ChrisWeigant.com

My 2016 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 23rd, 2016 – 18:55 PST ]

[Update: We made an inadvertent error in the original version of this column. We have now fixed the error -- it was George Mason University who toyed with the funny acronym for a Scalia law school, not George Washington University. Our apologies for the error.]

Normally we open our annual awards column with an explanation of why John McLaughlin shouldn't sue us. It's become traditional, in fact, to skate the thin ice of "homage" and "satire" versus straight-up theft of intellectual property (which, of course, we'd never ever do... or, at least, admit).

This year, sad to say, we no longer have to do this dance. It's sad because The McLaughlin Group television show is no more. It was retired upon the John McLaughlin's death earlier this year, and we have missed the weekly political chatfest ever since. Pat Buchanan is an interesting guy to listen to, especially since in his own run at the presidency, he was a sort of proto-Trump. Clarence Page and Eleanor Clift are likewise missed on a weekly basis.

But no time of year highlights the absence more than now, because McLaughlin came up with a list of year-end award categories for all his panelists to spar over, which was always guaranteed to bring up some events from the past year that had almost totally been forgotten.

We always played along in our own year-end columns, offering up what our choices were for all the categories (and a few extra ones). This year, sadly, we do so not in homage but rather in memoriam. Rest in peace, John, while we attempt to at least partially fill the hole you've left.

 

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   Biggest Winner Of 2016

Of course, in any presidential year, the obvious choice for Biggest Winner is the election's winner. But since Donald Trump is eligible for so many other awards this year, we're not going to give it to him. After all, even though in his own mind he won in "a landslide," by the historical numbers this just isn't the case. Compared to other presidents (even just compared to Barack Obama's two elections), Trump barely squeaked by. Plus, there's that whole "behind Hillary by almost three million popular votes" thing, as well.

We could have waggishly given this award to Vladimir Putin, but decided to pass on that one, too.

If we gave these awards out solely in the political arena, we would have given it to "the legalization of recreational marijuana," which scored a bigger win (four states, including California and two East Coast states) than it ever has before. But even weed legalization didn't make a clean sweep, as one ballot measure lost in Arizona.

Instead, we turn to the world of sports. We considered giving Biggest Winner to Michael Phelps, who is the winningest Olympic athlete of all time (in any sport), but then discovered we had already done so, back in 2008 (when he broke Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals in one Olympics).

No, there's really one feat from 2016 which qualifies -- and was an astounding 108 years in the making. When the Chicago Cubs won the World Series this year, it broke a century-old curse and therefore has to be seen as the most impressive win of the whole year. The Cubs made an unbelievable comeback, from being down three games to one in the World Series, and ended their magnificent year with a seventh game that went into extra innings. After the victory, an unbelievable five million people lined the streets of Chicago for their victory parade -- what ABC News called "the largest gathering of people ever in the Western Hemisphere." That is way more impressive than any political victory this year, which is why the Cubbies are the Biggest Winners of 2016.

 

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   Biggest Loser Of 2016

Again, the obvious choice in any presidential year is the losing candidate. Hillary Rodham Clinton -- and her entire campaign apparatus -- was in many ways the Biggest Loser Of 2016. She may have gotten more votes than Trump, but she utterly failed to excite young voters and she did a lousy job of corralling all the other former Bernie Sanders voters to boot. Turnout was down across many demographics, so it's hard to accurately say which group Hillary failed to inspire (to get to the polls) the most. Or "the least," to be more accurate.

Thematically, Hillary ran a very similar campaign to the one she did in 2008. One of her slogans this time around was "a progressive who gets things done" -- which is another way of saying "dream small." In 2008, Democratic primary voters rejected this for undiluted "hope and change," and in 2016 Hillary struggled to beat a self-described "Democratic Socialist" who also told the electorate that dreaming big was the way to go. Hillary came off calculated, incremental, and timid by comparison -- both times.

Team Clinton was supposed to be assured of victory by their awesome ground game -- one that largely failed to equate to actual votes on Election Day. Even without all the media idiocy and the scandals, Hillary was obviously nowhere near the campaigner her husband always had been. She had eight years to try to rectify this situation, but she still exuded an insufferable air of entitlement throughout the entire campaign. Biggest Loser of 2016 was, without a doubt, Hillary Clinton (and the campaign she waged).

But we're also handing out the Biggest (Literal) Loser of 2016, as a tangential award, just because it was so amusing. The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power had their own "Dewey Defeats Truman" moment this year, because they actually started paying out on bets that Hillary Clinton had won the American election -- three weeks before the election happened. After a series of stumbles by Trump (most notably, Pussygate), Paddy Power decided Trump's chance of winning was essentially zero, so they just went ahead and paid off everyone who had bet on Clinton to win. This cost them roughly a million dollars.

When Trump won, they had to pay out another five million bucks to the people who had bet on him (Trump had longer odds, hence the higher payouts, one assumes). It was -- quite literally -- a "win-win" bet. You couldn't lose if you had placed an election wager with Paddy Power. For holding the lose-lose end of this bargain, and for (as they put it) winding up with "some very, very expensive egg on our faces," Paddy Power wins the special Biggest (Literal) Loser of 2016 award. Better luck next time, guys!

 

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   Best Politician

Since Donald Trump doesn't like to call himself a politician, we're going to disqualify him for this particular award.

On the Democratic side, we had Bernie Sanders (who ran the campaign of his lifetime, only to ultimately fall short) and Elizabeth Warren. Warren managed to walk the tightrope between Team Hillary and the Feel The Bern crowd better than any other Democrat this year. She never endorsed Bernie, but somehow still maintained the love and respect from the progressive wing of the party. She was also reportedly in the final few to be considered to be Hillary's running mate. Warren exited the election season smelling like a rose, with no visible scars from either candidate's camp. That's pretty impressive, in the midst of such a hard-fought race.

But we have to give this award to a Republican this year. Of all the Republicans trying to figure out how to deal with Trump, one man excelled at his own high-wire act: Reince Priebus. Early on, he declared the Republican National Committee (which he chaired) to be absolutely neutral in the 17-way GOP primary race, and he did such a good job of neutrality that he is going to wind up with perhaps the most powerful job in Washington after the presidency itself. Since he'll be Trump's White House chief of staff next year, we suppose we'll have to retire our recurring joke about his name ("take out the vowels, and you get his job title -- RNC PR BS"). Instead, we'll have to follow the lead of Stephen Colbert, who earlier this year pointed out that his name is an anagram for "crisp bee urine." Now that's an image that can't be un-thunk, wouldn't you say?

Joshing aside, though, Priebus was the best at getting close to Trump without totally appearing like a suck-up (cough, cough... Chris Christie... cough...). Because he obviously was respected by Trump for doing so (since he scored such a plum job), Reince Priebus has to be seen as the Best Politician this year.

 

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   Worst Politician

Hillary Clinton was certainly in the running for this one, but we already gave her Biggest Loser, so we'll move on to other bad politicians instead. There was no shortage of bad politicians on the Republican side, mostly due to how many of them ran for president. Chris Christie certainly had a brutal year, as did Ben Carson -- and all the rest of the yahoos on stage for the GOP primary debates.

But one man stood above (below?) them all in the Worst Politician category. He had a mountain of cash to play with, he had the full backing of the establishment of the party, and he even stuck an exclamation point after his name for good measure. None of it, alas, helped "Jeb!" Bush one tiny little bit.

Of all the Republicans who tried mixing it up with Trump in the primary debates, Jeb! came off looking weakest. Saturday Night Live spoofed Trump calling Bush a little girl ("The name on your birth certificate is actually Jebra"), which was funny because it was so close to the spanking the real Trump doled out to him on a regular basis in the primary debates. In fact, it was hard not to feel sorry for Jeb! since he looked so bewildered and confused as to why the nomination was not falling into his lap, as planned.

Jeb! wasted more of other people's money than anyone this year, and he couldn't win a single state. He couldn't even get higher than fourth place in most states, as a matter of fact. That's a pretty dismal showing for the man who was supposed to be the dynastic candidate on the GOP side.

As a matter of fact, he was so pathetic and so obviously the worst of a bad lot that from this point forward we can't even bring ourselves to make fun of his exclamation point. From now on in these pages, he'll just be plain old "Jeb" again. If we ever bother to mention him again at all (which we probably won't).

 

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   Most Defining Political Moment

The temptation is strong to just throw up our hands and say "Election Night." But that'd really be a cop-out, we feel. We could go back and rehash the campaign for the most defining moment for Trump and Clinton, instead.

For Trump, it'd either be "Pussygate" or the moment when Ted Cruz dropped out of the race. Cruz was the final non-Trump candidate to fall, which was the exact point when most Republicans realized their "Never Trump" dreams had been dashed.

For Hillary Clinton, it's pretty obvious -- her "basket of deplorables" gaffe. That one is going to live in the political lexicon just as long as Mitt Romney's "47 percent," that's for sure. When oh when will politicians learn it isn't a great strategy to outright insult large groups of voters? Inquiring minds want to know... sigh.

But instead, we're reaching even further back, and even further afield. The Most Defining Political Moment of 2016 was the Brexit vote in Britain. Not because it defined politics in America in any way (it didn't), but because it was the canary in the coal mine warning us all that the pollsters might not always be right. Sometimes "waves" occur in the public that the pollsters just flat-out miss. Brexit was one of those times, and Trump winning the U.S. presidency was another.

The Brexit vote and the Trump election will both have far-reaching ramifications for how pollsters conduct public opinion polls, that much is sure. The pollsters [and I include all my own pollwatching columns in this, absolutely] just blew it. There's just no way to sugarcoat it. Trump voters were telling me before the American election that Brexit was going to happen here. I scoffed. Along with just about everybody else. And look what happened. Which is why Brexit was the Most Defining Political Moment of 2016. It set the stage for Election Day, if only we had realized it.

 

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   Turncoat Of The Year

We had so many nominations in this category that we had to limit it to people who turned their coat twice during the course of the year. Which excluded the entire Bush family, since they turned against Trump but never followed this up by trying to suck up to him later on.

It also disqualifies all the Democratic entries (Bernie Sanders, who disappointed some followers by backing Clinton) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (for obvious reasons).

Instead, only people who turned against Trump and then turned back to him later were considered. The most successful of these were probably Nikki Haley and Rick Perry, both of whom wound up with nice positions in the Trump administration, after scathingly denouncing Trump earlier in the year (Haley, notably, in her response to Barack Obama's State Of The Union speech).

But there's one real standout among this weaselly crowd. Mitt Romney earned a lot of respect (from both sides of the aisle, in fact) for mincing no words denouncing Donald Trump during the primary campaign. He stuck to this position right up until Trump won the presidency, and then he started pathetically groveling at Trump's feet, because he thought he was in the running to be secretary of State. The entire nation watched his disgrace and his abasement, much to Trump's glee.

In the end, it didn't get him anything more than the complete destruction of all the respect he had earlier earned. Romney turned his coat twice, and wound up being nothing more than a punchline. That wins him Turncoat Of The Year, easily.

 

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   Most Boring

Well, there's always Ben Carson, but we gave him this award last year... and we've already given Jeb Bush Worst Politician this time around.

Instead we're going to give it to a man hilariously described (in a nomination from a commenter at my web site) as "Tom (?) Somebody who ran as VP with Hillary." Heh.

Yes, Tim Kaine was easily the Most Boring of 2016. In fact, right before she made her announcement, he appeared in a television interview where he called himself boring. That's rare honesty in a politician.

Hillary Clinton obviously chose Kaine for two reasons: because she thought he'd lock down Virginia (which he did manage to do), and because he was guaranteed never to upstage Clinton on the campaign trail. This was a very bad decision, but it did play out exactly as she planned. He never did steal her limelight, in the way Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders or Al Franken surely would have done.

For better or for worse, Tim Kaine was definitely the Most Boring guy in the political world last year.

 

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   Most Charismatic

If we were only limiting our definition of Most Charismatic to "positive charisma" then we would easily hand this award to First Lady Michelle Obama. FLOTUS not only gave an amazing speech at the Democratic National Convention, she also wowed crowds in her campaign appearances for Hillary, and she was downright endearing in the television interviews she gave. By the end of the year, many Democrats were urging her to consider running for office in the future, which is a pretty impressive show of respect.

But we've always defined Most Charismatic as a neutral thing -- it can be bad or good, depending on the person in question and your own point of view. By this measure, it is impossible to give the award to anyone other than Donald Trump. Trump was charismatic, because the entire political world -- from the media to the late-night comics to the president himself -- absolutely hung on his every word and action. It was just about impossible to ignore Trump, to put this another way. That's charisma, whether you like the guy or not.

To give a non-political example, Rodney Dangerfield was charismatic in Caddyshack. He was annoying as heck, but every time he wandered on screen, he absolutely dominated the action.

That's Trump to a "T". Trump dominated the Republican primary race, he dominated national news coverage, he dominated cable news (so painfully you expected them to start screaming a "safe word," at times). He dominated the entire race from beginning to end -- because all of his opponents (from both parties) were reduced to nothing more than reacting to what Trump said and did. Which is why he was clearly the Most Charismatic, for the second year in a row.

 

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   Bummest Rap

The name Merrick Garland springs to mind here, but he didn't really get a "bum rap," he was just stonewalled by Senate Republicans. So he doesn't really fit the category, we feel.

Instead, we're going very specific here. We're really awarding the "Bummest Rap Of The Bummest Rap" award, if truth be told. The overarching bum rap was the entire Hillary Clinton email story. Once again, a Hillary Clinton scandal winds up with no smoking gun, no "if there's smoke, there's fire" fire, and, in fact, no smoke at all. She made a bad decision, and it came back to haunt her. That's it. America's security was not compromised, she did not intentionally spread secret documents around, and there were no charges and no court case at all. Nada. A giant nothing-burger, just like the entire Benghazi hoopla (which won last year's Bummest Rap award, we should mention).

In fact, one reader pointed out something (in a nomination for the Most Underreported Story category) which we found very interesting. While everyone on the Democratic side got the holy Hell hacked out of their emails (the D.N.C., Debbie Wasserman Schultz, John Podesta, etc.) -- Hillary's email server never got hacked. That was lost in all the confluence of the "political email scandal" stories this year. The one server that didn't get hacked by Russia was the one Hillary Clinton set up in her house. Even when Donald Trump all but begged the Rooskies to release the emails Clinton deleted, they couldn't -- because they didn't have them.

But as we said, we're giving out the Bummest Rap Of The Bummest Rap award this year, and it goes to James Comey's October Surprise letter to Congress saying he was reopening the investigation into Hillary's emails -- a mere eleven days before the election. Two days before America voted, he said "never mind," but by that point the damage had been done. If Comey hadn't written the letter, Clinton might easily have won the election. Because he did, she lost. All for nothing -- no smoke, no fire, nothing. That's a bum rap indeed.

 

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   Fairest Rap

Leading the list of nominations here would be the old joke: "How can you tell Donald Trump is lying? Because his lips are moving." Maybe that should be updated to: "Because his thumbs are tweeting," which would indeed be more appropriate for Trump. Or perhaps "Trump doesn't pay any taxes," which we may never actually confirm (since he's never going to release any tax returns, ever). And then there's the Russian ties to so many Trump advisors -- that's a pretty fair rap, and one we are definitely going to hear a lot more about in the future.

There were literal raps against some politicians this year, like the 12-year corruption sentence handed down to Sheldon Silver, former speaker of the New York state assembly. And the 10-year corruption sentence just handed down to former House member Chaka Fattah.

But we feel the Fairest Rap of the year was that the Democratic National Committee had a very large thumb on the scale for Hillary Clinton's primary campaign. This was proven when the D.N.C. emails were leaked, but by that point Clinton was already the nominee. This scandal caused the unprecedented resignation of D.N.C. chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz the day the Democratic National Convention started. That's pretty bad optics for an event that is supposed to present party unity to the country, to say the least.

Some of their machinations were inexplicable, like limiting the primary debate events and scheduling them when the fewest people would be paying attention. Hillary Clinton was actually a very strong debater -- it was one of the things she excelled at in her campaign, in fact. So why limit her exposure when she's so good at it? It defies explanation, really.

Would Bernie Sanders have won the nomination without all this back-room bias? It's hard to say one way or the other, but he should have been given a clear shot at doing so with no favoritism from the party's national committee. Whomever wins the chair going forward should be required to sign an iron-clad pledge that this sort of thing will never happen again. Because the accusation that the D.N.C. was in the tank for Hillary very early on was the Fairest Rap of 2016.

 

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   Best Comeback

We seriously considered the Chicago Cubs for this category, for their amazing comeback in the World Series. But then we went ahead and gave them the Biggest Winner award, which we felt was sufficient.

In the presidential race, both candidates had some pretty amazing comebacks. Donald Trump came back from Pussygate -- as well as all the other scandalous things he got caught saying during his entire campaign. Trump's campaign, in fact, was one comeback after another, for a solid year and a half. That's pretty impressive, we have to admit.

Hillary Clinton staged quite a few of her own comebacks. She came back from losing Michigan to Bernie. She came back from the flu, and all the questions about her health. She came back from the email story -- over and over again. She just didn't quite come back from the last iteration of it, that's all.

But there was a spectacular political comeback happening in the background, while the whole presidential race drama played out. Because President Barack Obama turned his public approval ratings around during 2016 in a way he has never done before. Obama's second term hasn't been a great one, in the job approval polls. The first year of his second term, he plummeted from almost 53 percent job approval (right after his second inauguration) down to a low of under 42 percent. He spent his second year fluctuating from a little over 41 percent up to a high of 44 percent. In 2015, he managed to improve slightly, but got stuck in the doldrums around 45 percent. He ended 2015 at a year-end low, 43.7 percent.

In 2016, Obama completely turned this around. His job approval ratings shot up steeply, all year long. He ended last month at 53.3 percent job approval -- a gain of almost 10 points over the year (and December hasn't even been fully calculated yet). He is now at the highest level of his entire second term, in fact.

This turnaround was nothing short of astounding, and he probably owes a lot of it to the ugliness of the presidential campaign for his successor. To put this another way, a whole lot of Americans realized that they are going to miss Obama when he's gone. "No-drama Obama" is going to be replaced with reality television's "All drama, all the time" Trump.

Obama had his "most improved" year of his entire eight-year term in 2016, in fact. Barack Obama is now polling a full point above where he was when Osama Bin Laden was killed, to put this in the most dramatic fashion possible. For this stellar year in the polls, Barack Obama wins Best Comeback, hands down.

 

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   Most Original Thinker

This one pains us, we have to say, right up front. But we've always let the chips fall where they may here, so we gotta do what we gotta do.

[Sigh... here goes...]

The Most Original Thinker of 2016 was none other than Kellyanne Conway.

[See? We warned you...]

Yes, Conway is nothing more than political spin in human form. We do realize that, trust us. But Conway succeeded (where two others had failed) in turning Trump into a winning candidate. Many words come to mind when thinking of Conway (but, to be honest, "unfazed" and "unflappable" are high on the list), but she realized what sort of personality Donald Trump had (for better or worse) and worked with it to contain him enough that millions of Americans felt safe voting for him. She forced him to use TelePrompTers when no one else could. She got her point across using rather astonishing methods (the most jaw-dropping of which was "argue your point directly to Donald while being interviewed on a cable news show he loves to watch"). She was also the first female campaign manager in American history to run a winning presidential campaign, to her credit.

Sure, for a liberal watching her prevaricate and pirouette to "explain" Trump's "real meaning" is nothing short of fingernails on a chalkboard. [Aside: Does that metaphor need updating? Does anyone even know what this sounds like anymore, what with the prevalence of whiteboards in schools?]

Where were we? Oh, right, Kellyanne with the flyaway hair.

We really have no idea how she managed it all. But the fact remains that she succeeded where others had failed. She lassoed Trump and broke him to the saddle. That's a rather large accomplishment, considering who this buckaroo was (and still is).

For this seemingly unachievable feat, for whatever strategy she came up with to keep Trump pointed towards the goal, we have to (in all honesty) award the Most Original Thinker award to (shudder) Kellyanne Conway.

 

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   Most Stagnant Thinker

OK, we're not going to belabor the point too much, but the Most Stagnant Thinkers were pretty much everyone on Hillary Clinton's campaign team. We already slammed the Clinton team, up in the Biggest Loser entry, so we're only going to touch lightly on her campaign's miscues and mistakes here.

Team Clinton ran a traditional campaign, using traditional methodology and traditional strategy. Unfortunately for her, this was precisely the opposite of what the electorate was looking for this time around. The voters wanted someone who authentically cared about them and their plight, and they wanted someone who would promise them things that they knew were probably unattainable -- but were worth fighting for. Bernie Sanders gave Democratic primary voters this in spades, but unfortunately he fell short in the end. Donald Trump gave the voters unachievable promises by the truckload -- and they ate it up.

Team Clinton's inability to read the mood of the country and constant reassurances that the tried-and-true would work this time around also fell far short of the goal. Clinton's timidity, half-measures, and focus-group-tested slogans just didn't cut the mustard in 2016. Even Democratic voters never really trusted her -- and that's a BIG problem.

