January 14, 2016

"Some voters see a guy who is fighting for the things they care about, at great personal risk to his reputation and his personal safety."

"That’s probably why people go nuts at Trump events. They perceive charisma, and they see it operating on their behalf. But if you don’t see any empathy in Trump, you only see his power, ego, and ambition. And that is why so many people are telling me they will kill themselves or leave the country when he’s elected."

Scott Adams examines the permutations of power and empathy.

ADDED: "Over time, more people will learn that Trump always makes a huge first ask in any negotiation, so he can control the conversation and protect his flexibility to negotiate. Most voters are still not aware of this pattern. And if you don’t know his pattern, it looks insane.... My hypothesis is people who understand the consistency of his patterns lose their concerns over his empathy."

AND: Scott Adams identifies with Trump. Their backgrounds are "weirdly similiar." And:

I already made all the money I will ever need for myself. But I still work seven days a week because my unique skill set can produce an outsized benefit for the rest of you. That’s the point. I’m already done with me. The rest is for the world.
That is: ego. Ego for the benefit of the world.

ALSO: I'm going to start paying a lot more attention to Scott Adams. Frankly, I've avoided him because I've never needed the succor of "Dilbert," since I don't work in a cubicle, and I feel sad for people who do. And I have worked in an office, years ago. I don't enjoy the humor in suffering I don't share. I could never enjoy the excellent TV show "The Office" for this reason. But I'm getting the message at long last that the Scott Adams blog is for everyone. He's got a newer post up now, analyzing "candidate supporter stereotypes":
For Trump, we have the “angry white male racists” stereotype for his supporters. As with all stereotypes, it has enough grains of truth to hold it’s shape, but it isn’t an actual truth.  
I've got a problem with an apostrophe, but I think he's an excellent writer, and homophones plague those of us who type and publish without an editor.

103 comments:

mikee said...

I am so glad that after several comments by me and other readers, Althouse has connected with the one person who is explaining Trump and his success in a rigorously testable manner. Adams' predictions have been fulfilled; he knows what he is talking about.

Reagan won the presidency by talking to the people, instead of letting the media define him. Trump has taken this winning method one step further, by using excellent methods of persuasion rather than political boilerplate to talk to the people.

mikee said...

"But over time, citizens will see that Trump’s policy statements consistently favor American citizens over non-citizens. That’s his pattern. It is also the job description of the President of the United States."

Oddly enough, Obama never understood or adopted this simple idea.

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

I've been following the Scott Adams blog for about as long as following you and Instapundit - many years - and it's great to see this new connection among the three of you. He's made some great points over the years, but can be way edgier. I'm thinking more conversation amongst you will be fascinating.

Nonapod said...

If, as this guy seems to be contending, a lot of the people who dislike Trump are simply misunderstanding him (or his "pattern" or whatever), why would you assume a President Trump wouldn't be regularly misunderstood as well? And misunderstood to our collective detriment.

cubanbob said...

Trump's negotiating style is simple: ask for the moon and settle for what you really want or as my dad said "sometimes it's reasonable to be unreasonable". Trump's style is ironically what the the Iranian's are using on Obama and succeeding with. And the same style of negotiating is what Obama has been rather successful with respects to the Congressional Republican's and the RNC. If only he had the American national interest at heart he might have been a successful president.

Limited blogger said...

Good to see we've plugged into the 'Master Persuader series'. And understanding it doesn't make it less effective, probably makes it more effective.

rhhardin said...

Voluntary transactions benefit both sides. If you're aware of it, you tend to make sure that the other guy gets soemthing out of it. That's not ego.

rhhardin said...

Lacks empathy = doesn't go for identity politics.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Adams is simply wrong about this:

Interestingly, no one seems to doubt Trump’s ability to get things done. Even the haters are hating him for what they assume he will do. No one is accusing him of being ineffective.

Most people have said he won't be able to keep his promise to get Mexico to pay for the wall. And it's become commonplace to say Trump incorrectly assumes he can dictate all decisions the way he can with his own companies; he doesn't understand the constitutional restrictions on his power.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...and homophones plague those of us who type and publish without an editor.

Sounds like you're a homophoneaphobe.

traditionalguy said...

You have to ask yourself why people believe in Trump's promises to be a leader who can clean up the Sisyphean Stables of DC, and not just lie about it like the GOP insiders have since Reagan, but do not believe the others making the same claims?

They believe in his character. They believe in his judgement. They believe in his brains. They believe in his communication skills. They believe in his courage. They believe in his good heart.

That's about it.

rhhardin said...

Empathy is a women's narrative. Its survival value is making things good in the neighborhood.

The men's narrative goes to the abstract, whether it's good for the country.

The MSM suppresses the men's narrative. Their audience is women.

EDH said...

Indeed.

EDH said...
When does Trump come out and say an anti-establishment election campaign is essentially a negotiation against the establishment?

He could explain every extreme position he's taken as part of a "anchoring" strategy, a shifting of the Overton Window meant to stake out a position from which to compromise, not a compromise position from which to compromise further.
_________

Back in October, the word we analyzed on Althouse was "unpredictability".

Trump wants "to be unpredictable, because, you know, we need unpredictability. Everything is so predictable with our country."

EDH said...
I interpreted Wallace's question differently, and as a result think Trump made perfect sense.

That's his clever answer in case you're looking for specifics about anything he can't or doesn't want to answer, as stated on "Fox News Sunday" this morning when Chris Wallace asked him about how he'd use the debt limit. Pushed, he used the magic word again: "I do not want to say that because I want to show unpredictability. You have to. You can't just go around and say that."

The question to me sounds like Trump was asked how he'd use the debt limit, strategically as a tool of negotiation, presumably against the Washington establishment, to achieve the policy goals Trump wants.

After all, the "debt limit" is not a policy issue per se in and of itself.

And as the self-professed Artist of the Deal, I would expect him to say unpredictability when it comes to strategic positioning is the strongest hand when entering negotiation.

Isn't Trump saying that what is so predictable is a Republican strategy of inevitable capitulation to the Washington establishment on the debt limit?

tim in vermont said...

If people had let Bush negotiate in this way on Iraq, the whole war might have been avoided. But I am sure the moral preening lefties got to do was far better than the prospect of getting Saddam on a helicopter and into exile by convincing him that we meant it. IMHO, France is the one that convinced Saddam they could stop the war and sold him their Security Council veto for a predatory deal on Iraqi oil, thus missing the best chance to avoid the whole mess.

Meade said...

"and homophones plague those of us who type and publish without an editor."

Hey, what am I — chopped spinach?

garage mahal said...

