Friday Talking Points [449] -- Cleanup On Aisle Trump

[ Posted Friday, August 18th, 2017 – 17:39 UTC ]

Welcome back to Friday Talking Points! Let's see... anything big happen in the two weeks while we were away?

We're kidding, of course. The flood of sewage from Donald Trump's mouth was so pervasive, it was downright impossible to ignore it from anywhere on the planet. So last week we watched in fear as Trump got in a shoving match with Kim Jong Un, and this week we remained agape while Trump told us what he really feels about people who march with swastikas while screaming about Jews -- that they're "very fine people."

Hoo boy.

The most appropriate quote -- from inside the White House, mind you -- in reaction to Trump's impromptu press conference came from the Daily Beast:

"It was the president's decision to do this," another White House official (said) of Trump's free-wheeling at the press conference. Asked for a mini-review of Trump's press conference performance, the official would only respond, "clean-up on aisle Trump."

Brookings fellow Jamie Kirchick took the prize for best tweet in response to Trump: "When determining whether or not the president is a racist, I'll defer to the professional racists, who very much seem to think he is."

Trump's term in office has been a series of one bad week after another. Each time you think it can't get any worse, it does. Over and over again. It's Groundhog Day meets Nightmare On Elm Street, folks. But in the pantheon of very bad weeks, this particular week was clearly the worst so far. That doesn't mean Trump won't be able to top it next week, however.

Let's quickly run through the timeline. For context, here is Trump in 2015, speaking about Nikki Haley ordering the Confederate flag removed from the statehouse in South Carolina: "I would take it down, yes. I think they should put it in a museum and respect whatever it is you have to respect."

Last Saturday, neo-Nazis and white supremacists descended on Charlottesville, Virginia. By the time they left, one was dead and dozens injured -- most from a terrorist attack made by a white supremacist using his car as a weapon.

Trump's first response was to condemn "hatred, bigotry, and violence, on many sides -- on many sides."

The next day, Jeff Sessions appeared on the Sunday morning shows and agreed it was an act of domestic terrorism. Trump still hasn't admitted this, though.

Monday, Trump had been forced to issue a much clearer condemnation of Nazis and white supremacists. He read the words someone else had written off a TelePrompTer, while doing an impression of a small child being forced to apologize for something he really isn't sorry for at all.

This, quite obviously, chafed on the president. The next day he was scheduled to give some introductory remarks on infrastructure, and instead went rogue and declared a press conference. His combative answers to the questions that ensued showed what he really thought (the entire transcript has to be read to be believed, really). There were some "very fine people" on both sides, and also on both sides those who committed violence.

Also during his busy week, Trump took the time to retweet an image of a "Trump train" plowing into a figure with the CNN logo where the face should be. Mere days after a car killed a woman in Charlottesville, mind you.

The reactions were swift. Corporate America is backing away from Trump as fast as they can backpedal. What began as a trickle of C.E.O.s quitting Trump advisory panels soon grew into a flood (ironic side note: when the first C.E.O. announced his departure, it took Trump only 54 minutes to rip into him on Twitter -- a stark contrast to the time it took him to address Charlottesville). When the members of one business advisory panel voted among themselves to disband the group, Trump pre-empted their announcement by dissolving both of his advisory councils of C.E.O.s. Later in the week, he was forced to announce that a new infrastructure advisory board was being cancelled (likely because nobody was willing to join it). Today, a presidential arts and humanities advisory council disbanded itself, and sent an open letter to Trump which ended:

Supremacy, discrimination, and vitriol are not American values. Your values are not American values. We must be better than this. We are better than this. If this is not clear to you, then we call on you to resign your office, too.

Ouch. It was also announced today that multiple charities are cancelling their reservations for events at Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort.

Reactions from politicians was swift, bipartisan, and universal. Trump has indeed managed to unite Washington -- against him. Today's talking points section will cover the full range of Republican denouncements of Trump, in fact. The only current African-American Republican senator, Tim Scott, admitted he could not "defend the indefensible." Senator Bob Corker was even heard questioning Trump's "stability" and "competence." Trump lashed out on Twitter against at least two GOP senators (John McCain and Jeff Flake), but there are now so many speaking out against him it'd take him hours to even respond to them all. In essence, everyone (including Democrats and most of the media, to boot) was saying the same thing: "There are no very fine Nazis and white supremacists -- period!"

In the midst of all this, Trump leaked that he was considering pardoning infamous Arizona ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has been convicted of contempt of a federal court and faces jail time. Because (we suppose) the guy who ran the most racist police force in the country is also a "very fine person" to Trump. Or something.

Two pieces of historical context arose worth mentioning. The first was from a tweet from Daily Show writer Dan Amira, who pointed out: "In 1980 Trump demolished two historic sculptures bc removing them intact would have delayed construction of Trump Tower by a week and a half." So I guess Trump's professed love of history and statues is a recent thing, huh?

The second is an article about Fred Trump, Donald's father. The headline: "In 1927 Donald Trump's Father Was Arrested After A Klan Riot In Queens." Speaks for itself -- a chip off the old block, as it were.

But back to the present -- by week's end, Steve Bannon had been fired. Of course, he's not the only proponent of the "alt-right" in the White House. Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka still remain, although Gorka is rumored to be on thin ice. But no matter how hard Chief of Staff John Kelly tries, even firing the worst people around him still won't fix Trump.

As for other Republicans, it's fairly easy to tweet disapproval, but it's a lot tougher to actually walk the walk afterwards. Politico reports that GOP leaders in Congress are in no rush to hold any hearings of any kind into white supremacist and far-right movements: "[T]he House Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Department of Justice’s handling of domestic terrorism, has no immediate plans to schedule [such a hearing], aides say." Paul Ryan isn't exactly a profile in courage, either, as he issued a statement on the ten statues of Confederates in the U.S. Capitol building: "These are decisions for those states to make." A Robert E. Lee statue within the seat of the government he was trying to overthrow is just fine with Ryan, apparently.

Huffington Post also pointed out that a grant of $400,000 to a group that "works to de-radicalize neo-Nazis" that was issued in the final days of the Obama administration will not actually appear. They're going to redirect the money to "fighting radical Islamic terrorism" instead.

Oh, and Salon helpfully notes that there is a Republican movement which has already resulted in bills being passed in North Carolina and Texas which would make it fully legal to run over protesters blocking roads with your car. Because what could possibly go wrong with a law like that?

Tweeting is easy. Actually standing up to the president (and racism) is a lot harder for Republicans to do, so far at least.

One positive note to end on: in the midst of this horrific week, former president Barack Obama tweeted out a quote from Nelson Mandela. It is now the most popular tweet of all time on Twitter. That's how to be presidential, as opposed to what Trump was spewing all week long.


Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

We didn't write a column last week, but had we done so we would have had a tough time picking out a Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week, because we had seen so many impressive progressives all week long at the Netroots Nation conference.

We heard many fine speeches and presentations by all manner of experts, but were especially impressed by some of the Democratic candidates. Many of these are newcomers to politics, and all showed an amazing amount of dedication and willpower. The most impressive would be hard to choose, although we have to say one man stood out.

