The Scorecard

For the Trump supporters out there, congratulations.

Now, if I may, I’d like to ask you a favor.  It is a relatively small favor, I swear.

Very early on in this campaign, I remarked on a friend’s Facebook wall that I did not understand how she (a lifelong committed ostensibly ideological, religious conservative) could support a man whose public pronouncements were not recognizable as a conservative except on three fronts: reducing illegal immigration, reducing regulation, and lowering taxes (not to mention his public behavior, which was not particularly religious, a litmus test that she’d relied upon before.)

We never really resolved that conversation.

I’ve seen that played out since then as well.  Trump says something outrageous, the more liberal members of my social media circle go bananas, and Trump supporters say, “Oh, he didn’t really mean *that*.”

It’s not really clear to me what Trump supporters think Trump is going to do, except in the amorphous sense of change things that they don’t like and thus make things better.  Since Trump largely avoided detailed policy conversations and his followers did not demand that he provide them, I’m not really certain what constitutes “success”, in their minds, about a Trump Presidency.  I’m reasonably confident that I understood what the Bernie Sanders supporters wanted; the reason I was not particularly gung ho about his candidacy is that I didn’t see how any of those things were political possible in the landscape that I expected to see as a result of the November 2016 election.

Well, I certainly didn’t expect to see this result, either.

Now you’ve got what you wanted, Trump supporters.  Actually, much more than you wanted.

You have a soon-to-be-sworn-in President, a majority in the House of Representatives, and a majority in the Senate. 

The U.S. political hat-trick.

So if you could, can you list the top ten things that you expect out of a Trump Presidency?  There are at the moment no structural barriers between your candidate and implementing policy, no removable ones anyway.  The GOP-majority Senate can toss out the filibuster and you can get your ideal Supreme Court candidate, you can get your Obamacare repeal and replacement, NAFTA torn up, etc.

So what’s your list?

If you’re unwilling to share in the comments, write it out and put it on the refrigerator for review in 2018, at the mid-term elections.

Now, because I believe that Trump is actually a snake-oil salesman, I’ll offer my $0.02.

There is one thing on that is probably on your list that I’m reasonably certain will happen within the first half of Trump’s term: federal income rates will be lowered across the board, primarily benefiting the upper tax brackets in, and taxes on capital will probably likewise go down.  If it’s not on your list, add it to your list with the asterisk that this is Pat’s one prognostication.

I have no other predictions to make about this guy, except that I don’t really think you are going to get a majority of the things you listed.

Now in 2018, come back to this post and tell us, the mystified non-Trump supporters, how well he scored on your card.


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Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution. ...more →

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266 thoughts on “The Scorecard

  1. I should leave this to others. But I don’t think that across-the-board tax rate cuts were ever a strong part of this campaign, just like I don’t agree that there are “no structural barriers between your candidate and implementing policy”. Both ideas suggest that you’ve misinterpreted Trump supporters’ priorities, Republican officeholders’ priorities, and the relationship between the two groups.

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          • At it’s root I’m pro-growth.
            What I’d like:
            1) Reduce the size of the tax code to something a human can understand.

            2) Reduce the level of corruption in government (probably already done by throwing the current set of rascals out). Having the IRS used to suppress speech and the Sec of State soliciting “donations” seem like bad things.

            3) Set the Supreme court on a path where it doesn’t become hostile to business and does show hostility to expansion of government.

            4) Immigration reform, i.e. making a set of laws which can and will be followed, this will require some form of amnesty.

            5) Move the GOP away from the social warriors (i.e. the ones who want sex-police and to arrest a third of all women for wanting to control their reproduction) and focus on things which grow the economy.

            6) Reduce crony capitalism and congressional influence peddling.

            Why I didn’t vote for Trump (i.e. what I fear).

            a) Ending Free trade.

            b) Immigration reform handled badly would be a mess.

            c) Pulling the US back from being global cop means handing that job to Russia or other interested/problematic parties.

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            • #2 You really think bringing in Trump and his associates and hangers on is going to reduce the levels of corruption?

              Even if you think Clinton (or Obama) were unusually corrupt, which I don’t, Trump seems like the worst person Republicans could have picked on that score.

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              • I am confident of only two things out of the Trump administration:

                1. An embrace of the most authoritarian line available on criminal justice

                2. An orgy of self dealing from the Oval Office on down

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              • #2 You really think bringing in Trump and his associates and hangers on is going to reduce the levels of corruption?

                I think we have an already established corrupt team in (and around) the White House right now. Throwing out the entire group is a good thing just from a disruption standpoint for this issue.

                It will take Trump and his crew time to figure out how to accept bribes without getting caught, HRC has been doing it for decades (at least since her Cattle Futures’ days) and is polished to the point where it’s not possible to figure out where her public activities end and her private enrichment begins.

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                • On Donald Trump’s transition team:

                  Ed Feulner, former President of the Heritage Foundation
                  Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York
                  Ron Nicol, current advisor to the Boston Consulting Group
                  William Walton, head of a private equity firm
                  David Malpass, chief economist at Bear Stearns
                  Mike Rogers, former Congressman from Michigan
                  Ed Meese, former Attorney General
                  Kay Coles James, who served in both Bush Administrations
                  Ado Machida, former aid to Dick Cheney

                  Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been mentioned as likely Secretary of the Interior

                  Bobby Jindal as Secretary of Health and Human Services

                  Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, and Chris Christie are all being mentioned as potential candidates for Attorney General.

                  John Bolton has been mentioned as holding a cabinet position.

                  What do all of these people have in common?

                  They are almost all longstanding, lifelong, most-never-worked-outside-of-government, establishment politicians.

                  But hey, Trump was the “anti-establishment candidate”.

                  Guess he got his anti-establishment ideas from the George W Bush Administration.

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                  • Heh. Everything old is new again.

                    Adding: Which, I have to admit, is a departure I didn’t expect to see from Trump. I was pretty certain that he’d fill quite a few important slots with complete outsiders – academics, businesspeople, pundits, and so on. I really didn’t think he’d go so ALL-IN on Establishment bonafides as a prerequisite.

                    On the other hand, it shows he isn’t an idiot… :)

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                  • Newt was kicked out of the establishment, Rudy was never really part of it. Same with the Mustache Bolton – an establishment guy would have had his ambassadorship confirmed at the poltical highwater mark of the Bush II presidency.

                    What a whole lot of these people are, are people that tried to be insiders, but failed at doing so.

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                    • Another thing a lot of them have in common: They’re not exactly moderate, nor really capable of selling things to people who aren’t part of the choir.

                      They’re the perfect people to put in front of a Trump rally to fire up the crowd, though.

                      They’re not who you surround an unpopular President with iffy policies with. They’re gonna make it worse, not better.

                      For all his sins, Rove and Dubya could polish turds to at least a high gloss.

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            • 5) Move the GOP away from the social warriors (i.e. the ones who want sex-police and to arrest a third of all women for wanting to control their reproduction) and focus on things which grow the economy.

              That is not a policy goal. That is an internal political-party goal.

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  2. 1. Taxes — Tax cuts for the wealthy including lower rates on the highest salaries, substantially reduced capital gains taxes, reduced corporate taxes and probably a one-time amnesty of ultra-low rates for overseas earnings to boost the apparent returns.

    2. Health care — Repeal of the ACA. The federal exchange has to go. Too many promises were made about it.

    3. Immigration — Increased deportation and exclusion efforts. Special legislation to build the Wall.

    4. Military — Increased military spending. As to efforts in Iraq and Syria, reply hazy try again.

    5. Environment — Tax incentives on renewables slashed. CO2 regulation eliminated.

    6. Trade — No idea. Trade war with Mexico and China was a big part of his platform but is anathema to his party.

    7. Iran — The deal is voided but the rest of the world goes on as if it is still in place.

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  3. This is a great post, but the placement is somewhat poor. The only Trump supporter I’m aware of on this site is notme — and I’m not 100% sure that he is, to tell the truth.

    (If he is, though, I really would be curious to see what his top 10 are. He was aces in the WWII post.)

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    • I voted for trump.But I don’t think that makes me a Trump Supporter.
      I hate his entire “agenda” (to the extent that a lifelong democrat from New York has a “conservative” agenda)

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      • Recognizing the height of the bar, this might be the most ridiculous thing you’ve said on this site.

        I can kind of buy the vote-but-not-endorse dodge. The vote-but-not-support dodge is nonsense. Hope you don’t live in a state that was close.

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        • nevermoor,
          I’ll do everything within my power to keep Trump from ruining the country if he actually takes office, which is Still In Doubt, I might add.
          And, I don’t have oodles of power (I’m no Bill Gates), but you’d be surprised at how handy caltrops actually are.

          It’s the Republican Congress to really watch out for, true enough.

          If I don’t support a single one of Trump’s non-existent policies (he hasn’t got this thought through just yet), I will say that I don’t fucking support him!

          I don’t want him to succeed.

          Yes, I did vote for him. Lesser of two very bad evils.

          Hoping for detente, which is better than 1 in 3 odds of limited nuclear war, in my book.

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  4. A Republican analyzes such portions of Trump’s policy agenda as he could ascertain (back in March):

    If Donald Trump’s [economic] plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into a prolonged recession. A few examples: His proposed 35% tariff-like penalties would instigate a trade war that would raise prices for consumers, kill export jobs, and lead entrepreneurs and businesses to flee America. His tax plan, in combination with his refusal to reform entitlements and to honestly address spending would balloon the deficit and the national debt. So even as Donald Trump has offered very few specific economic plans, what little he has said is enough to know that he would be very bad for American workers and for American families. …

    His healthcare plan [consists of removing] insurance boundaries between states. Successfully bringing jobs home requires serious policy and reforms that make America the place businesses want to plant and grow.

    You can’t punish business into doing the things you want.

    Trump’s bombast is already alarming our allies and fueling the enmity of our enemies. Insulting all Muslims will keep many of them from fully engaging with us in the urgent fight against ISIS. And for what purpose? Muslim terrorists would only have to lie about their religion to enter the country.

    What he said on 60 Minutes about Syria and ISIS has to go down as the most ridiculous and dangerous idea of the campaign season: Let ISIS take out Assad, he said, and then we can pick up the remnants. Think about that: Let the most dangerous terror organization the world has ever known take over a country? This is recklessness in the extreme. …

    Mr. Trump is directing our anger for less than noble purposes. He creates scapegoats of Muslims and Mexican immigrants, he calls for the use of torture and for killing the innocent children and family members of terrorists. He cheers assaults on protesters. He applauds the prospect of twisting the Constitution to limit First Amendment freedom of the press.

    This is the very brand of anger that has led other nations into the abyss.

    Add to that: Repeal and [don’t] replace Obamacare, something a lot of Republicans can agree on, and beefed up security on the Mexican border which may or may not include walls and moats. There’s also the famous Muslim entry ban Gov. Romney alludes to in the middle paragraph quoted above.

    Beyond that, I think Gov. Romney pretty much got down what’s coherently identifiable as a “policy platform.”

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    • What he said on 60 Minutes about Syria and ISIS has to go down as the most ridiculous and dangerous idea of the campaign season: Let ISIS take out Assad, he said, and then we can pick up the remnants. Think about that: Let the most dangerous terror organization the world has ever known take over a country? This is recklessness in the extreme. …

      And also now he’s managed to figure out a way to make the fight against ISIS a *war crime*. I guess he’s trying to figure out a way to commit the same war crime as Bush.

      Syria is a sovereign country. If ‘ISIS’ somehow ends up in charge of it, they’re still a sovereign country, even if we don’t recognize them anymore. Invading them is illegal.

      I guess we might ‘get lucky’ because they’d be extremely unlikely to stay within their own borders, giving justification for a war.

      But letting ISIS…actually, this is too stupid a hypothetical for words, because one of the players has totally disappeared.

      Why the hell would *Russia* let ISIS take over Syria? The closer ISIS comes to that, the more and more concessions that Russia can demand from Assad to fix the problem, and the more and more violent the world will allow them to be.

      Hell, it’s hard to see why, if ISIS actually took out Assad, why *Russia* wouldn’t seize Syria.

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  5. As I placed the handmade coffee cup full of herbal tea on the stand next to my television, my six year old came up and told me, sadly, that zhe was disappointed in America but expected no better, given our 400 years of racism. I gently placed my hands upon zher shoulders and said “you are the one who gives me hope. I know that you will be able to carry the torch lit by the Enlightenment to the future despite these people who surround you who ought to have been born during the Dark Ages.”

    We cried together.

    I know that after 8 years of Trump, we’ll be poised for 12 years of Ivanka as our First Woman President.

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    • Are you going to be making these flippant comments when people start getting beat up?

      Are you going to be making these flippant comments when SWAT raids on minorities increase? When LGBT married couples have their marriages dissolved? When LBGT couples have their children (biological and adopted) ripped from their arms?

      Are you really that damned hellbent on sticking it to some upper-middle class liberals with slightly hippie philosophies? Do you realize how much of what you wrote here is more of a fantasy about how upper-middle class liberals are in your head than they are in real life?

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      • I promise to stop making these flippant comments when people start getting beaten up, when SWAT raids on minorities increase, when LGBT married couples have their marriages dissolved, and/or when LBGT couples have their children (biological and adopted) ripped from their arms.

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        • Ah, I get it.

          If you’re on the left, blood and broken bones or STFU.

          If you’re on the right, however, we all know how cutting the words of those liberal elitists are. We should shape policy so that you don’t get so offended by those folks and their weird ideas.

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            • You only think they’re radical because you don’t understand their language and culture.

              I mean sure, they talk about white supremacy, but that’s just because the liberals were mean. They’re really nice people who love dogs and hardly ever beat up a minority.

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          • You want a Nordic Model of society?

            You need high trust and high collaboration.

            You cannot centrally distribute high trust.
            You cannot mandate and legislate high collaboration.

            For what it’s worth, I rather expect the pendulum to swing back. That’s how pendulums work.

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            • So clearly the way to get high trust and collaboration is to have a guy who blames everything on the Mexicans and Chinese as president. Yeah, that’ll heal all of our wounds.

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              • I think that a complete and total lack of self-reflection and a reliance on blaming those people for not trusting you because they’re various “ist”s who have internalized various “ism”s won’t work either.

                But, hell, let’s give it a shot!

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                  • We’re not even nutpicking.

                    Jaybird’s got his pet theory about trust and collaboration, and conservatives would laugh it out of the room. It’s a non-starter. So he talks to liberals, who will at least engage and might be persuadable.

                    You do recall his incessant harping on Clinton’s emails, repeatedly mocking people who said “Nothing will come of this” despite them being right time and again, and in the end literally inventing possible things Clinton COULD have done to justify it.

                    Things that Congress would have known and leaked, but didn’t. But since Jaybird didn’t read them, who knows?

                    See, you got to trust Jaybird. Jaybird don’t have to trust you.

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                    • Trust and collaboration issues are frequently discussed on the right. Today Tyler Cowen referenced this as one if his favored theories of why Trump might win:

                      6. As Robert D. Putnam suggested, ethnic diversity can lower the quality of governance, and this is one step along that path toward greater fractiousness. This may blend into racism, but much of it is simply “fear of being in the losing coalition.” The common claim that the electorate is more polarized than before fits into this. You might try Ezra Klein’s podcast with Arlie Hochschild.

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                    • I’m one of the few conservatives here, and I regularly engage with Jaybird on Trust/Collaboration. I think it is one of his better insights.

                      Its a major theme from Nisbet, Lasch, Roepke, Kirk, and Yuval Levin’s most recent book was pretty much a monograph on the topic.

                      I suppose we could parse the whole conservative, movement, republican thing if we want.

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            • So why, exactly, are the Democrats the ones that need to bend over backwards to extend trust?

              IIRC, the last President from their party spent his first few years in office trying desperately to find any ground the opposition was willing to work with him on, even going so far as to utilize their base proposals and even nominate judges from their lists.

              Why are you lecturing liberals on this, and not conservatives? I mean let’s be honest — which party keeps trying to work across the aisle? Which party governs as if members of the other weren’t legitimate?

              Probably because we’re the only ones that will bother listening, which kind of undercuts your point.

              “You guys need to see it from their point of view and trust them” is pretty freaking rich aimed at liberals the day after the country elected a man whose platform consisted of demonizing Muslims and immigrants, and promised to jail his opponent when taking power.

              On the bright side, I’m totally understanding that “ivory tower” complaint — it’s like you’ve never been out in the real world, so enthralled with your pet idea that you can’t see the obvious problems.

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              • So why, exactly, are the Democrats the ones that need to bend over backwards to extend trust?