Trump is going to build a big beautiful wall with a big beautiful wall. And he'll make Mexico pay for it. How stupid do you have to be to fall for that?

Kylos said...

Nonapod, Adams is saying that even if you don't empathize or identify with Trump, his consistency will help to allay your fears. His consistency is what will make him acceptable even to people who don't like him, because you at least know how he'll respond to things even if you don't like his response.

By the way, Adams uses pseudo-logic in a lot of his arguments; if you pay attention to him closely you might be able to find the holes. He says that's part of how persuasion works: it's more about the technique than the actual facts or logical reasoning.

Daniel Richwine said...

I work in a cubicle and it kind of bugs me how condescending you and popular types of entertainment are to those who choose such a life. Believe it or not, it's a pretty rewarding life, and pretty meaningful and important, by far more important than anything else I might have done with my life.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Adams is simply wrong about this

Well, I'm not a Trump guy but I think JAC is simply wrong about this. I think most of his supporters think he really will get the wall built. That's the important part. Mexico picking up the tab would just be the cherry on top.

Alexander said...

As opposed to the idea that replacing a nation's population with another nation's population will still lead to a big beautiful social justice utopia built on the ideals of the extinct people.

Man, how stupid do you have to be to fall for that.

Big Mike said...

I don't work in a cubicle, and I feel sad for people who do.

And you are right to feel that way, believe me.

@Meade, you are not chopped spinach, you are a cardinal.

Chuck said...

I know people who are tough negotiators on their own behalf; who make huge outlandish demands at first, to be able to get to a place that favors them.

Those people are pretty much all assholes.

garage mahal said...

"As opposed to ______"
"Bu bu but what about _______"

Always such a great argument.

Big Mike said...

@Daniel Richwine, I've worked in cubicles and I've worked in an office. I was much more productive when I was in an office, though my period of life in a cubicle predated high quality headphones.

Alexander said...

One notes that the expression, "you'll pay for this" has a number of meanings beyond the literal, "you owe me $21.17"

I'm fine with Mexico taking on any of the possibilities. But I'll settle for the shovel-ready infrastructure project in the south-west.

I also eagerly await an explanation from liberals how building a wall is bad for the economy, but destroying massive amounts of perfectly functional machinery because it had an MPG below federal diktat was a genius move.

We're gonna get America working again! Choo-choo.

Henry said...

Adams understands recency bias. Pundits who now proclaim "Trump said this outrageous thing! He's unelectable!" are stuck in the present. Adams suggests that Trump will say less outrageous things (or different outrageous things) as he needs to appeal to more people. And that buzz will be in that present, not this one.

eric said...

It's tough to read his blog. I have been reading it and I enjoy it, but he uses NLP in his writing style to try and influence the reader.

There is a way to read and watch news broadcasts that is good and bad. Some of us like to read or watch TV while we relax and not be an active participant. This is what Adams relies on. For you to passively read his blog.

I'd suggest, if you don't want to be influenced by him on a subconscious level, you never do that. Always read his blog actively. Watch for bold words and ask yourself, why did he bold that word? Watch for use of the word "not" and notice it. The negative is a common tactic. If I write, you dont love me, its easy for your consciousness to miss the don't and now your subconscious gets the message, you love me. And, because I put the "don't" in there, your conscious mind doesn't protect you from the command.

Adams uses this style in his writing and its something everyone reading his blog should be aware of.

Unless you think you're too smart and too clever to be fooled by such simple, hypnotic tricks. In which case, you're exactly the sucker such tricks work on.

Chuck said...

John Allthouse Cohen makes a good point above. The questions about Trump go beyond his goofy proposals. They go beyond whether he can get them done. Much of what Trump is saying, is way beyond the sole power of the executive branch.

If there is a bipartisan structural problem with the American federal government, I'd argue that the executive under Article II has grown far too expansive in its power and influence. I won't blame Republicans or Democrats more on this one. It is a common problem to both parties.

Henry said...

@Daniel Richwine, @Big Mike -- I've worked in cubicles, offices, at home, and in open office designs. Of all of these I like my current open office best. It has lots of windows and good views. (So does home, but there are too many distractions at home.) But cubicles are really just a visual proxy for a certain kind of management style, that, thankfully, I've mostly avoided.

buster said...

@ Chuck

Your point is correct, but Trump is above all a negotiator. He can negotiate with Congress, almost certainly a lot more effectively than Obama.

Fred Rawlings said...

Channeling Trump after he loses Iowa.

I am very disappointed with the people in Iowa . Very disappointed.
I love the people there, I have a lot of friends there. They love me there, but I'm disappointed.

There's something going on out there, something going on in all of those little tents, it's not one man one vote you know. You go in and you vote for your guy, and then they say, we are going to vote again. We are having a new vote but you can't vote for your guy, your guy is out.
It's like if they did this at Miss Universe, I'm a Miss Paraguay guy, and I vote for her but then they say, you can't vote for her, you have to vote for Miss Ecuador or Miss Columbia, not Miss Paraguay. And I'm not for them, I'm for Paraguay. I got nothin for Ecuador or Columbia

So a guy goes into the tent and they say, your guy is out, you can't vote for him. The head boss guy says you got to vote for Trump or Cruz, and maybe he doesn't like me knocking his guy out. He votes for anybody but trump. So you've got all these sore losers that vote anybody but Trump. They get 3 or 4 votes against trump, and my guy only gets one vote for me. I don't know what's going on. It's not democracy. I don't know what it is, but it's not democracy.

There's something going on in those little smoke filled tents. Seriously, they're not smoking in the tents. They have to go outside to smoke. And I got to tell ya, they love me in Iowa.

(Btw, this may perfectly describe the Miss Universe system, I didn't bother looking it up)

cubanbob said...

Most people have said he won't be able to keep his promise to get Mexico to pay for the wall. And it's become commonplace to say Trump incorrectly assumes he can dictate all decisions the way he can with his own companies; he doesn't understand the constitutional restrictions on his power.

1/14/16, 10:06 AM"

Dude where have you been for the last seven years? Obama has laid the predicate for the next President to do exactly that. Especially if his Party controls Congress.

traditionalguy said...

Reagan won the trust of the American people by hosting General Electric Theater for 5 years. The people already knew him well before the Media Slander guys got to work making him into an insane bad man.

Trump came in with that same immunity to slander from The Apprentice show years.

Trump looks as unstoppable now as JFK was in 1963. Trump resembles Jack in his speeches. But the unstoppable politically JFK was stopped in Dallas. And Reagan was almost stopped in his first year,coming within minutes of death. Trump had better keep his head down and avoid Texas motorcades on routes set in advance by LBJ's friends.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

garage mahal said...

