first question, I've actually heard this argument a number of times. I have been blamed by Republicans for a lot of things, but being blamed for their primaries and who they're selecting for their party is novel.

Look, I've said -- I said it at the State of the Union that one of my regrets is the degree to which polarization and the nasty tone of our politics has accelerated rather than waned over the course of the last seven and a half years. And I do all kinds of soul-searching in terms of are there things I can do better to make sure that we're unifying the country. But I also have to say, Margaret, that, objectively, it's fair to say that the Republican political elites and many of the information outlets -- social media, news outlets, talk radio, television stations -- have been feeding the Republican base for the last seven years a notion that everything I do is to be opposed; that cooperation or compromise somehow is a betrayal; that maximalist, absolutist positions on issues are politically advantageous; that there is a "them" out there and an "us," and "them" are the folks who are causing whatever problems you're experiencing.

And the tone of that politics -- which I certainly have not contributed to -- I don't think that I was the one to prompt questions about my birth certificate, for example. I don't remember saying, hey, why don't you ask me about that. Or why don't you question whether I'm American, or whether I'm loyal, or whether I have America's best interests at heart -- those aren't things that were prompted by any actions of mine.

And so what you're seeing within the Republican Party is, to some degree, all those efforts over a course of time creating an environment where somebody like a Donald Trump can thrive. He's just doing more of what has been done for the last seven and a half years.

And, in fact, in terms of his positions on a whole range of issues, they're not very different from any of the other candidates. It's not as if there's a massive difference between Mr. Trump's position on immigration and Mr. Cruz's position on immigration. Mr. Trump might just be more provocative in terms of how he says it, but the actual positions aren't that different. For that matter, they're not that different from Mr. Rubio's positions on immigration -- despite the fact that both Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio, their own families are the products of immigration and the openness of our society.

So I am more than happy to own the responsibility as President, as the only office holder who was elected by all the American people, to continue to make efforts to bridge divides and help us find common ground. As I've said before, I think that common ground exists all across the country. You see it every day in how people work together and live together and play together and raise their kids together. But what I'm not going to do is to validate some notion that the Republican crack-up that's been taking place is a consequence of actions that I've taken.

And what's interesting -- I'll just say one last thing about this -- there are thoughtful conservatives who are troubled by this, who are troubled by the direction of their party. I think it is very important for them to reflect on what it is about the politics they've engaged in that allows the circus we've been seeing to transpire, and to do some introspection.

Because, ultimately, I want an effective Republican Party. I think this country has to have responsible parties that can govern, and that are prepared to lead and govern whether they're in the minority or in the majority, whether they occupy the White House or they do not. And I've often said I want a serious, effective Republican Party -- in part to challenge some of the blind spots and dogmas in the Democratic Party. I think that's useful.

You mentioned trade, for example. I believe that there have been bad trade deals on occasion in the past that oftentimes they have served the interests of global corporations but not necessarily served the interests of workers. But I'm absolutely persuaded that we cannot put up walls around a global economy, and that to sell a bill of goods to the American people and workers that if you just shut down trade somehow your problems will go away prevents us from actually solving some of these big problems about inequality and the decline of our manufacturing base and so on.

And that's an area where some traditional conservatives and economists have had some important insights. But they can't be presented effectively if it's combined with no interest in helping workers, and busting up unions, and providing tax breaks to the wealthy rather than providing help to folks who are working hard and trying to pay the bills. And it certainly is not going to be heard if it's coupled with vehement, anti-immigrant sentiment that betrays our values.

Okay?

Okay, Mister President. That was indeed pretty downright okay.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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

 

147 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [382] -- The Dog That Didn't Bark At The GOP Debate”

  1. [1] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    I think Obama deserves the MDDOTW for coming out in support of the FBI vs Apple and using the "think the children" argument to boot. Considering how keystone coppish the FBI has been lately, I would not trust them with any keys at this point, encryption or otherwise...

  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    This Trump rally debacle is disturbing, although, per Josh Marshall/TPM -- per CNN -- the folks outside the stadium were both peaceful and very diverse. Many, many people were moved to come out and protest Trump. People inside the stadium -- some of them -- were more rowdy.

    Trump coming to Cleveland tomorrow - Ick, Ick, Ick.

    I loved Obama's comments with one caveat: the repubs started being reprehensible long before his election. Things take time to build. The last seven years of horribleness stand on the shoulders of 15-20 years of laying the foundations. But otherwise, yep.

    Next week will be big. Hope Kasich loses here, but don't want Trump to win either. I'd take a Cruz win but it's presumably unlikely.

    Anecdotally: we walk our dog around the neighborhood every day, cross-crossing several blocks in different patterns. The other day I stopped to talk to a lady out raking her yard -- a middle-aged black woman -- a stranger -- and asked her if she was leaning Hillary or Bernie or anyone else or no one. She said Hillary, because she thinks Hillary is experienced, going back to having been married to a President, and will know how to handle the job. She said she likes Bernie but he's old and she's not sure he'll make it through the campaign season, but Hillary seems so energetic. I'm going to start asking random people just to get a feel from people who -- maybe -- aren't political junkies.

  3. [3] 
    neilm wrote:

    One of your best CW. Thanks.

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Interlude

    We interrupt this political discussion for some very sad musical news.

    Keith Emerson is dead. Long live Emerson, Lake, and Palmer!

    I say without a trace of irony (to neilm, in particular, above) that one of the finest of these Friday columns I've ever written was inspired by the suite of music known as "Karn Evil #9" by ELP. It was way back in 2009... FTP [85], in fact:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2009/07/10/friday-talking-points-85-roll-up-see-the-show/

    The lyrics were all from the album Brain Salad Surgery (with the cover art done by H.R. Giger, the same guy who designed the sets and the original monster in the Alien movie franchise, I might add).

    Anyone who lived throught the 70s (and listened to rock radio during the period) will recognize parts of this suite: "1st Impression, Part 2" in particular ("Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends...").

    I absolutely love ELP, partially because I loved all 70s-era keyboard-based bands (Kansas, ELP, Yes, etc.).

    Incidentally, this suite also produced the best viral video I've ever seen, a jazz ensemble high school band from Poteet, Texas (of all places) which covered the song with remarkable accuracy and pinache:

    Part 1 and Part 2.

    Watch those videos, and then be amazed that it took that many instruments to even get close to what only three guys could do, on stage. ELP was the ultimate power rock trio, in my opinion (sorry, Rush fans...).

    ELP will be remembered for lots of things. The song "Lucky Man" was probably their biggest hit, but they also wrote one of the most brutal Christmas songs ever to have been recorded ("I Believe In Father Christmas"):

    They said there'll be snow at Christmas,
    They said there'll be peace on Earth,
    But instead it just kept on raining,
    A veil of tears for the Virgin's birth.
    I remember one Christmas morning,
    A winter's light and a distant choir,
    And the peal of a bell and that Christmas-tree smell
    And their eyes full of tinsel and fire.

    They sold me a dream of Christmas,
    They sold me a silent night.
    And they told me a fairy story,
    'Til I believed in the Israelite.
    And I believed in Father Christmas,
    And I looked at the sky with excited eyes,
    'Til I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn,
    And I saw him in through his disguise.

    I wish you a hopeful Christmas,
    I wish you a brave new year.
    All anguish, pain and sadness
    Leave your heart and let your road be clear.
    They said there'll be snow at Christmas,
    They said there'll be peace on Earth,
    Hallelujah, Noel, be it Heaven or Hell,
    The Christmas you get you deserve.

    But ELP could be respectful of religion as well. They also recorded the ultimate version of "Jerusalem," which is a hymn from Britain. You think Americans get nationalistic at times? This song posits that Jesus spent his formative years in Great Britain... because, of course he would, right? No seriously, read the lyrics (written by William Blake) if you don't believe me. Poetic delusions aside, ELP nailed the song (was that a pun? Mea culpa maxima...) like no one else ever has.

    The reason it's such an awesome version is Keith Emerson on the keyboards.

    I will miss Keith Emerson. The best ELP show I ever saw was in Paris, in a tiny little dive of a venue. There was such a small crowd, I pushed right up to the edge of the stage and hung my elbows over it. Emerson was about six feet from my elbows. When they played "Lucky Man," the "woo WOOOOO woo WOOOO" keyboard part made it tough to breathe, because the sound shook my whole torso like a leaf. That's how close I was.

    The best part of the show was him taking an old Hammond organ and doing the "Jimi Hendrix destroys his guitar" bit -- except with an electric organ. He jumped up and down on it with his feet on the keyboard, he knocked it ass over teakettle, he dragged it around the stage and proceeded to beat it senseless. It was the greatest single keyboard solo I've ever seen in all my years (many) of watching rock shows (and that includes seeing Deep Purple and Yes, I might add).

    So I end with a verse from the irreverent "Benny The Bouncer," to give a proper sendoff to Keith Emerson -- the greatest rock showman ever to play the keyboards (high praise indeed, since I still think Rick Wakeman's a better musician):

    Well, they dragged him from the wreckage of the Palais in bits.
    They tried to stick together all the bits that would fit.
    But some of him was missing
    And part of him arrived too late,
    So now he works for Jesus
    As the bouncer at St. Peter's Gate.

    All I know is if I ever tried to crash St. Pete's gate, I would be keeping a sharp eye out for Keith Emerson guarding the door.

    Requiescat In Pace

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Never got to see ELP, but did really dig on them. We feel you CW.

  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Speak2 -

    "Ooo-ooo-ooo-ooh, what a lucky man... he was!
    [woo-WEEEEE-woo-WEEEEE-woo-WEEEEE-woo-WEEEEEEEEEEE!]
    Ooo-ooo-ooo-ooh, what a lucky man... he was!"

    :-)

    -CW

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Either way, a Bloomberg run would have likely hurt Democrats more than Republicans, so it's a relief that he'll be sitting this one out.

    Yea, Democrats surely dodged a bullet there...

    I won't even bother pointing out that, when I made that point that Bloomberg would hurt Dems more than the GOP, it was resoundingly denied...

    Oops.. I guess I just did.. :D

    This is a solid shot across the bow of Republicans in the Senate who think that they will be able to ignore their duties just because it's an election year and then pay no political price for doing so. Obama welcomes this fight, and all Democrats (especially those running for vulnerable Republican Senate seats) should welcome it as well.

    Two words... "Biden Rule"...

    'Nuff said.. :D

    Okay, Mister President. That was indeed pretty downright okay.

    No one ever said that Obama can't talk the talk...

    The problem with Obama is that is ALL he can do...

    He is simply incapable of walking the walk...

    If Obama and the Democrats hadn't so frak'ed up this country so that it is nearly unrecognizable to Americans, then we wouldn't have Donald Trump doing so fantastically well...

    Bush beget Obama and Obama beget Trump...