                They don’t have to!
                They can treat Trump the way that the Republicans treated Obama!

                I *INVITE* you (and all Democrats!) to act like that! For the next 8 years, even!

                But there are things that will not happen if you do that.

                What would you rather do? Defect against Republicans or Collaborate and accomplish a goal?

                They’ve *EARNED* defecting against, let me tell you. They’ve earned that good and hard.

                Why are you lecturing liberals on this, and not conservatives?

                Point me at them.

                We don’t have any. We hounded them all away.

                Well, we’ve got notme. I’ll decline to yell at notme.

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              • Why are you lecturing liberals on this, and not conservatives? I mean let’s be honest — which party keeps trying to work across the aisle? Which party governs as if members of the other weren’t legitimate?

                Good point. Academic, of course.

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            • Lee has pointed out that there are plenty of homogeneous and high trust societies with low welfare states like Japan and South Korea and Taiwan.

              So there is clearly something besides homogeneous demographics that gives the Nordic countries their welfare states.

              A friend from High School is a reporter for NPR. He wrote a book about Chris Christie called American Governor. His name is Matt Katz. He is already receiving anti-Semitic tweets and faxed press releases. Now this could go away or it could be the sign of worse things coming.

              I don’t think Trump dislikes Jews per se but he likes Jews in the kind of philo-semitism which sounds awfully anti-Semitic and he did go full anti-Semite in his Jewish banker ad.

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              • Lee has pointed out that there are plenty of homogeneous and high trust societies with low welfare states like Japan and South Korea and Taiwan.

                Please feel free to swap out “Nordic Model” with “Japanese, South Korean, and/or Taiwanese Model” in my comment, then.

                If you want a high trust/high collaboration model, you’re going to need these people to trust you if you want them to collaborate with you.

                This is not me saying “HEY! I’M MAKING A MORAL JUDGMENT OVER HERE!” but “huh, this outcome is not possible without this particular prerequisite being met.”

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              • I don’t think Trump dislikes Jews per se but he likes Jews in the kind of philo-semitism which sounds awfully anti-Semitic and he did go full anti-Semite in his Jewish banker ad.

                From what I can tell (And I’m not really any sort of knowledgeable person about anti-Semitism), Trump believes certain stereotypes about Jews.

                It’s just that those stereotypes, in his mind, are mostly *positive* ones.

                But, OTOH, as black people know with stereotypes about their physical abilities, something that can be a ‘positive’ stereotype for some members of their group can, at the exact same time, turn nasty when those people are ‘enemies’.

                Trump, I suspect, believes Jews are manipulative with money, which means he likes them when they’re managing *his* money (As he supposedly has literally said, although he denies that statement.) and has no problem with them marrying into his family because now they’re on his side…but he doesn’t trust those ‘international bankers’ for the exact same reason. Same stereotype.

                Incidentally, and I’ve never known quite how to bring this up without repeating anti-Semitic nonsense, but can I just point out that Trump treating the anti-Semitic stereotypes as *positive* is, itself, a bit telling about Trump’s own beliefs about how people should behave with money? He’s fine with cheaters, as long as they’re *his* cheaters?

                Well, yeah, actually, that’s been clear this entire time. We already knew that. Not really sure why I needed to point that out. So I guess my point is that his anti-Semitism helps prove that.

                And, of course, for people that don’t….uh…well, I’ll just have to say it. For people who don’t have enough money to hire their own Jew, those stereotypes end up being almost entirely negative.

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        • How about when people with chronic health conditions and disabilities lose their health insurance and go bankrupt or forgo treatment? How about when we have the next record drought or hurricane season that obviously has nothing to do with global warming? How about when Iran gets the bomb? Its like you didn’t listen to a word the man said.

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          • I’m pretty sure a LOT of people didn’t listen to a word Trump said. Or didn’t believe it.

            Or, most likely, thought he could never win so focused all their ire on Clinton and liberals. And now that Trump’s won, they can’t really switch targets easily. They’ve got to wait for an excuse.

            In the meantime, Trump clearly doesn’t mean what Trump says, and anyways he’ll certainly be reined in by someone sensible, so let’s keep kicking the left.

            Frankly, this whole mess is their fault for nominating Clinton. Really, anything Trump does is actually the fault of Bill Clinton’s penis, if you think about it.

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          • This was sort of actually happening for a month prior to Trump’s election.

            I think it’s one of the reasons that he actually got elected.

            I’ll make these two points (that I’ve made again):

            1) Health Care Coverage is not Health Care
            2) There Is An Iron Triangle and you demand “Done Fast” be one of the things we’ve picked.

            Global Warming requires one hell of a bunch of collective action. That’s going to require Trust and Collaboration. How much is that worth to you?

            When Iran gets the bomb? Wait, who am I blaming for this? Trump?

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            • So I should comfort myself that having diabetes might just bankrupt you instead of killing you when Trump & co are done? And on glival warming, he’ll be actively undoing things that Obama has already quietly accomplished!!! You don’t get to add points to the trust Bank by pulling out of an international agreement that was already established. You ABSOLUTELY don’t get more trust points when you do it because global warming is a hoax and scientists are in league with the Chinese to steal the jobs of American workers. Why is it that you’re so much more attentive to ways that liberals can build trust by compromising their values than vice versa?

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              • The iron triangle is not man’s law, it is God’s law.

                I’m just the messenger there.

                Yeah, on global warming, he is likely to undo things that Obama had quietly accomplished without consensus.

                He’ll also be doing this undoing without a consensus.

                What would you like me to do to put a stop to this?

                Clinton won Colorado. There’s nothing more I can do.

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                  • My own wishful thinking was exemplified by Gary Johnson.

                    The mockery is something that I will try to wring out of my system but, at the same time, I know how much we need someone to scream at for doing this to us and, well, we already chased off most of the “real” Republicans from this board.

                    I’m willing to be yelled at as a Trump Surrogate for a while.

                    I see you all here as my online family and you guys all have no idea how much I love you and if you need to have a good screaming session, man. Let me just say that Bernie Sanders would have mopped the floor with Trump.

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                    • I totally agree. Anybody but Hillary could have beaten Trump. As it turned out, anybody including Trump could have beaten Hillary.

                      When this all began, the last thing anybody wanted was to be presented with another Bush vs. Clinton choice. One party’s convention figured that out early on in the nominating process, and the other party’s leadership did everything they could to coronate the candidate whose second term they’ve been talking about as a given since before Obama’s first, all the while mocking the first party’s leadership for losing control of their convention and ending up with such an absurd nominee.

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                • What kind of consensus are you looking for? How many bills get enacted with 80-90% plus approval. Anti terror bills after 9/11 and making a National Pet a Cute Kitten Day those are the things that get a huge consensus.

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                    • Well yeah. It’s going to be innocuous or overly passionate moments that get huge consensus. Exactly. Most everything else is going to be by 50’s or 60’s. Massive consensus is rare and either shouldn’t be trusted because people aren’t thinking or doesn’t matter.

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                  • Ideally? One passed by Congress and signed into law.

                    That will be a consensus that cannot be undone by a stroke of the pen when a corrupt Democratic party insisting on running the *ONE* candidate that could possibly lose to Donald Freaking Trump goes on to do so in spectacular fashion.

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                    • Which law? The ACA you mean. The R’s would be gutting it no matter how it was enacted. Remember all those super majorities that suddenly were needed for every bill. Nothing was going to change the desire of R’s to gut. Did O winning in 12 convince them to stop trying to repeal; nope. In any case it isn’t about one signature, the R’s have both houses and the Prez they could gut the ACA in whatever they wish, nothing would change that.

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                      • I was more thinking of one like “a climate change law that will end up actually working”.

                        I think that the problem is that we’re treating climate change like a moral failing rather than an engineering challenge. I think that if we reframed it as an engineering challenge, we’d make headway on it.

                        But when it comes to the ACA, it comes back to that iron triangle I bring up ad nauseum.

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                        • Where is the evidence that Obama’s climate actions weren’t working on the substance of the issue? Seems to me that “the GOP opposes any attempt to regulate greenhouse gas emissions” is a pretty rough hurdle for a climate change plan to overcome.

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                          • If your solution requires winning and holding the White House in perpetuity, your solution is not sustainable.

                            His solutions could well have been working on the substance of the issue! Let’s assume that they were!

                            They required Clinton to win the White House.

                            Presumably twice in a row. Then the White House needed to be won after her by, oh, Kaine, I guess.

                            This doesn’t make what Obama did bad or wrong or worth criticizing.

                            It just makes what Obama did something unsustainable.

                            It might have been the only thing possible at the time and, hey, that’s admirable that he did all he could. Kudos.

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                            • My solution was holding the white House until the GOP accepted the science on climate change or enough coal got phased out that they stopped caring. Not a great solution, but an improvement on the literally nothinh else that was on offer with a GOP congres. This applies to a lot of Obama policy. Perfect? Of course not. But his critics were rarely able to come up with better alternatives that he had the political capacity to accomplish.

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                              • And now it’s likely a moot point. Either technology saves us or it doesn’t, but how will China ever deal with us on climate change after we pull out of the Paris accords? Certainly not in time to make a difference if we can’t start for the next four years at minimum.

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                        • I don’t’ think we need to re litigate the passage of the ACA. I saw bad faith and complete opposition you see something else. At some point the R’s are responsible for their votes. Would better messaging help pass CC laws, beats me but i very much doubt it. It’s Chinese conspiracy i hear and all the messaging by D’s isn’t going to change that. In fact all the framing by D’s isn’t necessarily going to change people who don’t believe in CC.

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                          • “Responsible for their votes”

                            From what I recall, they all voted against it.
                            Like, not a *SINGLE* republican vote was for it.

                            Would better messaging help pass CC laws, beats me but i very much doubt it.

                            Then you have one hell of a problem because that means that you cannot pass CC laws.

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                            • Correct. Our problem is that Republicans don’t give a shit about climate change. Similar to how it’s a prpblem that they don’t give a shit about the deficit, or about health care for poor people, or about poverty.

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                                • Because lots of voters either share or don’t mind those positions. Remind me again why we’re criticizing Obama for not snapping his fingers and turning the electorate and the opposition party into something other than what it was?

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                                    • I don’t know about you, but I’m describing the world and castigating the GOP, which sync up pretty well. Climare change is a nightmarish policy problem to address. For reasons of ideological convenience and special interest pleasing, the GOP has decided to profit politically off of resisting any solution to that problem.

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                                      • Well, my suggestion is to cease with the moral language and turn it instead into an issue of national pride.

                                        “We can’t let China be the first country to figure out how to turn solar panel house shingles into distilleries that turn CO2 into ethanol! That’s something that ought to be monetized by an American! SCIENTISTS! EGGHEADS! FIGURE OUT HOW TO TURN CO2 INTO ETHANOL USING SOLAR PANEL HOUSE SHINGLES! U-S-A! U-S-A!”

                                        “Jeez, Jenny. I’d love to take you to the Sadie Hawkins. But I’m working on a shingle!”

                                        “Darn it! I asked you because I’m close to a breakthrough and I wanted to distract you!”

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                            • Oh nothing is going to happen on CC. That is certain. If the CC predictions are right people are screwed but that is what enough people chose.

                              Yeah they all voted against it and they never were going to vote for any HCR. So they played very hard ball and in the long run they seem to have won. Welp that is elections and democracy. It’s gonna suck hard for some people if millions lose HI. But that will be the responsibility of R’s, that is what they are going to do, so own it. D’s made their move and they have to own it. But you seem to always trying to find a way to blame D’s. There is plenty to blame D’s for, but when millions lose HI, that is on R’s. We’ll have to see how things shake out after that. Maybe not that bad or maybe bad.

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                              • Oh nothing is going to happen on CC. That is certain.

                                I wouldn’t be too sure about that. If the insurance, and the finance sector more broadly, fund those dudes and chicks CongressCritter seats, then they’re gonna wanna pay real close attention to mitigation efforts their bankrollers wanna see happen.

                                Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump holds tight on the current Obama CC policies even while he’s advancing (more than Obama? is that possible?) production of domestic fossil fuels.

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                                  • Yeah. I think he will, too. He’s also promised clean coal (what politician hasn’t?), safe fracking, etc. And he can do all that without rejecting any CC agreements, which I’d be surprised (well, sorta surprised, it’s Trump afterall) if he rejects.

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                                  • Actually, I mighta got that wrong. Apparently!!!, congressional GOPers are very hot on the idea of funding a massive infrastructure rebuild, which Trump has also said he wants to do: airports, roads, bridges, etc. You know, the type of thing that Obama wanted (and Hillary campaigned on) but which only the *right* person could execute…

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                                    • There goes small government! This is Trump’s Party. Small government is dead.

                                      I wonder how they can write this to only benefit red areas. One thing that Trump and Christie have in common is that they are vindictive. They don’t like being challenged. What is the no money to blue states (or blue cities) way of doing an infrastructure build?

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                                • If the big business types cared much about CC they would have been working with O at least a bit. Some of them certainly see the danger and know its coming but its a ways off so easier to kick the can down the road. We saw what the Dow thinks of Trumpy last night.

                                  Trumper may not care about CC. But the rest of the R’s will. If he is off doing whatever the R’s will be working against doing anything.

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              • I will make a quiet prediction, staked with absolutely no money, that Trump will find a face-saving way to stay in the treaty.

                He’s already suggesting that the “repeal and replace horrible Obamacare” plank is somewhat squishy…

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        • For something likely to happen early on, how about when the new AG announces that there’ll be no more of this recreational marijuana nonsense, turns the DEA loose, and holds local law enforcement in criminal contempt if they don’t cooperate?

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          • What I wonder about is whether local law enforcement will turn against the liberal cities and states that that went for HRC and by how much. When I was in Reno, the California Association of Tactical Offficers was also there on a convention. They loved the Trump win. Can you see them going against SF, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, LA, etc? For some reason, I can.

            The SFPD is interesting. On the one hand, they made a “It gets better” video when that was a thing a few years ago. On the other hand, they got in trouble for scandals where they encouraged prisoners to fight gladatorial style in jail, have their own shooting of black cops, and racist text scandals.

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          • Great, this is testable.

            If recreational/medicinal suddenly gets shut down (look at all of the states that have it, after all… they’re blue!), then, suddenly, I get to start screaming about federalism and the 10th Amendment again and how Giuliani has more ex-wives than Rush or whatever.

            I see Giuliani and Christie as bad indicators.

            But I see the recent victories as another indicator and that another indicator is an easy, low-risk win that mimics a “bold move” that will make him look different and more decisive than his predecessor (and, again, it’s a populist move at this point… look at the polls).

            So I am uncertain.

            But I assure you that attacks on the devil weed will re-awaken the Libertarian Jaybird.

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            • Did legalized weed win in any state that went for Trump?

              A brief google shows the answer to be no. California, Nevada, Mass, Colorado, and Washington are all safely blue. Maybe Colorado is the most libertarian/right leaning based on all vestiges. The others are true blue states.

              Arizona rejected marijuana. Maine is on the fence.

              True blue states legalizing weed reveals nothing libertarianish sea changing about the country.

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              • There are more kinds of marijuana than recreational, Saul.

                When it comes to weed, I personally witnessed what happened when “medicinal” came into existence: “I’m having trouble sleeping” was good enough to get a prescription. “I have intermittent anxiety” was good enough. “I have diarrhea occasionally” was good enough.

                As such, legalizing medicinal is, for now, good enough for me.

                If it entails a rescheduling, that would be even better as dealing Schedule 2 (or 3?) drugs is much, much, much different in the eyes of the law than dealing Schedule 1.

                Is it ideal?

                Of course not.

                That’s why I’m hoping to be pointed in the right direction and to be moving there slowly. I don’t see the other option as being there RIGHT NOW!!!! I see the other option as being pointed in a wrong direction and moving (slowly or otherwise).

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            • Don’t you think it would be great red meat for the right-wing to take California and Massachusetts to task for their liberalism?

              Let’s show those fuckers in San Francisco and Cambridge!!

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          • Right now we have riots and arson from the left because the wrong person won the election. Notice the total lack of riots/arson when Obama won, either time, or when Bill won, etc. Similarly if Trump had lost I’d expect we wouldn’t have seen riots/etc. Moving beyond the election we’ve seen BLM have riots/arson on a reasonably regular basis when the wrong thing happens or they disagree with some judge.

            The real threat of violence mostly comes from the left, not the right. The left just likes to pretend the right is violent because it makes a good straw man to drum up support for their policies.

            The usual things which are illegal will remain illegal and the legal system is well able to arrest people for brutalizing others.