Trump is going to build a big beautiful wall with a big beautiful wall. And he'll make Mexico pay for it. How stupid do you have to be to fall for that?

We currently give Mexico $300-400 million in various foreign aid to Mexico. I could certainly see Trump telling them agree to pay us $100 million/year for 10 years, or your aid goes away.

And Trump will bring it in on time and under budget. ( Waive Bacon-Davis, appoint the right people to do the environmental assessment, etc. )

rehajm said...

And that is why so many people are telling me they will kill themselves or leave the country when he’s elected.

We're all aware of the material impact such threats have on the outcome of elections. How uncharacteristic of the bold individuals who wield that power to then blunt it by failing to follow through.

Brando said...

The problem with this analysis is:

1) Taking as a given that "Trump gets things done" skitters over the central question here. Even if we assume that in the business world he "got things done" that is not a skill set that translates easily to serving effectively as president. Anyone who hasn't bought into this Obama-like theory that all we need is the "right man" with "soaring rhetoric" and "outsider ideas" who will appoint "top men" and that gets past the things that have limited all our presidents will admit that there's at least a good question as to how Trump can actually function at the job.

2) The idea that you "ask for the stars, and you'll get the moon" is one of the most widespread misconceptions in negotiation. If it worked, you could get the dealer's best price for a new Mercedes by offering him $10, that way he'll know you're no fool and he won't start high. In reality, a ridiculous offer is considered no offer--the best you can say about it is if the other side continues to talk to you (which it may not) they will treat your opener as though you made no offer at all. When I see an opposing party asking for millions of dollars for "mental anguish" because someone allegedly insulted them, I know exactly what sort of person I'm dealing with. Rather, the most useful thing in a negotiation is knowledge about what you are likely to get, so you know what range you're playing in. Knowing whether a car is worth something in the $20K range or the $60K range is helpful. Suggesting they give it to you for a McDonalds coupon is not.

At this stage, all of this is just speculation--from Adams and everyone else. I sincerely doubt Trump could win the general election, and his fans obviously think otherwise. We may get a chance to see who turns out to be right, because unless these primary polls are out of whack I don't see anyone toppling him.

eric said...

Blogger John Althouse Cohen said...


Most people have said he won't be able to keep his promise to get Mexico to pay for the wall. And it's become commonplace to say Trump incorrectly assumes he can dictate all decisions the way he can with his own companies; he doesn't understand the constitutional restrictions on his power.


Oh, I would say you are the one who is wrong. Thanks to having an untouchable President for fear of being called a racist, we have done away with that pesky restriction on the power of the President.

I have no doubt politicians in Washington will try and restore those restrictions once Trump is in office because his status as a white male and a Republican makes that feasible (not so much if its Hillary).

But its going to be hard to close and seal Pandora's box now that it's been opened. And this is the new framework from which Trump is working.

It's nice to see you're mentioning it and thinking about it, now that Obama is almost done. Maybe if more Democrats would have cared about such things over the past eight years, we wouldn't be here now.

rehajm said...

And Trump will bring it in on time and under budget.

But it will be kinda tacky, with too much gold leaf and Italian marble.

PB said...

I've mentioned Adams' blog, and it's interesting to see if it has predictive power in coming days, but its explanatory power has certainly been interesting. Keep in mind that creating a model to explain the past (regression) doesn't always hold a high reliability for explaining the future (progression). For example instead of analyzing things that Donald has said and their effect, identify things he will say and what they will affect.

Pete said...

JAC and others: Adams has already detailed how Trump will get Mexico to pay for the wall. Scroll through his other posts and you'll find it. Adams think Trump will start shipping illegal aliens back to Mexico by the busload. Adams thinks it'll only take about 3 or 4 busloads before Mexico starts shelling out money for the wall.

Brando said...

"I know people who are tough negotiators on their own behalf; who make huge outlandish demands at first, to be able to get to a place that favors them. Those people are pretty much all assholes."

In my experience, those people are ineffective assholes. Imagine you want to buy a particular house, and your research shows houses in that neighborhood go for about $200K. In fact, that same house was most recently purchased five years ago for $180K. You personally are willing to pay as much as $225K for the house, but would like to pay less than that. If the owner decides to put that house on the market for $10 million, are you then going to say "well, he's no fool! I can't start low! Let me go with my highest possible offer, $225K! Or maybe I need to readjust my price upwards!"?

Usually, you're going to walk away, but if say you really want that particular house, at most you'll take an unserious asking price like that as a chance for you to make the first offer. Some say there's an advantage to the other party making the first offer (as it gives you a signal as to what their range is) but it also can be a disadvantage, as the person making the first (serious) offer sets the range of agreement.

Not to mention if you make outlandish demands, you may drive potential parties out of the deal limiting your choices anyway. But somehow people get this idea that truly crazy negotiating positions have a secret genius to them.

It's not to say offering at the extreme end of a realistic range is a bad idea--that's usually where you want to begin. But having no idea where the realistic range is just gets you nowhere.

Gusty Winds said...

Most voters are still not aware of this pattern. And if you don’t know his pattern, it looks insane....

Once again underestimating the intelligence of the public. I get his tactic. He throws out 'ban all Muslims', the media and establishment vomit on themselves, and we start talking about our ability to actually vet refugees. That's what he wanted.

He may not even want to build a wall. He, like many others, just want current immigration laws enforced. Big deal.

Ann Althouse said...

John said: "'Interestingly, no one seems to doubt Trump’s ability to get things done. Even the haters are hating him for what they assume he will do. No one is accusing him of being ineffective.' Most people have said he won't be able to keep his promise to get Mexico to pay for the wall. And it's become commonplace to say Trump incorrectly assumes he can dictate all decisions the way he can with his own companies; he doesn't understand the constitutional restrictions on his power."

But combine that with: "Over time, more people will learn that Trump always makes a huge first ask in any negotiation, so he can control the conversation and protect his flexibility to negotiate."

Adams didn't refer to Trump’s ability to get the specific things he says he'll do done. I extrapolate that Trump will get things done but they will be more moderate things than what he's talking about in the campaign. Old fashioned people may call that "lying," but I don't think they are getting the level of media difficulty at which Trump is playing.

Gusty Winds said...

Blogger garage mahal said...Trump is going to build a big beautiful wall with a big beautiful wall. And he'll make Mexico pay for it. How stupid do you have to be to fall for that?

How stupid do you have to be not to understand the point of the post, which is Trump first demands the outrageous as a negotiating tactic.