For not reacting adequately to the reality around her, for not naming someone exciting and progressive as running mate, for ignoring certain states, for overpromising and underdelivering, the Hillary Clinton campaign team easily wins Most Stagnant Thinkers of the year.

 

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   Best Photo Op

We had a plethora of candidates for Best Photo Op this year. So let's quickly zip through the runners-up.

Most adorable political photo op of the year was completely unplanned and unpredicted. It, in fact, qualifies (as the insurance companies say) as an "act of God." While Bernie Sanders was addressing a rally in Oregon (in the open air), a small bird flew down and alit upon his podium. The bird stuck around for a while, listening to what Bernie had to say. Easily the best feel-good video clip of the entire presidential campaign!

Speaking of Bernie, the funniest satire of the year was not Alec Baldwin doing Trump, but rather Saturday Night Live's earlier decision to cast Larry David to satirize Bernie Sanders. Lorne Michaels proves once again he is a comedic genius, in other words. The funniest of these appearances happened when Bernie and Larry both appeared on the same night. Not many picked up on it, but Bernie paid Larry back -- after Larry asked him what Bernie thought of his impression of him, Bernie replied: "It was pretty... pretty... pretty... pretty good." The circle was complete, at that point (at least, for Larry David fans).

Then there was Barack Obama's (literal) mic drop, after the immortal presidential line "Obama out" -- also one damn fine photo op (or video op, we suppose).

But, once again, this one has to go to Donald Trump. Trump's grand entrance to the Republican National Convention is now part of history. He entered to a backlit stage, appearing just as intimidating and exciting as any professional wrestler's entry. It was pure reality television, and it fit Donald like a glove.

His entrance was mocked at the time, but Trump had the last laugh. It turns out people were actively looking for a spectacle this year, and that is precisely what Trump gave them, from his blinding stage entrance all the way through the end of the convention. Best Photo Op goes to "backlit Trump entry to GOP convention."

 

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   Worst Photo Op

Um... #PhelpsFace, maybe? Nah....

The Worst Photo Op award goes to Hillary Clinton leaving an appearance at the New York City 9/11 memorial site, on 9/11. She had the flu, and she's not exactly a spring chicken, so she probably should have skipped the event and just admitted publicly that she was sick. Or attended for 10 minutes, and then beat a hasty retreat.

Instead, America got to see Clinton all but collapse, and then get manhandled into a vehicle by security agents. This is not exactly a good look for a presidential candidate, to state the painfully obvious. Worst Photo Op goes to Hillary's stumble on 9/11, hands down (and, almost, full body down).

 

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   Enough Already!

This category is a complete free-for-all, as always. Feel free to join in with your own additions to the list.

Live coverage of Trump rallies on cable news -- Enough already!

The normalization of racism as "the alt-right" -- Enough already!

Penis-measuring contests during presidential debates -- Enough already!

Groping women becomes somehow acceptable again -- Enough already!

Roger Ailes -- Enough already!

Kanye West -- Enough already!

Hillary's email -- Enough already!

Debbie Wasserman Schultz -- Enough already!

Superdelegates -- Enough already!

Trump's kids -- Enough already!

And, finally, one we can all agree upon, to close the list out:

Anthony Weiner's wiener -- Enough already!

 

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   Worst Lie

We could get ultra-specific on this one, and go for Marco Rubio's tweet stating "I have only said like 10000 times I will be a private citizen in January" -- right before he reconsidered and jumped back into the Senate race, but we're not going to.

We could just totally punt and go ultra-generic, and give Worst Lie to "everything that has ever come out of Donald Trump's mouth," but we're not going to do that, either (it'd just be too easy).

Instead, we're branching out into the world of sports. Because the Worst Lie of 2016 was Ryan Lochte's made-up moosepoop about getting shaken down for his wallet at gunpoint while in Rio for the Olympics. A gas station's videotape told quite another tale, and Lochte had to repeatedly back away from his fecal-bovine-matter story.

Now, Rio de Janeiro had made a mighty effort to clean the city up and not appear on the world's stage as a crime-ridden Hell-hole, so Lochte's lie was even more damaging than it would have been in, say, Athens, or perhaps Sydney. In fact, it was the cause of an international incident complete with Lochte pretty much fleeing the country so he didn't have to talk to the Rio cops, and it was an enormous black eye not just for Lochte, but also for the U.S. swim team, for the U.S. Olympic team, and for the entire United States of America.

Ryan Lochte was, to be blunt, the ultimate "ugly American." Which is why his lie cut so deep. Lochte did more damage to America's image to the world than even Donald Trump on the campaign trail -- and that is saying a lot indeed. Ryan Lochte, disgracefully, was the source of the Worst Lie of 2016.

 

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   Capitalist Of The Year

We normally branch out from politics to give the Capitalist Of The Year to some well-deserving person who has used the capitalist system to a notable degree in one way or another. But this year, we have to stay in the political realm and hand Donald Trump the Capitalist Of The Year. The old question: "Could a billionaire buy a presidential election?" will likely never be asked again.

Trump proved that pretty much all the traditional machinery of national political campaigns are overrated and not strictly necessary to win the race. He did so in unconventional ways, to put it mildly. He started off swearing he was going to foot the bill for the whole campaign, and then had to be shamed into actually donating the money (rather than just loaning it to his own campaign).

Trump did donate millions to his own campaign, but he recouped a portion of it as well, since he had to pay for the use of Trump Tower, his Florida resort, his airplane, and all the rest of the Trump properties he used while campaigning. It should be noted that this is somewhat mandatory (by campaign finance law), but the fact remains that no other presidential candidate in history made as much money as Trump from his own campaign.

On top of this, Trump's own brand was immeasurably affected by his campaign run. There aren't many people in the entire world who haven't heard Trump's name by now. Since he has (in the past decade or so) mostly made money by essentially renting his name out to others, this means the Trump brand is now more valuable than ever.

Trump is going to redefine what presidential conflicts of interest are as well. He's going to hand over his business to his own kids, meaning the potential for scandal will be almost unlimited. This may serve to bog Trump down in pay-to-play accusations later, but for now he's pretty much picking and choosing which conflict of interest traditions he's going to follow (the law preventing presidential conflicts of interest doesn't actually exist -- something Congress might think about changing in the near future).

For all of these reasons, Donald Trump is pretty much the only choice possible for Capitalist Of The Year.

 

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   Honorable Mention

This is another one of those anything-goes categories. So here's our list of people who deserve recognition, but just didn't fit into any of the other categories.

All the "Never Trump" Republicans, who put country before party.

Jo Cox, the British politician who was murdered for her "Remain" stance on Brexit.

Barack Obama, for pardoning more people than all presidents back to Truman combined.

Terry McAuliffe for attempting to restore voting rights to 200,000 felons in Virginia.

Merrick Garland, for obvious reasons.

Jill Stein, for leading the recount effort.

Megyn Kelly, for standing up to Trump in a debate.

George Mason University, for considering the creation of the Antonin Scalia School Of Law (which would have given us a choice of acronyms to call it: "ASSOL" or perhaps "ASSLaw").

The hilarious (and fictional) presidential candidacy of Deez Nuts.

And, finally, another one we can all agree upon, to close:

The internet naming contest in Britain for a new arctic research vessel, where the name "R.S.S. Boaty McBoatface" won in a landslide.

 

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   Person Of The Year

This is going to be a controversial pick, at least if I have any Donald Trump fans as readers (stranger things have happened...).

The "Person Of The Year" is an award which John McLaughlin ripped off (oh, excuse me, "did a satirical homage of, each year") from Time magazine, which has been awarding the "Man Of The Year" for almost a century (they started in 1927 with Charles Lindbergh). It has always been defined as the "person (originally: man) who was the most influential over the past year." This is completely neutral -- Time awarded it to Adolf Hitler, in 1938, after all, which was not to say he was the most-loved person of the year or the "best" person of the year, just the most influential.

So for 2016, our Person Of The Year is none other than James Comey. The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations proved to be more influential than any person to hold that position since the fabled J. Edgar Hoover (who, infamously, "had a file on everybody").

Comey inserted himself into politics in a way not seen since Hoover -- not just once, but twice during the presidential campaign. He spent an inordinate amount of time investigating Hillary Clinton and her email server -- when a tighter investigation would have wrapped up well before the conventions and perhaps even before the primaries started.

When he was (finally!) finished, he broke longstanding F.B.I. tradition and held a very public press conference -- which was pretty much unprecedented (investigations that don't find anything are routinely dismissed by the F.B.I., not splashed across national television) -- where he sniped at Hillary Clinton, but finally admitted that there was no crime worth prosecuting her for concerning her private email server.

Not content with inserting himself in the presidential race to such a degree -- while maintaining that the F.B.I. could not comment on Russian interference in our election, mind you, because it would appear "too political" -- Comey then issued the infamous "October Surprise letter," with only 11 days remaining in the presidential campaign. Eleven freakin' days! Once again, he ignored F.B.I. protocol when issuing this letter, because he thought the public had a right to know, even though he was still totally mute about all that Russian interference in an American election.

Comey himself would likely argue there were mitigating circumstances. The press conference happened only a few days after Bill Clinton wandered over to another plane at an airport, and talked with the sitting attorney general "about grandkids." That sort of perceived conflict of interest could indeed have spurred Comey to distance himself from his boss (the A.G.) with a public press conference. Bubba goofed, no doubt about it. But as for the October Surprise letter, there really is no excuse.

Whether by design or whether by accident, James Comey inserted himself personally into the presidential campaign. These two incidents had an enormous effect upon the public, as is proven by the polling immediately afterwards and by the election itself.

Comey admitting: "Oh, never mind, there's nothing to see here, folks," two days before the election wasn't good enough to repair this breach of F.B.I. protocol -- not by a long shot.

F.B.I. chief James Comey will go down in history as being second only to J. Edgar himself, when it comes to using the apparatus of our national police force to intervene in American politics. Personally, we find this incredibly shameful, but that's just our opinion.

But no matter what you think of him, James Comey's interference in the presidential election qualifies him like no other for the Person Of The Year award. His influence was greater than any other one person's -- including Donald Trump's. Which is why we had to give him the award this year.

 

[See you next Friday, for the conclusion of our 2016 awards!]

 

If you're interested in traveling down Memory Lane, here are all the previous years of this awards column:

2015 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2014 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2013 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2012 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2011 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2010 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2009 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2008 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2007 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2006 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

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

 

280 Comments on “My 2016 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]”

  1. [1] 
    michale wrote:

    Trump voters were telling me before the American election that Brexit was going to happen here.

    Why yes... Yes they were... :D

    I scoffed.

    Why yes... Yes you did... :D heh

    That's it. America's security was not compromised,

    That we know of... You can bet that someone out there was reading our SecState's emails..

    she did not intentionally spread secret documents around,

    Intent has no relevance to her actions being criminal. James Comey REALLY messed up on that..

    If Comey hadn't written the letter, Clinton might easily have won the election.

    And if Clinton hadn't used a unauthorized illegal email server, Comey wouldn't have had a reason to write any letter..

    It all comes back to CLINTON's own actions..

    Ryan Lochte was, to be blunt, the ultimate "ugly American." Which is why his lie cut so deep. Lochte did more damage to America's image to the world than even Donald Trump on the campaign trail -- and that is saying a lot indeed. Ryan Lochte, disgracefully, was the source of the Worst Lie of 2016.

    Not in any way defending Lochte, but he didn't lie... He told a war story... And ALL war stories are BS.. Especially the true ones...

    If you look at the incident, the essential elements of Lochte story were true.. There was a man in uniform with a gun and a badge. The man with the badge drew his gun and pointed it at Lochte and his friends. Lochte and his friends had to pay money to leave..

    When you break down and discard Lochte's "heroism" that is what is left and that is what essentially happened..

    The old question: "Could a billionaire buy a presidential election?" will likely never be asked again.

    Trump didn't "buy" the election... He was outspent by Hillary almost 10 to 1...

    When he was (finally!) finished, he broke longstanding F.B.I. tradition and held a very public press conference -- which was pretty much unprecedented (investigations that don't find anything are routinely dismissed by the F.B.I., not splashed across national television) -- where he sniped at Hillary Clinton, but finally admitted that there was no crime worth prosecuting her for concerning her private email server.

    Again, I have to ask.. What would ya'all have had Comey do??

    His boss, AG Lynch had TOTALLY and COMPLETELY compromised herself with her Bubba tango on the tarmac of a Phoenix airport...

    THAT was "unprecedented"...

    Comey had NO CHOICE but to go directly to the American people...

    Transparency is a double-edged sword.. Ya'all can't swear by it ONLY when it reveals politically acceptable actions...

    Comey himself would likely argue there were mitigating circumstances. The press conference happened only a few days after Bill Clinton wandered over to another plane at an airport, and talked with the sitting attorney general "about grandkids." That sort of perceived conflict of interest could indeed have spurred Comey to distance himself from his boss (the A.G.) with a public press conference. Bubba goofed, no doubt about it. But as for the October Surprise letter, there really is no excuse.

    Yes, it is an excuse.. Because AG Lynch was STILL compromised....

    AG Lynch could have ordered Comey not to release the letter to Congress..... Why didn't she??

    Because she didn't want to give appearances that she was covering up...

    Which is EXACTLY the same reasoning Comey used..

    AG Lynch is as much to blame for the email server issue as Comey is..

    But the ULTIMATE responsibility rests with Hillary Clinton herself...

    When you commit a crime (and Hillary did, regardless of what Comey said) you don't blame the cop who arrests you...

    Always a pleasure reading the End Of The Year awards, CW... :D

    442

  2. [2] 
    neilm wrote:

    Again, I have to ask.. What would ya'all have had Comey do??

    Nothing. He wasn't being paid to speculate, he was paid to investigate. He isn't the Justice Department, and as you will be arguing vehemently for the next four years, with probably more than a soupçon of smugness when Sessions imposes his will against the wishes of e.g. marijuana advocates.

  3. [3] 
    neilm wrote:

    My wish for Christmas - a five minute edit window for comments. Please Santa.

  4. [4] 
    neilm wrote:

    But the ULTIMATE responsibility rests with Hillary Clinton herself...

    for having the only email server in the U.S. the Russians couldn't hack?

  5. [5] 
    michale wrote:

    Nothing.

    Which would have served Hillary's interests perfectly..

    But Comey felt that the American people had a right to know about the candidate they were thinking about voting for...

    Like I said.. The Left is ALL about transparency.. Until it comes around and bites them on the ass...

    He isn't the Justice Department,

    They DOJ took themselves out of the picture when the AG did the mamba with Bill Clinton...

    That left things to Comey...

    My wish for Christmas - a five minute edit window for comments. Please Santa.

    ???

    Sounds like it might be a setting within your platform rather than a setting of Wordpress...

    for having the only email server in the U.S. the Russians couldn't hack?

    No.. For being the ONLY SecState in the history of this country to HAVE their own private illegal and unauthorized email server...

    'sides... If you think Hillary's server wasn't hacked, I have some swampland if FL I want to sell you... :D

    445

  6. [6] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    'sides... If you think Hillary's server wasn't hacked, I have some swampland if FL I want to sell you...

    My evidence is that the most zealous investigators in the country, including several republican-led committees, the State Department, the FBI and other intelligence services all looked and reported back that they could find no evidence that her computer was hacked. No hacked materials from her computer ever surfaced on the internet, despite Trump's public plea to the Russians to hack her.

    That's my proof. What's yours?

  7. [7] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "No.. For being the ONLY SecState in the history of this country to HAVE their own private illegal and unauthorized email server..."

    NOT TRUE. There has been ONE OTHER. Secretary Colin Powell exclusively used an outside, personal e-mail account to conduct State Department business.

  8. [8] 
    michale wrote:

    That's my proof. What's yours?

    The fact that every intelligence or crypto person who is worth half a salt has stated unequivocally that it is nearly impossible to catch a good hacker...

    NOT TRUE. There has been ONE OTHER. Secretary Colin Powell exclusively used an outside, personal e-mail account to conduct State Department business.

    No he did not.. Powell used his AOL account on occasion to send NON-CLASSIFIED emails back and forth...

    Even if it WERE true, it's not the same as using one's own email server..

    449

  9. [9] 
    michale wrote:

    Even if it WERE true, it's not the same as using one's own email server..

    One's own email server, I might add, that had nothing more than the most rudimentary security updates and patches and STILL had default user/passwords, fer christ's sake..

    Enemy agents didn't HAVE to "hack" Clinton's private insecure illegal and unauthorized email server...

    It was wide open....

    450

  10. [10] 
    neilm wrote:

    Which would have served Hillary's interests perfectly..

    Oh, so Comey didwin the election for Trump.

    No.. For being the ONLY SecState in the history of this country to HAVE their own private illegal and unauthorized email server...

    So what? It is so meaningless that Trump, your hero, thinks it is not worth a law suit. Now how often does that happen?

  11. [11] 
    michale wrote:

    Oh, so Comey didwin the election for Trump.

    Comey did his job..

    Ultimately, Comey works for the American people.. And the American people had the RIGHT to know what kind of person, what kind of American, Clinton is...

    So what? It is so meaningless that Trump, your hero, thinks it is not worth a law suit. Now how often does that happen?

    I think Trump showed great magnanimity by not prosecuting Clinton..

    He COULD have and she WOULD have gone to jail...

    So, in essence, CLinton has Trump to thank for her continued freedom...

    451

  12. [12] 
    neilm wrote:

    nearly impossible to catch a good hacker...

    You have no idea of the capabilities of our intelligence agencies, and neither do your 'sources' which you vaguely mention, but as usual, don't supply a link for.

  13. [13] 
    neilm wrote:

    Comey did his job..

    No, that is one thing Comey didn't do. He did his job and a lot of very dubious extra work. If he wants to play the 'Snowden' fine, but he should be under investigation for political partisanship.

    He is tainted goods. Sooner gone the better. It is over, both for Hillary and Comey, and Comey blew it.

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I couldn't disagree more with your assessment of Comey.

    I think he did an admirable job and has done so throughout his tenure.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Actually, Hillary blew it.

    Mostly by being the wrong candidate at the wrong time, seeing how unable she was to get a message across ... any message!

  16. [16] 
    neilm wrote:

    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2016/12/23/u-s-growth-rate-hits-new-low-as-migration-to-the-sun-belt-continues/

    Low population growth is a huge drag on our economy. If only we had a President that encouraged immigration of the young instead of somebody who wants to build walls.

    The sugar high Trump is going to have to deliver to the economy to get anything like 4% growth is going to blow a massive hole in the deficit. And what if China decides not to buy the debt and instead invests in Eurobonds?

    The dollar is so strong at the moment, bond prices are still high and the stock market is hitting new heights, myself and most of my friends are having to rebalance to international stocks significantly to maintain our long term portfolio balance.

  17. [17] 
    michale wrote:

    No, that is one thing Comey didn't do. He did his job and a lot of very dubious extra work. If he wants to play the 'Snowden' fine, but he should be under investigation for political partisanship.

    He is tainted goods. Sooner gone the better. It is over, both for Hillary and Comey, and Comey blew it.

    The funny thing is, Comey was praised to the high heavens by the Democrats after he declined to prosecute Hillary..

    So, your assessment simply MUST be written off as nothing but partisanship...

    Comey works for the American people. Ultimately, he did right by them and that is all that matters...

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Merry Christmas, Michale! :)

  19. [19] 
    michale wrote:
  20. [20] 
    michale wrote:

    Merry Christmas, Liz!! :D

  21. [21] 
    neilm wrote:

    The funny thing is, Comey was praised to the high heavens by the Democrats after he declined to prosecute Hillary..

    Not really - his editorializing was very unprofessional, but it seemed best to let it go. He'd completed his investigation and there was nothing to find.

    Re-opening the case, then closing it again right before the election was his egregious mistake, a career ending one at that.

    What a sad way to go. I assume Trump won't trust him - would you?

  22. [22] 
    neilm wrote:

    Mostly by being the wrong candidate at the wrong time, seeing how unable she was to get a message across ... any message!

    I heard her message. It was sensible. But you had to look for it - the media was focused on the Orange Reality Show and not the issues.

    As I have stated before, if we are just going to have a larger version of the "Entertainment Tonight Person of the Year" show every 4 years we need Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock in the Democratic Ticket - it doesn't matter which order, but a woman Presedent (heh) would be nice.

    If you want to blame Hillary for everything, go ahead, and I admit she had her faults, but her faults paled into insignificance against her opponent, and her ability to project a message was impossible in the media frenzy that was whipped up.

  23. [23] 
    neilm wrote:

    CW: Have you read the Rosensteil report on journalism - makes interesting reading:

    https://www.brookings.edu/research/what-the-debate-over-journalism-post-trump-gets-wrong/

  24. [24] 
    michale wrote:

    What a sad way to go. I assume Trump won't trust him - would you?

    Absolutely..

    He had an impossible task put upon him by the unprecedented malfeasance of AG Lynch...

