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Friday Talking Points [412] -- Trump Unshackled

[ Posted Friday, October 14th, 2016 – 17:46 PDT ]

Donald Trump has a new answer for why he's about to lose in a landslide. It's all a vast left-wing conspiracy. No, really. Well, he didn't actually use that term, but he did indeed go full-on conspiracy theorist at a recent rally. He blamed the Obamas, the Clintons, the world banking cabal (no dog-whistles there, right?), corporations, and anyone else he could think of. In other words, we seriously doubt Donald Trump is going to give a polite and respectful concession speech on Election Night. This is Trump, unshackled (to use his own term). Trump unchained. Trump off the leash. And it ain't pretty.

This entire election has already been a rollercoaster of historic proportions. Each and every time you think: "Well, it certainly can't get much worse," it does. Over and over again. And (a frightening thought if ever there was one) we still have over three weeks to go.

Last week was a textbook example of why political observers always say "a week is an eternity in politics." As was the week before it, come to think. And the week before that. Donald Trump simply crams so much bizarreness into such a short stretch of time, that it is now hard to remember a time before what is now being called "pussygate" had happened. Remember those quaint days of yore when the biggest news was Trump hadn't paid any federal income taxes for two decades? Seems like months ago, now. Remember when Trump was on the offensive against Bill Clinton's sexual past? That was only a week ago, when he tried to seat four Clinton accusers in his family box at the town hall debate.

The most delicious irony of the past week came from Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway. Last week, she tweeted a link to a Hillary Clinton quote: "Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported." Conway even highlighted the word "every" in her own tweet, to drive the point home. This week, she's been fully occupied by explaining that every single one of the women who are now accusing Trump of sexual harassment, misconduct, and assault -- and this list is now growing by the day -- are all liars. "Every" last one of them. The phrase "hoist on her own petard" doesn't even begin to describe her flailings.

The second-most delicious bit of tasty, tasty irony was seeing Gayle King on the CBS morning show, asking Conway about Melania Trump's fashion choice for the outfit she wore to the debate, which (you just can't make this stuff up, folks) is properly called a "pussy-bow blouse." Hoo boy.

There's been so much Trump news this week that we're going to have to just run it down without a whole lot of commentary. The week started off last Friday (our weeks are measured Friday-to-Friday, of course) with the Washington Post bombshell release of the Billy Bush Access Hollywood tape. Next up was the second presidential debate, which most news commenters reported using either the word "brutal" or the phrase "scorched Earth." And we've still got one debate to go, next week.

Then Paul Ryan told his House caucus that it was, essentially, every Republican for themselves. He was essentially conceding that Hillary Clinton will be our next president, and that all GOP House members should now concentrate on winning their own races rather than get dragged down by Trump. This came in the midst of an exodus of Republicans jumping off the Trump train, hoping that they'd made the leap before the train headed over the cliff. USA Today tallied this tsunami of "dump Trump-ers" and came up with a whopping one-in-four GOP governors and members of Congress who are refusing to support their own party's presidential nominee. This is unprecedented, folks.

Stunningly, this was followed by a handful of Republicans flip-flopping back to supporting Trump, after hearing from their own pro-Trump constituents. When the history of this election is written, they will surely be grouped under the heading "Profiles in Cowardice."

Team Trump tried to go on the offense again, but wound up being just downright offensive, with a new ad on Hillary Clinton's health that is so sleazy it makes you want to wash your eyeballs after viewing it. Yeah, that's the way to get women voters back!

This was about the point when women started publicly accusing Trump of sexual misconduct, all of whom have stated that what drove them to go public was Trump's flat-out statement during the debate (when asked about the Billy Bush tape) that it was "just words" and he had never actually done anything like what he was caught bragging about. Trump has called them all liars, and is now actually making the argument that he would never have forced himself on any of these women because (are you sitting down?) they simply weren't hot enough to merit his attention. Headlines like "Trump Isn't Just A Pig. He's A Predator" began appearing to describe the ongoing meltdown. Time magazine updated their "Trump meltdown" cover, but The Economist probably had the best cover of the week, with a profile of Trump's face as the Republican elephant's ass.

Maine Governor Paul LePage keeps trying to compete with Trump's craziness (since LePage prides himself on being the craziest Republican around, of course), and came up with the following gem:

Sometimes, I wonder that our Constitution is not only broken, but we need a Donald Trump to show some authoritarian power in our country and bring back the rule of law because we've had eight years of a president, he's an autocrat, he just does it on his own, he ignores Congress and every single day, we're slipping into anarchy.

Got that? Obama's an autocrat, and that's bad, so we've got to elect our kind of autocrat in order to make everything better. But LePage just doesn't raise the eyebrows all that much these days, since he's got Trump himself to compete with.

Meanwhile, down at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, the students are protesting -- in a school not generally known for student protest (to put it mildly). Who are they protesting? Their university's own president, Falwell's son. Here's what they had to say:

Because our president has led the world to believe that Liberty University supports Donald Trump, we students must take it upon ourselves to make clear that Donald Trump is absolutely opposed to what we believe, and does not have our support. We are not proclaiming our opposition to Donald Trump out of bitterness, but out of a desire to regain the integrity of our school.

Falwell Jr. shot back, completely incoherently:

I am proud of these few students for speaking their minds but I'm afraid the statement is incoherent and false. I am not "touring the country" or associating Liberty University with any candidate. I am only fulfilling my obligation as a citizen to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's" by expressing my personal opinion about who I believe is best suited to lead our nation in a time of crisis. This student statement seems to ignore the teachings of Jesus not to judge others but they are young and still learning.

Yeah, Jesus said not to judge lest ye be judged! So please don't interrupt me judging the heck out of Hillary Clinton -- because that is not "judging," but rather "expressing my personal opinion about who I believe is best suited to lead our nation in a time of crisis." BIG difference... NOT. On top of that, he's completely misunderstanding the whole render-unto-Caesar thing, which was actually about paying taxes you didn't like.

Nate Silver sent a shiver of excitement through Trump World this week, by pointing out that there is a stark gender divide in the election. Silver published two electoral maps, showing that if only women voted, Hillary Clinton would win with one of the biggest landslides in American history, capturing 458 Electoral College votes, to Trump's 80. But if only men's votes were counted, Trump would win 350 to Clinton's 188. This was cause for celebration for one of Trump's offspring, who tweeted the men-only map as if it were an actual reflection of current polls of all voters. Whoops! On Twitter, the hashtag #RepealThe19th appeared, because the obvious answer to Trump's problem with women voters is just to not let them vote (the 19th Amendment, passed almost a century ago, gave women the right to vote). Again: how's that outreach to women voters going, Republicans?

By the end of the week, big Republican donors were rumored to be pressuring the Republican National Committee to just cut Trump loose for good, and spend all their money on salvaging what they could in the House and Senate. Former George W. Bush speechwriter (turned Republican pundit) Michael Gerson even rang the death knell of the Republican Party in an extraordinary article that concluded:

This much is clear: Republican leaders offered no effective resistance to the ideological and political demolition of their party. Which may, in the worst case, give George W. Bush the distinction of being the final Republican president.

In the state-by-state horserace, Trump's supposed "path to victory" has almost completely disappeared. Want to get under a Republican voter's skin? Just point out the following: "Hey, remember back when Trump was saying he was going to win in places like New York, Connecticut, and Oregon? Those were the days... now he'll be lucky if he even wins Georgia, Texas, or Utah!" That's right -- a poll from Utah just showed Trump and Clinton tied. A poll from Texas showed Clinton within striking distance of Trump. Among all this cheery news, Team Trump has decided to concede Virginia, and pulled staff and money out of the state. If Hillary Clinton wins Texas, she's almost certain to beat Barack Obama's 2008 landslide numbers, since Texas has the second-largest total in the Electoral College (38 votes, second only to California's 55).

Let's see, what else? A bunch of people who used to -- literally -- have their fingers on the nuclear launch button (the "missileers" who sit in the silos waiting for the order to launch) wrote a letter stating in no uncertain terms that Donald Trump's finger should never be within reach of the nuclear button. Which isn't all that surprising, really, given the hordes of others who have said exactly the same thing.

All of that happened in one week's time. And Trump is now increasingly resembling a wounded animal, whom everyone knows are the most dangerous, because with nothing left to lose they can viciously lash out in their death throes.

And we've got over three weeks to go. Think we've hit bottom? Doubtful. Things can always go lower, folks. Next week will be the final debate, and it will likely be one for the ages.

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, was surprised by Barack Obama unexpectedly entering the Oval Office. Her response? "Oh, hi Barack -- hey can you help me by holding up this tape measure? I want to get the window size right for the drapes I'm ordering."

We certainly look forward to seeing this week's Saturday Night Live, that's for sure.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

When we attended this year's Democratic National Convention, we rated all the speeches given -- on a purely subjective scale -- on how effective and heartfelt we felt all the speeches were. Vice President Joe Biden gave the best speech we've ever seen him give, and we immediately wrote an article begging Team Clinton to send him out on the campaign trail as a surrogate to trail Trump around the country. Biden's speech was that good.

But we had to rank one speech -- out of the entire four nights -- above Biden's speech. Because First Lady Michelle Obama gave a downright extraordinary speech that no other speaker managed to top. We judged it the best of the whole convention -- better than Hillary Clinton's speech, better than Bill Clinton's speech, and better than Barack Obama's speech.