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            • Moving beyond the election we’ve seen BLM have riots/arson on a reasonably regular basis when the wrong thing happens or they disagree with some judge.

              The real threat of violence mostly comes from the left, not the right.

              Let’s be real here: so-called “BLM” riots occur after unarmed black folks are shot dead by cops. Which doesn’t strike me as either a conservative or liberal issue, but just a bunch of folks who are tired of being mistreated by cops and the criminal justice system.

              Adding: Eg., could the Rodney King riots be accurately described as “violence by the left”?

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              • Let’s be real here: so-called “BLM” riots occur after unarmed black folks are shot dead by cops. Which doesn’t strike me as either a conservative or liberal, but rather just a bunch of folks who are tired of being mistreated by cops and the criminal justice system.

                Ferguson, the father of ‘hands up don’t shoot’, was burned because of a lie. The “unarmed” criminal attacked a cop, tried to take his gun, and then continued.

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      • You don’t understand, Saul. Black people, illegal immigrants, Muslims, poor people, pregnant woman who wish to have reproductive choice, gay people all failed to realize that rural white Americans should always have veto power on change.

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        • I used to work at a firm that represented victims of asbestos. The overwhelming majority of our clients were blue-collar industrial workers and their families. Every now and then we had an engineer or a guy on the business side of things.

          Plaintiff’s lawyers tend to be loyal Democrats. Some of our clients were that core base of right-wing Silent Generation types. One client allegedly handed out a business card that introduced himself as a “Republican consultant” and “anti-Queer.”
          His lawyer at trial was not heterosexual.

          I wonder if this makes it through at all or not. That guy is probably dead now. He had mesothelioma but I wonder if it ever gets through that the people defending white working-class voters at trial are liberals.

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      • Saul Degraw:
        Are you going to be making these flippant comments when people start getting beat up?…

        Are we going to hear apologies from you in a few years if these don’t happen? If all these claims of racism turn out to be just rhetorical clubs to get people to vote for one party?

        Or worse, if minorities end up actually better off because the free market is allowed to work?

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        • Now we are back to “liberals are the real racists” and complaining about why don’t minorities vote libertarian or Republican instead of seriously trying to contemplate why minorities don’t trust libertarian or Republican philosophy?

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          • Now we are back to “liberals are the real racists” and complaining about why don’t minorities vote libertarian or Republican instead of seriously trying to contemplate why minorities don’t trust libertarian or Republican philosophy?

            Right now we have multiple cities with (left wing) riots because the wrong guy won the election, we’ve seen similar (left wing) riots in other situations, like judges letting people go. I can’t remember when the right rioted because of losing an election and Obama won two of them, but with the left it’s barely news.

            If my city burns down it will probably be because BLM didn’t like some judge’s verdict. With all of that, we’re supposed to be worried about the Right being violent?

            My expectation is that in a year the minority death toll will be the same as it is now, and the big villain will continue to be the war on drugs as opposed to racism… but the culture of victimhood will be used again the moment the Dems need a political point to score.

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  6. As for predictions!

    We’re going to see some decent Supreme Court Justices and some stinkers. My heart years for Janice Rogers Brown. Is 67 too old for a Supreme Court Justice anymore?

    As for legislation, I’m hoping for a handful of things:

    Drugs? Trump to read the writing on the wall WRT marijuana legalization and force a schedule change. (Though I had hoped that Obama would have could have done this.) Giuliani and Christie are not good indicators for this. However, I like to think that state legislation passing via popular vote will strike Trump as too sweet a populist plum to not pluck. Hey, the individual states can make it more illegal, we’re just talking about making it less illegal on a federal level. That sort of thing.

    Taxes? We’re going to see corporate taxes change somewhat. I think that the idea is that if we can get the corporations back here in the US, we’ll get the workers back here in the US. That means that corporate taxes go *DOWN*. We’ll be competitive with Ireland. This will work on some level, it won’t work on others. It won’t be half as bad as its worst critics say, it won’t be half as good as Trump’s biggest boosters say.

    Energy policy? It’s war. DJT vs. the House Of Saud. This will get interesting.

    Foreign policy? Two ways it could play out. 1) DJT does exactly what Obama was doing and we find ourselves reading the words “grim milestone” in the press again 2) DJT goes non-interventionist (you mean “isolationist”?) and the press is stuck agitating for DJT to do something about what Putin is doing overseas.

    That’s five things. Ten is a tall order.

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    • So your heart yearns for somebody who believes the New Deal was the “the triumph of our own socialist revolution” that could be “traced from the Enlightenment, through the Terror, to Marx and Engels, to the Revolutions of 1917 and 1937.”

      I mean, if you want a well respected libertarian jurist who doesn’t believe that private property and capital should hold all power, Posner is right there.

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      • Heh. Sorry.

        It seems to me that there are two ways to look at Trump and Marijuana.

        1) Giuliani and Christie
        Looking at these indicators, legalized (or rescheduled) marijuana is Not Going To Freaking Happen. They hate the demon weed, if they’re AGs, they’re going to argue against decriminalizing/legalizing/rescheduling the demon weed. And it’s just that simple.

        2) A lot (and I mean, a lot a lot) of states have legalized it. Either medicinal or even recreational. This is a parade that Trump can run in front of and pretend to lead. There is very little risk to say “maybe we should do something about this on a federal level” once more than half the states have legalized medicinal (and six have legalized recreational). It’s easier to list the six states that have full marijuana prohibition than to list the ones who have some form of decriminalization/medicinal allowances. As such, there is a lot more downside to turning back the clock than pretending that you’ve supported this sort of thing since the beginning.

        Which do I think will happen?
        No idea.

        I kind of wish that one of the journalists out there asked him a question about this at some point during the campaign…

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  7. Jaybird:
    Let me just say that Bernie Sanders would have mopped the floor with Trump.

    In Jaybird-land, maybe. Where I live, no way. The conservadems I know who voted for Hillary with their noses closed would have run from Bernie like their hair was on fire.

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        • Politics is a team sport. Blaming Hillary is like blaming the Warriors’ NBA championship loss on activist refs who suspended Draymond for game six.

          Wait, that’s not right. It’s more like blaming the Broncos Superbowl loss on poor quarterback play by Peyton Manning.

          Damn.

          Look, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you’d like to have. She was the best the Democrats could would allow themselves to have.

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        • This isn’t explaining anything, it’s just stating repeatedly that Sanders would have won. It’s also stating a bunch of stuff about Wikileaks that the commentariat here has had much more informed discussions on.

          Sanders would have done much worse with Hispanics and blacks, for whom his agenda offered nothing. The big surprise from the exits is that Trump didn’t actually scare off minorities the way everyone had assumed, so they would have either stayed home or actually gone for Trump. Clinton states for him to lose would be NV, NM, AZ. It would also have made FL, GA, and NC more obviously Trump-favored and allowed him to pour more money and time into countering the Sanders message in the rust belt. The GOP would also have been much more united behind Trump because Sanders offers no redeeming qualities to the establishment GOP whereas Clinton is a hawk and can be rationalized as an economic moderate.

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          • trizz,
            Yeah, well, you weren’t the Clinton operative whose analysis predicted Trump would win. I’ll stick with his comments that Bernie would have won this in a walk.
            8% of Democrats stayed home, and it wasn’t the black vote.

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  8. Tod is right about there not being many/any Trump supporters among the regular commenters here. That said, I always think it’s a good idea to make concrete predictions as a way of calibrating your world view against reality. Here are mine

    1. On immigration and trade, I expect some cosmetic changes to appease the base, but no real big shift. Globalization is a fact, not a choice. “The wall” will become a few more heavily fortified sections of the border. And “mass deportation” will become a bit more in resources to CBP. Maybe there will be some unfavorable changes to how immigration courts work and to the immigrant detention system, but those are already mucked up.

    2. I expect some kind of off-cycle congressional swing in 2018 and the possibility that GOP control of both houses will last only two years. I think Trump has one shot at getting through a major legislative program and that will be some kind of infrastructure/jobs program. This may be a Nixon goes to China moment, because the Democrats are always talking about infrastructure and job but never seem to be able to pull the trigger, in part because Republicans resist. This will be expensive, especially if it includes major tax cuts, ineffective, and full of boondoggles.

    3. I don’t think that Trump has much interest in the day-to-day business of governing. I expect that he will delegate a great deal of his management and congressional affairs responsibilities to Mike Pence and to whomever his Chief of Staff ends up being. This is already the way that administrations work, but Trump’s will be especially so. The quality of Trump’s political appointees will matter a great deal. I am hopeful, but pessimistic.

    To me, the big wild cards are health care and foreign policy. I won’t pretend to know what comes on those fronts. I could see a Republican congress immediately repealing Obamacare and then struggling to come up with anything to replace it. I can also see the Republicans keeping the bones of the ACA and making enough cosmetic changes to claim it as something new. Either way, we will continue the tradition of combining the worst aspects of a free market health care system with the worst aspects of a public system.

    The good news on foreign policy is that most of the actual work is done by career civil servants who know what they’re doing more often than not. This is another area where the quality of political appointees will matter a great deal.

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  9. Immigration: Frankly, I’d love for the admin to gather up all the illegals, ship them across the border and drop them off, and say. You want back in, APPLY. BTW, you go the end of the line. We’re giving expedited status to everyone who’s followed the rules. However, as a shortcut, you can move to this construction camp in Arizona and help build the wall-whether or not it actually gets completed is moot. We’ll feed you and educate your kids in grade school, and when the wall is “done”, you can apply again. Then we’ll let you in. Should only take a year or two.

    Foreign Policy: I’d like the admin to say to the eurolanders and the asians: Any of you owe us money? You got 30 days to kick in or we’re out. If you WANT us to stay, you’re paying the bill in full, right down to the postage stamp some GI uses to write home. Otherwise, we’re gone. Deal with Putin/China through the EU/UN. Then we should tell the Saudis to stop screwing around in the middle east by funding ISIS and just pump oil or we’ll walk too. And of course, we’d stop funding ISIS, destabilizing countries, and just mind our own damn business and buy stuff from overseas when we wanted it. We got our own people to take care of. A lot of them need some help and we don’t need to be pissing money away giving it to rich counties defending their asses.

    Then we can focus on domestic policy…..

    Any Questions? :)

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  10. I came across this. This may help you left of center types.

    http://neveryetmelted.com/2016/11/09/every-cloud-has-a-silver-lining/

    I’m going to post it as well. You should think about what’s written. Italics are mine.

    “We are never ever going to have to see Hillary Rodham Clinton as President of the United States. The United States remains a stodgy old-fashioned country which has never elected a female chief executive.

    For reasons none of us understand, relations between Russia and the United States have recently been growing dangerously hostile, with all sorts of saber-rattling gestures and escalating shows of force. Putin likes Trump, and Trump has the opposite of any kind of personal investment at all into whatever mysterious policy preferences of the Obama Administration have led to Russian-US conflict over Syria. The Trump Administration ought to be able to reset relations with Russia. Therefore, we do not perish in the near future due to a nuclear exchange.

    We have the presidency and control of Congress and we have a mandate to repeal and replace Obamacare.

    Merrick Garland (no fan of the Second Amendment, he) will not be getting confirmed by the Senate. Hopefully, Trump will keep his promise and appoint someone a lot more like Scalia.

    The country is tired of living in perennial recession Obamaland. If Trump introduces those promised tax cuts, on top of replacing the Obamacare mandate, economic confidence should soon begin coming back, and with it the long-awaited real recovery.

    We’ve been obliged to live for 8 years under a totally-unqualified Anti-American Affirmative Action president, just so the community of fashion could feel good about itself. Now they get to live under a totally-unqualified crude vulgarian elected by rural and working class Americans as a huge F You to them. What goes around comes around.

    There’s no denying it. A Trump Presidency has got far more entertainment value that Hillary’s would have ever had. His gaffes will be funny. Hers would only have been painful to watch.

    And, finally, The Donald is 70-years-old. He’s the oldest geezer ever elected president. All he needs to do is go toes up, and Pence is president, and Pence seems to be a very decent guy.”

    Edited to add…this guy’s anti trump.

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  11. Trump has different supporters. I’m more familiar with the conservatives for whom Trump wasn’t the first choice. I can guess what their priorities are – Obamacare and SCOTUS. Trump’s more diehard supporters probably see immigration and trade as his key issues. I don’t know what independents who supported Trump would like to see happen.

    So, let me break this down a little. On immigration, Trump has been vocal about (a) the wall, (b) the door, and (c) enforcing current law. I don’t think his fans are as keen on the door as he is. On trade, I think his three biggest points have been (a) renegotiating NAFTA, (b) withdrawing from TPP, and (c) challenging China’s trade practices. He’s called for the elimination of ISIS, with the cooperation of any players necessary. He wants to reform DC culture. He’s called for the (a) repeal and (b) replacement of Obamacare. As I’ve said before, I don’t think that tax reform is a priority for his fans, but it’s something he’s brought up regularly. My guess is that the Republicans are more interested in tax reform than tax cuts. And the Supreme Court nominations are a big draw for many of his supporters. He’s talked about a lot of other things too, but I think these constitute the heart of his message.

    So, a speculative list:
    1) Immigration enforcement
    2) Wall
    3) Withdrawal / renegotiation of NAFTA
    4) halting TPP
    5) aggressive stand against China on trade
    6) ISIS’s elimination
    7) lobbying revolving door reform
    8) repeal / replacement of Obamacare
    9) tax simplification
    10) conservative Supreme Court nominations

    Would the average Trump supporter accept, say, 8 of those as their strongest hopes? I don’t know. That’s the best list I can make for now.

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  12. The transition team has now put up a more formal agenda:

    https://www.greatagain.gov

    So let’s read some tea leaves.

    The most fleshed out areas, by far, are healthcare, immigration, and energy. Obviously we’re going back to the pre-ACA days, but what’s surprising to me is the focus on socon issues like individual conscience and sanctity of life. Immigration crackdown is very aspirational but there’s little that can be practically implemented (“Ensure that Other Countries Take Their People Back When We Order Them Deported”). Lots of proposals for environmental de-regulation which GOP will be happy to pass. Oh, and there’s a weird tenther reference in his SCOTUS/Constitution views. All in all, it sounds *remarkably* like the George W Bush first 100 days. Right down to the socon nods, plans to increase military spending but use it less, and vague focus on education. Also interesting what’s not there: #DrainTheSwamp is gone entirely (and McConnell has signaled loud and clear that it’s not a priority); so is Ivanka’s childcare subsidy; no longer any hint of Mexico paying for the wall. Much of the unconventional stuff is being toned down and it’s starting to look like a pretty typical 90’s GOP agenda.

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  13. Saul Degraw: I don’t think Trump dislikes Jews per se…

    He was certainly supportive when his daughter converted to Jewdaism and thinks the world of his son-in-law and grandchildren.

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  14. Saul Degraw:
    You live in such a different universe than say actual reality that I am not sure which drugs you are taking.

    System seems to have eaten my post filled with links to liberals rioting. :(

    What are you claiming here, that liberals aren’t rioting? That conservatives did after Obama won? Or is it just that the left gets a pass because their feelings were hurt and left-violence is always justified?

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  15. Like anybody else, I have no idea what’s going to happen, and Trump is so volatile that I don’t even know in general terms what I want to happen. But the first thing I want him to accomplish is to get to a functioning White House such as senioritis-Obama.

    That itself is going to be a big deal, uniquely relevant to Trump above any other candidate who could conceivably be in his position. People have to appreciate that they have to shelve away their own agendas for a while. There seems to be some subterranean understanding of this, though nowhere made explicit that I have seen.

    Then in a careful way, we have to let the agendas back in. We couldn’t go on autopilot forever if we wanted.

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    • Hey, it’s Koz!

      Hi, Koz.

      But the first thing I want him to accomplish is to get to a functioning White House such as senioritis-Obama.

      If reporting is accurate*, looks like you’re going to get the George W. Bush White House.

      * like you say, Trump is no predictable, so reporting isn’t much to go on, so far.

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      • You may be right, but I haven’t seen that, and I don’t buy it from what I have seen. But that’s ancillary to this train of thought anyway.

        Somebody will hold the Cabinet offices, be Chief of Staff, and so on. But at least as important as who those people are, is going to be the role of Donald Trump himself, his impulsiveness, and how that’s going to be filtered through his Administration. And to that end, I see several wildly different possibilities.

        One of them is that he has no real interest in actually doing the job at all. He’ll spend all his time playing golf and schmoozing with celebrities. Mike Pence, Jeff Sessions, and Mitch McConnell could end up with a lot of power by default. GIven where we are, that would not at all be the worst outcome. How likely that is is anybody’s guess.

