March 14, 2016

"Yesterday on Face the Nation, John Dickerson asked Donald Trump a question that didn't seem to make sense."

"Both my mom (Ann Althouse) and I pointed this out without discussing it with each other or reading what the other had said about it. My mom and I are both in the legal field, and we thought it was very odd that Dickerson suggested that since Trump claims he has *followed* the law as a businessperson, it will be hard for him to ask people to follow the law under his administration! So I'd ask John Dickerson to give some kind of clarification or retraction."

Wrote my son John Althouse Cohen, referring to my post "On 'Face the Nation' today, John Dickerson asked Donald Trump a question about law that I — being in the law field — found very weird."

What was very cool was that John Dickerson responded:
Good question. What I was trying to get at is where is he on the question of gaming the laws and abiding by them. Does he think laws exist to be maneuvered around and taken advantage of? In the case of companies like Apple and others he makes a moral objection to their taking advantage of tax and trade laws. But in his own business he says he plays every game he can even when he acknowledges (as he did with H1B visas) that it's a bad thing to do. (He's under investigation both for his use H1B visas and his tax filings) So what I was trying to get at is whether he expects everyone to game the system when he's trying to make the system better or whether he expected a different standard than the one he uses once he's on the other side — since his view of standards is a moving target. (For example, he campaigns against foreign workers taking jobs but hires them; campaigns against foreign made goods but makes them). So where's' the line? How does he draw it? How will he draw those lines when he's president. He offered a lot of that in his answer. The point is to excavate his reasoning. The reason I asked about his event with Dr. Carson is that it's part of the same inquiry: what guides your behavior? Is politics a system to be gamed? Seems like a lot of people are upset about politics being turned into a game this election cycle. As the candidate who has achieved a special status because voters think he tells unique truths, how can he say something seemingly true one minute and then say oh that wasn't true it was just politics the next minute. There's no law against doing that. He's just playing the game. But I keep hearing that people are tired of the game playing. Also, it seems like a pretty shifting set of standards — and campaigns are about whether what you're saying will still be true once you're elected. So why, if his standards are shifting now, should people not think he'll shift his standards when he gets into office. Nothing will be there to bind him in many cases but his personal set of standards. Thanks for asking!
I continue to believe that private citizens are entitled to take advantage and it's the job of government to refine the law and make it right. I don't see any hypocrisy from Trump here. Businesspersons should be competent and government should be competent. Trump is offering to transfer his businessman competence into the field of government and saying it's a plus that he understands the game. 

94 comments:

YoungHegelian said...

what guides your behavior?

Would Dickerson ask that question of Clinton, or Sanders, or, in the past seven years (& before) has it asked it of Obama?

What does he want for "guides your behavior"? "Well, John, I think I guide my life by primarily a Kantian-based deontological ethics, tempered by the neo-Aristotelian ethics favored by ethicists such as Alisdair McIntyre. And, on my bad days, I just think, "Oh, what the fuck. I wanna do this.""

And woe unto the poor candidate who answers that question of "what guides his behavior" with "my abiding & deep faith in Jesus Christ".

cubanbob said...

Good question. What I was trying to get at is where is he on the question of gaming the laws and abiding by them. Does he think laws exist to be maneuvered around and taken advantage of?"

I would be more impressed if Dickerson asked that question on a live on camera Q & A with the chairman of CBS.

rcocean said...

Dickerson answer was weak soup. But it just shows the mindset of the MSM. With Republicans they're always playing critic or Prosecuting attorney.

With the Democrats they're just want them to explain their views. "Do you think Donald trump is a racist, Mrs. Clinton"? "Gee Bernie, what's your view on X?"

Rob said...

Jesus, Dickerson is dumb! It's not that he writes imprecisely, it's that his writing perfectly conveys his imprecise thinking. It's a wonder he can manage to get himself dressed and to the office in the mornings.

Dan Hossley said...

I've come to expect non sequiturs from the Sunday talk show hosts since they all swim in the progressive pool.

The Godfather said...

A person in Dickerson's position ought to be able to phrase a question coherently.

"Gaming" the system implies some kind of underhanded conduct, but there's nothing underhanded, for example, about using foreign workers where the law permits that, even if you or I believe that the law shouldn't permit that, or shouldn't permit as much of it as it does. Tromp's problem (one of many!) is that he has tended to moralize over policy issues, which is part of his appeal to some segments of the electorate, who think that he will prevent things that "the establishment" permits. If the establishment is despicable, Tromp supporters are likely to find, if he's elected, that he is just as despicable, only, perhaps in different ways.

Jack Wayne said...

Dickerson is lying about Trump's position on Apple to shore up his weak argument.

eric said...

This is pretty lame as far as explanations go. It's basically circular reasoning. Trump says he uses laws to best help his business, will he allow others to use his laws to best help their business?

Oh, but Dickerson doesn't frame it like that does he? Instead, he frames it as a Democrat with a byline.

Which is why Trump has gained so much traction.

Dickerson's response tells me he doesn't realize we are onto him.

Even the right media is playing this game and they don't realize we are on to them.

machine said...