Randy Bryce (otherwise known on Twitter as @IronStache) is running to take Paul Ryan's House seat away from him. He's a Union ironworker, and he knows exactly what he stands for. His campaign is focused on healthcare, where Ryan is weak. Bryce wowed the crowd more than any other speaker we saw during the week, and we certainly wish him all the best in his race next year.

He's even getting under Ryan's skin already. Bryce has been berating Ryan for not holding a town hall meeting for almost two full years, and Ryan finally gave in and announced he would be holding one early next week (August 21, to be broadcast on CNN). So the Iron 'Stache is already having an impact.

There were plenty of other impressive speeches during Netroots Nation, including a call for Democratic unity (by championing progressive issues) by Senator Elizabeth Warren that is worth reading in full.

But that was last week. This week, two bits of symbolism caught our eye. The first was the letter the presidential arts and humanities council sent, announcing the disbanding of the group. The language in it is strong and bold, and a few paragraphs even draw inspiration from the Declaration of Independence. But the amusing part is that the first letters of all the paragraphs spell out "RESIST." Heh. We'd expect nothing less from artistic types.

But while that's deserving of an Honorable Mention, this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award goes to another artist, for an absolutely brilliant image.

From a Salon story about the creation of this image:

Mike Mitchell, the creator of the image often forwarded by those advocating for the impeachment of Trump, designed the image in February after determining he wanted to stain the number Trump holds so dear. "I knew I wanted to take on 45, a number he was clearly proud of as he put it on his dumb red USA hat," Mitchell told Co.Design. "I definitely wanted to try and tarnish it."

. . .

"Perhaps [the connection between Trump and Nazis] wasn't as clear in February, but it's clear now, which is why I think it really took off," Mitchell said. "[The symbol] seemed fitting in February, is fitting in August."

Mitchell shared a high resolution version of the image on his Twitter account and has allowed people to use and distribute the image for free. And now that his image has gone viral, the artist wants just one thing: "Impeach this idiot already," he said.

Any regular reader of this column knows we're a sucker for well-done political theater of any type, and we have to say it's been a long time since we've seen such a poignant image. Really sums it up. No explanation necessary. Which is the highest praise that can be offered for a political symbol, really.

So this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week is Mike Mitchell, for his most excellent "45-swastika-NO" design. Well done!

[Congratulate Mike Mitchell via his Twitter page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]


Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Sadly, this one is easy to call this week. Here is the full story:

Democratic state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal went on her personal Facebook page Thursday morning to vent two days after the president blamed "both sides" for the brutality.

"I put up a statement saying, 'I really hate Trump. He's causing trauma and nightmares.' That was my original post," she told the Kansas City Star. The Facebook post received many responses, Chappelle-Nadal said, and to one she replied, "I hope Trump is assassinated!"

Chappelle-Nadal later explained that she didn't actually wish harm to come to Trump but wrote it out of frustration.

"I didn't mean what I put up. Absolutely not," Chappelle-Nadal told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It was in response to the concerns that I am hearing from residents of St. Louis."

"There are people who are afraid of white supremacists," she added. "There are people who are having nightmares. There are people who are afraid of going out in the streets. It's worse than even Ferguson."

Though the senator quickly deleted the comment, an image of the statement swept social media, catching the attention of the Secret Service and prompting calls for her to step down.

We will leave it for her constituents in Missouri to decide whether she should continue to serve or not, but we must condemn such a statement no matter what frame of mind Chappelle-Nadal was in when she wrote it.

Calls for (or support of, or hopes for) political assassination are beyond the pale. This is a bright red line that should never be crossed. Every time a Democratic politician crosses it, they are automatically awarded the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week, and this week is no different.

For shame. There simply is no excuse.

[Contact Missouri state senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal on her official contact page, to let her know what you think of her actions.]


Friday Talking Points

Volume 449 (8/18/17)

There are just too many reactions to Trump's astonishing press conference to limit ourselves to just seven talking points this week. Instead, we're just going to throw them all together, for maximum impact.

Most of these are tweets from Republican members of Congress, it should be noted. Their language was unequivocal, unlike the president's. Of particular note was Marco Rubio, who has been one of the strongest anti-Trump voices on the right all week long. Rubio really deserves a few interviews this Sunday morning for pushing back so hard, in fact.

Note: All of these were taken from a number of different articles this week in the Washington Post. The final item is from a brilliant Salon article that everyone should take the time to read.

Further note: While not in reaction to Trump, we wrote yesterday about some sage advice Trump should listen to from General Robert E. Lee and Ronald Reagan. The Reagan speech, in particular -- his "evil empire" speech -- is incredibly apt for Trump to read, right about now.

But that's enough intro. Let's instead just get right to the talking points. Again, most of these are from members of Trump's own party


Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)

"[Trump's response was being praised by] some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country. For the sake of our Nation -- as our President -- please fix this. History is watching us all."


Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska)

"Anything less than complete & unambiguous condemnation of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK by the @POTUS is unacceptable. Period."


Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)

"We should call evil by its name. My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home."


Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida)

"Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists"

"The organizers of events which inspired & led to #charlottesvilleterroristattack are 100% to blame for a number of reasons. They are adherents of an evil ideology which argues certain people are inferior because of race, ethnicity or nation of origin.... These groups today use SAME symbols & same arguments of #Nazi & #KKK, groups responsible for some of worst crimes against humanity ever. Mr. President, you can't allow #WhiteSupremacists to share only part of blame. They support idea which cost nation & world so much pain. The #WhiteSupremacy groups will see being assigned only 50% of blame as a win. We cannot allow this old evil to be resurrected."


Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colorado)

"Mr. President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism."


Ohio Governor John Kasich (R)

"Let's get real. There is no moral equivalency to Nazi sympathizers. There can be no room in America -- or the Republican party -- for racism, anti-Semitism, hate or white nationalism. Period."


Representative Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), National Republican Congressional Committee chair

"I don't understand what's so hard about this. White supremacists and Neo-Nazis are evil and shouldn't be defended."


Representative Will Hurd (R-Texas)

"Apologize. Racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, of any form is unacceptable. And the leader of the free world should be unambiguous about that."


Mitt Romney (R)

"No, not the same. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes."


Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin (member of Trump's cabinet, but a holdover from the Obama administration)

"I do feel like as an American and as a member of the Cabinet, that I can speak for my own personal opinions on this, and I am outraged by the behavior that I have seen with the Nazis and the white supremacists. I am outraged on the use of violence -- to be able to put one's ideals, and force them upon others. [It is] a dishonor to our country's veterans for the Nazis and the white supremacists to go unchallenged, and that we all have to speak up about this as Americans.... staying silent on these issues is not acceptable."


Former C.I.A. director John Brennan

[Brennan wrote a letter to Wolf Blitzer which he later allowed to be published, after hearing that Blitzer had lost all four grandparents to the Nazis.]