Which is why we're not too surprised to be awarding Michelle Obama this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. Obama was out on the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton in Manchester, New Hampshire, and she delivered the most authentic and heartfelt repudiation of Donald Trump's attitude towards (and remarks about, and actions towards) women that has yet been heard.

Obama reportedly had a lot to do with crafting this speech, which is obvious when you watch it. At times, she struggles to contain her emotions. She apparently was adamant about not just giving a standard "vote for Hillary" speech, but instead wanted to share her very personal thoughts about the disastrous week Trump has been having.

She started by noting that earlier in the week she had helped celebrate "International Day of the Girl" at the White House. She then, without once mentioning him by name, ripped into Donald Trump:

And now, here I am, out on the campaign trail in an election where we have consistently been hearing hurtful, hateful language about women -- language that has been painful for so many of us, not just as women, but as parents trying to protect our children and raise them to be caring, respectful adults, and as citizens who think that our nation's leaders should meet basic standards of human decency.

The fact is that in this election, we have a candidate for President of the United States who, over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign, has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning that I simply will not repeat anything here today. And last week, we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. And I can't believe that I'm saying that a candidate for President of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women.

And I have to tell you that I can't stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn't have predicted. So while I'd love nothing more than to pretend like this isn't happening, and to come out here and do my normal campaign speech, it would be dishonest and disingenuous to me to just move on to the next thing like this was all just a bad dream.

This is not something that we can ignore. It's not something we can just sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season. Because this was not just a "lewd conversation." This wasn't just locker-room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women, using language so obscene that many of us were worried about our children hearing it when we turn on the TV.

The entire speech is worth reading (or, even better, watching on video). Michelle Obama is one of the most-respected people in politics today, and her outrage was palpable and very personal. She certainly minced no words in denouncing Trump's so-called locker-room banter:

This is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful. It is intolerable. And it doesn't matter what party you belong to -- Democrat, Republican, independent -- no woman deserves to be treated this way. None of us deserves this kind of abuse.

Review after review after review reached the same conclusion: Michelle Obama just gave one of the most powerful speeches of this entire election cycle. She deserves our thanks for doing so, and she has more than earned this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week for giving such a heartfelt speech and for standing up for women, for decency, and against Donald Trump and his antediluvian attitudes towards women.

[Congratulate First Lady Michelle Obama via her official White House contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Julian Assange has been busily trying his best to torpedo Hillary Clinton's chances of becoming president, by leaking (on a daily basis) thousands of emails purportedly hacked from Hillary Clinton's campaign team. The likelihood that Russian hackers were the source of this information is high, and none of these leaked emails have been verified in any way.

Assange must be spitting nails, though, because nobody's paying the slightest bit of attention. None of what has been revealed is any sort of smoking gun, which likely means he doesn't have anything worse than what he's already WikiLeaked. The leaked emails are swimming against a very powerful tide -- that of Donald Trump's absolute meltdown into misogyny.

Even so, there have been embarrassing tidbits released, which is why we're giving the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week to John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign. Podesta's emails (if accurate) are little more than how political insiders and consultants actually talk, behind closed doors. Opposition research is performed, Clinton's weaknesses are discussed in detail, and mildly offensive language is used, at times. Nothing really shocking about any of it, but then the public rarely sees such a peek behind the political curtain.

If Trump hadn't been doing his impression of the Hindenburg this week, then maybe some of this might have captured the public's attention. However, given the scandalous competition, it barely even registered. Trump's woes are just so much more entertaining, after all.

So John Podesta will likely survive the leaks, but he certainly didn't have a very happy week this week. Which makes him the obvious candidate for our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week.

[John Podesta is running a political campaign right now, and our blanket policy is not to provide candidate website contact information, sorry.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 412 (10/14/16)

While we did award the prestigious MIDOTW award to Michelle Obama for her powerful speech this week, we also have to take note of a speech given by her husband in Columbus, Ohio. Because while Michelle's speech is certainly worth reading (or watching) and is one of the most heartfelt political speeches we've ever heard, Barack's speech was more appropriate to excerpt today as an extended talking point.

Barack Obama has always been at his best giving political speeches out on the campaign trail. So it's no surprise he's been particularly good at it in support of Hillary Clinton this year. But yesterday's Columbus speech -- which many are already calling his "Swamp Of Crazy" speech -- not only tore into Donald Trump's obvious unfitness for the job, but also widely condemned the entire Republican Party for opportunistically fanning the flames of crazy for his entire term in office. Obama is bluntly placing all the blame for Trump squarely at the feet of Republicans who have benefited from the craziness without ever expecting it to come back to bite them. It is the most scathing takedown we've heard this entire election season, and that includes the Democratic National Convention speeches.

Two technical notes are necessary, for context, before we get to the extended speech excerpt from Barack Obama. The first is that he was speaking in Ohio, in support not only of Hillary Clinton, but also in support of Ted Strickland, the Democrat running for U.S. Senate there. Obama, at one point, slams Strickland's opponent, Rob Portman. The second note is an editorial one -- we've removed what we felt were the extraneous "(Applause.)" and "(Laughter.)" notations from the transcript, although we left in the ones we felt were necessary to provide context for Obama's phrasing and rhythm. The full speech transcript (with all of the notations intact) can be read at Time magazine's website.

 

President Barack Obama, speaking in Columbus, Ohio

Look, we know that most Republicans don't think the way Donald Trump does. Even in a banquet like this, full of hard-core Democrats. We have Republican friends, we've got Republican neighbors -- at the Little League game, soccer game. At the parent-teachers conference, we meet them. Some great people. We don't even think that most Republican politicians actually really believe that Donald Trump is qualified to be President. I know because they -- I talk to them. (Laughter.) They're all like, "Man, this is really bad." (Laughter.) "We're just trying to get through this." (Laughter.)

But so the problem is not that all Republicans think the way this guy does. The problem is, is that they've been riding this tiger for a long time. They've been feeding their base all kinds of crazy for years -- primarily for political expedience. So if Trump was running around saying I wasn't born here, they were okay with that as long as it helped them with votes. If some of these folks on talk radio started talking about how I was the anti-Christ, you know, it's just politics. (Laughter.) You think I'm joking. (Laughter.)

If somebody completely denies climate change, or is filled up with all kinds of conspiracy theories about how me and Hillary started ISIL, or that we were plotting to declare martial law and take away everybody's guns.

We did a military exercise -- the Pentagon does these periodically in Texas, and suddenly all the folks in Texas were all like, "They're going to take over right now!" (Laughter.) I'm serious. And then the senator down there said, "Yeah, we better look into that." (Laughter.) And the governor says, "Well, I don't know." What do you mean you don't know? (Laughter.) What does that mean? (Applause.) Really? You think that like the entire Pentagon said: "Oh, really, you want to declare martial law and take over Texas? Let's do it under the guise of routine training missions" (Laughter.) -- and everybody is going to be -- but they took it seriously.

This is in the swamp of crazy that has been fed over and over and over and over again. Look, I -- and there's sort of a spectrum, right -- it's a whole kind of ecosystem. And look, if I watched Fox News I wouldn't vote for me. (Laughter.) I understand. If I was listening to Rush Limbaugh, I'd say, "Man, that's terrible." (Laughter.) Fortunately, I have more diverse sources of information.

And I want to make a serious point here -- because I'm really not exaggerating. Everything I'm saying are actual things that have been said and that people -- a fairly sizable number of people in the Republican primaries believe. And the people who knew better didn't say anything. They didn't say, "Well, you know what, I disagree with his economic policies, but that goes too far." They didn't say, "Well, I'm not sure if his foreign policy is the right one for America, but we can't allow our politics to descend into the gutter."

People like Ted [Strickland]'s opponent -- they stood by while this happened. And Donald Trump, as he's prone to do, he didn't build the building himself, but he just slapped his name on it and took credit for it.

And that's what's happened in their party. All that bile, all the exaggeration, all the stuff that was not grounded in fact just kind of bubbled up, started surfacing. They know better, a lot of these folks who ran, and they didn't say anything. And so they don't get credit for, at the very last minute, when finally the guy that they nominated and they endorsed and they supported is caught on tape saying things that no decent person would even think, much less say, much less brag about, much less laugh about or joke about, much less act on -- you can't wait until that finally happens and then say, "Oh, that's too much, that's enough." And think that somehow you are showing any kind of leadership and deserve to be elected to the United States Senate.

You don't get points for that. In fact, I'm more forgiving of the people who actually believe it than the people who know better and stood silently by, out of political expediency, because it was politically convenient.

And if your only organizing principle has been to block progress and block what we've tried to do to help the American people every step of the way, so you're not even consistent anymore -- you claim the mantle of the party of family values, and this is the guy you nominate? And stand by, and endorse, and campaign with until, finally, at the 11th hour you withdraw your nomination? You don't get credit for that.

You're the party that is tough on foreign policy and opposes Russia -- and then you nominate this guy, whose role model is Vladimir Putin, the former head of the KGB? I'm sorry, what happened? (Laughter.) It's disappointing. It really is. Because, yes, I'm a Democrat, but I'm an American first. (Applause.) And I actually believe in a strong two-party system. And I think that the marketplace of ideas should have a reasonable, common-sense Republican Party debating a reasonable, common-sense Democratic Party. But that is not what we have right now.

