ChrisWeigant.com

President Oprah?

[ Posted Monday, January 8th, 2018 – 18:43 PST ]

We're officially through the looking glass, folks. I woke up this morning to find not one or two, but four articles on the Washington Post website speculating about the possibility of Oprah Winfrey running for president. Apparently she gave a zinger of a speech last night while accepting a lifetime Golden Globe award, which sparked all the buzz. So I am forced to consider the idea myself: President Oprah?

Would Oprah Winfrey run? That's a huge question right there, and one that so far has no definitive answer. She has said she isn't thinking about running, but then again that sort of decision can be made anytime before the campaign begins. Could she win the Democratic Party nomination? That also remains to be seen, and would depend a lot on who else was running. Could she win the general election? That would depend on whether Donald Trump was on the Republican ticket, in large part.

I have to admit not being too stunned by the possibility, though. I've long said that politics has become indistinguishable from show business, most especially for presidential campaigns. I even personally speculated way back in 2006 why so many Republican celebrities run for office when the entertainment industry is so wildly skewed towards liberals. Where were all the liberal celebrity-politicians (celebriticians)? I even mentioned Oprah in this article, although in a negative context ("Oprah Winfrey recently even sicced her lawyers on a fan trying to convince her to run for president"). Even so, it proves that the idea of Oprah making a run at it has been around for more than a decade. I then revisited the concept in 2014, when the list between Democratic and Republican celebriticians had balanced out quite a bit. When I wrote the first article, Al Franken was just considering a Senate run, but by the second one he was getting ready to be re-elected. If he hadn't been forced out of the Senate due to scandal, my guess is a lot of people would now be speculating whether Franken would throw his hat in the ring for 2020.

In other words, even before Trump upended the system, we've had celebrities in politics for a while. Off the top of my head, I can name many who predated Trump: Ronald Reagan, Clint Eastwood, "Gopher" from The Love Boat, that guy from Dukes Of Hazzard, and (most recently) Arnold Schwarzenegger. They all started out with one big step up on any other candidate -- name recognition. Good or bad, when celebrities run people already know who they are (or at least think they do). That's worth millions of dollars in politics -- money that doesn't have to be spent on introductory ads, because someone like Schwarzenegger has no need to introduce himself to the public. Or teach them how to pronounce his last name, for that matter.

This is why contemplating an Oprah Winfrey run isn't all that far-fetched. She not only has national name recognition, she has an absolute army of adoring fans who would back her to the hilt. That's political gold, to state the obvious.

In normal times, the argument would be made that she lacks the proper and necessary experience to be president. These, however, are not normal times. Donald Trump sits in the Oval Office, and he had precisely zero experience. Or, ironically, exactly the same experience that Oprah has -- being a wealthy and successful television personality. So how could any Republican make the case that Oprah is somehow not acceptable on the grounds of experience? She's run a successful business, which is all Trump could claim in the way of experience.

Democratic candidates might find it hard to run against Oprah, since her devoted fans wouldn't take too kindly to see her being trashed on a debate stage by a fellow Democrat. The number is debatable, but Oprah's endorsement of Barack Obama probably pulled in something like a million votes for him. That's not just loyalty in the entertainment realm, it shows political influence on a massive scale.

I must confess a lot of ignorance about Oprah's history, since I have never watched her television show. So I don't personally know if there are any skeletons in her closet which might fall out during the intense scrutiny of a presidential campaign. Has she actively screwed anyone over to get to where she is? I simply don't know.

Barring that sort of scandal, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of leverage fellow Democrats might use against her. Foisting Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz on an unsuspecting public doesn't seem all that bad in the grand scheme of things. And hey, if Gayle King can pretend to be a journalist on the morning news, then perhaps Oprah can be president, right?

The biggest knock against Oprah I've heard so far is that she may be a wee bit too gullible in the things she chooses to endorse on her show. Quackery of one nature or another has, at times, been embraced by Oprah. Again, this doesn't seem to big a knock against her politically, though, as she can always brush off such complaints with: "I am an entertainer, and I choose what I think is entertaining to put on my show."

Oprah certainly has a lot of charisma, which is a definite plus in the political realm (especially at the presidential level). She is upbeat, she is positive, and she looks for the good in people. That's a definite plus all around. It would also make it incredibly hard for Democrats to attack her during the primaries.

Would Democratic voters decide to fight fire with fire, if Trump is running for a second term? Maybe. Maybe Oprah is the best candidate to take on Trump, in a way. He certainly would be threatened by Oprah, since he routinely shows how threatened he is by any woman or any member of a minority who attacks him, after all. To have an African-American woman regularly baiting Trump might push him to say something completely unforgivable. But even then, it's not assured that this would backfire on him, since he's said a lot of unforgivable things about a lot of people by now.

If Oprah beat Trump and became the first woman president, would she do a good job? Again, it's hard to tell. Other than knowing she has a generic liberal bias, I have no idea what policies Oprah would champion or how she would come down on sticky questions like where to send the military. I do think she'd be much better at learning the job than Trump has proven to be, and that she'd surround herself with intelligent people and then listen to their advice -- again, something Trump has proven largely incapable of doing. So President Oprah would at the very least be better than what we've got now.