"I just want to extend my sympathies not only for their deaths but also to you and your family -- and countless others -- for the pain inflicted today by the despicable words of Donald Trump. Mr. Trump's words, and the beliefs they reflect, are a national disgrace, and all Americans of conscience need to repudiate his ugly and dangerous comments. If allowed to continue along this senseless path, Mr. Trump will do lasting harm to American society and to our standing in the world. By his words and his actions, Mr. Trump is putting our national security and our collective futures at grave risk."


Salon writer Chauncey DeVega

This was the best piece of writing we read all week. The points made are really impossible to deny. Different races are indeed treated differently, which we'd all do well to realize (which DeVega scathingly points out).

Ultimately, the Charlottesville police looked on and did very little to stop the white supremacist maelstrom. The orgy of white violence culminated with an ISIS-style attack when a speeding car crashed into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer and leaving many dozens injured. The alleged attacker was later arrested by the Charlottesville police. He was taken alive.

Imagine this: What if the white right-wing thugs in Charlottesville had instead been African-American or Hispanic?

The police would not have shown restraint. They would have been joined by the National Guard and other forces. A bloodbath might well have ensued. The events in Ferguson, Missouri after the shooting of Mike Brown, demonstrate how America's police respond to unarmed black and brown American who dare to engage in civil disobedience and protest. People of color with guns or other weapons would be shown no mercy.

What if the white right-wing thugs in Charlottesville had been First Nations people?

As occurred last year at Standing Rock, they would have been treated brutally. Unarmed and peaceful Native Americans (and their allies) who tried to stop a toxic pipeline that will pollute the area's water supply were attacked by a militarized police force and private mercenaries.

What if the white right-wing thugs in Charlottesville had been Muslims?

A national emergency would have been declared. The violence and killing in Charlottesville would instantly have been labeled as terrorism. Donald Trump would immediately have given a speech to the American people about the grave danger posed by this terrorist assault on the "homeland." The full weight of the federal government would have been thrown against the Muslims running amok in Charlottesville.

-- Chris Weigant


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


109 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [449] -- Cleanup On Aisle Trump”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i know it takes a week for the polling average to catch up with public opinion, but it is still chilling that since monday donald's average approval rating has gone up four points.


  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    I'm pretty sure I said, last week, that Charlottesville was the tipping point and I think that's panning out. As I said, it didn't mean he'd be gone immediately, but it meant his presidency was over, and I think it is. He may still be there, holding the title, but its just a matter of time now.

    3 commissions disbanded and now a bunch of Tech CEOs are bailing from another group. Groups cancelling events at Mar-a-lago. On CNBC, per a KOS diary, WH staff were reportedly considering a mass resignation. (That hasn't been confirmed.) Top leaders in all Armed Force branches repudiated him. GOP leaders went into hiding, unable to defend him.

    Bannon out and supposedly threatening war on the WH -- although he's another liar so who the hell knows. Regardless, its not enough to save this burning wreckage. Everyone believes 45 is a liar; now a majority believe he's a racist and a nazi-sympathizer. NO ONE decent will go to work for him - he's been forced to make his long-time secretary the Communications Director. Major Jewish figures are calling on Mnunchin (and some others) to resign and are excoriating Kushner. Athletes are refusing to go to WH ceremonies while he's in office.

    Separate from all the other calculations and maneuvers by different people and factions the bottom line is the situation is unsustainable. Pretty soon it will be 45, his kids, a couple of wackos and the Secret Service. Hope Hicks will be running to KFC for takeout.

    The hunt is going to be on for a way to help him resign. I'd like to see him in jail, but even more I just want him gone. So I'm projecting. But I think a lot of folks would see several advantages to giving him some face-saving way out. My bet is "illness" but we'll see.

    We don't know how its going to end. But its going to end.

  3. [3] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    still no evidence that donald has done anything illegal, so i rate it highly likely that he'll serve out the rest of his first term. this definitely weakens him though, and i now consider it unlikely that he'll win the GOP nomination in 2020.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I think we should have a contest to predict when Trump will resign.

    I'll play THAT game! :)

  5. [5] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Scott is the only GOP African-American Senator. There are Dem AA Sens.

  6. [6] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW - welcome back, excellent FTP, you do seem highly energized!

    Paula-2 still plenty of additional tipping points waiting in the wings. The Feds are just beginning to dig. Mixing metaphors, 90% of this iceberg is still beneath the surface.

    NYPoet - 1,3 see above

    Liz-4 suggested the same myself.

  7. [7] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    It won't come soon enough. He gets to destroy our credit rating next month.

  8. [8] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Of course, Alt-Orange is not a racist. He just needs the Nazis and Confederates to hang on. MAGA

  9. [9] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    The thing that jumped out at me about this column is the praise for neoliberal critics, Republican critics, media critics...

    ... but not a word of praise (or an award or an honorable mention even) for the "alt-left" protestors who stood up against the hate.

    I can see why an artistic logo creator, artistic letter writers and Democratic candidates are more compelling subjects... I guess.

    Speaking of Netroots, was it always an organizing event for the Democratic party?
    I've never been, but I thought it used to be non-partisan, and by your description, it doesn't sound like it is any more.

    Speaking of the "alt-left", I thought this article about the origins of the term was rather interesting.
    It sure puts the Democrats who choose to use the term into a new perspective.

    On a related note, it seems that Netanyahu chose to remain silent about what Trump said, but that Bibi's son in Israel praised Trump for his comments this week.
    He said something to the effect that neo-Nazis in America were a dying breed and thus no big deal, but that the "far left" protestors deserved to be condemned because Black Lives Matter and Antifa were a growing threat and enemies of Israel (due to their criticism of Israeli policies).

    I am happy to report that many Israelis condemned Bibi for remaining silent and his sons comment.
    Haaretz put it like this-
    "This is the message of Netanyahu's silence: I am not the prime minister of the Jewish people. I am the prime minister of all of the Jewish people who are right-wing, pro-settlement, anti-Palestinian, pro-Me"

    (for some context, a while back, Bibi repeatedly claimed to be the leader of all Jewish people, not just Israelis, in order to try to gain political advantage of some sort)

    Trump's words didn't just bring condemnations from all over the world, but caused likely political consequences for his buddies too.


  10. [10] 
    altohone wrote:

    delayed response to comments 6 and 7 from Lee and Reagan's Advice for Trump

    "The same thing that primarily set us apart then: respect for human rights, and the right of all people to political self-determination through a representative government."

    Well, I'm sure you are aware that Putin was elected several times with large majorities and remains popular... that your claims about him may be true but are actually unproven assertions... that two of our last five presidential elections went to the candidate who got fewer votes... that our government is representative of big donors rather than the people... that our own press is dominated by five corporations who fire dissenters of the establishment line and exclude alternative views... that our own history is replete with persecutions and assassinations and human rights violations up to this day...

    ... and that Reagan's beef with communism coincided with his support for anti-democratic authoritarians who violated human rights, killed political opponents and allowed no press freedoms (not unlike many of our allies today, not just Saudi Arabia).