    It's THAT simple...

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    I should also mention the other two times I saw ELP were also amazing (in the US, nowhere near the same access to the stage, I might add), for the ELP version of the song "21st Century Schizoid Man," originally a King Crimson song -- when Greg Lake was a member of that band. Now, I've seen a modern version of King Crimson perform this song (at the Greek Theater in Berkeley), but the live ELP version was even more mind-bending.

    This is the only song I've ever seen performed (sampled?) by Kanye West that I actually liked, I should mention ("No one man should have all that power!") because it sampled the King Crimson original.

    Seems we're approaching the dystopia from the original lyrics:

    Blood rack, barbed wire
    Politician's funeral pyre
    Innocence raped with napalm fire
    21st century schizoid man

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think Obama deserves the MDDOTW for coming out in support of the FBI vs Apple and using the "think the children" argument to boot.

    Having said the above, when Obama IS right, then he's right... And he is right about this one..

    Why do you want to protect the rights of criminals and terrorists to have secure communications??

    Considering how keystone coppish the FBI has been lately,

    For example......

    I would not trust them with any keys at this point, encryption or otherwise...

    If this was an encryption issue, then you MIGHT have a valid point of contention..

    But this issue has absolutely NOTHING to do with encryption...

    So, you don't....

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:
  11. [11] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    CW [4] -

    So many favorite people have died this year: David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey -- and now Keith Emerson. Thank you for sharing your memories with us. It was a wonderful, from-the-heart tribute to Keith and the remarkable three-man band of Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

    I also wrote a tribute piece this week, for a friend who died unexpectedly last Saturday. She built an entire non-political community at Daily Kos with daily stories that celebrated her passion for animals of all shapes and sizes. Tricia had gently touched the lives of many hundreds of people. She left quite a legacy which we are now working to maintain. It takes five of us to do what she managed to do on her own every week.

  12. [12] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Oh yeah. Greg Lake's voice was incredible. His time with King Crimson was some of their best.

    You did reference one of only two or three Christmas-themed songs that I like, but it wasn't Emerson that made it special for me. Lake's voice was haunting on that one. Enough to make it his greatest tune (no knock on anything else he did, of course).

  13. [13] 
    neilm wrote:

    I was a huge ELP fan as a kid - and Works 1 achieved what seemed impossible at the time - my mother actually liked one of my albums and asked me to play it!

  14. [14] 
    dsws wrote:

    It seems we're not the only ones upset at D.W.S. (as some people affectionately call her).

    Hey! If you want to have a double last name and go by your initials, you need to use your middle initial too.

    While we're on the subject, anyone want to help me file a trademark suit against DSW Shoes?

  15. [15] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    George Soros and Bill Ayers and their anarchic mob of chanting people with signage must be stopped. It's not fair for the TrumpThugs to be deprived of their fun and we need to figure out what's going on. I mean I've never sen anything like this. Who ever heard of a Klan rally getting disrupted by protesters? We need to expand some laws, OK? Make America White Again!

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Free speech is for me, but not for thee."
    -Left Wingery

    :^/

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    'VOTE 4 TRUMP, YOU GET JUMPED'...
    -Left Wingery

    Ahhh yes... The .... "tolerance" of the Left Wingery... Professor "I need some muscle here!!" Click style tolerance...

    How inspiring...

    Remind me again how all the violence and intolerance comes from the Right Wingery?? I seem to have forgotten what with all the facts to the contrary....

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Remind me again about which presidential candidate is always talking about punching people in the face?

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Remind me again about which presidential candidate is always talking about punching people in the face?

    It's Trump...

    And ya'all regularly call Trump to account for it...

    But here's the thing...

    Ya'all DON'T say boo when the LEFT Wingery uses and advocates violence to further their ends...

    So, that's why I can't get excited when ya'all slam Trump for it.. Because I know ya'all approve of it just fine when some loud-mouthed Left Winger professor calls for "muscle" to remove someone they don't like...

    In other words, no one here has any moral foundation from which to talk about Trump in this regard...

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    In other words, no one here has any moral foundation from which to talk about Trump in this regard...

    Thanks, Michale ... now I think I finally know how you really feel ... adios amigo.

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ELP was the ultimate power rock trio, in my opinion (sorry, Rush fans...).

    No need to apologize ... that was good music, all around ... no need to compare, the way I look at it.

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thanks, Michale ... now I think I finally know how you really feel ... adios amigo.

    You are surprised?? I have always felt that way...

    The Left Wingery in general and Weigantians in particular have always castigated the Right Wingery and given the Left Wingery a pass for the exact same actions...

    This really isn't anything new...

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I catch on, eventually ... thankfully, I have another blog to go to where everyone has a moral foundation and no one questions the motivations or moral foundations of anyone else ...

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am not questioning anyone's motivations... The motivations are crystal clear... Pushing a Left Wing agenda...

    I simply do what I always do and point out the inconsistency..

    It's something I have done since day one... I don't get why, all of a sudden, it's an issue...

    Did I miss something??? Did I fall into an alternate reality where I am NOT an arrogant prick???

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I may have just reached a limit for the amount of nonsense I can put up with ... or, maybe I just need another break from it all ... probably the latter. :)

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Fair enough...

    I guess I need to come with a warning label...

    ONLY IN SMALL DOSES

    :D

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Why do you want to protect the rights of criminals and terrorists to have secure communications??

    How much of the constitution do you have to trample on before your false sense of security is sated?

    But this issue has absolutely NOTHING to do with encryption...

    So, you don't....

    You mean other than the entire case being about the FBI wanting to break the encryption on an iphone?

    But yes, it's an unconstitutional power grab by the FBI and justice department.

    Are you proud of your new tactic of dismissing arguments out of hand when you can't come up with a coherent counter yourself?

    I simply do what I always do and point out the inconsistency..

    While completely ignoring your own inconsistencies...

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Donald Trump has to be loud and clear and tell his supporter that violence at rallies is not what America is about,"
    -Bernie Sanders

    Ironically enough, it was SANDER'S supporters who was instigating the violence...

    This is what I am talking about... If someone is against violence then they should be against ALL violence...

    Not just the violence that opposes their partisan agenda..

    Trump just got jumped on stage during one of his rallies and Secret Service had to intervene...

    Will anyone on the Left condemn that???

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    How much of the constitution do you have to trample on before your false sense of security is sated?

    The OWNER of the phone has authorized the action... No constitutional issues are present...

    You mean other than the entire case being about the FBI wanting to break the encryption on an iphone?

    The FBI is not asking for assistance in breaking the encryption of the phone.. With the assets of the NSA, the FBI can easily break the encryption...

    So, encryption is not the issue...

    The phone has been booby-trapped with a "bomb" that will destroy the phone's contents.. THAT is what the courts has ordered Apple to assist in...

    This is no different than LEOs "forcing" a homeowner to disable traps or bombs in his home... Are there 4th amendment protections in play with that???

    No encryption issues are present in this case..

    NONE... ZERO.... ZILCH.... NADA....

    While completely ignoring your own inconsistencies...

    You make sure I never do that.. :D

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I guess I need to come with a warning label...

    I concur.

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    I guess I need to come with a warning label...

    I concur.

    You see!!?? We agree!!! :D

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    The OWNER of the phone has authorized the action... No constitutional issues are present...

    Apple has to write and side load a modified operating system purely because the owner asks?

    The FBI is not asking for assistance in breaking the encryption of the phone.. With the assets of the NSA, the FBI can easily break the encryption...

    So, encryption is not the issue...

    That is true. There are a couple of methods that will probably work that the NSA most likely can do currently to unlock the phone now without Apples help. There is some risk of destroying the phone in at least one of the methods.

    The phone has been booby-trapped with a "bomb" that will destroy the phone's contents.. THAT is what the courts has ordered Apple to assist in...

    The phone might have the erase security feature enabled. That is an unknown...

    No encryption issues are present in this case..

    NONE... ZERO.... ZILCH.... NADA....

    Then why does the FBI need Apple's help? They can write their own OS and sign the code to side load it if encryption is not an issue...

    What's at stake here is the use of the All Writs Act to compel companies to do all sorts of things. I have heard arguments that it violates the first, fifth and fourteenth amendment in apples case, and Apple is likely to argue all three.

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apple has to write and side load a modified operating system purely because the owner asks?

    No... Because the court orders....

    What part of LEGAL WARRANT do you not understand???

    The fact that the owner authorizes the action negate ANY constitutional claims you may want to make..

    The phone might have the erase security feature enabled. That is an unknown...

    It DOES have the erase security feature enabled.. This is why the courts have ordered Apple to diffuse the "bomb"...

    Then why does the FBI need Apple's help? They can write their own OS and sign the code to side load it if encryption is not an issue...

    See my "homeowner" example above...

    The encryption is not the issue... The FBI can easily break the encryption...

    It's the "explosive" that has to be diffused...

    What's at stake here is the use of the All Writs Act to compel companies to do all sorts of things.

    Yea... It's called a WARRANT... Maybe you have heard of it...

    . I have heard arguments that it violates the first, fifth and fourteenth amendment in apples case, and Apple is likely to argue all three.

    Apple is likely to argue the MAN IN THE MOON argument..

    That has as much bearing on the issue as the ones you mention...

    I have already shot down ANY 4th Amendment issues, as the OWNER has consented to the search...

    By all means.. Make 1st and 14th arguments.. :D

    I am all ears... :D

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's face reality...

    Apple is risking another terrorist attack strictly and completely for marketing purposes...

    If it was the Chinese government telling Apple to jump, Apple would say, "HOW HIGH??" on the way up...

    This isn't about principle... It's about Marketing... Apple will eventually give in and do as the courts have ordered...

    The only question is will Apple do it on their own BEFORE another terrorist attack???

    Or after dozens or even hundreds of innocent Americans have been killed...

    But make no mistake. Apple WILL comply...

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    neilm wrote:

    Re Apple/FBI

    This is pretty simple. You can isolate the memory part of the phone and copy it with ease, then you get all the 10 chances you want. Anybody with a microprocessor engineering degree knows that. The NSA can, and probably has, read the contents of the phone already and acted on it.

    But it is much better to have the FBI in the dark because:

    1. They are pushing Apple to have a 'back door', which the NSA probably know Apple will not put in, thus ...
    2. People will think their iPhones are safe for communications, so ...
    3. The NSA will have easy access to the information they need.

    So keep the battle going, the louder the better, but don't think that this is about one phone.

  36. [36] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    What part of LEGAL WARRANT do you not understand???

    What part of abuse of All Writs Act do you not understand?

    It DOES have the erase security feature enabled.. This is why the courts have ordered Apple to diffuse the "bomb"...

    Please back this up. I have read much on this issue and have yet to anything definitive. It's certainly what the FBI fears, but can not be confirmed unless it happens or the phone is unlocked.

