ChrisWeigant.com

Redefining Reality

[ Posted Monday, December 19th, 2016 – 18:08 UTC ]

Donald Trump is never going to stop being Donald Trump. I think that much should be obvious to all by now. What this means for his term in office is really anyone's guess at the moment, but what concerns me the most is how he may just continue to redefine reality to suit his own ego's needs. This is currently on display in the calls for investigating Russia's hacking during the election. Team Trump seems content to define their own reality, which might be stated: "It's just another sore-loser complaint from Democrats and the mainstream media -- they can't accept the fact that Trump won, so they're making stuff up about Russia interfering in the election to feel better, that's all." Trump rejects the consensus of what is now the entire intelligence-gathering apparatus of the federal government, because he doesn't like what they're reporting to him.

The importance of Trump's choice to define how he thinks the world works (as opposed to the reality on the ground) is probably going to have a bigger impact in the future, though. We won't have another presidential election (for the Russians to meddle in) for four years, but in the meantime there will be all sorts of things happening around the world that Trump will be briefed on and expected to act upon. Some foreign policy crisis will erupt, which is when Trump's refusal to believe the intelligence experts could become very dangerous indeed. If Trump really believes (just to pick an example from the campaign) that Russia isn't already in the Crimea, that is going to have real consequences.

Campaign gaffes are one thing, being president is another. But for all those still clinging to the hope that Trump will somehow "pivot" to being presidential may be disappointed, once again. During the campaign, Trump could choose to surround himself with anyone he wanted, and he could also choose to ignore anyone and anything he didn't want to think about. That's no longer going to be true -- there will be some sober-minded people who do believe in hard cold reality advising President Trump. But will that be enough to change Trump's mind if he's already settled into a belief that runs counter to the actual facts? We'll just have to wait and see.

The Trump presidency is going to be one of style over substance, if past behavior is any predictor. Trump starts with a half-truth and repeats it in his own mind so much that he magnifies it into a sweeping statement. Watch how fast "I saved all the jobs at Carrier" (a half-truth, since he only saved half the jobs) becomes something like "I saved all the jobs in Indiana" or perhaps even morphs into "I saved all the manufacturing jobs and stopped companies from moving overseas." If Trump believes he's checked the box off and can move on to other things, then that is his reality and nothing anyone can say may convince him otherwise.

Not all Republicans are buying into Trump's spin, but enough are to make me wonder how much future reality will also just be completely denied rather than dealt with in any meaningful way. Many Republicans are getting so invested in Donald Trump's future that they will be happy to reaffirm any mythmaking the president engages in, because their own political future is dependent upon believing Trump's doing a good job.

This could eventually head in one of two directions. Either enough of his own party refuses to believe what Trump tells them rather than the facts in front of their own eyes, or the myth will become the accepted version of history.

We've seen this happen before, although it was a much more gradual process which was launched after the fact (rather than in real time). There's an excellent book by Will Brunch which explores this phenomenon, titled: Tear Down This Myth: The Right-Wing Distortion Of The Reagan Legacy. Conservatives did such an excellent job of mythmaking over the Reagan legacy that the real Ronald Reagan pretty much disappeared from memory, replaced by the mythical Saint Ronald of Reagan (who never did anything wrong). Ask any conservative today, if you doubt this. Try telling them "Reagan actually raised taxes a bunch of times" to see their blank looks or outright disbelief -- which just proves how the myth has supplanted the reality.

Donald Trump, unlike Reagan (mythical or real), is not going to wait around for this to happen after he leaves office. He's going to be Mythmaker in Chief, in fact. He will probably be pretty successful (as he sees it, at any rate) at rewriting history as it happens to make himself look good. Again, past performance indicates this is inevitable, because Trump is just not going to stop being Trump when sworn into office.

It will be interesting to watch Republican Trump critics in Congress, some of whom are now calling for a full investigation over the Russian hacking. John McCain is not going to change his entire life's viewpoint towards Russia just because Trump offers up an alternate reality. Clashes like this over Russia will likely continue, if Trump charts a drastically different American policy towards Putin.

Donald Trump is going to be faced with a lot of tough choices. It's part of the job of being president, after all. Some problems are going to be almost impossible to solve in a good way (Syria, for instance). Angry tweets aren't going to be enough, to put this in the proper perspective.