    He distinguished himself quite well and I am sure Trump will ask him to stay on...

    I heard her message. It was sensible.

    It was sensible only to those who were pre-disposed to choose Hillary anyways, regardless of any other consideration...

    455

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As I have stated before, if we are just going to have a larger version of the "Entertainment Tonight Person of the Year" show every 4 years

    Yes, you do keep stating that and, I'm not sure why ...

    You know what ... I'm going to give you that link I was talking about before I have a chance to really dig into it ... too busy today ... just enough time for a little in and out, as they say ...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/23/upshot/how-the-obama-coalition-crumbled-leaving-an-opening-for-trump.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If you want to blame Hillary for everything, go ahead, and I admit she had her faults, but her faults paled into insignificance against her opponent, and her ability to project a message was impossible in the media frenzy that was whipped up.

    Let me ask you this ... could you get into another Clinton run in 2020? Just yes or no, forget about all other factors ... if she was the nominee again in 2020, could you get excited about her prospects?

    Sorry, that's a silly question because, for all intents and purposes, the Clinton's are history insofar as the White House is concerned, wouldn't you agree? :)

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    BTW, Neil, I don't blame Hillary for everything, just for making me endure at least 4 years of Trump.

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    There aren't too many Democrats who could have done that.

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You can be damn sure that if Biden was the nominee, Trump would be history, insofar as the White House is concerned.

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It was sensible only to those who were pre-disposed to choose Hillary anyways, regardless of any other consideration...

    And, even some of them voted for Trump!

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, Neil ... what did you make of Hillary's flip flop on the TPP?

  32. [32] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    I look at it as the election was a dead tie and Comey was the coin flip. It should never had been a tie. I think the press has a lot to answer to by never taking Trump seriously. During the primaries I had to go to Reddit /r/conservative to find out what Trumps policies were beyond the sound bites and arguments pro and against. I think the two things that could have helped Clinton immensely was serious talk about Trump's policies then sprinkled with his various faux pas. The other one is after the election a supporter was walking in the woods near where the Clinton's live. She encountered them and got a photo with them. Clinton was dressed very casual for exercise. It made her look much more like a real person rather than the overly controlled "look" she showed on the campaign trail. I think if she showed up in public like that every once in a while, it would have given her wider appeal. Basically, push her in to the "would you like to have a beer" question with a positive result.

    I don't think getting rid of Comey is a good idea. I don't think it was as much partisanship as Comey made a name for himself going after the Clintons and it was in his blood to continue to do so. I suspect he will end up being more a thorn in the side of Trump than he has been for the Clintons. That is much better than letting Trump pick the next head of the FBI at the start of his term, and putting in one of his cronies that will look the other way every times he tries something unconstitutional.

    As to the list:

    2016 - Enough already!

    It's not even politics either. Amazing how many famous people have died this year. I was reading a thread about someone who died and there was a comment that in a normal year this death would have been the most traumatic for this person all year but in 2016 it was not even the most traumatic that week. Or as the meme goes: Fuck 2016!

  33. [33] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Oh, Neil ... what did you make of Hillary's flip flop on the TPP?

    That was forced on her by the left, and she made it clear that an amendment or two might bring her back. Unfortunately this was the year the left decided to go all McGovern on us. God knows how many on-line agents Putin had deployed to encourage that.

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Does Hillary know how to take responsibility for anything?

  35. [35] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Oh, and I think the best politician this year was Mike Pence. Any bets on his inauguration day?

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You mean whether it will happen or not?

  37. [37] 
    neilm wrote:

    Oh, Neil ... what did you make of Hillary's flip flop on the TPP?

    I'm on record on this one Elizabeth. Clinton was lying through her teeth and would have done the right thing for America by reintroducing it one year later as an intellectual property rights agreement.

  38. [38] 
    neilm wrote:

    You can be damn sure that if Biden was the nominee, Trump would be history, insofar as the White House is concerned.

    After the craziness of 2016 you want to make iron clad guarantees like this.

    Leicester City (5000-1), Brexit, the Cubs, and Trump?

    The lesson from 2016 is a humble one.

    Merry Christmas Elizabeth.

  39. [39] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    neilm [38]:

    hear! hear!

  40. [40] 
    neilm wrote:

    Merry Christmas Balthasar, Michale, Don and Althone, everybody else and of course CW.

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Merry Christmas, Neil!

    And ... you, too, Balthasar. :)

    Merry Christmas Chris and all of Weigantia!

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Merry Christmas, Alice!!!

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That was a little joke ... :)

  44. [44] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Hello, Dave. Shall we continue the game?

    ~HAL 9000

    now THAT was a little joke. happy everything to everybody!

    JL

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

  46. [46] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Yes, Merry Christmas Neil, Liz, Al, Michale, NYPoet, everyone else, and to you, CW.

    And to all a good night!

  47. [47] 
    neilm wrote:

    Elizabeth:

    You know what ... I'm going to give you that link I was talking about before I have a chance to really dig into it ... too busy today ... just enough time for a little in and out, as they say ...

    The link is interesting, and proves my point. Obama tapped into the anger with Washington both in 2008 and 2012. In 2008 he was the outsider who promised Hope. In 2012 people felt he had gone to bat for them by saving the auto industry. But these same voters that abandoned Hillary also didn't turn up for Kerry in 2004 or Gore in 2000 (as the article states clearly).

    Trump lied to these people in 2016 as they will soon discover. He lied when he told them he would drain the swamp, instead he is wallowing in it, with a cabinet festooned with Goldman Sachs alumni and Washington insiders. He lied to them when he told them he was going to bring heavy manufacturing jobs back and make coal king again. These people are angry and Hillary represented the future of America that they don't like because it isn't what they want to hear. Hillary's policies would have been far better for them than Trump's, but these policies are complex and don't make good bumper stickers. Plus Hillary isn't a natural politician, she is a policy wonk.

    So I'm accepting that sizzle beat substance, but I'd really like Hillary to run again in 2020 in an election where the voters focus on the issues and proposed solutions. However that isn't likely to happen and we can't hope that RBG can last eight years of Trump, so a Bullock/Hanks ticket seems the best hope to get adults back in the White House and not end up with a SCOTUS dominated by people who look to the 1950's for their inspiration.

  48. [48] 
    neilm wrote:

    How Comey became a clown:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/the-attorney-general-could-have-ordered-fbi-director-james-comey-not-to-send-his-bombshell-letter-on-clinton-emails-heres-why-she-didnt/2016/12/21/7824d00a-c5fd-11e6-85b5-76616a33048d_story.html

    This also blows up the "He had to do it because Lynch was compromised nonsense. Lynch could have simply ordered him not to, but wanted him to make the right decision himself. Sadly, as we know, he decided to cast an early vote for Trump instead.

  49. [49] 
    neilm wrote:

    Assange knows that flattery works on Trump. He is obviously hoping for the dogs to be called off. Given that Trump basically rewarded Putin for hacking and exposing data illegally, he has a point.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/dec/24/julian-assange-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-interview

    "Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative and associate of Trump, said in August that he had been in communication with Assange over an “October surprise” to foil Clinton. WikiLeaks began publishing emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and the email account of Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, in October."

    Can you begin to imagine the labels the RWNJ community would have been bandying about if this had been the other way around? Huggies would have had to open a whole new factory for the diapers required.

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    You missed the point of that interesting article.

    Instead, you came up with Hillary lost because Trump lied.

    You're worse than she is!

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    You don't understand what Trump's message was or what Hillary's message was.

    You also don't understand what average Americans have endured since the deregulation and trade policies of Bill Clinton.

    Once you understand some of that, the reasons for Hillary's loss and Trumps win will become evident.

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    As for the Comey situation, have you considered what the fallout would have been had Comey acted in the fashion you would have recommended, given the extremely despicable partisan politics swirling around the US Congress?

    Of course, you have not.

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Because, you would have to accept responsibility for finally putting an end to the Clintons and their precious legacy for making such an ill-conceived recommendation.

  54. [54] 
    neilm wrote:

    Once you understand some of that, the reasons for Hillary's loss and Trumps win will become evident.

    Remind me, did you predict Trump's win before the election?

    As for the Comey situation, have you considered what the fallout would have been had Comey acted in the fashion you would have recommended, given the extremely despicable partisan politics swirling around the US Congress?

    You mean he would have said nothing about emails that he hadn't seen and contained nothing of relevance? Where is the problem in that? It wasn't as if there were genuine expectations that Weiner's email investigation had anything to do with Hillary.

  55. [55] 
    neilm wrote:

    You don't understand what Trump's message was or what Hillary's message was.

    Pointing out that I am ignorant is on repeat loop, yet I seldom see and explanation of said ignorance, and when I ask I'm usually told you've alreay explained it.

    Remind me of the key points.

  56. [56] 
    neilm wrote:

    Because, you would have to accept responsibility for finally putting an end to the Clintons and their precious legacy for making such an ill-conceived recommendation.

    What are the top three issues you have with Bill Clinton's policies?

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I have already explained the basics and even those you don't acknowledge.

    What was Trumps basic message during the campaign?

    I didn't predict Trump's win but I was very concerned that he might win and so was any political analyst worth his or her own salt.

    You are totally lost on the Comey situation.

  58. [58] 
    michale wrote:

    Trump lied to these people in 2016 as they will soon discover.

    You ASSUME that Trump lied..

    Or, more accurately, you HOPE that Trump lied..

    Given Trump's actions to date, it's clear that Trump will likely fulfill his promises a LOT better than Obama did..

    This also blows up the "He had to do it because Lynch was compromised nonsense. Lynch could have simply ordered him not to, but wanted him to make the right decision himself.

    No.. Lynch didn't order Comey to do what Hillary wanted Comey to do because A> Lynch wasn't sure that Comey would OBEY her order and 2> Lynch didn't want to go on record ordering a cover-up to benefit Hillary Clinton..

    Hillary's policies would have been far better for them than Trump's,

    Despite ALL the facts of the last 8 years to the contrary...

    "I am going to be an Obama 3rd term, but I promise you people looking for jobs that THIS time, you'll really get them..."

    Yea... THAT's believable...

    "Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative and associate of Trump, said in August that he had been in communication with Assange over an “October surprise” to foil Clinton. WikiLeaks began publishing emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and the email account of Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, in October."

    All Assange did was expose what Podesta wrote..

    If what Podesta wrote was SOOO bad that it cost Hillary the election.....

    Well, it seems to me that maybe.... JUST MAYBE... Podesta shouldn't have wrote those things, eh???

    "I am an anti-American jackass and I am pissed that Assange exposed that to the American people..."
    -Podesta

    Sorry... I have absolutely NO SYMPATHY for the guy who is an anti-American jackass and applaud the guy who exposed the anti-American jackass..

    Merry Christmas, Neil to you and your family.... :D

    456

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Bill Clinton's presidency was sabotaged by Bill Clinton.

    One major failing of his agenda was not recognizing the importance of strong regulation when creating the environment for very, very large investment banks wrapped up in the regular banking industry.

    I'm not for reinstating Glass-Steagall but, the failure of regulation led to the greatest global financial crisis since the Great Depression and Bill Clinton shares much of the blame for that.

    Public displeasure with the economy can be traced right back to NAFTA and the Clinton's, like you, failed to acknowledge that nor did they even try to mitigate against the outrage.

    That's just for starters ... :)

  60. [60] 
    michale wrote:

    And a merry Christmas to CW and Mrs CW, Joshua, Balthasar, Bashi, JohnM, Russ, Kick, Paula, Al, JFC and any other Weigantian that I may have missed....

    A Merry Christmas to all and to all a oh-my-gods-I-can't-wait-til-it's-over... :D

    Having 4 adult children and 7 grandkids, including 3 still in diapers overnight in a house built for 2.....

    I can FEEL my hair (what's left of it) turning gray :D

    457

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don't worry, Michale ... everything's going to be alright ... :)

  62. [62] 
    michale wrote:

    Don't worry, Michale ... everything's going to be alright ... :)

    Touche' :D

    458

  63. [63] 
    neilm wrote:

    I'm not for reinstating Glass-Steagall but, the failure of regulation led to the greatest global financial crisis since the Great Depression and Bill Clinton shares much of the blame for that.

    Given that the instruments (Mortgage Backed Securities) that caused the 2008 crash were already legal and available well before Glass-Seagall was replaced, and nothing in GS called for regulation of these instruments, plus the firms that failed were Lehman-like investment organizations that didn't have a retail arm to rely on, I'm struggling to understand why Clinton is responsible for the 2008 crash. I'm not the only one:

    lan Blinder wrote in 2009 that he had “yet to hear a good answer” to the question “what bad practices would have been prevented if Glass–Steagall was still on the books?” Blinder argued that “disgraceful” mortgage underwriting standards “did not rely on any new GLB [Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act] powers,” that “free-standing investment banks” not the “banking-securities conglomerates” permitted by the GLBA were the major producers of “dodgy MBS,” and that he could not “see how this crisis would have been any milder if GLB had never passed."

    So that's one of Bill's transgressions dealt with.

    As for NAFTA, as I've stated frequently before, destructive capitalism creates winners and losers. NAFTA exacerbated the acceleration of globalization, however it was going to happen anyway as soon as China was admitted to the WTO (which happened in 2001 and would have been a travesty to tie a billion people to poverty by blocking). With NAFTA we helped create a richer Mexico more likely to accept our products and diverted some of the outsourced jobs from China to Mexico (who had an open market for our exports and a nice easy border to ship them over).

    Blaming the impact of globalization on NAFTA misses the point.

  64. [64] 
    neilm wrote:

    If what Podesta wrote was SOOO bad that it cost Hillary the election.....

    Yet you defend Trump not releasing his tax returns?

    If anybody came under scrutiny and their email history was published, there would be 'issues' - or do you really think the RNC email history and that of top Republicans would yield nothing of interest to the Democrats. If so, I've got a Christmas Special on that bridge in Brooklyn.

    Merry Christmas Michale and all your family :)

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    Blaming the impact of globalization on NAFTA misses the point.

    No, that IS the point!!! You are not reading the electorate in the US very well at al!

    And, I didn't say that Clinton was to blame for the 2008 crisis. I said - and Bill agrees with this - that he shares much of the blame because he neglected the regulation part of the equation.

    But, beyond that, the negative impacts of NAFTA and the endless scandal that is perceived to be associated with the Clintons, coupled with Hillary's lack of uplifting message in 2016 and utter reliance on pointing out the many faults of Trump - all of this played into the Trump narrative and to what many voters were feeling.

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    Stop pointing out the benefits of NAFTA and TPP - which we agree on - long enough to understand how deeply felt the negative impacts were and how little if any explanation was offered up by the Clintons or by Obama, for that matter.

    Remember, perception is reality and Hillary did precious little to change perceptions during her campaign.

  67. [67] 
    neilm wrote:

    One major failing of his agenda was not recognizing the importance of strong regulation when creating the environment for very, very large investment banks wrapped up in the regular banking industry.

    There are LOTS of regulations for the banking industry. Nobody was proposing regulating the mortgage origination process because nobody thought it was an area of concern. To pin this on Bill Clinton seems very unfair. As for the size of banks, e.g. too big to fail, we saw with the S&L crisis that lots of small institutions can cause a crisis when they fail, or even one institution in the case of LTCM in 1998.

    Also, the existence of controls can cause a financial crisis - e.g. the 1997 Asian Financial crisis.

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, Neil ... why did Clinton lose the rust belt and, therefore, the election ... to the likes of Trump, no less??

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, wait ... it was because Trump lied!

  70. [70] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Bill Clinton acknowledges his role along the path to the Great Recession. Why can't you, Neil?

  71. [71] 
    neilm wrote:

    the endless scandal that is perceived to be associated with the Clintons, coupled with Hillary's lack of uplifting message in 2016 and utter reliance on pointing out the many faults of Trump - all of this played into the Trump narrative and to what many voters were feeling.

    Yet three million voters (I know, California doesn't count) chose Clinton over Trump, and most people were predicting a Clinton landslide, including most of the people on this site. I posted that Trump a 1/3 chance based on the analysis Nate Silver wrote a few weeks before the election (that I posted to support probability of a Trump win). My 1/3 chance was considered far too high (except by Michale) and most of the other major analysts thought Nate Silver was far too optimistic about Trump's chances - we were told it was 92%, 96%, 98%. Paddy Power actually paid out on a Clinton win (as mentioned above). Do you think that Democratic voters might have been unenthusiastic because of the perceived certainty of a Clinton win?

    Clinton was far from the perfect candidate, and the DNC had their thumb on the scales during the primary process in her favor, but frankly my concern was that Clinton would win in 2016 then Ted Cruz would beat her in 2020. If I had to choose between living (unless Trump presses the button) in a Trump/Pence world or a Ted Cruz world for four years, it is an easy choice.

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    most people were predicting a Clinton landslide, including most of the people on this site.

    You are right about THAT! Absolutely, positively, unequivocally.

    Most people were spouting faulty political analysis all through this election campaign - right up to the end and, sadly, beyond.

    Lucky for me, the political analysis I was getting on an absolutely consistent basis was spot on, and always has been.

  73. [73] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Do you think that Democratic voters might have been unenthusiastic because of the perceived certainty of a Clinton win?

    That was probably true for many voters. The media and political pundits were responsible for much of that.

  74. [74] 
    neilm wrote:

    So, Neil ... why did Clinton lose the rust belt and, therefore, the election ... to the likes of Trump, no less??

    Because nobody has acceptable, painless and fast answers for the rust belt jobs lost to globalization and they are in a "throw the bums out" mode. Hillary represented the continuation of Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama establishment that they blamed for their predicament. Also, the heavily unionized workforce in rust belt states are losing out on new investment to more business friendly (and warmer) states in the South, so many of the kids are moving away. I don't blame the voters in the rust belt (why kick somebody who is down), and Hillary certainly didn't help herself with her comments about coal jobs and support for the TPP, however she did have the best policies, even if they are bitter medicine, require hard work and take a long time (i.e. education).

    The reason I said that Trump lied to them was that he cannot deliver on his promises about re-opening the coal mines; or returning jobs to the rust belt by stopping jobs leaving; or bringing manufacturing jobs back from China and Mexico with tariffs. I don't think he is much of a businessman, but I assume even he grasps that a tariff induced trade war will be a lose-lose for everybody. Thus he knew his proposed solution would not work, and I think he has no intent to impose 45% tariffs anyway (unless he really is too stupid to understand basic economics). Instead of bitter medicine that works, Trump offered candy that will talk about a sugar high but make things worse for the rust belt states later.

  75. [75] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ...frankly my concern was that Clinton would win in 2016 then Ted Cruz would beat her in 2020. If I had to choose between living (unless Trump presses the button) in a Trump/Pence world or a Ted Cruz world for four years, it is an easy choice.

    So, you're a happy camper that Trump won, then?

    Wow. Just, wow. :)

  76. [76] 
    neilm wrote:

    Lucky for me, the political analysis I was getting on an absolutely consistent basis was spot on, and always has been.

    Who were you reading? Michale? ;)

  77. [77] 
    neilm wrote:

    So, you're a happy camper that Trump won, then?

    No. Just looking on the bright side :)

  78. [78] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hillary certainly didn't help herself with her comments about coal jobs and support for the TPP, however she did have the best policies, even if they are bitter medicine, require hard work and take a long time (i.e. education).

    Nor did she help herself with her 'basket of deplorables' commentary.

    Actually, through the campaign, she didn't support the TPP and that came across as opportunistic because, well, it was.

    I think you're beginning to see that she was not the right candidate for a multitude of reasons. If Biden - or someone very much like him - could have won this election by appealing to the very people Clinton turned off or tuned out. Her problem was that she didn't recognize any of this and therefore did nothing to mitigate any of it.

    And, now we have 4-8 years of Trump and God knows how long of Trumpism.

    Thank-you, thank-you very much, Bill and Hillary!

  79. [79] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Trump's message wouldn't have prevailed if there was a counter-narrative and uplifting message offered up by the Democrats.

  80. [80] 
    neilm wrote:

    Because nobody has acceptable, painless and fast answers for the rust belt jobs lost to globalization

    Should have said:

    Because nobody has acceptable, painless and fast answers for the rust belt jobs lost to automation and to a much lesser extent globalization (even though globalization is blamed)

  81. [81] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I knew what you meant. :)

    But, that is a big difference!

    By the way, did you hear Hillary speak of this on the campaign trail?

    No, you did not ...

  82. [82] 
    neilm wrote:

    Trump's message wouldn't have prevailed if there was a counter-narrative and uplifting message offered up by the Democrats.

    Maybe, but would the message conveyed have resulted in policies that worked? Or would it have required lying to them?

    After the election CW asked where the solutions for the rust belt were. He wondered where the new ideas from the left wing think tanks were, and was disappointed in my response that I thought the answer was education and maybe trade zones.

    Do you, or your wise sources, have answers that will work?

  83. [83] 
    neilm wrote:

    Um, I went to her web site and read about them because the media only wanted to talk about emails or the latest Trump outrage.