    So, basically, your claim that it wasn't the evil empire of communist ideology that was the real reason for Reagan's words as quoted by CW yesterday, but rather other factors at play, is really blatant historical revisionism coupled with head in the sand denial about the current realities we face that does not match our noble rhetoric, and a side serving of hypocrisy.

    My comment was about the false narrative that justifies our global empire based on military and economic hegemony that too many Americans feel is justified by the good we are doing spreading freedom and democracy, but the truth is rather different... illegal wars, instability, oppression, etc.

    Another path is possible.
    A path of dialogue and diplomacy, a path of cooperation and compromise rather than confrontation and conflict.

    The "evil empire" of communism may have been a good reason for our policies back then, but times have changed, and it's time to reconsider whether the people making trillions off of our militarism should be the ones determining our foreign policy and limiting our domestic policy options.


  11. [11] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    From the 'Nice apartment above a meth lab', Canada, and indeed for me closer, Kingston.

    Let's not forget, according to Trump, we are no problem.


  12. [12] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey gang

    This interview with Col. Wilkerson about al Qaida is worth watching.
    It includes a couple of clips from others that provide some necessary context about al Qaida in Idlib province in Syria, but also lays out the choices we face in a very straightforward manner that I would hope most would agree on.

    about 14 minutes long


  13. [13] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey gang

    Here's an interesting take that includes several of the bits CW mentioned, but with a broader context.


  14. [14] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    nypoet22 [1] -

    You looking at RCP? They've been manipulating their own data set, but I don't think it's been a full four points...

    Paula [2] -

    I think you may be right about the tipping point, where nobody wants to work for him anymore. We'll see...

    Although I still maintain that a weak and ineffectual Trump in the WH that everyone ignores and laughs at is still better than President Pence.

    Maybe that's just me, though...

    LizM [4] -

    Bookmakers in Ireland are taking bets. Is such gambling legal in Canada? Heh.

    Speak2 [5] -

    Didn't I say that? Lemme check...

    OK, you're going to have to believe me on this one, but that was actually in the original draft [Hello, Cory Booker?!?]. But it somehow got edited out when I rewrote that whole sentence. I'll fix it after I finish this comment, promise, because that is indeed what I originally wrote. Good eye, and thanks for pointing it out.

    OK, altohone's going to need a separate comment from me, so let me go fix it now...


  15. [15] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    altohone [9] -

    That is a damn good point, and I'm kind of astonished at myself for missing the obvious. Everyone who reacted so as not to be later shamed by some modern version of the "When they came for the Socialists" poem does indeed deserve recognition. And I don't know how I blew it -- it was kind of a "face-palm" moment to read your comment, in fact.

    I was really happy to see the response in Boston today. I promise, I'll either address this next week in an article, or at the very least add a note to the FTP, noting this week's omission.

    And thanks for pointing it out!

    As for Netroots (haven't finished your comment yet, kind of answering as I read each paragraph), it is officially non-partisan, but then again so are the conservative conventions.

    I mean, it's lefty. Which politicians are really going to show up? NRN would certainly welocme a Progressive Republican (if such creatures even exist), but I've never seen one.

    The interesting thing, really, is who shows up. I've seen a wide number of Dem senators show up (Franken, Warren, Sanders) but also have never seen Hillary at one (she may have attended one of the first, before her 2008 run, I don't know, but she was nowhere to be seen in 2008 or 2016).

    So, no, it's not officially a Dem party convention, but (logically) that's who shows up to schmooze the lefty crowd.

    Your news on Israel was interesting, I have to say. I vaguely heard about the comment supporting Trump, but didn't even read the article. So it's interesting to see some spillover into other countries' politics.


  16. [16] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    James T Canuck [11] -

    Have to say, that's still my favorite login yet...

    As for your link, damn, Canucki journalism is pretty impressively erudite. That was a scathing article, and yet I feel like I just earned a college credit or two for reading it. Delanda Trump indeed!

    Thanks for a good read from up north...


  17. [17] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Speak2 [5] -

    OK, it now reads:

    The only current African-American Republican senator, Tim Scott, admitted...



  18. [18] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    CW...We both have our Donald's, ours wears outrageous suits, limits his attention to sports and can mess up 'take me out to the ball game' in Chicago. Our Donald, Mr Cherry, another Kingston treasure, will thumb-wrestle your Donald...can you arrange things on your end?


  19. [19] 
    Kick wrote:


    [moved forward from Trump's Tailspin]

    "You've got city hands Mr. Hooper... been countin money all your life."
    - Quint in Jaws

    Say, Punk... speaking of Quint, they just located his USS Indianapolis after 72 years. Go figure.

    Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us, he swung in low and he saw us, a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us, and he come in low and three hours later, a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. Y'know, that was the time I was most frightened, waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a life jacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water, three hundred sixteen men come out; the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway... we delivered the bomb. ~ Quint in Jaws

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    okay, 3.9 points.

    8/14: 37.4-57.4
    8/18: 39.0-55.1

    technically you're right, but it's still not a good look for our country.


  21. [21] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    agreed, bibi does not speak for most jews, or even most israelis.


  22. [22] 
    altohone wrote:


    Thanks. I really appreciate it.
    I'd like to see more people in the mainstream make that point on issues other than the no brainer response to neo-Nazis (which you have, so that isn't directed towards you).

    The comment from his son was disturbing but revealing.
    The ongoing effort to paint all critics of Israeli policies as anti-Semitic, when there is a reluctance by Jewish right wingers to condemn fellow right wingers who are truly anti-Semitic will hopefully open some eyes.

    That's not to say that there aren't critics of Israeli policies who are also anti-Semitic, and it's important that we continue to call them out vocally as well.
    In my experience they're mostly right wing interlopers on left wing sites, but there are also the ignorant and a contingent of conspiracy theorists... with a sprinkling of Israel activists trying to discredit BDS.
    With a lot of effort, the ignorant can be informed, but the latter two groups will be a perpetual barrier to reasoned discourse on the issues.


    Oh jeez.
    Americans rallying behind Trump because of his offensive remarks is sick. Talk about revealing.


  23. [23] 
    altohone wrote:


    I hadn't heard about the discovery.

    I'd have to dig to find the article, but there was a disturbing report about Chinese salvage operators stealing WWII shipwrecks in Indonesia or the Philippines or thereabouts.

    They are legally protected tombs, and it's hard to imagine such disrespect to earn a buck.


  24. [24] 
    altohone wrote:


    Yeah well, it wasn't a protest sponsored by Dems, so I wasn't sure if I was expecting too much even though I'm sure a bunch of the protestors were Dems.

    No doubt, it's a tricky thing to write about since a small number of protestors acted in a manner unworthy of our support or praise (and I'm not talking about those who were responding to being attacked and defending themselves, but rather those who failed to adhere to accepted forms of protest).

    Again, I can't help but think about COINTELPRO.
    One of the well documented incidents occurred at a protest four days after the Kent State massacre... an LEO infiltrator threw a rock at the police and peaceful protestors were arrested and prosecuted for it, and the media savaged all the protestors about it.
    Or, at the Occupy camp in Oakland CA, the night the camp was forcibly destroyed, a bunch of men who nobody in Occupy had ever seen before showed up and instigated the violent clashes with the police that were all over the news.