 

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

 

114 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [412] -- Trump Unshackled”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    President Obama's speech was absolutely on target. The Republican party went down the rathole because it worked for them and they didn't care about the damage the were causing and they didn't foresee where it would end up. But they should have. A whole lot of us have been sounding the alarm for years. It sucks to be Cassandras. But eventually the march of events leads to inevitable outcomes and all of a sudden lots of people go "wow, this is bad". Yeah, this is bad. This is what you get when you legitimize a blatant dishonest propaganda outlet like FOX. When you appear on hate-radio and bow to Rush Limbaugh. When you decide facts and truth are expendable and subjective. When you support witch hunts. Etc. Well, we're here now and lets hope there are more sane, decent Americans than hateful, crazed Trumpers. In three weeks we'll find out.

    But Michelle's speech was, indeed, terrific. But its topic -- horrible. Horrible.

  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    Trumpers: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/trump-accuser-says-she-leaving-country/AAbPU8RUe3AUjWvzt5OpMO/

    But she said got a scare Thursday night when she returned to the Palm Springs house she shares with her daughter and stepdad to pick up clothes.

    “I look out the window and there are cars just driving around the house and looking, slowing down right at the house,’’ she said.

    “I don’t live in a gated community. This is dangerous. There could be people out there who want to hurt us.’’

    I'm sure every woman who has the courage to come forward will be threatened by Trumpers. We can only pray none of them will actually be attacked or killed.

  3. [3] 
    neilm wrote:

    Sometimes it feels Kafkaesque. I had forgotten about the U.S. Military exercise in Texas being 'monitored' by the Texas National Guard. How can you keep a position of responsibility after authorizing that?

    There is a great book called "Them" by Jon Ronson (of "Men Staring at Goats" fame) that dives into the conspiracy theory community. Alex Jones (Infowars) is a real piece of work, almost funny.

    Jones and Ronson sneaked into the Bohemian Grove. This is an annual event that a lot of very big names go to in Northern California (in the Wine Country). I knew about it because my neighbor was an opera trained singer so a 'talent member' as part of the choir. My buddy told me the worst thing that happened was guys peeing against trees. According to Jones there were human sacrifices or something like that. Whack-a-doodle stuff.

  4. [4] 
    neilm wrote:

    Here is a little background that I had forgotten:

    From NPR:

    "You see, there are these Wal-Marts in West Texas that supposedly closed for six months for "renovation." That's what they want you to believe. The truth is these Wal-Marts are going to be military guerrilla-warfare staging areas and FEMA processing camps for political prisoners. The prisoners are going to be transported by train cars that have already been equipped with shackles.

    Don't take my word for it. That comes directly from a Texas Ranger, who seems pretty plugged in, if you ask me. You and I both know President Obama has been waiting a long time for this, and now it's happening. It's a classic false flag operation. Don't pay any attention to the mainstream media; all they're going to do is lie and attack everyone who's trying to tell you the truth."

  5. [5] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    On Friday, the Unshackle Orange Predator said "I have no idea who these women are and I think you all know I have no idea", and for the first time ever, I actually believe he's telling the truth. They were not named Trump, so they were insignificant to him and he doesn't even remember groping them.

  6. [6] 
    Kick wrote:

    Time magazine updated their "Trump meltdown" cover, but The Economist probably had the best cover of the week, with a profile of Trump's face as the Republican elephant's ass.

    Oh, but this IS an awesome cover! I scrolled down and found an animated version that was posted on Twitter where the "lips" move. I was kind of half expecting Trump's ass-lips to say: "This is a movement" and then a pile of dung to plop out.

    Missed opportunity! *LOL* :)

  7. [7] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I completely agree on the choice of Michelle Obama as "Most Impressive Dem. O' The Week." I really can't think of a better political orator. Barack Obama can soar, but he often comes across a bit flat and wonky.
    M. Obama is consistently impressive. I don't know where she got these skills (I'm sure she access to top notch speech writers), but I suspect she's just a natural talent with a pitch perfect ear.

  8. [8] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    . . . and the dung should be a chalky white color. Deplorable!

  9. [9] 
    TheStig wrote:
  10. [10] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Trump "off the leash" seems to me the most apt of all the CW imagery.... especially if you add a panicked dog walker and a busy NYC street at rush hour. The dog should be a pug.

    I do like the Hindenburg analogy:

    Seemingly massive, but actually very light weight. Check

    Easily diverted off course by changes in weather.
    Check

    Lift provided by highly combustible gas. Check

    Embarrassing swastikas on the control surfaces. Check

    Short career, most famous for burning and crashing.
    Most likely a check.

  11. [11] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The Electoral Map is really looking awful for D.T.

    Clinton does not have a lock on the Electoral College, but she does 272 Electoral votes that seem very tightly corralled.

    Trump's corral has 163 Electoral votes.

    The remaining competitive 103 EV are mostly leaning Democrat, CO, FL,NC and even OH.

    Anybody play the Parker Brother game Risk as a kid? You're down to your last country, Ukraine, and you've got 4 armies there, plus a cavalry and an artillery conquer card. Your weakest neighbor has 12 armies. Technically, you can still win the ....but it's going to take some epic rolling of the dice. The temptation to kick over the table and run like hell is very strong. Trump unbound!

  12. [12] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    It’s a good to keep in mind that the Orange One is a shock radio performance artist and a Twitter Troll. He’s running the first 4chan scampaign. It’s unlikely that he ever really wanted to be president. He had to know where this would end up, but trolls just want to lie and shock and insult. To them that’s the whole shebang. Winning!

  13. [13] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Good article this week, CW.

    So who is ultimately responsible for Jurassic Park? asks Obama. Is it everyone who thought that turning predators into featured performers was a nifty idea? Is it the consumers, whose eyeballs (and dollars) are the actual prize for the corporate interests that finance the show?

    Is the Megasaur that escapes responsible?

    Or is it the men who could have said, "No, this is wrong; this is irresponsible."?

    The Koch Brothers, and later Ailes at Fox, thought that the Tea Party was a good box to put the 'deplorables' into. They would be, as the Russians say, 'useful idiots', who would bolster GOP numbers. It would be removed, like an island, away from 'serious' politics.

    Oh, the folly! But we still laughed when Eric Cantor was eaten by one.

    Obama's right: when the Megasaur is finally brought down, there should be some accountability for its creation in the first place.

    Meanwhile, where are the sober GOP? You'll find them cowering over there, waiting for the girl they dislike to save them from their own hubris.

  14. [14] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    It’s amusing to hear the Orange Grope Artist say how stupid it would be to broadcast his plan to defeat the ISIS. His record of not broadcasting his battle plan is actually not very good. Remember, months ago, when he was telling the Clintons to “be careful” or he was going to talk about Bill? Remember how his flying monkeys gloated about shutting down HilRod’s gender card strategy? It kind of leads me to believe that he doesn’t have an ISIS plan. Of course, if he did have one, it would likely be idiotic (bomb the shit out of them). I doubt that the ISIS freaks are as good at beating lightweight Russian puppets as the Clintons are, but they’d probably manage.

  15. [15] 
    TheStig wrote:

    JFC -

    Trump doesn't really make plans, he operates off-the-cuff according to The Trump Doctrine:

    The Trump Doctrine

    1) There is a sucker born every minute. Learn to spot them.

    2) Risk other people's money, not your own.

    3) Threaten law suits and you'll rarely need to sue (see 4).

    4) Few people can afford to sue Trump. Those who can will probably get tired and settle on favorable terms.

    5) Few people will admit to being duped. Your dupe will usually defend you, especially if you compliment him/her and say they are smart salt of the earth.

    6) Get it on credit. Don't pay market rate, better still, don't pay at all

    7) Endlessly self promote, the media will help you if you put on a good show.

    8) Never admit a setback or defeat.

    9) Exaggerate your assets, hide your liabilities

    10) Operate in muddy water, if water is clear, add mud.

    11) Don't like the subject? Change it.

    12) All criticism of Trump is unfair, biased and part of a greater conspiracy.

  16. [16] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    "Julian Assange has been busily trying his best to torpedo Hillary Clinton's chances..."

    Assangs is anti-establishment.
    He is succeeding in causing quite a stir despite Trump crashing and burning spectacularly.

    "because nobody's paying the slightest bit of attention"

    This is a demonstrably false statement, since media outlets from the BBC to the NYT have been reporting on the content, and you yourself brought up the subject... though you managed to give an award without mentioning the reason why Podesta earned it. I'm undecided if that's clever or weak.

    "The likelihood that Russian hackers were the source of this information is high, and none of these leaked emails have been verified in any way"

    Good of you to note that "Russian hackers" as opposed to the Russian government may be responsible... but since zero evidence has been presented of either, you may well be repeating a falsehood.

    In any case, the actual source is irrelevant to the newsworthiness of the content.

    The flipside of "none of the emails have been verified" is that none of the emails have been proven to be forgeries, and the content has turned out to be exactly what everyone, including Bernie, suspected it would be... and worse.
    The "smoking gun" is not some new and damaging revelation... it's that Hillary's two-faced nature is exactly as her critics claimed. She said so herself.

    Wikileaks has a perfect record to date.
    100% of their releases have been authentic.
    Defenders of the establishment may not like it, but such is life.