    See my "homeowner" example above...

    Which has nothing to do with this point. You said:

    No encryption issues are present in this case..

    NONE... ZERO.... ZILCH.... NADA....

    But encryption has everything to do with it. Apple signs code with a cryptographic key. IF the code is unsigned, the phone won't load it. If there was no encryption, the FBI could side load the modified code and disable erase security feature themselves.

    Yea... It's called a WARRANT... Maybe you have heard of it...

    Uh...no. It's actually the All Writs Act. A warrant can't compel you to spend time and money developing something for the governments use.

    By all means.. Make 1st and 14th arguments.. :D

    So, you have no idea what you are talking about and have not read up on the story. Got it. If you are interested, google is your friend. And don't forget the 5th...

    Apple is risking another terrorist attack strictly and completely for marketing purposes...

    Bullshit. The FBI wants to use an emotionally charged case to bypass congress and get back doors put in to all kinds of software. There is almost no chance of anything useful on the phone. If there was a high chance, the NSA would have already unlocked it.

    Or after dozens or even hundreds of innocent Americans have been killed...

    Oh! The hysteria!

    But make no mistake. Apple WILL comply...

    Probably not. I think the courts will smack the FBI down in this case. They already have in the New York case. And in any event this will likely head to the supreme count before it is decided if the FBI keeps pursuing it.

  37. [37] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    *court*

  38. [38] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Whoops! Looks like I forgot to call a bunch of primaries...

    Clinton wins Northern Marianas, Cruz wins Guam. Those aren't predictions, they've already happened.

    Wyoming numbers are coming in, and Cruz seems to be handily winning.

    DC Republicans are also voting, but no numbers yet. Off the record (this won't count in my running totals, in other words, since my prediction isn't contained in a real blog post), I'll guess that Kasich wins, just for fun.

    There aren't many DC Republicans, but I could see them lean heavily towards the establishment. Rubio could take it, but I think people are so disappointed with him right now that they'll go to Kasich rather than vote for either Trump or Cruz.

    But then I could always be wrong...

    :-)

    -CW

  39. [39] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale [#28]


    Trump just got jumped on stage during one of his rallies and Secret Service had to intervene...

    Will anyone on the Left condemn that???

    Yes. It's wrong. If someone rushes a presidential candidate or physically attacks the supporters of a candidate, or protesters of that candidate (really, anyone except in self-defense), it's wrong.

    Tearing up signs, defacing property, deliberately trying to provoke one's opponent to violence: all wrong too. It's unacceptable.

    Whoever started it was wrong. Whoever responded in kind (excepting self-defense) was wrong. If someone put them up to it, they were wrong too.

    Say your peace, say it loudly if you must, but keep the peace.

    Shouldn't need to be stated.

  40. [40] 
    dsws wrote:

    There is legitimate use of force in defense of others, not just self-defense. It has to be pretty much the minimum necessary.

    Trump supporters have the right to express their opinions. Anti-Trump protesters have the right to express theirs, even if the Trump campaign decides the visuals in the media won't look good with that large a protest, and decides to cancel the candidate's appearance. The decision to cancel is on them as makes it.

    There are plenty of reputable sources with quotes where Trump incites violence against protesters. I am not aware of any statements by MoveOn (or anyone else in a meaningful position of leadership on the left) that condone violence against Trump supporters.

    It's ok to try to embarrass Trump supporters into not expressing the opinions they were planning to. It's not ok to try to intimidate them to the same effect.

  41. [41] 
    Paula wrote:

    While dog walking today asked a middle-aged black man who was working in his yard -- a stranger -- where he was leaning. He said he's torn between Hillary and Bernie and is still praying on it. We got off-topic and I didn't get to ask what his particular doubts/concerns were with either. Missed opportunity.

    Earlier we'd met with a client -- she is a gay woman in her early 60's and she told us she and her partner are quite seriously researching potential countries to move to if the Donald were to win the election. They are genuinely frightened.

  42. [42] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Well, looks like I was close. Rubio edged Kasich out by only 50 votes (out of over 2000 cast).

    DC Republicans are indeed pretty establishment, it seems...

    -CW

  43. [43] 
    Paula wrote:

    (42) Good. Rubio would be my favorite opponent of all.

  44. [44] 
    Paula wrote:

    But still unlikely.

  45. [45] 
    dsws wrote:

    I'm rooting for dissension among Republicans. A long primary season can be good for a party's chances: it gets a lot of the winning candidate's supporters actively involved, and keeps the candidate in the news. But that's on the assumption that it gets resolved satisfactorily in the end, through a process accepted as legitimate by the losing candidate's supporters. With three or more candidates having enough delegates to matter, that's not guaranteed.

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    1. They are pushing Apple to have a 'back door', which the NSA probably know Apple will not put in, thus ...

    Nice fear mongering..

    But the facts say different..

    The FBI wants Apple to create a custome OS for a single phone. Once Apple does this, Apple can keep or destroy whatever they create..

    How is that a "backdoor"??

    So keep the battle going, the louder the better, but don't think that this is about one phone.

    Until you actually have FACTS to support that claim...

    It's just about a single phone..

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    So, you have no idea what you are talking about and have not read up on the story. Got it. If you are interested, google is your friend. And don't forget the 5th...

    In other words, you have no arguments whatsoever.. :D

    Bullshit.

    Prove that it's bullshit.. You can't..

    The FBI wants to use an emotionally charged case to bypass congress and get back doors put in to all kinds of software. There is almost no chance of anything useful on the phone.

    And your facts to support this fear mongering???

    {{{chiirrrrrppppp}}} {{chirrrrrpppp}}}

    Yea, that's what I thought...

    If there was a high chance, the NSA would have already unlocked it.

    The NSA can't.. Not until the "bomb" is diffused..

    Probably not. I think the courts will smack the FBI down in this case.

    Yea?? The same courts that supported the FBI and ordered Apple to comply???

    But yer in an interesting pickle, Bashi..

    Since Obama supports his FBI 1000%.....

    Does that mean you will no longer support Obama??

    Because, that's actually WHO you are arguing against...

    So, what's more important to you?? Your principles?? Or your ideological slavery?? :D

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    RD,

    It's completely and wholly NOT surprising that you would condemn such actions.. :D

    Kudos to you...

    dsws,

    It's ok to try to embarrass Trump supporters into not expressing the opinions they were planning to. It's not ok to try to intimidate them to the same effect.

    Exactly....

    I am pretty disappointed in Bernie that he would condemn Trump's alleged inciting language but give his own supporters who organized these attacks a pass...

    I actually held out hope that Bernie was NOT just a run-o-the-mill politician.. Apparently, I was wrong... :(

    I hate being wrong...

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday made a passionate case for mobile devices to be built in such a way as to allow government to gain access to personal data if needed to prevent a terrorist attack or enforce tax laws.
    https://ca.news.yahoo.com/obama-says-cannot-legal-case-apple-inc-223034884--finance.html

    More Bush than Bush...

    And the hysterical outcry from the Left???

    {{chiirrrrrpppppp}} {{{chirrrrrpppppppp}}}

    :D

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Uh...no. It's actually the All Writs Act. A warrant can't compel you to spend time and money developing something for the governments use.

    So, we agree.. This is NOT a Privacy issue...

    It's about protecting Corporate Profits over Public Safety..

    And you are taking the evil Corporations side against Obama..

    Interesting.. :D

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    What worries me most about watching the GOP circus is that so many in the GOP establishment already appear to have decided that it's better to embrace Trump than to lose the potential support of his followers. Perhaps they believe that the Koch bros can control the Trump mob just as they did the Tea Party and the Libertarians. I find it interesting that the Kochs have mostly stayed on the sidelines in the presidential race(despite a much-touted war chest)so far this year, (officially) donating only a paltry $10,000 to Marco Rubio so far.

  52. [52] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Btw, Thanks, Chris for the nice send-off for Keith Emerson. And thanks for the link to the H.S. band doing Karn Evil9! Wonderful. But a better link for ELP's 21st century Schizoid Man:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biG_Wz6OH10

    Reminds me of the great series that Dave Weigel (who I used to confuse you with) did for Slate on the History of Prog Rock that was pretty much based on an interview he did with Emerson (and credited Emerson with inventing Prog Rock, which he didn't).

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    Put another way..

    If the iPhone belonged to Donald Trump's campaign manager and the FBI was investigating campaign crimes, you can bet the Left Wingery would be all for forcing Apple to disable the "bomb".... :D

    Michale

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    A warrant can't compel you to spend time and money developing something for the governments use.

    I would also point out that it's NOT "for the government's use..."..

    It's for APPLE's use so that Apple can comply with the court order....

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Because I missed this the first time round...

    From Friday March 4: Michale [129]-

    "A sense of overwhelming crisis beyond the reach of traditional solutions."

    His fear mongering on climate change...

    President Obama is 100% right about climate change. You are 100% wrong. You have no idea what climate change even is as evidenced by the laughable mis-statements you make and the fake “evidence” you parrot.

    This is an issue of profit over people, plain and simple. Those whose mega wealth comes from ripping fossil fuels out of the earth (without caring about the health or safety of the workers who actually do the job and many have died as a consequence) are running scared because clean energy threatens their bottom line.

    They couldn’t give a rat’s arse about their workers or the environment or future generations since they won’t live to see the worst of the damage they are causing. They are just horrified that they won’t be making as many billions so they pay people to lie about climate change, to falsify the figures and to distort the information.

    Since the same entitled billionaires own the media and most Republican politicians, they can control them too. To aid their propaganda, they have put into play a plan to get as many low IQ people as possible elected to Congress and state governments. Too stupid to write bills themselves, these low IQers eagerly take the bills written for them by such organizations as ALEC and Americans for Prosperity and Heritage Foundation. Those bills include harsh punishments for Americans who dare to choose solar power or wind power over the far more expensive fossil fuel power. Their freedom of choice isn’t free any more.

    For Republican politicians who are bought by those in the fossil fuel industries, this is just another case of choosing profit over people in order to serve their masters and they do it well. They’ve even got you totally fooled.

    "The superiority of the leader's instincts over abstract and universal reason."

    Won't listen to any experts except those that agree with him...

    President Obama’s positions on such issues as climate change are in line with 97% of the world’s experts. No leader in their right mind is going to ignore the vast majority of highly qualified experts for a handful of pseudo experts and paid propagandists.

    Furthermore, Obama did not come to any opinion on these issues in some kind of isolated cone of silence. He listened to the experts and, even though it made his life as president infinitely harder, he continues to stick with the advice of experts in all fields.

    He was has been proven right about so many things too. The price of gas has failed to rise to $12, Wall Street has not crashed but is higher and stronger than ever. Ebola was never going to be epidemic in the US (and the only person to die of it in the country was not an American citizen). Unemployment is the lowest it’s been any time this century.

