ChrisWeigant.com

My 2016 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 30th, 2016 – 18:22 PST ]

Welcome back to our annual year-end awards column!

We have to begin our second half with a big mea culpa for an inadvertent error in Part 1 of this column, last week. We mistakenly gave a humorous "Honorable Mention" award to George Washington University, for (as we put it) "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.'"

We were politely contacted (by tweet) by G.W.U. and informed of our mistake, for which we'd like to apologize. Instead, this amusing news item came from George Mason University. We have corrected this on our site in last week's column, and thank the G.W. media relations people for not being too snarky about our error.

OK, with the old business out of the way, let's get on with the final group of year-end awards, shall we?

 

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   Destined For Political Stardom

Maybe the Democrats will decide to fight fire with fire, and start grooming their own celebrity candidates. If this turns out to be the case, it would certainly widen this field. Perhaps Destined For Political Stardom should go to someone like Mark Cuban (who is reported to be considering entering politics in a big way) or maybe Michael Moore?

But we're going to go a little more conventional with our choices here. In fact, we're sticking pretty close to home. We have two Californians who fit the bill, and we simply couldn't decide between the two so we're handing the Destined For Political Stardom award to both our incoming freshman senator Kamala Harris, and our (quite likely) soon-to-be governor, Gavin Newsom. If things progress as expected, we may also have another Senate slot open up in 2018, as Senator Dianne Feinstein is widely expected to forgo another re-election run, so California may be the best Democratic "bench" for up-and-comers for the next few years.

Both Harris and Newsom have already made their mark on politics in the Golden State, but our guess is that the rest of the country will start becoming more familiar with their names as well. Either one could be a plausible presidential candidate in 2020 or 2024, because we believe both are indeed Destined For Political Stardom.

 

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   Destined For Political Oblivion

If we wanted to be extra-snarky, we'd hand the Destined For Political Oblivion award to Hillary Rodham Clinton. But we're not in an especially snarky mood today, so we'll just mention that in passing.

There were many more nominees on the Republican side this year, starting with all 16 primary candidates who failed to stop the Trump train. Most of them are headed for oblivion in one fashion or another. While a few managed to suck up to Trump successfully enough to get a plum job (Rick Perry, for instance), and a few managed to retain or win back their old job (Rand Paul, Marco Rubio), the majority of them are headed nowhere politically.

We could always give the award to Jeb Bush, but we heaped enough scorn on him last week, so we'll leave him alone. Instead, a special mention is deserved for all those who sucked up to Trump the most -- and were left with nothing to show for it. Mitt Romney springs to mind, although (again) we beat up on Mittens pretty good last week. Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani tried to weasel their way in to Trump's inner circle, to no avail.

But one man stood head and shoulders above the rest when it came to debasing themselves publicly in fawning adoration of Trump -- with nothing to show for it at the end of the day. Yes, we speak of none other than Chris Christie. His "blink if you're here under duress" hostage appearances standing behind Trump at a lectern were so notable for showing the depths a politician would sink for advancement that he certainly deserves some sort of award, we feel. While Christie's job approval rating as governor sank like a cement-footed body into a New Jersey swamp, he desperately tried to attain a Trump administration job (heavy betting was on him becoming attorney general, since he began as a federal prosecutor). To no good end, as it turned out that one of the people he prosecuted was none other than Trump's son-in-law's father. Whoops! This pretty much guaranteed he'd never get a juicy administration job, which Christie really should have been smart enough to figure out before turning in such a cringeworthy (and public) performance of sucking up to Trump in any way he could (including going out for fast-food takeout for the Trumpster). Christie now has no political future in national politics, and no real legacy in New Jersey other than "Bridgegate" and charting the lowest approval rating of any Garden State governor in history. So Chris Christie is indeed Destined For Political Oblivion.

 

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   Best Political Theater

If we took this award literally, we'd have to add it to the mountain of awards already given to the musical Hamilton. Furthermore, if we read it as "Best Politics Performed In A Theater," we'd give it to the Hamilton cast for saying exactly what they felt to Mike Pence, in the audience.

If we interpreted this award (as we sometimes do) as "Best Political Satire," then we'd have to give it to Stephen Colbert, who had a running bit on his late-night show where he donned a Hunger Games outfit and gave a "tribute to the fallen" for each presidential candidate (on both sides) as they bowed out of the race. These little vignettes just got funnier and funnier as more and more of them dropped out, in fact, and were one of the few truly hilarious things to look forward to during the primary campaign.

We really had four finalists in this category to choose from, which we'll get to in a moment, but first we'd like to note for the record the passing of what has to be the longest bit of political theater in all of American history, performed by a woman whose name most don't even recognize. We gave her our weekly "Most Impressive" award earlier this year, upon her death, but Concepcion Picciotto deserves mentioning again here at the end of the year as well. Picciotto joined a protest across the street from the White House (against nuclear proliferation -- "No Nukes" was big in the 1980s) in the year 1981, when Ronald Reagan was president. She continued her protest right up to her death this year, making it a 35-year-long protest. As we said, quite probably the longest-running political theater of all time. That is indeed dedication to a cause, and her record in Lafayette Park will likely never be broken.

First of our four finalists for 2016, though, was Colin Kaepernick taking a knee or sitting down rather than standing for the national anthem at 49ers football games. This certainly was effective, since while he didn't try to draw attention to his protest at first (it took a few exhibition games before the sports media even noticed it), he certainly did reach one of the widest audiences for such a political statement, and drew comparisons to the two San Jose State runners who gave "black power" salutes during the anthem after winning medals at the 1968 Olympics.

The second two of our four finalists were related, because they were both done in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting. Senator Chris Murphy staged the ninth-longest filibuster in Senate history to force a vote on a gun control bill, which he succeeded in doing, at the end -- but only after speaking non-stop for almost 15 hours. That's impressive political theater indeed. Then the House got in on the act, as John Lewis staged a sit-in on the House floor to demand a gun control vote as well. This "Occupy Congress" action lasted an even-more-impressive 25 hours, and truly got under the skin of the Republican leadership. When Paul Ryan ordered the cameras shut down, the Democrats supporting Lewis pulled out their phones and began streaming it to the web. This very week, Ryan is trying to push for a new House rule that would fine any member a whopping $2,500 for beaming images of what is happening in the people's House to the public -- which truly shows just how much this stunt annoyed him.

But instead the winner of the 2016 Best Political Theater goes to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose months-long protest over the Dakota Access Pipeline was ultimately successful -- more successful than anyone imagined, when they began their protest. America saw images of people in authority turning dogs on peaceful protesters, and (worst of all) water cannons being used against them in sub-freezing temperatures. In the end, the Army Corps of Engineers relented and stopped the pipeline from being built. The tribe's water supplies are no longer threatened by the construction of an oil pipeline, all because people stood up for what they believed in for month after month after month on the windswept Dakota plains. Well done, and congratulations on your protest's success!

 

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   Worst Political Theater

As usual, we have so many choices here that we're just going to quickly list all the runners-up.

The pointless and unsuccessful armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon.

Donald Trump's manipulation of live cable news -- getting them to show endless shots of an empty podium (in anticipation of a "major announcement") multiple times during the campaign.

Rudy Giuliani's speech at the Republican National Convention (we thought he was going to have a stroke, right there on the stage, personally).

Ted Cruz, in full desperation mode, announcing that Carly Fiorina was going to be his running mate -- right before he bowed out of the presidential race.

Chris Christie's "hostage video."

Donald Trump celebrating Cinco de Mayo by tweeting a photo of him eating a taco bowl -- it's hard to beat that one just for sheer awfulness, in fact.

Trump's victory "thank-you" tour, after being elected.

Every single GOP primary debate -- with special emphasis on the "undercard" (or "kiddie table") debates for those who were polling at like one percent. Please, gods of television, can we never be subjected to that again? Pretty please?

But we're going to be fair and balanced and hand out two Worst Political Theater awards this year, one to Donald Trump for his failed stunt at one of the general election debates, when he tried to seat all the accusers of Bill Clinton's sexual misconduct in his family's seating area (which he was prevented from doing). He also held a little press conference so the cameras could get a good look at them all, but to no avail. Bubba's misconduct simply never became a political issue for Hillary during the campaign, and it did nothing to distract people from "Pussygate," so it has to be deemed a total political theater failure.

Our second Worst Political Theater award goes to Hillary Clinton, for her "basket of deplorables" speech to donors. Seriously, this is the third time in a row a presidential candidate has been recorded denigrating a large portion of the electorate on the campaign trail. First we had Barack Obama's "cling to their guns and religion" and then there was Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comment. We quoted both of these in their entirety (because when shortened, you lose the context of what they were talking about) in the column written in response to Hillary, which we started off with: "Hillary Clinton made a deplorable basket case this weekend." Kidding aside, you just have to wonder when presidential candidates (from either party) are going to realize that: number one, you are never not being recorded on the campaign trail; and, two, that it is a monumentally bad idea to insult a huge chunk of voters. You'd think this sort of thing would be taught in Politics 101, but apparently not. Clinton's remark will long be remembered, which is why it is worthy of a Worst Political Theater award.

 

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   Worst Political Scandal

We're inclined to just say "the media's coverage of Donald Trump" and leave it at that, since their behavior was (for the most part) nothing short of scandalous, from beginning to end. We could also just give it to "Republicans supporting a man they know isn't really one of them," which was also pretty scandalous. Then there's always Anthony Weiner, or possibly Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

But the choice is really obvious this year. The Worst Political Scandal was Russia hacking in to an American election. This scandal was bad for a number of reasons. First, it exposed the shenanigans at the Democratic National Committee (which forced Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign on the eve of the Democratic National Convention). Second, Hillary Clinton did not utilize it politically very well (Barack Obama also bears some of this blame). The phrase "Ronald Reagan would be spinning in his grave to hear Republicans dismiss Russian interference in a U.S. election" should have been used before the election, not after. Which is really the biggest scandal of all -- the GOP's non-response to the scandal itself. We may see this turn around early next year, if John McCain and Lindsey Graham have anything to say about it, but that doesn't do Hillary Clinton any good at this point. Worst Political Scandal was easily the Russian hack.

 

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   Most Underreported Story

We are strongly inclined to give the 2016 Most Underreported Story to last year's winner -- Bernie Sanders's campaign for president. The media continued to all but ignore Bernie Sanders, and treat Hillary Clinton as the inevitable nominee even while Bernie was surging. But, like we said, we did that last year.

We could also hand this award to "Congress shamefully failing to address an ongoing health emergency" by refusing to act on emergency funds to fight the Zika virus -- for a large portion of the year. Instead of appropriating money for mosquito eradication when it would have been best spent (when the weather got warmer), Congress dithered for over half a year. This is nothing short of a disgrace, and the media absolutely fell down on the job of pointing out how dangerous Republican obstructionism in Congress had gotten. Lives were at stake, and they refused to act. That's a pretty big story not to report, we have to admit.

But instead, we are going to get specific this year, and hand the Most Underreported Story this year to David Fahrenthold at the Washington Post, who did a bang-up job of trying to get the rest of the media interested in a big story, mostly to no avail. Fahrenthold deserves a Pulitzer for his reporting, because he stuck to the basics -- he did the months of investigation and digging to uncover all the scandals surrounding the Donald J. Trump Foundation. This story broke early in the year with the revelation that Trump hadn't made good on his pledge -- given onstage while Trump was sitting out a GOP primary debate -- to donate $6 million to veterans' causes. Turns out Trump made the pledge and then never actually got around to handing any money out. Fahrenthold called every veterans non-profit he could, to see if any Trump money had come their way. When he finally realized virtually no money could be found, he called Trump's campaign for a statement. That week, in a flurry of activity, donations began to be made (some of them in the middle of the night).

From this beginning, Fahrenthold went on to uncover the stories of the Trump Foundation illegally making a campaign donation to a state attorney general who was considering bringing a case against Trump University (and who, not surprisingly, decided not to prosecute -- after the check cleared), the story of Trump using foundation money to buy two gigantic portraits of himself (which he then illegally hung at his own resort), and the story of Trump actually paying off personal lawsuits using over a quarter-million dollars of his foundation's money (which is also illegal).

During all of this, the media spent more time breathlessly "reporting" on the Clinton Foundation, even though there was no comparable scandal to the Trump Foundation to be found.

Fahrenthold , as we said, deserves a Pulitzer for his digging. The rest of the media deserve a wet and loud raspberry for utterly failing to do their jobs on this story. Most Underreported Story of 2016 was the multiple illegal doings at the Trump Foundation.

 

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   Most Overreported Story

This one is so simple it really requires no explanation. We will instead merely use the immortal words of her primary competitor: "The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!"

Granted, the Democrats certainly deserve some of the blame, for nominating a woman currently under F.B.I. investigation. But for all the ink spilled (oceans of it) and for all the television time spent (hours of it), there simply was no there there. Bernie was right, but the media never quite seemed to get the message. Most Overreported Story was Hillary Clinton's email server.

 

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   Biggest Government Waste

Well, we could give this to the time and money spent investigating Hillary's email scandal, but that just got the last award, so we'll pick something else instead.

Biggest Government Waste this year was the Electoral College. For the second time in the past 16 years, the winner of the popular vote did not win the presidency. Now, maybe we're a wee bit biased, since in both instances this meant the Democrat who won the most votes lost the election, but even so, just try explaining how a candidate with almost 3,000,000 more votes lost the election to someone from a foreign country, and you'll soon wind up sounding like you're justifying an election in a banana republic.

Why does America not just count the votes? "History" is the only real answer, but it's becoming less and less tenable over time. There is a real effort (the National Popular Vote movement) to change this, but the only way it could be both successful and accepted would have been if a Republican had won the popular vote but lost the election -- because right now the states that have joined the N.P.V. bandwagon are all blue states. If a wave of red states had also joined up (say, if Trump got more votes than Hillary but lost in the Electoral College), then it would be a true bipartisan effort. Absent that sort of outcome, the movement is likely to fail.