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        • I’m more worried about the Trump that had to have his phone taken away.

          I’m also concerned about what happens if Trump decides to “punish” the traitors in the GOP — you know, guys like Paul Ryan.

          Everything I’ve read about Trump says he nurses a grudge forever, and has an almost undeniable need to act on it.

          Maybe he’ll view winning despite them as all the revenge he needs. But that seems pretty unsatisfying from Trumo’s point of view.

          While the idea of Trump getting into a slapfight with Paul Ryan is funny on the surface, it’s things like “the debt ceiling” and “government shutdowns” that leap immediately to mind as consequences.

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          • I’m more worried about the Trump that had to have his phone taken away.

            Yeah, this exactly.

            About “punishing” the likes of Paul Ryan and such, that’s extrapolating from the campaign drama in ways that ignores our history and some very important facts on the ground.

            Trump is very unpopular, that’s just a fact that’s being obscured by his win over HRC. Presidents with 35% approval rating don’t punish anybody, they beg for help from whoever they can get. Against politicians like Ryan who are more popular than he is and can claim their own mandates (look it up, basically Trump underperformed every significant GOP Senate candidate except the one from Missouri).

            If Trump tries to push forward in a scenario like that, and I think that’s a reasonable possibility, we could be looking at a quick impeachment, quick is not the worst thing as far as I’m concerned.

            Finally, back to the Cabinet and so on. One other thing that I haven’t seen, but strikes me as very important: it’s not so much who’s in the staff jobs as much as the terms under which they take them. Operationally, the Trump campaign existed to repudiate the GOP Establishment for this or that. But now we’re in a situation where you have to staff an Administration, and both sides of that equation need each other. I think they will end up coming together, at least to the extent of staffing the Executive Branch (which is a big deal), but whose mandate will be controlling is very very important and still up in the air.

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            • One other thing that I haven’t seen, but strikes me as very important: it’s not so much who’s in the staff jobs as much as the terms under which they take them. Operationally, the Trump campaign existed to repudiate the GOP Establishment for this or that. But now we’re in a situation where you have to staff an Administration, and both sides of that equation need each other. I think they will end up coming together

              That seems to be the norm, yeah.

              Enough about this election is not the norm, and Trump’s inexperience with political norms, generally… well, color me highly skeptical.

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              • Yeah, one thing I’d emphasize is the continuing extent that we are still ruled by norms (including polls) even allowing for how much those norms and polls seem to have been discredited by this election.

                For example, I strongly suspect that the overall trajectory of the race as measured by national polling was substantially correct, even as bad as the distribution errors were. And that Presidential approval will still govern the basic ebb and flow of Washington. And in that context, I (almost uniquely maybe) think the Democrats are in great shape.

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              • Looking at the people he’s targeting for his leadership team, we’re looking at warmed over establishment figures.

                I recognize that the country needs experienced folks so that the wheels don’t come off… but this is why Trump isn’t a movement, he’s just a guy who got lucky. There is no foundation of Trumpish thoughts, no bench of experienced folks who want to go down new policy paths different from [failed] establishment theories. Honestly, there aren’t really Trumpish policies… just conflicting notions.

                What I’m seeing are many has-been or never-were Republican establishmentarians plus a hand-full of plain old Republicans.

                There is no Trumpism, just Trump.

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            • Trump is very unpopular, that’s just a fact that’s being obscured by his win over HRC. Presidents with 35% approval rating don’t punish anybody, they beg for help from whoever they can get. Against politicians like Ryan who are more popular than he is and can claim their own mandates (look it up, basically Trump underperformed every significant GOP Senate candidate except the one from Missouri).

              That works by assuming several things.

              1. Trump is a politician.
              2. Trump cares about polls.
              3. Trump cares about consequences.
              4. Trump cares about the party.
              5. Trump cares about the public.

              Look at it from Trump’s view. He came from nowhere, and took over the party — and they all fought it, but he won. Then he went into the general, and they all said he’d lose. Lots of them didn’t endorse him, or stabbed him in the back, or basically refused to treat him like he felt he should be treated as their candidate. And they all thought he’d lose.

              Then he won. He won. He did it despite them. He did it with their knives in his back, and he’s known for remembering every slight, no matter how small. He won by ignoring all the rules and all the polls were wrong. He won, despite all the traitors.

              Now when Paul Ryan says “I’m more popular” or “That’s now how it’s done” or even “That’ll hurt our re-election chances in 2018” how much do you think Donald will care?

              From his perspective they’re losers, traitors, and most of all — wrong.

              Look who is picking his transition team: The guys that never betrayed him. The toadies that latched onto him (Christie, Gingrich, Guiliani) and flattered him. The, to use the lingo, “beta males that submitted to his dominance”.

              I don’t think you can apply political norms to Trump. He’s a vain, petty, vendetta prone narcissist that just became President by ignoring all those norms.

              He works and lives by his gut and his experience, and that says “Ignore what Paul Ryan says” because Paul Ryan is a weak traitor and loser who is wrong.

              We’re still making the same mistake about Trump. We’re acting like he’s a sensible, normal politician who just ACTED like that to get votes. That’s the thing — he was himself, 100%. The guy that got into a weeklong fight with the Khans? That wasn’t an act, that’s the President.

              The guy that said he’d jail Clinton? he meant it and he’s gonna be President.

              And here we are, pretending he’ll be reigned in by political norms, or thoughts of re-election, or the “rules” that he has demonstrated don’t apply to him.

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              • 1. Trump is a politician.
                2. Trump cares about polls.
                3. Trump cares about consequences.
                4. Trump cares about the party.
                5. Trump cares about the public.

                You forgot one:

                6. Trump has no crew.

                Trump and Clinton were both running for the same job, but the context where each was going to do that job are radically different.

                Trump is looking at completely hostile opposition from the judiciary, the media, universities and the culture media at the very least. Probably substantial opposition from Congress and the permanent Executive Branch, and probably some from his own political appointees.

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                • His crew his being chosen by his has-been loyalists (Christie and Gingrich) but even then — Trump doesn’t think he needs a crew. He’s the President. The big boss. The decider.

                  The second — and you can put money on this — he gets pushback from Congress, especially if it’s someone he feels has betrayed him, he will go full on into campaigning against them, vetoing anything they want, and generally playing the bully.

                  That’s who he is.

                  The thing is, that won’t kick in for months. Because Congress and Trump are going to do the “fun stuff” first. The stuff they don’t disagree on, or that Trump doesn’t care about, or that Trump talked about extensively.

                  Like kill the ACA. Pull out of trade deals. Sell off federal lands. Whatever floats their boats.

                  Conflict won’t arrive for months. Not until he’s pushing stuff that Congress thinks will hurt their reelections.

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                  • Yeah that conflict will come and the unpopularity will come home to roost. And all the things the R’s will push that many people don’t want nor did they expect from Trumpy will hit. The role of the D’s is to be there was something to offer, be done with the needed changes and crying and give people a good choice. Trump will be Trump and that equals unpopular. People will stew with that for a while and plenty won’t like it.

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                  • His crew his being chosen by his has-been loyalists (Christie and Gingrich) but even then — Trump doesn’t think he needs a crew. He’s the President. The big boss. The decider.

                    He can think whatever he wants. In reality, the President sets priorities, gives directives, makes a few personnel choices. Mostly he approves, disapproves or corrects what is given to him from subordinates. The policies of any Administration are drafted, executed and implemented at the staff level and the Cabinet level. Donald Trump’s opinions are not going to change that.

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                    • The President has a veto pen, executive orders, pretty much sole control over foreign policy, a great deal of latitude over military deployments (almost total, these days) and complete control over the executive branch.

                      You know, FBI, CIA, NSA, DoJ, etc.

                      That’s a shocking amount of power. Don’t pretend the office is ceremonial. You can bet the one thing Donnie did his homework on was the tools of his new office.

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                        • Well when you put it like that, I guess I’ll grab today’s newspapers and get in my time machine. That, or perhaps we could spare even a moment to blame the people that nominated him, the people that voted for him, the people that held a SCOTUS seat open for him, and our friends in the FBI that sabotaged his opponent’s campaign. If we could do that even for just a moment, then I’d be a bit more inclined to go back to talking about whether the Democratic Party made a good-faith error or not.

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                          • Good faith error?

                            Jesus, dude. They had their thumb on the scale the entire time, they emailed Hillary questions prior to the debates, they pushed away Bernie supporters, and had Lena Dunham give impassioned speeches and sent the cast of the West Wing out to Ohio to try to win converts.

                            What in the flying hell would it require to get you to say “man, okay, this was avoidable on the part of the DNC” rather than “those rat bastards effed us!”

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                            • Oh god, are you telling me that people tried to persuade voters that a candidate was better? In a primary election? Heavens to Betsy, I’ve never heard of such a thing! Most of those party actors did that because they thought Clinton was more likely to win and/or would be a better President than Sanders. I thought the same. So did millions of voters in the primary, which she won handily. We all may well have been wrong. Maybe we should have even known better at the time, although on that point I’d suggest that hindsight is a hell of a drug.

                              But you know what absolutely zero of those people were trying to accomplish by doing all of those things? Making Donald J Trump president. Unlike the Republicans that voted for him in the primary, the Republican politicians that endorsed him and campaigned for him, the donors that gave him money, and the FBI agents and Russian intelligence operatives that did their best, and succeeded, at sabotaging his rival. So why on earth are we talking about this as if Debbie Weisserman-Schulz was the only person with any human agency in the whole damn process? Why are we discussing these Trump voters as if they are mindless automatons, unable to make a decision with moral implications and incapable of being judged for doing so?

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                              • So we’re no longer talking about a “good-faith error” but whether Trump is worse?

                                Okay.

                                Trump is worse.

                                Can we get back to whether the error the Democrats made was in good-faith or not?

                                Oh, that reminds me. is owed $5. Kazzy! I bet you that by mid-October, you’d be wishing that they’d had replaced Hillary Clinton with someone else.

                                Can you confirm that I need to send you the dough? If so, email me the address and I can send you a birthday card or something.

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                                  • Sure! But I don’t see how that addresses whether the errors made were, in fact, in good faith.

                                    You’re arguing as if the thumb was not on the scale when it was.

                                    Let me tell you this: If you need to nudge things so that your candidate can beat Bernie Freaking Sanders in the primary? THIS SHOULD BE AN INDICATION THAT YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE A PROBLEM IN THE UPCOMING ELECTION.

                                    So attempting to focus on whether the Republicans are dirty and fight dirty seems to me to be a bit beside the point given that we already know that the Republicans are dirty and fight dirty.

                                    There’s no debate on whether Trump is worse.

                                    Hell, if you’re one of those “Conservatives”, you know that Clinton is The Devil You Know and Trump is The Devil You Don’t and if conservativism is about *ANYTHING*, it’s about choosing The Devil You Know.

                                    But here we are, arguing over whether the mistakes to push Clinton past Bernie were made in good faith, as if we were arguing over whether it was bad for CREEP to bust into that hotel because the election was going to be won the way it was won anyway.

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                                    • Five stages of grieving:

                                      1. Fucking Comey. He musta really had it in for Hillary to write that letter.
                                      2. The emails we’ve read never showed anything illegal!
                                      3. She crushed Bernie!
                                      4. The primary was an open and equal forum where each candidate appealed to citizens preferences.
                                      5. Obama would’na beat her in 08 except he was … charismatic.

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                                      • Stillwater, you are the only person on this board who understands me.

                                        Well, you and North.

                                        Maribou, of course, but she kind of has a leg up and it seems unfair to compare anybody to her because she’ll win hands down.

                                        But other than that.

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                                      • The thing is people are treating some of these issues as mutually exclusive when they aren’t.

                                        Comey did pull what appears to be a really effective October surprise that hurt C AND C’s own behavior left that door open. Those aren’t exclusive. I’d say both are plenty true.

                                        The DNC wasn’t neutral AND Clinton had a lot of honest long term support in the D’s. She is popular among D’s.

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                                        • Comey did pull what appears to be a really effective October surprise

                                          Trump was hit with the HotMic video!

                                          The DNC wasn’t neutral AND Clinton had a lot of honest long term support in the D’s. She is popular among D’s.

                                          I disagree. I live in Boulder CO and I’ve not met a single person who was enthusiastic about her in the primary or voting for her in the general. The opposite, in fact. So, no, I don’t think she had wide popularity among Ds. Even here at this site, amongst Dems her approvals are very low. Seems to me anyway.

                                          Add the only folks I know who were ENTHUSIASTIC about her were Anne Laurie at BJ and a couple of the nutjob commenters over there…

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                                          • Polls taken during the course of the primary say your anecdote is wrong.

                                            Strangely enough, polls actually DID try to measure voter enthusiasm for Clinton.

                                            Still, the way you talk you’d think she lost the popular vote by a few million, not won it.

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                                            • Polls taken during the course of the primary say your anecdote is wrong.

                                              Strangely enough, polls actually DID try to measure voter enthusiasm for Clinton.

                                              Still, the way you talk you’d think she lost the popular vote by a few million, not won it.

                                              She’s gonna kick Trumps ass in the general, then, isn’t she!!!

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                                              • You claim Clinton didn’t have a lot of support among Democrats. That’s incorrect. Both are contradicted by the fact that she received considerably more votes than her opponent in the primary, and by numerous polls asking exactly that question.

                                                She lost the general election, but the general election was not restricted solely to Democrats, and your erroneous statement was about Democratic support.

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                                                • Morat, she’s an objectively terrible candidate who lost to Donald Trump. I’m actually suggesting that Democratic voters don’t deserve the blame for this.

                                                  If they do deserve the blame, then the party is in even worse shape than I thought.

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                                                  • None of that has anything to do with you repeating an objective falsehood.

                                                    If anything, believing that will prevent you from accurately analyzing the problem. Because you jumped to a conclusion that was demonstrably false, which means you are not searching for a conclusion that might actually be true.

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                                                      • so, no, I don’t think she had wide popularity among Ds. Even here at this site, amongst Dems her approvals are very low. Seems to me anyway.

                                                        Her approval ratings and enthusiasm numbers equaled that of Sanders during the entire primary. She also, not to put too fine a point on it, actually won that primary by millions of votes.

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                                                          • Oh goody, it’s the “DNC said mean things about Bernie in PRIVATE” argument again.

                                                            Or maybe the “superdelgates supported her, don’t look behind the curtain where SHE WOULD HAVE EASILY WON THE PRIMARY WITHOUT THEM.”

                                                            And, of course, Bernie did best in the undemocratic caucuses, worst in the democratic primary elections.

                                                            So do you have any non-Kim-level basis for snarking about “In an open and equal forum where each candidate appealed to citizens preferences?”

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                                                  • Lots of people lost to Donald Trump. In fact, everyone lost to Donald Trump. The notion that anyone besides Clinton would have beaten him, or even that a specific person would have beaten him is unproven.

                                                    And when I see people insisting that Bernie would have won, quoting a poll that says so, well, polite words fail me.

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                                    • But I don’t see how anything you’ve brought up, except I suppose Brazile leaking debate questions, reflects anything but a good-faith belief that Clinton was the better candidate to run. Politicians endorsed her because they thought she was the preferable candidate. People donated to her because they thought she was the preferable candidate people voted for her because they thought she was the more preferable candidate.

                                      Talking about the thumb being on the scale is an entirely different question. Sure, influential people in the party put their thumb on the scale, as they do in every single primary election ever. One of the chief reasons they did this in the Clinton/Sanders contest was that these people thought Clinton was a stronger candidate than Sanders. Maybe they were wrong, and maybe that was some sort of undemocratic foul play (although I disagree), but that’s not the same thing as the people involved knowing that Clinton was a weaker candidate and supporting her anyway, which is what lacking a good-faith belief would mean.

                                      What this boils down to, really, is that it seems to me that the main thrust of your commentary on the issue is that Democrats and Liberals were wrong to go with Clinton and should feel bad. Trust me, we very much do. But that sounds an awful lot like we are in the assigning of blame stage of dealing with President Trump. And if we’re going to assign blame, or if we’re going to think about what needs to change to avoid a repeat performance, then the answer isn’t to harp on Democrats for (arguably) making a mistake that prevented them from resisting him effectively. What needs to happen is we need to figure out why so many people were actively trying to make him President and get them to not do that thing in the future.

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                                • Replacing Hillary sounds like nice idea except for the fact there was no actual way to do it unless you believe in the Illuminati. She got like 3 million more votes than bernie. Oddly she appears to have gotten about 2.5 million more votes than Trumpy. She can’t win for losing. Of course neither can we.