"...campaigns against foreign workers taking jobs but hires them; campaigns against foreign made goods but makes them"

hmmm...mebbe he is a republican after all.

Char Char Binks said...

No matter how far Trump stays within the boundaries of the law, he can't be far enough from the edge for Dickerson.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

I blame the voters who conceive the job of Legislators as passing laws. The proper job of Legislators is to craft a minimal, easily understood, concise Body of Law.

Given the size of our present body of laws and regulations, any Legislator whose term looks to end with an increase in page count should NOT be re-elected.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

And yes, ballots should have a NOTA (none of the above) selection. If NOTA receives the most votes, the people have spoken and people prefer the job remain unfilled rather than suffer any of the offered candidates.

Michael said...

Jesus, what a dumbass. "What I was trying to get at is where is he on the question of gaming the laws and abiding by them. Does he think laws exist to be maneuvered around and taken advantage of?"

What does he mean by "gaming the laws" and why does he put that concept in juxtaposition with "abiding" by the laws?

What does he mean by "maneuvered around" and why is it a negative to think that laws exist to "be taken advantage of?"



It is a stunning example of dumbassery.

jr565 said...

" I continue to believe that private citizens are entitled to take advantage and it's the job of government to refine the law and make it right

but trump also goes after companies for also taking advantage of those same laws. Why would he have an issue with apple for example?

David Begley said...

My addendum to Dickerson's answer: Or is Trump more like Obama and just ignore or circumvent laws he doesn't like?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

It shows how shallow our Media deep thinkers are when the ONLY lens they can see through is "hypocrisy." I blame Jon Stewart, but for our smart elites it is embarrassing that "hypocritical or not" is their only analytical tool.

Note too how this gives people they favor on the Left a complete pass--we all know Bill Clinton is an unapologetic skirt chaser so when he sullies his office, commits perjury, and brazenly lies to the public, well, it's not hypocritical so to the Media it is no big deal.

Pathetic, really. And so easily handled! "My line is the law. I follow the law. I think many laws need to change, and I am running for office to change them. That should be easy enough to understand, even for a journalist. Say, why don't you ask Mrs. Clinton about following the law, like the law concerning handling government secrets perhaps?"

jr565 said...

For example. When Nabisco moved plants to Mexico he swore to never eat Oreo's again. So, he doesn't have the attitude that other companies will take advantage of the system and outsource because it's a necessity. He's just mad when OTHER companies do it. He is therefore a hypocrite. He's doing it, but he's vilifying other companies for doing it. He's not just criticizing the law. He's criticizing the companies that doe the actions.
His suits are made in Bangladesh. His ties are made in China. I don't hear Nabisco saying we need to not outsource who with a straight face move their company to Mexico.

Roadkill711 said...

I may have missed it, but this seems an opportune occasion to quote Judge Learned Hand:

"Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as
possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the
treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes.
Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister
in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone
does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any
public duty to pay more than the law demands."

Michael K said...

"Does he think laws exist to be maneuvered around and taken advantage of?"

There is a very old statement that goes, "Set a thief to catch a thief."

That doesn't mean Trump is a thief but he knows where the laws can be evaded. That is pretty useful if you are writing laws but is usually obtained from lobbyists who have a narrow gauge interest.

What if a guy wants to make the laws better and knows where they are weak ?

I'm not saying that is Trump but it fits with the Goldsmith video I keep linking to. George Soros would never tell you because he seems to be still on the make. Why, I don't know.

Goldsmith seemed to have decided he had enough money.

Sigivald said...

"Does he think laws exist to be maneuvered around and taken advantage of?"

Laws exist to prohibit or require certain things.

That's all they can really claim to do.

Refusing to do more than the law requires because it might better match someone's idea of what the law "meant" is not a legal duty*.

And some of us would say that if a law is baseless (lacking proper enumerated power) or unjust it's a moral duty to evade it as much as possible, or even break it - though that's off-topic here.

(* Unless you're Orthodox and we're talking about the Law. But that's ... not the same thing, at all, despite having the same word.)

("Not doing things you think are bad, even though legal" may well be a moral duty, and one could certainly consider faulting Trump for hiring H1Bs even though he claims it's bad to have them - because unlike many pseudo-parallel cases, the H1B holder can't come over without a sponsor.

But that's not a matter of law.)

Michael K said...

"If NOTA receives the most votes, the people have spoken and people prefer the job remain unfilled rather than suffer any of the offered candidates."

When I was a medical student a guy ran for student body president at USC with a platform that, if elected, he would abolish student government. He was elected.

Of course, he didn't abolish it but it was a good platform.

Michael said...

Michael K

When William Buckley was asked what he would have done if he had won the election for Mayor of NY he said he would demand a recount. Those were the days. Those were the men.

Jonathan Graehl said...

I'm not impressed. No apology (Trump would give him props). If that's what he was getting at, why didn't he get at it with his question? It was so inadequate that Trump didn't even *have* to dodge it.