That's a pretty low bar, though. Any Democrat who runs in 2020 would almost assuredly be better than what we've got now, after all. But Trump's victory has changed the political universe to such an extent that considering an Oprah Winfrey presidential run has to be taken seriously. Pre-Trump the very idea might have been considered laughable, or quixotic at best. In the Trump Era, however, I could indeed see Oprah taking him on and beating him. I don't know how likely that outcome would be, but it certainly now has to be seen as squarely within the realm of possibility.

Many Washington insiders may be deluding themselves now about Trump. They comfortably tell themselves that this is all just one big aberration, and that when Trump exits the stage America will then return to sober analysis of distinguished candidates for president. It'll all be like Trump never happened, in other words.

I'm not so sure, personally. Trump might not be just a fluke. He has thrown the door wide open for who plausibly can be considered presidential material, for better or for worse. So it wouldn't be all that surprising to see someone like Oprah -- a personality with a built-in fan base of tens of millions -- walk through that door after Trump. After all, if Trump can do it, then why can't Oprah?

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

68 Comments on “President Oprah?”

  1. [1] 
    neilm wrote:

    I'd be sad to see Oprah go into politics - she is an inspiration to just about all of America. The first thing that would happen is she'd become the enemy of at least 30% (the Republicans).

    Then her Democratic contenders would start doing the usual nasty background checks, and rumors, etc. The public would eat anything up that was dirt on Oprah - you know it's true.

    Next we'd start to discover she has different opinions on say Israel than some people expected, and she'd have to make a stand on abortion, gun control, etc.

    All this "before" she even faces a Republican, and maybe Trump at that.

    Oprah is an inspiration to a lot of people, and there are too few things America as a people believe in at the moment. Please Oprah, don't run. We need you too much.

  2. [2] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Shouldn't that be President Winfrey, not President Oprah?

  3. [3] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    If Oprah were to run, would she just be another Big Money candidate that uses her own money to get elected or would she use her name recognition to run a campaign financed by small contributions from individuals?

  4. [4] 
    neilm wrote:

    Yes Don, but would she be best for America? Or does that not matter as long has she has a Net Worth of $20 or whatever your cut off is?

  5. [5] 
    Kick wrote:

    I agree with the Trump crime family member below... #TIMESUP!
    _______________

    Ivanka Trump
    @IvankaTrump

    Just saw @Oprah's empowering & inspiring speech at last night’s #GoldenGlobes. Let’s all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP! #United https://twitter.com/goldenglobes/status/950209620030627840

    8:54 PM - Jan 8, 2018
    _______________

    "The daughter will take down the father." ~ Steve Bannon, quoted from Fire and Fury

  6. [6] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    The scariest things that can be said about the state of contemporary American presidential politics in the age of TV is that Donald Trump DID get elected, that Oprah Winfrey possibly COULD get elected, and that it's damn near a certainty that Abe Lincoln could NEVER get elected!

  7. [7] 
    neilm wrote:

    We've had entertainment stars in the past, and we survived. Reagan was a clown, but at least he was smart enough to know he wasn't an expert in anything and surrounded himself with non-silly people.

    Oprah, one would hope, would follow the Reagan model. The problem with the current clown is that he actually thinks he is a "very stable genius" and has surrounded himself with yahoos. Michale loves them all, need I say more.

    As I said, I hope Oprah doesn't run, we need experienced politicians who have learned from a young age what running government is like - inexperienced clowns who think that one set of experiences automatically qualifies them as experts in everything is a constant curse - not just in politics, but in a lot of other places.

    If you aren't going to get smart from education, you should get smart from real experience. Otherwise you are just another self delusional blowhard trying to be the world's most impressive Dunning-Krugers poster child.

  8. [8] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    7

    We've had entertainment stars in the past, and we survived. Reagan was a clown, but at least he was smart enough to know he wasn't an expert in anything and surrounded himself with non-silly people.

    Yep! And Reagan was also smart enough not to compare the IC to Nazis.

    I can assure you that "Trump too shall pass." :)

  9. [9] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    CW,

    The Dukes of Hazards guy played “Cooter” on the show... I think I still have my “Cooter for Congress” t-shirt somewhere at my parent’s house. (Hey, for a Southern Baptist teen, that was risqué!)

    And you left the greatest celebrity politician off your list...Sonny “Look out for that tree!” Bono!

  10. [10] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    oprah has a lot to answer for in the education realm. she was one of the main movers who foisted michelle rhee and charter school hype upon the national stage.

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    I do think she'd be much better at learning the job than Trump has proven to be, and that she'd surround herself with intelligent people and then listen to their advice -

    On the one hand, you say you know nothing about Oprah and on the other hand you say this??

    Little bit of PTDS there?? :D

    Word is that Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson would be Oprah's VP.. :D

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    Then her Democratic contenders would start doing the usual nasty background checks, and rumors, etc.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0b936e05807e6420b5bb08c8608020e98d65c84e5cb5cda828727efd5fd9a982.jpg?w=800&h=442

    And facts.. Don't forget facts...