Fixing the problem aside, though, the Biggest Government Waste of the year was definitely the Electoral College. Once again.

 

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   Best Government Dollar Spent

Planned Parenthood, maybe? They certainly do the most good with the government money they get, and are fighting a wave of conservative laws aimed at cutting them off.

But we're going to get extra-specific here, too, and give Best Government Dollar Spent to the money it took to reopen the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba. This will be seen as an extremely historic (and long overdue) addition to Barack Obama's presidential legacy, even if it hasn't gotten nearly the attention it should have.

Now that Fidel Castro's dead, perhaps the island nation can make some real progress towards respectability on the world stage once again, and the re-opening of relations between America and Cuba is a large step towards ending a half-century old foreign policy that utterly, utterly failed. Obama realized the futility of continuing this policy, and boldly moved to end it -- even traveling to Cuba personally to cement this part of his presidential legacy. Reopening our embassy was, to us, the Best Government Dollar Spent last year.

 

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   Boldest Political Tactic

We could go international with this one and hand it to "Brexit," but we gave Brexit an award last week, so we'll look to domestic politics instead.

We have two awards in this category, both of them for Republicans. Sorry Democrats, but when the primary voters rejected Bernie, they also rejected any sort of boldness in their 2016 politics. To their loss, we might add.

Instead, we have to give Trump the Boldest Political Tactic -- and for three reasons, to boot. First, his tactic of "lie your face off and not care who corrects it" was undoubtedly the boldest thing seen in American politics since perhaps Teddy Roosevelt's antics. Second, his tactic of "reverse your position so many times nobody has any freakin' idea where you stand on it" was equally as bold. And finally, Trump's decision after he had locked up the nomination not to "pivot to the center" (as most presidential candidates do when the primaries are over), but instead to "pivot to the absolute fringe" was breathtakingly bold, no matter what you thought of the people and groups he started pandering to. So, all around, Trump's entire campaign wins a Boldest Political Tactic award for sheer brazenness.

Our second award goes to Senate Republicans, for just refusing to vote on the confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee. The chattering classes gasped when they flat-out admitted that this was what they were going to do -- while Antonin Scalia's body was still warm. Predictions were made that they'd pay a heavy political price for such naked and unprecedented partisanship, but these predictions (for the most part) turned out to be false. Not only was this one of the Boldest Political Tactics of the year, it worked.

 

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   Best Idea

Um, Bernie Sanders's entire platform?

We could just generically give Best Idea to "Populism," since so many people define it in different ways.

Our actual runner-up in this category is a $15-an-hour minimum wage for everybody. You can live on that. You just can't, on what the minimum wage is at now. Several states have passed laws upping their minimum wage either by legislation or by referendum, and their economies have not collapsed. This idea isn't really new, but the addition of California and New York (or, at least, New York City) to the ranks of $15-for-all was a big step in the right direction this year.

But this year we have to award Best Idea to the legalization of recreational marijuana for adult use. Legalization had its biggest year ever in 2016, and it was barely treated as a news story because the idea has become so commonplace. Colorado and Washington state blazed the pioneering path, Oregon and Alaska followed, but this year four out of five legalization ballot initiatives passed -- Nevada, California (making weed legal on the entire West Coast, all the way up to Alaska), as well as Maine and Massachusetts (the first two East Coast states to jump on this tax receipt bonanza). The War On Weed is now doomed to extinction. We've still got a long way to go, but when fully one-fifth of the nation's population can legally buy recreational weed, the writing on the wall is clear to see. Marijuana legalization ballot initiatives were the Best Idea of 2016, hands down.

 

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   Worst Idea

It was truly a banner crop of Worst Idea candidates, starting with "the notion that Donald Trump can be president" easily leading the list. Because there are so many, we'll just mention each briefly in passing here before handing out the award.

Slapping China with a 45-percent tariff.

Letting Trump pick his own cabinet -- that's a pretty bad idea, obviously.

North Carolina's "bathroom ordinance," which took down the Republican governor this year.

California's "jungle primary" system, which pitted two Democrats (and no Republicans) against each other for a Senate seat this year.

Looking back in time, John McCain naming Sarah Palin as his running mate, which set the bar so low for who could be considered presidential that it really set up the run of Trump.

The concept that there were three or four "lanes" in the Republican primary, and all a candidate had to do was win their lane (whether the establishment, Tea Party, social conservative, or whatever lane) -- while ignoring Donald Trump -- and the Republican nomination was theirs. That was a pretty bad idea, in retrospective.

Bill Clinton deciding to take a stroll across the tarmac and visit Loretta Lynch's plane. Bad idea, Bubba -- with disastrous consequences.

Hillary Clinton's praise of Henry Kissinger -- in a Democratic primary debate of all places. Oh, and Hillary praising Nancy Reagan for "all she did for AIDS" when she was, in fact, a major impediment to addressing the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Both monumentally stupid ideas.

The government forcing tech companies to break their customers' encryption. Apple thankfully wasn't put to the test (the feds cracked the data on their own), but this is going to be a bigger and bigger problem in the future.

Trying to "claw back" signup bonuses given to members of the military to re-enlist while America was fighting two wars. This his got to be the stupidest thing we've ever heard of, politically.

Those are all pretty bad ideas. But the Worst Idea was -- thankfully -- pretty much completely ignored. We hesitate to even draw attention to it now, because we'd hate to be any sort of reason anyone revived such a stupid (and, so-far, unnoticed) idea.

In June of 2016, Newt Gingrich (as he is wont to do) uttered a brain-bogglingly stupid idea, in the midst of all the rest of his usual blather and nonsense, proposed reviving the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAAC). We wrote a rather long article explaining the idea itself and why it was so terrifyingly wrong, saying in part:

For those unfamiliar with the name, the House Un-American Activities Committee, or "HUAAC" (sometimes spelled "HUAC") was one of the most disgraceful episodes in all of American history. In fact, I consider the entire concept of the committee to be one of the most un-American and tyrannical overreaches of the federal government of (at the very least) the entire twentieth century. I'm not alone in this, either, as in 1959 none other than Harry Truman (after he left the presidency) called HUAAC the "most un-American thing in the country today." If you never learned about HUAAC in school, think Joe McCarthy and all the red-baiting anti-communist fervor. Think Hollywood blacklists. Think Japanese internment. Some of the most shameful events of the century either came straight out of HUAAC or were closely linked to the hysteria it generated.

. . .

If America ever got back into a boots-on-the-ground war again, with hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers in a Muslim land (a distinct possibility no matter who becomes president), then the committee would easily shift gears to begin investigations of any groups opposed to such a war (remember Code Pink and other anti-war groups being targeted, roughly 10-15 years ago?). Who knows where a new HUAAC would stop? Again, if controlled by Republicans, they could easily make the case that pretty much any liberal group they didn't agree with was, by their definition, "un-American."

This is why a new HUAAC is such a monstrously dangerous idea. Its very existence -- right there in the name of the committee for all to see -- would be to determine what was acceptably "American" and what was "un-American." That very concept is about as un-American as can be imagined. What gives some right-wing politician (or, for that matter, some left-wing politician) the right to determine what is acceptably "American" and what is not? You won't find that anywhere in the text of the Constitution, that's for sure.

Thankfully enough, nobody else seemed to even notice Newt's bad idea. Like most of his off-the-cuff brain farts, it was completely ignored by the media. Thankfully. With a President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan, the last thing we need right now is to give hotheads in the House the power to determine what is "American" and "un-American."

Worst Idea of 2016 by a longshot was Newt's "let's bring back HUAAC." The very concept is frightening. Thank your lucky stars nobody noticed it at the time, that's all we can say.

 

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   Sorry To See You Go

In a professional sense, we are certainly going to be sorry to see Obama leave the Oval Office, that's for sure. But, as in the Oscars, this category is really about notable deaths during 2016.

We wrote a whole article earlier this week on the non-political figures we're sorry to see go (which mostly centered on Keith Emerson and Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer).

In the political world, we lost John Glenn and Janet Reno this year. Also (for his political views, not for his boxing) we have to note the passage of Mohammed Ali. Tragically, British Member of Parliament Jo Cox was brutally assassinated for her "remain" stance on Brexit. And 49 people who did nothing more than go to a nightclub in Florida became terrorism's worst American victims this year.

From the world of journalism, we are still deeply mourning the passage of Gwen Ifill, one of the most cheerful television news anchors (and also one of the sharpest) we've ever seen.

But rather than making this a catchall award this year, we are specifically giving the Sorry To See You Go award this year to John McLaughlin, who created this list of year-end awards on his political chatfest show The McLaughlin Group. While we seldom agreed with John's political position (instead cheering for panel regulars Eleanor Clift and Clarence Page), we always would listen to what he had to say. He wasn't always completely coherent (he did even dabble in conspiracy theory, at times), but he was always entertaining to listen to. We miss the McLaughlin Group, and we most especially are missing the fact that there are no official 2016 McLaughlin awards being broadcast in the final two weekends of the year. It was always fun to see who Pat Buchanan gave awards to, and always fun to see if any of our awards matched any on the real show. That will no longer happen, sadly, which is why for the first time since we started these homage columns, we are giving Sorry To See You Go to a single person -- John McLaughlin. Requiescat in pace, John. As you always closed your show with, we bid you the final: "Bye-bye!"

 

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   15 Minutes Of Fame

There were a few of these from the course of the year, from Harambe the Gorilla to Pokémon Go. Scott Baio probably deserves inclusion. Feel free to make your own additions, as this is a catchall category.

We'd give two 15 Minutes Of Fame awards out ourselves, to the Khans who made such a powerful anti-Trump statement (in their grief over losing their son) at the Democratic National Convention, and to Ken Bone, the guy in the sweater at one of the general election presidential debates. Both proved Andy Warhol right by reaping their 15 Minutes Of Fame this year.

 

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   Best Spin

We honestly hate to give her two awards, really we do. We cringe at the thought of awarding her anything, in fact, especially two positive ones (one "Best" and one "Most").

But the Best Spin in the entire political universe wasn't an actual answer to a journalist's question. It was a human being. Because Kellyanne Conway is actually political spin in human form. She's that good at it. She embodies spin. In the future, you'll look up "political spin" in the dictionary, and her smiling face will be all the explanation necessary.

There was really nobody else even in the same ballpark. Kellyanne Conway could sell icemakers to Eskimos. She could sell clothes at a nudist resort. She sold the American electorate on the idea that Trump was an acceptable choice for president, which nobody else had managed to do.

She is, as we said, spin personified. Best Spin of the year goes to Kellyanne Conway in a unanimous decision.

 

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   Most Honest Person

This one was easy, because it was quantified. Hillary Clinton was the Most Honest Person on the campaign trail this year. Well, depending on how you counted, Bernie could also have been said to have been Most Honest (in some tallies), but we gave Bernie this award last year, so fair is fair.

Hillary Clinton -- dubbed "Crooked Hillary" by her opponent -- was measurably the Most Honest Person running for president. The scorekeepers gave her the fewest lies and the most truths from the campaign trail.

Donald Trump (no surprise) was the least honest person running (this includes everyone from the primaries, just to clarify).

 

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   Most Overrated

There were quite a few candidates for Most Overrated this year. Hillary Clinton, to name a big one. Jeb Bush for another. The entire concept of how wonderfully deep the "GOP bench" was -- when none of them could beat Trump. Ben Carson certainly springs to mind as being vastly overrated as a politician.

But we're going with an entire field of study in politics this year, because "public opinion polling" was the Most Overrated thing we can think of. We are not alone in stating that our trust in the correctness of polls has been deeply shaken by the election results. This wasn't a failure of a single poll or even a failure in a single state. This was across the board. Everyone got it wrong. All of them. People who are highly compensated to let the rest of us know what the public mood is, in fact, actually screwed the pooch in 2016.

Polling's high regard might never recover, in fact. People across the political spectrum might just decide to ignore the polls altogether. This could be a fatal blow to the entire polling industry, but that remains to be seen. For now, the Most Overrated of 2016 were the presidential polls.

 

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   Most Underrated

Since we gave this award to Donald Trump last year, we feel there's no need to repeat this time around.

There were a few minor candidates in this field (Ivanka Trump, Michelle Obama, and Joe Biden), but once again we have to award Most Underrated to an intangible. Because "voter anger" was the clear winner this year. The polling certainly didn't reflect it (see previous award), the media didn't pick up on it, but it was there to see in all those thousands of miles of "flyover country" regularly disdained by coastal media elites. If you drove around rural America you saw a whole lot of Trump signs and virtually no Hillary signs this year. The support and excitement Trump generated (much of it negative, feeding into voter anger) was a lot more profound than any of us realized until it was too late.

The angry voter was indeed the Most Underrated force in American politics last year.

 

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   Predictions

Finally (finally!) we come to the last category. Anyone still reading this should go ahead and award themselves Most Stamina In Reading An Insanely Long Column award for doing so (ahem).

Before making 2017 predictions, we always review our own record to see how we did last time around. Here were our predictions for 2016, from last year's column:

I'm doubling down on a bad prediction made last year, and once again predicting that Paul Ryan will be successful in reining in the Tea Partiers. This will mean Congress begins to function in a much more normal way that it has for the entire Boehner speakership. Ryan will be cut much more slack by the Tea Partiers, and things will get done without all the pointless drama.

The economy will continue to slowly improve, so much so that it becomes a secondary issue (at best) in the presidential campaign. Voters will start caring about other issues more than the economy, in other words.

Sadly, the frequency of mass shootings will not abate, meaning we get a big one every couple of weeks, as some sort of hellish "new normal."

The Islamic State will keep losing ground (in Iraq, especially), and will lose two of their three biggest Iraqi cities (Mosul, Fallujah, and Ramadi). Ramadi is close to being liberated even now, so this may actually happen in 2015. But the main "capital" of the Islamic State in Syria will not be liberated next year.

Barack Obama will get a big setback next summer, as the Supreme Court rules against his plans to revamp immigration and deportation policy. The conservatives on the court will argue he is overstepping his prosecutorial discretion, and they will decide against Obama.