    A

  17. [17] 
    BigGuy wrote:

    My favorite Trump strategy is refuting the charges of objectifying women by objectifying the women accusers and Mrs. Clinton.

    Trump, Ailes, Giuliani, Christie, etc. likely rated Kelly Anne Conway on a 10 point scale before hiring her to ensure she met their requirements.

  18. [18] 
    altohone wrote:

    BTW CW

    This part of Obama's speech is both weak and unintentionally honest-

    "And I actually believe in a strong two-party system. And I think that the marketplace of ideas should have a reasonable, common-sense Republican Party debating a reasonable, common-sense Democratic Party. But that is not what we have right now."

    A two party system where both parties agree on so many of the policies that are failing America and Americans is not an inclusive "marketplace of ideas"... excluding alternate ideas they don't want anyone to even discuss is not "reasonable" or "common-sense".

    So, "but that's not what we have" is unintentionally true of the Democratic Party too.

    A

  19. [19] 
    TheStig wrote:

    altohone -18

    "Wikileaks has a perfect record to date.
    100% of their releases have been authentic."

    Could you be a bit more specific about how you conclude the above? Who is the authenticating body?

    Forgeries are not exactly unknown in the espionage business. Misinformation has always been a part of intelligence trade craft.

    "the content has turned out to be exactly what everyone, including Bernie, suspected it would be... and worse."

    I would not be comforted by that fact. One of the hallmarks of good misinformation is that it is believable to the targeted audience.

    I don't believe the public will be in a position to know the authenticity of Wikileaks material for at least 50 yrs or so. The sheer volume of the stuff is going to make ironclad authentication difficult. Everybody is entitled to hunches, but until the archives on both sides are scrutinized by historians not yet born, they are hunches.

  20. [20] 
    Paula wrote:

    Trumpers:

    “If she’s in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot. That’s how I feel about it,” Dan Bowman, a 50-year-old contractor, said of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee. “We’re going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that’s what it takes. There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed. But that’s what it’s going to take. . . . I would do whatever I can for my country.”

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2016/10/15/donald-trump-warnings-conspiracy-rig-election-are-stoking-anger-among-his-followers/LcCY6e0QOcfH8VdeK9UdsM/story.html?event=event25

  21. [21] 
    altohone wrote:

    TS
    19

    If you have evidence of any forgeries, please share.
    Nobody has found any, and many are looking... and have been looking for ten years.

    Do you seriously think that if Podesta or Hillary found a discrepancy they'd stay silent?
    No, they wouldn't.

    Is there anything in Hillary's speeches that doesn't sound like something Hillary would say?
    Nope.

    Is there a reason to conclude they aren't authentic and might be "misinformation" without any evidence whatsoever?
    Disgust of Trump and party loyalty come to mind, but are those valid reasons to set aside the normal need for facts and evidence in decision making?

    You may also want to ask why Democrats were huge fans of Wikileaks when they were exposing documents from the Bush era and never raised such doubts.

    "Who is the authenticating body?"
    Really?

    Are you expecting the US government or in this case the Hillary campaign to set up such a body and provide access to the original material for comparison so it can be publicly confirmed?

    Really?

    The nature of the material that Wikileaks has released precludes such a possibility.
    I can't think of a nice way to put this, but asking the question is silly.

    A

  22. [22] 
    TheStig wrote:

    altohone -21

    I have no evidence of forgery, but I doubt you can establish the provenance of Assange's ones and zeros.

    Until you, or somebody else does so, there is every reason to be a bit suspicious about the authenticity of Assange's material. Does Assange have motive to publish inauthentic data? How being about being confined to the back rooms of the Ecuadorian Embassy since 2012? Little revenge maybe? Does the Putin government (which is to say Putin) have a motive to undermine the US election? Since Russia and the United States aren't exactly friendly these days, I would entertain that possibility, maybe not with my best liquor, but I would want to chat. I do not dismiss the possibilities that Assange's data dump is in fact all, mostly or completely genuine, but these are all just credible theories. There has not been sufficient time to dig deeply into the matter. Gathering and weighing evidence takes time and in this case, a lot of access and expertise.

    CW was admirably cautious in his wording. I remain agnostic awaiting revelation.

  23. [23] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    You may also want to ask why Democrats were huge fans of Wikileaks when they were exposing documents from the Bush era and never raised such doubts.

    You mean when Wikileaks was focusing on exposing government misconduct verses attacking the campaign of one candidate? Do you seriously not see the difference here? There was no one person being targeted then. Even though you refer to it as being from the Bush era, I can't think of any hacked emails directly from Bush.

    That's because those documents all came from a whistle blower, not hackers!

    Do you think Chelsea Manning would have risked all she did just to hurt a fellow citizen's election bid? Personally, I find comparing this release in any way to the former a huge insult to Manning's sacrifice.

  24. [24] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Paula [1]

    This is what you get when you legitimize a blatant dishonest propaganda outlet like FOX. When you appear on hate-radio and bow to Rush Limbaugh.

    Spot on! The sad thing is that those that are being lied to do not realize that they are being lied to, or do not want to realize it. They are being misfed information constantly by the GOP.

    "In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against *distorting or falsifying the news* in the United States."

    "During their appeal, FOX asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right *to lie or deliberately distort news reports* on public airwaves. Fox attorneys did not dispute Ms. Akre’s claim that they pressured her to *broadcast a false story*, they simply maintained that it was their 'right' to do so."

    http://theimmoralminority.blogspot.com/2009/10/fox-admits-that-they-lie-and-distort.html

    Then you have Mitt Romney's campaign going to court for the right to lie in political ads without the fear of being held culpable for what might result from people believing those ads are telling the truth.... And winning!

    After Paul Ryan's 2012 speech as the Vice Presidential nominee at the RNC, a Fox News journalist wrote,

    “To anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech.”

    When Fox News makes such a bold claim, given their history, that is a powerful statement!

    I so badly want my family to see through the lies they are being told. But they trust the news to be honest and factual... Which they should be able to do. When the news on TV warns them of a deadly tornado is coming their way, I don't want them to question whether they should believe it to be the truth! The media have far too critical a role in our society for us to not be able to believe what they are saying to us. I just don't know what to do.

  25. [25] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    23

    Hillary saying one thing to her rich donors, and another to voters is misconduct and is something everyone should care about because her policies will affect us all.
    If the money she was personally paid or the money given to her campaign affects her policies as it appears, it's misconduct, and voters deserve to know what they are in for. We are talking about the corruption of our democracy, and I seriously doubt Manning would be insulted.

    The DNC shenanigans undermining our democracy are likewise relevant. Five people lost their jobs, but the damage was done and irreversible.
    "Do you seriously" not see the hypocrisy when you whine about "hurting a fellow citizens election bid"?
    You're OK with it when Hillary does it?

    A

  26. [26] 
    altohone wrote:

    TS
    22

    It's my job to establish the authenticity of the documents being used by the BBC, the NYT, TI, WashPo, HuffPo, LAT, CW, etc.?

    These professional reporters with "access and expertise" are "digging deeply" and "putting in the time".

    I don't have to do squat.

    I do have reasons based on available facts to be suspicious of Hillary and our political establishment, and our government though.

    Assange has motive for revenge alright, but so far at least, it appears his motive for maintaining a perfect ten year track record and letting the documents speak for themselves is enough for him.

    Of course, many people are involved in running Wikileaks, so we shouldn't limit our appreciation to Assange.

    A

  27. [27] 
    Paula wrote:

    [24] Listen: I wonder if, after this horrendous election is over, we need to start a movement to reinstate some version of a Fairness Doctrine again. It really should not be allowable to knowingly deceive people in media. There is a difference between fact and opinion -- News vs. Editorial, etc. There's a difference between idiots believing nonsense and Media Figures spewing nonsense on platforms offering national/international exposure.

    I'm too tired tonight to think/write in any detail about this, but it has been a concern for years now. Too many people for too long seemed to think having a bunch of liars in front of microphones was "no problem" -- people would see through it, or wouldn't take it seriously. They didn't seem to grasp that having the microphone -- the radio show, the cable channel, the newspaper, the magazine, the think tank -- automatically bestows credibility and legitimacy.

    Now they know.

  28. [28] 
    neilm wrote:

    When republicans send their candidates, they are not sending their best... they're rapists, racists, bigots, con men, tax dodgers, p----grabbers...but some I assume are good people

  29. [29] 
    neilm wrote:

    Credit to Steve Haigh - a random commentator for the above. Steve wins the Internet today.

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    Good of you to note that "Russian hackers" as opposed to the Russian government may be responsible... but since zero evidence has been presented of either, you may well be repeating a falsehood.

    Actually, cyber-security firms that have been investigating these leaks have independently concluded that Russian hackers with ties to the Putin regime are very likely responsible for the Clinton campaign and DNC hacks. They have set out the evidence for this in relatively detailed manner which you can see for yourself. Just google it.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I am both surprised and disappointed to find so many fans of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks here ( and of Edward Snowden, I presume, as well), to say nothing of the short shrift being paid to the evidence-based notion that the Russian government is tied to the DNC/Hillary campaign hacking and, more disturbing, to the release of the hacked material to WikiLeaks.

    The indiscriminate nature of the document dumps perpetrated by WikiLeaks and Snowden do not rise to the level of anything remotely resembling a public service.