Some have voiced concern over the number of generals Trump will have in his cabinet. I actually think it'll be a good thing for Trump to be hearing from them on a regular basis. Generals tend towards the pragmatic -- they know that some things work, and some do not. They know the limits of military power, for the most part. They also know that presidential decisions can put a whole lot of lives at risk within the military.

It's going to take a lot of Republicans, both inside the Trump administration and in Congress, to convince Trump to change his mind on anything -- that's my guess, at any rate. If all the generals and spymasters and senators tell him over and over that he's just not seeing reality, then maybe Trump can be convinced of the actual facts. Or maybe he'll just ignore them all anyway and refuse to admit a problem even exists. Denial of problematic reality is comforting, after all. It's a whole lot easier to deny a problem exists than to have to make a tough choice. Myths exist because they're fun to believe in -- and nobody has more fun believing his own myths than Donald Trump.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

33 Comments on “Redefining Reality”

  1. [1] 
    neilm wrote:

    You've nailed it CW. The Trump fanboys will worship their demigod as infallible, but it would have only taken 40,000 people for n the right place to have put Trump on the trash heap of history. Blundering through unreality is a tough way to run a country.

  2. [2] 
    neilm wrote:

    The media in 2016:

    http://ritholtz.com/2016/12/fake-real-spectrum/

    Of course, the loons on the left reading "Occupy" or on the right believing "Infowars" will claim this is just a conspiracy by the other side and those naive fools in the center.

    But maybe 2017 is the year enough people realize that reality can't be taken for granted, what with Trump, the Brexiteers, and the yahoo brigades of the left and the right running rampant.

  3. [3] 
    michale wrote:

    "It's just another sore-loser complaint from Democrats and the mainstream media -- they can't accept the fact that Trump won, so they're making stuff up about Russia interfering in the election to feel better, that's all."

    That's what the facts clearly show..

    Trump rejects the consensus of what is now the entire intelligence-gathering apparatus of the federal government,

    It's not the entire intelligence gathering apparatus..

    It's the CIA... Alone... DNI doesn't believe it.. FBI doesn't believe it...

    Some foreign policy crisis will erupt, which is when Trump's refusal to believe the intelligence experts could become very dangerous indeed. If Trump really believes (just to pick an example from the campaign) that Russia isn't already in the Crimea, that is going to have real consequences.

    I don't see that as a problem...

    Trump just doesn't believe OBAMA'S intelligence services...

    Can't says I blame Trump, considering Obama's proven penchant for using government agencies to attack political foes..

    Some have voiced concern over the number of generals Trump will have in his cabinet. I actually think it'll be a good thing for Trump to be hearing from them on a regular basis. Generals tend towards the pragmatic -- they know that some things work, and some do not. They know the limits of military power, for the most part. They also know that presidential decisions can put a whole lot of lives at risk within the military.

    Exactly..

    The ONLY reason those who voice concern do so is because they hate anything Trump...

    Obama can do no wrong and Trump can do no right...

    That's their entire existence...

    Ya'all ignore some salient facts...

    Like the fact that this denier of reality you describe could not have been the successful businessman he is..

    If Trump was the denier of reality you claim, he could not have wiped the floor with 16 GOP candidates who allegedly have their feet grounded in reality...

    If this denier of reality actually existed, he DEFINITELY could not have bested the BIGGEST and MEANEST Political Juggernaut in the history of the world...

    Trump didn't rise to the top of the Business ladder and become the leader of the free world by being a denier of reality...

    373

  4. [4] 
    michale wrote:

    Of course, the loons on the left reading "Occupy" or on the right believing "Infowars" will claim this is just a conspiracy by the other side and those naive fools in the center.

    But maybe 2017 is the year enough people realize that reality can't be taken for granted, what with Trump, the Brexiteers, and the yahoo brigades of the left and the right running rampant.

    Congrats! You have finally learned how to talk to me.. :D

    "Why John Shepard! You DO know how to talk to me!! hahahahahahahaha"
    -Todd, STARGATE ATLANTIS

    :D

    You've nailed it CW. The Trump fanboys will worship their demigod as infallible, but it would have only taken 40,000 people for n the right place to have put Trump on the trash heap of history. Blundering through unreality is a tough way to run a country.