    Here:

    https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/jobs/

  84. [84] 
    neilm wrote:
  85. [85] 
    neilm wrote:

    Funny interlude: My friend in L.A. just posted the following on Facebook :)

    "47 damn degrees? Where's our state of emergency declaration? There better be a damn FEMA trailer at the end of my street."

  86. [86] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Too bad that not a large enough number of voters went to her website.

    And, too bad she didn't talk much about it on the campaign trail where and when it mattered the most.

  87. [87] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Do you, or your wise sources, have answers that will work?

    That sounds a tad facetious, Neil. :)

    But, if you want another excellent source for accurate political analysis that compliments Chris's sage assessments, then you should check this out on a regular basis ...
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/william-bradley

  88. [88] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "47 damn degrees? Where's our state of emergency declaration? There better be a damn FEMA trailer at the end of my street."

    My wise source is also a Californian. Hmmm ...

  89. [89] 
    neilm wrote:

    That sounds a tad facetious, Neil. :)

    Sorry - not meant to be.

  90. [90] 
    neilm wrote:

    I already follow Bradley, on your recommendation (and thanks!).

  91. [91] 
    neilm wrote:

    And, too bad she didn't talk much about it on the campaign trail where and when it mattered the most.

    She did. Time and time again. But the media weren't interested.

    http://www.npr.org/2016/09/15/493924325/inside-hillary-clintons-stump-speech-annotated

    "We're going to make this economy grow but we're also going to make it fair. We're going to have more advanced manufacturing jobs. I think we made a mistake years ago when we eliminated what used to be called vocational education. We've got to return technical education to our high schools, our community colleges. There are right now more than a million jobs that can be filled by people who are machinists, computer designers, tool and die makers. But for whatever reason they haven't been given the chance to get that training. And maybe they've been told, you know what, the only future is to go to a great university like USF. Well, that is true for a lot of people, but it's not true for everybody, and we need to make the hard work that builds America the kind of great work with respect and purpose that is going to attract a new generation."

  92. [92] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That sounds pretty boilerplate, as most of her speeches that I listened to did.

    That is, when she wasn't going off about how incompetent and unqualified her opponent was for the presidency.

    The fact of the matter is that she had no overarching and clearly articulated message that could uplift a nation and move it forward. More importantly, though, she did not even try to overcome the distrust voters had in her or acknowledge the economic and geopolitical mistakes made since her husband was president.

    She never spoke to the voters she needed to speak to.

  93. [93] 
    neilm wrote:

    Trump's message wouldn't have prevailed if there was a counter-narrative and uplifting message offered up by the Democrats.

    I contend that Joe, Bernie or even Obama would have been given about the same amount of coverage as Hillary. The media made a mint from the Trump run. Look at the numbers for the first Republican debate - me and my wife both marked it off in our calendars - we loved the Trump show when it was meant to be a joke. We both started to get concerned when the election came close and it was still all about Trump latest outrage, and there was no policy discussion outside of the Presidential debates.

  94. [94] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I hope that Democrats don't see this loss as a media coverage problem. Because, that will mean disaster in four years, again.

  95. [95] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    That sounds pretty boilerplate, as most of her speeches that I listened to did.

    She wasn't the only one out there talking. Too bad that you feel that sound policy sounds boring. Obama said pretty much the same thing when he spoke on her behalf, as did Biden. The truth ain't sexy.

    That is, when she wasn't going off about how incompetent and unqualified her opponent was for the presidency.

    So, she should have ignored the large orange elephant in the room? He was/is about as incompetent and unqualified as a human can get for the job and still be of legal age to hold it. His picks for his cabinet are about what I'd expect to get if I'd assigned it to a freshman high school government class in Alabama.

  96. [96] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I hope that Democrats don't see this loss as a media coverage problem. Because, that will mean disaster in four years, again.

    And yet you've been arguing here that perception is the problem, not the reality of the policies, which, as Neil's been arguing, are sound.

  97. [97] 
    michale wrote:

    And yet you've been arguing here that perception is the problem, not the reality of the policies, which, as Neil's been arguing, are sound.

    The policies are sound???

    Where have you been for the last 8 years???

    Let's ask Joe and Jane SixPack.... Let's ask the 10s of millions of Trump voters and the millions of Hillary voters that stayed home if those policies are "sound"...

    If the policies were sound, then Hillary would be President Elect..

    But we have had 8 years of PROOF beyond ANY doubt that the polices are NOT sound...

  98. [98] 
    michale wrote:

    You can argue the exact numbers all you want....

    tens of thousands... millions... tens of millions....

    But it is simply undeniable that it was OBAMA voters who put Trump in the White House..

    How could this happen if Obama's/Hillary's policies were "sound"???

    Answer: It couldn't....

  99. [99] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Let's ask the 10s of millions of Trump voters and the millions of Hillary voters that stayed home if those policies are "sound"..

    Then you've already forgotten that several million more people voted for Hillary than for Trump?

  100. [100] 
    neilm wrote:

    But it is simply undeniable that it was OBAMA voters who put Trump in the White House..

    It was swing voters that put Trump and Obama in the White House. You could probably call some of them Reagan Democrats, etc.

    How could this happen if Obama's/Hillary's policies were "sound"???

    Answer: It couldn't....

    I hope you are right. I hope Trump surprises me and I willingly vote for him in 2020 because he has brought new ideas and addressed some of the problems we face.

    Here are the top problems I see facing America, tell me if you agree:

    1. Inequality is increasing and while America is getting richer, Americans aren't.

    2. Our politicians are listening to lobbyists instead of voters

    3. Education costs are out of control and the subsequent loans are crippling people who should be paying a mortgage instead of paying a student loan.

    I will judge Trump on how he addresses these problems. If he significantly moves the dial I'll vote for him in 2020 so long as he doesn't harm the LGBT community, mess with marijuana freedoms or act as racist-in-chief of course.

    What problems do you need him to address?

  101. [101] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And yet you've been arguing here that perception is the problem...

    Yes, Balthasar, and what has Hillary done to dispel the wrong perceptions?

    Not a helluva lot and certainly not enough.

    Because, she is who she is ...

  102. [102] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... not a good choice for 2020, to be clear.

  103. [103] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar, you really must get over the popular vote thing.

  104. [104] 
    michale wrote:

    Then you've already forgotten that several million more people voted for Hillary than for Trump?

    Nope... They are all Californians...

    'nuff said... :D

    It was swing voters that put Trump and Obama in the White House. You could probably call some of them Reagan Democrats, etc.

    My point is, is that it was OBAMA votes who put TRUMP in the White House...

    Apparently, OBAMA voters didn't think that Hillary's policies were "working"....

    1. While I wouldn't phrase it in that exact manner, I agree with the gist of what you are saying..

    2. That is already guaranteed to be changed.. Trump is not beholden to any one except the American people. If Hillary had won, she couldn't make the same claim..

    3. Or people should be more reasonable about the debt they are going to acquire...

    What problems do you need him to address?

    Law & Order

    Cop killings

    Illegal immigrant crime

    That's my list...

  105. [105] 
    michale wrote:

    Then you've already forgotten that several million more people voted for Hillary than for Trump?

    Nope... They are all Californians...

    'nuff said... :D

    They are the people who would put President Kim Kardashian in office...

    Who would put President Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner in office..

    Who would President Beyonce in office..

    Do you REALLY want to tout that example??? :D

  106. [106] 
    michale wrote:

    What problems do you need him to address?

    Law & Order

    Cop killings

    Illegal immigrant crime

    That's my list...

    Give Israel the support it deserves....

  107. [107] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Nope.. They are all Californians...'nuff said..
    They are the people who would put President Kim Kardashian in office..

    ..says the fellow who just voted for a reality TV star. Sorry, but the Democrats aren't the ones who dip into the celebrity pool for candidates whenever their popularity sags.

    As for Californians, I'm not one (though I lived in Monterey for a short while as a kid), but it seems that you've got a problem with heavily populated areas having a say in who should lead the country. As opposed to the heavy Trump vote in backwater Mississippi, I presume.

    You do realize that Trump didn't even carry his home state, don't you? If the folks who know him most wouldn't vote for him...

    Balthasar, you really must get over the popular vote thing.

    Why? Is it not pertinent when the righties want to assert that Trump's victory is the 'will of the people'? I don't want America to be politically dominated by rural Ohio, thank you very much.

  108. [108] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Law & Order

    Cop killings

    Illegal immigrant crime

    That's my list...

    Figures. More guys with guns and badges. That'll make America leap with joy.

  109. [109] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Give Israel the support it deserves..

    Israel gets the support it deserves. But not when it wants to build settlements it had promised not to build in areas it had promised not to build in. Those are politics that not even all of Israel believes in.

  110. [110] 
    michale wrote:

    ..says the fellow who just voted for a reality TV star. Sorry, but the Democrats aren't the ones who dip into the celebrity pool for candidates whenever their popularity sags.

    And the last celebrity in office did a bang up job.. :D

    Yer just pissy because Democrats can't field such talent.. :D

    You do realize that Trump didn't even carry his home state, don't you? If the folks who know him most wouldn't vote for him...

    Apparently, they didn't know him well at all, because he won the Presidency.. :D

    Why? Is it not pertinent when the righties want to assert that Trump's victory is the 'will of the people'? I don't want America to be politically dominated by rural Ohio, thank you very much.

    Better get used to it, Sonny Jim.. :D

    Figures. More guys with guns and badges. That'll make America leap with joy.

    Why yes... yes it will... :D

    Israel gets the support it deserves. But not when it wants to build settlements it had promised not to build in areas it had promised not to build in. Those are politics that not even all of Israel believes in.

    Israel was attacked.. Israel prevailed...

    Unless you are advocating that every US citizen who owns land in the United States returns that land to Native Americans, you have no moral or ethical leg to stand on..

    The settlements aren't any impediment to peace...

    The Palestinians endorsement and use of terrorism is an impediment to the settlements stopping..

    That land is Israel's, pure and simple.. If the Palestinians renounce terrorism and ask Israel nicely, they may find that it works better...

    2016 - Enough already!

    It's not even politics either. Amazing how many famous people have died this year. I was reading a thread about someone who died and there was a comment that in a normal year this death would have been the most traumatic for this person all year but in 2016 it was not even the most traumatic that week. Or as the meme goes: Fuck 2016!

    Add George Michael to the list...

  111. [111] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You do realize that Trump didn't even carry his home state, don't you? If the folks who know him most wouldn't vote for him...

    Well, New York is a pretty blue state, isn't it?

    Why? Is it not pertinent when the righties want to assert that Trump's victory is the 'will of the people'? I don't want America to be politically dominated by rural Ohio, thank you very much.

    Hillary lost more than rural Ohio, number one ... and, number two ...the popular vote is not at all pertinent in determining who will be the next POTUS. Indeed, it is the will of the people as determined by the electoral college that decides who the next POTUS will be and that is precisely what was done several days ago.

    That is why you must get over the popular vote, in a nutshell, so to speak.

  112. [112] 
    neilm wrote:

    Cop Killings

    Here are the numbers from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. This is a very worthy charity that derserves our support (hint: end of the year folks).

    President | Total Deaths | Deaths/Year
    Nixon 1 | 890 | 223
    Nixon 2 | 996 | 249
    Carter | 831 | 208
    Reagan 1 | 775 | 194
    Reagan 2 | 734 | 184
    Bush 1 | 665 | 166
    Clinton 1 | 661 | 165
    Clinton 2 | 651 | 163
    Bush 2/1 | 715 | 179
    Bush 2/2 | 660 | 165
    Obama 1 | 588 | 147
    Obama 2 | 493 | 123

    Obviously Bush 2's first term included 9/11 which rose the numbers, but things have been getting better. Note, Obama 2 includes the site's estimate for 2016 based on the numbers thru 12/25 (today)

    This is too important for fake news and politically motivated arguments. The only acceptable number is zero. What policies do you expect Trump to enact that will reduce these numbers?

    Source: http://www.nleomf.org/facts/officer-fatalities-data/year.html

  113. [113] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Hillary lost more than rural Ohio, number one ... and, number two...the popular vote is not at all pertinent in determining who will be the next POTUS.

    Correct. Granted. But what Michale said was:Let's ask the...millions of Trump voters and the millions of Hillary voters...if those policies are "sound".

    Well, we did. And Hillary's policies got the most votes. Because of the electoral college, Trump became president, but that doesn't automatically convert all of those Hillary votes into Trump votes. You could probably put all of Jill Stein's votes into the 'don't agree with Trump' category as well.

    In otherwords, Trump has much less than a mandate. For Trump, this was the squeakiest of squeakers, winning the battlegrounds by less than 1% of the vote. If I'm a GOP consultant, and watching Trump and the rest of the party gleefully march off to the fringe right, I'm thinking that the chances of the party repeating that in 2020 are diminishing. And I'm guessing that Trump gathered all of the fringe votes that are gatherable. If as you say, all the next democrat has to be is 'not Hillary', then we only need to wait our turn in the next round. If there is a next round.

  114. [114] 
    neilm wrote:

    Law & Order

    Violent Crime Rates (FBI UCR):

    President | Rate / 100,000 People

    Reagan 1 | 575
    Reagan 2 | 583
    Bush 1/1 | 699
    Clinton 1 | 726
    Clinton 2 | 585
    Bush 2/1 | 495
    Bush 2/2 | 471
    Obama 1 | 421

    Again the news is good, and Obama's second term looks like more good news.

    What do you propose Trump does to accelerate the decrease?

    Source: https://www.ucrdatatool.gov/index.cfm

  115. [115] 
    neilm wrote:

    BTW, you can see the climbing numbers in the late 80's and early 90's that led to the "Three Strikes" laws, etc. A lot of this was blamed on Crack. I've never seen a definitive analysis on this, but you can see the turnaround in Clinton's second term.

    I think the lesson we need to learn is that when we get emotional and put more draconian laws in place, they should come with a 10 year snap back. No lawmaker wants to be on the books as loosening criminal laws or easing sentencing requirement (Willie Horton), but if there is an automatic expiry date and we revert back to what we had before, we can vote to continue or do nothing -which politician are good at ;)

  116. [116] 
    neilm wrote:

    Give Israel the support it deserves....

    America first.

  117. [117] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Well, New York is a pretty blue state, isn't it?

    It's a lovely blue state, particularly in the late spring. It has also elected Republican governors and senators. New York city recently had 12 years of Republican mayors. Trump can't blame his loss in NY on party politics. Truth is, they're just not that into him.

  118. [118] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    and, about time, too.

    Netanyahu is a very dangerous man.

  119. [119] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    When was the last time New York voted Republican in a presidential election, Balthasar?

  120. [120] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Reagan won New York handily in 1984. That was the last time the Republicans fielded a national candidate that New Yorkers could vote for. George Pataki was the last Republican to win the Governor's seat, winning an impressive third turn in 2002.

  121. [121] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Case rested. :)

  122. [122] 
    neilm wrote:

    Truth is, they're just not that into him.

    They've lived with him for decades. They think he is a clown, because that is how he has acted - pretending to be "John Barron" didn't fool anybody. He Kept calling for the death sentence on five innocent men long after they had been cleared. The most dangerous place in NYC was between him and a camera.

    NYC residents can't believe the Trump supporters in the rest of the country are so gullible. Trump only got 10% in NYC.

  123. [123] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    NYC residents can't believe the Trump supporters in the rest of the country are so gullible.

    Well, you know, Neil, that's because NYC residents just aren't into the rest of the country.

  124. [124] 
    neilm wrote:

    Well, you know, Neil, that's because NYC residents just aren't into the rest of the country.

    New Yorkers are a funny breed in my experience. My buddies over there are very friendly, very outspoken, and very down to earth.

  125. [125] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I spent a few weeks, all tolled (pre-9/11), in NYC, and loved every minute of it. The people I met sound just like your buddies! Or, is that the other way around... you know what I mean. Heh.

  126. [126] 
    michale wrote:

    What policies do you expect Trump to enact that will reduce these numbers?

    Harsher penalties for cop-killers...

    Not blaming cops when they are forced to shoot and kill black people in the line of duty..

    NEVER saying that cops acted stupidly without ANY factual basis whatsoever..

    Stuff like that.. :D

    This is too important for fake news and politically motivated arguments.

    But, apparently, it's not too important for Fake News like "HANDS UP, DON'T SHOOT" and "I CAN'T BREATHE", eh??

    You see, this is why the Left doesn't have any moral leg to stand on when it comes to Fake News.. The Left has absolutely NO PROBLEM with Fake News if it suits the Left's agenda...

    Well, we did. And Hillary's policies got the most votes.

    And it's possible that, in an NFL Football game, a team may get more yards than the team that got the higher score... But the rules say that it's the team with the higher score and NOT the team with the more yards that wins the game..

    Trump won the "game" according to the rules and the fact that Hillary had a higher score in a different metric is absolutely irrelevant in determining the winner of the game...

    To further incorporate the football analogy, if the rules stated that the higher yardage determines the winner, then the teams would have played a completely different style of game...

    To address the original issue, if Obama's/Hillary's policies were sound then Hillary would have won the election according to the rules...

    So, while a few million more people in California thought Hillary's policies were more sound, millions and millions of Obama voters in the Rust Belt did not...

    These are the FACTS that no amount of spin can fade away...

    In otherwords, Trump has much less than a mandate.

    Considering that Trump was expected to lose and lose in a 50-State landslide, the mere fact that Trump won IS a mandate....

    And I'm guessing that Trump gathered all of the fringe votes that are gatherable.

    Plus MILLIONS of Obama voters.. You can't explain that so you simply deny they exist...

    If as you say, all the next democrat has to be is 'not Hillary', then we only need to wait our turn in the next round. If there is a next round.

    Yes.. If you are going to be happy with winning the vanity vote and losing elections, then yes.. All you have to do is wait your turn.. The Democratic Party doesn't have to change a thing.. :D

    Again the news is good, and Obama's second term looks like more good news.

    As you notice, the entire trend is down and Obama is just the latest recipient of that trend...

    Using your reasoning, we don't have to do anything about gun control because the trend on gun violence is ALSO down...

    I think the lesson we need to learn is that when we get emotional and put more draconian laws in place, they should come with a 10 year snap back.

    With gun control laws too??? :D

    Give Israel the support it deserves....

    America first.

    Giving our allies the support they deserve and have earned in no way diminishes America.. It actually ENRICHES America because it shows our allies that America has their backs..

    A concept that has been TOTALLY decimated by the Obama Administration...

    It's a lovely blue state, particularly in the late spring. It has also elected Republican governors and senators. New York city recently had 12 years of Republican mayors. Trump can't blame his loss in NY on party politics. Truth is, they're just not that into him.

    And the rest of the country outside of New York and California are just not that in to Hillary..

    This is reality. Deal with it..

    NYC residents can't believe the Trump supporters in the rest of the country are so gullible. Trump only got 10% in NYC.

    That's why New Yorkers and Californians are so annoying to patriotic Americans...

    They are so convinced in their elitism that they simply cannot conceive that THEY are wrong and the rest of the country is right...

    It's THAT exact attitude that cost Hillary the election..

    465

  127. [127] 
    michale wrote:

    It's funny that, when it comes to Israel, the ONLY thing that Obama and the Anti-Israel Left cares about are the settlements...

    We don't hear a peep from them about the terrorism supported, endorsed and committed by the Palestinians against Israel and Israelis...

    And, as I have said before.. For those that oppose Israel's settlements on their own land, if that same opposition doesn't push for all Americans to return their land to Native Americans, it's nothing but blatant hypocrisy...

    The Palestinians are a conquered people.. That's the cold hard objective reality of life..

    However, even in that, the Palestinians would STILL have moral and ethical case to make...

    But the Palestinians chose and choose to make that case with terrorism...

    As such, the Palestinians lose ALL moral, ethical and legal standing... As far as I am concerned, Israel has a legal, moral and ethical blank check to do with the land whatever Israel wishes to do...

    And to deal with Palestinian terrorism in any manner Israel sees fit, up to, but not including, terrorism itself...

    The Palestinians are their own worst enemies... Not Israel...

    466

  128. [128] 
    michale wrote:

    Do you know what epitomizes perfectly the difference between Hillary and Trump???

    In the aftermath of the election, Trump went on a nation-wide tour to thank the American people, Republicans *AND* Democrats, for their votes and their confidence..

    In the aftermath of the election, Hillary gave a swanky New York party for rich donors to thank them for giving her a billion dollars... Even in defeat, Hillary says "Screw you, American people, you irredeemable basket of deplorables!!!! I am going where the money is!!!"

    That is just so Hillary.... And THAT is why she lost.....

    467

  129. [129] 
    michale wrote:

    Aleppo and American decline
    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/aleppo-american-decline-article-1.2920663

    Israel and Aleppo

    Stabbing Israel in the back and handing Syria and the entire Middle East over to Moscow..

    THAT is Obama's Foreign Policy legacy...

    468

  130. [130] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    For those that oppose Israel's settlements on their own land, if that same opposition doesn't push for all Americans to return their land to Native Americans, it's nothing but blatant hypocrisy.