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hillary should start focusing on the Republican cult of economic failure.

    Why don't Democrats speak to this very important distinction between the parties?

  33. [33] 
    neilm wrote:

    Q: Why don't Democrats speak to this very important distinction between the parties?

    A: When you opponent is in a hole and digging frantically you just stand back and let him dig deeper.

    The electorate (that's us) has shown at least two characteristics this cycle:
    1. Whoever is making news is dropping in the polls
    2. We are more interested in scandal than policy

  34. [34] 
    Kick wrote:

    [11] TS,

    Anybody play the Parker Brother game Risk as a kid? You're down to your last country, Ukraine, and you've got 4 armies there, plus a cavalry and an artillery conquer card. Your weakest neighbor has 12 armies. Technically, you can still win the ....but it's going to take some epic rolling of the dice. The temptation to kick over the table and run like hell is very strong. Trump unbound!

    Oh, yes! And 9 times out of 10, the person beating you has mastered the game and knows how to play it. That person will usually take control of an entire continent early in the game, and the best continent to commandeer? You and I both know it.......... Australia.

    HillRod claimed that continent early in the game, and Australia on our "Risk map" is.......... Virginia.

    Oh, looky who just used up a ton of resources and is now slinking away in defeat from Virginitralia! :)

  35. [35] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hi Liz
    30

    The Podesta email hack and the lack of any evidence presented by the "intelligence agencies" who made their official announcement the other day, not the DNC hack is what I was specifically referring to in my comment.

    But they happen to have something in common with the cyber-security firms who investigated the DNC hack.

    "are very likely responsible"

    Their "conclusions" are similarly qualified... never certain.
    Why is that?

    Ask an expert... you can Google it.
    Here's a hint- hacking email accounts is easy if basic precautions aren't taken.
    Government expertise and resources are not required, and hiding the origin of an attack is only slightly more difficult.

    "with ties to the Putin regime"

    First cousins of a ministers wife?
    Maybe the hacker voted for Putin?
    "ties" doesn't seem a little vague to you?

    In any case, they just happened to reach the conclusion that the people who hired them wanted them to reach in order to distract the public from what the hackers revealed... namely that a supposedly impartial private organization with a huge influence on the supposedly democratic process was not impartial after all.

    But the Russians are coming!!!
    Pay no attention to the blatant corruption... it was just a few bad apples, and they were fired.
    Very concerned people should prioritize the foreign menace... and conveniently ignore the domestic menace.

    That's what the establishment wants.
    That's what the establishment got.

    You get a gold star for helping.
    A

  36. [36] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hi again Liz
    31

    See my previous comment first.

    I am a "sunshine is the best disinfectant" kind of guy, so it's a shame you don't recognize the public service being provided by Wikileaks and Snowden.

    You seem to believe that ignorance about policies that would never fly if debated publicly, constitutional violations, and corruption is preferable to having informed citizens.

    I hope you share the reasoning behind that belief some day. It seems at odds with other positions you've taken.

    But I will add that you are conflating Wikileaks with Snowden in a factually inaccurate manner.

    Snowden did not perpetrate an indiscriminate document dump.
    He provided the information to journalists who selectively released only the portions that they and their organizations deemed in the public interest.
    Snowden didn't release ANY information to the public.

    Wikileaks releases everything and lets the cards fall where they will in the belief that there are perils in selectively choosing what to share.

    Given what we know about the corporate media, I tend to favor the Wikileaks approach. But I certainly appreciate having the information the Snowden release made available too.

    I hope many more people with access to classified material and shady dealings are emboldened to share such information.

    A

  37. [37] 
    Kick wrote:

    [13] Balthasar,

    Obama's right: when the Megasaur is finally brought down, there should be some accountability for its creation in the first place.

    Meanwhile, where are the sober GOP? You'll find them cowering over there, waiting for the girl they dislike to save them from their own hubris.

    Backwards and in high heels! :)

  38. [38] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Big Orange has been awfully quiet about the Trumpthug Terrists and the spectacular truckbomb terrorism they were planning out there in Kansas. At the next "debate", Donald should be asked why the zombie cult didn't tell on the Crusaders? Should their families be killed? Should we bomb the shit out of Garden City?

    On the other hand, the "debate" will be moderated by a fake news channel ventriloquist dummy. He's more likely to be asked if he'll pardon the Crusaders.

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    A: When you opponent is in a hole and digging frantically you just stand back and let him dig deeper.

    Is 'A' for asinine? Good luck with that strategy ...

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You seem to believe that ignorance about policies that would never fly if debated publicly, constitutional violations, and corruption is preferable to having informed citizens

    And, you keep making false assumptions.

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    See my previous comment first.

    Too late.

    Besides, your second one was better. :)

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    Obama's right: when the Megasaur is finally brought down, there should be some accountability for its creation in the first place.

    When it comes to deadly serious issues, what does Obama know about accountability.

    Why are there so many poor messengers in the Democratic party?

    On the other hand, don't miss Biden on MTP today!

  43. [43] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick-34

    "the best continent to commandeer? You and I both know it.......... Australia."

    Indeed. There is always a fierce initial battle for Australia, and a grand alliance is almost always formed against the winner!

    There are many "house rules" that crop up in basement games, the best of them (IMHO)make blitzkriegs harder. I always felt the best games had all six(?) colors in play, lots of scope for diplomacy and treachery. Our own neighborhood rules made big games last about week.

    I'm also fond of the game Diplomacy, and a variant by Avalon Hill called Machiavelli. Implementations of Risk and Diplomacy were some the first online strategy games I encountered.

    I have a copy of Jutland, not exactly mint, I think that was the first Avalon Hill publication. I have a closet filled with about 25 subsequent AH board games.

  44. [44] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    altohone [25]

    Hillary saying one thing to her rich donors, and another to voters is misconduct and is something everyone should care about because her policies will affect us all.

    No, it's called lying, and while I do not approve of it, it isn't illegal nor does it give anyone the right to hack a person's emails.


    If the money she was personally paid or the money given to her campaign affects her policies as it appears, it's misconduct, and voters deserve to know what they are in for.

    That's a mighty BIG "IF" , especially if these is absolutely no evidence that supports your claims of Clinton taking a bribe. (I realize you didn't actually use the term "bribe", but that is what it would be if it were illegal, so I chose to connect the dots myself). Clinton speeches are not public records. Those are speeches that she gave as a private citizen. What do you honestly think she would say to an auditorium full of bank employees that would point to criminal behavior or misconduct on her part?


    We are talking about the corruption of our democracy, and I seriously doubt Manning would be insulted.

    Really? Manning uncovered government wrong doing and when his superiors ignored him, he then chose to release the records. Hacking into the private emails on a fishing expedition to see what dirt you can find on someone is not even remotely the same thing!

    I saw your comment to Liz above:

    I am a "sunshine is the best disinfectant" kind of guy, so it's a shame you don't recognize the public service being provided by Wikileaks and Snowden.

    As someone who has long been a public records advocate and has taken government agencies to court on multiple occasions to force the agencies to abide by the public disclosure laws of this state, let me say that Wikileaks is extremely dangerous!


    Wikileaks releases everything and lets the cards fall where they will in the belief that there are perils in selectively choosing what to share.

    There are many good reasons for withholding portions of government records from the general public: Like protecting the identity of children who have been raped or the addresses of domestic abuse survivors! The "perils" of not selectively choosing what to share is why we have extremely specific transparency laws!

    Snowden didn't release ANY information to the public.

    Bullshit! Journalists are part of "the public".

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    When it comes to deadly serious issues, what does Obama know about accountability.

    Let me answer that by saying that he apparently believes that accountability must proceed only when it is politically expedient.

    He is not the one to be talking to Republicans about accountability. At least, not until he explains in full why he was so reticent to deliver even a modicum of accountability to his predecessor for war crimes or enough accountability to the entities most responsible for the near collapse of the global financial system.

    Don't get me wrong - he had good reasons for what he did and didn't do, on both scores. It's just a bit too self-righteous, even for Obama, to be lecturing about Republican accountability for Trump.

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Bullshit! Journalists are part of "the public".

    Indeed.

  47. [47] 
    neilm wrote:

    A: When you opponent is in a hole and digging frantically you just stand back and let him dig deeper.

    Is 'A' for asinine? Good luck with that strategy ...

    When the news cycle is being dominated by a Trump scandal that he is making worse, you recommend Hillary broaching a complex, nuanced subject such as a "cult of economic failure"?

    I think you miss the point from way up there on your high horse - she is trying to win this election.

  48. [48] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Liz [31]

    I am both surprised and disappointed to find so many fans of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks here ( and of Edward Snowden, I presume, as well), to say nothing of the short shrift being paid to the evidence-based notion that the Russian government is tied to the DNC/Hillary campaign hacking and, more disturbing, to the release of the hacked material to WikiLeaks.

    No fan here! I do have respect for Chelsea Manning and Snowden, however. The sad thing about Snowden's release was that most of the information regarding the government's partnership with the phone & Internet providers and electronics makers was already out there and didn't require the theft of government documents to be known. Granted, it launched it into the public's eye via the method of it's release, but Devon took a class on law enforcement's use of the Patriot Act for working criminal cases a year before Snowden's release. The project PRISM was thoroughly discussed.