    I hope we are only witnessing ignorant types with impulse control issues who don't understand that their actions are counterproductive.
    It would be sad if there is a group who adopt the tactics of the right to fight the right, or if there are active efforts to discredit the left again.

    That said, the vast majority were peaceful and do deserve some credit for standing up to Nazis, and the resulting impact on Trump and his gang.
    I'm glad you agree.


    So, were there any independent, DSA, or Green party candidates given speaking slots at Netroots?
    Or was it just acceptable lefties?


    As for Bibi, see my follow up to nypoet.
    Unfortunately, I don't think the impact will be very big, because most of the discussion is occurring in Israeli media as far as I have noticed.

    Someone here noted that the Rabbi who handled Ivanka's conversion spoke out strongly, but the Israel angle is being ignored.


  25. [25] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW and gang

    I spoke too soon.

    Happy to see the impact in Israel is not being ignored.


  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I've stopped my daily checking of the RCP poll average for Trump approval after it went from -20 to -16 ... just too damned depressing.

    A weekly check might be better. :)

  27. [27] 
    altohone wrote:

    23 part 2

    It looks like my concerns about the Indianapolis were unfounded... she's 18,000 feet down.


  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Damn it!

    I miss Michale ...

    Please come back!

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If you don't come back, Michale, I'm gonna think that things are far worse than they seem ... :(

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's a quarter after one and I need you now ...

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm a little drunk and I need you now ...

  32. [32] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Do you want me to troll ya?

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sorry, Liz..

    One can only get kicked in the teeth so often before they get sick of it..

    On the plus side, I DID find a commentary that explains ya'all's problem perfectly...

    How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble

    It was like going to church and receiving an epiphany from the gods...

    I wish ya'all the best...

  34. [34] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    we're living in hysterical times. are we hallucinating donald's statements in favor of the klan and the neo-nazis? i guess we need to read the entire transcript to figure out whether he actually said those things, or if there's some other context we're missing.


  35. [35] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    for the record, i think a more apt reading given the circumstances might be mark twain's 'a connecticut yankee in king arthur's court'

    read it and think about it.


  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You're gonna have to give me a freakin' break on your feeling like you've been kicked in the teeth too many times because that's what you've been doing to your fellow Weigantians on an hourly if not daily basis for a very long time now and you don't see us acting like you are, do you!!???

    It's really amazing that we are still all here and ready to take another virtual beating at your hands.

    Sure, some of the stuff you have to ignore but, jeez, just ignore it. It works for me!?

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Take Don's good advice, Michale.

    I'm thinking that there must be another (more valid) reason why you no longer wish to be a part of this wild place ... hmmm? ...

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:



  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, everyone ... if Michale comes back you have to promise to be nice to him.

    Heheheheheheheheheheheheheheheh ...

    Ahem. Seriously.

  40. [40] 
    TheStig wrote:


    Don't obsess on the polls. You shouldn't read much into short term fluctuations of the RCP rolling avg. plot. It has the virtue of simplicity, but that's about the only virtue. It's very noisy because RCP doesn't factor in house bias. There is a strong wave pattern in the data, probably because the different pollsters report in a fairly repeatable pattern. There is roughly 6 weeks between peak to peak or valley to valley numbers over the last 9 months. Daily numbers mean next to nothing. The long term trend is reasonably clear: Trump has been losing ground since February, his net favorability has dropped about 15%. That's a real problem for him, since he started at an historic low.

  41. [41] 
    Paula wrote:

    Elizabeth: What is the matter with you? Are you a Michale sock-puppet? Or are you a masochist?

  42. [42] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    for better and worse, michale is a member of our community. no individual gets to decide what any other individual must think, no matter how strongly we disagree. expressing concern for the health and well-being one of our own is not being a sock puppet, it's being human.


  43. [43] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Michale's behavior isn't unusual, Elizabeth. Chuck Todd reported yesterday that the producers of MTP couldn't find a single elected Republican willing to come onto this Sunday's show. Although August is normally the time for elected officials to meet and interact with constituents, many GOP are opting to limit interaction, preferring 'telephone town halls' wherein group responses aren't heard, or repurposing fundraisers as 'limited' meet-and-greets.

    In the meantime, nearly every elected Republican has issued some sort of statement distancing themselves from Trump's remarks. Even the Joint Chiefs of Staff (who never issue political opinions) felt compelled to issue statements reaffirming the military's commitment to equal rights.

    Outside government, conservatives have been more vocal, but many still criticize the President. One conservative called Trump's remarks "monumentally stupid", while Romney called on the president to apologize.

    There are, of course, those who will defend even the stupidest things their POTUS does. Many, following the lead of Trump and Sessions, have tried to draw an equivalency between white separatists and Antifa, the leftist anti-fascist group, as though being pro-fascist was merely another side of some inconsequential political coin.

    The writer that Michale linked to this morning [33] takes the novel approach of claiming that Trump "never campaigned to be our moral leader", and is "no angel" - essentially arguing the proposition: 'so what if he's a racist?'

    Certainly, those at the receiving end of Trump and Sessions' 'law and order' agenda would disagree that moral motivation has no bearing on the matter, particularly following Trump's glancing endorsement of police brutality in a recent speech.

    Hear that sound? It's honest Abe whirring in his grave like an out-of-control carousel, as 'the party of Lincoln' steps up to defend the Confederacy, and its generals, and the philosophy of hate that he devoted most of his life, and his entire presidency to eradicating. Nobody is suggesting tearing down the Lincoln memorial, probably for the same reason that Trump can't find a defender on capitol hill - moral leadership matters, even 150 years after the fact, and maybe more so today than ever.

  44. [44] 
    Kick wrote:


    It turns out that I am living in the path of totality. Who knew? So I wrote a song to celebrate. I only have words so far... no music. So, here goes...

    Well... I'm living in the path of totality
    I'm living in the path of totality
    So I'm living in the path of totality
    April 2024

    It's a work in progress. I still have some time to fine tune it. ;)

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Give it a rest, Paula and enjoy the partial total eclipse. )

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well said, Joshua.

  47. [47] 
    MHorton wrote:

    I guess we found the troll's breaking point.

    I don't get how anyone can rationalize what he said when the Nazi's came out and cheered his comments.

    Nation Review's comments are particularly interesting, since NR drove the white nationalists out years ago.

    It's crazy how many people are willing to defend literal Nazis just to piss off "leftists."

    I don't have much sympathy for Republicans though; I quit being a Republican years ago for these very reasons, and anyone who's kept voting for them was quietly condoning this the entire time.

  48. [48] 
    Paula wrote:

    [46] nypoet: I didn't say Elizabeth can't continue to court a traitorous dishonest rightwing troll if she wants too, nor that you can't continue to be the "I'm so enlightened" enabler of the traiterous, dishonest rightwing troll if you want to. I'm just asking why she WANTS to. And she, like Michale, doesn't answer the question. Which explains a lot.