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                                    • My point is Hillary got more votes, they couldn’t go back and just decide to change her out. Once the primaries were over she was it. Could bernie have won the election, i don’t know. It’s an easy counter factual to suggest but i’m not convinced he would have won. He has the anti-establishment cred but also is very easy to paint as an evillll soshulist. He would have got some votes but lost some others. It’s just as easy to paint a counter factual where Hills gets 100k more votes in three states and wins going away. Or that Comey doesn’t do his thing in the last week which might have lost some votes.

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                                    • You don’t know that. Nobody knows that. Working out what campaign messaging and candidate attributes appeal to which voters is an incredibly unscientific, evidence-free thing. We can guess, but no more.

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                                          • I’m arguing that it was reasonable to think in advance that she was the best choice.

                                            She’s got no message other than “it’s my turn.”
                                            She’s very old and not charismatic.
                                            Despite having far more money and support, she lost to an unknown 8 years ago.
                                            She’s been openly mixing her personal and public business since then to the point where she’s got more than 150 million dollars.
                                            She carries all the baggage of the various ethical scandals from previous decades.

                                            I’m excluding fixing the primary election again Bernie and the email server because these things weren’t known two years ago, but it was really well known this was the sort of thing she ran around doing as a matter of habit.

                                            I don’t know if Sanders could have won, but Biden could have just because he wasn’t Trump and didn’t have anywhere near the baggage and ethics issues Clinton did.

                                            Does anyone know if Biden is charismatic? I’ve never heard him give a speech.

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                                    • Even granting, for a moment, that the DNC “rigged the game” it should be considered that Bernie not only didn’t win; he got crushed. This wasn’t some narrow Hillary victory in the primary no matter how much a race hungry media narrative or noisy Bernie internet fandom said it was. Hillary flat out won an extremely large number of the elected delegates. Of course she had basically all the “super delegates” but she never even needed to look to them. Getting a “not Hillary” candidate would necessarily have entailed going back a couple years before the primary and contesting Hillary in the shadow primary.

                                      Now I have plenty of respect for Bernie but I can’t even imagine what the media and the right wing oppo machine would have done to him. It strikes me as a pretty extraordinary to think that he’d have gained among the populists without losing among a different group. Trump tapped into a significant note and, yes, the Dems and the centrists (my clan) got (just barely) beaten. I don’t see that Bernie really offers a lot of lessons there. Now the “basket of deplorables” gaffe, ugh, in hindsight it just flashes red lights and sirens. But Obama has his own screw up of that nature and he basically rode it out so it seemed reasonable to assume HRC would do the same.

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                                    • “I can think of at least one person who would have won”

                                      No, you can’t. Unless you’re running a Earth-Alternate Model someplace accurate down to the proton, you’re speculating.

                                      And the word “rigged” is an incredibly offensive description of the way that HRC ran her primary season. She won absolutely fair and square. Sanders, let’s remember, wasn’t even a Democrat until recently. So a few party faithful were pissed off about his efforts? If tipping a few dead obvious questions to Clinton was the worst thing that the Party did to Sanders, I’d be astonished just how fair the Party was being.

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                                    • No, you can think of one person who MIGHT have won.

                                      Unless you’ve got a way to visit alternative dimensions.

                                      You castigate people regularly enough for assuming what they want to believe, but you just dived into the deep end of that pool.

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                                      • Would you like a list of the Democratic Nominees that I think *MIGHT* have beaten Trump or would you agree that that would be a waste of our time?

                                        If not:
                                        Bernie Sanders
                                        Joe Biden

                                        And that’s without getting into the “Gary Hart” scenarios.

                                        Who, might I add, would have *SLAUGHTERED* Trump.

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                                        • You’re playing counterfactuals.

                                          You could say I might have beaten Trump, and hey — you have just as much a chance of that being true as if you said Biden might.

                                          But none of them ran, so what’s the point? We’re just imagining things to fit our biases.

                                          Sure, Biden might have won. But he also might have had a heart attack on stage, or we found out he killed a hobo back in the 90s.

                                          Sanders might have beat Trump, sure! But he also might have lost by a huge margin, as Americans rejected the socialist label and his strange, early fiction writings.

                                          I mean, what are you trying to prove here? Do you think anyone here thinks “Clinton was the best possible candidate on Earth to face Trump”? Goodness no. How could we possibly know for sure?

                                          Clinton was the candidate we had, and engaging in mental masturbation about a world where Smokin Joe Biden crushed Trump in a steel cage match might be fun, but it’s also entirely useless. Because the whole point of that imaginary world is to imagine Trump being defeated. You might as well speculate about a rutabaga beating Trump.

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                                          • Well, we’re stuck with a situation where we ask:

                                            “Is Trump the best the Republicans could have offered?”

                                            I know, in my heart, I would have preferred a President Romney to a President Trump.

                                            Wouldn’t you?

                                            Would Romney have beaten Clinton?

                                            If Romney was better than Trump and Trump, by definition, was better than Clinton, isn’t the answer “obviously”?

                                            Is it honestly your position that we are living in the best of all possible worlds?

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                                            • “Is it honestly your position that we are living in the best of all possible worlds?”

                                              Good dog no. What I’m arguing is that alternate histories and futures are fundamentally unknowable, and that you’re projecting your own feelings about this election on millions of others who feel differently.

                                              Here’s a somewhat useful topic to kick around: Why did HRC get so many fewer votes in key states than BHO? Was age a factor? Scandal fatigue? Poor messaging? And the really neat thing is that it doesn’t really matter, because fixing the problem of the 2016 election may or may not have anything to do with 2018.

                                              Here’s a useless topic to kick around: Could Sanders / Biden / Gillebrand / Booker have beaten Trump?

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                                        • You know, they lost because Curry sucks. Livingston could have beaten LrBron. Barbosa could have beaten LeBron. Even Ian Clark had a shot at it. None of them had Curry’s injury woes. Every one of them would have won all the games Curry won and game 7 too. But Kerr put his thumb on the scale and went with Curry, who had no chance, which we know, because Curry lost.

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                      • You’re making this too complicated. Of course the office is not ceremonial, it’s tremendously powerful. But it’s exercised indirectly. In fact, every one of your examples above is exercised indirectly, except the veto pen and the signature part of executive orders.

                        Therefore his operational power is a function of who his authority is mediated through, and their capabilities. And if those people are incompetent, lack the appropriate knowledge base, or aren’t effective for some other reason, then Trump is much less powerful than someone else in his position would be.

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                  • Conflict won’t arrive for months. Not until he’s pushing stuff that Congress thinks will hurt their reelections.

                    Honestly, at this point, Democrats should stop worrying about how to get anything done, and start trying to figure out how to bait Trump into really goddamn stupid moves. He *already* doesn’t trust a lot of the Republican establishment, and he is perfectly willing to totally destroy his relationship with Congress because he is a tiny-handed baby-man.

                    So bait the hell out of him. Democrats, make noises about going right, but *only in incredibly stupid ways* that Congress won’t go for and will immediately see through. Trump…will not see through them. Anyone agreeing with him and praising him and his ideas is awesome.

                    If Democrats were clever, one of them from a very safe district would be sitting down, right now, drafting a bill designed to build a giant wall, ready to hand to *Trump* with the excuse he’s always privately liked the idea, and even wrote this bill for it, but was convinced he’d lose reelection. But if Trump could get that bill through Congress…

                    And someone else should be trying to figure out how to get Trump to try to start pushing Single Payer as the ‘repeal’ of the ACA, which would be so utterly amazing to watch that my head might explode.

                    (Edit: More seriously, with the ACA, someone needs to explain to Trump that the Republican Congress is not planning any sort of replacement for the ACA, and they’re probably just going to repeal it and do nothing, as they have tried to do repeatedly. If he has plans, he needs to make sure those are *in the repeal*, not let them promise to do them later.)

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                    • Why bother? Just float the idea that Pence is really in charge and Donald’s a figurehead. SNL would jump on that skit, and Donnie watches it.

                      The man gets baited by dropped lines and twitter comments. You don’t need complex political strategies.

                      You just need to make fun of him.

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                      • Just float the idea that Pence is really in charge and Donald’s a figurehead. SNL would jump on that skit, and Donnie watches it.

                        Worth a shot, although Pence isn’t who we want to distract him with. Instead, suggest that idea that Trump doesn’t *actually* have any policy positions (Which is sorta true) and the Republican Congress is just going to expect him to rubber-stamp theirs.

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                        • *shrug*. Anything works, as long as it catches his mayfly attention.

                          All you have to do is suggest Trump isn’t in charge and isn’t the smartest/best guy in the room.

                          That’s all it takes. Suggest someone is better at the job, or doing the job, and that Trump’s just the face.

                          This is the man that couldn’t resist a line about losing an Emmy, for pete’s sake.

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                    • start trying to figure out how to bait Trump into really goddamn stupid moves. He *already* doesn’t trust a lot of the Republican establishment, and he is perfectly willing to totally destroy his relationship with Congress because he is a tiny-handed baby-man.

                      Impeach him and Pence is in charge. Pence is a solid conservative, Trump is a Rino.

                      I don’t understand why Pence would be an improvement from your point of view.

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                      • Pence is highly unlikely to pull out of NATO, invade Syria, nuke Libya, or otherwise do ‘dangerous’ things. We also don’t have to worry about him sexually assaulting Merkel, starting up a star chamber to investigate his political opponents, etc

                        In short, he’s an awful we can predict, adjust for, and won’t make certain kinds of completely stupid mistakes nor will he cross certain lines with impunity or, frankly, on accident.

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                        • Pence is highly unlikely to pull out of NATO, invade Syria, nuke Libya, or otherwise do ‘dangerous’ things. We also don’t have to worry about him sexually assaulting Merkel, starting up a star chamber to investigate his political opponents, etc

                          This is like saying William Shatner liked beating people up just because Captain Kirk did.

                          At the moment Trump is a blank slate. What we know of him is a straw-man created by his public act and the insults of his political foes.

                          Think of him as Obama, 8 years ago, except Trump has a track record of private sector success.

                          Hopefully you don’t get to be a multi-billionaire without some level of sanity; And the reports from the people who know him personally support the idea that it is an manipulative act (which admittedly he’s really comfortable with).

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                          • At the moment Trump is a blank slate. What we know of him is a straw-man created by his public act and the insults of his political foes.

                            Do you…seriously believe that?

                            I mean, seriously? It’s not like he was some shadowy, unknown figure that burst forth onto the public stage just to run for President. He’s been around.

                            Those problematic personality traits? They existed before the campaign. They existed and were documented decades ago, when he was just a bad real estate developer.

                            He’s not playing a role. He’s exactly who he is.

                            You want to see Donald Trump play a role? Take the first 20 minutes of any debate. That’s Trump playing a role.

                            Good lord, either you didn’t do the research, didn’t read a single flipping article on Trump’s past (contemporary or written decades back), or are you just blissfully ignorant.

                            And if you really believe that, you’re in for a fun ride.

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                            • Those problematic personality traits? They existed before the campaign. They existed and were documented decades ago, when he was just a bad real estate developer.

                              You’re suggesting that he’s so unstable he could start a nuclear war on a whim.

                              This is the same guy who marries gold-diggers and manages to keep his money, manages to increase his money, and manages to raise really functional children who turn into functional adults. His personality flaws always seem to increase the public eye on him and seem… not so much calculated as cultivated to work to his advantage. He’s been doing this for 50 years, if he were actually unstable he’d have melted down long before now…

                              …and he personally would lose hundreds of millions (or Billions) of dollars in a nuclear war which probably guaranties our safety right there.

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                              • You’re suggesting that he’s so unstable he could start a nuclear war on a whim.

                                He had to have his phone taken away from him to keep him off Twitter. He was baited like a child in three debates, and spent a week insulting a gold star family because he just couldn’t control himself.

                                And you hilariously think he’s made money. You are aware that he’s kept his finances strangely hidden, and all we DO know is that he’s been blackballed from US banks for his habit of defaulting on loans, right?

                                That he’d have made more money than what he even claims if he’d just parked the money Daddy gave him into an index fund, right?

                                The man managed to bankrupt casinos through the brilliant idea of opening three of them near each other, cannibalizing his own business over three expensive properties.

                                That’s so cute. It’s like you have a crush on him. Or beer goggles. Same diff.

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                                • He had to have his phone taken away from him to keep him off Twitter.

                                  You’re comparing Twitter posting to nuclear wars? Rather than social media, do you have him swinging punches? Supposedly he’s violently out of control on a regular basis, right?

                                  he’s kept his finances strangely hidden

                                  Strangely? Going public with them was really bad for Romney.

                                  and all we DO know is that he’s been blackballed from US banks for his habit of defaulting on loans, right?

                                  Trump plays pretty rough fiscally, and clearly uses the rules to his own benefit. However this issue is whether that’s a bad thing.

                                  And you hilariously think he’s made money.

                                  I think he lies about being worth 10 Billion. Forbes thinks he’s only worth 4 Billion.

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                              • You’re suggesting that he’s so unstable he could start a nuclear war on a whim.

                                No. TRUMP is suggesting he’s so unstable he could start a nuclear war on a whim. You’re just refusing to believe him when he says it.

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                                • And how come he regularly engages in cheap/obvious fraud like Trump University?

                                  For the same reason Walmart/Target end up in trouble for selling things they shouldn’t or not letting employees take toilet breaks. Similarly I don’t hold Obama responsible every time a federal cop/solider commits rape or murder.

                                  Trump is both a franchise and upper-management. He’s never going to meet everyone who works for him, he’s never going to understand every idea that is claimed to be “his”. After you hit a certain company size, it’s expected that you’re going to have problems and not every idea is going to work out. It’s even expected that you’re going to be sued for misbehaviour done by you. Scale matters, a lot.

                                  One of the most predictive people in all of this has been Scott Adams, who has been dissecting Trump’s moves from the start, explaining why/what/how Trump was advancing, and predicting his eventual victory. Knowing how the magician does his magic is informative and takes a lot of the mystery away.

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                                    • Well this just fills me with hope for the next four years.

                                      If you want hope, Trump fired his campaign manager several times during the run. That’s a key skill for a President, think of what this country had to go through in order to get Rummy fired by Bush.

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                                      • So we can expect complete neglect, predictable scandals and screw-ups, then sacking the people involved and waiting for the next round to start again? It’s going to be a long four years.

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                                        • So we can expect complete neglect, predictable scandals and screw-ups, then sacking the people involved and waiting for the next round to start again? It’s going to be a long four years.

                                          Perhaps. But I’d prefer that over the current “no firings” over the IRS trying to suppress free speech, and Rummy kept his job long after it became apparent he was bungling the war effort.

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                                  • Yeah with his tens of thousands of employees (snerk), there’s no way he could possibly know what business deals he signs, promising his personal involvement in a wide-ranging ad campaign.

                                    Sounds very promising for his job running the whole country.

                                    I can’t figure out whether you’re 100% in the bag for him, or Jaybirding your disdain for him in a slightly less obvious way.

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                                    • I can’t figure out whether you’re 100% in the bag for him, or Jaybirding your disdain for him in a slightly less obvious way.

                                      I voted for Johnson rather than accept Kodos or Kang. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRdNOQcfp-8

                                      But I’m also anti-hysteria and anti-hype. A fair amount of the criticism leveled against Trump strikes me as election year straw man stuff. Trump, to his discredit, seems to like the attention generated by that sort of thing but whatever.

                                      IMHO we’re looking at the following:

                                      Trump Strengths: Experienced at management, leadership, showmanship, business, and making money. Has worked with people across all political groups. Pragmatic.

                                      Trump Weaknesses: Erratic(?). Narcissistic. Old. Has put little effort into political thinking. Never held office. No military experience. No legal experience. Takes office with anti-free trade and anti-illegal-immigration promises.

                                      Trump Misc: Loves his money more than his wives. Has switched political parties multiple times. Apparently has little political ideology, could have run as a Dem if the situation were different. HRC went to one of the Trump family weddings.

                                      Trump as a reasonable guy: Daughter and some grandchildren are Jewish. He endorsed gay marriage yesterday on 60 minutes. Every GOP President gets branded as Hitler by the Dems so this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this.

                                      http://blog.dilbert.com/post/153172272041/how-to-break-an-illusion

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                        • This is kind of how I see it — especially when the stakes are as high as they are with the leadership of our government, I’d have preferred not to have gambled thus.

                          The voters, however, chose to put the whole stake on 00. And we aren’t going see movement towards removing Trump from the Presidency until and unless he screws the pooch on something. By which point, the pooch will have already been screwed.