    The most disturbing aspect isn't even the government's surveillance of private communications, but how the government instructed law enforcement to enter two different sets of "evidence" that prevented the court and defense attorneys from knowing where the information had actually come from! Law enforcement was instructed to enter one warrant request seeking very generalized info with the local court and send a separate "secret" warrant request to the government liaison's office with the specific information they were looking for. Basically, it comes down to the fact that Google and AT&T typically only give the police very basic information when they respond to warrant requests. The Patriot Act requires them to give far more information and specifics to the federal government. If the information obtained with the "secret" warrant led to someone being prosecuted, the "generalized" warrant request was entered as evidence, but the information that resulted from that warrant was replaced with the information that was obtained with the "secret" warrant sent to the Feds. If agencies followed the government's instructions, any resulting conviction should be tossed and the prosecutor disbarred as far as I am concerned.

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What I don't miss from my high perch is that she and Trump are virtually tied in many major polls.

    Does that indicate a winning strategy?

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    When the news cycle is being dominated by a Trump scandal that he is making worse, you recommend Hillary broaching a complex, nuanced subject such as a "cult of economic failure"?

    If you're going to quote me, Neil, try to be more accurate and don't leave out important words or context.

    The Republican cult of economic failure is not complicated.

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If Hillary can't explain it, then she should recruit someone who can.

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I have zero respect for Snowden, Russ.

  53. [53] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    zero respect is not very much. i can understand doubting his methods or his motives, but ZERO respect? i would think you of all people would be level-headed enough to see his perspective a bit more clearly.

    JL

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What is his perspective, Joshua?

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What about Snowden's perspective should I respect?

  56. [56] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    snowden's perspective: he had valid concerns, and had seen firsthand that people who voiced civil liberties concerns according to the rules had their lives and careers destroyed:

    http://www.npr.org/2014/07/22/333741495/before-snowden-the-whistleblowers-who-tried-to-lift-the-veil

    he made a conscious decision to put himself in danger in support of a higher principle.

    i'm not necessarily saying he's right or wrong, but that's his point of view, and at least i can understand and respect it. why not you?

    JL

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I don't believe Snowden has any high principles.

  58. [58] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    only he knows for sure. skepticism is one thing, but outright disbelief would require more evidence from my point of view.

  59. [59] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    LizM [49],

    "she and Trump are virtually tied in many major polls"

    It is simply not a national one person, one vote election, so even if that were accurate, it's not really meaningful. She already has nearly enough electoral college votes in states that are not especially competitive. She doesn't need to drown out the Orange One's insanity. She needs to GOTV in swing states.

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    JFC,

    You think the state polls are more accurate than the national polls?

    I understand your EV system but wonder why you put more stock into the accuracy of EV analyses.

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    only he knows for sure. skepticism is one thing, but outright disbelief would require more evidence from my point of view.

    I concur.

  62. [62] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "I wonder why you put more stock into the accuracy of EV analyses"

    I'm not sure that I do. The national polls are not relevant.

  63. [63] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    We'll see about that, JFC. :)

  64. [64] 
    neilm wrote:

    Elizabeth:

    If Hillary can't explain it, then she should recruit someone who can.

    Then please explain it (i.e. the Republican cult of economic failure).

    I read the Economist diligently, I also follow Branko Milanovic's (his books, and his excellent blog: http://glineq.blogspot.com/) and the last time I heard the phrase used was about Bush's tax cuts in a HuffPo article in 2010.

    I await your words of wisdom from your high perch, if you can even be bothered interacting with riff-raff.

    Note: I will channel Michale to muddy the waters as best I can and try to hijack this blog to talk only about this so I can show you why Hillary is wise not to bring this up (i.e. it becomes a peer-to-peer argument NOT about Trump's current scandal).

  65. [65] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Candidates can run up the score in CA, TX, and NY, but it doesn't help them in FL or OH.

  66. [66] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    40

    Sorry about making a false assumption.
    So, we deserve to know the information that was leaked?

    Should I keep guessing or are you going to share?

    A

  67. [67] 
    neilm wrote:

    The 538 (who have a good record with their model) rely on State polls, but also use National polls to adjust the balance in states where there is little polling.

    For example, they have a correlation factor between Ohio and Indiana. If Ohio has a lot of polling and Indiana very little, then they couple the trends in Ohio with the National trends to derive Indiana's situation. This seems smart to me (i.e. it makes sense and it has been proven to work in the past).

    Thus National polls can be valuable to a model, even if they don't reflect an actual election.

    Currently Hillary is up 6.2% (538) and 5.5% (RCP) Nationally. RCP is a simple average of the last two week's worth of polls (i.e. they take USC/LA Times at face value), the 538 includes poll reliability and 'lean' into their more complicated calculation, and also include more polls.

    5.5% - 6.2% is not what I'd call a tie. If Hillary was down over 5% at this point, I'd be very worried.

    I expect the polls will get tighter as the current Trump catastrophe becomes yesterday's news, but even then, it is a big hill to climb (but not insurmountable - 538 still give Trump a 15%-20% chance of winning).

    Thus Hillary is wise to keep the current storyline on Trump's sexual assaults and wind down the clock.

  68. [68] 
    neilm wrote:

    Arizona:

    I've been looking into Arizona since, to my surprise, late last week the 538 started calling it for Hillary (only 50.1% to 49.9%). Currently they have switched it back to Trump (again only 50.1% to 49.9%).

    The biggest variable seems to be (beyond the candidates/platforms of course) the Latino vote. There are two variables, the number of registered Latinos, and their likelihood to vote.

    The Arizona democrats obviously are targeting both variables, and a recent registration drive exceeded their goals (including taco trucks offering voter registration on the menu!). Arizona Latinos are still smarting from SB1070 (police can request your papers if you don't look American, as the locals characterize it), and the activities of Joe Arpaio, and thus are in no mood to vote Republican.

    If the models being used minimize the impact of these changes, perhaps we could see Arizona go blue for the first time since 1996.

  69. [69] 
    apophis wrote:

    “Take a close look at the new Fox News poll,” tweeted Charlie Cook, publisher of the Cook Political Report. “This race is OVER.”

    Charlie Cook is one of the most respected election handicappers in the country.

    http://cookpolitical.com/

  70. [70] 
    apophis wrote:
  71. [71] 
    neilm wrote:

    Sorry - can't resist, the Taco Truck drive is called "Guac the Vote" and (of course) they have a FaceBook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/tacovoter/

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    Then please explain [the Republican cult of economic failure].

    We can thank David Fiderer for the phrase Republican cult of economic failure and a great series of articles in the Huffington Post several years ago.

    But, if you want a good explanation about what constitutes the Republican cult of economic failure and what is a pro-growth strategy for tax and fiscal policy, here is an excellent link:
    https://www.americanprogress.org/events/2010/08/04/16984/live-webcast-secretary-timothy-f-geithner-on-a-pro-growth-strategy-on-tax-and-fiscal-policy/

  73. [73] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    44

    I'm going to work on the assumption that you've read the speech excerpts that were leaked...

    -Hillary saying one thing to her rich donors, and another to voters is misconduct and is something everyone should care about because her policies will affect us all.-

    "No, it's called lying, and while I do not approve of it, it isn't illegal nor does it give anyone the right to hack a person's emails."

    I think lying by the person who will be our president in three months is misconduct.

    All leaks are considered illegal by the people being exposed.
    If they reveal information in the public interest, I approve.

    "That's a mighty BIG "IF""

    And yet, the "private citizen" who was well known to be running for the highest elected office in the land (and thus in a very different category than most private citizens) told the people giving her large sums of money her "private" position, while giving the rest of us her "public" position.

    I'm sure it's just a coincidence unrelated to the cash.

    "Manning... is not even remotely the same thing"

    Manning stole the information.
    A hacker stole the information.

    "Remotely" seems a little strong.

    "Wikileaks is extremely dangerous"

    And yet, the world hasn't crumbled.

    "Bullshit! Journalists are part of the public"

    Technically true, but Snowden releasing information to a handful of professionals who he carefully chose is very different than letting everyone see the material.
    The Fourth Estate also has specific constitutional protections the public does not, and their organizations have expertise on such issues.

    A

  74. [74] 
    neilm wrote:

    Elizabeth [72]:

    The link is a lot better than Hillary's "Trumped Up Trickle Down" tagline - but isn't she running with this message already?

    To my point, the current dialog is going badly for Trump, and the voters seem in "reality TV" mode rather than "policy vs. policy" mode.

    When the "Coach Catastrophe" plays out, Hillary can try to switch the focus to one of her strong points, and she already knows that "Trumped Up Trickle Down" doesn't work, so I assume she has a new, and let's hope better, vehicle for that message, because you are right, it is one of the more powerful ones.

    I suspect however that either Trump will get caught up in a new "Donald Debacle", or Hillary's team will have a new one waiting to launch - perhaps a compilation of his creepy comments about him eyeing up 10- and 14-year-old (white) girls as future sexual targets.

  75. [75] 
    Kick wrote:

    [52] EM,

    I have zero respect for Snowden, Russ.

    Oh, I agree wholeheartedly regarding the aptly named Snowden, a narcissist committing crimes of desire and reason who deserves whatever punishment he's got coming in this world and more still. As Dante depicts within Canto 32, there is a special place reserved in the lowest pit of a fiery hell... the Ninth Circle... furthest removed from sunshine, and submerged in a large frozen lake in Round 2 you will find the traitors like Snowden preserved in ice.