And I've saved the biggest ones for last: election predictions!

Donald Trump will easily become the Republican presidential nominee, shocking many inside the Beltway. He will name an outsider for his veep choice (Jesse Ventura, maybe?), and the Republican National Convention will be the most interesting in decades, as the party establishment rends its garments and pulls its hair in one way or another.

Hillary Clinton will also skate to her own nomination. She'll pick someone from a swing state to be her running mate (Ohio, or maybe Florida?).

Five states (including, at the very least, California and Maine) will legalize recreational marijuana use by ballot initiative. One other state (Vermont or Rhode Island, most likely) will legalize marijuana through their state legislature.

Democrats will take back the Senate, although their margin will be very thin. Democrats will pick up seats in the House, but they will fail to retake the chamber.

And, lastly, Hillary Clinton becomes President-Elect Clinton, with a landslide in the Electoral College where she gets over 350 (but not as high as 400) out of 538.

So, let's see how I did. There was less pointless drama in the House this year, as the Tea Partiers mostly kept quiet. However, nothing much got done. So I'll give myself only half a point for this one.

The economy did continue to improve, but it was front-and-center in both campaigns, from income inequality on the left to protectionism on trade on the right. Have to say I got that one wrong.

That mass shooting one is both vague and depressing, so I'm not even going to include it in the scoring -- it's impossibly to quantify.

I came closest to a perfect prediction on the Islamic State, I have to say. They lost both Ramadi and Fallujah, and Mosul is under attack right now (but has not fallen). Raqqa, the Islamic State's de facto "capital" is still under their control as well.

Obama did lose on the Supreme Court, but with only eight justices, so it didn't really set a legal precedent. Still, I'm awarding myself a full point for this one.

Donald Trump did easily become the GOP nominee, but went ultra-conventional for his veep pick, so only half a point here. There was indeed some garment-rending at both conventions this year, as well.

Hillary Clinton didn't exactly "skate" to the nomination, but she got there in the end. She also picked a swing state veep candidate (and Tim Kaine did deliver Virginia for the Dems), so we're going to award a full point here as well.

Recreational marijuana was only legalized in four states (not five), and no legislature actually did so. So only half a point is warranted here, I feel.

Democrats did pick up seats in the House, but failed to take the Senate. Only half a point for that.

And that last prediction, obviously, gets no credit whatsoever. Thank you, James Comey.

Let's see, where does that leave our record? Ten total predictions, with one disqualified for being too vague (and depressing). Out of nine, I had three come true, four come only half-true, and four where I just was talking through my hat. That's a total of five right out of nine, which is (at least) better than half.

I do have to point out, in defense of my prognostication record, the article I wrote exactly one year ago today, which was titled "How Trump Could Win It All." I listed four things which could derail a Hillary Clinton candidacy, and came pretty close on two of them. The first on my list was "F.B.I. investigation concludes," where I said of the result: "If it comes out in October, the damage may be impossible for Hillary to overcome."

Two others didn't really affect the election ("Economic downturn" and "Terrorist attack"), but my fourth item was a "Health problem" for Hillary. I predicted: "If Hillary Clinton collapsed at the podium -- on camera -- while giving a speech in mid-October, Donald Trump will certainly not be shy about ripping into Clinton for her 'weakness' (as he would surely put it)." This did indeed happen, although it happened in September, at the 9/11 memorial event.

But while all of that boosts my prediction confidence level, it doesn't count because it wasn't in the year-end awards column. So let's move on from looking back and instead cast our eyes into the future. Here are my predictions for 2017. Most interesting suggestion I got from my readers for this was vague but also very amusing: "[2017] will be like watching someone on a rollercoaster getting a root canal." Ouch! Here are my predictions for next year:

Trump's inauguration will be devoid of big-name celebrities, and Trump will be petulant about this snub. This is pretty much a lock already, in fact. There will be clashes between Trump supporters and Trump protesters at the actual Inauguration ceremony, out in the crowd.

Paul Ryan will be able to have Trump sign pretty much anything he wants for a certain period of time. The Republican Congress will attempt to pass their entire agenda, and whatever makes it out of the Senate alive will be signed by Trump, at least until the summer.

After this point, Trump is going to wage a very large and public battle with congressional Republicans over something or another that he wants to do but they think is a bad idea. I have no idea what issue this will center around, but I think after the honeymoon period between Ryan and Trump, things are going to get a lot more contentious.

Paul Ryan will step down as speaker before the end of the year, because the Tea Partiers will revolt against establishment Republicans once again. Whoever replaces him will be far less effective, though.

There will be a major scandal involving one of Trump's children and the accusation that the Trump family is nakedly selling "pay to play" access. Trump will deny it all ever happened.

The stock market will rise throughout the honeymoon period (with the Dow hitting over 22,000), but will make a major correction downward before year's end (Dow below its level when Trump took office).

Republicans in Congress will pass a bill supposedly killing Obamacare, but with at least a two-year waiting period before it takes effect. They will not, however, hold one single floor vote on any replacement plan in either chamber before year's end.

Whatever Trump does in Syria will make the situation worse. In addition, Trump will face one international crisis where he fails miserably, and Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham and John McCain will rip into Trump like a chainsaw in the aftermath.

Trump will continue to tweet, unfiltered. Nobody will be able to wrest this power away from him, because it will be the most enjoyable thing about being president, to him.

And finally, to double down on one I got wrong last year, a state legislature (in a state where ballot initiatives don't exist) will legalize recreational marijuana. My best guess for which state this is going to be would be Rhode Island.

OK, that's it for this year! Have a happy new year, everyone. And, one last time, to end in true McLaughlin fashion we say to all of you:

"Bye-bye!"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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

2016 -- [Part 1]
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

 

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

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

156 Comments on “My 2016 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's interesting how most honest person is awarded to the one who has committed the fewest lies.

    I think the decline of America is speeding up and not in a manageable way - sooner than most of you think, as well. :(

  2. [2] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    It's interesting how most honest person is awarded to the one who has committed the fewest lies.

    That's America, kiddo. We've been livin' on whoppers ever since Washington chopped down that sequoia. Did'ya notice what didn't slow down during the recession? Advertising. We can't afford not to lie to each other. Manifest Destiny? Exceptionalism? Pick your American philosophy, it's an exaggeration at best. Ever since this nation of slaveholders was founded on the principle that all men were equal, we've been bullshitting ourselves and the world to a degree unmatched until the Third Reich turned it up to eleven with the claim that they were a Master Race. Even then, well known Americans like Henry Ford (who didn't invent the assembly line) and Charles Lindbergh (who wasn't the first person to cross the Atlantic in an airplane) thought that, well, Mr. Hitler might have a point.
    Why are Americans so untrustworthy and gullible? Because, chickadee, this isn't the land of hard truths, nosiree. This is the land of dreams, the land of anything's possible. We're the land where pictures talk and computers play Jeopardy. America is the Biggest Whopper Ever Told, and God protects Drunks, small children and the United States of America, where the one who tells the fewest lies wins.

    Nothing personal, but I've always wanted to do that rant. (Carry on as if nothing had happened.)

  3. [3] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    CW, once again you have impressed me with your insight and wit. Most impressed with "Worst Idea", "Best Spin" and "Predictions", except for this one:

    "There will be clashes between Trump supporters and Trump protesters at the actual Inauguration ceremony, out in the crowd."

    Nah. Not in this Nazi crowd. Protesters won't even reach the National Mall.

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Balthasar [2] -

    Don't forget the Pilgrims. WHOLE lotta whoppers told about the Pilgrims. They weren't even the first colony here -- Jamestown has that claim, but with all the cannibalism maybe give the school kiddies a wee bit more about Massachusetts. But don't get me started on Pilgrim whoppers...

    Heh.

    AS for [3], maybe, maybe not. There are always holes in security. There sure were when I went to see Obama inaugurated...

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    ... and Charles Lindbergh (who wasn't the first person to cross the Atlantic in an airplane)...

    Well, wasn't his the first non-stop solo flight?

    Or, is that a lie, too?

    Why do you insist on denigrating your country. Is it perfect? Hardly. What are you doing to make it better?

  6. [6] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Here's a prediction for 'ya. Trump logos will start coming off properties around the world as terrorists notice that McDonald's and KFC are no longer the most visible symbols of American influence. I'm saying no later than March...

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And that last prediction, obviously, gets no credit whatsoever. Thank you, James Comey.

    James Comey? Really?

    I'm sure you must have meant to say, thank-you Hillary Clinton, thanks a lot. Now, don't let the door hit you on the way out. And, that goes for your campaign-sabotaging husband, too!

  8. [8] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Re: Lindbergh: http://www.zakkeith.com/articles,blogs,forums/Charles-Lindbergh.htm

    Why do you insist on denigrating your country. Is it perfect? Hardly.

    Because, unlike a fair share of Republicans (apparently), I already think America is Great, so can confidently roast it with my hand on my heart and my tongue in my cheek. It's been great for a long time, certainly during my lifetime. Like a lot of Democrats, I also think that it could be better, could stand to improve in a few areas, like education, where our refusal to educate everyone high school for free only hurts ourselves and our children's future.

    What are you doing to make it better?

    I'm trying to make it better by being the nicest, most informed person I can be, and keeping a good sense of humor, and hoping it rubs off on everybody else.

  9. [9] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    ..to educate everyone beyond high school..

  10. [10] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Just went back and answered some very interesting music comments from Wednesday, just for everyone's info...

    :-)

    -CW

  11. [11] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Don't forget the Pilgrims. WHOLE lotta whoppers told about the Pilgrims.

    Oh yeah. Absolutely. The story goes that after the Civil War, the Pilgrim story was emphasized so that teachers could gloss over that other colony in Virginia. As you suggest, the Pilgrim narrative has some inconvenient details, like the fact that, within a generation, they were selling off local natives as slaves. Somebody brought up the other day the fact that, just shortly before european emigration to the New World began in earnest, disease brought by the Spanish and spread by fishermen wiped out nearly 80% of the native populations in North America. Our mythos that America was a big empty land just waiting for settlement discounts that it was, just thirty years or so before the Pilgrims arrived, teeming with people already living there.

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    Are you suggesting that Lindbergh was not the first to fly, successfully, solo and non-stop from New York to Paris?

    Who was the first to do that?

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, who the hell is Zak Keith?

  14. [14] 
    michale wrote:

    Maybe the Democrats will decide to fight fire with fire, and start grooming their own celebrity candidates. If this turns out to be the case, it would certainly widen this field. Perhaps Destined For Political Stardom should go to someone like Mark Cuban (who is reported to be considering entering politics in a big way) or maybe Michael Moore?

    Oooooo please run Michael Moore, please run Michael Moore, please run Michael Moore.. :D

    If we wanted to be extra-snarky, we'd hand the Destined For Political Oblivion award to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    Democrats can only hope...

    The GOP would LOVE to have the Clintons to kick around some more... :D

    If we took this award literally, we'd have to add it to the mountain of awards already given to the musical Hamilton. Furthermore, if we read it as "Best Politics Performed In A Theater," we'd give it to the Hamilton cast for saying exactly what they felt to Mike Pence, in the audience.

    I know, how rude, right??

    You invite a guest into your home and proceed to call him out and embarrass him in front of the other guests..

    It's ESPECIALLY galling when the dickhead who was doing the calling out has a lot of misogynist and racist twits to his name..

    Like I have always said, if THAT kind of moron is what is best about the Democratic Party?? It's no wonder they have faded so badly...

    But instead the winner of the 2016 Best Political Theater goes to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose months-long protest over the Dakota Access Pipeline was ultimately successful -- more successful than anyone imagined, when they began their protest. America saw images of people in authority turning dogs on peaceful protesters, and (worst of all) water cannons being used against them in sub-freezing temperatures. In the end, the Army Corps of Engineers relented and stopped the pipeline from being built. The tribe's water supplies are no longer threatened by the construction of an oil pipeline, all because people stood up for what they believed in for month after month after month on the windswept Dakota plains. Well done, and congratulations on your protest's success!

    OK.. So, when Right Wingers occupy Federal Land, that is bad..

    When Left Wingers occupy Federal Land.. That's good??

    Well aww right... :D

    The pointless and unsuccessful armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon.

    So, occupation from the Right is "pointless"... Occupation from the Left is "well done and congratulations"???

    Well awww right... :D

    Trump's victory "thank-you" tour, after being elected.

    Trump's Thank You Americans tour is "awful"??

    How would you characterize Hillary's swanky New York Party for her donors to thank them for allowing her to rip them off, give her a billion dollars and have absolutely NOTHING to show for it..

    That epitomizes the divide between the Democratic Party and the American people...

    But the choice is really obvious this year. The Worst Political Scandal was Russia hacking in to an American election.

    And yet, there is STILL no factual evidence that PROVES Russia hacked the election...

    I thought we were all about facts here??

    We could also hand this award to "Congress shamefully failing to address an ongoing health emergency" by refusing to act on emergency funds to fight the Zika virus -- for a large portion of the year. Instead of appropriating money for mosquito eradication when it would have been best spent (when the weather got warmer), Congress dithered for over half a year. This is nothing short of a disgrace, and the media absolutely fell down on the job of pointing out how dangerous Republican obstructionism in Congress had gotten.

    Actually, it was Democrat obstructionism that caused the problem.. But why let facts intrude :D

    Granted, the Democrats certainly deserve some of the blame, for nominating a woman currently under F.B.I. investigation. But for all the ink spilled (oceans of it) and for all the television time spent (hours of it), there simply was no there there.

    Once again, the facts say something completely different...

    . Now, maybe we're a wee bit biased, since in both instances this meant the Democrat who won the most votes lost the election,

    Ya think?? :D

    but even so, just try explaining how a candidate with almost 3,000,000 more votes lost the election

    That's easy...

    California, where laws are enacted to protect underage children so they can be hookers... :^/

    to someone from a foreign country,

    Huh??? Left Winger Birtherism???