    Oh, com' on, Neil..

    Do you think that ya'all are REALLY in a position to complain about TRUMP's fanbois???

    Considering how many fanbois Obama has, I mean... :D

    Let's face reality, since reality is the topic de' jour.....

    The reality is, is that the Left had their Obama demigod and now patriotic Americans have THEIR demigod...

    374

  5. [5] 
    michale wrote:

    Speaking of reality....

    ‘Fake News’ Is The Legacy Media Shaking Down Facebook
    The 'fake news' hysteria is an attempt to intimidate Facebook into setting up the 'legacy media' as gatekeepers and toll collectors for the digital media.

    http://thefederalist.com/2016/12/19/fake-news-legacy-media-shaking-facebook/

    Can't find any fault with the logic....

    Fake news has been with us since the advent of the tabloids...

    It's just another lame excuse for the Left so they don't have to face reality..

    They picked a REALLY lame candidate who lost to frakin' Donald Trump...

    It's the Left who is in a denial-of-reality tailspin...

    Not Donald Trump...

    376

  6. [6] 
    michale wrote:

    This is currently on display in the calls for investigating Russia's hacking during the election.

    I am also constrained to point out that there is STILL no factual evidence that conclusively points to Russian involvement in the "hack"..

    And, let's be clear on our terms here. This wasn't a "hack"... It was a bone-head move by Podesta based on a bonehead typo from Camp Clinton's IT guy...

    Regardless, if you believe that Russian "hack" theory, then you MUST believe that Putin WANTED Trump to be President..

    And yet, there is not a single scintilla, a single iota of evidence to support the claim that Putin wanted Trump to be president..

    Yet, there is a PLETHORA of evidence to support that idea that Putin would have preferred Hillary as President...

    I am sure that Putin was surprised as anyone (except me, of course :D ) when Trump won...

    This Russian "Hack" story is just another snipe hunt.. A way to for the Left to justify the belief that it's not them...

    "WE'RE OK... Everything we did was good and right... It MUST be Russians.. Mitt Romney was right!!!"

    I mean, if you want to talk about denial of reality..

    THERE is your denial of reality..

    377

  7. [7] 
    michale wrote:

    The Trump fanboys will worship their demigod as infallible, but it would have only taken 40,000 people for n the right place to have put Trump on the trash heap of history.

    And if the Carolina Panthers had scored just 15 more points, they would have beat the Denver Broncos and put the Broncs on the trash heap of history..

    But they didn't and the Broncos are the world champions for 2016...

    And if Hillary had actually listened to Bill and stepped foot in Wisconsin and actually listened to Trump supporters instead of insulting them as "irredeemable deplorables" then Hillary might have actually been ABLE to get those 40,000 votes...

    But she didn't so she is now a has-been... a never-was....

    382

  8. [8] 
    neilm wrote:

    And if the Carolina Panthers had scored just 15 more points, they would have beat the Denver Broncos and put the Broncs on the trash heap of history..

    It is more like the Panthers had 3 million more points but lost because they needed 3 million AND another 40,000

  9. [9] 
    michale wrote:

    It is more like the Panthers had 3 million more points but lost because they needed 3 million AND another 40,000

    So, they lost according to the rules...

    And if you take away California, then TRUMP would have been ahead by 2 million votes in the vanity vote...

    But you really can't compare voting under the Electoral College system to the voting under a straight up one-person/one-vote system...

    The candidates would have campaigned a LOT differently and the voter psyche would be markedly different under a straight up OP/OV election...

    The Democrats had 16 years to change the Electoral College system since the last time they won the vanity vote but lost the election..

    They did nothing...

    The rules are the rules and you don't change the rules after the game has been played....

    Regardless, if Hillary had been a better candidate instead of insulting millions and millions of Trump supporters, she might have GOTTEN that 40,000 votes..

    But she figured scoring political points with her base was more important.. She now has to live with that bonehead decision...