PB said...

Ann, soon you'll be talking about "moist robots" (another Adams construct and cartoon)

n.n said...

People around the world are eager to remove the anti-native influences in their communities, cultures, and societies. Trump is just one representative of many who has claimed to oppose policies that decimate (e.g. pro-choice/selective-child, clinical cannibalism), disenfranchise (e.g. class diversity, excessive immigration), and rape (e.g. progressive devaluation of capital and labor, libertine culture) native people.

Limited blogger said...

Another post could explore Dilbert's blog about 'never admitting you're wrong'.

As noted above, the vomiting that ensues is quite entertaining.

Jim said...

He can get Mexico to build the wall. Its simple economics. One person posted that we send Mexico a few hundred million in aid. Mexican workers sent -21 BILLION- dollars to Mexico in 2013.
If you really think that Mexico won't help to build a wall, along with instituting a realistic immigration/work policy, then you aren't paying attention to what is going on.
That is just Mexico. Latin America recieved over 60 billion, form citizens working in the USA.
Trump isn't blustering. He's laying the groundwork for a deal. And he knows he holds the upper hand. It's business, pure and simple. Money sent from workers abroad is Mexico's largest source of income.
You may not like Trump, so I don't expect these facts will dissuade you of your illusions. But it would be a great deal, and Trump is the only one who can make it.

grackle said...

The idea that you "ask for the stars, and you'll get the moon" is one of the most widespread misconceptions in negotiation.

Trump, the billionaire real estate and entertainment mogul, doesn’t know beans about negotiation. Yes, that is the implication here: Trump is all wrong with his “misconceptions in negotiation.” That Trump sure is lucky – with all his billions – just lucked out with a long string of successes I suppose. Whew!

I’ve witnessed some awesome cognitive dissonance in my time but this takes the cake.

damikesc said...

I called this a while back. He makes a big claim to completely change the discussion then "works his way down" to what he actually wants.

Did he want to ban Muslims? No. Ban the refugees currently causing problems in Europe? How can anybody rational disagree with that?

He's doing what Jennifer Lawrence whines about her agents not doing for her.

Most people have said he won't be able to keep his promise to get Mexico to pay for the wall. And it's become commonplace to say Trump incorrectly assumes he can dictate all decisions the way he can with his own companies; he doesn't understand the constitutional restrictions on his power.

What he's said for a while now is that any costs for a wall would be deducted from any aid we give Mexico. Which we can control pretty completely. And given that Congress isn't going to fight for its power (it hasn't done so yet), it's not unsafe to assume they will continue to sit back and do nothing.

Trump is going to build a big beautiful wall with a big beautiful wall. And he'll make Mexico pay for it. How stupid do you have to be to fall for that?

Reagan said he'd bring an end to the USSR. In 1989, they basically died.

People thought people would have to be stupid in 1980 to think the USSR might cease to exist a decade later...yet it happened.

2) The idea that you "ask for the stars, and you'll get the moon" is one of the most widespread misconceptions in negotiation. If it worked, you could get the dealer's best price for a new Mercedes by offering him $10, that way he'll know you're no fool and he won't start high. In reality, a ridiculous offer is considered no offer--the best you can say about it is if the other side continues to talk to you (which it may not) they will treat your opener as though you made no offer at all.

But Trump will be negotiating with Congress, who is unable to negotiate a bowel movement after a hefty Mexican meal. He won't be dealing with great negotiators.

Look at how terrible the deals Obama has negotiated are. And he has ROLLED over Congress on these. Imagine if he had COMPETENT negotiators. Trump has had to get shit done in environments hostile to what he wants to do.

Another post could explore Dilbert's blog about 'never admitting you're wrong'.

Has doing so EVER worked for anybody?

The Clintons have been the sleaziest people in recent political history and they get away with it because they blame others for the problems.

cubanbob said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...
garage mahal said...

Trump is going to build a big beautiful wall with a big beautiful wall. And he'll make Mexico pay for it. How stupid do you have to be to fall for that?

We currently give Mexico $300-400 million in various foreign aid to Mexico. I could certainly see Trump telling them agree to pay us $100 million/year for 10 years, or your aid goes away.

And Trump will bring it in on time and under budget. ( Waive Bacon-Davis, appoint the right people to do the environmental assessment, etc. )

1/14/16, 10:46 AM

Spot on.

Brando you don't get Trump's style. He doesn't ask for the impossible. He asks for just a tiny bit beyond the maximum. Then he settles. It also helps knowing your relative strength and weakness in the negotiation. Trump does. Then after the deal is done he starts again. And again. He never stops until the the other party pushes back hard enough. My uncle's engineering company did a few projects for Trump, always the same until it came close to my uncle's redline. Then my uncle refused the calls and disappeared when the CO needed signing. Problem solved.Trump got most of what he wanted and my uncle made less than he wanted but enough to take on more work. Like my dad said sometimes it's reasonable to be unreasonable. You also have this belief that Trump cannot win, why that is I don't know since Hillary has an even lesser chance of winning against any Republican including Trump and things aren't trending any better for her.

Drago said...

You will have to forgive garage. He is attempting to recover from those "powerful" Chelsea attacks against that old doddering communist with whom the dem base is in love.

When it comes to attacking someone from a position of accomplishment, who better than hillary and chelsea?

MikeR said...

"Interestingly, no one seems to doubt Trump’s ability to get things done. Even the haters are hating him for what they assume he will do. No one is accusing him of being ineffective." Huh? I don't hate him for what I assume he'll do. I have no clue what he'll do. I can't stand him because I assume that he is a showman who'll say whatever sell, and he's taken over the Republican brand with his ridiculous show. I don't see him as a conservative and doubt that what he'll actually do has anything at all to do with what he's saying. I don't even know if he cares what he'll do.
He's probably completely ineffective, but that's irrelevant.

Brando said...

"Trump, the billionaire real estate and entertainment mogul, doesn’t know beans about negotiation. Yes, that is the implication here: Trump is all wrong with his “misconceptions in negotiation.” That Trump sure is lucky – with all his billions – just lucked out with a long string of successes I suppose. Whew!"

You're assuming that was his strategy in business. Do you think he got hotels built by making offers that were actually insane? He talks like that because it's good show, but I highly doubt there is any evidence that he actually made insane offers.

Trump did do two things that were smart--he invested heavily in NYC real estate when it was in the crapper and profited greatly when the market improved, and he made himself a brand, like the Kardashians or Paris Hilton. He deserves credit for that. But what he says and what he does are not the same thing.