    Oh sure John and Jane Sixpack are still grizzling about their circumstances but then John and Jane never could pull up their own bootstraps and always needed someone to blame for their own failings.

    They also keep voting for Republicans who cut taxes, not to them, but to the wealthiest of the wealthy (who, by coincidence, also happen to be Republican donors – surprise surprise) which leaves less money in the coffers for things like fixing the roads and funding schools.

    John and Jane’s kids are missing out because deregulating teaching means unqualified people (who don’t cost as much to employ) can take classes. Their old car suffers too because there are more potholes and uneven surfaces than ever before.

    If they live in Flint, their kids have suffered irreparable damage from drinking up to 4000x the safe level of lead in their water and the Republicans in Congress are hellbent on refusing them any federal funding to help them out.

    But Republicans don’t like experts so they’re sure to ignore the medical experts re lead in the water. Any day now they’ll find their own experts who will say lead is good for you and everyone should drink it... any day now...

    ”The belief of one group that it is the victim, justifying any action.”

    His constant playing of the race/victim card.. "If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin.."

    His constant playing of the race/victim card? So you use one example which you claim is some kind of evidence (it isn’t) from four years ago! It’s the only lame example you’ve ever been able to come up with in four years! If it’s so constant, then provide us with all the examples of President Obama doing this over the past week or even the past month. Until you can do that, you have no argument and no evidence.

    "The need for authority by natural leaders (always male) culminating in a national chief who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny."

    Self-evident...

    No, Michale, it is not self-evident at all and it’s really lame of you to use this because you have no evidence whatsoever.

    So, you have four out of four totally wrong, again.

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mopshell,

    President Obama is 100% right about climate change. You are 100% wrong. You have no idea what climate change even is as evidenced by the laughable mis-statements you make and the fake “evidence” you parrot.

    In other words, I don't toe the Left Wingery line so "obviously" I don't know anything about it.. :D

    Let me ask you something, MS..

    Why is it called "Climate Change" now?? Why not just use the "Global Warming" moniker??

    Because Global Warming wasn't marketing well..

    If you have to "MARKET" your science, then it ain't science... :D

    Furthermore, Obama did not come to any opinion on these issues in some kind of isolated cone of silence. He listened to the experts and, even though it made his life as president infinitely harder, he continues to stick with the advice of experts in all fields.

    But ONLY the "experts" that parrot his agenda...

    Does he listen to Judith Curry?? Does he listen to Richard Litzen?? Those are experts by ANY definition..

    But Obama doesn't listen to them because they don't say what Obama wants to hear..

    It's not "science" if you pick and choose which scientists you listen to.. It's closer to religion..

    President Obama’s positions on such issues as climate change are in line with 97% of the world’s experts.

    I can't believe you actually FALL for that 97% of scientists BS..

    Do you know how that number was arrived at???

    Some moron in Australia, Cook I believe his name is, compiled a about 20,000 reports that deal with the Climate... These reports represented less than 20% of all the scientific reports out there.. So, right off the bat, we're dealing with LESS than 20% of scientists around the world...

    But this moron didn't stop there.. Out of THAT 20%, he choose which reports actually stated an opinion on Global Warming.. THAT brought the number down to around 3%....

    So, now we have THREE PERCENT of scientists all over the world expressing an opinion on Global Warming... Not YEA or NAY, just expressing an opinion..

    And out of THAT 3%, allegedly 97% expressed the opinion that humans are causing Global Warming...

    But the stoopidity doesn't even stop there...

    Cook used an arbitrary determination process to determine which reports agree that humans are causing Global Warming and which reports do not agree that humans are causing Global Warming..

    DOZENS of scientists came forward once this 97% BS came out and said that their reports had been completely misconstrued.. That Cook had claimed their reports said something that it clearly did not say...

    So, when the claim is made that 97% of all scientists agree blaa blaaa blaaa blaaa, what the claim REALLY means is that around 1% or 2% of all scientists agree blaa blaa blaa blaa...

    His constant playing of the race/victim card? So you use one example which you claim is some kind of evidence (it isn’t) from four years ago!

    There are tons of other examples as well.. Gates... Michael Brown... Eric Garner... With Obama it's ALL about race...

    So, you have four out of four totally wrong, again.

    That's yer opinion and I respect that..

    But the FACTS clearly show otherwise.. :D

    Michale

  57. [57] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    To Elizabeth Miller re comment [23] -

    On Saturday, February 20th, 2016, Chris wrote:

    I have to say, this role [dropping a teaser link at HuffPost to entice more new readers] used to be provided in an incredible way with unrelenting passion by our very own LizM.

    Many moons ago, LizM waged a one-woman PR war at HuffPost for a LONG time, continually pointing people to this site in post after post after post. She convinced more people to check the site out than anyone, ever, and that includes ME.

    I never asked her to do this for me, but she continued her campaign right up until the FB era. She and I both tried to get HP to relent about the new requirement, to no avail.

    I not only never asked to do all of this, I also (shamefully) never properly acknowledged or thanked her for her service.

    So I make amends now. I miss LizM's "You should really check out the reality-based commentary over at chrisweigant.com" on all those articles, in HuffPost threads. I miss the traffic that came over as a direct result.

    So, LizM, our humble thanks! We hereby dub thee "CW PR Queen Extraordinaire."

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    The 97 percent claim is a deliberate misrepresentation designed to intimidate the public—and numerous scientists whose papers were classified by Cook protested:

    “Cook survey included 10 of my 122 eligible papers. 5/10 were rated incorrectly. 4/5 were rated as endorse rather than neutral.”
    —Dr. Richard Tol
    “That is not an accurate representation of my paper . . .”
    —Dr. Craig Idso
    “Nope . . . it is not an accurate representation.”
    —Dr. Nir Shaviv

    “Cook et al. (2013) is based on a strawman argument . . .”
    —Dr. Nicola Scafetta

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexepstein/2015/01/06/97-of-climate-scientists-agree-is-100-wrong/2/#3c38f22d26d6

    You got hoodwinked, MS...

    But don't fret.. Obama and Kerry also got hoodwinked..

    It's what happens when ideology supersedes common sense..

    When one sees the world as they WISH it to be rather than as it really is...

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that science isn't a POPULARITY Contest where the majority rules and the minority drools..

    Science is based on experimentation, models, theories and facts..

    To date, ALL the models about Global Warming have been WRONG... There has not been a SINGLE model or prediction that has EVER been accurate..

    CUE BASHI SPUTTERING

    Look at history.. at one time 97% of scientists agree that the world was flat and the earth was the center of the universe...

    Consensus "science" ain't science...

    It's ideology.. It's religion ... It's frakin' high school homecoming king and queen...

    But it ain't science...

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thanks, Mopshell ... You have always demonstrated that you possess a fine moral foundation! :)

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bazinga....

    :D

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    But no one can claim a moral foundation unless they condemn the PERPETRATORS of the violence as well as those they claim instigate the violence....

    "He made me do it!!" has never been recognized as a valid defense for violence..

    And rightly so...

    Michale

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now matter how much the Left tries to avoid responsibility.....

    How Democrats abandoned the working class and spurred rise of Donald Trump
    http://nypost.com/2016/03/12/how-democrats-abandoned-the-working-class-and-spurred-rise-to-donald-trump/

    .... it's clear that their malfeasance and their incompetence is what will give us President Trump....

    Michale

  65. [65] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    LizM,

    [18] Remind me again about which presidential candidate is always talking about punching people in the face?

    Oh, that would be compulsive liar Donald "Free speech is for me, but not for thee" Trump, who also wants to "open up" our libel laws so that he can sue people who write "purposely negative and horrible" things about his orange face and micro-hands.

  66. [66] 
    neilm wrote:

    Mann and Cook really got under the denier's skins - the pretzel logic required to swallow the deniers' rebuttals is hilarious - take attempts on the 97% figure. Do any of them ever try to replicate the studies? No, because when they try they realize that the numbers add up. There is a hockey stick and over 97% of climate scientists accept it (and those that don't have a lot of funding coming from anonymous donors (**cough** **Koch Brothers** **cough**) via conveniently murky foundations.

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    Do you have any FACTS to support your claims, Neil??

    No??

    Didna think so.. :D

    The simple fact is, Cook used a miniscule sample, applied arbitrary determinations that even the AUTHORS disputed and came up with a bullshit number...

    That is what the FACTS clearly prove beyond ANY doubt...

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    "purposely negative and horrible" things about his orange face and micro-hands.

    Rubio!?? Is that you!?? :D

    BBWWWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA :D

    Michale

  69. [69] 
    neilm wrote:

    How Democrats abandoned the working class and spurred rise of Donald Trump

    Reagan's policies started the destruction, Clinton kept it going and Bush put the nail in the coffin. There are no parties representing Labor in this country, which is why Bernie has been an Independent for so long.

    Kansas shows us what the logical extension of Reagan's policies are.

    We have two paths, one involves anger and the road to fascism, the other involves a political movement based on policies for the everybody living in a household with less than $51,000 (U.S. median).

    As Michale rightly points out, Sanders and Trump represent the two sides.

    The Anger/Facists are about 10% of the voting population (35% Trump of 29% Republicans) and the Labor Party are 13% (40% Bernie of 32% Democrats).

    The political distance between them makes a mockery of proposals that any large numbers will migrate from one to the other in the General Election, however this political distance is driven by the personalities (Bernie and Trump) and a unifying figure could defang the vitriol ("it's the Mexicans" vs. "it's Wall Street") and deliver a new Democratic Party that sidesteps the culture wars and jingoism.

    However the long term power of money in the system is the lost likely winner. The Republican monied establishment used to think that Republican voters were the easiest mark (throw them a "Benghazi" here and a "Kim Davis" there and they will line up where you want them). But money can buy smart people so by the 2018 election they should have the Trumpeters back in line. The Bernie supporters are the Democrat's problem, but a Hillary Presidency will probably be enough for them.

  70. [70] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Michale-

    Being an arrogant prick is all well and good, but when you blatantly know little about the subject, you just come off looking like an idiot. If you were following this story even just a little bit you would know that most the major tech companies and digital rights organizations have come out with Amicus Briefs in support of Apple. Many of those briefs have interesting legal arguments dealing with various constitutional amendments. I don't have to make the argument, some of the best legal minds in the country already have.

    If you had been following the story, you would know that the San Bernardino’s police chief has already said there is a good chance there is nothing of value on the phone. The FBI has admitted it wants the phone to tie up the investigation mainly to see what calls were made to some of the victims.

    The NSA can't.. Not until the "bomb" is diffused..

    What's with the hysterical "bomb" language? It's a toggle on a phone. I could set it my self on my iphone. It's not going to explode. Also, the method neilm mentioned would bypass that security feature, though it's not as simple as he makes it seem and will not work on later models...