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Fate whispers to President Trump, "You cannot withstand the storm."

    President Trump bellows back, "I AM THE STORM!!"

  14. [14] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale [12] - yup - before it has started, it has started.

    And I'm sure 100 more pictures like that will be floating around within a week of any formal announcement.

    The lesson we need to learn from 45 is that running the U.S. needs real professional experience in politics, policy, history, how our institutions work, etc. Not that if one untalented outsider from the entertainment industry can win an election, a more talented entertainer will win one for "our" side.

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    The lesson we need to learn from 45 is that running the U.S. needs real professional experience in politics, policy, history, how our institutions work, etc.

    In other words, establishment candidates that maintain the status quo...

    I couldn't POSSIBLY disagree more..

    The LAST thing the US needs is establishment candidates..

    Not that if one untalented outsider from the entertainment industry can win an election, a more talented entertainer will win one for "our" side.

    Unfortunately, that is EXACTLY how the vast majority of the Left Wingery thinks...

    I honestly don't think Oprah will run.. Her brand would take a huge hit....

    Especially if she lost, which is likely..

  16. [16] 
    neilm wrote:

    And, as we discover more about the tax bill, it doesn't get any better.

    Here is the latest gem:

    1. If I'm running a multinational and I open a new factory in the U.S. I get charged the new tax rate, 21% on any profits.

    2. But if I open the factory in a low tax foreign country I only have to pay 10.5% U.S. tax on any repatriated profits

    Explain to me once more why this will create jobs for American workers?

  17. [17] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    9

    And you left the greatest celebrity politician off your list...Sonny “Look out for that tree!” Bono!

    I was thinking the same thing. Can you believe the skiing accident was 20 years ago this week?

    And don't forget:

    * Jesse Ventura who actually won the governorship of Minnesota as a candidate of the Reform Party

    * Fred Thompson, Watergate lawyer and Tennessee Senator:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YULytWUaKR0&feature=youtu.be

    Russians don't take a dump, son, without a plan. ~ Rear Admiral Painter, The Hunt for Red October

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russ,

    And you left the greatest celebrity politician off your list...Sonny “Look out for that tree!” Bono!

    OK, I am of two minds on this...

    On the one hand, that was pretty funny.. :D

    On the other hand, I have to wonder how you would feel about, "Hay Gabby Giffords!! Why didn't you duck!???"

    I'm just sayin'....

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Explain to me once more why this will create jobs for American workers?

    Because there are other penalties and fees for opening a factory in a low-tax country for American imports..

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russians don't take a dump, son, without a plan. ~ Rear Admiral Painter, The Hunt for Red October

    My influence in Weigantia is undeniable.. :D

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    and has surrounded himself with yahoos. Michale loves them all, need I say more.

    Ahem...

    General Kelly?? General McMasters??? General Mattis???

    Need I say more???

    Speaking of General Kelly, how are ya'all's predictions coming along?? :D

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:
  23. [23] 
    neilm wrote:

    Because there are other penalties and fees for opening a factory in a low-tax country for American imports..

    Really? How about some facts to back that up?

  24. [24] 
    neilm wrote:

    General Kelly?? General McMasters??? General Mattis???

    Yeah, I was more thinking of Bannon, De Vos, Sessions, Javanka, Miller, Tillerson (who has turned out to be a huge disappointment, I expected more from him), Flynn, Pruitt, Smart-Glasses-Perry, Priebus, Spicer, Gorka (what is wrong with this man?), and, of course, The Mooch!

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yeah, I was more thinking of Bannon, De Vos, Sessions, Javanka, Miller, Tillerson (who has turned out to be a huge disappointment, I expected more from him), Flynn, Pruitt, Smart-Glasses-Perry, Priebus, Spicer, Gorka (what is wrong with this man?), and, of course, The Mooch!

    I am sure you were..

    But the fact remains, President Trump has made some GREAT choices...

  26. [26] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Neilm (4)-
    That is the right question. Based on prior experience, very few, if any, of the Big Money candidates/legislators have been immune from the influence of Big Money. Even if Oprah turned out to be the exception that is what she would be- the exception to the rule.

    And just like Hillary Oprah has the name recognition and group of loyal followers that would make it possible to raise plenty of money through small contributions. That would set a positive example and be good for America.

    The fact that she could easily run a small contribution campaign and would choose not to would be a bad indicator of her ability to make the right decisions on what is the best course for America.

  27. [27] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    Actually, Jesse Ventura was elected governor on the Independent Party of Minnesota ticket. This party was already established and competitive in Minnesota state politics before Jesse Ventura ran for governor on their ticket.

  28. [28] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    By the way, I will not hold this one mistake against you or use it to try to discredit anything else you claim. :D

  29. [29] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I called Jesse Ventura's office about the Hundred Dollar Party/Voucher Vendetta/One Demand (whatever it was at the time) expecting to leave a message and was surprised when instead of push one for this and two for that an actual person answered the phone.