"But Trump will be negotiating with Congress, who is unable to negotiate a bowel movement after a hefty Mexican meal. He won't be dealing with great negotiators."

I think the thing with Congress (no matter who becomes president) is that it's going to be heavily gridlocked against anything besides big spending bills or noncontroversial resolutions (e.g., a resolution to make national cancer week). Where would Trump find the Democrats (and Republicans) to cave the way Obama did?

"Brando you don't get Trump's style. He doesn't ask for the impossible. He asks for just a tiny bit beyond the maximum. Then he settles. It also helps knowing your relative strength and weakness in the negotiation. Trump does. Then after the deal is done he starts again. And again. He never stops until the the other party pushes back hard enough. My uncle's engineering company did a few projects for Trump, always the same until it came close to my uncle's redline. Then my uncle refused the calls and disappeared when the CO needed signing. Problem solved.Trump got most of what he wanted and my uncle made less than he wanted but enough to take on more work. Like my dad said sometimes it's reasonable to be unreasonable. You also have this belief that Trump cannot win, why that is I don't know since Hillary has an even lesser chance of winning against any Republican including Trump and things aren't trending any better for her."

If that's the case, they Trump doesn't really push the "ask for the stars" strategy, not as you describe it--and I figure in his real business (rather than his public image) he's a lot shrewder than that. As for his chances against Hillary, the problem is (1) the Dems advantage in bigger, urbanized states that gives them an electoral lock on around 240 electoral votes; (2) a Democratic constituency that squabbles but ultimately unites because it considers Republicans--and will certainly consider Trump--the enemy; (3) a GOP that by contrast fights bloodily internally, and usually takes the full cycle just to unite these factions; and (4) a well funded Dem attack machine that will start early and not let up. Hillary is a weak candidate, and normally that would give the GOP an advantage, but it requires pulling together enough and winning just the right states. I know the Trumpists think he can change the game--get competitive among voters the GOP did not have before, enough to overcome the ones he'd lose--and we'll see if that happens. But I remember a lot of talk in 2012 (from the same friends who think Trump can do this now) about how Romney was actually well ahead and would bet Obama handily, because the polls were skewed wrong.

Pookie Number 2 said...

You will have to forgive garage.

Drago, I have to call you out on this incessant nastiness. If you were as stupid as garage, the stuff you write would be just as dumb.

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

Homophone lives matter.

Drago said...

MikeR: "...he's taken over the Republican brand..."

And what is that brand these days?

I am reminded of Churchills (as First Lord of the Admiralty) to the admirals who were outraged at Churchills proposals.

The admirals bleated "but you are destroying our traditions!"

To which Churchill replied "And what are those traditions Admiral, but rum, sodomy and the lash."

The republican establishment continues to take timeouts from their sustained capitulation to obambi in order to decry the success of their very own creation.

samanthasmom said...

There some things that are essential to being a good negotiator. One is wanting to win. It's great if both sides can walk away believing they got what they wanted, but from your perspective, the most important thing is you get what you want. Worrying about the other side's feelings is harmful to your success. Secondly, you need to know what you expect to walk away from the negotiation with and what you'll settle for. Neither one should be your starting point. The most important thing, though, is knowing when it's better to just walk away than take what's been offered. Worrying about the other side's feelings and not knowing when to just walk away are the two downfalls people fall into most. Trump will eat congress for lunch if we elect him because he understands this.

Drago said...

Pookie Number 2: "If you were as stupid as garage, the stuff you write would be just as dumb."

Similarly, if I were as short as garage I would be just as not tall.

Or as lactose intolerant as garage, I would be just as not tolerant of lactose.

I suppose all the truly trenchant observations should only be expected from Pookie Number 1.

Drago said...

If you could pookie, would you like to identify the specific content in the last post re garage that you found most "nasty"?

Or is it more of a cumulative thing?

I must say your defense of garage is most gallant.

Sam L. said...

"And that is why so many people are telling me they will kill themselves or leave the country when he’s elected." LIARS, the lot of them! They never DO, only say they will.

M Jordan said...

Anyone who works deals knows this: both parties have vested interest in achieving a deal. For Mexico to pay for a Trump-built wall means they would be getting something in return. Are there any things they might get in return?

Of course. They might get some sweetheart trade deals. They might get more voice in the president's inner circle. They might get help dealing with their own problems of drug-lords and violence. A growing, positive partnership with the U.S. would be a big feather in any Mexican president's cap. I'm sure there are dozens of things Trump could give to Mexico in exchange for them helping him keep his promise.

The media, the establishment (on both sides, left and right), the typical person who never negotiates for anything can't see past the most superficial aspects of the deal: that is, the result. It's like the fan who only sees who is dribbling the basketball.

It is seriously time to give Trump his due: he sees the whole court much better than, oh, let's say OBAMA, who only sees himself dunking the basketball ... in his dreams.

garage mahal said...

"How stupid do you have to be not to understand the point of the post, which is Trump first demands the outrageous as a negotiating tactic."

A wall isn't going to be built. Mexico isn't going to pay for it. Only gullible rubes like Pookie and Drago believe these silly promises.



Drago said...

Lol

Pookie rescues the helpless garage and this is the thanks pookie receives?

Btw garage, if you like your non-wall, you can keep your non-wall.

No one will take your non-wall away. Period.

Your welcome.

Limited blogger said...

I didn't believe Obama would get Obamacare passed.

So when Trump tells me he will build a beautiful wall, and make Mexico pay for it, I am not going to dismiss it out of hand.

BTW, the wall will be cheaper.

Chuck said...

grackle: You seem to like Trump, "the negotiator." I'd like to know what will he negotiate for?

I heard him last night in Pensacola, crowing about how he'd tell the Ford Motor Company where to build its assembly plants. And if Ford didn't move its assembly operations (all assembly operations, he seemed to say) then he'd (haha) tax Ford on imported parts at 35%.

I don't think Trump knows how tax policy works. I don't think Trump knows what the North American Free Trade Agreement means. He might not even know what a treaty is, and how it binds the signatories. Truly, I don't think Trump knows -- or cares -- how the federal government works.

Xmas said...

@Jim,

I didn't even consider that. Trump could stop private wire transfers from the US to Mexico and other Latin American countries. I don't think that is outside the current powers of the Executive branch thanks to things like FATCA, since illegal immigrants working in the US are technically "US Persons for tax purposes" for FATCA purposes.

Limited blogger said...

This thread is an example of the beautiful flower the Trump campaign is.

Here we are arguing how far President Trump can go, and what he can really accomplish.

Could Obama leave office early, and we'll get a head start on things?