    But yer in an interesting pickle, Bashi..

    Since Obama supports his FBI 1000%.....

    Does that mean you will no longer support Obama??

    By the same faulty logic, since you agree with Obama on this subject, I guess you are now an Obama supporter...

    So, we agree.. This is NOT a Privacy issue...

    Oh, it most definitely is a privacy issue...

    If the iPhone belonged to Donald Trump's campaign manager and the FBI was investigating campaign crimes, you can bet the Left Wingery would be all for forcing Apple to disable the "bomb".... :D

    Ah, more complete and total bullshit. Few tit for tats that you come up with ever apply...

  71. [71] 
    neilm wrote:

    However the long term power of money in the system is the lost likely winner.

    Should read:

    However the long term power of money in the system is the most likely winner.

  72. [72] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Cough, Cough, Cough... EXXON ....

    And

    while I am here....ever so briefly.

    Since [62] quite nicely coveys your standard R is right and D is damned philospohy....I would really love to hear what the R's have done for us lately (they are in the majority, right?). I thought we were supposed to be in a new renaissance.

  73. [73] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @mopshell [53],

    the post you're responding to was an attempt to create false equivalency between obama's presidency and peter bergen's evidence suggesting trump is a "proto-fascist." michale's laurentian abyss of denial over climate change fact is completely tangential to the incoherence of the point he was trying to make.

    trump has some of the characteristics of a fascist leader (targeting and scapegoating minority ethnic groups, explicitly advocating violence against dissenters, cult of personality, indifference to fact), but not other fascist characteristics (he has walked back any statements suggesting he can violate the law, and has not promoted violence against the minorities he targets).

    obama has done none of those things, and climate change was just a red herring thrown into an incomprehensible vat of false equivalence.

    JL

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    Reagan's policies started the destruction,

    Of course he did.. Can't have a DEMOCRAT at fault, after all, eh? :D

    Kansas shows us what the logical extension of Reagan's policies are.

    Then, of course, Chicago, Illinois, Detroit, Flint, Baltimore, New York shows us the logical extension of DEMOCRAT Policies, right???

    I have to give it to ya'all.. At least in this regard, ya'all are VERY transparent.. :D

    As Michale rightly points out, Sanders and Trump represent the two sides.

    Actually, Sanders and Trump have MANY parallels...

    But why let FACTS interfere with a good partisan rant.. :D

    Michale

  75. [75] 
    neilm wrote:

    Cooks' methodology and results are laid out in the paper (have you ever read it?).

    Dispute them with another peer reviewed paper in a respected journal that has a rigorous methodology and results that back up your claims Michale.

    It is called science and it is what too many Republican pundits want us to ignore because it has proven our species most successful mechanism of discovering the truth, and these people want to lie to you.

    I will not vote Republican nationally until the Republican leaders stop their anti-science crusade. Most educated people I know feel the same way. We vote Democrat at the national level by default, and that is what is eviscerating the working class - the Democrats can count on the repulsion against the Ted Cruz types so they can ignore their base and take the money.

  76. [76] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale:

    The term 'voodoo economics' was coined by on GHW Bush regarding Reagan's policies.

    Kansas are taking them to the extreme. The democrats are not coming up with solutions to the destruction waged at a national level by these policies (including Clinton's welfare reforms and punitive sentencing laws) and failing in Chicago, etc.

    Flint is a Republican problem, do your homework on that one.

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    Being an arrogant prick is all well and good, but when you blatantly know little about the subject, you just come off looking like an idiot. If you were following this story even just a little bit you would know that most the major tech companies and digital rights organizations have come out with Amicus Briefs in support of Apple. Many of those briefs have interesting legal arguments dealing with various constitutional amendments. I don't have to make the argument, some of the best legal minds in the country already have.

    Then you won't have a problem linking them, right?? :D


    If you had been following the story, you would know that the San Bernardino’s police chief has already said there is a good chance there is nothing of value on the phone. The FBI has admitted it wants the phone to tie up the investigation mainly to see what calls were made to some of the victims.

    Of course, you can PROVE all that, right??

    No???

    Didna think so.. :D

    Even if you COULD prove that, some podunk LEO doesn't have the capability of making that determination.. Their contribution to the investigation is nothing more than crowd control...

    What's with the hysterical "bomb" language? It's a toggle on a phone. I could set it my self on my iphone. It's not going to explode.

    That's why I put the "bomb" in quotes..

    Sorry, let me dumb it down for you..

    There is a security feature that will wipe the contents of the phone if too many attempts to login are made.. In essence, the phone will "self-destruct" insofar as being able get any data from it...

    Clear enough for you???

    By the same faulty logic, since you agree with Obama on this subject, I guess you are now an Obama supporter...

    Yes I am, in this instance..

    But here's the thing... Obama is not Bush on steroids.. You are hysterically anti-Bush..

    So, how do you reconcile supporting Steroid-Bush??

    Oh yea, that's right. Steroid-Bush has a '-D' after his name.. Of course, that's it.. :D

    Oh, it most definitely is a privacy issue...?

    Whose privacy are you protecting?? A terrorist who didn't even OWN the phone??

    What's next?? Defending the privacy of child-molesters and child pornographers??? :^/

    Because THAT is exactly what you are arguing for...

    Ah, more complete and total bullshit.

    Oh you know it's fact... :D

    Michale

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    Since [62] quite nicely coveys your standard R is right and D is damned philospohy....I would really love to hear what the R's have done for us lately (they are in the majority, right?). I thought we were supposed to be in a new renaissance.

    It would have been awesome except for obstructionist Democrats and an incompetent Democrat POTUS....

    "Any more ball-busters???"
    -Billy Madison

    :D

    Michale

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL<

    obama has done none of those things, and climate change was just a red herring thrown into an incomprehensible vat of false equivalence.

    Of course he hasn't... :D

    Trump is the fascist and Obama is pure as the driven snow.. :D

    Michale

  80. [80] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michale [56]

    Your overlords just love people like you! They set you up with all sorts of false information and you fall for it hook, line and sinker. It's kinda funny to see an actual real person believe it all.

    Of course the vast majority of the world's countries -- those in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Pacific and both American continents -- are all signatories to the Paris Agreement on climate change because every one of them knows it's real.

    The US is the only country in the world with a significant group of climate change deniers and even then you're in the minority in your own country, Michale. But it's not surprising that the US has this dubious record. Americans have always been seen to worship materialism in general and money in particular. Success is measured in terms of money. The American Dream is about making money. Climate change denial only exists because the wealthiest americans are so desperate to protect their profits.

    But it's alright, Michale, none of us expect you to step outside your comforting bubble. We'd be shocked into speechlessness if you actually identified a real fact!

    I do find it interesting (though hardly surprising) that the climate change issue was the only one you commented on! :D

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    Flint is a Republican problem, do your homework on that one.

    Of COURSE you would say that..

    Totally ignoring Obama's EPA's culpability in the matter..

    I *DID* my homework when Mopshell brought it up..

    But, you see.. I read ALL of the facts...

    Not just the facts that say what you want to hear, as you apparently did.. :D

    Obama's EPA shares as much, if not MORE of the responsibility than the GOP GOV because a majority of the issues in play were FEDERAL issues..

    But, once again.. Why let FACTS intrude on a good ideological rant.. :D

    Michale

  82. [82] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Trump is the fascist and Obama is pure as the driven snow.. :D

    i proposed nothing of the sort and you know it. obama has proven to be an average politician, following the executive precedent set by george w. bush. trump would place himself outside the purview of the constitutional duties of the chief executive - that is, if he had any idea what they were.

    JL

  83. [83] 
    Michale wrote:

    Of course the vast majority of the world's countries -- those in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Pacific and both American continents -- are all signatories to the Paris Agreement on climate change because every one of them knows it's real

    NO ONE.... let me repeat that for the cheap seats..

    NO ONE denies that Climate Change is real..

    OF COURSE the climate is changing.. It's been changing for billions of years..

    Just like with the ILLEGAL immigrants issue, the Left Wingery has to CHANGE the subject to make a point..

    The US is the only country in the world with a significant group of climate change deniers and even then you're in the minority in your own country, Michale.

    Two words..

    CHI NA

    :D

    But it's alright, Michale, none of us expect you to step outside your comforting bubble. We'd be shocked into speechlessness if you actually identified a real fact!

    I read Judith Curry and Richard Lidzen...

    Do you??

    Of course you don't...

    So WHO doesn't look at facts?? :D

    How about another FACT..

    NOT ONE SINGLE MODEL OR PREDICTION from the Global Warming religion has EVER come to pass..

    NOT.... A.... SINGLE.... ONE.....

    This is fact...

    Did you take science in school???

    What's the scientific method??

    OBSERVATION/RESEARCH

    HYPOTHESIS

    PREDICTION

    EXPERIMENT

    CONCLUSION

    The problem with your brand of "science" is that CONCLUSION comes first...

    HUMANS CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING

    You have conclusion based evidence...

    NOT evidence based conclusions...

    In the scientific method when the predictions and experiments(models) are flat out WRONG EVERY TIME then science DEMANDS that you alter the hypothesis..

    But ya'all and your so-called "scientists" don't do that... Ya'all simply create the fiction that HYPOTHESIS = CONCLUSION and then ya'all alter the experiments/data to fit the hypothesis/conclusion...

    That it NOT science...

    That is religion...

    Pure and simple...

    Michale

  84. [84] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    nypoet22 [71} -

    Thank you for the background to this, JL. I just happened across it when I went looking for Chris's lovely homage to Elizabeth.

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    i proposed nothing of the sort and you know it.

    Yea, I do.. I was just on a roll.. :D

    obama has proven to be an average politician, following the executive precedent set by george w. bush.

    OK, I can tentatively agree with that..

    trump would place himself outside the purview of the constitutional duties of the chief executive

    Oh come'on, JL....

    If there is ANY POTUS that has "place himself outside the purview of the constitutional duties of the chief executive" it is Obama..

    How many times has the SCOTUS slammed Obama down for Executive Overreach???

    DOZENS

    And MOST of those were unanimous...

    If putting one's self outside the constitutional duties of executive is what constitutes 'fascism' than Obama is a fascist... in spades...

    Michale

  86. [86] 
    Michale wrote:

    As far as the Global Warming issue...

    There are 4 FACTS that ya'all simply CAN'T argue with...

    FACT #1
    There are TENS OF THOUSANDS of reputable peer-reviewed scientists that dispute the human caused Global Warming theory...

    FACT #2
    There has NEVER been a single Global Warming prediction, a SINGLE global warming model that has EVER been accurate... Not a SINGLE one...

    FACT #3
    Even the NAME has been changed to reflect current POLITICAL reality...

    "Oh 'Global Warming' is not focus-grouping well.. Let's go with 'Climate Change'..."