    385

  10. [10] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends."
    -ELP
    The Russian hacking issue is nothing more than a magician's trick of saying look here while real trick is happening somewhere else.
    The real is problem is the reliance on the voting machines with no verification that anyone can hack or manipulate and the corruption of the process itself. They are hoping you will be scared enough of Russia or be distracted enough by the back and forth argument to forget about the real problems with the voting machines, the primary process, the electoral college, gerrymandered congressional districts, etc.
    Stop buying into the illusions of Alakazam.
    Where is Cousin Vinny when you need him?

  11. [11] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    The bottom line is that we can make reality whatever we want it to be. Stop looking at it as a problem- look at it as an opportunity.
    If for example, a journalist were to write an article extolling the potential for Voucher Vendetta to remove the Big Money from our political process some people that read that article would believe that it could work and might register to participate.
    Other people might also write articles and more people might start to think it could work and they would register to participate. As the only thing that Voucher Vendetta needs to be effective is citizen participation, each new person participating will convince more citizens that it could be successful.
    This is how democracy works. So if you think it won't work then you don't think democracy can work.
    If democracy not working is a reality- it's a reality that I refuse to accept.
    So come on CW, how about an article giving some posi-traction to Voucher Vendetta (and democracy)?

  12. [12] 
    michale wrote:

    The real is problem is the reliance on the voting machines with no verification that anyone can hack or manipulate

    That is not factually accurate....

    The voting machines themselves are a hard system with no connections to the Internet..

    Any "hacking" must be done locally...

    and the corruption of the process itself.

    Now this is factually accurate... But "corruption" is a loaded term and can mean many different things...

    For example, the "corruption" of a "corrupt" process could actually be a GOOD thing.. :D

    But as I mentioned, the time to change the Electoral College is BEFORE an election...

    Not AFTER an election that did not produce the desired outcome..

    But what would you change it to?? A OnePerson/OneVote is unwieldy and would give the more populous states more power than the less populous states..

    Do you REALLY want California electing our President???

    386

  13. [13] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    "just continue to redefine reality"

    "sober-minded people who do believe in hard cold reality"

    "as opposed to the reality on the ground"

    "just because Trump offers up an alternate reality, then maybe Trump can be convinced of the actual facts"

    "Denial of problematic reality is comforting"

    -
    -

    Until evidence of Russian government involvement in the hacks is publicly presented, your "reality" is actually just faith, based on assertions.

    And faith in professional liars no less.

    Professional liars who may well have conflicts of interest where having Russia as an enemy is very profitable for them.

    It is undeniable that if Bush had been skeptical of unproven assertions about WMD's and Iraqi involvement in 9/11 our country and our world would be far better off.

    -
    -

    So, the gist of your post is fine if facts are presented that actually prove the reality.

    Until that happens, it's not actually reality.

    In which case, you may be the one redefining reality, not being sober-minded, living in an alternate reality, and denying reality. In other words, it's not impossible that you may be wrong... not Trump. (sorry)

    CW, you should be joining the call to release the evidence so we know the actual facts, rather than just presuming that what has been leaked to the media by anonymous sources is true. Unsubstantiated assertions are NOT FACTS and do not create the REALITY you are claiming that Trump is denying.

    It is also undeniable that these unsubstantiated claims were used for political purposes... first to shift attention away from the content of the leaked information and then in a futile attempt to deny the presidency to the winner of the election.

    That puts this all into a context where a sober-minded person should be skeptical until actual proof exists.

    You've chosen not to engage on the previous comments and a suggested article that raises doubts about these claims. Assuming that you aren't privy to secret evidence, it would be nice for you to at least explain why you believe these assertions despite the lack of public evidence.

    A

  14. [14] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    2

    "the loons on the left"
    "the yahoo brigades of the left"

    Again, who are you talking about?

    Do you mean the loons on the left who support the guaranteed minimum income that was too radically left for even Bernie?

    Or do you mean the yahoo brigades who support universal healthcare and a strong safety net like you?

    -
    -

    I checked out the chart in your link.
    Seriously problematic.

    Look at it again with one topic in mind.
    Economics
    - remember who you are
    And yet, the outlets who purvey the right wing trickle down economics of the status quo are called centrist.

    And which ones supported the Wall Street coddling corporatist warmonger?

    Look at it with the topic of Syria in mind.
    The Huffington Post has been right wing rah rah for regime change in their journalism and more than half their editorials.