I do understand "What rules are you playing by? What's for real and what's just a strategy to keep hand/status?" I wonder the same about Trump. We know he's not a globalist billionaire puppet (he's just a billionaire, but his *own*). Ask him that explicitly, then. Your tricksy-false hobbitsses doesn't fool usss. No it doesn't, precious. Be a man.

R. Chatt said...

"Trump is offering to transfer his businessman competence into the field of government and saying it's a plus that he understands the game." AA Exactly! Trump isn't claiming he should be supported because he's a changed or a different person, simply that he understands the system thoroughly and he knows the problems the rigged system by corporate and political power has created. He wants to fix that.

How pathetic that the left is so brainwashed that they believe the corrupt media propaganda that Trump is a racist, bigot and enemy of the people. How ironic that the left claims Trump supporters are all uneducated bigots like in Nazi Germany, while it's the left that routinely shuts down free speech.

BTW, that video link to Sir James Goldsmith on free trade was very helpful. I've used it elsewhere. Thanks to Michael K.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Ouch, cubanbob. Right to the heart of it: "I would be more impressed if Dickerson asked that question on a live on camera Q & A with the chairman of CBS."

gadfly said...

It seems to me that Dickerson has a point. Throughout his real estate career, Trump has played everything to the edge of legality and lawsuits result. He also threatens lawsuits to get people to do what he wants even though he cannot strip first amendment speech as a celebrity.

Some examples:

He deliberately cut services in a newly-purchased your apartment building to get rent-controlled tenants to leave. He flat out quit doing repairs.

He hired the infamous Polish Gang to tear down an asbestos-contaminated building. He also paid them below construction scale and did not insist on safety equipment such as air tanks and hard hats because he knew them to be illegals.

He built Trump Towers advertising luxury apartments and then did not adhere to promised standards for such things as lighting, carpeting and cabinets. He lied that the 58 story building had 68 floors.

He fudged the books to get his father's investment in the casinos treated as a loan only to have the NJ Gaming Commission fine him big time.

He rubbed shoulders with underworld characters, including Mafioso, who helped him build his skyscrapers - but now he doesn't know "Little Nicky," "Chicken Man" and "Crazy Phil."

Trump is the ultimate gamer of bankruptcy laws as we all know, but many don't think that declaring bankruptcy four times is stealing.

Donald is the ultimate crony capitalist using his influence with politicians to get his way - and he wins mostly except when he takes on little old ladies in eminent domain. In the meantime he spreads some goodies around like stays at the Casinos and the Florida club and free rides on his jet.

Donald engaged in illegal activities such as Trump University, which he was required to rename Trump Entrepreneur Initiative because it was not a real university. That scam should put him in jail, but like Hillary, he is too rich to imprison.

YoungHegelian said...

@R. Chatt,

How pathetic that the left is so brainwashed that they believe the corrupt media propaganda that Trump is a racist, bigot and enemy of the people. How ironic that the left claims Trump supporters are all uneducated bigots like in Nazi Germany

And to think that this evil, evil, man was out & about in NYC! A bon vivant, man about town, celebrated as a native son of the Big Apple, hobnobbing with the rich & famous!

And he's the next incarnation of Hitler! Amazing how none of those NYC Jews ever noticed it. I thought Jews were supposed to be smart. Especially NYC Jews, as they'll let you know at the drop of a hat. Or, in a New York minute.

Trump is so bigoted it's hard to find his like outside of a Mississippi trailer park. But, there he was, for years & years, right in the middle of those sophisticated New Yorkers who never knew they were drinking Billy Bob McButtfuck's champagne in that penthouse!

Big Apple, I'm so disappointed in you....

dreams said...

Arthur Laffer of the Laffer curve fame says he thinks Trump would be a great president just now on Lou Dobbs.

PWS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dreams said...

I really like Arthur Laffer and Larry Kudlow and they like Trump.

David Begley said...

Cruz will elminate the IRS.



coupe said...

I have this memory of a case from years and years ago. It goes like this:

This man is pulled over on a traffic stop. He's a two time loser, and anything can get him in jail for life.

It's my understanding that he was still allowed to own a gun, so I'm not sure of how that is decided.

Anyway, the law was clear, that if you have a loaded gun in your car, where the person has access to it while driving, than that is a felony, and you go to jail.

So, he knows he's going to jail for life, and he sells everything, and gets his affairs in order.

He gets this public defender who kind of just pats him on the back, because he knows there's nothing he can do. The man then says he sold his car to a friend who will continue with the business.

What??

Yea, I was a traveling salesman, and I used my car to sell products.

What?? !! !!

So, the state makes their case at trial, and the judge pretty much is ready to send the man upstate.

The public defender stands up and recites an exception in the law, where a person can have a loaded weapon within his reach, if he is in his place of business.

Objection!! Yells the prosecutor.

The Judge just laughs, and dismisses the case.

Question: Is this cheating, or using the law to let a criminal go?

Film at 11...

Curtiss said...

John Dickerson should be introduced to the paragraph.

coupe said...

The problem really isn't the IRS.

The problem is the IRS has no control over where the money they bring in goes.

They could be very efficient at what they do, and never get ahead.