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Really? How about some facts to back that up?

    Oh come now, Neil... Yer supposed to be the resident economic/business genius around here..

    Are you trying to tell me that you dispute the claim that there are import taxes, penalties and fees that American companies have to pay when having factories outside of the US for tax purposes??

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    HBO host John Oliver was among the first mainstream cultural figures to organize a net-neutrality campaign, which he dubbed “Go FCC Yourself.” He encouraged followers to bombard the FCC’s website with comments supporting the regulation, and so they did.

    Those comments were peppered with claims that Pai was a pedophile, a “dirty, sneaky Indian” who should self-deport and reminders that anonymous online hordes maintain the “power to murder Ajit Pai and his family.” Oliver was eventually compelled to release a video urging his followers to dial back the racism and death threats.

    This episode would prove to be just the beginning of Pai’s ordeal. By May of last year, Pai’s tormentors began a campaign to ensure that the FCC chairman could enjoy no peace — not even in his own home.
    https://nypost.com/2018/01/08/racist-goons-are-targeting-the-fcc-chief-and-his-family/

    Dumbocrats :^/

  32. [32] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    27

    Actually, Jesse Ventura was elected governor on the Independent Party of Minnesota ticket. This party was already established and competitive in Minnesota state politics before Jesse Ventura ran for governor on their ticket.

    You're wrong, Don. Jesse Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota as a Reform Party candidate. He renounced the Reform Party in February 2000.

    As I have told you before, a simple Internet search is all it takes:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_gubernatorial_election,_1998

  33. [33] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    27

    Actually, Jesse Ventura was elected governor on the Independent Party of Minnesota ticket. This party was already established and competitive in Minnesota state politics before Jesse Ventura ran for governor on their ticket.

    You're wrong, Don. Jesse Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota as a Reform Party candidate. He renounced the Reform Party in February 2000.

    As I have told you before, a simple Internet search is all it takes:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_gubernatorial_election,_1998

  34. [34] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    28

    By the way, I will not hold this one mistake against you or use it to try to discredit anything else you claim.

    Of course you won't... since you're wrong and seemingly can't ever be bothered to do research before you post things that are NOT true.

    Guess what my "One Demand" would be? Facts are easily verifiable, and if you won't take the time to verify them, people will think it's a "bad indicator" of your "ability to make the right decisions." :)

  35. [35] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    You were right about the Jesse Ventura being elected as a Reform Party candidate. The Reform Party of Minnesota became the Independence Party of Minnesota (not the Independent Party) so we were talking about the same party, though I didn't remember the name correctly. It was a long time ago.

    Thanks for correcting me. I will admit that I do not do an internet search on everything that I think I remember. When I am wrong at least I do admit it, and being wrong on occasion does not make you wrong all the time and does not make you wrong when you are right.

  36. [36] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Oprah's greatest strength? Philanthropy.

    Oprah's? biggest baggage? Arguably, Dr. Phil. She loosed this psycho-babbler on a gullible world. Or maybe it would Dr. Oz, a well schooled physician who turned into a shameless hack-quack. Oprah promotes a lot of snake oil involving a big daddy figure and quick fix.

    I evaluate a President Oprah as a nice version of a nasty Trump.

  37. [37] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm [7]

    Presidents don't really need "years of political experience" to run the government. They can recruit other (experienced) people to help with that.

    First and foremost, they need a generous measure of that scarcest of all commodities which we mistakenly characterize as "common sense", the very attribute in which uknowho is most severely lacking, and hopefully along with that at least a modicum of maturity, again sorely lacking in the incumbent.

  38. [38] 
    John M wrote:

    One thing about Oprah. All her skeletons in the closet are already out. She has talked about them on air and in the book she has written about her own life. From being born to an unwed teenage mother to being molested herself by a family member as a young girl, there is little that can be dug up on her that has already not been covered.

    Plus, another thing she would have going for her is the fact that Trump himself in an on air interview when asked about a running mate for VP should he run for president, the one person he mentioned he would pick was, Oprah! Calling her very smart etc. That alone by itself writes a political ad, for good or bad.

    At least Oprah would get white women to vote for her in a way that they never would for Hillary.

    But maybe the best thing is that we not have another celebrity president. But have someone with real credentials in governance instead as an antidote.

  39. [39] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    John M

    What were her skeletons ever doing "in the closet"?? Never heard of 'gay' skeletons!

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    Author Michael Wolff claimed many quotes from cabinet members and the VP in his book..

    https://youtu.be/QJL-ZJickRU

    Wolff now admits he didn't interview ANY of the people he quoted...

    Boy ob boy, do you hysterical NeverTrumpers have egg all over your faces!!! :D

  41. [41] 
    John M wrote:

    [40] Michale

    "Author Michael Wolff claimed many quotes from cabinet members and the VP in his book..

    Wolff now admits he didn't interview ANY of the people he quoted...

    Boy ob boy, do you hysterical NeverTrumpers have egg all over your faces!!! :D"

    You know Michale, no one pays attention much to what you say anymore, at least in terms of it being either accurate or true, because you don't even pay attention to the things you do proved oinks to yourself.