    Perhaps it is. We could stop trying to force them to allow us to poison their water supply, as a start.

    Then again, I could call up instances where settlers who went into the old west thought that the Indians were being totally unreasonable about the hordes of immigrants entering their land and described them as, essentially, terrorists.

    So one man's terrorist is another man's anti-immigration patriot. So it goes.

    Funny, too that so many societies seem to have some piece of land that they feel entitled to, that someone else currently occupies.

    For instance, in the 1930's Germany demanded that Poland surrender certain stretches of land that it claimed was rightfully German homeland. Just lately, Russia has made similar claims about stretches of land in eastern Ukraine.

    Mexico, y'know, could make similar claims about some land in the US that was seized by force, like Texas. Lessee, how much land would the US lose if we just surrendered back the areas that are populated primarily by spanish-speakers? Would it count the same if Mexico had been deliberately sending in folks to colonize those areas?

    Perhaps they would say, 'We wouldn't have to do this if the gringos would just leave our immigrants alone. We're just protecting our own.'

    Or perhaps the Republican party really is the nihilist anarchist community it seems to be, and doesn't believe in internationally sanctioned borders anywhere anymore. That would be a hoot.

    Or perhaps we can play the really long game and write a book that says that God has promised all of the really nice vacation spots in the world to Americans. In a thousand years or so, we can point at the book and say, "It is written" as our excuse to grab them all, and future generations will sip Mai-Tai's on the beach and thank us.

    Or maybe Israel can start living up to the commitments it has already made to the international community and stop using a self-serving fantasy story as a basis for colonizing land that doesn't belong to it.

    Then we can all go back to feeling all warm and fuzzy about Israel and stop worrying about Texas.

  131. [131] 
    michale wrote:

    Perhaps it is. We could stop trying to force them to allow us to poison their water supply, as a start.

    If there was a threat of poisoning the water supply, then you would have a point...

    But there's not, so you don't..

    You DO realize that there are half a dozen other pipelines and utilities running thru that EXACT same area, right??

    So one man's terrorist is another man's anti-immigration patriot. So it goes.

    That is the biggest piles of crap in ALL the piles of crap there are in this world..

    A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist..

    There is NOTHING about freedom in terrorism...
    NOTHING..

    NOTHING excuses, extenuates or justifies terrorism..
    NOTHING...

    Funny, too that so many societies seem to have some piece of land that they feel entitled to, that someone else currently occupies.

    Israel fought and bled for that land... It's that simple..

    Mexico, y'know, could make similar claims about some land in the US that was seized by force, like Texas. Lessee, how much land would the US lose if we just surrendered back the areas that are populated primarily by spanish-speakers? Would it count the same if Mexico had been deliberately sending in folks to colonize those areas?

    You seem to be making my argument for me..

    Mexico is not entitled to that land any more than Palestinians are entitled to the land of Israel...

    Or maybe Israel can start living up to the commitments it has already made to the international community and stop using a self-serving fantasy story as a basis for colonizing land that doesn't belong to it.

    As soon as the Palestinians stop the terrorism, then Israel will discuss the desires of the Palestinians..

    It's really that simple..

  132. [132] 
    michale wrote:

    The UN and all of the Anti-Israel Left wants to link Israeli settlements actions to peace between Israel and Palestinians..

    It's very VERY telling that the UN and all of the Anti-Israeli Left *REFUSE* to link the cessation of terrorism by the Palestinians to peace between Israel and Palestinians..

    This latest attack from the UN is nothing but a LET'S SCREW ISRAEL attack that will be an impediment to peace...

    470

  133. [133] 
    michale wrote:

    "I am confident in this vision because I'm confident that if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could've mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it."
    -Barack Obama

    Whatever you have to tell yourself to make it thru the day, Mr Obama.... :D

    471

  134. [134] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    ..is not entitled to that land any more than Palestinians are entitled to the land of Israel..

    You've got that exactly backwards. Originally, it was the land of Palestine. Look it up: in 1939, the exhibit at the world's fair in NY was called the Jewish Palestinian exhibit, and featured art by both Jewish and Palestinian artists.

    Ten years later, this was the original 1947 Map of Israel/Palestine, as granted by the United Nations. (Note that: without the UN, Israel wouldn't exist.) Note that Israel wasn't given the West Bank, and that Jerusalem was designated an International City. That map changed after 1949, and again in 1967.

    I'll stipulate that there were many on both sides who hated this map, and the compromise it represented. Still, Palestinian leadership has accepted since then the significantly reduced area agreed to in the Oslo accords, in order to promote the peace process. The land occupied by Palestinians today is a fraction of that granted to them in 1947, and is dotted with hundreds of Israeli settlements that essentially turn their land into swiss cheese. The Israeli insists that the Palestinians have over-reacted to this situation.

    I say 'israeli right' and not 'Israel', because there is an Israeli left, too, who support a two-state solution, who don't want a 'greater Israel' and would just really rather have peace. The politics of Israel are nearly as evenly divided as our own, so neither side can claim a supermajority of public opinion on their side (as is also true in the US). The right is in power right now. That can change.

    It's the Israeli right wing who won't let go of the dream of a greater Israel, which would displace the millions of Palestinians who have been living on these slivers of land since before modern Israel was an inkling of a possibility.

    The two-state solution has its martyrs too: Yitzak Rabin was gunned down in 1995 by a right-wing extremist who opposed the Oslo accords.

    At a time when the US is engaged with trying to help arab troops to oust the poison of extremist-highjacked Islam, when the Russians are aiding Syria, a hostile state which would love to distract the world from its own conduct in its civil war, and Iran is just itching to be allowed to be a nuclear state, it is not the time for Netanyahu to open very old wounds with new provocative actions. He deserved to have his hand slapped this time.

  135. [135] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @balthasar,

    Originally, it was the land of Palestine. Look it up: in 1939

    if you want to go throwing around words like "originally" about that part of the world, you'll have to go a lot further back than 1939. under the ottomans it was just "southern syria." before that it was alternately a caliphate and a crusader state. before that it was part of the roman empire.

    the romans named it palestina for the philistines, who have no relationship with modern-day arab palestinians. the romans' reasons for naming it that also have nothing to do with the philistines - they were trying to remove the influence of jews such as jesus of nazareth, who they found to be rabble rousers and disruptive to their imperial governance.

    before that it was the kingdom of judah. before that it was babylonian territory, and before that it included both israel and judah. the british brought the name palestine back from obscurity to claim the region as a colonial mandate. the jews brought back the name israel from even further back to claim it as a historical religious birthright. in short, it's really really complicated, and anyone who tells you different is selling something.

    JL

  136. [136] 
    neilm wrote:

    Harsher penalties for cop-killers...

    Not blaming cops when they are forced to shoot and kill black people in the line of duty..

    NEVER saying that cops acted stupidly without ANY factual basis whatsoever..

    Stuff like that.. :D

    This is just a list of grievances, not policies.

    The penalty for killing a cop is the death sentence most of the time, and that is the expectation, so what do you want to do to the dead body - draw and quarter it?

    You have listed this as your top priority, yet you expect Trump to do nothing but talk?

    This is too important for nonsense. What real things can Trump do (beyond defiling dead bodies) that will move the dial? Why? Has it been tried before? If this is your top priority what did Trump propose? (Talking tough isn't any use, that is just what politicians do, and they are usually telling you what you want to hear - they love it when they can play up feelings of righteous indignation and say things like "We are going to get tough on xxxx" to get votes. Getting tough on something means nothing unless you say what you are going to do and why it is going to work.)

    If you and Trump don't want to do anything but spout hot air then you really just want to feel good about yourselves, which is great for you but won't help one cop's grieving family.

    What are you going to do?

  137. [137] 
    neilm wrote:

    There is NOTHING about freedom in terrorism...
    NOTHING..

    The British saw the American Revolutionaries as terrorists - they didn't use that word because it hadn't been invented, so they used the word "traitors".

    Do you think we should become a colony of Britain again, because let's face it There is NOTHING about freedom in being a traitor...
    NOTHING..

  138. [138] 
    neilm wrote:

    Israel fought and bled for that land... It's that simple..

    Who cares? They can look after themselves. America First.

    Why are we paying for somebody else's war - particularly the richest country in the region (if you don't count the two or three little petro cities like Qatar)?

    Israel is doing just fine in their military conflict with the Palestinians.

    Let's focus on America First (where have I heard that before?).

  139. [139] 
    neilm wrote:

    As soon as the Palestinians stop the terrorism, then Israel will discuss the desires of the Palestinians..

    It's really that simple..

    Oh to live in your simple world. We'll let's not worry, Saint Donny is here, and he is the best negotiator ever, E-V-E-R. He should be able to fix this in between tweets about how much he loves Putin.

  140. [140] 
    neilm wrote:

    The UN and all of the Anti-Israel Left wants to link Israeli settlements actions to peace between Israel and Palestinians..

    You forget about many Israelis as well:

    Do you support or oppose dismantling most of the settlements in the territories as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians? Source: (Truman/PCPSR)

    Support 45.2%
    Oppose 45.9%
    Don't know 8.8%

    So basically half of Israelis want the settlements dismantles as part of the peace process. Less than 50% are sure they oppose it. Sort of inconvenient that more Republicans support Israeli settlements than Israelis.

    Ever wonder why?

  141. [141] 
    neilm wrote:

    And just another little stat for you to explain when you give us your wisdom on why we should support Israeli settlement when 1/2 of Israelis don't:

    Jewish vote:

    2012: Obama 69%, Romney 30%
    2016: Hillary 71%, Trump 24%

    I await your response.

  142. [142] 
    neilm wrote:

    AI/Basic Income - 1

    Continuing on a theme we've been talking about on and off, I read and article about AI and the Basic Income you might find interesting:

    https://www.inverse.com/article/18443-automation-will-make-universal-basic-income-a-necessity

  143. [143] 
    neilm wrote:
  144. [144] 
    neilm wrote:

    AI/Basic Income - 3

    AI and the Economy:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/documents/Artificial-Intelligence-Automation-Economy.PDF

    The White House papers are quite long, so I read the Exec Summary and some selected parts - good reading.

  145. [145] 
    neilm wrote:

    Firstly, most of the reading I've been doing this morning has been links from Barry Ritholz's blog. Along with CW, this is the very best of the Internet. It is worth 10 minutes per day to browse his daily top 10 reads. Today's was particularly fertile for me.

    OK, so it is seldom that National Review sounds like one of the posters on CW's comments section (besides Michale), but this looks like it could have been written by one of us.

    A quote to whet your palate:

    It’s as if the people stormed the Bastille and set up the guillotines, only to find their leader feasting with King Louis. It turns out he was a member of the ancien régime all along.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443251/donald-trump-abandons-movement-campaign-promises

  146. [146] 
    neilm wrote:

    Firstly, most of the reading I've been doing this morning has been links from Barry Ritholz's blog. Along with CW, this is the very best of the Internet. It is worth 10 minutes per day to browse his daily top 10 reads. Today's was particularly fertile for me.

    OK, so it is seldom that National Review sounds like one of the posters on CW's comments section (besides Michale), but this looks like it could have been written by one of us (the prose is too good for me - with the exception of the pompous French phrase <ancien régime which is reminiscent of one of my weaknesses: Alors! Oh la la, le National Review et moi!).

    A quote to whet your palate:

    It’s as if the people stormed the Bastille and set up the guillotines, only to find their leader feasting with King Louis. It turns out he was a member of the ancien régime all along.

    Link catching in nanny filter:
    http://www dot nationalreview dot com/article/443251/donald-trump-abandons-movement-campaign-promises

  147. [147] 
    michale wrote:

    This is just a list of grievances, not policies.

    And from grievances, come policy to address grievances..

    Israel is doing just fine in their military conflict with the Palestinians.

    Thanx to assistance from the US...

    You have listed this as your top priority, yet you expect Trump to do nothing but talk?

    Nope.. But I WILL wait until he is actually in office...

    The British saw the American Revolutionaries as terrorists - they didn't use that word because it hadn't been invented, so they used the word "traitors".

    And anti-Israel types see the King David Hotel bombing as terrorism...

    Scumbag Democrats called Republicans terrorists...

    Ignorantly throwing around the epithet "terrorist" does not a terrorist make..

    Let's focus on America First (where have I heard that before?).

    America without Democrats in control can multi-task.. :D

    Do you support or oppose the dismantling of settlements in the West Bank?
    (PCPSR, June 2015)

    Israelis
    Support 38%
    Oppose 54%

    Mine is a little more current.. :D

    And you STILL don't mention the terrorism from the Palestinians??

    Why is that???

  148. [148] 
    michale wrote:

    You've got that exactly backwards. Originally, it was the land of Palestine. Look it up: in 1939, the exhibit at the world's fair in NY was called the Jewish Palestinian exhibit, and featured art by both Jewish and Palestinian artists.

    And you don't address Palestinian terrorism either..

    Until you do, you do not have a moral, legal or ethical leg to stand on..

    Oh... And what Joshua said.... :D

  149. [149] 
    neilm wrote:

    And from grievances, come policy to address grievances..

    What policies. You don't need to be in the White House to explain what you are going to do? In fact, that used to be the point of elections.

  150. [150] 
    neilm wrote:

    And you STILL don't mention the terrorism from the Palestinians??

    Why is that???

    Because I'm not interested in trying to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is bad for America, pointless, and expensive.

    We don't get any advantages by taking sides, your terrorist is most of the rest of the World's freedom fighter (but you are right of course).

    It makes Americans targets of attacks when we pick sides.

    It costs us $billions/year for the privilege.

    Why do you want to spend money to not solve a problem that results in making Americans less safe?

  151. [151] 
    michale wrote:

    Because I'm not interested in trying to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is bad for America, pointless, and expensive.

    But you ARE interested enough to condemn Israel..

    Funny how that is..

    We don't get any advantages by taking sides,

    Really???

    So, the US shouldn't have "taken sides" during WWII?

    your terrorist is most of the rest of the World's freedom fighter (but you are right of course).

    Thanks... I think.. :D

  152. [152] 
    michale wrote:

    Maybe the Left should pretend that Israel is a nation of Trans and the Palestinian terrorists are preventing them from using Israelis bathroom of their "gender identity"..

    THAT oughta motivate the Left... :^/

  153. [153] 
    michale wrote:

    Let's try that again...

    Maybe the Left should pretend that Israel is a nation of Trans and the Palestinian terrorists are preventing Israelis from using the bathroom of their "gender identity"..

    THAT oughta motivate the Left... :^/

  154. [154] 
    michale wrote:

    And in other news...

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/12/26/43-shot-11-fatally-in-christmas-weekend-shootings-in-chicago/

    Only if Chicago had really really strict gun laws....

    Oh.... wait....

    476

  155. [155] 
    neilm wrote:

    But you ARE interested enough to condemn Israel..

    When did I condemn Israel?

  156. [156] 
    neilm wrote:

    So, the US shouldn't have "taken sides" during WWII?

    Did the Palestinians attach Pearl Harbor and I missed it?

  157. [157] 
    neilm wrote:

    Only if Chicago had really really strict gun laws....

    Oh.... wait....

    If only America ha strict gun laws, or Illinois was allowed to build a Wall. That would fix it.

  158. [158] 
    neilm wrote:

    Maybe Republicans should ask why the American Jewish community want nothing to do with their Israeli policies - it isn't like Americans have a dog in this fight. It started in the Roman times with Emperor Vespasian. Probably before.

    Trump doesn't want us to accept one 2-year-old Syrian orphan refugee because it might make Americans unsafe, yet wants to interfere is a bloody war on the already winning side. Explain that one to me.

  159. [159] 
    neilm wrote:

    Apart from the WW2 argument, which seems to fall apart because our Navy isn't at the bottom of Pearl Harbor from a sneak Palestinian attack, why should America get involved with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? I'm not saying we should support Palestinians, and I'm quite happy that Israel exists, but what is the vital American interest that is so important the vast majority of the American Jewish community voted for the Democrats?

  160. [160] 
    michale wrote:

    If only America ha strict gun laws,

    As has been aptly proven by Chicago, strict gun laws does not equal low gun violence...

    Did the Palestinians attach Pearl Harbor and I missed it?

    You intimated that the US shouldn't take sides...

    I guess what you mean to say is that the US shouldn't take sides against Palestinian terrorists..

    Trump doesn't want us to accept one 2-year-old Syrian orphan refugee because it might make Americans unsafe, yet wants to interfere is a bloody war on the already winning side. Explain that one to me.

    A 2yr old Syrian doesn't make Americans unsafe and no one has made that claim...

    But tens of thousands of unvetted Syrian refugees DOES make people unsafe.. As those in Berlin and Paris and San Bernardino can attest to...

  161. [161] 
    neilm wrote:

    The WW2 example was a very poor choice by the way. In 1936 if Charles Lindbergh had capitalized on his fame and won an election on his "America First" platform (you know that "America First" had pro-Nazi overtones in the 1930's, right?) America would probably have not participated in WW2, or not at least in the European theatre.

  162. [162] 
    neilm wrote:

    I guess what you mean to say is that the US shouldn't take sides against Palestinian terrorists..

    American can side with whoever it wants. But let's have the reason we need to help Israel, who are doing fine.

    We don't seem to be playing an active role in Spain with the ETA. America, to its eternal shame sided with and monetarily supported the IRA terrorists when they planted bombs in London, killing civilians including kids.

    So the question comes back, why should be pick an active role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when Israel are doing fine without us?

    So far your argument amounts to "Look! Terrorists!". I can point out dozens of terrorist groups that we condemn but don't actively participate in. What makes the Palestinian-Israeli conflict so much more important than the IRA-British one?

  163. [163] 
    neilm wrote:

    A 2yr old Syrian doesn't make Americans unsafe and no one has made that claim...

    You haven't been listening to Trump then.

    Trump is calling for a “complete and total ban” on Muslims entering the U.S.

  164. [164] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Neilm [145]: Read that article and enjoyed it.
    My favorite line: "Government by Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil is government by the swamp, of the swamp, and for the swamp."

  165. [165] 
    michale wrote:

    Apart from the WW2 argument, which seems to fall apart because our Navy isn't at the bottom of Pearl Harbor from a sneak Palestinian attack, why should America get involved with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

    The same reason we came to the aid of Britain during WWII...

    It was the right thing to do...

    Supporting Israel against Palestinian terrorism is the right thing to do..

  166. [166] 
    michale wrote:

    Trump is calling for a “complete and total ban” on Muslims entering the U.S.

    That's the spin..

    Trump is calling for a temporary cessation of influx of refugees from countries suffering terrorism so that the safety of Americans can be assured..

    Who could NOT have a problem with that???

    American can side with whoever it wants. But let's have the reason we need to help Israel,

    Because Israel suffers from a 9/11 every month...

    I dunno where you live, but on my planet that is not considered "doing fine"...

  167. [167] 
    michale wrote:

    Call me close-minded if you must, but I simply will NOT believe that supporting Palestinian terrorists, as the Obama administration has done, is the best course of actions for the US to take..

    I have to side with Trump....

    Things will change on 20 Jan 2017...

    It is my fervent hope that we tell the UN that they are no longer welcome in the United States and that the UN should move to a country that is more in keeping with their anti-Israel attitude...

    Iran would be a LOVELY place for the UN.... Birds of a feather and all that...

  168. [168] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Trump's sincerity is situational. To quote Trump:

    “That plays great before the election — now we don’t care, right?”

    Wait..what? His supporters murmer. Trump continues:

    “You people were vicious, violent, screaming, ‘Where’s the wall? We want the wall!’ Screaming, ‘Prison! Prison! Lock her up!’ I mean you are going crazy. I mean, you were nasty and mean and vicious and you wanted to win, right? [And now] You’re mellow and you’re cool and you’re not nearly as vicious or violent, right? Because we won, right?”

    Well, now they're upset: Okay..you weren't serious? We don't get to kick over furniture? This was all a joke?

    Nope. It's a scam, and a proto-fascist one at that. You can't say you weren't warned.

    So one day, Trump, apropos of nothing, says that he thinks the nation should build more nuclear bombs. The next day, Putin, during a live broadcast, says that he, too, would like to 'modernize' his nuclear arsenal. Is this like one of those old fax machine 'handshakes' that sounds like a robot gargling?

  169. [169] 
    neilm wrote:

    It was the right thing to do...

    Supporting Israel against Palestinian terrorism is the right thing to do..

    I thought it was "America First". You have us a long lecture about why we should only focus on American interests and stop interfering in foreign affairs recently.

    Who decides what is the right thing to do?

    Would active intervention to stop the massacre in Aleppo have been the right thing to do?

    Would protecting the Crimea have been the right thing to do?

    Should we intervene in the South Sedan?

    Your arguments are falling apart. There is almost no compelling American reason to justify us picking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and a lot of reasons not to.

    You'll dive down far enough soon, hint look in the Book of Revelations.

  170. [170] 
    neilm wrote:

    The same reason we came to the aid of Britain during WWII...

    It was the right thing to do...