MikeR said...

Drago: 'MikeR: "...he's taken over the Republican brand..."
And what is that brand these days?'
Dunno. Some of us thought that the Tea Party would be able to rebrand the Republican Party, and take it out of the hands of the establishment. Some of us think that that has very largely happened. We were all ready to take over the presidency as well. We ignored the stupid establishment candidates like Jeb Bush, and were ready to pick someone like Rubio or Cruz (Rubio is far more conservative than the average Republican candidate, and would do just fine.)
But no, a bunch of lunatics had to chase after a very loud lunatic, and start screaming about the border wall for goodness sakes. Which every Republican supports, and most moderates. The controversy is about what to do with illegal immigrants afterwards, and there is no consensus on that at all, even among conservatives. But let's make the election about that instead of about Obamacare premiums literally doubling in my state.
Thanks.

Terry said...

What can a person do in a cubicle that they couldn't do working from home?
I can understand paying people for what they do. Insisting that they do it while occupying a certain space is odd.

damikesc said...

But let's make the election about that instead of about Obamacare premiums literally doubling in my state.

Can we make it about the erosion of due process on colleges?

Because Rubio is God awful on that front.

aritai said...

I've negotiated with these New York types before, and I don’t like it. Friendship and “wink, winks” if any, come later, and after success. They don’t tolerate fools. He makes no secret about the technique in his book, and it’s taught in the best MBA schools. Better to have all your issues on the table before the handshake, including your divorce agreement - which makes prenups look trivial, so it shouldn’t be a surprise his partners (who knows, maybe he's gay?) are smiling when things end. How cruel for the rest of us who aren’t this smart or incapable of setting emotions and hormones aside for at least a little while. Which insures both parties can survive each side's expectations and know when they are in the fog and nearing their red-lines and know it's time to talk. Relationships can't survive unexpected surprises. Like "read my lips."

Men like Mr. C. and T. wouldn't say such a thing if they could not fully commit. Which is why I expect, and will reconsider my vote, if Mr. pTb doesn’t bring his larger team to the convention podium and again prior to the general. Including congresscritters, both running for election and not, as well as his new department heads and Supreme Court Justices. “Don’t vote for me unless you’re voting for these fools with me being fool-in-chief because I don’t want to win unless I can change things.” “Have I made myself clear?” Shades of a parliamentary form of government. Make a decision on Monday, be executing by Friday. Who needs executive orders with a team rather than special interests pulling the levers? Oh my.

Will be good fun. See Maurice McTigue retired Kiwi MP for how well this worked to get NZ out of debt, helping the least of them more than any elite, especially their minorities same as when Warren Harding halved the size of government. With Mr. T or Mr. C.I don’t expect anyone to starve, much less die. Save maybe a few bureaucrats and elites who decide to end it when they discover they have to work for a living and meet the goals they agreed to while keeping their (self promoting) mouths shut – a common corporate practice, including CEOs, “what, hold me responsible!?” There are certain to be fireworks when whomever wins starts to discipline congress – there was a time when the president could crush anyone that offended him. With LBJ perhaps the last president to use his power to correct behavior and replace those who wouldn’t toe his line.

I think Mr. T respects the press sincetheir role is constitutionally protected, to say nothing of them electing him, even though they are mostly communists with a byline. Isn't this a wonderful country? Consider the behavior of the Australian Communist (labor) Party during WW2. Free speech is a wonderful thing. Now all we need is for Mr. C. or T. to declare our digital detritus is speech (because it is). And as with voice in most states excluded from court. A person's voice may not be used to incriminate. Oh my. If he was an egoist and a pTb, he’d be feathering his nest not only because he could, but because he knows that time is money, a lesson he wants to teach everyone. I wager this is the end of vacations that total to billions of dollars. And visits to pedophile island. And the FDA as we know it, save as an arm of public health in the re-directed CDC. This popcorn is tasting better by the day.

StoughtonSconnie said...

Getting Mexico to pay for "the big, beautiful wall" isn't necessarily what I would call the best policy. However, what passes for deep thought from Garage has once again shown itself to be unsurprisingly shallow.

Jim at 11:30 got it right. Foreign aid to Mexico is a pittance compared to the roughly 20 billion in remittance payments that go from Mexican nationals in the US back to Mexico. You don't even need to take all of them! Slap a 10% surcharge on them, and viola, 2 billion dollars.

Would Congress go for it? Not sure. But the current Progressive-In-Chief has set some very dangerous precedents where it comes to spending through executive decree, with cheerleading from every corner of the left. Call it a service fee for use of federally insured financial institutions, and pressure Western Union and Walmart to fall in line (contrary to current practice, you don't have to be a conservative activist group to get audited).

eric said...

Blogger Xmas said...
@Jim,

I didn't even consider that. Trump could stop private wire transfers from the US to Mexico and other Latin American countries. I don't think that is outside the current powers of the Executive branch thanks to things like FATCA, since illegal immigrants working in the US are technically "US Persons for tax purposes" for FATCA purposes.


Not only can he stop air transfers, but he can seize cash going south if it isn't declared and over $10,000.00.

Gahrie said...

I don't think Trump knows -- or cares -- how the federal government works.

And what you fail to understand is, this is a feature, not a bug to his supporters. Trump's supporters don't want someone who knows how the federal government works...they want someone willing to dismantle the current government and replace it with one that works.

Chuck said...

damikesc said...
But let's make the election about that instead of about Obamacare premiums literally doubling in my state.

Can we make it about the erosion of due process on colleges?

Because Rubio is God awful on that front.



That was a shock, and a terrible disappointment, with Rubio. Your bringing it up is fair game.

Trump says (in the way only he can) that he'd be better for women than Hillary. I wonder where Trump stands on CASA?

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/rubio-should-follow-sanders-lead-on-campus-sexual-assault/article/2580472

Truly, it is an interesting world where Bernie Sanders is right on an issue that Marco Rubio is wrong on.

Bruce Hayden said...

Not only can he stop air transfers, but he can seize cash going south if it isn't declared and over $10,000.00.

I don't think that they even need go there with the $10k. Laws on the books allow the feds (or the states giving the feds a part of the rake) to seize money (and other assets) used in the commission of crimes, etc. Well, much of our illegal drugs come from/through Mexico, so much/all that money going back to Mexico is probably drug money. So, the feds can seize it, and let the poor Mexicans and South Americans pay to prove that it isn't drug money (only need to show preponderance of the evidence, etc.) Of course, it is unethical to do this in most cases, but it is routinely used by the feds (and states) already, so why not use it to help get the wall built with Mexican money?