The problem is unfunded mandates and debt. How do we solve that. The way to solve it of course, is to pay down the debt.

At this late date, the only way to get Congress out of the till, is to create a Constitutional Amendment.

To wit, I would propose that the Government would be allowed to run a debt for only 6 years. Then it must balance the debt for 4 years. The debt being the difference between what the IRS takes in, and what Congress spends.

Second, that a VAT (National Sales Tax) be started, which can only be used to pay for debt or unfunded mandates by Congress.

This VAT would be a percentage of the debt or IOU outstanding. I would propose a maximum of 21%, in case the country rolls craps for 6 years.

Anyway, it's more than just a scheme, it is a solution that will end debt every 6 years. Then the country can have it's wealth again for another 4 years.

The reason I choose 6 years, is that wars need to be paid, and wars can put you in a lot of debt.

It is said, that even though the latest B-52's came off the assembly line in the early 60's, they have never been paid for. The bill is still part of the debt.

mccullough said...

If that's what Dickerson was intending, then he needs to do his job a lot better.

Michael K said...

"I really like Arthur Laffer and Larry Kudlow and they like Trump."

Yes and there are reasons.

'"Cruz will elminate the IRS."

David, if you believe this....

gadfly said...

dreams said...
I really like Arthur Laffer and Larry Kudlow and they like Trump.

I like Art Laffer and Larry Kudlow too, as economists, but I don't know them well enough to allow them to influence my judgement regarding Trump ethics.

Trump isn't my idea of Hitler-like, but I happen to believe, as does Angelo Codevilla, that Donald's narcissism is as rampant as Barry Soetoro's personality disorder.

Michael K said...

"Second, that a VAT (National Sales Tax) be started, which can only be used to pay for debt or unfunded mandates by Congress."

There might be a way to do this and create a sinking fund but Congress will never do it.

cubanbob said...

Rob said...
Jesus, Dickerson is dumb! It's not that he writes imprecisely, it's that his writing perfectly conveys his imprecise thinking. It's a wonder he can manage to get himself dressed and to the office in the mornings.

3/14/16, 5:37 PM

Dang! Now that's pithy! From one Bob to another, can I steal that line " It's not that he writes imprecisely, it's that his writing perfectly conveys his imprecise thinking"?

Skeptical Voter said...

Dickerson is full of more sloppy thinking than the Christmas Goose.

JaimeRoberto said...

What's the difference between gaming the law and complying with the law? Maybe that's the question he should have asked. Then he could have followed up with some examples from Trump's past and asked, gaming or complying?

mccullough said...

Gaming the law is what wealthy corporations and individuals can do because they can afford high-priced accountants, financial advisors, and lawyers to advise them how they can make a buck. Whenever you hear the term "loophole," it means that someone figured out how to comply with the law and capitalize on it at the same time.

So private equity firms "exploit the loophole" of the favorable tax treatment of carried interest and have been doing so for almost 40 years.

A more nefarious way to game the system is to take your chances on a lack of ability for the government to enforce compliance with the law. Businesses know that the Department of Labor isn't going to look into whether a business really tried to hire a qualified American before hiring an H1-B or H2-B worker. But rolling the dice on a lack of compliance isn't complying with the law. But businesses understand the enforcement policy and resources of any government agency and also have former regulators on the payroll to deal with their former colleagues in case anything comes up.



cubanbob said...

Coupe you are on to something there. Considering that in the first ObamaCare ruling the Supreme Court ruled that the states can't be coerced in to spending I'm surprised none of them to date have acted on that when it comes to unfunded mandates. Perhaps I'm missing something and perhaps some of the lawyers who blog here can comment on this.

n.n said...

Dickerson is not referring to laws as secular provisions but as religious or moral prescriptions with an intent to influence and modify behavior. He's disappointed that accidental or intentional loopholes in those laws have been discovered by unauthorized individuals, and that now at least one individual is threatening to expose and close them. Presumably, this is the reason for the emotional outburst from left, right, and center, in government, the press, and hate mobs and on the street.

Jupiter said...

There is a presumption that what the law requires is also what morality, decency and good conduct require. Were that the case, then to comply with the letter of the law, while evading the underlying purpose, would be immoral, indecent, and bad conduct.

Of course, that is not the case. The law is now whatever Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton says it is, assuming they can be bothered to explain it to the rest of us.

Big Mike said...

Well, there is game-playing, and there is game-playing. The term is used by Dickerson in two somewhat different senses, and I think that it's something he is doing deliberately.

Dickerson writes "Is politics a system to be gamed? Seems like a lot of people are upset about politics being turned into a game this election cycle."

I would answer Dickerson's question in the affirmative. You win an election by winning at least 50% of the vote, plus one. As long as you don't reach that goal by illegal means (like having dead people vote in Cook County, Illinois) you are doing precisely what a politician running for election or reelection is supposed to do.

Jimmy Carter, to name names, was the DNC campaign chairman in 1974-1975, which allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the rules for securing the nomination and to exploit them in his underdog candidacy in 1976. He followed the rules as they stood and beat much better known candidates like Scoop Jackson Frank Church, and Mo Udall for the nomination. Would Dickerson say that Carter acted illegally or immorally? He certainly took advantage of the rules as they were at that time. I stand with Althouse in arguing that that's precisely what he was supposed to do.