    Yet America sat on the sidelines during the Battle of Britain when the whole might of the Nazi war machine was trying to invade Britain. It was 18 months later that America joined in the war effort and by then the Brits had stopped the Nazi's in their tracks.

    Israel is winning the war against Palestine, not facing the largest army in the World outside of the U.S. If Russian troops were firing on Tel Aviv I'd be the first to support Israel.

  171. [171] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    It is my fervent hope that we tell the UN that they are no longer welcome in the United States and that the UN should move to a country that is more in keeping with their anti-Israel attitude.

    Waitaminute. The UN created Israel, and has legitimatized the Israeli state for almost seventy years - the only reason for its 'official' existence (other than its military power) is a UN resolution! And now, to 'protect' the right wing regime in Israel from a diplomatic slap on the wrist, you would remove that? So that when hostile regimes call Israel 'illegitimate', they would technically be right? Who came up with this turd of an idea, John Bolton? I'd bet he'd support this.
    It won't happen anyway. The war hawks know that most of the wars we've fought over the last seventy years have been fought under UN auspices, including the two most recent conflicts. It saves us money and manpower. That would be like trading a movie pass for a bag of jawbreakers. Long term, it's a stupid move.

  172. [172] 
    neilm wrote:

    Call me close-minded if you must, but I simply will NOT believe that supporting Palestinian terrorists, as the Obama administration has done, is the best course of actions for the US to take..

    You are exaggerating. Obama isn't supporting Palestinian terrorists any more than China are. Or Germany. Or the U.K. Or Japan. Or even Trump's best friend, Putin.

    They all voted to censure Israel over settlements, not issue support for terrorism.

    All of them.

    And the U.S. didn't even vote for the censure. We abstained.

    This is where you lose the reasonable people. When you equate a censure over settlements, a policy that isn't even strongly supported in Israel itself (just over 1/2 of he people actively support them, including, of course, all the people who live in the settlements and don't want to lose their investment), to supporting terrorism, you are sidelined as an extremist.

    Don't be an extremist. Extremists and terrorists are often two sides of the same coin.

  173. [173] 
    neilm wrote:

    Man the propagandists on the right have got their hooks into Michale on Israel.

    He can't even articulate why he wants to go nuclear (e.g. abolish the U.N. even though the U.N. created and supports Israel's right to exist) beyond - "Look! Terrorist".

    C'mon Michale. Read about this. Why do we need to support unfettered settlements in Israel? Why is this a good policy for America? Why are you being told to defend it? Why is it in your interests?

  174. [174] 
    neilm wrote:

    The battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of a perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour".

    —?Winston Churchill, June, 1940 (a few weeks before the Battle of Britain began).

    And Hitler faced his first defeat in 1940. And, as Churchill foresaw, this first defeat turned the tide against him.

  175. [175] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    neilm [171] clap clap clap clap clap!

  176. [176] 
    neilm wrote:

    That quote is the Britain that you have just slurred as terrorist supporters.

  177. [177] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I must say something out loud here that I have been thinking for a very long time now ...

    Comments like #166 - and that one is one of your less extreme statements here, remarkably - make it very hard to consider supporting this site.

  178. [178] 
    neilm wrote:

    Balthasar [163]

    My favorite line: "Government by Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil is government by the swamp, of the swamp, and for the swamp."

    And this is from the National Review!

    There only needs to be three Republican Senators voting against Trump's nominees for posts to block them. The Washington Post list the four most in danger from in-party fighting as:

    1. Tillerson (Russian ties)

    2. Sessions (Alt-Right Racist ties)

    3. Mnuchin (Swamp beast - took $900M of Federal funds and still foreclosed on 36,000 home owners)

    4. Mattis (Not legally eligible for position so would require a special act of Congress to overrule a 65-year-old law)

    The chances are that all four will go through, and the two worst (Flynn and Brennan) don't need confirmation hearings.

    Personally I'm OK with all but Sessions who has that Ashcroft++ feel about him. I don't think he is a racist, but I do think he is a religious extremist. Religion and Politics are bad bedfellow at the best of times, throw the power of the law into the mix and things seldom go right.

  179. [179] 
    neilm wrote:

    Comments like #166 - and that one is one of your less extreme statements here, remarkably - make it very hard to consider supporting this site.

    OK, Elizabeth, I'm going to post a NSFW resolution one of my friends (who is a respected Doctor in Scotland) posted (sorry in advance for the language, but we went to Medical School together and we know each other well):

    "I think my New Year resolution this year will be to tell people to fuck off more"

    Hope that help ;)

  180. [180] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Not in the least. Sorry.

  181. [181] 
    neilm wrote:
  182. [182] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'll get to that ... it looks very, very good.

    Thanks for trying, Neil, but, I am afraid that I'm completely beyond hope.

    Seriously.

  183. [183] 
    michale wrote:

    So one day, Trump, apropos of nothing, says that he thinks the nation should build more nuclear bombs. The next day, Putin, during a live broadcast, says that he, too, would like to 'modernize' his nuclear arsenal. Is this like one of those old fax machine 'handshakes' that sounds like a robot gargling?

    Actually, it was the other way around.. Putin stated he was going to increase his Nuclear Arsenal and Trump responded with, in essence, the exact same thing Obama has stated about updating and modernizing our nuclear capability...

    But, of course, when Obama says it, it is to be worshipped..

    When Trump says the exact same thing, it is to be denigrated and attacked..

    It's the all powerful '-x' at work again..

    Nothing to see here...

    Comments like #166 - and that one is one of your less extreme statements here, remarkably - make it very hard to consider supporting this site.

    Because it's the UN???

    Would you like a list of all the horrendous and abhorrent things the UN has done?? Their cultural of rape amongst so-called PeaceKeepers?? The idea that UN so-called "Peacekeeper" went to an african nation to keep the peace, but ended up selling weapons to BOTH sides in their civil war... The BILLIONS of dollars that the UN conned from the Iraq Oil For Food program??

    The UN is THE most corrupt agency on the planet.. And that says something....

    You are exaggerating. Obama isn't supporting Palestinian terrorists any more than China are. Or Germany. Or the U.K. Or Japan. Or even Trump's best friend, Putin.

    Exactly.. I am glad we agree..

    ANY nation that supports the Palestinians is supporting terrorism..

    Half the Palestinian government *IS* a terrorist organization, fer christ's sake!!

    C'mon Michale. Read about this. Why do we need to support unfettered settlements in Israel? Why is this a good policy for America? Why are you being told to defend it? Why is it in your interests?

    It's simple..

    They are the victims of terrorism.. I have seen up close and personal the victims of terrorism.. I have worked with Israeli military and intelligence... A more honorable and effective bunch of people you could never find...

    Israel is under constant threat of terrorism that is a daily part of their lives..

    And to see Obama so vindictively and childishly lash out and stab Israel in the back on his way out the door??

    Just chaps my ass.. ANY chance that Obama could actually leave the office he has so besmirched and embarrassed was completely destroyed by this one immature act of pique...

    That quote is the Britain that you have just slurred as terrorist supporters.

    And you had to go back more than a half a century to find it..

    Britain supports the Palestinians. Palestinians have a terrorist organization as a government..

    Britain supports a terrorist organization..

    The facts are clear and unambiguous..

    And the U.S. didn't even vote for the censure. We abstained.

    An abstention is a vote for terrorism...

    This is where you lose the reasonable people. When you equate a censure over settlements, a policy that isn't even strongly supported in Israel itself (just over 1/2 of he people actively support them, including, of course, all the people who live in the settlements and don't want to lose their investment),

    Your stats come from almost 8 years ago...

    Mine come from a year ago.. And the support for Israeli settlements is 70% in favor against 30% opposed..

    Would protecting the Crimea have been the right thing to do?

    Yes, it would have. But our Chicken-Shit Commander in Chief seems to be an AMERICA ONLY kinda CinC....

    srael is winning the war against Palestine, not facing the largest army in the World outside of the U.S. If Russian troops were firing on Tel Aviv I'd be the first to support Israel.

    But, if Islamic terrorists are killing hundreds of innocent Israeli men, women and children every month, you are perfectly OK with that and will support the Palestinian terrorists..

    OK, I think I see the issue..

    It's all about protecting muslims... Even the terrorist ones..

    Don't be an extremist. Extremists and terrorists are often two sides of the same coin.

    I am extremely against terrorism... Sue me.. :D

    Waitaminute. The UN created Israel, and has legitimatized the Israeli state for almost seventy years -

    Waitaminute. The UN created Israel, and has been trying to DE-legitimatize the Israeli state for the last 50 years -

    There... fixed it for you...

    They all voted to censure Israel over settlements, not issue support for terrorism.

    To go against Israel is to support the terrorism committed against Israel..

    It's really THAT simple...

    Once again, it's very telling that no one wants to address the ongoing Palestinian terrorism campaign against Israel..

    It's ALL about the "bad" that Israel does and NOTHING about the heinous acts of terrorism committed against Israel on a daily basis..

    And Hitler faced his first defeat in 1940. And, as Churchill foresaw, this first defeat turned the tide against him.

    So, what you are saying is that if the US hadn't entered WWII, then Germany and Japan would still have been defeated?? I don't think so..

    As an aside, my lovely wife and I just started THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE... First episode was kinda dragging at points, but I think we'll continue it... :D

    481

  184. [184] 
    michale wrote:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/12/27/new-party-no-dems-prepare-for-battle-with-trump-on-cabinet-picks-agenda.html

    Looks like the Democrats are gearing up to replace the GOP as The Party Of No..

    And, of course, everyone here will support and defend such obstructionism, right?? :D

    Who could have POSSIBLY predicted this??

    Oh.... wait... :D

    And the U.S. didn't even vote for the censure. We abstained.

    And I am constrained to point out that Obama did a LOT more than just abstain... When Trump had convinced the Egyptians that it was a bad BAD idea to put this resolution forward, the US shopped around for other countries to push the resolution..

    That fact that Obama went to VENEZUELA of all places shows where Obama is coming from...

    And, as far as Weigantia being a bastion of UN support??

    Obama's Israel Vendetta Opens the Door for Trump to Defund the UN

    We live in a world of unintended consequences and Barack Obama, in his overwhelming zeal to exact last-minute personal vengeance on Bibi Netanyahu in particular and Israel in general with Friday's Security Council vote, opened the door to the defunding and serious diminution of the United Nations itself.

    Donald Trump -- who is seeking to spend a ton of taxpayer money on rebuilding our military and infrastructure -- is undoubtedly looking for places to save. Nowhere would be better to start than that moribund center of international corruption and megaphone for tin-pot dictators, the United Nations.

    What started out after World War II as the idealistic coming together of nations to end war ended up being one of the giant ripoffs of all time. The UN oil-for-food scandal during the Iraq War showed how extreme it had become. The UN committee's own report:

    ....accused nearly half of the 4,500 participating companies of paying kickbacks and illegal surcharges to win lucrative contracts, and allowing Saddam Hussein to pocket $1.8 billion at the expense of Iraqis suffering under UN economic sanctions. The commission’s lead investigator, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, stated that it was UN mismanagement and failure of the world’s most powerful nations to end corruption in the program that allowed Saddam to fill his coffers.

    "UN mismanagement" isn't the half of it. It was unbridled corruption on the part of UN leadership with some of the masterminds fleeing the country, checks in hand, to places like Beijing.

    Meanwhile, this "peaceful" organization that has had no effect whatsoever on ending war spends most of its working hours bashing the state of Israel. In 2015 alone the UN General Assembly adopted 20 resolutions singling out Israel for criticism — and only 3 resolutions on the rest of the world combined.
    https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2016/12/25/obamas-israel-vendetta-opens-teh-door-for-trump-todefund-the-un/

    Yea... The UN isn't Anti-Israel... :^/

    Weigantians might find that Obama's actions have secured the demise of the UN in the United States and insured that the UN will wither away like a grape on a cut vine..

    Robin Williams had the best idea...

    "Best thing for the UN to do is go condo"

    482

  185. [185] 
    michale wrote:

    foxnews.com/politics/2016/12/27/new-party-no-dems-prepare-for-battle-with-trump-on-cabinet-picks-agenda.html

    Looks like the Democrats are gearing up to replace the GOP as The Party Of No..

    And, of course, everyone here will support and defend such obstructionism, right?? :D

    Who could have POSSIBLY predicted this??

    Oh.... wait... :D

    And the U.S. didn't even vote for the censure. We abstained.

    And I am constrained to point out that Obama did a LOT more than just abstain... When Trump had convinced the Egyptians that it was a bad BAD idea to put this resolution forward, the US shopped around for other countries to push the resolution..

    That fact that Obama went to VENEZUELA of all places shows where Obama is coming from...

    And, as far as Weigantia being a bastion of UN support??

    Obama's Israel Vendetta Opens the Door for Trump to Defund the UN

    We live in a world of unintended consequences and Barack Obama, in his overwhelming zeal to exact last-minute personal vengeance on Bibi Netanyahu in particular and Israel in general with Friday's Security Council vote, opened the door to the defunding and serious diminution of the United Nations itself.

    Donald Trump -- who is seeking to spend a ton of taxpayer money on rebuilding our military and infrastructure -- is undoubtedly looking for places to save. Nowhere would be better to start than that moribund center of international corruption and megaphone for tin-pot dictators, the United Nations.

    What started out after World War II as the idealistic coming together of nations to end war ended up being one of the giant ripoffs of all time. The UN oil-for-food scandal during the Iraq War showed how extreme it had become. The UN committee's own report:

    ....accused nearly half of the 4,500 participating companies of paying kickbacks and illegal surcharges to win lucrative contracts, and allowing Saddam Hussein to pocket $1.8 billion at the expense of Iraqis suffering under UN economic sanctions. The commission’s lead investigator, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, stated that it was UN mismanagement and failure of the world’s most powerful nations to end corruption in the program that allowed Saddam to fill his coffers.

    "UN mismanagement" isn't the half of it. It was unbridled corruption on the part of UN leadership with some of the masterminds fleeing the country, checks in hand, to places like Beijing.

    Meanwhile, this "peaceful" organization that has had no effect whatsoever on ending war spends most of its working hours bashing the state of Israel. In 2015 alone the UN General Assembly adopted 20 resolutions singling out Israel for criticism — and only 3 resolutions on the rest of the world combined.
    https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2016/12/25/obamas-israel-vendetta-opens-teh-door-for-trump-todefund-the-un/

    Yea... The UN isn't Anti-Israel... :^/

    Weigantians might find that Obama's actions have secured the demise of the UN in the United States and insured that the UN will wither away like a grape on a cut vine..

    Robin Williams had the best idea...

    "Best thing for the UN to do is go condo"

    482

  186. [186] 
    michale wrote:

    As an aside, my lovely wife and I just started THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE... First episode was kinda dragging at points, but I think we'll continue it... :D

    Interesting factoid about TMITHC...

    In that reality, NAZI SS HQ in New York is in the exact location that the UN is in our reality...

    Coincidence?? :D

    483

  187. [187] 
    michale wrote:

    'You know, I am confident in this vision because I'm confident that if I – if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could've mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it.'
    -Barack Obama

    I didn't think it possible that ANYONE could make Hillary feel more like kaa-kaa for losing..

    But Obama was able to pull it off.. :D

    484

  188. [188] 
    michale wrote:

    But, if Islamic terrorists are killing hundreds of innocent Israeli men, women and children every month, you are perfectly OK with that and will support the Palestinian terrorists..

    I know this might piss you off and, if it does, you have my sincere apologies..

    But it is simply undeniable that support for Palestinians is a support for terrorism...

    Just like support for Iran is support for terrorism...

    You can't have it both ways..

    485

  189. [189] 
    michale wrote:

    The strong version of what I have called the Ferguson Effect—a drop in proactive policing leading to rising crime—is the only explanation for the crime increase that matches the data. The country has just elected a new president who understands that the false narrative about the police has led to the breakdown of law and order in inner cities. If the crime situation improves in the coming year, it will be because Black Lives Matter calumnies no longer have an echo chamber in the White House and because cops on the beat believe that they will now be supported for trying to restore order where informal social control has broken down.
    http://www.city-journal.org/html/ferguson-effect-lives-14919.html

    Changing grievances into policy...

    487

  190. [190] 
    michale wrote:

    But it is simply undeniable that support for Palestinians is a support for terrorism...

    And the solution is so simple...

    The entire world needs to turn their backs on the Palestinians utterly, unequivocally and completely and support Israel to the hilt until such time as Palestinians stop the terrorism...

    As long as Palestinians support, aide and condone terrorism, Israel will ALWAYS have the moral, ethical and legal high ground..

    ALWAYS....

    489

  191. [191] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    And the solution is so simple...

    The solution is always simple, in the eyes of the right. Never mind that Democrats always have to come in and fix things later.

    I have lived with alcoholics, and the behavior is similar: an insistence on their point of view beyond reason, denial of poor spending choices, inability to muster compassion or care for dependents, inability to de-escalate disagreements, inability to learn from mistakes, tendency to blame others. I could go on, but you get the idea.

    I used to say that just because Bush gave up drinking, it didn't mean that he stopped acting like a drunk: he abused friends, started fights, crashed the budget, and ignored the children.

    Might as well have been chugging Jack Daniels.

    Trump, like Bush, claims to not be a drinker. But those late night tweets prove that he still acts like one.

  192. [192] 
    michale wrote:

    The solution is always simple, in the eyes of the right. Never mind that Democrats always have to come in and fix things later.

    Yea, Democrats did a BANG UP job "fixing" things..

    Look at all these jobs!!! That are gone...

    Trump, like Bush, claims to not be a drinker. But those late night tweets prove that he still acts like one.

    In your opinion...

    But let's get back to the subject..

    You are of the opinion that the Palestinians don't need to stop their terrorism??

    490

  193. [193] 
    michale wrote:

    I used to say that just because Bush gave up drinking, it didn't mean that he stopped acting like a drunk: he abused friends, started fights, crashed the budget, and ignored the children.

    As opposed to Obama who is a druggie pothead, abused, ignored and made our allies less safe, who gave aid and comfort to our enemies, totally ignored the American people when it came to jobs and gave us the most limp-dicked "recovery" in the history of the planet...

    491

  194. [194] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    As opposed to Obama who is a druggie pothead, abused, ignored and made our allies less safe, who gave aid and comfort to our enemies, totally ignored the American people when it came to jobs and gave us the most limp-dicked "recovery" in the history of the planet...

    Are you kidding? When he entered office, the economy was on its knees, puking its guts out. His buddies the Iraquis couldn't wait to get rid of us. We were hemorrhaging jobs like an amusement park in October. We had a massive hangover.

    Yet in the face of a Republican party that stood in the hallway with its arms crossed criticizing every move, he managed to recover every lost job, rebuilt our european alliances, and got the Iraquis to fight their own civil war, without a major commitment of US troops.

    Oh, and the recovery is doing so well that the Fed just raised the interest rate, to back it down a half-notch.

    The Republican fantasy that Obama's policies are bad for the country belong on HBO, along with "Game of Thrones".

  195. [195] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    ..and why do you feel that the corollary of 'irresponsible drunk' is 'druggie pothead'?

  196. [196] 
    michale wrote:

    Oh, and the recovery is doing so well that the Fed just raised the interest rate, to back it down a half-notch.

    And yet, the American people elected TRUMP and not Obama 3.0....

    So your "recovery" that is "doing well" is nothing but vapor ware....

    ..and why do you feel that the corollary of 'irresponsible drunk' is 'druggie pothead'?

    Because I have seen the aftermath of both in death and destruction and they are, astonishingly, quite similar...

  197. [197] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    So your "recovery" that is "doing well" is nothing but vapor ware..

    Or will be, once the GOP get their hands on it.

    And, dear tell, where is the 'death and destruction' caused by pot smokers?

  198. [198] 
    michale wrote:

    And, dear tell, where is the 'death and destruction' caused by pot smokers?

    http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site46/2016/0726/20160726__27TCAFATw~1.jpg

    'nuff said...

  199. [199] 
    michale wrote:

    I was referring to what I have personally witnessed, but obviously don't have pictures of that...

  200. [200] 
    michale wrote:

    Or will be, once the GOP get their hands on it.

    Yea, that's been the prediction..

    Time will tell if you are right or you are wrong..

    But I am constrained to point out that ya'all's predictions on this issue have been... ahem... found wanting... since 2010.... :D

  201. [201] 
    michale wrote:

    Defying U.N., Israel Prepares to Build More Settlements
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/26/world/middleeast/israel-settlements-un-security-council-benjamin-netanyahu-obama.html

    Great job, UN....

    You brought about the VERY thing your biased and bigoted resolution hoped to prevent..

    Morons....

  202. [202] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I am constrained to point out that ya'all's predictions on this issue have been... ahem... found wanting... since 2010

    The year of the Tea Pary wave. Yeah, that's why we never got an infrastructure bill. And then the Republicans caused a lowering of our bond rating. And then we got the stupid sequester bill. You're right, we hit a serious speedbump there.