    "Oh crap.. 'Climate Change' is too banal. Focus groups don't think it's urgent enough.. Let's go with 'Climate Disruption!!'..."

    and so on and so on ad nasuem... If it were REAL science... It wouldn't have to be marketed thru focus groups...

    FACT #4
    ALL of these scientists and lobbyists and morons who follow the GLOBAL WARMING religion are not changing their lifestyles whatsoever.. Obama himself has stated he is the biggest carbon polluter on the planet!! If things were so dire and imminent as these so-called "scientists" and advocates said, you would think that they would take steps on their own.. But there is absolutely NO EVIDENCE, NO FACTS to support the idea that they are...

    NONE of ya'all can address these 4 indisputable and undeniable FACTS...

    Until ya'all can, there will be NO CHANCE in hell that you can convince ANY non-partisan logical/rational person that Global Warming is an man-made and a threat....

    Global Warming is a *POLITICAL* issue... Not a scientific issue...

    It's THAT simple...

    Michale

  87. [87] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, I just made a doozy of a comment that would have ended the Global Warming discussion here in Weigantia once and for all..

    Unfortunately, the NNL filter snagged it...

    Oh well.. :D

    Michale

  88. [88] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale: I've had several posts snagged recently - but I discovered if I use the browser 'back' button the text is still in the comment box, so I can try again. Hope this helps, because I can't wait to see how you ca n end the AGE conversation here short of "I read some papers, and just realized that the right wing bubble are lying through their teeth about climate change" ;)

  89. [89] 
    neilm wrote:

    AGE -> AGW

  90. [90] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michale [78] -

    First of all... ROFLMAO!

    Flint is a Republican problem, do your homework on that one.

    Of COURSE you would say that..

    Yes we say this -- because it's true! No matter how hard you try to deflect the blame from your beloved Rs, reality is inescapable -- they not only knowingly caused the lead contamination, they actively covered it up for almost two years.

    But we understand -- you're in denial because a Republican governor is involved and and you just can't bring yourself to lay any blame at his feet so it must be someone else's fault... oh oh oh, you could always make it Obama's fault, Michale! Because he's POTUS, you can link him to the EPA and blame EVERYTHING on them! Even better, you can call it Obama's EPA so you can blame both him AND the EPA at the same time! It's fantastic spin of course but I'm sure you can pull it off.

    Now don't be distracted by the fact that Republican Governor Snyder ignored the wishes of the people (who voted NO to unelected "emergency managers") and got around it by rewriting the original law (so that the voters could not overturn the new law) that allowed him to appoint "emergency managers" whenever and wherever he liked. These "emergency managers" displace elected officials in what Republicans like to call "democracy". It's the "one man, one vote" democracy where Gov Snyder is the man and he has the one and only vote. Not that you'll ever admit that Snyder could possibly be at fault in any way because he has the magic R after his name so he must be pure as the driven snow!

    Totally ignoring Obama's EPA's culpability in the matter..

    See? It does work for you! Everyone else can see through it but as long as you're happy...

    This made me laugh because Gov Snyder begged the federal EPA to come to Michigan to help them out.

    But, you see.. I read ALL of the facts...

    Oh that's so sweet but you really have no idea what a fact actually looks like. You appear convinced that a fact is anything you've read, heard or seen that agrees with your view.

    Not just the facts that say what you want to hear, as you apparently did..

    Oh this is so funny because this is EXACTLY what YOU do! It's called "projection", michale. I'd suggest you look it up but we wouldn't want you seeing anything that might clash with your fondly held beliefs. We don't want anything icky to upset you.

  91. [91] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michale [82] -

    Please do list all the dozens of times SCOTUS have "slammed Obama down for Executive Overreach"!

    Incidentally, how many dozens is "DOZENS"? Two? Three? Four? More? No, no, don't tell me. Just show us the list!

  92. [92] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @mopshell [87],

    i'm aware of three: recess appointments, carbon emissions and denying contraception (hobby lobby).

    JL

  93. [93] 
    neilm wrote:

    Trump:

    A born-rich member of the NY financial system that screwed over the middle class and created a tsunami of pain and anger, and is now riding that wave to get more of what he wants because the feelies won't grasp reality.

  94. [94] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Then you won't have a problem linking them, right?? :D

    Have fun...

    Of course, you can PROVE all that, right??

    Yes.

    Even if you COULD prove that, some podunk LEO doesn't have the capability of making that determination.. Their contribution to the investigation is nothing more than crowd control...

    You mean unlike the keystone cop FBI that already screwed up the case by having the phone's owner remotely change the phones icloud password?

    There is a security feature that will wipe the contents of the phone if too many attempts to login are made.. In essence, the phone will "self-destruct" insofar as being able get any data from it...

    Clear enough for you???

    So, the language I already used. Is non-hysterial language really that hard for you?

    No one knows if that feature is turned on and there are ways to bypass it if the information was critical and not just a pawn in a larger battle...

    But here's the thing... Obama is not Bush on steroids.. You are hysterically anti-Bush..

    An accusation you have made many times but have never backed up...

    Whose privacy are you protecting?? A terrorist who didn't even OWN the phone??

    The American people in their finical transactions to name one.

    And the terrorist destroyed his personal phone. That is one of the reasons there is quite likely nothing on the work phone...

    What's next?? Defending the privacy of child-molesters and child pornographers??? :^/

    Because THAT is exactly what you are arguing for...

    Oh, the hysteria!

    Encryption technology is available to anyone who bothers to look. Harming the privacy of the American people because of the boogie man du jour make our society less safe, not more.

    “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”
    — Edward Snowden

  95. [95] 
    John M wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "I catch on, eventually ... thankfully, I have another blog to go to where everyone has a moral foundation and no one questions the motivations or moral foundations of anyone else ..."

    Hey Liz, I would appreciate it if you would share with me the other blog that you like. I always like to investigate interesting commentary.

  96. [96] 
    Paula wrote:

    Today at the grocery store, the lady in line in front of us -- elderly, black -- leans Hillary but worries something is going to derail her re: the emails. She doesn't know what the actual issue is, she just knows it keeps coming up. She thinks the Donald "says stupid things" and "just because he's rich doesn't give him the right to abuse other people". Trump is also "not presidential".

    The young bi-racial man checking us out hadn't given the election much thought yet although he said he's a Democrat and will vote for a Democrat.

    The elderly white security guard in the parking lot first said he hadn't decided yet because "things are too confusing right now." Then he came clean and said he'd never vote for Hillary, Bernie is a communist and he might vote for Trump because "Trump will shake things up". (My husband said I recoiled at this, but managed to paste a friendly expression on my face as I replied: "Bernie is a Socialist, not a Communist.") He replied that Bernie was just too far out there -- socialism can't work because you can't pay down the "out-of-control debt" by spending and anyway in his opinion too many people want free stuff. He spewed a few more FOX sound bites but I can't recall which ones right now. I thanked him for sharing and he gave me a big grin.

  97. [97] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mopshell,

    Yes we say this -- because it's true! No matter how hard you try to deflect the blame from your beloved Rs, reality is inescapable -- they not only knowingly caused the lead contamination, they actively covered it up for almost two years.

    As did Obama's EPA... These are the facts whether you choose to acknowledge them or not..

    Please do list all the dozens of times SCOTUS have "slammed Obama down for Executive Overreach"!

    Too easy... :D

    Supreme Court Rules Unanimously Against Obama for 12th and 13th Time Since 2012
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/381296/supreme-court-rules-unanimously-against-obama-12th-and-13th-time-2012-john-fund

    Michale

  98. [98] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mopshell,

    Yes we say this -- because it's true! No matter how hard you try to deflect the blame from your beloved Rs, reality is inescapable -- they not only knowingly caused the lead contamination, they actively covered it up for almost two years.

    As did Obama's EPA... These are the facts whether you choose to acknowledge them or not..

    Please do list all the dozens of times SCOTUS have "slammed Obama down for Executive Overreach"!

    Too easy... :D

    Supreme Court Rules Unanimously Against Obama for 12th and 13th Time Since 2012
    http://tinyurl.com/paaw7ka

    Michale

  99. [99] 
    Michale wrote:

    “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”
    — Edward Snowden

    You quote a traitor who is public enemy number one to your messiah???

    'nuff said... :D

    Michale

  100. [100] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale: I've had several posts snagged recently - but I discovered if I use the browser 'back' button the text is still in the comment box, so I can try again.

    Yea, I usually try to fiddle with the comment, shorten it, break it up.. Even post it as a JPG...

    But it was a long one and it was getting late so.... :D

    I'll refer back to it once it's rescued from the NNL filter...

    Thanx... :D

    Michale

  101. [101] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I catch on, eventually ... thankfully, I have another blog to go to where everyone has a moral foundation and no one questions the motivations or moral foundations of anyone else ..."

    Hey Liz, I would appreciate it if you would share with me the other blog that you like. I always like to investigate interesting commentary.

    Yea...I guess there is an attraction for echo chambers where you can say what you want and not have to be challenged and actually defend what you say...

    Nothing but "DITTO"s and "YEA"s and "EXACTLY"s as far as the eye can see....

    Not my cup o tea... :D

    Michale

  102. [102] 
    Michale wrote:

    Today at the grocery store, the lady in line in front of us -- elderly, black -- leans Hillary but worries something is going to derail her re: the emails. She doesn't know what the actual issue is, she just knows it keeps coming up.

    Yep... Clintonistas are worried..

    As well they should be... The ONLY way that the FBI won't recommend an indictment is if Comey is Vince Foster'ed...

    She thinks the Donald "says stupid things" and "just because he's rich doesn't give him the right to abuse other people".

    Yea... Democrats HATE it when the Right Wingery intrudes on THEIR sole province of abusing people... :D

    The young bi-racial man checking us out hadn't given the election much thought yet although he said he's a Democrat and will vote for a Democrat.

    Yep, even if that Democrat is Attila The Hun...

    Ideological slavery at it's finest.. :D

    The elderly white security guard in the parking lot first said he hadn't decided yet because "things are too confusing right now." Then he came clean and said he'd never vote for Hillary, Bernie is a communist and he might vote for Trump because "Trump will shake things up". (My husband said I recoiled at this, but managed to paste a friendly expression on my face as I replied: "Bernie is a Socialist, not a Communist.") He replied that Bernie was just too far out there -- socialism can't work because you can't pay down the "out-of-control debt" by spending and anyway in his opinion too many people want free stuff. He spewed a few more FOX sound bites but I can't recall which ones right now. I thanked him for sharing and he gave me a big grin.

    All joking aside, Paula, I have to say that I have really enjoyed your "Man On The Street" interviews... I am doubly impressed now because, up to now, you have only talked to Left Wingery supporters.. I believe this is the first time you have actually documented when you talked to a Trump supporter.. If this isn't the first time, my apologies for not noticing.. I DO follow your interviews with great interest..