Hillary Clinton is doing the same -- she loses primaries to Bernie Sanders, but emerges with more delegates thanks to the Democrat "superdelegate" system. Is that illegal or immoral? Or is she playing by the rules? If the Democrats look back in 2017 and decide that superdelegates were really not a good idea, they can do so, but I don't think she should be criticized for playing by the rules that her party set up.

Then Dickerson switches to using the term "game-playing" the way it's used to describe people putting up a fa├žade and, well, playing games in a relationship. Yes, that certainly turns people off. Is that what Trump is doing? To some extent isn't that what Cruz and Rubio and Jeb Bush and, especially, Clinton are doing? The totally authentic people in the nomination race were Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, and Bernie Sanders. (Maybe Huckabee too.) Note that only Sanders is left.

There's an interesting parallel with 1976. Back then people were disillusioned with government after Watergate and the sorry end to the Vietnam War. Today people are disillusioned with government because of an economic recovery that only ever benefited Wall Street and the Dow Jones, and totally ignored the factories and the mines and farmers and "flyover country." They saw us win Iraq, and blunder it away. They saw us start a war in Libya for allegedly humanitarian reasons and now Libya is more of a hellhole than ever. Can you trust government when the EPA was responsible for the biggest environmental catastrophe in 2015? People are angry and disillusioned and Trump is playing (there's that word again!) the role of outsider to the hilt. Nothing wrong with that.

I just hope he turns out better than Carter, which is a very low bar.

traditionalguy said...

Dickheaderson is still off base and just easily spouts off the Globalist POV that LAW must be equally benefit all nations and capitalists internationally to be a true law of the world.

Its is not just Personal exceptionalism and Private Busianess exceptionalism under attack as badness, it is any hint of American National exceptualism that is their Target. That is what Obama , the GOP's Kasich and Mitt Romney guys, and all one world flow of capital guys are targeting.

Border??? What are borders???




cubanbob said...

Jonathan Graehl said...
Ouch, cubanbob. Right to the heart of it: "I would be more impressed if Dickerson asked that question on a live on camera Q & A with the chairman of CBS."

3/14/16, 6:34 PM

Thanks. The older I get the less I can stomach sanctimonious twits and poseurs. That's Trump's appeal. He just doesn't give a crap simply because he can afford not to give a crap. In a nutshell he has reached a point in his life that few people can; old enough but not too old and rich enough to simply not have to give a crap.

@ Gadfly read your parade of horrible's and all true and yet it doesn't equal Hillary Clinton's. In short who is worse? He who offers the bribe or he who takes it? To me it's the guy who takes it. That's Hillary.

Beldar said...

I don't think they have classes at journalism school on "How to ask a clear question."

They didn't have that class in law school, either, but I know tons and tons of trial lawyers who have the knack.

It's nice that Dickerson responded to JAC at such length. But I have no clue what he thinks he was trying to say, or what point he thinks he was trying to make -- and neither of those is his damned job anyway. It's his job to ask clear questions, and he can't manage to do that.

Mark Caplan said...

I'm for Trump because, unlike every other candidate in both parties, he occasionally does say something that is true and right. Even if it's only ten percent of the time, that's ten percent more than the rest of the field.

cubanbob said...

mccullough said...
Gaming the law is what wealthy corporations and individuals can do because they can afford high-priced accountants, financial advisors, and lawyers to advise them how they can make a buck. Whenever you hear the term "loophole," it means that someone figured out how to comply with the law and capitalize on it at the same time.

So private equity firms "exploit the loophole" of the favorable tax treatment of carried interest and have been doing so for almost 40 years."

Bill, Hillary and Barack are experts in gaming the law and selling special indulgences. That's their career specialty. Their client base is just different from the ones you think they have.

@ Big Mike indeed Carter was a low bar but that didn't hinder Barack in being able to limbo under it. While its a possibility its highly unlikely that a guy as stocky and old as Trump can go that low under the limbo stick.

pm317 said...

I started reading his response but it failed to grip me. On the other hand, the guy is eye candy. If there is a male equivalent to the cliche sexy blonde, Dickerson is it.

Gusty Winds said...

Maybe they're equivalent, but people think selling influence is worse than buying it. Trump has simply said he bought influence because it was for sale.

Same with using laws to his advantage. When the speed limit sign says 55, we drive 60 to 70. When it says 70, we drive 70 to 80.

Big Mike said...

@Gusty, excellent point.

Hagar said...

I'll never understand women.
To me John Dickerson just looks like an untrustworthy piece of schmalz.

pm317 said...

I like you too, Hagar!

jr565 said...

"I'm for Trump because, unlike every other candidate in both parties, he occasionally does say something that is true and right. Even if it's only ten percent of the time, that's ten percent more than the rest of the field."