    BTW, Joshua, you constantly try to tell me what I'm allowed to think and not think and say and not say. Meanwhile I have yet to see your extremely condescending exchanges with Michale produce anything other than the most minimal, and invariably short-lived, reductions in Michale's output of rightwing trollery. You do not help him, you enable him. Do you hand booze to your friends who are trying to quit drinking?

    Michale is a serial liar. When you pretend his lies don't matter you are saying "lying is ok". And when a culture does that for long periods, we get 45 and we get Nazis in our streets. Quite possibly Michale doesn't know when he's lying because it's so second-nature to him now. That is still not acceptable. Elizabeth treats Michale dishonesty as though its "cute" but occasionally tiresome. You treat it as though Michale is just confused or misguided. Just like those confused, misguided nazis in Charlottesville.

    It is my view that coddling liars enables them. It isn't kind. It isn't enlightened. It isn't holy. It is irresponsible. It is dangerous. When you do it you endanger honest people. You endanger vulnerable people.

    But whatever floats your boat...

    Oh, and Joshua, you say caring about Michale's hurt feelings is "human" -- implying that I am not. How could you be so mean?

  49. [49] 
    Paula wrote:

    [51] I don't have much sympathy for Republicans though; I quit being a Republican years ago for these very reasons, and anyone who's kept voting for them was quietly condoning this the entire time.


  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Take it easy, Paula - you're going to bust a gasket.

  51. [51] 
    Kick wrote:


    It looks like my concerns about the Indianapolis were unfounded... she's 18,000 feet down.

    Yes. To put that in perspective, she is 3.4 miles deep in the Pacific Ocean, about 1 mile deeper than the wreckage of the RMS Titanic in the Atlantic. Also... so far... the finder is not revealing her exact location.

  52. [52] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    My favorite story of the day:

    "Alpha Media adult alternative KINK (101.9) Portland, OR will track the classic Pink Floyd album, “Dark Side of the Moon” in its entirety beginning at 9:36am local time. “The eclipse has a soundtrack,” a promo on the station announced. The peak of the total eclipse will synch with the album’s closing lyrics “the sun is eclipsed by the moon” from the song “Eclipse.”"

    Like Kick, I'll have to wait for 2014 to see the total eclipse, but I know already what my soundtrack will be.

  53. [53] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    oops. 2024. Got ahead of myself, literally.

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Do you know of any small money Democrats?

  55. [55] 
    Paula wrote:

    [54} Oh I could be much, much worse. Believe me, I'm sheething my claws out of consideration for the delicate sensibilities of the Troll-petters here. As I said, you can troll-pet (that's a new combo I've just created :-) all you want. And I can comment on it all I want. Isn't it fun to be free?

    But, meanwhile

    Trolls like Michale fearmonger, which results in innocent people being hurt. Your encouragement empowers him, and his lies. By "taking him seriously" you take his bullshit seriously. You legitimize his bullshit arguments.

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Not surprisingly, you have completely missed my point.

  57. [57] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Don [59]:


  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    When was the last time that you made a serious comment here about a serious subject that didn't have anything to do with the antics of Michale?

    Your comments would be far more interesting if you could just focus on something other than Michale.

  59. [59] 
    Paula wrote:

    [64] Elizabeth: And you keep dodging my quite serious point. Your comments would be far more interesting if you would deal with the serious question of the perils of encouraging and empowering liars. I'd like your views on that. Instead you just keep posting insults. Could it be you have no argument to offer in defense of your inexplicable behavior?

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh I could be much, much worse.


  61. [61] 
    Paula wrote:

    Elizabeth: and since I am inhuman and uninteresting and apparently dim, you assert that I've missed your point. Feel free to spell it out more clearly so that I may better respond to it.

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Now, you're just boring.

  63. [63] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    Here's a little tidbit about your Netroots fave Ironstache Bryce.

    Dodging a debate with his primary opponent isn't very cool.


  64. [64] 
    Paula wrote:

    [68] And now I am boring. Well that's certainly a counter-argument. Not.

    I am inhuman, uninteresting, dim and boring. But YOU are without an argument. And your failure speaks volumes.

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That was for Don, by the way. :)

  67. [67] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Alt-Orange and Natasha apparently looked at the sun today. That's what it looked like in the photo anyway. Kelly should have made sure that the eclipse glasses were Trump brand.

  68. [68] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    our judgments of others tend to say more about ourselves than those we judge. i apologize to any of you i've given the impression that i'm trying to censor your opinions. my goal is not to seem holier than thou, it's to help keep this forum interesting, open to dissent and free from personal attacks. whatever his flaws, i believe this forum is better off with michale than without him, and i stand by that belief. judge me for that if you want, but know that judgment says as much about you as it does about me.


  69. [69] 
    Paula wrote:

    [77] Joshua: I don't want an apology, I want you to seriously consider my point. Your efforts were never able to keep Michale from indulging in personal attacks which inevitably lead to responses-in-kind -- nor could you stop him from acting as a spigot for rightwing talking points, misinformation and lies. And this is because HE doesn't care. You can't fix him. Or me. Or anyone.

    HOW is this forum better off from his input? Explain it to me.

    Explain to me why I shouldn't see your constant defense of him as enabling. And patronizing to him -- although he seems too oblivious to notice that. But you have literally told me you sometimes get through to him if you explain things carefully and clearly -- as if he's a child. He is not a child and his views are not amusing or harmless. They lead directly to people who gather around confederate statues and run over people in cars and beat people and shoot people and all the rest. None of those people received the pushback they needed previously. Many of them are publicly shocked at the pushback. That should tell you something.

    Neither you nor Elizabeth have responded to my point, nor offered a substantive defense of Michale's trolling. Even in your "apology" you're actually still insulting me -- "this judgement says as much about you as it does me" -- translation: I'm the spiritual good person and she's the bitch. Very passive-aggressive. And by extending your "apology" to the others you are trying to get kudos and reassurance. That's more manipulative behavior.

    I think you're offended, but I also think you don't have a case. You certainly haven't made it. You've stated your contention: the forum is better off with Michale's presence. So defend it.

  70. [70] 
    Kick wrote:



    my goal is not to seem holier than thou, it's to help keep this forum interesting, open to dissent and free from personal attacks. whatever his flaws, i believe this forum is better off with michale than without him, and i stand by that belief. judge me for that if you want, but know that judgment says as much about you as it does about me.

    How exactly did I get dragged into this? Was it something I didn't say? :)

  71. [71] 
    Paula wrote:

    And, to be fair to me, I have never called for Michale to be banned. If he leaves on his own I'm not going to mourn but if he comes and does his schtick I can either ignore him or, when I feel like it, bait him in response. As far as I'm concerned, the comments section here is Lord of the Flies.

    But you seem to think we need to let him get away with his crap AND not call him on it.

    That is emotionally unhealthy, masochistic behavior that benefits only one person: Michale.

  72. [72] 
    Paula wrote:

    Let me put this better: But you seem to think we need to let him get away with his crap AND be nice to him after he does.

    THAT's the unhealthy part.