    Predictions were made that they'd pay a heavy political price for such naked and unprecedented partisanship,

    Why yes... Yes there was... :D

    but these predictions (for the most part) turned out to be false.

    Why yes... Yes they did... :D

    Our actual runner-up in this category is a $15-an-hour minimum wage for everybody. You can live on that. You just can't, on what the minimum wage is at now.

    You want to push exboritaint amounts for min wage??

    http://i.imgur.com/8koXXEt.jpg

    That's what will happen...

    It's THAT simple...

    Trying to "claw back" signup bonuses given to members of the military to re-enlist while America was fighting two wars. This his got to be the stupidest thing we've ever heard of, politically.

    I know, right..

    In a professional sense, we are certainly going to be sorry to see Obama leave the Oval Office, that's for sure.

    Speak for yourself.. I can't WAIT to see him trip his incompetent ass out the door... :D

    He is pretty much already gone anyways...

    This was across the board. Everyone got it wrong.

    This is simply not accurate...

    There were quite a few polls that showed Trump would win...

    I quoted many, if not all of them..

    The problem was, no one would accept those polls because they didn't say what ya'all wanted to hear...

    The angry voter was indeed the Most Underrated force in American politics last year.

    Why yes... Yes it was.. :D

  15. [15] 
    michale wrote:

    This one was easy, because it was quantified. Hillary Clinton was the Most Honest Person on the campaign trail this year. Well, depending on how you counted, Bernie could also have been said to have been Most Honest (in some tallies), but we gave Bernie this award last year, so fair is fair.

    Donald Trump has only been lying for a year or so..

    Hillary Clinton has been lying for over two decades....

    Giving Hillary the most honest person award is like giving Dick Cheney the Humanitarian Of The Year Award... :^/

    If Hillary had actually lived up to your award, she would be President Elect right now...

    550

  16. [16] 
    michale wrote:

    Something About This Russia Story Stinks
    Nearly a decade and a half after the Iraq-WMD faceplant, the American press is again asked to co-sign a dubious intelligence assessment

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/something-about-this-russia-story-stinks-w458439

    Once again, it's SOLELY a Partisan Agenda at work....

    The Left *WANTS* to believe that Russia hacked the election, just like the Right *WANTED* to believe that Iraq had nukes...

    So, the Left accepts the flimsiest of non-evidence so that they can delude themselves into thinking that Hillary was a great candidate and that NOTHING was the fault of the Democratic Party...

    "We did everything right and good!! It was those evil Russians!!"

    Thereby proving once again that denial is NOT just a river in Egypt....

    551

  17. [17] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Michale [16]: Matt Taibbi wasn't saying that he didn't believe that the Russians played a role, he's rather castigating his fellow journalists for not nailing down the details of the story, rather than just repeating what the administration tells them. Fair enough: by all means, we pay the press to be skeptical, and skeptical they should stay.

    It doesn't change the fact that ALL of our intelligence agencies say it happened, as did the independent outside company that examined the DNC hack. In other words, it's already a far better case than Bush had for Iraqi WMD's.

  18. [18] 
    michale wrote:

    Michale [16]: Matt Taibbi wasn't saying that he didn't believe that the Russians played a role, he's rather castigating his fellow journalists for not nailing down the details of the story, rather than just repeating what the administration tells them. Fair enough: by all means, we pay the press to be skeptical, and skeptical they should stay.

    Agreed.. Where are the FACTS that support the accusation???

    It doesn't change the fact that ALL of our intelligence agencies say it happened, as did the independent outside company that examined the DNC hack. In other words, it's already a far better case than Bush had for Iraqi WMD's.

    And yet the HEAD agency, the ONE agency to rule them all says that there is not sufficient evidence to prove that Russia was the culprit..

    Ya'all WANT to believe it because it's the ONLY way ya'all can wrap your brain around the fact that Trump beat Hillary fair and square...

  19. [19] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale (14)-
    "Oooooo please run Micheal Moore..."
    Be careful what you wish for.
    That's what they said about Trump.
    Let's not repeat THAT mistake with Micheal Moore.
    We are going to have enough of a mess to clean up already.

  20. [20] 
    michale wrote:

    Be careful what you wish for.
    That's what they said about Trump.

    Moore is known for low-budget partisan films..

    Trump is known for his business success and acumen..

    While I understand what you are saying, I still say that Moore against Trump in 2020 will give Trump a 50-state landslide :D

    553

  21. [21] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Lot's of people said that Hillary would crush Trump. You were right that Trump won this time, but the reality is that anyone picking either side had a 50% chance of being right.
    The odds are the same for Trump-Moore.
    So the next time you think about asking for Moore to run, just try saying President Michael Moore.
    When you're done throwing up you should have returned to your senses.
    Let the Democrats pick their own lame opponent to Trump in 2020. They're good at it.

  22. [22] 
    neilm wrote:

    Ya'all WANT to believe it because it's the ONLY way ya'all can wrap your brain around the fact that Trump beat Hillary fair and square...

    Never thought I'd agree with John Bolton, but he pointed out it is irrelevant if Russia succeeded or failed in influencing the election, they attacked us and that is enough.

    As he put it, if the Japanese had missed with every bomb and bullet at Pearl Harbor, we wouldn't have said "no worries".

  23. [23] 
    neilm wrote:

    My first wild Trump prediction that is just about crazy enough to happen:

    Trump (probably via Alex Jones) will claim the CIA hacked the DNC in a false flag operation to make him and Putin look bad.

    ;)

  24. [24] 
    neilm wrote:

    Well it turns out my last two posts have come together in the most bizarre way:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/john-bolton-russia-hack-a-false-flag-232490

  25. [25] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    You're on a roll, Neil.

  26. [26] 
    michale wrote:

    Never thought I'd agree with John Bolton, but he pointed out it is irrelevant if Russia succeeded or failed in influencing the election, they attacked us and that is enough.

    I agree...

    *IF* Russia actually "attacked" us...

    If you consider attempting to influence a sovereign nation's electoral process an "attack"....

    Well, do you know how many times the US, including your precious Obama Administration, has "attacked" foreign nations??

    As he put it, if the Japanese had missed with every bomb and bullet at Pearl Harbor, we wouldn't have said "no worries".

    But we probably wouldn't have nuked their cities.. :D

    Ever read THE MOUSE THAT ROARED..??? :D

    554

  27. [27] 
    michale wrote:

    And the Michael Brown saga continues to get more and more disgusting..

    Brown's parents argue in their lawsuit that the death of their son during an August 2014 confrontation with Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson deprived them of financial support through his future potential wages. An attorney for Ferguson, Wilson and the former police chief have countered in court filings that Brown's lifelong medical records are pertinent to determining his potential life expectancy and future income.
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/michael-browns-family-fights-ferguson-push-records-154458739.html

    It's all about the money... It's all about the ghetto lottery.. :^/

    555

  28. [28] 
    michale wrote:

    Trump (probably via Alex Jones) will claim the CIA hacked the DNC in a false flag operation to make him and Putin look bad.

    I am also constrained to point out that the Left Wingery have accused the CIA of much MUCH worse...

    Don't you find it somewhat uncomfortable to jump into bed with the CIA now??? :D

    556

  29. [29] 
    neilm wrote:

    Don't you find it somewhat uncomfortable to jump into bed with the CIA now??? :D

    No, because despite your repetitive conflation of me, and other people here, with "Left Wingery" we are not the granfalloon you think we are.

    In fact, your tribal approach to everything is the underlying weakness in your worldview.

  30. [30] 
    michale wrote:

    No, because despite your repetitive conflation of me, and other people here, with "Left Wingery" we are not the granfalloon you think we are.

    OK, YOU'RE different..

    But it is undeniable that the Left Wingery as a whole has demonized the CIA with reckless abandon when it suited the Left's agenda..

    Would you care to acknowledge THEIR hypocrisy and comment upon it?? :D

    In fact, your tribal approach to everything is the underlying weakness in your worldview.

    And yet, the "weakness" of my "worldview" has prevailed quite nicely in the last year, eh?? :D

    557

  31. [31] 
    michale wrote:

    In fact, your tribal approach to everything is the underlying weakness in your worldview.

    And, I am constrained to point out that my tribal approach is infinitely preferable by patriotic Americans, as opposed to selling out the country to the corporatists solely based on who has the most money....

  32. [32] 
    michale wrote:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-hackers-penetrated-us-electricity-grid-through-a-utility-in-vermont/2016/12/30/8fc90cc4-ceec-11e6-b8a2-8c2a61b0436f_story.html?utm_term=.9160cf03db64

    More example of Anti-Russia hysteria....

    And THIS is the kind of crap ya'all buy into hook line and sinker because it fits the agenda....

    559

  33. [33] 
    neilm wrote:

    And, I am constrained to point out that my tribal approach is infinitely preferable by patriotic Americans, as opposed to selling out the country to the corporatists solely based on who has the most money....

    Wow - this from the person who insists we put Israel and Putin ahead of our own elected representatives ;)

    In the near future Trump and his supporters are going to be expecting everybody in the U.S. to stand behind his trade war with China, or Mexico, or saber rattling towards Iran - remember how you put party ahead of country when you get pissed by the "Left Wingery"

  34. [34] 
    neilm wrote:

    And THIS is the kind of crap ya'all buy into hook line and sinker because it fits the agenda....

    Can I just point out that you are the only person posting about this?

  35. [35] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    So now you're saying that Burlington Electric is now a part of the conspiracy to de-legitimatize Trump, along with most of our intelligence community, the Democratic Party, the Justice Department, some Republicans, and a Partridge in a pear tree.

    That's Alex Jones territory, there, buddy.

  36. [36] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Sorry, [35] refers to [32].

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    This is for your eyes only, only for you ... do you know that Obama tried to ban the Pledge of Allegiance in schools and that the Pope essentially, for all intents and purposes, endorsed Trump!?

  38. [38] 
    neilm wrote:

    Happy New Year Weigantia!

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okole maluna!

  40. [40] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Happy New Year Weigantia!

  41. [41] 
    dsws wrote:

    I predict that Putin will successfully manage the Trump-Putin bromance throughout the full duration of the Trump presidency. (Or as long as he remains in power. Can a tsar abdicate safely? I don't know really how the office works.)

  42. [42] 
    michale wrote:

    Wow - this from the person who insists we put Israel and Putin ahead of our own elected representatives ;)

    Only when our own elected representatives have proven beyond ANY doubt that they are Democrats first and foremost and do NOT have this country's best interests at heart..

    Can I just point out that you are the only person posting about this?

    Of course you can.. :D And, of course I am..

    Because ya'all have already bought into the total BS that is the WaPos accusations..

    So now you're saying that Burlington Electric is now a part of the conspiracy to de-legitimatize Trump, along with most of our intelligence community, the Democratic Party, the Justice Department, some Republicans, and a Partridge in a pear tree.

    Burlington Electric didn't report anything.. Burlington Electric had an employee's personal laptop that had some benign malware on it.. A laptop that had NOTHING to do with the electric grid..

    It was WaPo who hysterically reported THAT as the Russians had hacked our electric grid...

    Try to keep up.. :D

    Liz,

    This is for your eyes only, only for you ... do you know that Obama tried to ban the Pledge of Allegiance in schools and that the Pope essentially, for all intents and purposes, endorsed Trump!?

    Did you know that Michael Brown had his hands up when he was shot 20 times in the back by a racist officer??

    Did you know that Trayvon Martin was a choir boy who was on his way home from church choir practice when he was ruthlessly stalked and shot 40 times by George Zimmerman???

    Let's face reality... The Right does not have the exclusive on FAKE news... :D

    Happy New Year, Liz :D

  43. [43] 
    michale wrote:

    Let's face reality... The Right does not have the exclusive on FAKE news... :D

    Get it?? "Exclusive"?? Fake "NEWS"?? Get it?? :D

    Wow.. tough room..

    :D heh

  44. [44] 
    michale wrote:

    Let’s be honest: President Obama is throwing a good old-fashioned foot-stomping world class temper tantrum. He is just beside himself that the stupid American voter elected Donald Trump. How could the country willfully dismiss the erudite recommendation of nearly every news organization in the nation – as well as Obama’s personal plea that not electing Hillary would be a personal insult to him? How could young people not respond to Obama’s call to “bend the arc of history in a better direction?” It is beyond comprehension.
    Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has once again outfoxed President Obama. His response to Obama’s eviction of 35 diplomats and other grave-sounding but ultimately unimportant retaliatory measures? Instead of engaging in traditional diplomatic tit for tat, the Russian leader has invited the children of U.S. diplomats to the Kremlin for a holiday party. Who looks like the adult in the room?

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/12/30/obamas-full-blown-year-end-temper-tantrum.html

    Yup.....

    Every American President who has retired from office has left to give the incoming President room to govern..

    Obama has explicitly stated that he intends to remain in the area and involve himself in President Trump's administration..

    Can you imagine the outcry from the Hysterical Left if Bush had done that to Obama??

    The American people has told Obama in no uncertain terms that they don't WANT Obama in government anymore..

    Obama should take the hint and take a hike...

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Happy New Year, Michale!

    Now that we have FINALLY dispensed with the façade of fake news arguments that I knew you don't really put any stock in - despite your persistent efforts to convince us otherwise - can we resolve in 2017 to have some truly substantial and meaningful discussions about what is happening in our world?

    In that new vein of discovery, I'd love to get your reasoned thoughts on this op-ed by a strong critic of Obama's foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, but also one who sees how the Netanyahu regime, apparently oblivious to Israeli national interests, is taking Israel down a path that will ultimately send it reeling over a steep cliff.

    http://carnegieendowment.org/2016/12/29/last-act-of-obama-s-israel-drama-may-be-his-best-pub-66571

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm gonna pretend that [44] never happened.

    :-(

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm gonna pretend that [44] never happened.:-(

    On the other hand, Michale, whenever I come across an opinion writer I don't know anything about - such as the writer of the piece you linked to in [44] - my first line of investigation concerns their take on Joe Biden.