Ben carson said he endorsed Trump because Trump is actually a different person behind the scenes. and reads and stuff. The NYT says behind the scenes he says he's softer on immigration than he says in public. That's two people saying that he is basically lying in public.
So when you say he says something true, is he in fact telling the truth?

He reminds me of obama saying to Russia that we have more flexibility after the election. What does that mean?

Tom said...

My grandmother, who was somewhere to the right of William F Buckley and a saint of a person, told me that it's not only our right, but also our duty as American citizens to pay as little in taxes as legally possible. That doesn't mean I don't think corporate loopholes should be closed - I most certainly do. I see Trump following the same advice.

jr565 said...

Will Trump ties and trump clothes work as businesses if all of the manufacturing is done in the US? I'd think that if it was a sound business idea Trump would have already done it. I don't see Trump making laws that make it hard for him to continue to be a billionaire. I'm willing to bet money that he will not attempt to pass laws that so fundamentally hurt his business interests.

David said...

Dickerson asks " Is politics a system to be gamed? "

This from a guy who grew up in the belly of the beast in Washington, D.C? I'm sure he knows that the answer is "yes" under nearly every circumstance. Does he really expect an insurgent to be any different? We aren't looking for purity here. We are looking for someone who will take on issues that have been bullshitted to death. I'm a free trader, but of course "free trade" is a bullshit definition. It can't be the universal answer to everything, and bravo that someone wants to step back and look at the system again, while at the same time telling our rivals-partners (they are both) that the next negotiation is going to be different. Ditto with immigration. Immigration is one of the bedrocks of our society. Illegal immigration isn't. Even though we can't deport 11 million people, it's time to make the bedrock principle clear. The same with every issue down the line.

Does Dickerson think we need a president who does not know how to game systems? How would Lincoln, FDR, Reagan or even Obama have fared without doing so? Or JFK, who helped to make Dickerson's mom a great success.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

It reminds me of the use of the word "loopholes." It's not a loophole, it's an area that the law does not allow or disallow. Althouse is right, we are not supposed to find ways to punish ourselves under the law. If it's a problem, then the elected officials can fill in the spot with a law, or not. Dickerson is incapable of intellectual honesty. Because of truckloads of Dickersons, we now have Trump.

iowan2 said...

The question put to Trump is in essence, what I have been waiting for in the Democrat debate. Would Clinton's wife accept behavior that mirrors hers from her cabinet? Bringing on Sid Blumenthal, despite him being banned by the President, Illegally setting up a private e mail server despite the requirement of state that all classified communications takes place on approved machines only.

So would she put up with her own shit, as President

Sammy Finkelman said...

The question didn't make any sense to me - John Dickerson seemed to be confusing (possibly) violating the spirit of the law by using loopholes, with violating the letter of the law (not following it) In those quotes about H1-B visas and bankruptcy laws, that John Dickerson cited Donald Trump never said he violated the letter of the law. And then Trump, prpbably because he's too dense, did not correct him.

Then he went on to say that he he is not doing anything wrong and what he did with the visas is allowed.

Then John Dickerson seemed to switch to playing the game, which is a different thing - people are always going to game the system, especially with taxes, and we should not expect anything different. It's long established that this can be done. Sometimes Congress enacts tax provisions intentionally, with the hope, at least ostensibly, that people should change their behavior.

And once having switched to playing the game, John Dickerson asked if that was going on in campaigns. Then Donald Trump tried to say the things he said during the campaign about Carson were true, or at least based on his book, (even if they weren't really such bad things, which he seemed to be implying) and went on to say bad things about Kasich, with whom he's competing in Ohio.

Drago said...

jr565: "Will Trump ties and trump clothes work as businesses if all of the manufacturing is done in the US? I'd think that if it was a sound business idea Trump would have already done it. I don't see Trump making laws that make it hard for him to continue to be a billionaire. I'm willing to bet money that he will not attempt to pass laws that so fundamentally hurt his business interests"

But what happens when your narrow, "non-core" business interests conflict with your political interests? What if a tactical short term business interest setback creates mid-term political interest benefits which themselves position you strategically for far greater business success in the long term?

Sammy Finkelman said...

Some of the things Donald Trump has said he did would seem to outright break criminal law, although he didn't specifically say that, but he let Ted Cruz, in one debate, comment about him possibly corruptly giving money tp get a zoning variation.

Cruz was arguing that corruption might make sense as an explanation for Donald trump's campiagn contributions on a local level, but when he supported national Democrats on a national level, that had to be what he really wanted (presumably, because the contributions were too insignificant.

Donald Trump argued it was indeed corruption, and not ideology (but he didn't make a good case)

[In truth, it was probably self-promotion, and Donald Trump at that time maybe didn't know exactly how he was going to go in politics.]

Here it is:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/us/politics/transcript-of-the-republican-presidential-debate-in-detroit.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

CRUZ: ...If you look to the actual record — you know, Donald mentioned a moment ago that he was just doing business when he was writing checks to liberal Democrats. But that’s not, in fact, the checks he was writing.

Listen, we could all understand if you write a check to a city commission because you’re looking for a zoning waiver on building a building. That may be corrupt, but you could understand real estate developers doing that.