Chuck said...

Gahrie:

"...to his supporters..."

I get that part.

Now here is the part I think you are not getting; "his supporters" = something perhaps on the order of 39% of the national electorate. That is just enough to undergo the worst curbstomping (I am settling for "curbstomping" in lieu of term with a sexual connotation) in modern electoral history.

Unknown said...

Blogger John Althouse Cohen "And it's become commonplace to say Trump incorrectly assumes he can dictate all decisions the way he can with his own companies; he doesn't understand the constitutional restrictions on his power."

Obama doesn't understand the constitutional restrictions on his power, and it seems to be working OK for him. Maybe Trump is learning from the example.

Pookie Number 2 said...

If you could pookie, would you like to identify the specific content in the last post re garage that you found most "nasty"?

I was just using that as an intro to my main point, which is continued amusement at Garage's monumental ignorance and feeble attempts at wit.

The truth is, I don't think you're actually capable of being as stupid as Garage.

grackle said...

I don't see him as a conservative …

The reason could be that Trump has never claimed to be a conservative. Straw man argument in its purest form. We all know what that is because we have a POTUS that has taught us well during his tenure, his recent state of the union speech being chock full of examples.

If you’re looking for ideological purity Trump is the wrong place to look. Trump is a right of center, reform-minded moderate with a libertarian distaste for virtue-signaling foreign adventures. A conservative he is not.

Do you think he got hotels built by making offers that were actually insane?

No, I don’t. But so far I haven’t seen any “insane” offerings from Trump. Cutting off foreign aid to Mexico to use for a wall on the border seems to be the height of sanity to me. Especially after years of the insanity of watching our “leaders” standing around with their thumbs up their collective asses while illegal aliens flood across our porous border.

Anyone who works deals knows this: both parties have vested interest in achieving a deal. For Mexico to pay for a Trump-built wall means they would be getting something in return. Are there any things they might get in return?

Yeah. Mexico would get to continue having the USA giving them over a billion dollars in “foreign aid” that Mexico receives every year. Readers, I put quotes around “foreign aid” because the phrase is really a euphemism for paying off the elites in various nations. It all goes into the Swiss bank accounts – not much of it ever trickles down to the poor dumbshits in these mostly corrupt travesties we sometimes label as “allies.” I don’t believe the elites in Mexico will want to forgo that big annual payday. But if they do, President Trump will teach them a lesson. And, as the commentor points out, there’s other things an American POTUS can do.

One other thing: A good wall at the border, along with various other technological security systems, will severely limit the amount of drugs coming across that border. And this too hits the elites in the pocketbook because the elites are getting billions a year from the cartels to look the other way and facilitate the drugs to cross the border. Folks will have to drive all the way to Colorado to get their marijuana.

Bruce Hayden said...

I have spent little of my life in a cubicle, but have always enjoyed Dilbert anyway. Part of it is that I spent 15 years in software development, where things were sometimes almost insane as Adams portrays. I have never understood the rational for using cubicles. I started out, though, in a worse situation, when I started programming. We had three desks per room (at the Census Bureau), and the junior person (i.e. me) was in front, with a GS-12 in the middle, and a GS-13 in the back. I went from there to sharing a room with maybe 5 other IT people, and finally in a quasi-cubicle for maybe six months (actually worse than a cubicle, because we had pods for 4 people facing a center, separated by cubicle walls, but without anything behind us). That was my first 7 years, and then I finally started getting my own office, and my productivity soared. You would think that as an attorney, I wouldn't have to share an office, and that was mostly true - the need for confidentiality was usually cited to distinguish us from the engineers, who could be shoved into cubicles. But, then I interviewed at HP, and found that even second and third level supervising attorneys were shoved into cubicles - all identical as to size, regardless of pay. One big reason I never went to work for that company.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
Trump is going to build a big beautiful wall with a big beautiful wall. And he'll make Mexico pay for it. How stupid do you have to be to fall for that?"

If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.

If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.

I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future.

Cut the cost of a typical family's health insurance premium by up to $2,500 a year

I will close Gitmo within one year.

Who believed this crap?

Brando said...

"Since Trump will carry NY you should check your work, Brando."

Well, that's the rub--can Trump change the game, so to speak. The GOP hasn't come close to winning NY at the presidential level since 1984, so Trump would need to shift a lot of voters outside the usual GOP constituency to pull that off (and same will go for CA, PA, IL, etc). Perhaps I should prepare to be surprised, but if there was a gambling forum for it I'd bet against any GOP candidate taking those states.

"No, I don’t. But so far I haven’t seen any “insane” offerings from Trump. Cutting off foreign aid to Mexico to use for a wall on the border seems to be the height of sanity to me. Especially after years of the insanity of watching our “leaders” standing around with their thumbs up their collective asses while illegal aliens flood across our porous border."

That's a different argument, then--I'm just addressing the "ask for the stars" argument that I hear all the time (and unfortunately see from opposing parties all too often at work). I don't think cutting foreign aid or improving our border wall are crazy ideas, but I don't think either is going to happen.

CWJ said...

"Frankly, I've avoided him because I've never needed the succor of "Dilbert," since I don't work in a cubicle, and I feel sad for people who do. And I have worked in an office, years ago. I don't enjoy the humor in suffering I don't share. I could never enjoy the excellent TV show "The Office" for this reason."

Thank you for "othering" the rest of white collar America. Your comments reinforce some of the worst stereotypes of an ivory tower academic. A cubicle is simply a location. The appreciation of "Dilbert" or "The Office" is not suffering, but successfully capturing the universal humor and challenges of interacting and working with other people in a corporate environment.

Chuck said...

grackle:
...

If you’re looking for ideological purity Trump is the wrong place to look. Trump is a right of center, reform-minded moderate with a libertarian distaste for virtue-signaling foreign adventures. A conservative he is not.


Good. We got that straightened out. Unless Trump is magically all things to all people, he's not a "conservative" at all, and I should think that Rush Limbaugh (The Limbaugh Institute of Advanced Conservative Studies) and Mark Levin (The Conservative Review) would have little use for Trump.

We don't need to waste any more time bashing "RINOs" for not being conservative enough; they are basically ALL more conservative than Trump.

Trump has some big ideas for big government; a huge new immigration deportation force, with vast federal search powers. And a vast new array of federal taxes on imports; and a vast new federal bureaucracy for oversight of manufacturing, to make sure that assembly plants are built in the U.S.

Trump is perfect for the small (and shrinking) class of middle-aged white laborers who hate government but would love a federal government that enacted protections for their jobs and positions, even if it slowed the larger economy.