    What a columnist - or anyone, for that matter - has to say about Joe Biden tells me a lot about their credibility and integrity. I have to say that I was mostly quite surprised by what she had to say about Biden and a possible Biden candidacy in 2016. Which means I shouldn't entirely dismiss out of hand what she has to say about anything else ...

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let's face reality... The Right does not have the exclusive on FAKE news... :D Get it?? "Exclusive"?? Fake "NEWS"?? Get it?? :D Wow.. tough room..

    Yes, well ... I think it was your 'Let's face reality' admonition that's hard to get past. :)

  49. [49] 
    neilm wrote:

    Elizabeth [45]:

    Excellent article, thanks for posting - articulates clearly what the issue is with both Israel and the current overreach of Russia, and if Trump gets his way, the U.S.

    Both Trump and Putin are talking/acting like it is 1980 and the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. are still the only superpowers (which suits the Chinese btw).

    As for Israel, you'll notice that Michale announces that the settlements are fine because it is Israel's land, but then ducks the obvious follow up questions:

    1. What are Palestinians doing on Israel's land?
    2. Why can't they vote if they are people living in Israel?
    3. If they are illegal immigrants, where should they be sent?

    The hard right in Israel has already answered these questions, but the answers are not palatable even to most of the extreme right wing in the U.S. (i.e. 1. They are losers in a war fought 40 years ago, 2. They aren't Israeli citizens, 3. They should be sent to Jordan).

  50. [50] 
    neilm wrote:

    I like David Rothkopf. Thanks for pointing me in his direction Elizabeth.

    Here is an article where he covers the brand of optimism I subscribe to - even referencing the same Steven Pinker book!

    http://carnegieendowment.org/2016/12/12/case-for-optimism-pub-66415

  51. [51] 
    michale wrote:

    Now that we have FINALLY dispensed with the façade of fake news arguments that I knew you don't really put any stock in - despite your persistent efforts to convince us otherwise - can we resolve in 2017 to have some truly substantial and meaningful discussions about what is happening in our world?

    Absolutely..

    But I am constrained to point out "substantial and meaningful", like "fake news" is in the eye of the beholder..

    For example... I am of the opinion that a discussion on Obama's refusal to fade away and let Trump have his chance to lead without interference from a FORMER (IE has-been) President would be a meaningful and substantial discussion..

    I am sure you would disagree.. :D

    In that new vein of discovery, I'd love to get your reasoned thoughts on this op-ed by a strong critic of Obama's foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, but also one who sees how the Netanyahu regime, apparently oblivious to Israeli national interests, is taking Israel down a path that will ultimately send it reeling over a steep cliff.

    http://carnegieendowment.org/2016/12/29/last-act-of-obama-s-israel-drama-may-be-his-best-pub-66571

    It doesn't address the Palestinian terrorism issue other than just ignore it as a "thing of the past"... IGNORING the fact that Israel still suffers from Palestinian terrorism to this very day..

    As such, it's not an opinion that is worthy of my time...

  52. [52] 
    michale wrote:

    As for Israel, you'll notice that Michale announces that the settlements are fine because it is Israel's land, but then ducks the obvious follow up questions:

    To be fair, I didn't duck your questions..

    You just didn't like my answers so you ducked responding to them.. :D

    1. What are Palestinians doing on Israel's land?

    Committing terrorism...

    2. Why can't they vote if they are people living in Israel?

    Because the Palestinians have proven they are incapable of voting responsibly...

    3. If they are illegal immigrants, where should they be sent?

    Jordan, Egypt, Syria....

    OR

    They could just to live in peace, stop the terrorism and accept their status as a conquered people, much as the Native Americans have done...

    The plight of the Palestinians is eerily similar to the plight of the Native Americans...

    The Native Americans accepted their fate and did not resort to terrorism.

    The Palestinians would be wise to follow that example..

    See?? I addressed your points again..

    You just don't like my responses.. :D

  53. [53] 
    michale wrote:

    Liz,

    ANY meaningful discussion on the Israel/Palestinian issue MUST first address the terrorism that the Palestinian people and the Palestinian government commit, support and condone...

    It's simply not possible to address any other issue before the issue of terrorism is settled...

    Get rid of the terrorism and ALL other issues would be a cake-walk...

    Accepting the terrorism as "the way things are" is to accept any and all of Israel's response to terrorism as "the way things are"....

  54. [54] 
    michale wrote:

    If the International Community put HALF the effort into holding Palestinians responsible for the terrorism that they put in holding Israel's feet to the fire, the region would be at peace within a year....

  55. [55] 
    michale wrote:

    Let's see if we can get me to $300.00, people!! :D Counting ends at midnight tonight!! :D

    567

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But I am constrained to point out "substantial and meaningful", like "fake news" is in the eye of the beholder..

    Wrong.

    Meet the new year, same as the old year.

    It's just as well, this is going to be another challenging year, leaving aside time-consuming comments on a political blog that frustrates more than it relieves stress.

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    I like David Rothkopf. Thanks for pointing me in his direction .

    What's not to like? Well, plenty but, he's a Biden fan! :)

  58. [58] 
    michale wrote:

    Wrong.

    Meet the new year, same as the old year.

    OK... Who decides what is "meaningful and substantial"??

    It's just as well, this is going to be another challenging year

    We have President Trump...

    I think "challenging" is built in.. :D

    568

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I think I'm a pretty good judge of what is substantial and meaningful.

    I sure know fake news when I come across it ... though, I thought Charles Lindbergh was the first pilot to successfully fly across the Atlantic in a plane, solo and non-stop, from New York to Paris. Silly me.

    By challenging I meant without considering political realities and virtual discussions about it.

  60. [60] 
    neilm wrote:

    Because the Palestinians have proven they are incapable of voting responsibly...

    Well it is time to get a list of Trump supporters and de-suffrage them, isn't it? ;)

  61. [61] 
    neilm wrote:

    See?? I addressed your points again..

    You just don't like my responses.. :D

    OK, all the right wing's arguments about supporting Israel because they are the only democracy in the Middle East just got blown out of the water.

    So why are we giving an autocracy $38B in aid?

  62. [62] 
    neilm wrote:

    I thought Charles Lindbergh was the first pilot to successfully fly across the Atlantic in a plane, solo and non-stop, from New York to Paris. Silly me.

    Am I missing some sarcasm here - I thought it was Lindbergh. And the aviation museum in San Diego I visited over the summer is also convinced.

  63. [63] 
    neilm wrote:

    If the International Community put HALF the effort into holding Palestinians responsible for the terrorism that they put in holding Israel's feet to the fire, the region would be at peace within a year....

    The international community hasn't started holding Israel's feet to the fire yet. If a simple warning vote got you all steamed up, wait until the sanctions on occupied territory's goods hit. The EU already force them to be labeled as such.

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Am I missing some sarcasm here - I thought it was Lindbergh. And the aviation museum in San Diego I visited over the summer is also convinced.

    I'm so glad to hear you say that, Neil ... I was beginning to feel a bit sick at heart, after the exchange of comments from [2] - [13], understanding that [2] was essentially written tongue in cheek but, still ...

  65. [65] 
    michale wrote:

    I think I'm a pretty good judge of what is substantial and meaningful.

    For you, I am sure you are a GREAT judge.. :D

    I sure know fake news when I come across it ...

    Again, I am SURE that you do...

    But, considering that HANDS UP, DON'T SHOOT is still an acceptable meme amongst the Left Wingery, you are in the minority...

    By challenging I meant without considering political realities and virtual discussions about it.

    Not considering political realities in a political blog seems to me to be a bit of a disconnect...

    Neil,

    Well it is time to get a list of Trump supporters and de-suffrage them, isn't it? ;)

    TRump voters didn't vote for a terrorist group to lead them..

    You are comparing apples and Eskimos....

    OK, all the right wing's arguments about supporting Israel because they are the only democracy in the Middle East just got blown out of the water.

    If I were arguing Right Wing points, you would have a point.. But I am not, so you don't.. :D

    I am arguing common decency and common sense that says NOTHING justifies terrorism...

    The international community hasn't started holding Israel's feet to the fire yet.

    Oh what carp... The UN and private organizations have been after Israel's blood for decades...

    The fact that there has been NOTHING out of the UN to hold Palestinians accountable for their terrorism simply proves beyond ANY doubt how one-sided the UN is...

    569

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Not considering political realities in a political blog seems to me to be a bit of a disconnect...

    Tell me about it. Just remember this disconnect when I may literally have to disconnect from all of this to maintain what sanity I may have left just trying to deal with real life. :)

    Actually, I mean that sincerely, I'm not trying to be facetious here.

  67. [67] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Not considering political realities in a political blog seems to me to be a bit of a disconnect...

    I see where your confusion is coming from. You misread what I wrote, just by one small word but it changed the entire meaning of what I said ... let that be some sort of lesson. :)

    Replace 'in' with 'and' and it should become clear ...

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    30 comments to go Michale ... where are Alice and Balthasar when you need them!

    :-)

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By the way, before I go for the day ...

    Mr. President and the First Lady are back!!!

    Good news! The Washington D.C pair of eagles are back in their nesting area, preparing for the arrival of their eaglets.

    And, this time around, the audio is working!

    Enjoy, everyone!
    http://www.dceaglecam.org/?mc_cid=c2372d55ec&mc_eid=ffb53c6d5d

  70. [70] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I'm so glad to hear you say that, Neil ... I was beginning to feel a bit sick at heart, after the exchange of comments from [2] - [13], understanding that [2] was essentially written tongue in cheek but, still

    There's the disconnect: [2] was written entirely tongue-in-cheek. Besides, the sentence you keep misquoting didn't say that Lindbergh wasn't the first person to fly the Atlantic solo, nonstop NY to Paris, it said that Lindbergh wasn't the first person to fly across the Atlantic in an airplane (as we'd all been taught), which is true. I kinda wish you'd just appreciated the piece as the comedic rant it was intended to be.

    Hey, I don't know. Maybe somewhere, Trump is wondering why he isn't being lauded as the undisputed master of Theater-of-the-Absurd, and we're ALL not getting it.

  71. [71] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I see where your confusion is coming from. You misread what I wrote, just by one small word but it changed the entire meaning of what I said ... let that be some sort of lesson. :)

    :)

  72. [72] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I am arguing common decency and common sense that says NOTHING justifies terrorism...

    Well, good. Then we can all agree that the actions of the Bundy clan in Nevada and Oregon were completely unjustified. Drawing guns on federal officers is a terrorist act, after all.

  73. [73] 
    michale wrote:

    Tell me about it. Just remember this disconnect when I may literally have to disconnect from all of this to maintain what sanity I may have left just trying to deal with real life. :)

    Awwww don't do that.. Real life is WAY over-rated :D

    30 comments to go Michale ... where are Alice and Balthasar when you need them!

    I know, right!! :D

    570

  74. [74] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Hey, I'm still here (had to sleep sometime, and most folks are sleeping in today). Bring it on, big guy!

  75. [75] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Okay, we're going to need a conversation starter. How about this article that points out that, until last week, Obama was the only recent US President that hadn't supported a UN resolution criticizing Israel?

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/04/12/opinion/international/israels-unsung-protector-obama.html

  76. [76] 
    michale wrote:

    Hey, I'm still here (had to sleep sometime, and most folks are sleeping in today). Bring it on, big guy!

    OOoooo.. I love it when you talk dirty!!! :D

    Okay, we're going to need a conversation starter. How about this article that points out that, until last week, Obama was the only recent US President that hadn't supported a UN resolution criticizing Israel?

    The problem isn't resolutions that criticize Israeli actions per se... I don't agree with Ronald Reagan condemning Israel for the Osirak strike, but that's a one off issue that is unlikely to be repeated..

    The problem is condemning Israeli policy of building on their own land.... The problem is that the UN and many on the Left condemn Israel and don't say dick about Palestinian terrorism...

    Let's face reality.. Obama is being a petulant immature child and back-stabbing Israel simply because he doesn't like Bibi...

    571

  77. [77] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale:

    Would you be upset if the E.U. put a 10% tariff on goods from the occupied territories?

  78. [78] 
    neilm wrote:

    Obama was the only recent US President that hadn't supported a UN resolution criticizing Israel?

    Bibi is really going to miss Obama. Trump will be more friendly, but in effect Obama blocked everything except one small slap on the wrist, plus will be seen as mostly impartial in comparison with Trump who will be regarded by the rest of the World as a knee-jerk pro-Israeli, pro-Bibi, and pro-Settlement. Thus his value as a friend will be useless to Israel.

  79. [79] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    The problem isn't resolutions that criticize Israeli actions per se...The problem is condemning Israeli policy of building on their own land..

    And yet the article pointed out that many of the resolutions that weren't vetoed by previous presidents relied on the 4th Geneva Convention, which states that an occupying power “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” In effect, the article said, the United States permitted resolutions saying that all Israeli settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem violated international law.

    Okay, we've agreed to this before. Reagan agreed to this before. So what's the big, new problem? Oh, that's right: it's Obama. If Obama does it, it must be wrong, right?

    Obama is being a petulant immature child and back-stabbing Israel simply because he doesn't like Bibi.

    Yet had a better record of letting Israel off the hook than Reagan. Yet delivered the biggest military package to Israel they've ever received. Check your premises. Obama has every reason not to be a fan of Bibi, but to extend that to the nation of Israel is a huge stretch.

  80. [80] 
    michale wrote:

    Would you be upset if the E.U. put a 10% tariff on goods from the occupied territories?

    I don't really understand that concept of tariffs so I really don't know the answer to that...

    Bibi is really going to miss Obama

    Yea... SURE he will..

    Bibi is laughing his ass off at Obama while he and Trump toast the passing of the most incompetent POTUS in history... :D

    Thus his value as a friend will be useless to Israel.