CRUZ: That’s not what Donald Trump did. Donald Trump supported Jimmy Carter over Ronald Reagan. Donald supported John Kerry over George W. Bush. If you don’t like Obamacare, Donald Trump funded Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi taking over Congress to pass Obamacare.

On immigration, if you don’t like amnesty, if you don’t like the Gang of Eight, Donald Trump funded five of the eight members of the Gang of Eight $50,000....

Donald Trump has written checks to Hillary Clinton not once, not twice, not three times. Ten times. And four of those checks were not to her Senate campaign. It wasn’t that she was the New York senator and it was a cost of doing business. It was to her presidential campaign.

Donald Trump in 2008 wrote four checks to elect Hillary Clinton as president.
[That may be only one time fact checkers said]

KELLY: OK.

CRUZ: So I’d like to ask Donald, why did you write checks to Hillary Clinton to be president in 2008? It wasn’t for business. And how can you stand on a debate stage now with her and say you don’t think she should be president?

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Actually, it was for business. It was. It was. It was for business. I pride myself, including outside of the United States. I’m doing almost 120 deals outside of the — which I hope to be able to stop very soon and let my children handle it — but we’re doing many, many deals outside of the United States.

I support politicians. In 2008, I supported Hillary Clinton. I supported many other people, by the way. And that was because of the fact that I’m in business. I did support very heavily Ronald Reagan. I also supported George Bush, by the way.











John Dickerson could have

Sammy Finkelman said...

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...3/14/16, 5:59 PM

And yes, ballots should have a NOTA (none of the above) selection. If NOTA receives the most votes, the people have spoken and people prefer the job remain unfilled rather than suffer any of the offered candidates.

No, NOTA has got to be a separate ballot question.

1. Should the election be done over?

2. If it isn't, which candidate do you prefer?

And maybe there should also be aseparate ballot question about incumbents, perhaps after 2 or 3 terms.

1. Should Incumbent X be eligible for re-elecion?

2. If yes, who would you vote for among these candidates?

3. If no, who would you vote for? (and the incumbents party could have acandidate for the occasion.)




Sammy Finkelman said...

Sometimes campaign contributions get made to build relationships with third parties. Someone is not trying to help a candiidate, but to hel some third person who is trying to help the candidate.

These people, if they do a lot of it, are known as bundlers - or taht's one kind of bundler. (for some people, a $1,000 check is a small favor)

Sammy Finkelman said...

So private equity firms "exploit the loophole" of the favorable tax treatment of carried interest and have been doing so for almost 40 years."

But by now, that's being maintained deliberately. I don't know what the origins may have been, but it might have been a good tax lawyer and/or a lawyer who knew the judge. Possibly it was a careful selection of cases, each time moving more toward the manager being able to gte income in the form of capital gains.


Michael K said...

"The NYT says behind the scenes he says he's softer on immigration than he says in public. That's two people saying that he is basically lying in public.
So when you say he says something true, is he in fact telling the truth? "

This is really lame, There was a discussion about whether Bush read books and what they were.

Come on !

Public figures have private lives. Some even say "Fuck!" once in a while.

Calm down.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Beldar said...3/14/16, 8:11 PM

It's his job to ask clear questions, and he can't manage to do that.

He didn't, at least not at the start. I mean, there is a difference between taking advantage of a loophole, and (not) following the law, even if Donald Trump didn't bother to correct him.

John Dickerson did shift to "gaming the system" (which is coming up with maybe new loopholes, although sometimes can mean doing something that fits with the paperwork but is not legal) and then shifted the subject from "gaming the system" - that is, gaming or exploiting the details of laws - to playing games in politics.

That is not a clear question.

Sammy Finkelman said...

"The NYT says behind the scenes he says he's softer on immigration than he says in public"

Maybe not softer than what he says, so much as softer than the immigration plan on his website.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Big Mike said...

Jimmy Carter, to name names, was the DNC campaign chairman in 1974-1975,

I didn't hear that before. Now I want to check.

which allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the rules for securing the nomination and to exploit them in his underdog candidacy in 1976. He followed the rules as they stood and beat much better known candidates like Scoop Jackson Frank Church, and Mo Udall for the nomination.

They weren;'t better known in Iowa. Jimmy Carter spent a year campaigning in Iowa and was much better known theer. Scoop Jacksoon had only a 10% name recognition rate.

Of course Jimmy Carter lied to the press and claimed people were for him because he was an outsider.


Sebastian said...

"behind the scenes he says he's softer on immigration than he says in public" Softer than what? He has said, and his son has confirmed, that he is in favor of touchback amnesty. On illegals, he wants to be "fair" to the "good ones." He is "changing" on special-skills visas. To my knowledge, he rarely expounds on the actual proposals on his website. Softer could mean (a "deal" yours truly predicted): no wall. Also, more Muslims--only "good ones," of course.

Walter Freeman said...

I wish Dickerson would explain why they Photoshopped all of the candidates faces over identical American flags except for Trump in their poll graphics yesterday.

http://i.imgur.com/Hf0V7Cq.jpg

Ron said...