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                      • Impeach him and Pence is in charge. Pence is a solid conservative, Trump is a Rino.

                        How does ‘totally destroy his relationship with Congress’ equal impeachment?

                        I want Trump to get angry that Congress isn’t taking his completely idiotic proposals seriously, and thus he starts vetoing *their* proposals.

                        I’m just trying to get Democrats to *provoke* that falling out to happen faster so that the Republican Congress doesn’t have time to get any of their proposals through *before* that.

                        Granted, this will probably make it easier for them *to* impeach Trump when that eventuality does roll around, but my premise is basically that all this is going to happen anyway…Trump, being Trump, is *already* going to have a falling out with Congress, and is *eventually* going to do something that looks so bad that Republicans have to impeach him.

                        I’m not sure the second thing happens any faster (That’s more a media+the American people thing.) because the first thing happened earlier.

                        Now, there is one possible miscalculation there: Trump might do something impeachment worthy (1) *before* he starts his feud with the Republicans in Congress, resulting in lots of fun and even more damage to Republicans as they hesitate…but I’d rather not have those laws than have a slightly more damage to Congressional Republicans.

                        1) Whatever the hell that means. In my book, the *second he takes office* while still holding ownership in hotels in foreign countries that foreign nationals and governments can bribe him with, and we have *literally no way to determine if that happened*, he should be impeached. That’s it. Hell, he should be impeached right *before* he takes office, let’s say a few hours before, when it becomes clear he cannot unwind his holdings in time.

                        You don’t get to be president if we can’t see your financials and thus can’t know you aren’t being handed large chunks of money by random people. Period, end of story. You get elected, you don’t show your financials(2), you get impeached.

                        2) Not that *showing* them would be enough for Trump. His finances are basically uncorrectable, and have always been. Even if he were to show his finances, every single hotel room rental would be like ‘Well, is this a legit hotel room, or did someone do it to give Trump a few thousand dollars?’.

                        Trump literally cannot operate as president. He has so many agreements and personal loans and licensing that…he can’t be president. I don’t know how to put it more plainly than that, and I am completely astonished that the media seem to focus all his personality problems and history and dumbass policies and white nationalism and that time he ate a live kitten on TV and not the fact that he cannot possibly *operate as president* without being constantly suspected of being bribed.

                        But that gets into much more *subjective* stuff that really just applies to Trump, whereas I propose the simple rule of ‘You don’t *show* your finances so we can at least check this stuff out, you don’t get to be president’.

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                        • You may think it’s a dealbreaker, but it is entirely legal.

                          There is no law, none, requiring the President to divest himself of investments.

                          I fully expect a lot of taxpayer money to flow to Trump properties.

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                          • There is no law, none, requiring the President to divest himself of investments.

                            There is no law, or at least no legal system, that stops the president from running out of the White House with a knife and stabbing someone in front everyone. If Obama did that right now, law enforcement could not touch him, at least not until after he left office.

                            Laws do not stop presidents, because the president is not subject to the legal system. Impeachments and convictions stop presidents.

                            So there’s not any point in putting it in a law anyway. The only thing ‘making it a law'(1) does is that you have to run it past the existing president at some point…and you still have to do the impeachment and conviction thing and have the higher majorities for that. The only reason to argue is that it should be a law is arguing that some previous president should have a veto…but presidents *should not*, and do not, have veto power over impeachments, even future impeachments of different presidents.

                            If Congress wants to say ‘Reveal all your finances and work to disassociate yourself as much as possible from any corporate activities, including putting as much of entire organization into stewardship by a neutral third party and making all decisions you do make totally transparent…or on the morning of January 20th we will impeach and convict you, barring you from taking office at noon’, they are totally within their rights.

                            If they want to create a *standing rule* that says that as a general principle, they can do that too. I mean, they’d still have to actually vote, it would be just to tell everyone ‘officially’ what they are going to do unless the president does something.

                            1) I mean, I guess the law could hilariously have a earlier deadline, and if he doesn’t reveal finances at that point, you throw the president-elect into jail *until* noon January 20th.

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                            • Well first, there’s actually a law against Obama stabbing people. That’s assault with a deadly weapon. So yeah, there’s a law against it. And yes, the President IS subject to the legal system. We proved that when President Clinton was deposed in a civil suit. And we’ll prove it again when Trump is defending Trump U.

                              As for Trump and his investments — there’s no law against it, so what grounds are there for impeachment? He didn’t do a thing that’s not required? (I know you can impeach for anything, but generally people like to pick a reason — and things like “You did something that there was no law against” might work against Clinton, but they’ve always been special).

                              And sure, Congress can make and pass such a last-second law and even impeach (because really, the only requirement for impeachment is “Do you have the votes”) but again — such a thing has a simple defense that would make that far more politically difficult to do.

                              So again: Trump has an absolute defense that works for anyone not named Clinton — there’s no law requiring it, so he doesn’t have to do it. And no Congress is going to impeach without at least a theory of crime that passes the laugh test.

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                          • I fully expect a lot of taxpayer money to flow to Trump properties.

                            :Sigh:, Yes, agreed. If he’s really good it will be legal, if not then illegal.

                            May be we’ll be real lucky and he’ll botch it bad enough that we’ll get some good government laws out of this.

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                        • 1) Whatever the hell that means. In my book, the *second he takes office* while still holding ownership in hotels in foreign companies that foreign nationals and governments can bribe him with, and we have *literally no way to determine if that happened*, he should be impeached…

                          You don’t get to be president if we can’t see your financials and thus can’t know you aren’t being handed large chunks of money by random people. Period, end of story. You get elected, you don’t show your financials(2), you get impeached.

                          …Trump literally cannot operate as president. He has so many agreements and personal loans and licensing that…he can’t be president.

                          This would mean so much more if you were willing to apply this standard to HRC.

                          You and I had a discussion where I pointed out that some of HRC’s fiscal moves were akin to winning the lottery multiple times, occurred in a corrupt office (as in ‘found guilty’) with people who stood to benefit if she gained money, and her most amazing wins occurred in the same period of time when their most corrupt dealings were happening… and you told me flat out that she must have just been lucky.

                          If that’s the standard of proof we need to apply to HRC, then we also need to apply it to Trump.

                          Similarly if you’re fine with Obama having an imperial presidency, then you should also be fine with Trump’s.

                          While we’re on this subject, has Trump-as-President changed your mind on the odds of a real bastard being in charge over the next 500 years?

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                          • You and I had a discussion where I pointed out that some of HRC’s fiscal moves were akin to winning the lottery multiple times, occurred in a corrupt office (as in ‘found guilty’) with people who stood to benefit if she gained money, and her most amazing wins occurred in the same period of time when their most corrupt dealings were happening… and you told me flat out that she must have just been lucky.

                            First of all, the reason we know that is that *she disclosed that*, whereas Trump isn’t required to disclose anything, and doesn’t appear about to.

                            So you basically appear to have missed the entire point of my post.

                            Second, as I pointed out last time, your ‘found guilty’ is nonsense. You didn’t actually respond to the point I made there in that discussion, so I will make it again: Trade manipulation was indeed happening in that office, and we know that…because *Blair, who handling Hillary Clinton’s trade sued them for it* and that case was won.

                            Your premise is that someone was part of a thing a thing at his brokerage that he literally sued brokerage for doing to him. (And the company didn’t bother to mention that during the lawsuit.) It is nonsense.

                            Blair: Hey, I just figured out Refco is stealing from me by moving my (and Hillary Clinton’s) trades around! I’m going to sue them!
                            The government: Yup, that happened.
                            Dark Matter: Refco must have been bribing Clinton through Blair, by, uh, stealing from him!

                            And third…no one’s ever figured out anything that anyone might have been trying to bribe Bill to do. There seem to be a vague ‘make him more friendly toward Tyson Foods’, which is not actually any sort of reasonable bribe, and the CEO of Tyson Food supported Bill opponent in reelection.

                            If that’s the standard of proof we need to apply to HRC, then we also need to apply it to Trump.

                            Sure. Let’s see everything Trump is doing, so we can judge it. At *that* point, after *we can see what is happening*, if I point to a dodgy transaction, you can complain that I’m not giving Trump the benefit of the doubt that I gave Hillary.

                            But until we can see his finances, you have no idea if Putin just literally wrote his company a ten million dollar check with the Memo line reading ‘Bribing President Trump to withdraw from NATO’.

                            And, again, I’m finding it amazing that all these people who attacked Hillary Clinton by *literally pouring over her entire financial history and finding stuff they think is dodgy* seem to think there’s no problem with Trump keeping his finances *completely and utterly secret*.

                            It is perfectly reasonable to say ‘The finances should be an open book’, and *also* think that, upon examination, that a specific thing that happened in them is not any evidence of a crime.

                            It is also reasonable to think that the *President* needs to be held to higher financial standard than a *governor*. The *President* should not even be invested in the market in a way he knows about, much less operating a company *or* day trading cattle futures.

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                            • And as for the ‘Cannot operate as president’….Trump owns a business with properties all around the world.

                              If Trump owned, say, a cow farm, selling cows, he could open the books on that, and we could see who bought cows and the price they were sold at. We could check every purchase

                              Likewise, if Trump day-traded stock…ignoring the problem that the president has inherent insider knowledge so isn’t really on a level playing field, but discounting *that* problem, we could certainly check that he is buying and selling stocks on the normal market, at normal prices. (The whole thing about trying to figure out things about Hillary Clinton is that no one actually has any records of when she placed trades. Because no one cared until a decade later.)

                              I mean, Obama is *technically* selling his book right now. He gets paid agree upon royalties from his book publisher. He even made an *audiobook* version while in office.

                              And we know how much he’s getting paid for that, and it seems in line with standard levels, and he doesn’t inexplicably sometimes sell ten thousand books at once.

                              But Trump, instead of some sort of simple business, is running *five hundred* discombobulated organizations that are privately owned companies, or partnerships, including hotel rooms or licensing deals or sorts of things, and it’s completely impossible for *anyone* to check out what’s going on…hell, it would probably violate privacy laws to demand to see who rented rooms at his hotels.

                              And did I mention that some of these things are *foreign*?

                              Someone operating a business as president can have that business monitored by turning records over the press, to let them see the people buying his stuff seem to legitimately be exchanging money for worthwhile goods and services. It’s not *perfect*, but we can, at least, notice oddities. (Like *you* think you have.)

                              The giant mess that *Trump* has? Hell no. There’s no way anyone could dissect that, or figure out if a licensing deal was *legit* or a way to bribe Trump…although that’s mostly moot because he has completely refused to release any information about his companies.

                              He seems to think letting someone else run them is enough, but even *pretending* that he wasn’t giving any directions to his son, he still *owns* the damn thing and any profits it makes, and thus any profits that are actually bribes.

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                            • First of all, the reason we know that is that *she disclosed that*,

                              The New York Times broke that story.

                              And, again, I’m finding it amazing that all these people who attacked Hillary Clinton by *literally pouring over her entire financial history and finding stuff they think is dodgy* seem to think there’s no problem with Trump keeping his finances *completely and utterly secret*.

                              HRC’s “entire financial history” is managing to earn hundreds of millions of dollars working for the gov on a salary not even slightly close to that, while openly mixing her personal/professional business/responsibilities.

                              As for Trump, although I think it’s a problem, I also think that what the Dems did with Romney made the whole thing moot. You burned Romney for just showing his finances, even though there was nothing there. Trump’s finances is at least 1000x times as complex so could be far more easily misrepresented. The political damage he took from hiding them was a lot less than for showing them.

                              Since you’re going to scream “wolf (bad finances)” no matter what he does or says, regardless of what the facts are, there’s no point in listening to you on this issue. Especially since you’ve applied a very different standard for HRC.

                              no one’s ever figured out anything that anyone might have been trying to bribe Bill to do.

                              Wiki has been sanitized (again) on this issue, but every now and then they go over Tyson Food’s business in front of Bill.

                              the CEO of Tyson Food supported Bill opponent in reelection.

                              True, but that was years later.

                              Your premise is that someone was part of a thing a thing at his brokerage that he literally sued brokerage for doing to him.

                              We’re talking about her, not him. While she was getting crazy results, he was posting losses, which makes it somewhat absurd that he’s the master giving advise while she was the student. He couldn’t follow his own advise?

                              The facts are these: HRC was able to consistently trade at the top or bottom of the daily market(!), make shockingly good profits with shorts in a rising market(!), and was using money which if it’d gone the other way would have destroyed her husband’s political career(!). That office was “giving” people favourable trades after the fact during the exact time she did her thing.

                              And faced with those facts, you and I reach opposite conclusions… which is fine, but keep in mind just how high a bar you’re creating for believing in corruption and misconduct.

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                              • The New York Times broke that story.

                                …which it did by *reading her financial disclosures* like her income statement.

                                As for Trump, although I think it’s a problem, I also think that what the Dems did with Romney made the whole thing moot. You burned Romney for just showing his finances, even though there was nothing there. Trump’s finances is at least 1000x times as complex so could be far more easily misrepresented. The political damage he took from hiding them was a lot less than for showing them.

                                I didn’t say Trump shouldn’t get *elected* without disclosing his finances. (I mean, he *shouldn’t* get elected, for that and a bunch of other reason, but arguing why Trump shouldn’t ‘get elected’ is a bit moot.)

                                I said he shouldn’t be allowed to *serve as president* without disclosing his finances.

                                We’re talking about her, not him. While she was getting crazy results, he was posting losses, which makes it somewhat absurd that he’s the master giving advise while she was the student. He couldn’t follow his own advise?

                                Quite obviously, he *wasn’t* bad at his job, because he was *being stolen from*. Good trades were being stolen from him and swapped with worse trades from other people.

                                Which rather implies he *was* good at trading. Good enough to steal from.

                                So, duh, maybe he *was* good at giving advice after all, and perhaps the *Hillary* trades under him didn’t get stolen from. (It’s not like that happened all the time.)

                                And as I said, the fact the *company* he worked for was moving trades around is not any sort of evidence he was, as you pretended it was, because that was *clearly* happening without his knowledge.

                                Hell, if he *could* be stolen from by having *his* trade results shuffled around like that, it rather implies that he *couldn’t* actually shuffle someone else’s around.

                                make shockingly good profits with shorts in a rising market(!),

                                I don’t know why you keep saying the market was rising, but it *wasn’t*, as I pointed out last time. The market went up, and then it went back down below where it started. She made most of her money during the later.

                                And faced with those facts, you and I reach opposite conclusions… which is fine, but keep in mind just how high a bar you’re creating for believing in corruption and misconduct.

                                And, again, you seem to think I’m calling Trump corrupt. I am not.

                                I am saying, as he owns hundreds of *multi-national business*, it is LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE to know if he behaves corruptly.

                                Hillary Clinton, as I have pointed out repeated and you appear to have missed, *declared* how much she made from cattle-future trading on her income taxes and other disclosure forms. This allowed people to look into it.

                                Not only is Trump not releasing his income taxes, but even releasing his income taxes couldn’t be enough. I mean, he insanely operates his organization via *pass-through* taxes, so we can see how much everything made, but we see some overseas hotel made $10,000,000, what does that mean? What did they make last year? How many rooms did they rent? Were 10,000 room-nights of rentals to Putin? We cannot know these things.

                                You are standing there talking about a system, you assert, was set up to give Hillary Clinton about $100,000 without anyone noticing, except people actually did notice she made $100,000. You’re just annoyed I don’t think that’s happened.

                                Trump, meanwhile, has a system were *literally everyone in the world can give him money without anyone noticing*. I will repeat: LITERALLY ANYONE IN THE WORLD CAN GIVE HIM MONEY WITHOUT ANYONE NOTICING. They just make a check out to one of his businesses, tada. The end. It’s not even a conspiracy. It’s just a check.

                                We’re not talking about a *bar* for what behavior, or alleged possible behavior, we should consider misconduct, we are talking about how Trump can do *any* level of misconduct with literally *no one having the slightest idea it is happening*.

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                                • I said he shouldn’t be allowed to *serve as president* without disclosing his finances.

                                  I’m not opposed, but I’m not sure we can get enough detail to do any good for the reasons you’ve laid out.

                                  So, duh, maybe he *was* good at giving advice after all…

                                  I’m waiting to hear how HRC can consistently get the top or bottom trade of the day.

                                  It’s 11am, her chosen option opened at $5 and is now at $8. What magic “system” tells her if this is the high of the day? That skill is worth Billions if not Trillions of dollars.