    What was actually said was:

    1.) He did not interview Mike Pence or cabinet members.

    2.) He did interview both Steve Bannon and Donald Trump.

    3.) Everything in the book is true.

    4.) He interviewed many White House staffers.

    5.) Obviously you can get a quote of what someone said by talking to someone else who was either there or over heard what another person said.

    So no, NO ONE has "egg" all over their faces except you!

  42. [42] 
    John M wrote:

    Provide links to... not oinks LOL

  43. [43] 
    Paula wrote:

    Diane Feinstein released Fusion GPS transcripts!

    Good for her!

  44. [44] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    I had to laugh at the speculative comment, "To have an African-American woman regularly baiting Trump might push him to say something completely unforgivable."

    Really?

    What did you have in mind that would be "completely unforgivable" coming from this president, who's currently on his roughly 4000th guaranteed-unforgivable statement so far?

    Other than that, I find the 'if you can't beat him join him' logic of a Winfrey candidacy infinitely depressing. She's liberal and more lucid than the president, but this 'you don't need experience in public service to be president, you just need charisma, common sense, and good advisers' stuff is a horrible thing to say about the American presidency.

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    3.) Everything in the book is true.

    Now I know you are delusional..

    Michael Wolff, the author of "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," included a note at the start that casts significant doubt on the reliability of the specifics contained in the rest of its pages.

    Several of his sources, he says, were definitely lying to him, while some offered accounts that flatly contradicted those of others.

    So much for your bullshit claim that everything in the book is true...

    So no, NO ONE has "egg" all over their faces except you!

    Says the guy who is spouting bullshit and has egg all over his face.. :D

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    3.) Everything in the book is true.

    But, congrats, JM...

    You illustrate the PERFECT example of the disconnect between "TRUE" and "FACT"...

    To you, Wolff's BS book is fully and completely true..

    Even though the author admits that everything is bullshit... :D

    Just like your "truth" is that Hillary won the election.. :D

    Take note, Liz... A perfect example of "true" vs "FACT".... :D

  47. [47] 
    neilm wrote:

    First and foremost, they need a generous measure of that scarcest of all commodities which we mistakenly characterize as "common sense"

    While I agree, I think that there are two types of people we can choose:

    1. Political insiders who have worked in politics and understand issues, mechanisms, etc. AND have "common sense"

    2. Outsiders who are neophytes wrt how politics and Washington works AND have "common sense"

    I would assume by common sense you mean some combination of intelligence and maturity. I've never really believed in the concept of "common sense" because there are certain characteristics that appear when you ask what people mean by common sense that ring alarm bells for me. For example:

    1. Most people believe they have common sense.
    2. They also believe that people who agree with them have common sense
    3. They think pointy-headed experts complicate issues unnecessarily and that the simple answers they propose are obvious, so the experts must be stupid not to have the common sense to see them
    4. When people suggest common sense answers in their field of expertise they pompously announce that the person is ignorant and that the common sense solution has already been thought of and rejected for good reasons and that the person should take their common sense and stuff it somewhere

    Maybe I'm unique in these observations.

    Tell me more about economics - and why, since common sense dictates that since we've added lots of wealth to our economy via multiple QEs with no sign of inflation, we just don't print more money and all get richer?

  48. [48] 
    Paula wrote:

    https://t.co/uoiMIu1Kof

    And the testimony does not, repeat NOT, make Republicans look good.

  49. [49] 
    Paula wrote:

    And it starts with Grassley saying the testimony is "unclassified" -- just to forestall the inevitable rw talking point.

  50. [50] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm [47]

    While in college, I got paid for tutoring the school's football players. There's gotta be a limit to free tutorials, but here goes.

    First thing, regardless of gov't stats to the contrary, There is no such thing in this country since going off the gold std as "no inflation". The gov't measures price inflation by excluding the prices of food and fuel. That's the economic equivalent of calculating the cost of farming by excluding seed and fertilizer.

    I've owned three roughly comparable 1600 sq ft houses in my lifetime. The first one cost $16k the 2nd one cost 60k, and the 3rd on cost $190k (It did come with a small acreage however).

    Regardless of how much money a nation's central bank injects into the economy, nobody can eat money. We can only consume what we produce and/or trade for. The central banks seem to believe that injecting more money into the system will stimulate the economy to the point where it does result in more physical goods and services, either by helping to increase productivity or by putting idle people and/or capital to work. But you can't really make yourself rich by printing more money.

    The reason why the QE's didn't do more than they did was that the Fed can only put $ into the private banks, they can't force people to borrow it and employ it. Demand was reduced so bad by the bursting of the housing bubble, that nobody wanted to borrow the newly injected $.

  51. [51] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    43

    Diane Feinstein released Fusion GPS transcripts!

    Good for her!