    Remarkable, then, that Obama was able to get around the GOP as well as he did. We'll see if the 'great negotiator' can get as easily around his loyal opposition.

  203. [203] 
    michale wrote:

    When will the Anti-Israel types on this planet learn the one unequivocal fact..

    Israel won't be pushed or extorted or intimidated..

    Real peace in the region will ONLY come thru direct negotiation...

    And there will be no direct negotiation until such time as the Palestinians renounce terrorism...

  204. [204] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Great job, UN..You brought about the VERY thing your biased and bigoted resolution hoped to prevent.

    Yeah, a great way to prove that you're not building settlements just to screw with people is to build settlements just to screw with people.

    My three year old nephew used to do the same when I told him not to throw his food on the floor; first thing he'd do is throw his food on the floor. It's how immature people assert themselves.

  205. [205] 
    michale wrote:

    Yeah, a great way to prove that you're not building settlements just to screw with people is to build settlements just to screw with people.

    No, it's a great way to prove to asshole bigots at the UN that Israel will not be dictated to by a group of terrorism loving bigots...

    It's how immature people assert themselves.

    So, when China tells Obama not to sail near their islands and Obama turns right around and does it, Obama is acting like an immature 3yr old???

    Here.. Let me help you out..

    "Well... That's different... Obama has a '-D' after his name.."

    There ya go...

    It's called Freedom Of Navigation exercises and has nothing to do with childish immaturity and everything to do with what is right and just...

    CLAIMING anything else IS childish and immature...

  206. [206] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Real peace in the region will ONLY come thru direct negotiation. And there will be no direct negotiation until such time as the Palestinians renounce terrorism.

    "terrorism" defined in the Palestinian mind as, "Resistance", y'know, like the rebel alliance in Star Wars. That won't work (and Netanyahu knows it).

    There is a framework for peace, called the Oslo Accords. It was signed by leaders of both sides, and folks like Russia and the US. It prohibits, however, new settlements. Not Netanyahu's politics, but the Israelis agreed to that. So everyone knows who's really blocking the path to peace right now.

  207. [207] 
    michale wrote:

    Oh....

    And the UN just guaranteed that the US Embassy will be relocating to Jerusalem...

    Once again.. Kudos to the UN for doing the worst possible thing.... :D

  208. [208] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    It's called Freedom Of Navigation exercises and has nothing to do with childish immaturity and everything to do with what is right and just..

    And thank you for defending Obama for that.

    But what Obama did has some basis in international law including multiple signed agreements and treaties. Netanyahu can point to none of that. In his case, it's just nose-thumbing without legal justification.

  209. [209] 
    michale wrote:

    "terrorism" defined in the Palestinian mind as, "Resistance", y'know, like the rebel alliance in Star Wars. That won't work (and Netanyahu knows it).

    And the KKK defines "racism" as something completely different so as to justify their racism..

    I really don't give a rat's ass how a terrorist defines terrorism..

    I would have hoped YOU wouldn't care either...

    But I have to concede I might be wrong about that..

    There is a framework for peace, called the Oslo Accords. It was signed by leaders of both sides, and folks like Russia and the US. It prohibits, however, new settlements. Not Netanyahu's politics, but the Israelis agreed to that. So everyone knows who's really blocking the path to peace right now.

    And then Arafat reneged the Oslo accords and demanded more..

    The WHOLE history has been the Palestinians refusing to live up to their agreements and pursuing terrorism against Israel..

    The Palestinian people could live in peace side by side with Israel if they would just be content to live side by side with Israel..

    But the Palestinian government DEMANDS the destruction of Israel..

    And YOU want Israel to negotiate with that government??

    Are you nuts???

  210. [210] 
    michale wrote:

    And thank you for defending Obama for that.

    Like I said.. Obama has a '-D' after his name and that's all that matters to you...

  211. [211] 
    michale wrote:

    And thank you for defending Obama for that.

    Like I said.. Obama has a '-D' after his name and that's all that matters to you...

  212. [212] 
    michale wrote:

    Netanyahu can point to none of that. In his case, it's just nose-thumbing without legal justification.

    And, as long as the Palestinians resort to terrorism and calls for the destruction of Israel, Bibi has every moral and ethical justification..

    In the 50s and 60s blacks in America ALSO had "no legal justification"....

    But they had EVERY moral and ethical justification..

    Funny how you want to forget that...

  213. [213] 
    michale wrote:

    Netanyahu can point to none of that. In his case, it's just nose-thumbing without legal justification.

    And, as long as the Palestinians resort to terrorism and calls for the destruction of Israel, Bibi has every moral and ethical justification..

    In the 50s and 60s blacks in America ALSO had "no legal justification"....

    But they had EVERY moral and ethical justification..

    Funny how you want to forget that...

  214. [214] 
    michale wrote:

    You can go on and on all you want..

    But it is simply undeniable that Obama's bonehead and immature back stabbing of Israel has made peace in the middle east HARD to achieve... Not easier...

    The Palestinians will be encouraged to just let the international community do their terrorism for them...

  215. [215] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I really don't give a rat's ass how a terrorist defines terrorism.

    Then rest assured that you have less knowledge than your opponent, because be assured that he's studying you.

    Let's cut to the chase. Netanyahu has ordered his ministers to cease talking about annexing the West Bank 'for now', but that's clearly the goal, and the point of settlements. That could spark a general conflict between Israel and its neighbors, complicating an already complicated mess in the middle east. If Trump backs Netanyahu, that would divide us and the Sunni Arab countries. That would be the perfect environment for a Russian-Iranian mutual defense pact, and Syrian-Iranian takeover of Iraq. What side would Trump take in an all-out mideast war? Would he side with the Sunni enemies of Israel, throw-in with the Russians and Shiite enemies of Israel, or try to fight everyone at once?

  216. [216] 
    michale wrote:

    Then rest assured that you have less knowledge than your opponent, because be assured that he's studying you.

    I have plenty of knowledge about my opponent. More than you could ever hope to learn..

    My first piece of knowledge is that the opponent is a terrorist... That is an assessment based on objective criteria and NOT based on ideology, as ya'all's definition is...

    Let's cut to the chase. Netanyahu has ordered his ministers to cease talking about annexing the West Bank 'for now', but that's clearly the goal, and the point of settlements. That could spark a general conflict between Israel and its neighbors, complicating an already complicated mess in the middle east. If Trump backs Netanyahu, that would divide us and the Sunni Arab countries. That would be the perfect environment for a Russian-Iranian mutual defense pact, and Syrian-Iranian takeover of Iraq. What side would Trump take in an all-out mideast war? Would he side with the Sunni enemies of Israel, throw-in with the Russians and Shiite enemies of Israel, or try to fight everyone at once?

    Lots and lots of IFs there...

    All based on ideology...

  217. [217] 
    michale wrote:

    Remember... It was the Democratic Party and many Weigantians who referred to Republicans as "terrorists"...

    So, the *ONLY* logical conclusion is that ya'all's definition of "terrorism" is SOLELY based on ideology...

  218. [218] 
    michale wrote:

    Consumer confidence climbed in December to the highest level since August 2001 as Americans were more upbeat about the outlook than at any time in the last 13 years, according to a report Tuesday from the New York-based Conference Board.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-27/u-s-consumer-confidence-index-increased-to-113-7-in-december

    Well, whaddya know..

    Trump *IS* making America great again!! :D

  219. [219] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Trump isn't in office yet, to state the obvious.

  220. [220] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    the *ONLY* logical conclusion is that ya'all's definition of "terrorism" is SOLELY based on ideology

    And if you don't you're the sole exception. For instance: the Reagan-backed 'Contras' in Nicaragua. They didn't exactly play by Marquis of Queensberry rules. Jewish nationalists themselves waged guerrilla war against the British at one point in an attempt to force the formation of the State of Israel.

    Right now, we're backing Iranian forces in Iraq, anti-Iranian forces in Yemen, and both in Syria. And you think this is simple?

  221. [221] 
    michale wrote:

    And if you don't you're the sole exception. For instance: the Reagan-backed 'Contras' in Nicaragua. They didn't exactly play by Marquis of Queensberry rules. Jewish nationalists themselves waged guerrilla war against the British at one point in an attempt to force the formation of the State of Israel.

    Not playing by Marquis Of Queensberry rules is NOT terrorism..

    Guerrilla warfare is NOT terrorism..

    No matter how you try to spin it, Palestinians are terrorists...

    And, by supporting Palestinians, you are supporting terrorists...

  222. [222] 
    michale wrote:

    And we lose another.... :(

    Princess Leia has passed...

  223. [223] 
    michale wrote:

    Trump isn't in office yet, to state the obvious.

    Yes, I know.. I have made that point myself many times..

    But if you have another explanation for the rise in Consumer Confidence and the fact that a record number of Americans see hope in the incoming administration...

    "Well, I'm all ears..."
    -Ross Perot, 1992 Presidential Debates

  224. [224] 
    michale wrote:

    On another note...

    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/311883-pardon-the-interruption-clinton-allegation-may-force

    Will Obama pardon Clinton??

    Since accepting a pardon is a de-facto admission of guilt, would Clinton accept a pardon??

    Interesting conundrum....

  225. [225] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Will Obama pardon Clinton?

    You haven't been paying attention. There's nothing to pardon Clinton for.

    Princess Leia has passed

    The force be with her.

  226. [226] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    But if you have another explanation for the rise in Consumer Confidence and the fact that a record number of Americans see hope in the incoming administration...

    I do. Consumer Confidence has been rising steadily ever since we recovered (past tense) from the recession. It takes more than bluster to build enduring confidence in an economy, something Trump and the Republican Wrecking Crew are about to learn.

  227. [227] 
    michale wrote:

    You haven't been paying attention. There's nothing to pardon Clinton for.

    That's your opinion, unsupported by any facts...

    But it doesn't matter what you or I think...

    It only matters what Clinton thinks.

    And, if she knows she is dirty, she might not want Session's and Trump's DOJ poking around her affairs...

    If Obama offered a pardon, which I think he will, then I think Clinton will accept it..

    Obama has royally pissed off Trump and Trump just might take it out on Clinton..

    Just as Bibi royally pissed off Obama and Obama took it out on Israel...

    I do. Consumer Confidence has been rising steadily ever since we recovered (past tense) from the recession.

    Bullshit....

    It takes more than bluster to build enduring confidence in an economy, something Trump and the Republican Wrecking Crew are about to learn.

    TRUMP IS TOAST esque prediction #312... :D

  228. [228] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You two do realize, do you not, that this thread is days old by now!?

  229. [229] 
    michale wrote:

    You two do realize, do you not, that this thread is days old by now!?

    It's a Friday commentary..

    They have an unusually long half life.. :D

  230. [230] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That's true enough.

    I guess there should be a little more leeway for an FTP column.

    But, once we get to Wednesday, the Friday column should be history!

  231. [231] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, not history per se, just closed for comments.

    I think I'll add that to the changes Chris is looking for ...

  232. [232] 
    michale wrote:

    The problem with that is that there is likely a lot people still want to say.. And it will likely carry into new commentaries..

  233. [233] 
    michale wrote:

    Obama's fading presidential profile...
    A parting shot at Israel leaves Trump looking like a leader.

    Last week the White House felt it necessary to point out that the United States only has “one president at a time.” But it is increasingly unclear if that is still Barack Obama.

    This was a bad move for President Obama to make on his way out the door. The resolution did not empower U.N. member states to take any action, so the administration cannot argue that it was taking this historic step to create real change. And by simply abstaining, instead of voting in favor of the resolution, Obama cannot even claim he was making a final, personal statement on the issue. It was “lead from behind” without the leadership, passivity pretending to be accomplishment. It looked like a petulant parting shot from a very lame duck.

    The U.N. may also take a hit. On Saturday Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pledged to lead a break with the organization, saying “I can't support funding a body that singles out the only democracy in the Middle East who shares our values." This could prove to be politically popular; a Gallup poll from February 2016 showed that 54% of Americans believe the U.N. does a poor job. And while 80% of Democrats view the U.N. favorably, only 43% of Republicans share that sentiment. You don’t have to have be a Manhattan real estate tycoon to see the potential in redeveloping the U.N. headquarters site in Turtle Bay.

    President-elect Trump was the big winner politically. The Trump team has made no secret that it will be a much stronger supporter of Israel than Barack Obama ever was. Trump has a longstanding friendship with Israel’s prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu. Trump’s ambassador-designate for Israel, David Friedman, has called the two-state solution an "illusion” and called for implementing the 1995 law requiring the United States to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And in the run-up to the vote on Resolution 2334 the president-elect convinced Egypt, the representative of the Arab world on the Security Council, to withdraw its sponsorship of the measure, though it still voted for the measure. Trump came off looking dynamic, effective and presidential. And his overt support for the Jewish state makes the liberal narrative that his administration would be tinged with anti-Semitism unsustainable.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/12/27/trump-israel-security-council-vote-james-robbins-column/95854656/

    Obama just handed Trump a great victory.. Obama's legacy (such as it is) will be thrown on the trash heap of history...

    Fitting..

    514

  234. [234] 
    michale wrote:

    Tesla, Panasonic to make solar cells in Buffalo, New York
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/tesla-panasonic-agree-pv-cells-buffalo-york-101926856--finance.html

    Donald Trump

    Making America Great Again :D

    516

  235. [235] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    They can say what they want on a new thread, Michale.

  236. [236] 
    John M wrote:

    Belated Merry Christmas Michale :-)

    Michale wrote:

    "Trump is calling for a temporary cessation of influx of refugees from countries suffering terrorism so that the safety of Americans can be assured.."

    So, would that also include ANYONE from France and Germany as well???

    "So, what you are saying is that if the US hadn't entered WWII, then Germany and Japan would still have been defeated?? I don't think so.."

    YES. Though NOT so in the case of Japan, Germany at LEAST would still have been defeated, even without the USA, because Russia was largely responsible for Germany's defeat on land in Europe. It just would have taken longer without the USA. But it was Russian troops who did most of the heavy lifting against the Nazis.

    "And the solution is so simple...

    The entire world needs to turn their backs on the Palestinians utterly, unequivocally and completely and support Israel to the hilt until such time as Palestinians stop the terrorism..."

    AND YET, it is precisely people who see themselves as weak and hopeless, who feel like the world is NOT listening to them or hearing their voices, are exactly the ones who turn to terrorism as a response. I am NOT saying that in any way justifies it, and you do have to isolate the radical crazies, but a blanket policy against a whole people which does not take this simple fact into account and consideration, is self-defeating, stupid and foolish in the long run.

    "And yet, the American people elected TRUMP and not Obama 3.0...."

    AND YET, changing just 80,000 votes across just 3 states out of over 137 million votes cast, would have resulted in us talking about a President Clinton right now instead of a President Trump. It was THAT CLOSE.

    "The Palestinian people could live in peace side by side with Israel if they would just be content to live side by side with Israel.."

    This is again, the one thing that Michale has said that I have to completely agree with. If Yasser Arafat had only been willing to give up the right of return in negotiations with Ehud Barak at Camp David in 2000, the Palestinians could have had an independent state over 15 years ago. But what's the point of a two state solution if you insist on both states being majority population Palestinian and you deny the Jewish character of Israel? How is that not racist against Jewish Israelis?

  237. [237] 
    michale wrote:

    Liz,

    They can say what they want on a new thread, Michale.

    The problem with that is that what they want to say might not be compatible with the new thread..

    The MESSAGE TO MY READERS thread is a perfect example.. I went off on a tangent (with a little help to be fair :D) and now CW has to wade thru a bunch of off-topic posts to get to the suggestions that he has solicited...

    The nice thing about using Friday commentaries is that it already has a reputation for being somewhat of a free-for-all.. For those that want to avoid such FFAs, it's easy to simply avoid that commentary...

    JM,

    Belated Merry Christmas Michale :-)

    Danke :D

    So, would that also include ANYONE from France and Germany as well???

    I am sure the scale of said suffering of terrorism plays into the decision..

    Besides, there is not a huge.... out-pouring (what's the antonym of influx??) of refugees from Germany or France that would necessitate carving out any exemptions...

    The problem is that when you have such a huge emigration of refugees, it's easy to hide the wolves amongst the sheep...

    Donald Trump is being attacked and castigated for being concerned about those wolves..

    Where is the logic in that??

    YES. Though NOT so in the case of Japan, Germany at LEAST would still have been defeated, even without the USA, because Russia was largely responsible for Germany's defeat on land in Europe. It just would have taken longer without the USA. But it was Russian troops who did most of the heavy lifting against the Nazis.

    And then we would have had a BIGGER problem than Nazi Germany...

    We would have had a Soviet Union that encompassed ALL of Europe...

    Now THAT would make an awesome alternate reality TV series, eh? :D

    AND YET, it is precisely people who see themselves as weak and hopeless, who feel like the world is NOT listening to them or hearing their voices, are exactly the ones who turn to terrorism as a response.

    Which PROVES that these people are of weak character and principle that they don't DESERVE any consideration..

    Think about what you are defending...

    "The Palestinians have no hope so they brutally murder tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children.. The Palestinians should be supported and helped!!"

    What part of NOTHING JUSTIFIES TERRORISM is unclear???

    AND YET, changing just 80,000 votes across just 3 states out of over 137 million votes cast, would have resulted in us talking about a President Clinton right now instead of a President Trump. It was THAT CLOSE.

    And IF the dog hadn't stopped, he would have caught the rabbit...

    So it was close.. A rejection by 80,000 votes is as much of a rejection by 8 million votes..

    This is again, the one thing that Michale has said that I have to completely agree with.

    Thank you... :D

    If Yasser Arafat had only been willing to give up the right of return in negotiations with Ehud Barak at Camp David in 2000, the Palestinians could have had an independent state over 15 years ago.

    I know, right???

    The Palestinians are a group that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.. They keep getting in their own way...

    But what's the point of a two state solution if you insist on both states being majority population Palestinian and you deny the Jewish character of Israel? How is that not racist against Jewish Israelis?

    I have come to the conclusion that a 3-State solution is needed here..

    You can't have two states because the Palestinians simply can not, in the here and now, create a viable state.. Maybe back in 2000, they could have, but surely not today..

    Their government IS a terrorist government..

    A good solution is to return Gaza to Egypt and let Egypt administrate it.. Return acceptable portions of the West Bank to Jordan and let Jordan administrate it..

    Personally, I completely and utterly solved the Palestinian/Israeli crisis years ago..

    But who listens to me!?? :D heh

    517

  238. [238] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That's a special case - Changes to Site Suggestions - and at least there is only ONE thread that Chris has to wade through.

    By the way, I don't think any changes need to be made here ... except for an edit after posting feature that would only be available for a short time after posting ... shouldn't be too hard to do, should it? :)

  239. [239] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'll post that suggestion in the other thread. :)

  240. [240] 
    michale wrote:

    By the way, I don't think any changes need to be made here ... except for an edit after posting feature that would only be available for a short time after posting ... shouldn't be too hard to do, should it? :)

    Coding is always hard... :D

    But I agree that having a short editing window is the one feature I would love to see.. It would also negate the need for a Preview Comment button...

  241. [241] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It would also negate the need for a Preview Comment button...

    That's right!

    So, really, there would be no net change involved ... just swapping one feature for another more useful one. Easy!

  242. [242] 
    michale wrote:

    WHOOAAAAA!!!

    'ISRAEL CAN EITHER BE JEWISH OR DEMOCRATIC -- IT CANNOT BE BOTH'
    -SecState John Kerry

    And now the true face of the Obama Administration is shown... The mask of Friend Of Israel has been ripped away and the dictates of the Obama regime shines thru....

    520

  243. [243] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    A good solution is to return Gaza to Egypt and let Egypt administrate it.. Return acceptable portions of the West Bank to Jordan and let Jordan administrate it.

    Now imagine if I had written: "A good solution is to return Texas to Mexico and let Mexico administrate it. Return acceptable pieces of Maine to Canada and let the Canadians administrate it."

    and

    "Texas can either be (exclusively) Christian or Democratic - it cannot be both."

    Do you have a problem with either statement? If not, why not?

  244. [244] 
    michale wrote:

    Do you have a problem with either statement? If not, why not?

    The borders of Texas and Maine are not in dispute...

    Further, Texas is not a sovereign country.

    Now let me ask you...

    You had a problem with the Bush administration dictating to sovereign nations how to conduct their government..

    But you DON'T have a problem with Obama doing the exact same thing....

    Why is that???

    Oh, that's right.. Obama had a '-D' after his name...

    Silly me...

    But the silver lining in Traitor Lurch's statement is that it rips away ALL veneer that the Obama administration is a friend of Israel...

    521

  245. [245] 
    John M wrote:

    'ISRAEL CAN EITHER BE JEWISH OR DEMOCRATIC -- IT CANNOT BE BOTH'
    -SecState John Kerry

    COME ON Michale, you KNOW Kerry is RIGHT. IF Israel keeps ALL of the West Bank territory, and DOES NOT EXPEL all of the Palestinians living there, OR DENIES them FULL equal Israeli citizenship while they are living on what becomes Israel's territory, then Palestinians become a MAJORITY OF ISRAEL'S population. Israel is THEN either no longer JEWISH. or you then have a MINORITY, Jews, controlling a MAJORITY, Palestinians, without that majority's political input. How is that DEMOCRATIC? IT IS NOT. You then have a situation EXACTLY like apartheid South Africa.