                                  The only way to consistently get the high/low price of the day is if you’re making so many trades you get (most) all the prices of the day (which the office as a whole was), but then that takes us back to her trades simply being given to her retroactively (which is what the office was also doing).

                                  Trump, meanwhile, has a system were *literally everyone in the world can give him money without anyone noticing*… They just make a check out to one of his businesses, tada. The end. It’s not even a conspiracy. It’s just a check.

                                  I am all in favour of good, non-corrupt, governance. This is why I’ve been so appalled at the Clintons openly accepting money from people they’re doing government business with and doing government favours for.

                                  That behaviour, i.e. that being an elite means you get to work the levers of the government for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, imho is a big reason why Trump got elected (and why Bernie was so hard to beat in the primary). HRC is a walking example of the system not policing itself, so the people turned to an outsider.

                                  Trump, for all his (many) warts, can’t possibly have a history of accepting bribes to do the government’s business because he wasn’t part of the government.

                                  Ideally we wouldn’t have put ourselves into this situation, as for what to do now… I guess we have to live with a President who can, in theory, be bribed. The good news is he’s already so rich it might not matter, the bad news (link below) is he’s so hyper focused on money that it might.

                                  http://fusion.net/story/170645/donald-trump-check-prank-spy/

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                                  • I’m waiting to hear how HRC can consistently get the top or bottom trade of the day.

                                    Then you can wait forever, because I don’t see any point in discussing her *ever again*. She’s done.

                                    And whether or not she managed to get a $100,000 bribe almost *thirty years ago* is not particularly relevant to the modern day. I’ve explained the holes I see in the theory, you keep trying to imply she’s guilty by math, I’ve pointed out the holes in that, and I’m not going to continue discussing someone who is *done politically*.

                                    Again, my belief that *that* is not only explainable via bribery does not mean I cannot point out *other* examples of bribery.

                                    I am all in favour of good, non-corrupt, governance. This is why I’ve been so appalled at the Clintons openly accepting money from people they’re doing government business with and doing government favours for.

                                    And why I am suspecting by ‘the Clintons openly accepting money’ you mean ‘The Clinton Foundation’?

                                    See, there’s the actual problem. You’re trying to build some sort of pattern of corruption, and your pattern is…one thing that is, at this point, completely impossible to prove or disprove.

                                    And some made up nonsense about a *charity*, which I forget if you’re been dissuaded of, but they can’t get money from a non-profit. (Before there are any mentions of free airfare, they donate about a million dollars a year to the CF, and were hardly coming out ahead because they got some paid airplane tickets!)

                                    And they made some paid speeches. Speeches, I must point out, that are standard practice for almost *everyone* in politics when not in power.

                                    All of which (minus the made-up stuff of trying to claim all donations to CF somehow end up in their pocket) is *utterly dwarfed by campaign contributions and political spending*, which are entirely legal.

                                    I won’t deny there is corruption in the system. But it’s not the penny-ante hypothetical cattle futures or paid speeches. It’s people giving politicians money to get elected. That’s it. That’s 99% of the corruption right there. Why? Because *everyone has open finances*, and people can see money appearing out of thin air. (Barring hypothetical bags of cash.)

                                    Trump originally agreed with that premise, in fact, until he realized how expensive the thing was going to be, then he pretended he just meant for the primary.

                                    The good news is he’s already so rich it might not matter, the bad news (link below) is he’s so hyper focused on money that it might.

                                    There’s a lot of questions as to how wealthy he really is. I’ve seen estimates of his wealth that are *less* than the Clintons.

                                    But more to the point, Trump is the man who set up an organization to scam people of tens of thousands of dollars at a time. And who doesn’t pay his creditors the same amount, fighting them in court. This is absurd behavior for billionaires, who don’t get out of bed for a hundred thousand dollars.

                                    Trump is either nowhere near as rich as he claims, *or* he’s someone absurdly greedy and very insecure in his money and willing to do anything for amounts of money that *should* be trivial. Or some combination of that.

                                    Ideally we wouldn’t have put ourselves into this situation, as for what to do now… I guess we have to live with a President who can, in theory, be bribed.

                                    Why do you think having a president that *can* be bribed without anyone noticing is going to *cut down* on corruption? Should this not be your *entire focus* if you care about corruption?

                                    If we do not fix this problem *now*, what’s to stop the *next* president from starting ‘Deluxe Bookmark Inc.’? And he could do it *after* being elected. Then he sells crappy paper bookmarks for a thousand dollars each over the internet? Oh, look, the president made $10,000,000 this month selling bookmarks, and we have no idea where that money came from. Oh well!!

                                    We have to have, or to codify, as some sort of principle, that the president cannot just own opaque entities via which he can be given money without us being able to see where it’s coming from!

                                    And, as I said, what is allowable behavior for the president while in office is not decided by law. It is decided by Congress *not* impeaching them.

                                    In fact, the reason that the laws about this sort of thing *don’t* include the president already is that…he’d have to be impeached anyway, and the idea is that Congress should decided what the limits and rules are for him specifically, not write some limiting statue that might only apply by technicality, or might not apply by technicality, introducing confusion.

                                    And normally I’d say ‘Congress should look at the situation, and tell the president exactly what he needs to do to remove the problem, or otherwise he’ll be impeached.’ Custom designed for whatever the situation. Enough people to impeach you demand you do X and Y, and there’s also a call for you to do Z but perhaps not enough to impeach.

                                    The problem is, and this always is the problem when forced to deal with things like this, we got the *completely goddamn insane* situation as the first example.

                                    This isn’t Bill Gates being elected and Congress demands he sell his shares of Microsoft and put the money in the blind trusts. This isn’t Hillary Clinton being elected and Congress demanding she and her family sever all ties with the Clinton Foundation. (Which I would have no problem with.)

                                    This is *Donald Trump*. There isn’t any way at all Donald Trump can operate cleanly. Hundreds of corporations, in foreign countries, and a major part of his finances is his brand, which means they *can’t* be sold, and there’s no way any sort of blind trusts make sense. Loans personally guaranteed by him, tons of partnerships that can’t be transferred, all sorts of complete nonsense.

                                    Donald Trump is, literally, completely unfixable for the office of president, at least in the amount of time he has before assuming office.

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                                    • I’ve explained the holes I see in the theory, you keep trying to imply she’s guilty by math, I’ve pointed out the holes in that…

                                      Your “holes” include accepting that a 30 Trillion to one chance happened in her favor, with the destruction of her husband’s career waiting in the background if it didn’t work.

                                      And even after that, you have no explanation for her consistently getting the high/low of the day other than corruption.

                                      my belief that *that* is not only explainable via bribery does not mean I cannot point out *other* examples of bribery.

                                      So bribery is only a problem when the GOP does it?

                                      whether or not she managed to get a $100,000 bribe almost *thirty years ago* is not particularly relevant to the modern day.

                                      She has a history of cleverly disguising how she gets bribes. She and her family are worth hundreds of millions of dollars after a lifetime on gov salaries. She’s openly accepting money with one hand and giving out government favors with the other, with only the thinnest of fig leaves separating the two.

                                      And one of Trump’s big arguments is government only serves the interests of the elites.

                                      If you want what the gov does to be popular, and the expansion of gov to be popular, then you can’t have openly corrupt people running it and you can’t be making excuses for them when they are.

                                      And they made some paid speeches. Speeches, I must point out, that are standard practice for almost *everyone* in politics when not in power.

                                      The key words there are “when not in power”. Now that it’s true I expect Bill’s speaking fee to go down a lot and fewer people will be willing to pay it.

                                      Trump is either nowhere near as rich as he claims, *or* he’s someone absurdly greedy and very insecure in his money and willing to do anything for amounts of money that *should* be trivial. Or some combination of that.

                                      Trump claims $10 Billion, Forbes claims $4 Billion (so yes, he’s nowhere near as rich) AND he’s absurdly greedy (cashing $0.13 checks) AND insecure in his money (ex-wives’ prenup).

                                      It’s possible that he *had* to run for President, just keep his empire from collapsing like a house of cards…. it’s also possible being president was just the next rung up for someone *that* narcissistic.

                                      Why do you think having a president that *can* be bribed without anyone noticing is going to *cut down* on corruption? Should this not be your *entire focus* if you care about corruption?

                                      It’s awful to have the possibility of invisible corruption, but he couldn’t have been trading in gov favors until today. Tolerating open corruption tells everyone in the government what is and is not acceptable.

                                      We have to have, or to codify, as some sort of principle, that the president cannot just own opaque entities via which he can be given money without us being able to see where it’s coming from!

                                      Even if we were going to do this, and imho we probably should, Trump would still be grandfathered out for the whole “unfix-able” reasons you went over… and it might take a Constitutional Amendment.

                                      One of the nasty things here is the voters knew darn well what they were getting when they put him in office. Another nasty part is Trump’s empire is legal, and even legit. I don’t see how Congress can insist the people are wrong and impeach Trump for having his empire when that’s what he ran on and why he won.

                                      Fundamentally Trump’s election was a result of the political class to failing to police themselves and failing to listen to the people.

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                                      • Okay, I’m splitting this off because I’m done with this, and I’m done with it for the same reason I was done with it last time, and I explained all this last time, and I am very tired of going in circles on this:

                                        Your “holes” include accepting that a 30 Trillion to one chance happened in her favor, with the destruction of her husband’s career waiting in the background if it didn’t work.

                                        Do you want to know how to explain the ’30 trillion to one chance’? It’s easy: The person who said that said it about the *Clintons*, in the *90s*

                                        There. That’s almost it entirely. It’s crying wolf.

                                        You’re just taking that number as a given that statistic is true. As I said last time, I don’t believe it, because it is exceptionally easy to lie with statistics. I’ve seen *no sources*, I’ve seen no raw data, I haven’t seen multiple parties look at it.

                                        And there was a lot of innumerate nonsense in the allegations, including, as I pointed out last time, some weird assertions about the percentage of winning trades, which has nothing to do with anything. And it also included the persistent allegation that the ‘she made money shorting things in a rising market’, which is one of the few factual assertions I *can* look up and I discovered…the cattle futures market was not, in fact, rising. It went up for months, and then went down for months back to near the start, and most of her money-making when when it was dropping. The *one* thing I can check myself without access to her trades, the claims about the market itself, and they’re not true.

                                        And I don’t believe it because, frankly, the *default assumption* when people assert criminality about the Clintons should be ‘Unless you can show all your sources, you are lying.’. We have had literally had *hundreds* of crimes asserted to have been committed by them, most of them investigated to the point we know they were nothing. There were entire industries that existed in the 90s to make up stuff about the Clintons.

                                        You have managed to find an alleged crime that *wasn’t* investigated, and think that’s proves something. No, no it doesn’t.

                                        What that *actually* shows is someone made another unproven allegation against her, and then no one ever really took the bait and got anyone official to look into it. A dropped ball, probably didn’t gain as much traction as it was intended to.

                                        You really are not going to change my mind on that without some actual evidence besides one early 90s newspaper article that quotes some supposed experts, anymore than people showing me reports of people shooting at watermelons will cause me to think the Clintons killed Vince Foster.

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                                        • Do you want to know how to explain the ’30 trillion to one chance’? It’s easy: The person who said that said it about the *Clintons*, in the *90s* There. That’s almost it entirely. It’s crying wolf.

                                          That number comes from a peer reviewed study published in the Journal of Economics and Finance. A google search on each of the authors doesn’t go to anywhere either left wing or right wing. The authors and study are here: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02920493

                                          They stripped out HRC’s name for the study to at least try and keep it from being a partisan mess. They appear to be exactly what they claim. BTW that 30 Trillion is after making lots of happy assumptions in favor of the trader, a more conservative estimate is 10^16. Her activities involved exposure to losses that potentially could have been greater than her family’s net worth.

                                          And there was a lot of innumerate nonsense in the allegations…

                                          The New York Times is hardly anti-Clinton. Neither of those journals are right wing rags.

                                          Let’s review what you’re claiming actually happened. HRC went into an office known for doing exactly what I’m claiming at exactly the time HRC was there. The office suffered from systemic corruption and shortly afterwards set records for the level of fines imposed. The office gave her extreme VIP treatment and ignored all sorts of rules about her account. However, although she was the (pregnant?) wife of the governor, they didn’t dare cross *that* line for her, although they did for others. She then took insane risks which could have broken her family, and beat really long odds to make eye-popping returns based on the advise of a man who was loosing money.

                                          Even ignoring the math, why is this a more likely interpretation? HRC is hardly known for taking wild risks.

                                          We have had literally had *hundreds* of crimes asserted to have been committed by them, most of them investigated to the point we know they were nothing.

                                          Many/most of those crimes were indeed made up, and others were simply not provable criminal, but that’s a far cry from “nothing”. The pardoning of Marc Rich ignored normal processing, vetting, standards, and advise, but since we can’t prove it was linked to the large money Denise Rich gave to Bill’s library, or HRC’s campaign, it’s not provably criminal.

                                          However these ethical adventures have always followed the Clintons around, and “not provably criminal” is a very different standard than “ethical”, much less “appearance of impropriety”. To their (dis?)credit, the Clintons are good at staying on this side of “not provably criminal”, so imho there’s a good chance that the Cattle Futures thing would have worked out the same way.

                                          But that doesn’t change that the math and situation strongly say she was given those trades, she wasn’t at risk for destroying her family, and so forth. “Not provably criminal” is so far from “appearance of impropriety” that I can’t tell the difference between that and “openly corrupt”… probably because there is none.

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                                          • They stripped out HRC’s name for the study to at least try and keep it from being a partisan mess. They appear to be exactly what they claim. BTW that 30 Trillion is after making lots of happy assumptions in favor of the trader, a more conservative estimate is 10^16. Her activities involved exposure to losses that potentially could have been greater than her family’s net worth.

                                            Oh, so those odds were indeed, *exactly what I suspected*, totally bogus.

                                            That is what I tried to explain last time: If we talk about the mathematical probability of things happening, they are *much higher* than people suspect.

                                            It is a trillion to one chance that I, making entirely random movement, will ever manage to operate my car enough to drive to the store.

                                            *Any specific outcome of a series of enough coin flips* has extremely high odds.

                                            Of course, I am *not* making entirely random movements. Neither was Clinton. She was being advised by someone who knew the market well.

                                            Moreover, while you’re citing *this paper* as evidence of all the claims, I will point out there’s no raw data of claims like ‘She often sold at the highest price a day and sold at the lowest one’, which would be pretty damning…but isn’t *here*.

                                            Let’s review what you’re claiming actually happened. HRC went into an office known for doing exactly what I’m claiming at exactly the time HRC was there. The office suffered from systemic corruption and shortly afterwards set records for the level of fines imposed. The office gave her extreme VIP treatment and ignored all sorts of rules about her account.

                                            And now you have ‘the office’ doing that, skipping over her *broker*. You’re claiming that office bribed her, while at the same time ripping off her broker. (He must have been confused when he advised her on trades he also made, and she seemed to make more than him…but, then again, he *did* sue, so maybe that is what happened!)

                                            The problem is, it’s *her broker* that worked for Tyson Foods and is the entire premise of the bribery claim.

                                            So, throwing *that* away, what exactly was this office bribing her for?

                                            Her activities involved exposure to losses that potentially could have been greater than her family’s net worth.

                                            Yeah, well, the Clintons make stupid risky financial decisions. Whitewater, for example.

                                            The pardoning of Marc Rich ignored normal processing, vetting, standards, and advise, but since we can’t prove it was linked to the large money Denise Rich gave to Bill’s library, or HRC’s campaign, it’s not provably criminal.

                                            Marc Rich is a *fine* thing to condemn Bill Clinton for. I have no problem at all with people complaining about that.

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                                            • Of course, I am *not* making entirely random movements.

                                              You say that like doing this is the equiv of walking across the room. It’s more like winning a gold medal at the Olympics, actually a lot harder because *someone* is going to win even if everyone screws up. If you claim to have put on ice-skates for the first time and you got a gold metal at the Olympics (one of the other comparisons used by experts to describe how unlikely all this was), then we should be concerned.

                                              The next question we should ask is if there’s a simpler explanation.

                                              Neither was Clinton. She was being advised by someone who knew the market well.

                                              Even ignoring that the guy who “knew the market well” wasn’t profitable himself, how many people who “know the market well” get these sorts of results? When her defenders talk about other people making this level of money in the market, they’re talking about raw money (from people trading far bigger accounts), not percentage gains.

                                              Moreover, while you’re citing *this paper* as evidence of all the claims, I will point out there’s no raw data of claims like ‘She often sold at the highest price a day and sold at the lowest one’, which would be pretty damning…but isn’t *here*.