    MIDOTW... so far anyway. :)

  52. [52] 
    neilm wrote:

    CRS [50]

    Look, it is common sense. If we measure people's wealth in money, just print more money and they will be wealthier. We've already proven that we can print $469 Billion with no inflation, so instead of giving that to the banks, let's give every American citizen $1,000 per month until we are all wealthy or inflation kicks in.

    Common sense!

  53. [53] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    35

    Thanks for correcting me.

    I didn't "correct" you, Don; you "corrected" me... and then explained your agenda for doing it. Your "correction" being utterly and totally false left me the choice of ignoring the misinformation you posted on the blog or answering your post and setting the record straight. My memory chose to set the record straight.

    I will admit that I do not do an internet search on everything that I think I remember.

    If you're going to "fact check" anyone on anything, particularly in print, I find it's generally helpful to make sure your information is actually a fact.

    When I am wrong at least I do admit it, and being wrong on occasion does not make you wrong all the time and does not make you wrong when you are right.

    Most of the repetitive rhetoric you post on this board is simply your opinion, Don. People can disagree with your opinion without being "wrong," as they often do, but try to keep the easily verifiable misinformation to a minimum or people will think you're Michale. :)

  54. [54] 
    John M wrote:

    45] Michale

    "3.) Everything in the book is true.

    Now I know you are delusional..

    Several of his sources, he says, were definitely lying to him, while some offered accounts that flatly contradicted those of others.

    So much for your bullshit claim that everything in the book is true..."

    Thanks again Michale, for reading something and being WRONG about what you just read.

    it was NEVER MY claim. I NEVER said that everything in the book was true.

    The list I gave was what Michael Wolff said.

    Next time, try some COMPREHENSION.

  55. [55] 
    John M wrote:

    [43] Paula

    "Diane Feinstein released Fusion GPS transcripts!"

    Lots of interesting tidbits in those transcripts.

    Like Russian ties to the campaign of John McCain.

    Donald Trump's ties to the Russian Mafia and organized crime.

    Trump's golf courses losing money instead of making money.

    Trump's failure to prove in a court libel case overseas that he is in fact a Billionaire.

    Trump greatly over stating what his properties are actually worth, compared to what he said they were worth on documents supplied for tax purposes.

    ETC.

  56. [56] 
    neilm wrote:

    I read the first 100 pages (there are over 300). Pretty banal stuff for the most part.

    Basically Fusion GPS were given the task of "tell us everything you can about Donald Trump" and they answered. They were not interested in ginning up a preconceived answer, it was a fishing expedition. As Simpson concludes:

    "I do my job well and I
    6 get rehired when I give them the right information,
    7 when I give them accurate information. So if
    8 Donald Trump turned out to be a great businessman,
    9 that's what I would have to tell people. "

    I do this a lot - we hire a research firm to tell us what customers really think when they don't have one of our people present. That is the only way we can deal with reality.

    I used to hire a top financial services analyst once per year to consult with us for a day and tell us everything he would do to try to undermine my company and products if he worked for our competition. It was invaluable - we were prepared and could also focus our product roadmaps on our real weaknesses and strengths based on hundreds of customer interactions that we were not privy to.

    This type of research is bread and butter. In fact, 45's organization should have hired Fusion GPS themselves so they knew what was going to come out and what they needed to prepare for.

    It is claimed in "Fire and Fury" that this type of research, which is Campaigning 101, was deliberately omitted because the candidate had too much to hide, and did not have the psychological profile to be able to handle negative information about himself.

  57. [57] 
    neilm wrote:

    Orange County Congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced Monday he will not run for re-election.

    “In this final year of my Foreign Affairs Committee chairmanship, I want to focus fully on the urgent threats facing our nation, including the brutal, corrupt and dangerous regimes in Pyongyang and Tehran, Vladimir Putin’s continued efforts to weaponize information to fracture western democracies, and growing terrorist threats in African and Central Asia,” Royce said in a statement.

    Interesting times. If the Democrats can flip Orange County, and this raises their chances, it could be a very painful midterm for the Republicans.

  58. [58] 
    neilm wrote:

    Wow - the Fusion GPS transcript is getting more interesting - I'm up to page 175 - Steele basically told the FBI that Russia was interfering with the election and provided strong evidence.

    The FBI was happy to publicly talk about their investigation into Hillary's emails, but never mentioned anything about this, even though Russia was dumping the hacked material onto Wikileaks (who moved their servers to Moscow).

    What a mess.

  59. [59] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    58

    The FBI was happy to publicly talk about their investigation into Hillary's emails, but never mentioned anything about this, even though Russia was dumping the hacked material onto Wikileaks (who moved their servers to Moscow).

    You mean the IC has been investigating Benedict Donald since mid 2016!?!

    Who knew?

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2016/05/13/ftp391/#comment-75291

  60. [60] 
    Paula wrote:

    John M, Neilm, Kick: Yep, still digesting content of it all but keep in mind as you read: the Republicans did not want this info released AND they were actively lying about aspects therein. They've been doing their damnedest to try to delegitimize what was a perfectly normal process -- opposition research -- and trying to paint it all as some kind of unusually snaky and underhanded cheating by HRC campaign.