    Whatever you have to tell yerself.. :D

    572

  81. [81] 
    michale wrote:

    Okay, we've agreed to this before. Reagan agreed to this before. So what's the big, new problem? Oh, that's right: it's Obama. If Obama does it, it must be wrong, right?

    When it comes to Israel... Yea, pretty much...

    Obama's hatred of Israel is well-established..

    Yet had a better record of letting Israel off the hook than Reagan. Yet delivered the biggest military package to Israel they've ever received.

    Of course he did.. He was trying to help Hillary win the election...

    If Obama had known for a fact that Trump would win regardless of what Obama did, Obama would have flipped Israel the bird and said, "Frak you, asshole.. Yer on yer own!!"

    You and I both know this too be true...

    573

  82. [82] 
    neilm wrote:

    I don't really understand that concept of tariffs so I really don't know the answer to that...

    Everything imported to the E.U. from the occupied territories would be subject to a 10% import tax.

  83. [83] 
    neilm wrote:

    Obama's hatred of Israel is well-established..

    Only to the delusional. In a couple of years after you've stopped being told to hate Obama and to start hating somebody else, you can revisit the reality on this.

    Look at the revision in attitude to Bill and Hillary - up and down as the media masters manipulate the sheep on the right wing.

    Bill was evil because he was President. So was Hillary. Then his terms were up and so he was ignored by the right wing media and suddenly the sheep thought he was OK. And then Hillary did a great job as Sec State and she was widely admired, then the right wing media realized she was going to run for President so she was evil incarnate again. In a few years time Bill, Hillary and Obama will have 70%+ approval ratings, but heaven help Gavin or Cory or whoever y'all are told to hate next.

    Here is a sample of how you are manipulated:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_image_of_Bill_Clinton#/media/File:Clinton_approval_rating.png

  84. [84] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Of course he did.. He was trying to help Hillary win the election...If Obama had known for a fact that Trump would win regardless of what Obama did, Obama would have flipped Israel the bird

    Projection. Anamorphic projection, at that. Obama Derangement Syndrome. Wrong, as a matter of historical fact. And complete, uninformed opinion.

    It's hopeless. If a guy came to my door and said that if I give him control of my money he'd make me rich, he'd best stand back, because he'd risk facial injury from the door I'm slamming in his face. The GOP would have me invite him in, look over his portfolio of over-mortgaged property and celebrity endorsement contracts, overlook the accusations of fraud made against him, overlook his racist remarks and misogyny, overlook his tendency to sound like a tinpot fascist, forget that he ever filled out a tax return, overlook his tendency to lie and exaggerate, overlook his praise for extreme right-wing kooks like Alex Jones, overlook the fact that one of those right wing kooks is his political advisor, overlook the fact that he put a disgraced general with a penchant for disseminating fact-free conspiracy theories in charge of the National Security Council, and named a TV Pundit who once said that Obama was 'faking' being black as the Deputy National Security Advisor to the President. Overlook the fact that he has nominated a man who couldn't get confirmed to be a judge because of past racist behavior to be the head of the Justice Department, Wall Street wolves to run the Treasury and Commerce departments, a Climate change denier to run the EPA, a homeschooling advocate to run the Education Department, and an Oil Executive to run the State Department. I should overlook the dozens of conflicts-of-interest inherent in the government associations of Trump and most of his cabinet. I should consider Ivanka Trump not only to be impartial, but also to be a sort of advice-savant. I should believe that this fellow is not only the best person in the world to hand over my future and fortune to, but also to run the free world. I should believe that this is a good idea, and not some colossal, twisted joke.

    Step back, because my door is about to slam.

  85. [85] 
    neilm wrote:

    Step back, because my door is about to slam.

    But.. but .. emails and Benghazi and Obamacare and Liberals and Look! Terrorist! and guns and walls and immigrants and emails again and again and again.

    I press Michale repeatedly on what the issues are and he says he doesn't like the fact that Obama wants won't allow the police to shoot anybody with impunity. And he is one of the smarter Trump supporters.

  86. [86] 
    neilm wrote:

    want

  87. [87] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    But.. but .. emails and Benghazi and Obamacare and Liberals and Look! Terrorist!

    Oh man, that made me laugh. Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my. Yes.

    And he is one of the smarter Trump supporters

    Yikes, that's true. My nephew, who voted for Trump, just learned today, apparently, that Trump's Atty Gen pick is rabidly anti-pot. He was never the sharpest stick in the woods, but that got his attention.

  88. [88] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Meanwhile, this happened today. :}

  89. [89] 
    michale wrote:

    Washington Post retracts story about Russian hack at Vermont utility
    http://nypost.com/2017/01/01/washington-post-retracts-story-about-russian-hack-at-vermont-utility/

    Ya see??

    The Left Wingery is ALL about "fake news" if it furthers the Left Wingery agenda...

    Personally, if WaPo told me that water was wet and the sky was blue, I would want 3 confirming statements from other sources....

    574

  90. [90] 
    michale wrote:

    Former Chicago top cop: Black Lives Matter killing blacks
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/former-chicago-top-cop-black-lives-matter-killing-blacks/article/2610687

    Who would have thunked that a group who CLAIMS to want to save black lives is actually CAUSING more black lives to be lost...

    Who would have thunked that??

    Oh... Wait....

    575

  91. [91] 
    michale wrote:

    I press Michale repeatedly on what the issues are and he says he doesn't like the fact that Obama wants won't allow the police to shoot anybody with impunity.

    And if we were talking about police shooting people with impunity, you would have a point..

    But we're not, so you don't..

    We're talking about how the Left Wingery makes a hero out of Michael Brown, a punk thug who committed a strong armed robbery and then tried to gank a cop by stealing the cops gun...

    You often accuse me of not addressing points when I clearly do..

    Yet, you have never addressed this issue of the Left Wingery and their Fake News of "HANDS UP, DON'T SHOOT"...

    I don't wonder why that is because I know that you HAVE no response to it... :D

    576

  92. [92] 
    neilm wrote:

    Who would have thunked that??

    So we just let the police murder civilians because collateral damage is better than impugning the integrity of even one cop, heaven forbid?

    I don't care how difficult cops feel their jobs are - I pay their wages and I have to do my job.

    Cops are safer today that they ever have been, but they still don't get a free pass to shoot me or my kids in the back because they feel like it and then expect me, my President, or even my Police Chief to let them off the hook because they "have a tough time doing their job". What are they, snowflakes - do they want safe spaces where they can shoot us without worrying somebody might ask them difficult questions?

    I support cops and want them to be the best police force in the World, but they suffer from the same cancer as doctors, etc. when it comes to prosecuting their own. It isn't fair to expect them to bear the burden of breaking the blue code if they think that their leaders are going to give the bad ones a free pass and make the honest, good cops life more difficult when they stand up for what is right.

    You want Trump to undermine every honest cop be ensuring that every bad cop is treated as a victim, and you try to pass this off as protecting cops. What a load of baloney.

  93. [93] 
    neilm wrote:

    Trump Promises a Revelation on Hacking

    Ooh - I wonder if this is going to be as good as his plan to eliminate ISIS in one month!

    I can't wait for Wednesday or Thursday when Trump's 10 year old son Barron explains why the FBI, CIA and 13 other agencies are wrong and he and his Sony Playstation know better.

    Or maybe Trump got some inside info from Putin that will prove the FBI and the CIA ,etc. wrong.

    What a farce.

  94. [94] 
    neilm wrote:

    And if we were talking about police shooting people with impunity, you would have a point..

    How do you know? Are you telling me that every single instance of a cop shooting an unarmed civilian is justified? Do you object to people asking if the police are policing themselves? Are the police always the innocent victims? Is every single police officer in the U.S. true, honest, and perfect in their judgement at all times?

    We need to police the police, and if some snowflake doesn't want oversight they can go to the mall and harass skateboarders. I want well educated, well trained, honest police and if the price is that the oversight makes them uncomfortable, so be it. If I was give a gun and allowed to patrol the corridors of my office building and complained that somebody might object if I shot somebody by mistake I'd be fired on the spot. Why are the police any different?

    My friend who is a Sergeant in a major city police force knows what the problems are - this is not my point of view, it is the point of view of the professional police officers who don't want their kids or mothers or fathers shot by a dangerous cop either.

  95. [95] 
    neilm wrote:

    We're talking about how the Left Wingery makes a hero out of Michael Brown, a punk thug who committed a strong armed robbery and then tried to gank a cop by stealing the cops gun...

    I don't care about the "Left Wingery" - I care about having the best police force we can have. You can trot out your emotional stories all day, but they only work on the feelies - serious people ask serious questions and demand serious evidence and serious conclusions. Professional police officers want this even more than the general public - they know they can only do their job if they have the support of the community - if the community think that the police are above the law then they will lose that vital support. This is a real fear that real police officers have - the mall-cop-level clowns who give the good cops a bad name do not deserve a carte blanc - if you think they do then you are the one putting good cops lives at risk.

  96. [96] 
    michale wrote:

    So we just let the police murder civilians because collateral damage is better than impugning the integrity of even one cop, heaven forbid?

    Of course not..

    But we're not discussing police who murder civilians..

    We're talking about good shoots where thugs attacked innocent people with intent to kill...

    I don't care how difficult cops feel their jobs are - I pay their wages and I have to do my job.

    "It's annoying to hear citizens whine and complain about how they are tax payers and pay our salaries. What they don't get is that we're tax payers too."
    -Officer Pete Malloy, ADAM-12

    Cops are safer today that they ever have been,

    Except they're not.. Cop killings and cop ambushes are on the rise..

    but they still don't get a free pass to shoot me or my kids in the back because they feel like it

    But we're not talking about that. We're talking about the Michael Brown shooting... Quit with the strawman arguments already...

    I support cops and want them to be the best police force in the World, but they suffer from the same cancer as doctors, etc. when it comes to prosecuting their own.

    I have no problem with legitimate prosecutions.

    But, once again, we're not talking about that. We're talking about the Michael Brown shooting where Officer Darren Wilson was persecuted and vilified by the Left Wingery and the Leftist Media...

    Funny how you constantly ignore that..

    How do you know? Are you telling me that every single instance of a cop shooting an unarmed civilian is justified?

    I am telling you, with the facts to back it up, that 99% of police shootings are justified...

    Where ya'all lose your credibility over the issue is when you take those JUSTIFIED police shootings and try to paint the shootings as the unjustified over-reaction of a racist cop..

    The Michael Brown shooting is a PERFECT example of the Left Wingery (and ya'all, incidentally) proclaiming hysterically what happened without ANY facts whatsoever...

    A cop deserves every benefit of the doubt and a thug asshole who just strong-armed robbed a frail elderly shop-keeper deserves NONE of the benefit of the doubt..

    But you can't address that because it totally demolishes your position..

    I don't care about the "Left Wingery" - I care about having the best police force we can have.

    And yet you and your Left Wingery demonize good cops for doing a great job in an impossible situation..

    You and your Left Wingery have absolutely NO CREDIBILITY in addressing the actions of the police because you and your Left Wingery have proven beyond ANY doubt that you don't care about FACTS... You only care about demonizing cops who did their jobs..

    Which is why you can't address the Michael Brown shooting which, 99% of the time, is the kind of shootings that occur when cops shoot an "unarmed" black person..

    I can list a DOZEN incidents where cops were justified in the use of deadly force and your Left Wingery went batshit hysterical, condemning the officers and it turned out that the shootings were fully justified...

    So, you simply have no credibility when it comes to talking about "mall-cop-level clowns"....

  97. [97] 
    michale wrote:

    Putin's response to Obama's hysterical anti-Russia maneuvers...

    We regard the recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing US administration as provocative and aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship. This runs contrary to the fundamental interests of both the Russian and American people. Considering the global security responsibilities of Russia and the United States, this is also damaging to international relations as a whole.

    As it proceeds from international practice, Russia has reasons to respond in kind. Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration.

    The diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year’s holidays with their families and friends. We will not create any problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their traditional leisure sites during the New Year’s holidays. Moreover, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin.

    It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family.

    My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people.

    I wish all of you happiness and prosperity.

    Check and Mate, Mr Obama..... :D

  98. [98] 
    michale wrote:

    CW,

    You have mentioned before about updating the website and one of the reasons for this was to make your site better for mobile devices..

    http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/01/technology/google-amp-mobile-publishing.html?_r=0

    You might find that interesting....

  99. [99] 
    neilm wrote:

    Putin desperately wants the sanctions over Crimea lifted and is willing to play Mary Poppins for gullible fools to achieve that goal. Looks like it is working.

  100. [100] 
    michale wrote:

    Putin desperately wants the sanctions over Crimea lifted

    Yea?? Prove it.. :D

    and is willing to play Mary Poppins for gullible fools to achieve that goal.

    And Obama is too smart to fall for that, eh?? :D

    Looks like it is working.

    That's one possible explanation..

    But you have to admire the huge gift Obama gave Trump... :D

  101. [101] 
    michale wrote:

    Putin desperately wants the sanctions over Crimea lifted

    On the other hand, you might be right..

    Putin might be completely and utterly desperate for a deal..

    And who better to prosecute that deal than the man who, literally, wrote the book on the art of the deal... :D

    Thank the gods for Donald Trump.. A man who is not beholden to ANYONE except the American people who voted him into office...

  102. [102] 
    michale wrote:

    Putin might be completely and utterly desperate for a deal..

    That's why what Obama did was such a huge gift for Trump..

    If Putin IS desperate to lift sanctions, Obama just handed Trump a nice shiny NEW set of sanctions that Trump can leverage into more concessions from Putin... :D

  103. [103] 
    michale wrote:

    In a little over two weeks, it will be morning in America again... :D

  104. [104] 
    michale wrote:

    2016 ends with 762 homicides; 2017 opens with fatal Uptown gunfight
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-two-shot-to-death-in-uptown-marks-first-homicide-of-2017-20170101-story.html

    Gun control....

    Yea... it works... :^/

  105. [105] 
    michale wrote:

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/the-art-of-getting-to-know-trump/article/2610573

    The Left thought they knew it all about Trump and about campaigns..