                                              I’m not willing to pay the $40 to down load it, those damning claims come from reporters’ summaries and others evaluations. Worse, many of the records either don’t exist or never did. This link here details what we know about her highs and lows. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/436066/hillary-clinton-cattle-futures-windfall

                                              So, throwing *that* away, what exactly was this office bribing her for?

                                              So if I can’t detail exactly who was paying the wife of the governor and exactly who benefited and how, the math should just get a handwave? My lack of ability to detail exactly what transaction took place doesn’t change the underlying math, nor the shear insanity of someone like HRC risking her family’s net worth in a field where the expected result is large losses.

                                              It’s possible we’re looking at another “Marc Rich” situation where the transaction is deliberately kept vague enough so one can’t get arrested, and if we could put a back-in-time movie camera on this we’d see handshakes rather than written agreements, and winks rather than handshakes.

                                              I’m focused on the math of all this. And the math would be damning even without the whole “and the office was convicted of routinely did this for VIPs at that time” aspect of it.

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                                              • So if I can’t detail exactly who was paying the wife of the governor and exactly who benefited and how, the math should just get a handwave?

                                                If your allegation is a *bribe*, and you are not able to state who *did* the bribe or for what purpose, uh, yeah, kinda important.

                                                It, even in the event your understanding of events is completely correct, changes things from a *bribe* to an illegal donation. Those are not the same thing.

                                                And you got a gold metal at the Olympics (one of the other comparisons used by experts to describe how unlikely all this was), then we should be concerned.

                                                Ah, yes, these ‘experts’. None of which could possibly be biased in any way. Or could be relying on incorrect information provided by Clinton attackers.

                                                As I have explained, several times, it is very easy to make statements that are technically true but cause incorrect conclusions using probabilities.

                                                It is also very easy to make statements about *what you are told the situation is* instead of the actual situation.

                                                I’m not willing to pay the $40 to down load it, those damning claims come from reporters’ summaries and others evaluations

                                                That studies has no information about Hillary’s trades in it. You can see that from the cites.

                                                Someone just looked at the statements of ‘Hillary Clinton made $100,000 from $1000 in the cattle futures market’ and decided to see what the odds of that was. It doesn’t have any information about her trades in it.

                                                Look, I’m done here. Here’s the actual truth of the matter: I do not actually care. If someone made an illegal gift to Hillary Clinton of $100,000 in 1978, I really just don’t care.

                                                That was almost *four decades* ago.

                                                You seem to think this somehow says things about *today*, that the Clintons are still corrupt. The problem is…it doesn’t.

                                                Oh, the Clintons are indeed corrupt, in the way that *literally everyone in the system* is corrupt, with money washing around all over the place. And, as I said below, I don’t think the Clintons are *bribe-able*, which is about the best we can hope for. I think if you give them money, you can get *access* to them, and tell them exactly what you think about politics, but that’s it. I don’t think they are willing to say ‘That person gave me money, I should do what they wanted.’…

                                                …although they do, like *everyone else in politics*, form their opinions based on what everyone else is saying…and everyone else is very very rich.

                                                The money is just the way to construct the echo-chamber of being totally disconnected from anything even vaguely real.

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                                                • If your allegation is a *bribe*, and you are not able to state who *did* the bribe or for what purpose, uh, yeah, kinda important.

                                                  My allegation is that she was given those trades, rather than strapping on a pair of skates and then winning the Olympics.

                                                  It, even in the event your understanding of events is completely correct, changes things from a *bribe* to an illegal donation.

                                                  So all we have is a politician’s wife who received more than a year’s worth of income… for what exactly? Since we don’t know, it must be “innocent”? Who gave her the money, why was this “donation” obfuscated so much, and who were these trades taken from?

                                                  it is very easy to make statements that are technically true but cause incorrect conclusions using probabilities.

                                                  There’s no way to spin winning the Olympics so that it’s easy. This type of trading is a serious competitive sport done at high levels by serious people for serious money.

                                                  Name some people who have made similar levels of profits in similar situations. If it’s *easy* to make 10x on your first day and 60x or 100x over all, lots of people must have done it.

                                                  If those “experts” who had never heard of any retail person accomplishing this are simply wrong, or if “expert advice” makes this easy, then history should be littered with good examples.

                                                  You seem to think this somehow says things about *today*, that the Clintons are still corrupt.

                                                  The pattern is, the spouse who is out of power collects money for the spouse who is, the spouse who is in power does favours for the people giving the money.

                                                  If we’re talking about “currently”, then they have a very oddly structured Charity, which is funded mostly by people HRC can do political favours for. They have Bill give speeches to people who are subject to HRC’s political power.

                                                  An older example would be Bill pardoning Rich after HRC received various amounts of money from Rich’s wife. Let me just quote former President Carter on this, “I don’t think there is any doubt that some of the factors in his pardon were attributable to his large gifts.”

                                                  Of course now that TCF exists, Rich’s wife could have just given large amounts of money to the Foundation, presumably for the same effect. To my eye, that’s the entire purpose of TCF existing, and for that matter it’s reason she’d need her own private email server.

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                                      • The key words there are “when not in power”. Now that it’s true I expect Bill’s speaking fee to go down a lot and fewer people will be willing to pay it.

                                        Um, firstly, Hillary Clinton already wasn’t in power. (And they already were not making paid speeches.)

                                        Second, you seem to think they made paid speeches while in power.

                                        It’s awful to have the possibility of invisible corruption, but he couldn’t have been trading in gov favors until today. Tolerating open corruption tells everyone in the government what is and is not acceptable.

                                        Trump has explicitly said he traded in government favors. He just did it from the other side.

                                        Even if we were going to do this, and imho we probably should, Trump would still be grandfathered out for the whole “unfix-able” reasons you went over… and it might take a Constitutional Amendment.

                                        No, it wouldn’t. Congress has the right to impeach for whatever reason they want, regardless of whether or not something is a crime. That said, I think they should put things into a Joint Resolution so people *know* the rules, and they are clearly defined. (Basically, making it a ‘law’, except not running it past the president, because they don’t *have to*, and a law telling Congress to proceed with impeachment doesn’t really make sense anyway, laws cannot do that.)

                                        As for Trump…well, firstly, I’m not quite sure why he should be ‘grandfathered’ in. But it would be easy enough to make one of the options, instead of just ‘You have to sell everything’, says ‘And if it’s not in a blind trust, it must have complete and total disclosure’, which presents him with an option he *can* do, or at least can do until he sells. Not just of his personal finances and income tax, but of *all* corporations he has majority ownership in.

                                        At the bare minimum, we must encode the ‘must reveal personal income taxes'(1) as the law, and, again, by ‘law’ I mean ‘Stated intent of Congress to impeach if not done.’. That is, essentially, already a standard for presidents and presidential nominees. And there’s *no question* of Trump’s ability to do that.

                                        And it’s very hard to complain about how there was a standard that everyone used to follow, and then one guy showed up and started breaking that norm, causing problems, so that norm was encoded into law. That’s how laws basically should *start*.

                                        1) And thanks to Trump having his corporations structured insanely as pass-throughs, we could learn a lot about them from Trump’s taxes. Not *enough*, but at least would learn all their names and income and stuff.

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                                        • Second, you seem to think they made paid speeches while in power.

                                          HRC was in office the moment Bill stepped down (being the NY Senator certainly counts, especially if she or Bill was giving speeches to NY banks). Then she became Secretary of State. And for the bulk of that time it was assumed she’d be President.

                                          Trump has explicitly said he traded in government favors. He just did it from the other side.

                                          A real estate guy in New York? And internationally? From the 1970’s on? No way he could function without paying off the unions/politicians/organized crime. That doesn’t change that he doesn’t (yet) have a multi-year network to accept bribes. Granted very much that he’s starting with a lot of the underlying pieces in place.

                                          Congress has the right to impeach for whatever reason they want, regardless of whether or not something is a crime.

                                          Impeaching Trump on the basis of why the voters elected him sounds more like an excuse than a reason. I think we wait for it to be a problem (and to be clear, it probably will be), and then act on it.

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                                          • HRC was in office the moment Bill stepped down (being the NY Senator certainly counts, especially if she or Bill was giving speeches to NY banks). Then she became Secretary of State. And for the bulk of that time it was assumed she’d be President.

                                            Was Hillary Clinton giving speeches as a Senator? Was Hillary Clinton giving speeches while Secretary of State? Was Hillary Clinton giving speeches as a declared candidate?

                                            The answer to all of those, as far as I can tell, is no. Bill was, but she wasn’t.

                                            Now, you might argue that is not relevant who made the speeches, and I agree to some extent. I was merely pointing out your inaccurate use of the term ‘when in power’.

                                            But if you want to claim that’s basically legalized bribery, I agree. You want to claim it’s something unique to the Clintons, I have to disagree. That’s the way the entire place works.

                                            You want to claim anger at that sort of things resulted in Trump….I have to agree, but not *quite* in the way you think. The problem, as far as I can tell, is not the bribery, oddly.

                                            The problem is politicians *only interact with rich people* and are themselves rich people.

                                            The problem is not how much Goldman Sachs gave the Clintons. The problem is that *everyone the Clintons talk to about banking* works for the banks.

                                            Studies have repeatedly shown that the concerns of non-wealthy people are simply not addressed *at all*. Period.It has nothing to do with campaign donations or speeches or anything. The problems of non-wealthy people do not even exist on their radar. The problems of the non-wealthy get solved when the wealthy people start pointing at them.

                                            Or, to put it another way: Let us pretend there is an alternate universe where, completely by chance, no bank (and just no *bank*) had ever paid either Clinton anything at all, but they made the same amount of money giving speeches to defense contractors.

                                            If they were being ‘bribed’, you’d think, in that alternate universe, that some of her policies about banks would be harsher and more pro-consumer. The thing is, *I don’t think that’s true*. I think she’d have exactly the same positions as before, because bankers and bank lobbyists and rich people would have been talking in her ear exactly the same the entire time.

                                            The real problem is not the bribery. The real problem is the *worldview*.

                                            Of course, regardless of whether or not you agree with me about the real problem here…I think we both agree that Trump is a completely ludicrous solution.

                                            I think we wait for it to be a problem (and to be clear, it probably will be), and then act on it.

                                            Aaaaaand…while we were talking, it already happened:

                                            https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/2016/11/18/9da9c572-ad18-11e6-977a-1030f822fc35_story.html

                                            Oh, and note my paranoia about foreign governments *secretly* renting rooms under aliases at overseas Trump properties to funnel money to Trump appears to have been completely misplaced.

                                            No, they’re just going to do it here in the US. Just right there in front of everyone. Openly stating it’s an attempt to curry favor with the president.

                                            And, as a random thought, it’s the people who work at the hotel I feel sorry for. Trump’s hotel, like all upscale DC hotels, has a marketing group that tries to get foreign delegations to rent space there, because that’s a pretty lucrative market.

                                            And, *man*, it must suck to have worked your way up the marketing ladder in hotels, made foreign contacts that you can try to steer towards your employer, maybe they weren’t appreciating you at your current employers so you applied at that new Trump property, got a nice position coming in at the start, you already had feelers out, maybe you can get a French delegation come in, start out with a win, and then suddenly Trump is president and it’s like…are you asking people to bribe him? It sorta *feels* like your job is suddenly to get foreign governments to bribe the president. I mean, *you’re* not saying that, you’re talking about the indoor pool and the food at the hotel restaurants, but it seems like some of the people renting room kinda think they’re bribing the president.

                                            And it’s just going to get more uncomfortable as the media gets involved.

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                                            • Aaaaaand…while we were talking, it already happened

                                              Oh, heh. You and me kept focusing on domestic ethics laws, which was dumb. I was reminded yesterday that domestic bribery is one thing, and the laws don’t seem to cover the president…but *foreign-state* bribery is, literally, unconstitutional:

                                              ‘No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.’

                                              This presumably applies to Trump’s own businesses also receiving gifts. The clause doesn’t *say* ‘or any corporations owned by you’, but, this is ‘a sentence that is to be interpreted by Congress’, not ‘a law’. Giving a gift to a corporation wholely or mostly owned by Donald Trump is clearly giving him a gift.

                                              Diplomats rent hotel rooms using the purse of a foreign state.

                                              Oh, as Trump is making use of various services and facilities offered, under law, as the presumptive president elect. (Very poorly, but he’s doing it to *some* extent.) This might mean he already holds an ‘Office of Profit or Trust’. I’m not entirely sure of this, there seems to be a dispute if president-elect is legally an ‘office’ or not, but Trump might already be in trouble.

                                              So at this point, we’re basically reduced to trying to figure out if renting a hotel room is a ‘present’. There are already several statements that diplomats *are* doing it to curry favor, which means that they, at least, consider it a favor.

                                              But it gets worse. Because any overseas property or foreign business can result in ‘presents’ from the government. For example, negotiating a *tax break*. And those gifts will, obviously, be *reoccurring*, every year, at tax time.

                                              Trump has made his fortune getting tax breaks in the US. What do you want to bet he’s gotten some in other countries for those businesses?

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                                              • ‘No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.’

                                                Any bets on whether Congress will “consent” to the President keeping his empire? Maybe give him a general waver? IMHO they’d be crazy not to, his empire is a big reason why people voted for him.

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                                                • Any bets on whether Congress will “consent” to the President keeping his empire? Maybe give him a general waver? IMHO they’d be crazy not to, his empire is a big reason why people voted for him.

                                                  You think that Congress is going to actually give Trump a blanket waiver to accept any foreign gifts?

                                                  That would be completely amazing, utterly rendering anything the Republicans ever about ‘corruption’ in the future completely moot. ‘Oh yeah? What about that time you blanket-allowed the president to accept any foreign gifts?’

                                                  But, well, that actually sorta seems the point of this election, taking things that used to be things the Republicans could maybe attack Democrats on, and Trump totally demolishing them for the future. It’s actually getting slightly absurd at this point.

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                                                  • You think that Congress is going to actually give Trump a blanket waiver to accept any foreign gifts?

                                                    I think Trump is even more money motivated than the Clintons, and the talk of “gifts” ignores the way Trump is going to cash in on this. The Trump brand just increased in stature. The Trump organization is well positioned to cash in on this just from a branding standpoint. Even if he never finds out who is assuming what by renting whatever, we now have the appearance of quality and presidential attention.

                                                    We’ll get an ugly compromise on gifts, maybe handing over his brand to his kids. I seriously doubt a GOP controlled Congress is going to go to war with their unexpectedly popular President on an issue already inspected by the general population.

                                                    ‘Oh yeah? What about that time you blanket-allowed the president to accept any foreign gifts?’

                                                    We’ve already seen this. HRC made doing her official duties contingent on foreign governments giving money to her charity. That the charity mostly did good things (at least from the Left’s standpoint) is irrelevant.

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                                            • But if you want to claim that’s basically legalized bribery, I agree. You want to claim it’s something unique to the Clintons, I have to disagree.

                                              The unique part with the Clintons was Bill was giving speeches to people who would have assumed they were subject to Hillary. Senator, Sec of State, and then (assumed) President. Imagine Barbara Bush giving speeches to people dealing with her husband while Bush was still in power.

                                              Of course, regardless of whether or not you agree with me about the real problem here…I think we both agree that Trump is a completely ludicrous solution.

                                              I would say “a real problem” rather than “the real problem”… as for Trump, ludicrous or not, we’re stuck with him. Let’s hope all those years managing hundreds of companies has taught him something. I would have far rather seen Romney run on a pro-growth platform (because if we have growth then all this discontent disappears) but whatever.

                                              Studies have repeatedly shown that the concerns of non-wealthy people are simply not addressed *at all*.

                                              Of course they’re not. The larger and more encompassing the gov, the more it’s going to be removed from the people. The rarest resource in the universe is the attention of upper management.

                                              Why should Congress or the President pay attention to someone making $10k/year, or even $100k/year, when they don’t have the bandwidth to talk to everyone who makes a million a year who wants to deal with them?

                                              Michael J Fox went public with his getting Parkinson’s, and the head of one of these “cure-Parkinson’s” groups went with him to Congress and met with various high powered members. Afterwards she broke down and started crying; Mike was surprised because he’d thought they were doing pretty well, they got to talk to Trent Lott and so forth. Then he realised she’d been trying to do this sort of thing for years or decades and without the power of his Celebrity, they never would have talked to the Congressmen.

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        • koz,
          He’s substantially more dangerous than Reagan,w ho really didn’t do a damn thing while president except do photo ops.
          It’s why I’m more pessimistic about him actually taking office.

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