    Republicans have also been doing everything they can to avoid any real investigation of Russian election interference.

    I just saw Darkest Hour and the comparison between Winston Churchill and the cretinous criminal orange Putin-bootlicker is stark and painful. Churchill is portrayed struggling with the question of whether to fight or negotiate with Hitler given the very precarious state Britain's military was in at that point -- pause while I curse Blotus and his nazi-sympathising supporters -- and he chooses to fight. Orange POTUS would have kissed Hitler's heinie and certainly would never, could never, have rallied citizens to rise to the challenge Britain faced.

  61. [61] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    neilm [1] -

    Yeah, you may be right. Politics is a dirty business, and anyone who touches it gets slimed. Sad but true...

    Don Harris [2] -

    I almost included a bit in this piece on how Oprah didn't need name recognition, she was actually on the level of one-name recognition. Like Cher. Or Beyonce. So "President Oprah" would be just as correct as "President Winfrey," at least to her legions of fans....

    Don Harris [3] -

    OK, now you're just getting bizarre. I thought Big Money candidates were those who took Big Money to get elected. Oprah could easily self-finance, 'tis true, so she would have to be in a category like Millionaire/Billionaire candidates, right?

    And as for small donations, there would be an absolute mountain of them if Oprah ran. Mark my words. A much bigger pile than even Barack or Bernie ever piled up, that's for certain. I'd put money on it, personally.

    Kick [5] -

    That Bannon quote sounds eerily like something from Oedipus Rex, maybe the Oracle doing her thing or something...

    Heh.

    My wife (and Jethro Tull fans everywhere) was insulted that Bannon didn't know the correct British idiom for Ivanka, which is (of course) "thick as a brick."

    :-)

    C. R. Stucki [6] -

    I do hear you, but then again, who knows how Lincoln would have been on teevee? The Lincoln Hour talk show? OK, I better stop, his graveyard neighbors are starting to complain about the spinning sounds coming from his grave...

    neilm [7] -

    I dunno. As I wrote in that original 2006 column:

    Some would say that it's actually a good thing more showbiz stars don't run. I personally think they'd be about average as politicians -- some would do a good job, some would screw up -- just like any other group of people.

    After all, there are plenty of folks who have previous careers who later enter politics, just from different professions. Not everyone works their way up from the inside. I think some of these folks do a good job, and some don't, all around.

    Kick [8] -

    OK, I have to say, I like that: "Trump too shall pass." That's a pretty good one...

    ListenWhenYouHear [9] -

    OK, I must admit I'd love to see a photo of a "Cooter for Congress" T-shirt, if you ever find it!

    I have a friend who worked in Congress when Gopher (Fred Gandy? Grandy? Something like that) was in the House. He'd ride the elevator with him, and have to stop himself from asking for more towels on the Lido Deck... heh....

    nypoet22 [10] -

    Really? Wasn't there also a scandal about money for schools in Africa, as well? There are skeletons in just about everyone's closet, I suppose...

    Michale [11] -

    Oprah aside, what do you think of "The Rock" flirting with politics? Hey, worked for Jesse Ventura, right?

    During one window of time, it seemed like all the actors from the original Predator were going to become governors, I do remember that, what with Arnie and Jesse (and one other guy?)....

    Michale [13] -

    That also sounds rather Greek drama-ish. Maybe it's a new trend in the comments, or something...

    neilm [24] -

    We certainly can't forget The Mooch. A guaranteed $2000-level Jeopardy question in about 5 years: "Who was Scaramucci, Alex?"

    Don Harris [29] -

    OK, that's interesting. What year was this -- I mean was Jesse still in office? Or afterwards? Did you make any inroads with them? What (if anything) has the Independent Party been up to since then?

    I'm curious, personally.

    Kick [32] -

    Thanks. Reform Party does ring a bell....

    TheStig [36] -

    Aha! Back to the topic at hand! I love it!

    Oprah's greatest strength is what you ended on -- she is upbeat and positive. Contrasted with Trump's negativity, it'd be an Oprah landslide.

    As for liability, I'd vote for Dr. Oz. He just makes my skin crawl. If it was 150 years ago, he'd have a wagon and be selling snake oil to the gullible, that's for sure.

    John M [38] -

    I agree about the personal skeletons, but I do wonder if she's committed any sins in her rise to power since. Again, I just don't know. I've never followed Oprah in any way shape or form, so there could be dirt out there, or she could be squeaky clean.

    John M [42] -

    Oinks for the memories?

    Heh. Couldn't resist.

    Paula [44] -

    Yeah, while not a big DiFi fan in general, I have to applaud her for her boldness in this particular move. Maybe she's getting worried about the upcoming primary? Just a guess...

    neilm [47] -

    OK, I have to admit I like that list. Never heard the common sense meme run down quite so brutally, but it all rings true to me.

    Well put!

    :-)

    neilm [57] -

    Yeah, it's up to like 30+ GOP House members retiring, to only around 15 Dems. Another good indicator of the chances for 2018... I think CNN's got a tracking page of who is retiring next year. I can look it up if you need the link...