  76. [76] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Regarding Hillary's speeches, one thing to remember is that they were made before she started her campaign. I honestly don't think what the speeches are revealing is Hillary lying to voters as much as it is Hillary's positions have shifted far more to the left since those speeches were made. Clinton has always been less progressive than many people want her to be. I do not think she is opposed to the more progressive views, I feel it has more to do with what she believes can actually be accomplished. Bernie's campaign was so dynamic in a handful of ways that it caused her to see that there are far more people ready to embrace solutions that are more progressive than what she believed possible -- at least that is how I read her willingness to embrace Bernie's input on the party platform and his continued campaigning on her behalf.


    Manning stole the information.
    A hacker stole the information.

    You seem to be ignoring the glaring difference in these two scenarios....Manning stumbled upon the information while doing her job. That is why she is considered a whistle blower by some. Hackers broke into someone's private emails and fished around for anything they could find. I doubt you support the government doing this sort of fishing expedition through the public's private emails, so where do we draw the line on who gets to spy on who and us being OK with it?

  77. [77] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    altohone [73]

    Whoops, [76] was meant as a response to you. Still hoping Santa will bring an EDIT button!

  78. [78] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    44

    "Wikileaks is extremely dangerous"

    Perhaps some context is in order?

    Nuclear weapons, cluster bombs, grenades, guns, knives, pointy sticks, plastic bags, stuffed animals, Wikileaks?

    Hurricanes, floods, tornados, wildfires, lightning, sharks, bears, dogs, kittens, Wikileaks?

    The US military, CIA, FBI, Border Patrol, NYPD, mall cops, boy scouts, Wikileaks?

    Very dangerous compared to what?

    The "won't somebody think of the children" argument is what you're going with, and all the things I listed harm more children than Wikileaks.

    Yes, even kittens.

    A

  79. [79] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    76

    "Regarding Hillary's speeches, one thing to remember is that they were made before she started her campaign"

    Bullshit!
    She officially launched her campaign long after she started running... roughly 15 years earlier.

    I'm sure you think Bernie showed Hillary the light.
    I'm not a fan of self-delusion.
    The Hillary who gave the speeches and kept the speeches secret is the Hillary she still is.

    Moving on...
    I think Chelsea Manning is a whistleblower.
    You think some consider her a whistleblower.
    Chelsea Manning stole information.
    Chelsea Manning is in prison.
    Hillary Clinton thinks she belongs in prison.
    I do not.

    A hacker stole information.
    Hillary Clinton thinks they belong in prison.
    You think they belong in prison.
    I do not.

    There certainly are differences.
    And there certainly are similarities.

    A

  80. [80] 
    neilm wrote:

    Clinton is a supporter of TPP. She realizes that this is not a position that will help her win power.

    She knows she has to change her position on this issue (and there are others) to win power.

    She balances the concessions she has to make to her ideal against the other policies that she does support and will be able to push if she gets power.

    She might get to the point where she has given up everything important just to win power. People think she there already.

    I believe Hillary has had to compromise on some important issues to be able to achieve more important issues.

    This is what professional politics is about, and always has been outside of dictatorships. I prefer professional politicians to amateur politicians and especially to dictators.

  81. [81] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    What if the Republicans retain full control of Congress?

    What will she be able to accomplish?

    You say she is a supporter of the TPP - I hope you're right about that but, she now says otherwise.

  82. [82] 
    TheStig wrote:

    neilm-80

    Very well put. Especially the last paragraph.

    I think voters ought to think, and act, more like professional politicians. It would spare them a great deal of personal angst, and result in the election of better politicians and more effective, responsive government.

    A politician that votes strictly according to an inflexible ideology is a stopped clock.

    Side note: Bernie Sanders, who I happen to admire a great deal, has been a consummate wheeler dealer for his entire political career. He doesn't introduce much legislation, he shapes the legislation of other politicians. He's been effective, and his served his constituency well. From what I can tell, most Bernie supporters don't understand him at all.

    Many well intended political reforms turn out to be ill conceived. I believe the modern primary system is one of them. Political parties ought to be independent, private clubs, incubators of ideas, and run as such. As they were until relatively recently. Parties are now mostly fund raising machines that special interests fight for control over.

  83. [83] 
    neilm wrote:

    Elizabeth [81]

    With a Republican congress I expect more of the last six years. However the alternative is Trump with a Republican congress which I don't want.

    Hillary with a Democratic senate and a Republican house can appoint the supreme court justices, etc.

    As for TPP, I think its only chance of success is for it to be ratified during Obama's lame duck period, where Hillary can stamp her feet in mock fury, but then live with it. She knows she will have a bruising election in 2020 and will not give a "read my lips, no new taxes" weapon by switch to support on November 9th.

    The real future of the TPP, in my opinion, is as a new "Intellectual Property Agreement" - where the U.S. renames trade agreements to focus on the key value we get from these treaties, and play down or ignore the tariff part. This will only work if the other parties are patient and don't pivot to China (as China wants - they are loving the Bernie/Trump anti-TPP movement).

  84. [84] 
    altohone wrote:

    neilm and Liz

    The TPP was written by the Wall Street and transnational corporate interests who have Hillary's loyalty.

    Nobody on the left believes she actually opposes it.

    The left opposes the TPP because it economically benefits the rich while harming the poor, was crafted in secret behind closed doors where corporate lobbyists were welcome but public interest lobbyists were excluded, will destroy far more jobs than it creates in the US, violates the sovereign rights of nations including the US by allowing corporate interests to sue for damages caused by publicly supported common sense environmental and labor policies (thus making those policies less likely and/or unnecessarily and un-affordably expensive), allows them to impose price gouging costs for life saving drugs, and cements crony capitalism, not Free Trade, into place.
    Many on the right oppose it for some of those reasons.

    Trade is good.
    The TPP is not.

    A

  85. [85] 
    altohone wrote:

    neilm
    80

    "She might get to the point where she has given up everything important just to win power. People think she there already"

    Yup.

    A

  86. [86] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    Did you know that the TPP is primarily a ... wait for it ... trade agreement between many nations, not including China, of course.

    :-)

  87. [87] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I was out all day yesterday, so there's a lot to catch up with:

    Kick [37]: Exactly!

    Liz [42]: When it comes to deadly serious issues, what does Obama know about accountability.

    That reads like an essay question.

    Well, the answer is: Plenty. It's his name and nobody else's, after all, that's going to be slapped onto this last decade: The Obama era. The Obama Administration. The Obama doctrine. Obama has been too pragmatic for some, overly cautious for others. For me, the balance he strikes has been just right.

  88. [88] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The TPP will probably have negligible impact - positive and/or negative - on the US economy. It will however, have great benefit in places like Vietnam. Which the US should be happy about.

    For the US, the TPP has far more benefit than just trade.

  89. [89] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    You missed my point, completely.

  90. [90] 
    neilm wrote:

    Elizabeth [88] Exactly.

  91. [91] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al will see the light, eventually ... :)

  92. [92] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    neilm [80]: Couldn't agree more. The single most frustrating thing about the modern world is that we are all now dependent on experts to do just about anything. I've known a few folks who tried to leave civilization and be 'self-sufficient'. They ended up living like impoverished people. Ah, freedom!

    This loss of independence gnaws at people, makes them think the system is rigged against them, personally. Some see the rich game the system, and think, 'That man is Free' and want to be like him. I sincerely believe that some followers of Trump believe that they are learning that freedom comes from being a demanding, petulant, asshole. Isn't that how Trump did it? "No dear, he inherited 42 million dollars, most of it made from government contracts. Go to sleep."

    Others see a different dynamic, see a system rigged on behalf of the rich: a Hunger Games worldview wherein the virtuous Rural folk toil for the amusement and enrichment of vapid and/or evil elites. Most believers in world-wide conspiracy theories fit into this niche, I think. Many of these folks yearn for a simpler life that they think existed in the past: that it's a largely TV-inspired fantasy is beside the point. Right now rural communities are leading the nation in heroin abuse and suicide. They don't need to be idealized, they need help.

    Yet another group views the poor as essentially indolent leeches (the key being that 'the poor' are almost always defined privately in this context as being as being of another race, religion, or ethnicity). Oddly, this became the theme of Romney's run for the presidency.

    The exception in the previous group are Libertarians, not because they don't look down their noses at the needy, but rather because libertarianism is, at it's core, just Bizarro Communism. Is the mirror image of a bad system de facto good?

    Which brings me back to the basic flaw in the "this system sucks" school of politics: just doing the opposite of what we're doing now is unworkable and probably dangerous. Funny how those who always predict the inevitable collapse of the system are always those who rail against it. It's a sturdier system than they think, apparently.

    What we need to do is stop fantasizing about tearing down the system and start working together to try to fix it. Complaining about the game engine in the middle of the game helps nothing. We have to beat the game, whatever it is.

    That's why we need pragmatists like Obama and Clinton in the White House. Someone has to see the world as it is, and react accordingly. Often, the tasks are repugnant: accept a bill drafted by the other party to achieve a bigger goal later, commit murder on behalf of national interests, or rescue Wall Street from its own corrupt stupidity. We don't need someone who doesn't understand the reasoning, much less the rationale, behind these tough decisions.