    Having said that, I DO have to take you to task for hearing the elderly gentleman but not LISTENING to him... You appear to just write off his views as FoxNews propaganda...

    Granted, you are not a reporter and you are under no obligation to be objective... But you often accuse the Right Wingery of being close-minded but you appear to suffer that affliction yourself...

    Other than that minor nit-pick, I do really enjoy these comments and hope that you continue them..

    Michale

  103. [103] 
    Michale wrote:

    Customer with concealed carry permit fatally shoots ax-wielding attacker at 7-Eleven
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/03/14/customer-with-concealed-carry-permit-fatally-shoots-axe-wielding-attacker-at-7-eleven.html?intcmp=hphz09

    And, in other news...

    Conceal Carry saves lives....

    Michale

  104. [104] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hope this helps, because I can't wait to see how you ca n end the AGE conversation here short of "I read some papers, and just realized that the right wing bubble are lying through their teeth about climate change" ;)

    In other words, I just say what you want to hear..

    What am I?? Obama??? :D heh

    Michale

  105. [105] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I don't know where {Bernie} was when I was trying to get healthcare in '93 and '94."
    -Hillary Clinton

    http://tinyurl.com/z4zb4tp

    Turn around, ya moron!!

    :D

    Kudos to the Bernie campaign..

    This was priceless.. :D

    Michale

  106. [106] 
    Michale wrote:

    "We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business."
    -Hillary Clinton

    Yea.. THAT will get everyday Americans to vote for ya, Hillary... :^/

    Does anyone wonder why Democrats are flocking to Trump by the tens of thousands??

    Michale

  107. [107] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    michale [93],

    politifact rated that statement false. here's why:

    "For starters, in eight of the cases, the alleged overreach occurred under President George W. Bush, as did the court cases that challenged the administration (United States vs. Jones, Sackett vs. EPA, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School vs. EEOC, Gabelli vs. SEC, Arkansas Fish & Game Commission v. United States, PPL Corp. vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Horne vs. USDA, and Bond vs. United States). Bush’s Justice Department handled the initial court proceedings in most instances."

    so... the majority of the cases of federal overreach were initiated under george w. bush. what's good for the goose and all...

    JL

  108. [108] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    further, of the 5 that did initiate during obama's presidency, one was US v. Jones, which reined in the FBI, not the administration. technically it's under obama's watch, but it's unlikely he or his political appointees had any direct impact on it. Another was Arizona v. US, in which obama actually won three out of the four counts of the ruling, and the fourth count was kicked down the road.

    which, if my arithmetic serves me correctly, leaves us back with the original three i mentioned: hobby lobby gets to deny its employees contraception, the EPA can't regulate carbon emissions without congressional action, and the president can't make recess appointments when congress are within 3 days of a pro-forma session.

    tempest in a teapot, at best. at worst, character assassination for wonky technicalities.

    JL

  109. [109] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John,

    The only other blog I participate in, from time to time, is Matters of Principle, a blog by former senator Gary Hart. It's a completely different kind of place in the sense that the commentary and comments are generally very philosophical in nature as opposed to the, ah, more lively debate you find here. Though, it's not what I would call an echo chamber, either. Contrary to what Michale might think, the choices are not simply agreement with him or lost in an echo chamber, obviously.Heh.

    Speaking of which, there is little opportunity for any kind of extended discussion there as Senator Hart does all of the moderating, all by himself, when he can find the time. It can, at times, take days for your comment to see the light of day. I have suggested that an honour system where regular commenters who have a proven record of civil discourse are allowed to post immediately may be the way to go since, God knows, it is a rare comment there, indeed, that isn't completely civil and most are quite high-minded.

    http://www.mattersofprinciple.com

    Let me know what you think!

  110. [110] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John,

    I've tried three times now to respond to your inquiry but, alas, there seems to be a problem getting it through moderation here. Which is ironic, considering what the comment was about. Maybe it's the link?

    Anyway, suffice to say, for now, that the only other blog I participate in is Senator Gary Hart's Matters of Principle. You should be able to find it easily enough and let me know what you think!

  111. [111] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    I also follow your interviews ... very interesting. Please keep it up through the campaign and election season!

  112. [112] 
    neilm wrote:

    Why The Anger Is Pointless

    If you are not well educated in the U.S., no walls, tariffs, or 'great deal-makers' are going to make any difference. The time when unskilled U.S. workers in manufacturing earn a living wage is over:

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/the-haves-and-the-have-nots/?_r=0

    See figure 3 - the top 5% in India's PPP houshold income (all 50+ million of them) are far better educated than our poorest 5% (about 15 million) but live off less in real terms.

    Trump is selling a result he can't deliver, but getting people convinced he can if they give him what he wants (power). This is the definition of 'con man'.

    That is telling it like it is.

  113. [113] 
    Paula wrote:

    Elizabeth, Michale: thanks for kind words re: "man on the street" comments.

    Michale: closing coal mines -- I think Hillary was absolutely spot-on. I spent little over ten years working with jobhunters. There will always be periods in which industries/professions become obsolete. The answer isn't to mount losing fights, it's to deal constructively, effectively and proactively with the inevitable and unavoidable change.

    My beef with EVERYONE has been that no one has prioritized employment in the U.S. Employment has always been treated as the final outcome in a chain of other things -- the OTHER things get the attention and the belief has been that if we handle taxes "right", trade, put various laws in place, repeal other laws, educate people, educate people differently and on and on, at the other end of the funnel there will be jobs, security, prosperity. When that fails, people start tinkering with everything in the chain and hopes some tweak or other will be sufficient.

    Hillary and Bernie are both talking a lot about jobs at this point, with an emphasis on infrastructure rebuilding. I don't know if that will cure everything but it will definitely help. If Hillary follows-through with genuine transitional help for coalminers she will deserve BIG KUDOS. Keyword: "genuine", not superficial. We'll see. But the key is to deal with the change effectively, not resist it indefinitely.

    Re: FOX soundbites -- when people spew them I can't take them seriously. The problem is -- as has been repeatedly documented -- FOX people are significantly misinformed. On the basis of their misinformation they make very poor voting decisions. I may feel compassion for their particular situations, and understand there are problems they are having that motivates their dissatisfaction with things, but I can't take their opinions seriously. Their problems may be real, but their diagnosis' are misplaced and the solutions they claim to support are usually either useless or counterproductive (if not catastrophic).

  114. [114] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    so... the majority of the cases of federal overreach were initiated under george w. bush. what's good for the goose and all...

    Oooo well, OK... If you want to trot out the tired old mantra, "IT'S ALL BUSH'S FAULT!!!".... Well, OK..

    It's disappointing, but OK...

    Yes, the programs were started under Bush.. But Obama continued them and got slammed down by the SCOTUS..

    Happy?? :D

    tempest in a teapot, at best. at worst, character assassination for wonky technicalities.

    of course it is.. :D

    Michale

  115. [115] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Oooo well, OK... If you want to trot out the tired old mantra, "IT'S ALL BUSH'S FAULT!!!"....

    not ALL bush's fault. as you say, obama had the option of reversing course or leaving bush's command decisions intact. in those eight cases he chose the latter, and bears his share of the "smackdown." but if we're going to lump it all in as obama disobeying the law, that's not accurate. it's bush overreaching and obama doing nothing after the fact to stop it. i would hardly call that pure as the driven snow, it's just (as verified by politifact) not what conservative media claims it is.

    JL

  116. [116] 
    Michale wrote:

    If I recall correctly, this is all part and parcel to the idea that going outside the constitutional duties of the executive constitutes 'facism'...

    I am more than willing to concede that, under THAT definition, Bush is a fascist.. I have no loyalty to the Republican Party...

    Are you willing to concede that, since Obama CONTINUED the Bush policies, Obama ALSO meets the definition of "fascist"??

    Yer call.. :D

    Michale

  117. [117] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Anybody still reading these?

    This is a total non-sequitur from years ago. It was way back in FTP [71] that I brought the bugaboo up, in fact:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2009/03/27/friday-talking-points-71-historically-speaking-from-a-teleprompter/

    Although it's easier to read as an exceprt:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2012/03/12/teleprompter-redux/

    This included the following, explaining my use of TelePrompTer: "[Editorial note: I realize I must be the last person on Earth (outside of the sticklers at The New Yorker, of course) who still capitalize this brand name correctly, as everyone else has decided it's a common noun... but I refuse to bow to modern convention, so deal with it. Hrrmph.]"

    Today, I stumbled across a fellow correct-capitalization writer, and astonishingly enough, it is none other than Clay Aiken:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/clay-aiken/ready-for-hillary-voting_b_9458998.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

    where he writes "Secretary Clinton, please ditch the TelePrompTer."

    Now, maybe it was an editor, but I'm going to assume it was Clay. Well done, Clay! One article at a time, we'll show the rest of the journalistic world the right way to capitalize a brand name! Woo hoo!

    Heh. Just had to note this... sorry for the interruption...

    :-)

    -CW

  118. [118] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What is so bad about using a TelePrompTer?

  119. [119] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hillary will never survive the Trump onslaught: It’s not fair, but it makes her a weak nominee
    Clinton backers who tout their "realism" need to get real about how she'll handle the shitstorm coming from Trump

    http://www.salon.com/2016/03/14/hillary_will_never_survive_the_trump_onslaught_its_not_fair_but_it_makes_her_a_weak_nominee/

    Even a Left Wingery rag like SALON knows the reality..

    In the ONE match-up between Hillary and Trump, Hillary got her ass handed to her and Trump shut her up big-time...

    Michale

  120. [120] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now, maybe it was an editor, but I'm going to assume it was Clay. Well done, Clay! One article at a time, we'll show the rest of the journalistic world the right way to capitalize a brand name! Woo hoo!

    I have always said yer a trend-setter!! :D

    Michale

  121. [121] 
    Paula wrote:

    Today's anecdote: spoke to a middle-aged white man who was working on the water-line across the street. He's a city employee, don't know offhand if he's union or not. His first response was: "I don't talk about politics" but he was friendly so I gave it another shot, saying something to the effect that I know how hard it is to talk politics these days…

    He jumped in: "To tell the truth, I don't like any of them."

    Me: "you're not happy with any of the candidates?"

    Him: "No. But I don't follow this stuff. I don't feel like I have any effect. It's just me and God. I stay out of it. I really think I'm not allowed to talk about this stuff while I'm on the job."

    I thanked him and he looked relieved.

  122. [122] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @paula,

    great anecdotes! i don't really have any substantive comment on them, but please do keep them coming.