    Maybe they're somehow averaging gay marriage and gun control with economics and militarism?
    But they must be using some funky math.

    A

  15. [15] 
    neilm wrote:

    GDP Growth can be modeled as a combination of:

    1. Working population growth (e.g. women moving into the workforce, immigration, more kids turning 18, etc.)

    plus

    2. Productivity increases

    Thus GDP = Workers + Productivity

    Workers:
    The increase in workers is leveling out. Women are leveling off and men are declining as a percentage of active workers. We are at or below replacement rate for kids. Trump wants to not only slow immigration but throw millions of workers out of the country.

    Productivity:
    Productivity has been about 1% for the past ten years. It might grow significantly with AI coming online however

    All of this is outlined in a paper below, and they also have some interesting stats on wealth balancing:

    https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/the-trump-administrations-claim-it-can-double-long-term-gdp-growth-is-unrealistic/

  16. [16] 
    neilm wrote:

    "the loons on the left"
    "the yahoo brigades of the left"

    So you think that only the right wing in this country has a problem with extremists?

    I can think about this chart with economics in mind. Or Syria. Or Putin. However whichever angle I take I see the BBC in the center, The Economist to the right where I am on economics (and you, by our earlier mutual agreement). I have daily subscriptions for the NY Times, the Guardian and the Washington Post, and think they are pretty accurately placed. I stopped my Wall St Journal subscription because, while the front page is valuable, the editorials are asinine.

    I think HuffPo is as "fair and balanced" as Fox News.

    So which of these is in the wrong place on the chart?

    Is Infowars mainstream? Occupy Democrats? How would you redraw this?

  17. [17] 
    michale wrote:

    I think HuffPo is as "fair and balanced" as Fox News.

    Word.... :D

  18. [18] 
    michale wrote:

    I think HuffPo is as "fair and balanced" as Fox News.

    Word.... :D

    Actually, Fox News has many MANY Left Winger people...

    Is there ANY Right Wingers on HuffPoop???

    I don't think so, but I could be wrong...

    It's been known to happen...

    391

  19. [19] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    16

    Way to ignore what I wrote completely.

    I quoted you, and asked a specific question.
    Who are the leftist extremists to whom you are referring?

    And since you can't take a hint, what policies are they supporting or opposing that makes you consider them left wing extremists?

    (I promise to answer your question if you answer mine first.)

    And nice strawman on HuffPo.
    (I wasn't defending them btw, I was attacking them)

    Let me see if I can clarify for you.
    Since you are a centrist on economics, someone who supports the leftist economic policies that have the support of the majority, the publications who support the status quo right wing trickle down economics and the politicians who've embraced it should by all accounts be to the right of center.

    In other words, if you're in the center, they aren't.

    Get it?

    A

  20. [20] 
    altohone wrote:

    Troll
    18

    Hillary Clinton is a Wall Street coddling corporatist warmonger... right wing economic and foreign policies.
    HuffPoop supported her.

    Attempted regime change in Syria via a proxy war is right wing militarism.
    HuffPoop supports it.

    The question at issue is-
    Does their support for left wing issues offset their support for right wing issues.

    Note-
    You've been in denial about the reality of corporatist and militarist Democrats. I don't think you are capable of admitting the truth, so I'm really just futilely engaging you for the sake of others.

    A

  21. [21] 
    michale wrote:

    Troll
    18

    Asshole,

    Hillary Clinton is a Wall Street coddling corporatist warmonger... right wing economic and foreign policies.
    HuffPoop supported her.

    No shit, Sherlock.. That's what I have been saying for a year now..

    You've been in denial about the reality of corporatist and militarist Democrats. I don't think you are capable of admitting the truth, so I'm really just futilely engaging you for the sake of others.

    Son, I have been saying the reality of corporatist and militarist Democrats for six years now, long before you 'graced' us with your presence..

    Yer late to the party, pal... :D

    393

  22. [22] 
    neilm wrote:

    Way to ignore what I wrote completely.

    Fair point. I'm swamped today and just winging it here to take a 2 sec break. I will answer your question when I get time.

    N.

  23. [23] 
    michale wrote:

    You've been in denial about the reality of corporatist and militarist Democrats. I don't think you are capable of admitting the truth, so I'm really just futilely engaging you for the sake of others.