  73. [73] 
    altohone wrote:


    I seem to recall a few rulings issued from your bench, but a poet who never shares any poetry obviously has pretty good judgment.

    I just passed judgment... or was that gas?


  74. [74] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula [81] seem to think we need to let him get away with his crap AND be nice to him after he does.

    On the other hand, if open hostility to trolls is what trolls feed on, you're undercutting yourself by being hostile.

    I prefer clever retorts, myself, in the manner of CW, who should be the gold standard of decorum here. Nobody tells me what to do here, but I do know how to take a cue.

    So while I understand your outrage, Paula, I urge you to take the more constructive path of utilizing Michale (and anyone else) as an opportunity to sharpen your intellectual sword against rough armor. Stay positive, stay sharp, be funny. That's how we win.

  75. [75] 
    altohone wrote:


    Is that another new venture to fix politics?

    BTW, comment 56... yup.


  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well said, Balthasar and very sage advice to us all.

  77. [77] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    you said it as i wish i could have. the value michale brings is a sense of humor and the opportunity to sharpen our arguments. he does regularly intersperse his brand of sophistry with valid arguments, so i like to focus on those.


    i've shared my poetry and songs here before - a few original to this blog. kick can back me up on that - she's much better than i am at record keeping. have you shared any of yours?


  78. [78] 
    MHorton wrote:

    I called for him to be banned the first time he lied and personally insulted someone.

    I'll never understand why you people want to keep a troll around.

    Go to the comments section of The Hill.

    When Redstate has more reasonable comments than CW, things are wrong. I've said so the whole time.

    I'd love to have reasoned discussions, but you can't block someone and ignore 100 literal posts in reply to his trolling.

    You guys seem to think that you have to have a troll around to have someone to disagree with you.

    But I'd bet I'm more conservative than most of you, and I enjoy playing Devil's Advocate in a rational manner, because I was properly trained in how to debate.

    We could have all sorts of discussions, Paula sure seems to like them, but instead you'd rather have a liar yell at you.

  79. [79] 
    MHorton wrote:


    Laughing off liars and propaganda is not the solution.

    It's not funny, and it's not "rough armor" it's a man who's either willfully spreading lies for political purposes, or who has fallen to propaganda.

    Either of those is not funny, and not something to "hone your arguments on"

    Besides, you can't hone an argument against someone who doesn't respond with facts or reasoning.

  80. [80] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    If this were my blog, I would not want a troll puking that Trumpbart propaganda all over it, but it's not mine. It's CW's and he appreciates the troll's cash donations - pay to troll. On the other hand, the CWtrollblocker tamper monkey program still works great. It makes the chatbot a non-issue.

  81. [81] 
    Kick wrote:


    i've shared my poetry and songs here before - a few original to this blog. kick can back me up on that - she's much better than i am at record keeping. have you shared any of yours?

    Record keeping!!!!! Ahem... Just so ya'all <-- see what I did there understand, that "record keeping" is done all in one place... my memory; I have not a single written record whatsoever.

    Songs, oh yes... we have shared songs:

    JL has... just one example:


  82. [82] 
    Kick wrote:


    Punk has (that's why he is "Punk"... a compliment)... one example:

  83. [83] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Pardon. She's much better than i am at remembering where to find stuff.

  84. [84] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is EXACTLY what I mean about ya'all living in a hysterical bubble..

    In your bubble, I simply make personal attacks on people WITHOUT provocation..

    In reality, I *ONLY* personally attack people AFTER they have personally attacked me... If ya'all don't like the personal attacks I make, then stop making the personal attacks on me.. It's that simple...

    In your bubble, I am being sophomoric because I said Victoria defended Nazis. Which she did..

    In reality, it was simply a response to Balthasar's accusation that *I* was defending Nazis.. Which I never have.. But because ya'all are in the hysterical bubble, my "sophistry" (of which there was none) is attacked, but Balthasar's sophistry is given a free pass..

    In ya'all's hysterical bubble, *I* am the *ONLY* one who makes off topic comments that must be publicly called out on..

    In reality, while I do it more, ***EVERYONE*** has been guilty of posting off-topic comments..

    But, the in the hysterical bubble, it's allowed for ya'all to do it without consequence.. But it's NOT allowed the only person in here NOT a slave to Party ideology..

    As an aside to Liz..

    It's not the teeth-kicking that bothers me so much as the fact that I get kicked in the teeth by the very few people here who should know better...

  85. [85] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You must find a way to grow a thicker skin, Michale.

    After all, it's not like we're have real face-to-face conversations here ... we're all safely positioned behind a screen.

    As you like to say, get over it!

  86. [86] 
    MHorton wrote:

    For the 100th time Michale, you're a troll, and you claiming that everyone else here is a " a slave to Party ideology.."

    Another lie, that you know better. Several people here have made it clear they don't belong to a party, and yet you can't keep from lying and insults even when you're crying about people being mean to you, after years of you outright attacking people with outright lies for daring to disagree with you.

  87. [87] 
    MHorton wrote:

    You sound like a freaking 5 year old.



    Grow. Up.

  88. [88] 
    Michale wrote:

    Keep it up, Horton..

    I might just come back to see you run away again, crying your eyes out... :D

  89. [89] 
    Michale wrote:

    You talk tough in "Combat Mode" when you think I am not around..

    But when I show up, you run away like the little bitch you are...

  90. [90] 
    MHorton wrote:

    No, I just get tired because I'm trying to have reasoned, intelligent conversation.

    And then here comes the troll, openly trolling.

    Also, I quit when it became clear that you buy your way into these forums.

    But sure, come back just to piss me off; that will SURE prove you're not just a troll here to troll people.

  91. [91] 
    MHorton wrote:

    You know what Michale, have at it. I'll leave again, just so you can have your fun, and gloat because you...

    Made me cry.

    Lol. These comments are a joke.

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:


    You go on and on about how I am preventing people from talking about politics..

    Yet it is YOUR sorry ass who has done nothing but post about me since you slunked back in after you thought i was gone..

    So, who's the dipshit??

    That would be you...

  93. [93] 
    MHorton wrote:

    You sure are proving you're not a troll by calling me names like a child.

  94. [94] 
    Michale wrote:

    But sure, come back just to piss me off; that will SURE prove you're not just a troll here to troll people.

    They are going to think whatever they want to think, regardless of the facts..

    Just like they do with President Trump...

    It's called being in a hysterical bubble...


    You know what Michale, have at it. I'll leave again

    Of course you will.. Because you are a candy-ass who can't handle facts...

  95. [95] 
    Michale wrote:

    You sure are proving you're not a troll by calling me names like a child.

    As I said, which you are obviously too stoopid to read..

    I treat people how they treat me..

    If you don't like being attacked, then quit attacking..

    At least *I* have the courage to say it directly to you..

    You just whine and cry behind my back..

    What a keyboard warrior you are.... Pussy

  96. [96] 
    MHorton wrote:

    LOL Right. I'm the keyboard warrior.

    Because I'm the one threatening people online.

    Calling them weak because they don't want to call me names back.