  93. [93] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    That's why we need pragmatists like Obama and
    Clinton in the White House. Someone has to see the
    world as it is, and react accordingly. Often, the tasks are repugnant: accept a bill drafted by the other party to achieve a bigger goal later, commit murder on behalf of national interests, or rescue Wall Street from its own corrupt stupidity. We don't need someone who doesn't understand the reasoning, much less the rationale, behind these tough decisions.

    Well, I think you may have got my point! :)

    Though, I do take great issue with some of the words you chose to use above. Should we use "commit murder" in the context of war? Because, if we should, then it is more aptly referred to as war crimes and the perpetrators should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

    I would also say that while it is critical that we recognize reality, it is also important to understand how we can change that reality to make it better. Both are impossible, however, without up-wing leadership and, unfortunately, all three seem to be in very short supply.

    In any event, comment [92] was quite provocative and I typed my response in the same vein ...

  94. [94] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    86, 88

    No, actually, I won't "come around", and no the TPP is not primarily about trade.

    It's all about writing and enforcing the rules in the race to the bottom approach to globalization that kills jobs and suppresses wages here.

    neilm was right, it's got a lot about intellectual property rights, namely extending patent and copyright protections to match the ridiculously long US law that for example will delay the release of generic drugs and prohibit importation of cheap Indian drugs... but also a legal enforcement provision that favors large corporations called the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism that is highly controversial,

    The wing of economists who denied that job losses would occur from NAFTA and were COMPLETELY WRONG are denying there will be job losses from the TPP, but many economists have disagreed, and US job losses could be up to half a million (60,000 in Canada)... and with minimal or even negative economic impacts. Labor and environmental "safeguards" in the TPP are basically unenforceable.

    A lot of the harm that will be caused will occur in other nations, but both our countries will suffer too.

    If you look into it, you will see the proponents admit there will be job losses in manufacturing and other areas, but they insist new jobs in new industries will be created. What we ended up with last time those claims were made was low wage service sector jobs.

    Since fast track has already been approved (meaning only a majority vote is needed), I suspect the TPP will pass in the lame duck session of Congress to avoid hurting Hillary's election chances, but average Americans and Canadians should not be celebrating with the wealthy criminal elites who never face accountability and love these deals.
    I am still hoping that opposition will kill it, but our bought and sold politicians will probably push it through.

    And, btw, since you mentioned it as a positive selling point, China initially opposed the TPP, but now may join it too because it's right up their alley... and that's not a good thing.

    A

  95. [95] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    You need to recognize reality and the parts of it that cannot be changed or stopped.

    And, I didn't mention China as a selling point.

  96. [96] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    92

    "That's why we need pragmatists like Obama and Clinton in the White House. Someone has to see the world as it is, and react accordingly. Often, the tasks are repugnant: accept a bill drafted by the other party to achieve a bigger goal later, commit murder on behalf of national interests, or rescue Wall Street from its own corrupt stupidity. We don't need someone who doesn't understand the reasoning, much less the rationale, behind these tough decisions."

    That's a seriously disgusting outlook, though accurate about both Obama and Hillary.
    Very sad that you would embrace it.

    Is that in the fine print of the Democratic platform?
    Because most Dems don't think that's what they're voting for.

    The big problem of course it that the part where they "achieve a bigger goal later" never happens... unless you mean reelection and wealth after leaving office.

    A

  97. [97] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    93, 95

    Ewwwwwwww.
    Agreeing with Balthy's comment (maybe after changing a few words)?

    Sick and twisted.
    Not liberal.
    Certainly not progressive.

    You're giving up and giving in like a good exploited cog... even when it contradicts your own previously stated opinions.

    Just gross.

    And you think you can tell me what I need to do?

    A

  98. [98] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Well, I think you may have got my point! :)
    Though, I do take great issue with some of the words you chose to use above.

    Hyperbole in the service of making the point that targeting someone with a drone, or watching a Delta Team member on live TV put a bullet into the brain of Bin Laden is a very grave thing. You're right, though, there is a legal and moral difference between the two.

    I would also say that while it is critical that we recognize reality, it is also important to understand how we can change that reality to make it better.

    Ah, if only that were the core debate! All of our institutions need upgrades, make-overs or replacements. I'd love to have that discussion.

    In the meantime, it seems that we have to define 'reality' in the political sense, first. Imagine that.

  99. [99] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Is that in the fine print of the Democratic platform? Because most Dems don't think that's what they're voting for.

    Really? Because they're giving Obama high marks for his work. Generic Democrats love Obama. It's the far-lefties who're shifting from foot to foot.

    Some liberals aren't happy because they're honestly not big fans of the use of American military power, or of transactional politics, or of Wall Street, generally.

    Like most Democrats, Obama holds those things in high regard, too. Obama doesn't like targeting anyone with drones, I'm sure he doesn't. I'm equally sure that he'd like to win his congressional fights outright and let Wall Street choke on its own excess. But when it came down to it, he had to choose between his own beliefs and the interests of the country.

    But that's my point: most folks understand that a president has to occasionally do things that even he (or she) disagrees with viscerally. It comes with the job description.

    The question lefties should answer is: what is Trump's default position on those issues?

  100. [100] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Sick and twisted. Not liberal.
    Certainly not progressive.

    Yeah, that's a problem. You do realize that I was describing things that have already happened, some with the support of the progressive caucus in Congress. If Barack Obama isn't progressive enough for ya, then you've retreated off into a political corner that we can't reach. Even Bernie isn't that far afield (see for instance, his latest remarks in support of Hillary).

  101. [101] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You're giving up and giving in like a good exploited cog... even when it contradicts your own previously stated opinions.

    How so?

  102. [102] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Hey CW -

    Congratulations for nailing it with your September column Will The Fight For Mosul Be The October Surprise?

    Unfortunately, we seem to have no more answers today than we had on the day that you wrote it, except that it is finally underway.

  103. [103] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    I have never contradicted my own previously stated opinions.

    I'm not sparring with myself here, nor am I engaged in any other such games.

  104. [104] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    99

    And yet, if Hillary had spoken your words, she would have lost to Bernie.
    Election through deception.

    And, (98) of course you think it's only the "murder" part that's disgusting.
    Hyperbole my foot.

    Reality?
    Reality.

    Pathetic.

    BTW, the left strongly debated Bernie's establishment foreign policy votes and his unwillingness to hit Hillary on them in the primaries. Many couldn't support him for that very reason.
    And the so-called progressives in Congress bending to the will of the neoliberal corporatists again and again is why they are so-called progressives.
    The few who didn't bend are always ignored by the "practical" warmongering, fraud coddling sellouts... unless needed as window dressing for an election.

    Are you done speaking the ugly truth, or will you admit that reality too?

    A

  105. [105] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz

    It's called a blind spot for a reason.

    "it is also important to understand how we can change that reality to make it better"

    "You need to recognize reality and the parts of it that cannot be changed or stopped"

    Giving up and giving in on the things that need to be changed, by pretending they can't be changed.

    For example, it was well within Obama's capacity to prosecute both the Bushies for torture and the banksters for fraud.
    He had a mandate, he had the force of law behind him, there was historical precedent (Nuremburg and the S&L crisis), and the evidence was insurmountable.

    It was a choice, and all the progressive and liberal Dems falling all over themselves to defend the neoliberalism of Obama and Hillary as if their hands were tied by "reality" are betraying logic and reason.

    It's no different than the neoliberals pursuing illegal regime change wars just like the neocons.

    The justifications and rationalizations were lies... and this propaganda was effective and has been internalized by voters as self-delusion.

    These are choices.
    And they are choices that true liberals wouldn't make, and true progressives would condemn.

    Suckers gobbling up the Orwellian redefinitions (that just coincidentally serve and maintain the status quo) is the true reality staring us in the face.

    A

  106. [106] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    How do you stop the progress of globalization, Al.

  107. [107] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz

    Stopping it isn't and never was the goal.

    It is the false assumption that the path being taken qualifies as "progress" that is the problem.

    The crony capitalist criminals are writing the rules, and that is not as it should be.
    Again, there are choices.

    But since the criminals who trashed the US and global economy were bailed out instead of being prosecuted, losing their wealth and power over our political system and ability to dictate the rules, the choices are now limited.

    A "no" vote is currently the right choice.
    International trade isn't going to stop if the TPP fails to pass.

    A

  108. [108] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why do you keep missing my point, Al?

  109. [109] 
    altohone wrote:

    What point am I missing, Liz?

  110. [110] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You said that I contradict my own opinions and I disagreed and gave you an example to demonstrate.

    Will you apologize? ... emphasis on the 'a' ... heh

  111. [111] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  112. [112] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  113. [113] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hi Liz

    Did you miss 105?

    Brookings... I went there frequently when I was a bike messenger in DC... the place was always mostly empty.

    I think it's safe to say that trade deals being a "net positive" is exactly the establishment terminology used that ignores the boarded up manufacturing towns across America.

    There's a disconnect between the macroeconomics and the microeconomic reality in which these studies offset reduced incomes with increased purchasing power from cheaper imports... that fall apart far more quickly.

    These net positives are unicorns in the reality of ever widening income inequality.

    A

  114. [114] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You think I have a blind spot, Al?

    Don't answer that!

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