    I am also the only one who pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of the Left Wingery who supported the corporatist/militarist mentality when it was THEIR guy who was President...

    394

  24. [24] 
    altohone wrote:

    Troll
    21, 23

    Ah, who could forget the early days?
    (Inside joke for CW and Liz)

    "No shit, Sherlock.. That's what I have been saying for a year now.."

    Odd.
    I must have missed those comments.
    You've been saying it for a whole year and I missed them all?
    Any idea when you made them?

    So, how does this square with your opinion on HuffPoop?

    "I am also the only one who pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of the Left Wingery who supported the corporatist/militarist mentality"

    Really?
    The only one?
    And, again, when did you say this?

    Maybe somebody else will remember if you can't gramps?
    Anybody?

    A

  25. [25] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    22

    No worries.
    I'll keep an eye out.

    A

  26. [26] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    neilm [1] -

    Don't know if you were intentionally paraphrasing it, but the "Animal House" quote "fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son" was flitting through my head earlier today, on a subject totally unrelated to politics.

    michale [3] -

    Really?

    How about "spent years chasing the idiocy of birtherism"? Reality, meet Trump. Trump, meet... oh, wait, reality's left the building in horror...

    You can be a stone-cold racist anti-semite and do well in business (Henry Ford). You can even be a complete lunatic about everything and still do great in business (Howard Hughes). As long as you keep your reality-denying separate from your business enterprises, there's really no problem at all.

    Business sense has nothing to do with denying political realities, sorry.

    michale [6] -

    Wait... what? Putin wanted Hillary to be president?!?

    Um, OK. I have to say your entry for "Best Political Spin" is an intersting one, that's for sure...

    Heh.

    Side note to all readers not named michale -

    OK, gang, michale's been busy with the new addition to the family and all, but 'tis the season to get under his skin in the worst way and goad him into as many unhinged comments as possible, until the end of the year. See that number at the bottom of his comments? That's how many he's done so far.

    This is important, because he ponies up 50 cents for ALL of these comments. Now, I don't know about you, but knee-jerk anti-liberals are pretty common on the internet, but one who pays for the privelege to a very liberal site are as rare as hens' teeth. So go ahead -- poke him with a stick! You can ignore him (and even filter him out) the other 11 months of the year to your heart's content, but NOW is the time to engage in a battle of wits with him, for the good of the site.

    OK, people named michale can now start reading again

    Heh. Let's see... where was I? Oh, right... right...

    michale [7] -

    See now, in this neck of the woods, the example used is: "If the 49ers had managed to score when they had 1st-and-goal at the end of the freakin' Super Bowl, they could have sent the Ravens home losers..."

    Don't get me wrong, while my wife is a 49ers (and, this year, a Raiders) fan, I am actually a Ravens fan, so it all worked out just peachy, as far as I was concerned. But that is the sports reference used in these parts just FYI....

    :-)

    Note to readers not named michale, again -

    See, you can even bait him with jokes! Want to guarantee he'll respond? Try a sci-fi movie refernce.

    Like this --

    What could be the worst possible scenario under President Trump? I think Ellen Ripley said it best in Aliens..."I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit -- it's the only way to be sure."

    See? It's easy!

    We return to our regularly scheduled michale-can-read-it comment.

    neilm [8] -

    OK, I want to see a Super Bowl that has 3,000,000 points in it -- that'd be pretty freakin' awesome!

    :-)

    Don Harris [10] -

    OK, I just have to stick this in here, for you:

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

    Read the segment up to the awards, you'll love it!

    Also, here's a bonus -- best "high school jazz band" video OF ALL TIME!!! AWESOME!!!

    Part 1 and Part 2

    Man, school bands never did anything that cool when I went, that's for sure!

    Don Harris [11] -

    You see what Maine just did? Ranked-choice ballots for all elections!

    Whaddya think? An improvement, maybe? I tend to think so. I have a far-flung correspondent in Maine, so I'll be interested to hear how it works out.

    :-)

    michale [12] -

    Do you REALLY want California electing our President???

    Oh, heck yea! President Jerry Brown... President Gavin Newsom... President Barbara Boxer...

    Now, that'd make ME happy.