Honest to God; I sort of believe Trump. I think if he got elected president, he'd make good on a promise to dismantle ObamaCare. And Trump would replace it with a Canadian-style single payer plan. Because, he sort of said so already.

garage mahal said...

"you like your plan, you can keep your plan."

What does this unimaginative, stale joke have to with Trump?

CWJ said...

As for negotiation, my opinion is closest to Brando's. The ask for the stars approach is simply the most crude form of negotiation. I've had it used against me and it doesn't change my objectives. It just makes the process of getting there unnecessarily long and painful. OTOH, it's a pretty good signal that the person across from me is a pretty poor negotiator and that I'm unlikely to be outmaneuvered in the long run.

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

Garage Mahal quoted someone:

"you like your plan, you can keep your plan."

Then Garage Mahal said:

What does this unimaginative, stale joke have to (d0) with Trump?

Uh... that's a joke to you?

To those of who liked our plan and weren't able to keep our plan, it's rather serious.

And, in context of the other quotes that were provided (that Mr. Mahal chose to ignore), it makes perfect sense.

buwaya said...

"I don't work in a cubicle, and I feel sad for people who do"

Don't cry for me, Ms Althouse
The truth is its just a 'puter
All through the projects
My deliverables
I kept my timelines
Dont ding my eval

Oh lame, but it must happen.

Anyway, Scott Adams "Dilbert" is a major work of management philosophy, worthy of study as a critique of so, so many foolish notions that come from the decline of corporate culture. Adams really does have a serious theme, in that the organizational culture of major companies is deteriorating rapidly. The bureaucratic diseases are being treated by quacks (management fads and consultants), because the root causes are too scary to deal with.
The death of technological progress and the resulting economic paralysis is the result.

Whatever you think of the blog, the comic strip is essential reading for anyone who cares about the big picture.

damikesc said...

Frankly, I've avoided him because I've never needed the succor of "Dilbert," since I don't work in a cubicle, and I feel sad for people who do.

You've never had an incredibly unqualified boss who knows virtually nothing of what you do? That's a fairly universal thing people deal with. The "Dilbert Principle" is one of the great truisms out there (that really, REALLY incompetent people get thrust into management because they can cause the least damage there)

buwaya said...

" I have never understood the rational for using cubicles."

Its the usual penny-wise and pound-foolish value systems that run through some strains of management thinking. The incentive structure rewards most middle management more for a 5% savings in facilities expense than any strategic outcome like new products. Because in such an atmosphere there rarely are successful new products and if there are any the credit for them is closely held by upper management.

Michael said...

Not one person would kill themselves over a Trump victory. Not one person would leave the country over a Trump victory.

dreams said...

"But it will be kinda tacky, with too much gold leaf and Italian marble."

The Trump Wall.

Michael said...

Garage

Take heed of Jim's comments at 11:30. Mexico would pay to build the wall to keep their inflow of US aid. If an additional incentive is to keep the transfers flowing from illegals in the US they would build it twice as high and thick. Trump can then moderate his promise to deport 12M to deporting only those with criminal records.

Char Char Binks said...

I believe in Dilbert.

Pookie Number 2 said...

And, in context of the other quotes that were provided (that Mr. Mahal chose to ignore), it makes perfect sense.

You have to use much smaller words for Garage to understand why his unrestrained credulity hurts his ability to criticize other people's alleged beliefs. And even that's no guarantee.

damikesc said...

Trump can then moderate his promise to deport 12M to deporting only those with criminal records.

Wouldn't that still be ALL illegals, since they broke the law to get here.

I see no benefit in keeping people here who's first act as "Americans" was to just violate laws they don't like.

FullMoon said...

Pookie Number 2 said... [hush]​[hide comment]

If you could pookie, would you like to identify the specific content in the last post re garage that you found most "nasty"?


I was just using that as an intro to my main point, which is continued amusement at Garage's monumental ignorance and feeble attempts at wit.

The truth is, I don't think you're actually capable of being as stupid as Garage.


Pookie set the bar fairly high. But antone assuming a funny insult to Garage is a defense, may clear the hurdle.

M Jordan said...

"Michael said...
Not one person would kill themselves over a Trump victory. Not one person would leave the country over a Trump victory."

Except the 12 million he deports, right?

Michael said...

M Jordon

I believe the distinction between leaving "over" the Trump victory is different than "because of" the Trump victory. Plus, keen minds realize that Trump's deportation promise and his wall promise are more in the line of metaphors meaning we will enforce our borders more keenly than ever before and we will deport the shit out of any illegal who breaks the law. Or maybe he will do both.

grackle said...

... Unless Trump is magically all things to all people, he's not a "conservative" at all …

Straw man alert! This needs examples of Trump claiming to be a conservative.

Trump has some big ideas for big government …

We need this sourced also. What are these “big ideas for big government?” Be a little more specific, please.

… a huge new immigration deportation force, with vast federal search powers …

And this is a bad thing? Most conservatives I’ve ever heard on the subject think deporting illegal aliens to be a good thing. Understand, readers, I’m not claiming Trump is a conservative. He is not. But the commentor certainly implies strongly that he, the commentor, is a conservative. However, the commentor seems to be against deportation of illegal aliens. Interesting.

And a vast new array of federal taxes on imports …

Actually, I think Trump has targeted certain countries for this: China, Japan and Mexico – which Trump believes to have unfair advantage with their imports. Here again, I’m just wondering why this is a bad policy. Flesh it out for us.

… and a vast new federal bureaucracy for oversight of manufacturing, to make sure that assembly plants are built in the U.S. …

Once more I’m a little baffled about why trying “to make sure that assembly plants are built in the U.S.” is something to be avoided.

grackle said...

Whatever you think of the blog, the comic strip is essential reading for anyone who cares about the big picture.

After moving into the Whitehouse Trump ought to hire Scott Adams. A new cabinet post. SoD(Secretary of Dilbert).

The ask for the stars approach is simply the most crude form of negotiation … It just makes the process of getting there unnecessarily long and painful. OTOH, it's a pretty good signal that the person across from me is a pretty poor negotiator …

Makes me wonder how Trump amassed his billions – what with his poor negotiating skills and all. Lucked out, I guess.

A cubicle is simply a location.

My preference was always for the open office space. Why? Because I wanted my boss to be able to see directly and clearly that I was working hard. If I’m hidden out of sight that’s not possible. You don’t want bosses guessing about such things. And I liked being able to keep my eye on those who worked for me. In addition, cubicle partitions interfered too much with the swing of my whip. Ah, good times, good times.