  246. [246] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "The borders of Texas and Maine are not in dispute...

    Further, Texas is not a sovereign country."

    ACTUALLY, the borders of Texas AND Maine at one time, were both in dispute. In Fact, part of Texas's war with Mexico over independence was also over moving the border of Texas from the Nueces river, where Mexico wanted it, to the Rio Grande river, where Texas wanted it. Texas, before joining the USA, was also an independent nation for over a year.

  247. [247] 
    michale wrote:

    ACTUALLY, the borders of Texas AND Maine at one time, were both in dispute.

    At one time aint in the here and now...

    As to #244, why would Israel deny Palestinians Israeli citizenship??

    But my point is, I thought ya'all were against a US Administration dictating to sovereign nations how togovern...

    Apparently, ya'all are ONLY against it when it's a Republican Administration and the dictating is to our enemies...

    Ya'all, apparently, have no problem when a Democrat Administration dictates to our friends and allies...

    522

  248. [248] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "why would Israel deny Palestinians Israeli citizenship??"

    Because, IF they DON'T, then Muslim Palestinians become a democratically elected MAJORITY of Israel's population, and Israel stops being a Jewish nation. See how that works??? Can you imagine say, if Yasser Arafat had become the democratically elected Prime Minister of Israel? You would get a similar result with a one state solution. With continued Israeli settlement activity, we are headed in either one of two outcomes, either another Mideast war, or a one state solution. Either involves Israel's destruction. So why are we funding and supporting Israel's eventual destruction???

  249. [249] 
    John M wrote:

    Also, Trump under the Republican banner, said awful things about Mexicans, Muslims, women and African Americans, and Republicans ate it up. So did the Alt-right, who are extremely anti-Jewish and came out to support Trump and the Republicans in droves. And you still don't think that Republicans practice identity politics also??? REALLY??? Is it because, just maybe, that they have an "R" after their name???

  250. [250] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale[240],

    Why do you insist on posting such rubbish ... because that's what happens to a quote when you omit the context within which it was spoken.

    You know better ...

  251. [251] 
    michale wrote:

    Because, IF they DON'T, then Muslim Palestinians become a democratically elected MAJORITY of Israel's population, and Israel stops being a Jewish nation. See how that works??? Can you imagine say, if Yasser Arafat had become the democratically elected Prime Mini

    Israeli population is 8 million...

    Palestinian population is half that...

    You have a wierd definition of "majority" :D

    Also, Trump under the Republican banner, said awful things about Mexicans, Muslims, women and African Americans, and Republicans ate it up.

    Trump said awful things about ILLEGAL immigrants, terrorist muslims, SOME women who deserved it and NO blacks who didn't attack Trump first...

    If Trump calls Obama and asshole (which he is) and a moron (which he is) you would take that to mean Trump is attacking ALL black Americans..

    It's just spin..

    It's NOT reality...

    And you still don't think that Republicans practice identity politics also???

    Of course, Republicans practice identity politics..

    But, by and large, the ONLY identity that matters with the GOP is AMERICANS....

    I have no problem with that...

  252. [252] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Israeli population is 8 million...

    Palestinian population is half that..."

    NOT QUITE. You FAIL to take into the Arab population of the West Bank, and Israel keeping control of it, which is what we were discussing. Let's break it down now.

    Israel's population: 8 million. Consisting of 6 million Jews and 2 million Arabs. West Bank population, 4.5 million Arabs.

    2 plus 4.5 equals 6.5 million Arabs total and 6 million Jews. That, my friend, gives the Arabs a half million majority. Care to dispute the math???

  253. [253] 
    michale wrote:

    Why do you insist on posting such rubbish ... because that's what happens to a quote when you omit the context within which it was spoken.

    You know better ...

    There is no context that is relevant.. Kerry/Obama is trying to dictate what kind of government the Israelis should have...

    Ya'all are against that when it's a GOP administration...

  254. [254] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    There is no context that is relevant.. Kerry/Obama is trying to dictate what kind of government the Israelis should have.

    They are not. They are trying, Kerry says, to “save the two-state solution while there was still time.”

    Kerry: “Some seem to believe that the U.S. friendship means the U.S. must accept any policy, regardless of our own interests, our own positions, our own words, our own principles — even after urging again and again that the policy must change,” he said. “Friends need to tell each other the hard truths, and friendships require mutual respect.”

    I thought the neo-GOP liked straight, blunt talk and "telling it like it is". Perhaps that isn't true when it comes to their right-wing friends.

    Kerry: “The Israeli prime minister publicly supports a two-state solution, but his current coalition is the most right wing in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by its most extreme elements...The result is that policies of this government — which the prime minister himself just described as ‘more committed to settlements than any in Israel’s history’ — are leading in the opposite direction, towards one state.”

    Moreover, said Kerry the settlements are strategically positioned in such a way as to prevent any coherent border for a Palestinian state.

    With a two state solution, the Palestinians can have any sort of government they choose, and so can the Israelis. But if only one state is possible, then that state can be Jewish or it can be Democratic, but (because of the numbers that John M cites above) it cannot be both.

    That would be bad for the Israelis, leading to more conflict, and bad for the US, because we'd be (by virtue of our 'special' relationship) also be knee deep in said conflict. The US has a right to express its opinion on this topic, because we have, literally, skin in the game and money on the table.

    Context.

  255. [255] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kerry and Obama are trying to ensure that Israel remains a Jewish and democratic state.

    Netanyahu, on the other hand, is effectively working to ensure that Israel is not only isolated in the world and remains in an extremely perilous security situation but, sadly, putting Israel on a path toward having to make a choice between being a Jewish state or an apartheid-like state.

  256. [256] 
    michale wrote:

    They are not. They are trying, Kerry says, to “save the two-state solution while there was still time.”

    There IS not two state "solution"...

    What kind of "state" can the Palestinians, who freely elected a TERRORIST government, have???

    With a two state solution, the Palestinians can have any sort of government they choose

    And, when given the choice, they chose a TERRORIST government..

    Obviously, the Palestinians are too uncivilized to be trusted with a state...

    The US has a right to express its opinion on this topic, because we have, literally, skin in the game and money on the table.

    The Obama administration DID express it's opinion..

    The problem is, it's an opinion that is contrary to the wishes of the majority of Americans, INCLUDING many Democrats...

    Liz,

    Kerry and Obama are trying to ensure that Israel remains a Jewish and democratic state.

    Except, Kerry said just the opposite..

    Kerry said that Israel CAN'T be a jewish state AND a democratic state...

    Kerry said that Israel has to be one or the other but they can't be both..

    I would have thought you of all people here would understand the incredibly bad statement Kerry made...

  257. [257] 
    michale wrote:

    I would love to hear Joshua's take on this... Joshua has even more insight and authority than I do on this issue..

  258. [258] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You hear only what you want to hear, not what is actually said.

    And, that is why it is so frustratingly hard to discuss anything with you, most of the time.

    I just wish you would stop spreading falsehoods around here, of all places ...

  259. [259] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Israel can't be both if they continue building illegal settlements, for reasons that should be obvious.

  260. [260] 
    michale wrote:

    Trump says Sprint will bring 5,000 jobs back to the US; OneWeb will create 3,000 jobs
    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/28/trump-says-sprint-will-bring-5000-jobs-back-to-the-us-oneweb-will-create-3000-jobs.html

    Holy crap!!!

    Trump is da bomb!!!! :D

    "For better or worse, this fleet can only have one commander!!"
    "You're right!!! And we have the wrong one!!!"

    -Battlestar Galactica

    Obama should just quit now.... He is doing WAY more harm than good...

  261. [261] 
    michale wrote:

    Israel can't be both if they continue building illegal settlements, for reasons that should be obvious.

    The problem is, is that they are NOT "illegal" settlements...

    Israel was attacked.. It got that land fair and square by defeating a ruthless quartet of countries and people..

    And the mere fact that Palestinians resort to terrorism means morally, ethically *AND* legally Israel is in the right in whatever they do...

    When the UN pays HALF as much attention to the Palestinian's terrorism as they do to Israel's actions, THEN you might have an argument to make..

    But as long as the UN just gives lip service to the Palestinian terrorism, which is the REAL problem in the region, Israel has the legal, moral and ethical high ground...

  262. [262] 
    michale wrote:

    I just wish you would stop spreading falsehoods around here, of all places ...

    I quoted Kerry's exact words...

    How is that a "falsehood"??

    Let me ask you a simple question..

    IS PALESTINIAN TERRORISM AGAINST ISRAEL AN IMPEDIMENT TO PEACE IN THE REGION??

  263. [263] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yes, Palestinian terrorism against Israel is an impediment to Middle East peace. So is the refusal by some to accept the existence of Israel, along with other issues that must be negotiated between the Israelis and Palestinians if the path chosen is toward a "two-state solution".

    And, far from quoting Kerry exactly, you misquoted him so atrociously that the entire meaning of what he said was completely lost, mostly on you.

    Find the Kerry quote, Michale, and produce it here. It's not much longer than what you have already posted, just a couple of words short, but oh such a critical omission on your part.

  264. [264] 
    John M wrote:

    Elizabeth wrote:

    "Find the Kerry quote, Michale, and produce it here. It's not much longer than what you have already posted, just a couple of words short, but oh such a critical omission on your part."

    Michale wrote:

    "Kerry said that Israel CAN'T be a jewish state AND a democratic state...

    Kerry said that Israel has to be one or the other but they can't be both.."

    NO Michale. that is NOT what Kerry said. You took it ENTIRELY OUT OF CONTEXT. How about I post it for you???

    What Kerry said was:

    "Today, there are a number — there are a similar number of Jews and Palestinians living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. They have a choice. They can choose to live together in one state or they can separate into two states. But here is a fundamental reality, if the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or Democratic, it cannot be both. And it won’t ever really be at peace."

    What Kerry was talking about was Israel losing both its democratic nature and its Jewish character if it insists on trying to control an Arab population that is larger than its own Jewish population while at the same time denying that Arab population full participation on an equal basis in a democratically elected government of a single united state consisting of Israel and the occupied territories of the West Bank.

    What is so hard about the nuances of that statement that is so hard for you to grasp and understand???

  265. [265] 
    michale wrote:

    Let me put it another way...

    How many innocent Palestinians die when Israel builds on land that is rightfully Israel's??

    Answer: NONE

    How many innocent Israels die when Palestinians commit atrocious and heinous terrorist attacks against innocent Israelis???

    Answer: Tens of thousands

    So, it seems to me that the REAL problem is not the settlements, but rather the terrorism...

    When has the UN ever addressed that in any forceful way???

    When has the UN ever condemned the terrorism of the Palestinians except as an afterthought in a resolution that attacks Israel??

    Answer: Never..

  266. [266] 
    michale wrote:

    What is so hard about the nuances of that statement that is so hard for you to grasp and understand???

    Nuance = spin

    I recognize the spin...

    But it is NOTHING but spin...

    Like I said.. The problem isn't the settlements. The problem is the terrorism..

    Ya'all want to condemn Israel solely, but ya'all rarely mention the terrorism unless prompted..

    That shows me that you are on the wrong side of the Israel/Palestinian issue..

    Ya'all are on the side of terrorism..

    And that is a bad side to be on..

    The terrorism against Israel MUST stop...

    THEN... and ONLY then... can the other matters be discussed...

  267. [267] 
    michale wrote:

    Tom Friedman knows more about Israel and its relationship with the US than anybody who frequents these pages and his assessment here is spot on.

    Friedman is with the New York Times and the Times Anti-Israel stance is well documented...

    I could find a great commentary by Alan Derschowitz on Fox News that "proves" how wrong Friedman is.. And ya'all would no more accept that than I accept Friedman's...

    "That's the way the cookie crumbles.."
    -Jim Carrey, BRUCE ALMIGHTY

  268. [268] 
    michale wrote:

    while at the same time denying that Arab population full participation on an equal basis in a democratically elected government of a single united state consisting of Israel and the occupied territories of the West Bank.

    Would YOU want to allow millions and millions of terrorists and terrorist supporters a vote in YOUR government??

    Of course not.. Only a fool and a moron would allow that...

    Look what happened the last time Palestinians were given the vote.. They voted in a terrorist organization as it's government...

    And YOU want to say:

    "OK Israel, you have a choice.. You can either have ONE STATE and allow millions of terrorists and terrorist sympathizers to have a say in your government.

    OR...

    Or you can have TWO STATES with one of those "states" being run by a terrorist organization whose SOLE purpose is the destruction of Israel. Everything else is secondary.."

    And you call that a reasonable, rational choice!!????

    Tell ya what.. You get the Palestinians to disavow and disband Hamas...

    THEN we can talk about the Israeli settlements...

    534

  269. [269] 
    michale wrote:

    And you call that a reasonable, rational choice!!????

    Tell ya what.. You get the Palestinians to disavow and disband Hamas...

    THEN we can talk about the Israeli settlements...

    *THAT* is the only logical and rational way forward.

    Until such time as the Palestinians stop the terrorism, Israel will have the moral, ethical *AND LEGAL* high ground and will be able to do what they want with their land...

    The settlements won't stop until the terrorism does...

    It's that simple...

    And I honestly can't understand how anyone would have a problem with this...

    535

  270. [270] 
    michale wrote:

    JM,

    COME ON Michale, you KNOW Kerry is RIGHT. IF Israel keeps ALL of the West Bank territory, and DOES NOT EXPEL all of the Palestinians living there, OR DENIES them FULL equal Israeli citizenship while they are living on what becomes Israel's territory, then Palestinians become a MAJORITY OF ISRAEL'S population.

    This is simply not factual...

    If Israel annexes the West Bank, that will add 2.8 Million Palestinians to the population of Israel of 8 million...

    Now, it's been a while since I was in a math class, but I don't think that 2.8 million is a majority of 10.8 million... :D

    536

  271. [271] 
    michale wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that Israel DID give the Palestinians a state..

    Gaza...

    And look at what the Palestinians did with it...

    It's a hellhole of government mismanagement..

    The Palestinians simply cannot HAVE a viable state...

    And Obama wants to FORCE a state on them??

    Utterly ridiculous and totally devoid of ANY association with reality....

    537

  272. [272] 
    michale wrote:

    "Today, there are a number — there are a similar number of Jews and Palestinians living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. They have a choice. They can choose to live together in one state or they can separate into two states. But here is a fundamental reality, if the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or Democratic, it cannot be both. And it won’t ever really be at peace."

    Does Lurch *REALLY* think that, if there is a two state solution, that Israel will be able to live in peace??

    Do you??

    The government of the Palestinians STATED Number 1 goal is the destruction of Israel...

    How can you even THINK that a two-state solution will fix the problem when one of those "states" is totally committed to the destruction of the other state???

    Hamas and the Palestinians that support terrorism are the ONLY impediments to peace of any import..

    ANYTHING but the terrorism is a far distant second, as far as impediments go..

    539

  273. [273] 
    michale wrote:

    Kerry noted in his speech that "We have repeatedly and emphatically stressed to the Palestinians that all incitement to violence must stop." Kerry actually spoke at some length about these Palestinian practices, as if repeating how much he dislikes them strengthened his point. But it does not, because the United States has been complaining about this for all eight years of the Obama administration to no effect whatsoever. The key point is that the Palestinians are never penalized for glorifying terror and the U.N. resolution doesn't penalize them either. The resolution will harm Israel and do nothing at all to the Palestinians, which means it is not balanced and Kerry's argument here is simply false.

    Kerry did acknowledge that the settlements per se are not "the whole or even primary cause" of the failure to achieve a peace deal, and that land swaps would actually absorb most of the settler population into Israel. And he was certainly right to note that the more settlers who live beyond the Israeli security barrier, the harder it will be to get political support in any Israeli coalition government for a peace agreement under which they must move out. He was right to suggest that the strength of the settler movement makes it hard for any prime minister to negotiate and to challenge the logic of an increasing settler population in outlying areas that under any conceivable agreement would not form part of Israel. And Kerry also had some practical suggestions about how life can be made better for Palestinians, for example by expanding their economic activities in Area C, which comprises 60 percent of the West Bank.

    Had he focused on such practical steps for the last four years, had he made his case about settlement activity without the apocalyptic tone, and had he ever penalized the Palestinians for actually killing Israelis and then glorifying those acts, his arguments might be more persuasive and receive a larger audience than they will today. At this moment, they seem like the last defense of a policy that has achieved nothing except damaging bilateral relations.

    Kerry presented himself as a devoted friend of Israel, but what came through far more powerfully was his complete failure to understand how progress could be made. He and Obama tried from the start to reach an impossible comprehensive deal (just as Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had done) rather than focus on the incremental progress that really might have been achieved. To call for such incremental progress, three weeks before he leaves office, is folly; he wasted four years and Obama wasted eight viewing such steps as "small ball" unworthy of great men such as they. Kerry's speech called for "realistic steps on the ground" now to establish the path forward. If only he had said that in 2013 when he took office, or Obama had said it in 2009, progress might actually have been possible.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/john-kerrys-final-harmful-insult-to-israel/article/2006074

    Word....

    541

  274. [274] 
    michale wrote:

    Let me emphasize: this is not to say that the settlements are the whole or even primary cause of the conflict – of course they are not.
    -John Kerry

    Kerry is saying the EXACT same thing that I am saying..

    The problem is that Kerry doesn't really believe this, even though it is 1000% factual...

    542

  275. [275] 
    michale wrote:

    Can anyone point out a SINGLE UN resolution that solely and completely condemns Palestinian terrorism and outlines sanctions against the Palestinians for their continued acts of terrorism???

    Nope... No one can....

    I rest my case...

    543

  276. [276] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Trump says Sprint will bring 5,000 jobs back to the US; OneWeb will create 3,000 jobs

    Holy crap!!!

    Trump is da bomb!!!! :D"

    You do KNOW that Trump is NOTHING of the kind, right??? ALL those those Sprint and OneWeb jobs Trump says he created were part of a $50 billion investment plan Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. developed in October, ahead of his election. The plan was announced earlier in December following a meeting between SoftBank’s billionaire owner, Masayoshi Son, and the president-elect. Trump took credit for that investment plan too, even though (again) it predated his election.

  277. [277] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Like I said.. The problem isn't the settlements. The problem is the terrorism.."

    First of all Michale, FACTS are NOT "spin." Secondly I was not talking about settlements. What I have been talking about all along is Israel annexing territory over the hostile objections of the Arabs who are living there, and who then would become part of Israeli society against their will.

    Michale wrote:

    "The settlements won't stop until the terrorism does..."

    However, since you insist on talking about them instead of the actual subject at hand, since you constantly change the subject to them, fine.

    My take on it is this: The terrorism won't stop until the settlement activity does.

    It REALLY is that SIMPLE.

  278. [278] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "If Israel annexes the West Bank, that will add 2.8 Million Palestinians to the population of Israel of 8 million...

    Now, it's been a while since I was in a math class, but I don't think that 2.8 million is a majority of 10.8 million... :D"

    What is your problem with math Michale??? Did you really fail that badly at it in school???

    We have already said that the Israeli population of 8 million consists of 6 million Jews and 2 million Arabs, NOT 8 million Jews. Did you miss that part??? Even if you only add 2.8 million Arabs to the already 2 million Arabs living INSIDE Israel right now, that still gives you a population of 4.8 million out of 10.8 million which is nearly HALF the population!

    The USA had enough trouble with a hostile minority whose land we took over, namely the long Indian wars with our own Native Americans, and they were only a tiny fraction of our population.

    Do you really want to condemn Israel to an endless war with HALF its own population???

  279. [279] 
    michale wrote:

    You do KNOW that Trump is NOTHING of the kind, right??? ALL those those Sprint and OneWeb jobs Trump says he created were part of a $50 billion investment plan Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. developed in October, ahead of his election. The plan was announced earlier in December following a meeting between SoftBank’s billionaire owner, Masayoshi Son, and the president-elect. Trump took credit for that investment plan too, even though (again) it predated his election.

    That is not entirely accurate...

    The investment of 100 Billion was established back in October...

    50 Billion of that was decided to go to the US to create jobs AFTER Trump won the election...

    Do you really want to condemn Israel to an endless war with HALF its own population???

    How is that any different than it is right now??

    Will innocent Israelis be any less dead???

    Why can't you condemn the Palestinians for their terrorism without adding a condemnation of Israel??

    The FIRST problem that MUST be addressed is the terrorism committed by Palestinians..

    Until that is addressed, Israel has the moral, ethical and legal high ground for ANYTHING Israel does up to, but not including, terrorism itself....

    It's THAT simple...

  280. [280] 
    michale wrote:

    When all is said and done....

    Ya'all want to condemn Israel for trespassing...

    I want to condemn Palestinians for terrorism and brutally murdering tens of thousands of innocent Israelis...

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