    I'm not afraid of you, Michale. You're so pathetic it makes me sick to see people encourage your sad, delusional behavior.

  97. [97] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm not afraid of you,

    And yet, you yourself admitted you will run away again..

    And it's YOU who waits until you think I am gone before you start talking shit..

    Apparently the facts PROVE you are afraid of me..

    Because I'm the one threatening people online.

    Awwwwww.... How did you put it???

    You sound like a freaking 5 year old.



    Grow. Up.

    Eat yer own words, little bit.. :D

  98. [98] 
    Paula wrote:

    So, Joshua's position is that Michale intersperses his brand of "sophistry" with "valid arguments" and he likes to concentrate on those. Joshua also enjoys Michale's humor.

    Balthasar says, similarly, that Michale's "arguments" can be used for practice, and to use humor etc. versus hostility against them.

    Elizabeth remains mute on her reasons for encouraging Michale's posts.

    [89] MHorton counters with: Laughing off liars and propaganda is not the solution.

    It's not funny, and it's not "rough armor" it's a man who's either willfully spreading lies for political purposes, or who has fallen to propaganda.


    I don't find Michale's bullshit funny. I don't find his occasional jokes to be sufficient to outweigh the sheer, dead dishonesty that permeates his posts. I am not willing to trawl through his garbage to find the jokes. The "reward" isn't enough. However, some of you feel differently, and you believe other people should put up with Michale's crap because YOU like it. I don't agree but then I never said life was fair.

    [88] To the next point: MHorton says: You can't hone an argument against someone who doesn't respond with facts or reasoning.

    I think he is correct. You can make arguments -- you can put them out there. But Michale does not respond directly or honestly to them, he just does one or several of his usual dodges.

    Want to hone an argument? Argue with someone who knows how to do it and can actually challenge your reasoning. Arguing with Michale is like trying to play tennis against someone who thinks he's playing a video game. Things happen, but they aren't debates.

    [90] John's point is correct -- Michale's presence or absence will not be mandated by us. That's never been my focus. Michale can blather or not and we can ignore him or not.

    What I am interested in is responses to this contention: Joshua's, Elizabeth's and Balthasar's interactions with Michale are enabling. Enabling, just to be clear, means assisting someone in continuing unhealthy/bad behaviors by protecting them from consequences. The enabler(s) doesn't recognize, or minimizes, the harm being done, and in doing so, allows OTHERS to be harmed.

    I have been guilty of this behavior myself. But after 45's election, a lot of things became clear. One is that by letting rightwingers lie, lie, lie without consequences, very bad things happen. Michale is a symptom of a larger problem that has to be dealt with, on many fronts. One of the remedies is to stop enabling.

  99. [99] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    nobody can force you to have a sense of humor.

    “Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.”
    ~Lily Tomlin

  100. [100] 
    Paula wrote:

    [109] Nobody can force you to answer a direct question either.

  101. [101] 
    Paula wrote:

    [109] your entry is subject to multiple interpretations. One that springs to mind is the fallback people use: "It was a joke!" after being called out for being nasty to someone. It's a nice little subtle abuse tactic, the "can't you take a joke?" defense.

    Of course, you may have meant something else -- I'm all ears. But I read it as: "Paula is humorless. I have a sense of humor. I'll avoid the other points since I have no response to them. But maybe others will join me in deploring Paula's failure to find Michale funny."

  102. [102] 
    John From Censornati wrote:


    I'll have to say that I've never seen any value of any kind in his cut and paste gaslighting, definitely not humor.

    I don't know that they enable him. CW does and we all know why. It doesn't matter what any of us does. He won't leave. This is just reality TV-ish drama and desperate neediness a la Alt-Orange.

  103. [103] 
    Paula wrote:

    [112] John: Thank you for responding to the question. It is your feeling that they do not enable Michale, or, at minimum, you're not sure that they do.

    I agree with everything else you said -- we know why he's here and he won't leave and etc.

    But I really do think the notion of enabling has merit. I think one of the primary reasons the Republican Party has gone down such a rat hole is because Democrats and the media have, in different ways and for different reasons, enabled them. Not necessarily consciously -- indeed, I think enabling is mostly unconscious. It's people falling into patterns they aren't aware of. The dynamic here is sort of a mini-version of the national political dynamic.

  104. [104] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "I really do think the notion of enabling has merit."

    For sure. I don't think it's a good idea to behave as if crazy ideas are anything but crazy, but there's an awful lot of crazy in religion and it gets treated seriously by most people. Trumpism is a cultish religion.

  105. [105] 
    MHorton wrote:

    @John Yeah, but most religions don't try and contradict reality and objective things.

    The Catholic Church, for example, doesn't oppose evolution.

    It's the denial of reality, and the purposeful shifting of conversations about reality to either false narratives or to subjective issues that's the problem, not just here but all over the internet.

    Handwaving the behavior away as comparable to religion because it encompasses "weird" ideas is disingenuous.

    Trump is just a vessel for a group of people who have learned to listen to the facts they like, true or not, and then demonize everyone who disagrees with those facts.

    They make it too hostile an environment for reasonable people to persist in, leaving only other extremists; either their side, bolstering numbers and echo chamber, and the other side, which gives them a hyperbolic example of their philosophical and political opposition and validates their intense emotions on the subjects, and allows them to feel victimized and attacked, even as they gain more and more power.

    Reasonable people are driven silent or away altogether, because there's no point in one or two people complaining about behavior that just a decade ago would have gotten you thrown out of decent company.

    That's why I quit posting here; because it became clear that I was alone, and there's no point. The trolls always have more energy in the end, and when you can make up lies and personal attacks instead of using facts or reason, it's a much easier game.

    You can't just ignore this level of deception. It's either real delusion, or it's purposeful and focused propaganda.

  106. [106] 
    John From Censornati wrote:


    "it became clear that I was alone, and there's no point."

    What does this mean? How are you alone? Do you need non-troll interaction and not get it?

    I post just to say what I have to say. Sometimes others react/respond and sometimes they don't. Either way is OK.

  107. [107] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "most religions don't try and contradict reality and objective things. The Catholic Church, for example, doesn't oppose evolution."

    That organization is based on a story about a guy who was born to a virgin and rose from his grave after three days.

  108. [108] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "They make it too hostile an environment for reasonable people to persist in"

    I think I'm reasonable and I don't allow trolls and bots to drive me off. Drop that r word and I agree with your point.

  109. [109] 
    Paula wrote:

    [114] John: I do think there is a distinction between religious beliefs and political beliefs with respect to facts. Or should be at any rate and for most reasonable people there is. People may well go to Church Sunday and believe things you might find silly, but they then go to the doctor on Monday and get very intense about "facts". They compartmentalize. Of course some don't and they are dangerous. But we can't effectively protect ourselves from THEM if the basic playing field is fact-optional. Truth-optional.

    [115] MHorton: You can't just ignore this level of deception. It's either real delusion, or it's purposeful and focused propaganda.

    I agree. Unchecked it leads to where we're at now, with a pathological liar as POTUS, surrounded by grifters, incompetents, opportunists and nutty true believers.

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