    @michale,

    i believe neither bush nor obama qualify as even remotely fascist. the aspects of trump's candidacy that have incited people to slap the fascist label on him have more to do with xenophobia and promoting violence than his lack of familiarity with the constitution. even the most far-fetched bush scenario relating to executive order 51 (look it up) doesn't have the violence, stifling of dissent or scapegoating of minorities that would be required to call such a thing fascist.

    JL

  123. [123] 
    Michale wrote:

    Paula,

    Keep em coming!! :D

    Joshua,

    Fair enough on the fascist label..

    and promoting violence

    You mean, like Democrat Groups (move on, etc etc) that "promote violence"..

    Trump doesn't "promote violence"... He promotes a proper RESPONSE to violence..

    If someone gets in your face, you get in their face. If someone shoves you, you shove them... If someone rears back his fist to hit you, cold-cock him first...

    I see nothing wrong with that...

    "If you get hurt, hurt them back. If you get killed.... walk it off.."
    -Captain America

    :D

    Rather than blame Trump for allegedly promoting violence, why don't you blame the perpetrators of ACTUAL violence???

    Until you do that (and I say this, as when I said something similar with Liz, with the mostest respect I can muster) your words ring hollow...

    stifling of dissent or scapegoating of minorities

    As opposed to Democrats who stifle dissent ("I need some muscle to remove this reporter!!") and scapegoat fellow Americans??

    Once again, if you are going to call out Trump for his activities, fairness and objectivity demands you also call out Democrats when they do the EXACT same things you are condemning Trump for..

    Am I wrong??

    Michale

  124. [124] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    My common sense on Global Warming comment is available for yer debasement.. :D

    #86

    Michale

  125. [125] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    See figure 3 - the top 5% in India's PPP houshold income (all 50+ million of them) are far better educated than our poorest 5% (about 15 million) but live off less in real terms.

    Comparing the US to India on ANYTHING is comparing Apples and Eskimos...

    You simply CAN NOT make the case that, if it happens in India a certain way, it will happen in the US the exact same way...

    As far as this continued denigration of angry uneducated voters???

    You have to know that Clinton (and by extension, ya'all) will be BEGGING for those voters once the General revs up..

    Think about it.. :D

    I am also constrained to point out that those angry uneducated voters are ALSO fellow Americans... And their concerns matter as much as, if not MORE, than anyone else's..

    Michale

  126. [126] 
    Michale wrote:

    See figure 3 - the top 5% in India's PPP houshold income (all 50+ million of them) are far better educated than our poorest 5% (about 15 million) but live off less in real terms.

    You simply cannot make the case that what happens in India would happen here in the US..

    You are comparing apples and eskimos...

    Michale

  127. [127] 
    Michale wrote:

    See figure 3 - the top 5% in India's PPP houshold income (all 50+ million of them) are far better educated than our poorest 5% (about 15 million) but live off less in real terms.

    You are comparing apples and eskimos...

    Michale

  128. [128] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    Re #112

    You are comparing apples and eskimos..

    You simply CANNOT make the case that as it is in India, so it is in the USA...

    Rather than trying to pooh-pooh and mitigate/extenuate/eliminate the anger, why not look at the CAUSES of the anger???

    Ya'all should also keep one thing in mind..

    While it's fun to laugh at and tease and ridicule the angry uneducated voter, Hillary (and by extension, ya'all) are going to be BEGGING for their votes once the General gets going...

    Am I wrong?? :D

    Michale

  129. [129] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Now, is Libya perfect? It isn't. Libya was a different kind of calculation and we didn't lose a single person ..."
    -Hillary Clinton

    Well, I am sure the families of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty will be happy to hear that... :^/

    "In a world where truth and integrity reign supreme, Hillary Clinton couldn't get elected dog catcher. In this world, she could be elected President Of The United States."
    -Democrat Michael Goodwin

    Michale

  130. [130] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them. .?.?. I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.”
    -Donald Trump

    You see?? If you look at the quotes in CONTEXT and what the quote actually says, then it's perfectly reasonable and even rational and logical...

    Trump is advocating that if you see someone about to assault someone else, then you knock them down...

    That actually is quite TAME compared to how the Left Wingery tries to quash dissent and violently attacks anyone who says something the Left Wingery doesn't like.

    When I start seeing condemnation of THOSE violent activities, then I'll admit there is a foundation of morality to discuss and debate Trump's words...

    Without that foundation, one can only conclude that this is nothing but partisanship and an ideological agenda at work...

    Michale

  131. [131] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes, Trump’s call for a Muslim ban, his spewing of conspiracies theories about 9/11 and Iraq, his embrace of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Middle East dictators, and his calls for protesters to be “roughed up” are all repulsive. But for many Americans, the left’s smash-mouth tactics are repulsive as well.

    Trump understands this, which is why he is milking the protests to his advantage. He is using them to rally blue-collar America by saying we’re not going to take this anymore — we are not going to bow to the Alinskyite tactics of the radical left.

    And the protesters are playing right into his hands.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/stop-blaming-trump-supporters-for-campaign-violence/2016/03/14/33e45b7e-e9f1-11e5-b0fd-073d5930a7b7_story.html

    Trump is a campaign genius!! Using the Left Wingery's violent tendencies against them!! :D

    Michale

  132. [132] 
    Michale wrote:

    Put another way... If Trump supporters had did the EXACT same thing at a Sanders event that Sanders supporters did at Trump's event, you would be calling TRUMP supporters "violent thugs"...

    So, explain to me how that works??

    How is it that, when violent thugs attack a Trump event, it's TRUMP and his supporters who are at fault??

    Where is the logic??

    Michale

  133. [133] 
    John M wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "Let me know what you think!"

    Having given it just a cursory look so far, it looks very well thought out and makes excellent points. But I can also see where having such a long comment delay would be a problem. I also have to say I kind of enjoy the rough and tumble nature here, to a certain extent. :-)

    By the way Paula, I too have been enjoying your interviews very much as well. Great job!

  134. [134] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Put another way... If Trump supporters had did the EXACT same thing at a Sanders event that Sanders supporters did at Trump's event, you would be calling TRUMP supporters "violent thugs"...

    violence is objective. a protester who shouts or interrupts may be rude, but is not violent. punching someone in the face or dragging someone by the hair is violent. I'm aware of at least ten instances of protesters at trump events who did not themselves act violently, but were acted violently upon by trump's supporters, with trump's explicit support. there's absolutely nothing partisan or ambiguous about that - it's cold, hard fact.

    JL

  135. [135] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    it's also happened across the political spectrum - victims of violence at trump rallies range from as far left as black lives matter all the way rightward to a breitbart reporter, and anyone else overly enamored of the first amendment.

  136. [136] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm aware of at least ten instances of protesters at trump events who did not themselves act violently, but were acted violently upon by trump's supporters, with trump's explicit support. there's absolutely nothing partisan or ambiguous about that - it's cold, hard fact.

    Were those instances like Trump "advocating violence" when in fact, he was advocating self-defense???

    I know of only ONE instance of violence at a Trump rally. That's where an 80yr old punched a 20yr old in the face.. :D heh...

    Michale

  137. [137] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  138. [138] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, basically it's just more of the Trump Calling For Violence But Really Calling For Self-Defense And RESPONSE To Violence...

    I really don't have a problem with a candidate saying, "If someone gets in your face, you get in their face.. If someone shoves you, then you knock them on their ass"

    Don't forget, it's the LEFT WINGERY who has determined that violence is called for...

    "HAY!!! I need some muscle to remove this guy!!"
    -Professor Click

    When the Left Wingery condemns THAT and the actions of the racist hate group BLM, then... and ONLY then... will the Left Wingery have a moral foundation to judge Trump and Trump supporters..

    But not until then...

    Michale

  139. [139] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i believe melissa click resigned, as well she should have. perhaps donald trump will follow her example?

  140. [140] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    or was she fired? either way, the same should happen to him as to her.

  141. [141] 
    Michale wrote:

    CLick was fired..

    But that's not the point..

    She was not condemned at all by the Left Wingery in general or any Weigantians in particular..

    How can ya'all blame Trump for all the alleged violence from his campaign yet give a pass to REAL and DOCUMENTED violence and advocacy for violence from the likes of Click and the racist hate group Black Lives Matter??

    It does not compute..

    Michale

  142. [142] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other news..

    In his latest interview in the Atlantic with Jeffrey Goldberg, Obama tries to wave away what Putin has done in Syria and Ukraine: "The fact that he invades Crimea or is trying to prop up Assad doesn't suddenly make him a player. You don't see him in any of these meetings out here helping to shape the agenda. For that matter, there's not a G20 meeting where the Russians set the agenda around any of the issues that are important."

    It's telling that Obama thinks that the only thing that matters is the agenda at international gab-fests. That's because the president, like most European heads of state, lives in a 21st century, post-power world where international law is more meaningful than brute force. Putin, by contrast, inhabits a 19th century, Realpolitik world where strongmen act to advance their own interests with scant regard for the feelings of other states, much less of multilateral institutions such as the G20 or the United Nations. In the clash between these two incompatible visions of the world, there is no doubt which one is winning: From Crimea to Syria, Putin is rewriting the rules of the international game in his favor.
    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-boot-putin-removes-troops-from-syria-20160316-story.html

    This is why Democrat rule is so dangerous in today's world..

    Yes, let's act civilized and play by 21st century rules..

    But ignoring the FACT that there are leaders out there who play by 19th century rules means that the "civilized" leaders out there will get face stomped..

    si vis pacem, para bellum

    As an aside to Joshua, that is what is tattoed on George Zimmerman's arm... And it is definitely NOT from Don Quixote.. :D

    Michale

  143. [143] 
    Michale wrote:

    And a shout-out to our newest Weigantian citizen, Balthasar...

    A SUPERNATURAL fan, per chance?? :D

    As I am wont to do..

    "WELCOME TO THE PARTY, PAL!!"
    -John McClane, DIE HARD

    :D

    Michale

  144. [144] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    How can ya'all blame Drumpf for all the alleged violence from his campaign yet give a pass to REAL and DOCUMENTED violence and advocacy for violence from the likes of Click and the racist hate group Black Lives Matter??

    I don't advocate violence by anybody except in defense of life and limb. trump does not get a pass on advocating violence no matter how many lefties you mention in an attempt at equivalency.

    JL

  145. [145] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't advocate violence by anybody except in defense of life and limb.

    By singling out Trump and ignoring the violence from the Left (Chicago??) you ARE advocating violence..

    trump does not get a pass on advocating violence no matter how many lefties you mention in an attempt at equivalency.

    Attempt my ass! :D

    :D

    Michale

  146. [146] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Attempt my ass! :D

    okay, okay... FAILED attempt.

    ;p

    JL

  147. [147] 
    Michale wrote:

    Heh...

    "Oh, you got jokes.."
    -Jamal Jackson, THE REPLACEMENTS

    :D

    Michale

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