    And, hey, admit it -- the last president from CA is probably on your list of the best presidents ever, right?

    Heh.

    :-)

    altohone [13] -

    You have a point, but I'm going to wait and see what the report Obama ordered up has to say, next month. I bet it's going to be pretty damning. We'll see, though, you're right.

    I haven't responded to any earlier comments, because I've been a flake about ALL comments for the past few weeks. Xmas prep, and all that.

    Good point about always keeping a healthy degree of speculation, but from the interviews I've seen and read, this seems to be a slam-dunk. Details such as "we know they were using Cyrillic keyboards" have leaked out.

    Granted, the whole Iraq War/WMD thing was also seen as a sure thing, so it's always good to keep an open mind. I'm now trying to get through some back comments, so I'll check out the links and cites you've posted.

    Check in on the Tuesday article comment thread:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2016/12/20/thank-you-seth-meyers/#comments

    As I'll be posting specific permalinks to all of my comments for previous articles' threads...

    And seasonal apologies to you -- I wasn't ignoring you specifically, I've been behind for EVERYone.

    :-)

    neilm [15] -

    I will check that link out. The one that interested me the most in the past was:

    Older workers retiring going up; younger workers a smaller workforce = Social Security going bust.

    The only way to fix this is to increase immigration, which means more younger workers to pay into the system. That balances the equation, and is likely a good reason why legal immigration has been increasing in the past two decades.

    Anyway, I'll check the link out -- I always love long-term predictions, no matter what thesis the author is trying to prove.

    neilm [16] -

    HuffPost has gotten a lot less liberal than its freewheeling days of youth. I think I'm one of the only regular liberals left on the Politics page -- and I used to compete with DOZENS of them for getting articles featured...

    michale [18] -

    There's another lefty on Fox other than Juan Williams? Really? Who?

    altohone [20] -

    I don't even think Arianna has anything to do with her namesake publication, anymore. It's become a lot more corporate since all the mergers...

    Just sayin'... I mean, ask michale, even -- "Hasn't HuffPost gotten a lot less raving lefty, lately?"

    [Sorry for HuffPost fans, but I have to pitch the question to the audience...]

    OK, that's it for this thread, for now... y'all play nice now, hear?

    :-)

    -CW

  27. [27] 
    michale wrote:

    CW,

    You can be a stone-cold racist anti-semite and do well in business (Henry Ford). You can even be a complete lunatic about everything and still do great in business (Howard Hughes).

    Yes you can. In the 1920s thru the 1950s...

    But in the here and now??

    You simply can't... Trump simply CANNOT be the person ya'all describe and have accomplished these 3 things..

    1. Be a YUGELY successful business man...

    2. Bested the best that the GOP had to offer...

    3. Bested THE biggest and meanest political juggernaut in the history of history...

    It's not possible for the man you describe to have accomplished those things..

    Wait... what? Putin wanted Hillary to be president?!?

    I am not saying it's factual because I don't know what goes on in Putin's mind..

    But it's clear that, for Putin's agenda, Hillary would have been his first choice for POTUS.. Putin has enjoyed nearly carte-blanche in having his way with the Middle East and Europe with little to no repercussions from the West... So, it stands to reason that Putin would want Obama 3.0 in office. Which means Hillary Clinton..

    "Simple logic."
    -Admiral James T. Kirk

    Don't get me wrong, while my wife is a 49ers (and, this year, a Raiders) fan, I am actually a Ravens fan, so it all worked out just peachy, as far as I was concerned. But that is the sports reference used in these parts just FYI....

    I will endeavor to be more regionally correct.. :D

    What could be the worst possible scenario under President Trump? I think Ellen Ripley said it best in Aliens..."I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit -- it's the only way to be sure."

    :D

    "My god, Bones.. What have I done??"
    "What you had to do. What you always do. Turn certain death into a fighting chance to live."

    -Star Trek III

    :D

    Oh, heck yea! President Jerry Brown... President Gavin Newsom... President Barbara Boxer...

    President Dianne Feinstein.. President Arnold Schwarzennegar, President Gray Davis, President Moon Unit Zappa, President Kim Kardashian, President Bruce/Caitlin Jenner...