    They thought wrong....

  106. [106] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    In a little over two weeks, it will be morning in America again..

    Yeah, I've had mornings like that - massive hangover, lots of regret...

  107. [107] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    [100]And Obama is too smart to fall for that, eh?

    Yes he is, but 'smart' isn't exactly a synonym for 'republican' these days. You, for instance, seem to have fallen for it, hook, line, and sinker.

  108. [108] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "And who better to prosecute that deal than the man who, literally, wrote the book on the art of the deal... :D"

    EXCUSE ME??? Did you somehow miss the part where that book was NOT written by Trump, but was actually GHOST written by someone else??? Trump just put his name on it and claimed credit for it, like he has done with everything else.

    The man who actually wrote it, Tony Schwartz, just followed Trump around and tried to interview him for the book. He said Trump had like a 5 second attention span and he now REGRETS writing the book for Trump making Trump out to seem better than he really is.

  109. [109] 
    michale wrote:

    The day after the presidential election the executive director of the Sierra Club glumly called the Donald Trump victory "deeply disturbing for the nation and the planet." Well, yes, if you're a climate change alarmist who hates fossil fuels, you're in for a bad four and maybe eight years.

    Greenpeace Executive Director Annie Leonard was even more apocalyptic, saying: "I never thought I'd have to write this. The election of Donald Trump as President has been devastating. … There's no question, Donald Trump's climate denial is staggering. He wants to shut down the EPA, cancel the Paris Cimate Agreement, stop funding clean energy research and drill baby drill." Ah, but if this is so crazy, why did he win?

    The short answer is that Americans went to the polls and rejected environmental extremism among other things. The biggest loser on election night was the Big Green movement in America dedicated to the anti-prosperity proposition that to save the planet from extinction we have to deindustrialize the U.S. and throw millions and millions of ?our fellow citizens out of their jobs. Voters turned thumbs down on the climate change lobby and rightfully so.
    http://www.investors.com/politics/columnists/stephen-moore-2016s-biggest-loser-big-green/

    Yup :D

  110. [110] 
    michale wrote:

    Yeah, I've had mornings like that - massive hangover, lots of regret...

    You keep saying that.. Yet, at every turn, Americans are MORE optimistic today than ever before.... :D

    Yes he is, but 'smart' isn't exactly a synonym for 'republican' these days. You, for instance, seem to have fallen for it, hook, line, and sinker.

    Just like I "fell for" the fact that Trump would be the GOP nominee??

    Just like I "fell for" the fact that Trump would beat the BIGGEST and MEANEST and MOST COSTLY political juggernaut in the history of politics???

    I dunno.. From where I am sitting, it looks like YA'ALL are the ones that fell for something.. :D A complete and literal billion dollar line of bull-shit from the "inevitable" Democrat candidate.. :D

    EXCUSE ME??? Did you somehow miss the part where that book was NOT written by Trump, but was actually GHOST written by someone else??? Trump just put his name on it and claimed credit for it, like he has done with everything else.

    Yea, and Obama didn't write his book either.. :D

    The man who actually wrote it, Tony Schwartz, just followed Trump around and tried to interview him for the book. He said Trump had like a 5 second attention span and he now REGRETS writing the book for Trump making Trump out to seem better than he really is.

    Funny how that *NEVER* came out before Trump ran for POTUS under the GOP ticket..

    Seems like this Schwarz guy just wants to give a reach-around to the hysterical Left Wingery.. :D

    That's what it looks like from where I am sitting.. The winner's seat... :D

  111. [111] 
    michale wrote:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/1/political-correctness-dies-hard/

    The death of Political Correctness...

    And it could not possibly come any sooner for this country's salvation...

  112. [112] 
    neilm wrote:

    And who better to prosecute that deal than the man who, literally, wrote the book on the art of the deal... :D

    You do know that it was ghost written from stories Donald told the writer to make himself look good, right?

    This is one of the few times that "literally" means "figuratively" and doesn't feel like a cat scratching a blackboard :)

  113. [113] 
    neilm wrote:

    Ah, but if this is so crazy, why did he win?

    Because he is a con man and there are a lot of marks in America?

  114. [114] 
    neilm wrote:

    Gun control....

    There is no gun control - if you block on hole in a sieve in a desperate attempt to do something to stop your country going down the drain, you know that all the other holes are still going to leak. Until we block all access to irresponsible gun ownership somebody can just drive across a state line to somewhere irresponsible and get an arsenal.

    The fact that you encourage irresponsible gun ownership should be something you are shameful about - kids are getting killed walking to school because of such stupidity in the face of a real problem.

    But .. but.. second amendment - the second amendment was to ensure responsible ownership (i.e. well regulated), not a weapons free for all.

  115. [115] 
    neilm wrote:

    In a little over two weeks, it will be morning in America again... :D

    Spell check problem.

    In a little over two weeks, it will be mourning in America again... :D

    There, fixed. You're welcome.

    Republican Idiot Boy 2 in the White House and we are only 17 years into the new century.

  116. [116] 
    neilm wrote:

    Thank the gods for Donald Trump.. A man who is not beholden to ANYONE except the American people who voted him into office...*

    * Russian Oligarchs excepted. Not valid after 11/08/2016. Trump organization (The Administration) may change policies at any time, no past statements should be regarded as legally binding. The Administration is legally entitled to ignore any and all supporters until such as time as they are needed again.

  117. [117] 
    neilm wrote:

    That's what it looks like from where I am sitting.. The winner's seat... :D

    Unless you are earning over $250K/year and have a nice fat portfolio, don't count your chickens, you may be sitting the sucker's ejector seat.

    Trump is a con man. I'll give him a chance, but he has stuffed his cabinet with billionaires, with a few millionaires for diversity, so it hardly looks like he is focused on the little guy.

  118. [118] 
    michale wrote:

    I mean, com'on people...

    Obama told the American people, "To further our Left Wing agenda, your electric bills will have to rise considerably..."

    Hillary told the American people, "We're going to put blue collar coal miners out of work!!!"

    And then the Left Wingery gets all shocked and whiney and hysterical when the American people elect a person who DOESN'T directly and vocally and unabashedly threaten their lively-hood!???

    My gods, people... What did ya'all THINK would happen!!!???

    "Oh please, Hillary.. Be our leader and gut our lively-hood and our self-esteem so that people who are confused about their gender can have a safe place to pee and take a dump!!!"

    The naivete and utter blindness of the Left Wingery is MIND-BOGGLING!!!

    "What you people are asking us to do!!! The arrogance is MIND-BOGGLING!!!"
    "We have the responsibility....."
    "BUT YOU DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT!!!!"

    -STARGATE SG1: CONTINUUM

  119. [119] 
    michale wrote:

    In a little over two weeks, it will be mourning in America again... :D

    There, fixed. You're welcome.

    I was wondering how long it would take for one of ya'all to come up with that..

    I figured it would be you, neil.. :D

    But "mourning" doesn't fit the facts of the here and now...

    * Russian Oligarchs excepted.

    Assumes facts not in evidence..

    You know what happens when you make an assumption..

    You make an ass out of U and Umption... :D

    Unless you are earning over $250K/year and have a nice fat portfolio, don't count your chickens, you may be sitting the sucker's ejector seat.

    Key words there being "MAY" and "BE"....

    The simple fact is, ALL of ya'all's predictions have NEVER come to pass.

    Why should I believe that THESE current ones will be any different??

    Trump is a con man.

    Yea... That's been your claim since day one...

    So far, there is no factual evidence to support the claim...

    The claim is ESPECIALLY suspect because it only came to be once Trump ran as the GOP candidate..

    When Trump had a '-D' after his name, EVERYONE on the Left loved Trump...

    I'll give him a chance, but he has stuffed his cabinet with billionaires, with a few millionaires for diversity, so it hardly looks like he is focused on the little guy.

    And yet, the "little guy" loves Trump.. Especially the little guys from Carrier who had a GREAT Christmas...

    Consumer confidence is up... Americans are a LOT more confident and optimistic about the new year and the new administration...

    Ya'all remind me of the crazy fart in the stands who screams and yells, "THEY'LL BLOW IT IN THE PLAYOFFS!!! THEY WILL!!!!"

    Shall I start calling ya'all RANDY now?? :D

  120. [120] 
    michale wrote:

    The Administration is legally entitled to ignore any and all supporters until such as time as they are needed again.

    And if the Trump administration DOES that, then you will have an argument..

    But the fact that ya'all are screaming about it before it even occurs just makes ya'all look silly and full of sour grapes and crow...

  121. [121] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    And if the Trump administration DOES [ignore its supporters], then you will have an argument

    Yeah, well, that 'prosecute Hillary' promise disappeared into dust the day after the election.

    And I'm sure that all of Trump's supporters would have been down with putting Reince Priebus in the Chief of Staff's position, to ensure Republican establishment control of the administration's agenda..

    That's two...

  122. [122] 
    michale wrote:

    And, on another note...

    If anyone has noticed my change of heart on the medical marijuana law...

    http://www.news4jax.com/video/confusing-new-medicinal-pot-law

    That is why.....

  123. [123] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    And yet, the "little guy" loves Trump.. Especially the little guys from Carrier who had a GREAT Christmas.

    I hear that Christmas in Mexico is pretty cool. Of course, about 1400 'little guys' who used to work for Carrier decorated their trees with pink slips this year, so maybe not so much.

  124. [124] 
    michale wrote:

    Yeah, well, that 'prosecute Hillary' promise disappeared into dust the day after the election.

    One of the smarter and more magnanimous decisions of President Elect Trump..

    A decision that I am certain Hillary licks Trump's boots in gratitude for...

    And I'm sure that all of Trump's supporters would have been down with putting Reince Priebus in the Chief of Staff's position, to ensure Republican establishment control of the administration's agenda..

    And yet, optimism is up and consumer confidence is up...

    So, apparently Trump is doing something that the American people appreciate..

    Except for the crow-eating sour grape-munching Left Wingery.... :D

  125. [125] 
    michale wrote:

    I hear that Christmas in Mexico is pretty cool. Of course, about 1400 'little guys' who used to work for Carrier decorated their trees with pink slips this year, so maybe not so much.

    Typical Left Winger....

    If Hillary had been elected ALL of the Carrier jobs would have gone to Mexico..

    Funny how you ignore that...

    Let's face facts.. Trump did a good thing.. You can't admit that because you are enslaved by Left Wingery ideology...

  126. [126] 
    neilm wrote:

    And if the Trump administration DOES that, then you will have an argument..

    October: "Lock her up"
    November: Clintons are "good people"

  127. [127] 
    neilm wrote:

    Funny how you ignore that...

    "Squirrel!"

    Obama is generating millions of new jobs and all you can see are the 700 or so Trump paid for.

    Funny that.

  128. [128] 
    neilm wrote:

    And yet, optimism is up and consumer confidence is up...

    So, apparently Trump is doing something that the American people appreciate..

    Consumer confidence numbers are a reflection of Obama's growing economy, let's see what they are like in a couple of years if Trump manages to crash the economy via trade wars, or some other misadventure.

  129. [129] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    If anyone has noticed my change of heart on the medical marijuana law...That is why.....

    Not sure what your complaint is..

    Have I mentioned how much I dislike what local news has become? All of the local stations around here do about two minutes of stuff you'd generously call 'news', then cover local fires and accidents, then go straight to the fluff pieces. Half of their news stories are taken straight from PR releases by the local police or sheriff's departments. 'Investigative' pieces like this one are often PR or fluff pieces dressed up to look like journalism.

    In this case, the law is working as intended (it's one of those half-measures meant to brush back the critics of marijuana prohibition by allowing it to be prescribed by doctors); it seems the folks most confused by the law were the reporters.

  130. [130] 
    michale wrote:

    Obama is generating millions of new jobs and all you can see are the 700 or so Trump paid for.

    And how many jobs were LOST due to Obama's anti blue collar agenda???

    Obama had 8 years and he screwed the pooch..

    Trump has SURPASSED Obama in the eyes of the American people and he ain't even POTUS yet...

    :D

    let's see what they are like in a couple of years

    Yes... Let's see..

    Can you hold your water and keep your powder dry til then?? :D

  131. [131] 
    michale wrote:

    Not sure what your complaint is..

    Uhhh.... That was my daughter and grandson in the report...

    I am not sure why you are expecting a complaint....

  132. [132] 
    neilm wrote:

    And how many jobs were LOST due to Obama's anti blue collar agenda???

    Unemployment is at 4.6%. Under 6% is considered full employment. Let's see if Trump can lower the number below 4.6% before we get too excited.

  133. [133] 
    michale wrote:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4080790/Chicago-records-762-homicides-2016-making-bloodiest-12-months-20-YEARS-Windy-City.html

    Yea... Let's make ALL of the country into Chicago...

    What could POSSIBLY go wrong... :/

  134. [134] 
    neilm wrote:

    Trump has SURPASSED Obama in the eyes of the American people and he ain't even POTUS yet...

    Obama is the most admired American. Trump isn't. It isn't even close.

    And, just to rub salt into the open, suppurating wound that is Trump's popularity, for the first time in history, the President-Elect is under 50% favorability - and not just under, he is only at 42%. The lowest recorded before was 58%.

    Sounds like most of the country has figured out what exactly what Trump is. When will you?

  135. [135] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    If Hillary had been elected ALL of the Carrier jobs would have gone to Mexico..Funny how you ignore that

    One thing I'm sure of: if she'd have won, she wouldn't have taken credit for 'saving' the jobs that Carrier didn't plan to send to Mexico anyway, as Trump did. It helped that Pence had already thrown seven million dollars at Carrier before Trump got involved.

    To quote Carrier's Union rep: "Trump lied his ass off" about the deal.

  136. [136] 
    neilm wrote:

    Yea... Let's make ALL of the country into Chicago...

    Cherry picking one number just makes the right wing look desperate.

    Violent crime is at an all time low under Obama (I already posted the FBI figures for you) and so are police killings (numbers from one of my favorite charities, NLEOMF).