    OK, I am through the comments! Woo hoo! To give everyone who read this far a bonus, here is my stock Oprah joke, which is corny but fun:

    "I would really like to see Oprah Winfrey get married to Deepak Chopra, because then she'd be Oprah Chopra!"

    Heh. Mea culpa and all that...

    :-)

    -CW

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    it was NEVER MY claim. I NEVER said that everything in the book was true.

    The list I gave was what Michael Wolff said.

    Next time, try some COMPREHENSION.

    You never said it was what Michael Wolff said..

    Next time, try and be clear..

    But let's brass some tacks here..

    Do YOU believe everything in the Wolff's book is true?

    It's a simple YES/NO question..

    But I am betting you will give some meely-mouthed liberal dodge on what the definition of 'is' is...

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW

    Oprah aside, what do you think of "The Rock" flirting with politics? Hey, worked for Jesse Ventura, right?

    I personally like Dwayne Johnson, so it would be a tough call..

    I guess it would depend on his positions on the issues...

    That also sounds rather Greek drama-ish. Maybe it's a new trend in the comments, or something...

    I read it in a Tom Brady tweet and modified it with my own take..

    I liked the sound of it.. :D

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    “Wolff doesn’t pretend to adhere to normal journalistic standards. He happily admits that he’s just tossing out rumors that are too good to check. As Charlie Warzel wrote on BuzzFeed, “For Wolff’s book, the truth seems almost a secondary concern to what really matters: engagement.”

    Wolff is EXACTLY like ya'all....

    He WANTS to believe all the bullshit so he doesn't bother with ANYTHING resembling facts...

    Just like ya'all...

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    It is claimed in "Fire and Fury" that this type of research, which is Campaigning 101, was deliberately omitted because the candidate had too much to hide, and did not have the psychological profile to be able to handle negative information about himself.

    Any facts to support it??

    Of course not..

    Sufferers of PTDS never have nor need any facts to support their hysterical claims..

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    “Wolff doesn’t pretend to adhere to normal journalistic standards. He happily admits that he’s just tossing out rumors that are too good to check. As Charlie Warzel wrote on BuzzFeed, “For Wolff’s book, the truth seems almost a secondary concern to what really matters: engagement.”

    Basically, Wolff's book is nothing but a large-paged National Enquirer that NeverTrumpers buy into SOLELY because it says what they want to hear...

    No brain-cells or fact-checks to be found...

    Reminds me of the time the GOP pushed the narrative that Odumbo was a muslim sleeper agent..

    Same moronic and ignorant Party slavery and bigotry at work..

  67. [67] 
    Bclancy wrote:

    I am very sorry to hear that you feel that selling pseudoscience “doesn’t seem all that bad in the grand scheme of things”. Do I really need to point to the problems with having a public misinformed and inclined to believe whatever it wants to be true about science? Personally, I find it morally objectionable when when someone profits from misinforming people. Or is the key part of the sentence “in the grand scheme of things”, i.e. you are applying a moral relativist standard to Ms. Winfrey and Dr. Oz wherein they only have to be at all better than the worst people in politics to be considered good? That is what is suggested by your comment that she can use the “I am an entertainer, and I choose what I think is entertaining to put on my show” defense(basically the same defense used by Alex Jones), though you do at least acknowledge that it is a “knock” against her that she is “a wee bit too gullible”.

    It also feels like you are applying moral relativism to Oprah Winfrey’s(lack of) experience in politics. It seems you saying that, in effect, as long as she is no worse on that front than Trump, she is fine. Oprah Winfrey(or any other Democratic candidate) only has to clear the low bar of being better than Trump to be considered good.

    But perhaps I am reading this wrong, and you simply mean to argue that most Democrats will(rightly or wrongly) not care that she is “a wee bit too gullible”, and will accept the old “I am an entertainer...” defense. And that Democrats won’t care that she has no experience, because Donald Trump is in the Oval Office. In this case, you yourself would not be taking a position of moral relativism, only arguing that that is the position of most Democrats. If this is your arguments, do you agree or disagree? Because if you agree, then my comments above still apply. And if you disagree, why not say so unequivocally, instead of saying “for better or worse”? Also, if you disagree but still feel this would be the position of most Democrats, doesn’t that say something rather depressing about where the party is ethically?

    Now having said all that I want to make clear that I am not completely dead set against Ms. Winfrey. Even if she ran and turned out to be a very flawed candidate(and of course there’s so much I don’t know about her that would influence my opinion of her), I might vote for her anyway if backed into a corner if faced with the choice between her and President Trump. I would then be voting for her because I feel she is *relatively* better than Trump. This would be a practical choice on my part. What I really object to is the idea that her being *relatively* better than Trump makes her *good* or desirable as a candidate. What I object to is using Trump as a moral standard. Like just in general, being better than Trump doesn’t make you a good person. And it could be that Oprah is basically a good person. It’s just that if she is, it is by virtue of character traits and patterns of behavior we consider good, *completely independent of Trump*

    B

  68. [68] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    umm, carl weathers for governor?

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