    Do you want the horror to stop?? :D

    And, hey, admit it -- the last president from CA is probably on your list of the best presidents ever, right?

    Kinda partial to JFK, but yea.. Saint Ronald was awesome.. :D Best Commander In Chief I ever had...

    There's another lefty on Fox other than Juan Williams? Really? Who?

    Alan Colmes still has a FoxNews Radio Show..

    And then there is Bryan Dean Wright...

    I'm a Democrat and I'm ashamed at how tone deaf we've become | Fox ...
    http://www.foxnews.com/.../im-democrat-and-im-ashamed-at-how-tone-deaf-weve-become.ht...
    Dec 3, 2016 - I'm a Democrat and I'm ashamed at how tone deaf we've become. Bryan .... Bryan Dean Wright is a former CIA ops officer and member of the ...

    His stuff is imminently quotable.. :D He's a Democrat, but not a fanatic... Much like most of the Weigantians here.. :D

    Just sayin'... I mean, ask michale, even -- "Hasn't HuffPost gotten a lot less raving lefty, lately?"

    Less raving.... I don't think so... Ya gotta admit, their position on reporting Trump as entertainment news was pretty hysterically raving...

    396

  28. [28] 
    michale wrote:

    OK, gang, michale's been busy with the new addition to the family and all

    http://theworleys.net/temp/MeCaitlynn.jpg

    She is the cutest thing!!! :D

  29. [29] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    That video was awesome.
    I remember back in 1970-71 in middle school band we thought we were really cool because we got to play "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night (I think that's the name of the song and the band- it's the one that starts "Jeremiah was a bullfrog...") which was at the time a pretty current tune.
    And in High school we played "Oye coma Va" by Santana (though I probably spelled that wrong) which was also current and actually a good song for a marching band.
    But that was not even close to this.

  30. [30] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    As for the use of the song lyrics themselves I guess ill dust off a few classics with:
    Great minds think alike.
    and
    The more things change the more they stay the same.

    But song lyrics are like the Bible or Nostradamus, they can sometimes be interpreted to mean whatever you want them to mean.
    I just sent Chris Hedges another email that he will ignore about his recent article about the Homegrown Fake News.
    I quoted the lyrics from a song written by the guitar player in our garage band called the Homegrown Blues and pointed out that while it was about a different kind of homegrown the lyrics could be interpreted to describe my efforts to get people like Mr. Hedges that keep writing about how no one in the media will give a voice to ordinary citizens to actually do something about it by giving voice to this ordinary citizen and my idea for Voucher Vendetta.

    "I've got the homegrown blues again, I've got the homegrown blues again.
    I've been planting my seeds, but I just can't seem to win.
    You know I still got hope- I'm gonna do it over again.

    I've got the homegrown blues again, I've got the home grown blues again.
    You know my dad he says I'm burnt and my mom says I talk strange.
    You know I still got hope- but I think it's time for a change."

  31. [31] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    As for ranked choice voting I'm not a fan. It just seems to me to be a way for the current major parties to make people think that they are getting somewhere by voting for a third party candidate only to have that vote eventually converted to a vote for a current major party candidate.
    How for example, does this effect the status of the parties for the next election cycle?
    Does your top choice of a third party candidate count to establish party status and qualify the party for a primary in the next election cycle or does the vote converted to the current major party candidate count to establish that party for the next election cycle?
    If you only want to vote for one candidate because the others are so abhorrent that you would not want either or any of them in office (see: Trump- Clinton), if your only choice gets eliminated does your vote then get eliminated from the final count or does is it still included?
    Ranked choice voting just seems to me to make things more complicated with little possibility of tangible success.
    The way I see it is that you hear about things like ranked choice voting for just that reason. It keeps people thinking they are doing something when they aren't. That way "THEY" can keep doing what they have been doing.
    If Ranked choice voting could actually work like Voucher Vendetta can work then you wouldn't hear about it.

  32. [32] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    That marching band talk reminded me of this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJKythlXAIY

    it's also worth watching the Rube Goldberg video for the same song. OK Go really makes impressive videos.

  33. [33] 
    michale wrote:

    And in High school we played "Oye coma Va" by Santana (though I probably spelled that wrong)

    Nope.. You spelled it right.. S A N T A N A

    :D

    heh

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