  137. [137] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Uhhh.... That was my daughter and grandson in the report

    And a fine family they look like too!

    (but I still hate local news)

  138. [138] 
    neilm wrote:

    And, on another note...

    If anyone has noticed my change of heart on the medical marijuana law...

    http://www.news4jax.com/video/confusing-new-medicinal-pot-law

    That is why.....

    Hope your grandson gets the treatment he needs.

  139. [139] 
    michale wrote:

    Unemployment is at 4.6%. Under 6% is considered full employment. Let's see if Trump can lower the number below 4.6% before we get too excited.

    And how many tens of millions of Americans have LEFT the work force and been thrown off of unemployment??

    THAT is Obama's legacy...

    A shrinking work force with people out of work..

  140. [140] 
    michale wrote:

    Obama is the most admired American. Trump isn't. It isn't even close.

    And yet, the American people totally repudiated Obama's polices in the form of over 1000 Democrat elected positions given to Republicans......

    AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.....

    Funny how that is, eh?? :D

    Sounds like most of the country has figured out what exactly what Trump is. When will you?

    When he actually does something that requires condemnation other than just having a '-R' after his name..

    One thing I'm sure of: if she'd have won, she wouldn't have taken credit for 'saving' the jobs that Carrier didn't plan to send to Mexico anyway

    Can you prove that?? Nope, you cannot... It's just ideology talking...

    To quote Carrier's Union rep: "Trump lied his ass off" about the deal.

    How can you tell if a Union rep is lying??

    His lips are moving...

    Union officials are completely and utterly in the bag for the Democratic Party...

    I would no believe anything a union official than I would believe a DNC official..

    Violent crime is at an all time low under Obama (I already posted the FBI figures for you) and so are police killings (numbers from one of my favorite charities, NLEOMF).

    But they are ON THE RISE... That's the fact you ignore because it totally demolishes your argument..

    There is NO PLACE in this country where gun control is effective in preventing gun violence.

    NO.... PLACE....

    Chicago is just one example amongst hundreds...

    And a fine family they look like too!

    (but I still hate local news)

    Thanks.. We don't watch any local news or any network/cable TV at all.. We had to find that on the internet...

    Hope your grandson gets the treatment he needs.

    Thanx.. We're hopeful.... :D

  141. [141] 
    michale wrote:

    Russian government hackers do not appear to have targeted Vermont utility, say people close to investigation
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-government-hackers-do-not-appear-to-have-targeted-vermont-utility-say-people-close-to-investigation/2017/01/02/70c25956-d12c-11e6-945a-76f69a399dd5_story.html

    WaPoop eats crow... AGAIN!! :D

    Let's face the facts here..

    This RUSSIANS ARE COMING!!! hysteria is just the Left's version of the Birther movement..

    A total BS theory designed to do one thing and one thing only...

    Call into question the legitimacy of a freely and fairly elected President...

    Who could have POSSIBLY predicted this would happen??

    Oh wait... :D

    For all the hysteria from the Left about Trump not accepting the results of the election, it turns out that it's the LEFT who has gone batshit crazy with hysteria over a "rigged" election....

  142. [142] 
    michale wrote:

    WOW!!!!

    I just got an email from SecState John Kerry who said that there is a previously unknown fund that has over a million dollars in it for me!!!!

    All SecState Kerry asks is that I send him $220 to cover the expenses of transferring this money to me!!!

    I am going to do this right now because SecState Kerry would NEVER lie to me!!!!

    :D

    Question, though.. Why is Secretary Of State's email address mrjohnkerry101@yahoo.com???

    Oh, that's right. All US Secretary of States use private email services...

    So, I'm good!! I'm gonna be rich!!!!! :D

  143. [143] 
    michale wrote:

    Well, today's the day..

    If Obama is going to insert Garland into the SCOTUS, he'll have to do it today....

  144. [144] 
    michale wrote:

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/09/intellectuals-for-trump

    Kind of a long read, but well worth it...

    This is exactly why Trump won...

    Because the Left underestimated Trump at every turn and STILL continues to underestimate..

    Trump is stupid. Trump is a moron. Trump is a clown.. Trump is a con man.

    All the ideologically based accusations against Trump are total and complete BS because they fail to take into account on simple FACT..

    Trump bested *THE* biggest, meanest and most well-funded political juggernaut in the history of the planet..

    A stupid moronic clownish con-man simply could not have done that...

    If you accept that Trump is all those things, then Hillary must be *THE* most incompetent and stoopid candidate in the history of the planet to LOSE to such a man...

    So ya'all are left with two unpalatable choices..

    1. Trump is not the luser you claim...

    OR

    B. Hillary IS the luser you claim Trump to be...

  145. [145] 
    michale wrote:

    Well, today's the day..

    If Obama is going to insert Garland into the SCOTUS, he'll have to do it today....

    Anyone wanna lay any bets as to whether or not Obama will do it?? :D

  146. [146] 
    michale wrote:

    If there’s any single statement that Barack Obama probably wishes he could undo, it was his mockery of Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential debates. Referring to Romney’s characterization of Russia as America’s greatest geopolitical foe, Obama said the 1980s are now calling, and they want their foreign policy back.

    Now of course, Democrats are up in arms about the Russians, sounding like madcap John Birchers from the 1960s. As Twitter wag IowaHawk noted, they didn’t get upset when Russia invaded Crimea, they didn’t throw down when Russia shot down a civilian airliner over Ukraine, but stealing John Podesta’s password via a phishing scam is apparently grounds for restarting the Cold War. Well, only one of these crimes constitutes a threat to Democrats’ political power.

    It’s easy to mock the Democrats’ hysteria over all this, which seems mostly like an inability to accept that they lost an election they thought was in the bag. Instead, they blame a password-phishing scam that John Podesta fell for like somebody’s technologically-challenged grandmother. (Another IowaHawk tweet: “Breaking: State Dept expels 20 Nigerian diplomats after John Podesta fails to receive $1 million wire transfer from nephew of General Okezi.”) And, partly to cover for Hillary and to delegitimize Trump, much of the press has talked about “election hacking” in a way that suggests — entirely falsely — that the Russians were changing votes instead of (maybe) being the ones who copied embarrassing emails from John Podesta and gave them to Wikileaks. (I say “maybe” because some people, like Ars Technica’s security editor Dan Goodin, don’t think that the Obama Administration has made the case that the Russians were behind it.)
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/01/02/russians-hacking-podesta-emails-democrats-glenn-reynolds-column/96081006/

    The Left simply cannot accept that they lost the election fair and square.. So they have to hysterically point to ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in a lame and ultimately futile attempt to cover up the obvious..

    Hillary Clinton was a shit candidate and Obama's policies have screwed the Democratic Party over for a generation....

  147. [147] 
    michale wrote:

    “Breaking: State Dept expels 20 Nigerian diplomats after John Podesta fails to receive $1 million wire transfer from nephew of General Okezi.”

    hehehehehehehehehehehehehehe

    Now THAT was funny!!! :D

  148. [148] 
    michale wrote:

    Ford Cancels Plans for New $1.6 Billion Mexico Plant
    Bloomberg News
    January 3, 2017, 11:08 AM EST

    Ford is scrapping its plans for a new $1.6 billion plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and will invest $700 million in the expansion of the Flat Rock, Michigan plant, Bloomberg News reports.

    Oh wow!!!!

    That's our President-Elect!!!!

    Making America Great Again!!!! :D

  149. [149] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    And yet, the American people totally repudiated Obama's polices in the form of over 1000 Democrat elected positions given to Republicans..

    The Republicans still managed to lose seats in both the House and Senate. Isn't there a lawsuit currently pending in Wisconsin, wherein the Democrat won the popular vote, but still lost to the Republican?

    When he actually does something that requires condemnation other than just having a '-R' after his name..

    Like what? Colluding with foreign powers? Accepting cash bribes through his businesses?
    What is he trying to hide in his tax returns?
    Can you say "emoluments"?

    I would no[t] believe anything a union official [says]

    Even a police union official? You paint with big brush, Kimosabbe.

    There is NO PLACE in this country where gun control is effective in preventing gun violence.

    Sure there is: inside the Capitol, where strict prohibition of guns has kept many Republican Senators and Reps safe from sane people.

  150. [150] 
    michale wrote:

    The Republicans still managed to lose seats in both the House and Senate. Isn't there a lawsuit currently pending in Wisconsin, wherein the Democrat won the popular vote, but still lost to the Republican?

    Probably not... :D

    Like what? Colluding with foreign powers? Accepting cash bribes through his businesses?

    Acts Hillary Clinton is clearly guilty of... But she is protected by the almighty '-D' after her name...

    Even a police union official? You paint with big brush, Kimosabbe.

    Yer right.. A cop is a cop first and foremost.. Even a union official cop... :D

    Sure there is: inside the Capitol, where strict prohibition of guns has kept many Republican Senators and Reps safe from sane people.

    Aww right... Aww right...

    So, what you are saying is that you want to build a BIG WALL around the entire country and have strict ingress controls and searches and metal detectors and all of the stuff that keeps the Capitol safe...

    How positively Trumpian of you....

    OK... Let's do THAT and THEN ya can have your gun control...

    :D

  151. [151] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    So, the GOP kicks off its first day of the new session, embroiled in an Ethics controversy. Specifically, whether or not there should be any. The majority of the GOP caucus in the house voted last night to kill the Office of Congressional Ethics, over the objections of their own leaders.

    As David Axelrod noted later, this was a big, fat, Zeppelin for Trump to shoot down, and he did, with a tweet this morning, tweeting that as "unfair" as the Office might be, perhaps this was not the time to gut it (yeah, d'ya think so?). Shortly thereafter, the decision was reversed after leadership called a hasty meeting.

    A couple of thoughts: first, what an incredibly stupid move on the part of the caucus. Minus the very few who realized that it would look to the public like a vote in favor of open corruption. That's what the majority of the majority of the house for the next year thinks of ethics, folks.

    So there's that.

    Then you have the spectacle of Ryan losing control of the caucus for this vote, only to have them get in line in response to a tweet. The optics (and politics) suck here too. Ryan looks hapless, Trump looks like he's controlling his loyal followers by memo command. He's figured out how to turn this into a video game, in other words. That could be interesting, going forward.

    While I was researching this, I noticed a marked difference in coverage between the newspapers and networks: The NY Times coverage was relatively restrained, saying that the House responded to 'criticism' from Trump. By comparison, CNN's coverage is breathless, saying that Trump "strong-armed" Republicans in his "first Washington power play". Wow, all that?

    Note to CNN: I think we've found the problem.

  152. [152] 
    michale wrote:

    THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!!!! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!!!!!

    'Fake News' And How The Washington Post Rewrote Its Story On Russian Hacking Of The Power Grid
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2017/01/01/fake-news-and-how-the-washington-post-rewrote-its-story-on-russian-hacking-of-the-power-grid/#3eec00bc291e

    Oh...well.... Maybe not.... :D

    It's almost a Pavlovian response amongst the Left Wingery..

    No matter how ridiculous, no matter how outlandish.... If the Left can use it to beat Trump over the head???

    They'll swallow ANY BS story, hook, line and sinker.... :D

  153. [153] 
    michale wrote:

    Ya know, it's funny...

    Ya'all go on and on about the idea that it was the Russians hacking DNC and Podesta emails that won the election for Trump..

    But ya'all totally miss the fact that it was the *CONTENT* of the emails that allegedly turned the election in favor of Trump...

    So, even if one were to accept the idea that Russians hacked the DNC and Podesta (even though there is *ZERO* hard evidence to prove it) and even if one were to accept the idea that the emails were enough to swing the election to Trump (again, even though there is *ZERO* hard evidence to support it) ya'all are STILL left with one nagging, inconvenient but oh-so accurate FACT...

    It's the *CONTENT* of the emails, the actual words written by Democrats themselves, that (according to ya'all's theory) caused the American people to vote for Trump by the tens of millions..

    So, blame the Russians if you want. Anything to avoid reality... Whatever helps get you thru yer day...

    But the unavoidable FACT is, even if it WAS Russia who enforced total and complete transparency, it was Democrats' own words that caused the American People to turn to Trump....

    Just like it was Hillary's choice to use an unauthorized, illegal, insecure, hackable and hacked bathroom closet email server. Which, in turn lead to James Comey's investigation, his merciless critique of Hillary's "extremely careless" actions.. And which also lead to the follow-up investigation when State Dept emails were found on Abedin's husband's laptop.. ANOTHER violation of the law....

    If Hillary and Abedin hadn't committed these crimes, then Comey would have had nothing to investigate and Hillary would have likely won the election.... Once again, it was the actions of Hillary and her inner circle that caused their problems. Not the subsequent investigation of them..

    So, no matter how you slice it, no matter what scapegoat ya'all want to come up with (Russians and Comey and emails, oh my!!) the simple fact remains..

    Democrats lost this election....

    "These are the facts of the case.. And they are undisputed."
    -Captain Smilin' Jack Ross, A FEW GOOD MEN

  154. [154] 
    michale wrote:

    "The Russian Hack" movement will go down in the annals of history as the Left Wingery's Birther movement...

    :D

    And who could have POSSIBLY predicted THAT!?? :D

    heh

  155. [155] 
    michale wrote:

    Ya'all go on and on about the idea that it was the Russians hacking DNC and Podesta emails that won the election for Trump..

    There ARE a couple exceptions to that "ya'all"... Ya'all know who you are... :D

  156. [156] 
    michale wrote:

    http://dailycaller.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/C0x4E2HVQAAfwlE.jpeg

    "Yes, Mr John Kerry.. If only that orange sliver were smaller, THEN there would be peace in the region.."
    -@RubinReport

    Israel is 800 square miles in a sea of muslim states that is 20 MILLION square miles... A sea of muslim states ALL committed to the destruction of Israel...

    Yea... If Israel gave up MORE land, there would be peace.. :^/

    Do you guys even HEAR yourselves???

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