Ann, your summary misses the point of the inconsistency not only between Trump's policy positions and his own behavior but also between his criticism of other businessmen and his own behavior.

Walter Freeman said...

I've been trying to get that Face the Nation pic into wider circulation through an Althouse, Instapundit, or Kausfiles mention, but not luck.

Oh well.

tim in vermont said...

Well you could hot link it, I think it's worth it More John Dickerson shenanigans

tim in vermont said...

What's funny is he all but worshiped Obama, who used his own symbol instead of the national flag, sort of like he who shall not be named did in the '30s

grackle said...

He's just mad when OTHER companies do it. He is therefore a hypocrite. He's doing it, but he's vilifying other companies for doing it.

No, Trump is not “mad” at companies that stay within the law. He merely points out that the law should be changed and tells his supporters why. That’s not hypocrisy – that’s reform. Trump is a right of center reform-minded moderate with some libertarian tendencies on the question of foreign policy.

Another comment about Trump: He deliberately cut … [blah, blah blah] … He fudged the books … [blah, blah, blah … Trump is the ultimate gamer … [blah, blah and more blah] … he is too rich to imprison.

Here’s the tactic: Hurl a crap-load of spurious allegations. Offer no proof of any of it. No links, no quotes, nothing. I call it the ‘shotgun’ approach.

Brando said...

"The NYT says behind the scenes he says he's softer on immigration than he says in public. That's two people saying that he is basically lying in public.
So when you say he says something true, is he in fact telling the truth? "

You know, when Trump pushed the "birther" nonsense on Obama (funny how no one seems to ask him about that embarrassing nonsense anymore--he really has the media cowed) his big argument was "hey, if Obama has nothing to hide, he can clear the record right now by releasing his long-form certificate!"

In that spirit, Trump can clear up any concerns about what he said to the New York Times by agreeing to let them release the record of that conversation. Hilariously, he says the reason he won't do that is he respects the integrity of "off the record" talks--as if this was in the NYT's interest! What an obvious line of BS. He never disappoints.

It's a safe assumption that whatever he told the Times he at least fears would damage him among his supporters. Maybe it was something along the lines of "hey, I need to say what it takes to get elected, we'll see what actually gets accomplished once I have power." Otherwise, hey Trump, you can clear the air by agreeing to release the record!

tim in vermont said...

Remember when he asked Obama why he "gamed the system" on Obamacare by ignoring an election in Massachusetts and by passing it through reconciliation, rather than through normal order?

No, neither do I. He is either not very bright, or extremely partisan, or more likely, the fact that he is not very bright makes him a liberal.

CStanley said...

I'm not clear on what Dickerson was trying to get at, but after reading the initial post yesterday I had a different impression than the one he gave in his response here.

I thought he was implying that people are likely to resent Trump advocating a change to laws that he himself had taken advantage of to enrich himself (IOW, the "pulling the ladder up after yourself" argument.) I don't think that argument holds water, but it is one that liberals might respond to (a subset of liberal who aren't likely to consider voting for Trump.)

But more importantly, Ron at 11:19 said something I think that Althouse and most commenters are overlooking. It's not that Trump wants to change laws that he has previously used to his own advantage, it's that he is publicly calling out and shaming other corporations for doing the same thing right now. That's the part that is rank hypocrisy. Dickerson should have asked why Nabisco and Carrier are wrong to do what Trump's apparel manufacturers have done,

Brando said...

"But more importantly, Ron at 11:19 said something I think that Althouse and most commenters are overlooking. It's not that Trump wants to change laws that he has previously used to his own advantage, it's that he is publicly calling out and shaming other corporations for doing the same thing right now. That's the part that is rank hypocrisy. Dickerson should have asked why Nabisco and Carrier are wrong to do what Trump's apparel manufacturers have done,"

I think that's the key point here, and Dickerson is part of a long line of media figures who are so flummoxed by Trump they haven't figured out how to ask serious but fair questions (not that Trump would consider any question fair--he's a thin skinned child).

Had Trump simply said "our laws and policies are making good companies take their business overseas to remain competitive, so I want to change those laws" that would be one thing--in fact, it's what Republicans usually say re: corporate relocations and moving jobs from states like Michigan to states like Alabama. But instead Trump does what a lot of Democrats do--make the companies out to be villains for doing this, and the fact that he has repeatedly done this himself makes him a hypocrite (though even if he wasn't a hypocrite, calling out businesses for legally looking out for their interests is leftist crapulence).

Dickerson may have flubbed his question, but Trump is still a dishonest sack of garbage.

tim in vermont said...

That's the part that is rank hypocrisy.

No, he's saying these laws stink and we should change them. But if you insist on refusing to understand it,there's a saying about leading a horse to water.

tim in vermont said...

It's his same argument about giving money to Hillary, it stinks, but that's the way America is and it should change. And Hillary showed up at his wedding even though she claims to be "no friend of his." So she did it for the money. Not to mention the opportunity to mingle with rich donors and hear their "concerns."

Brando said...

"No, he's saying these laws stink and we should change them. But if you insist on refusing to understand it,there's a saying about leading a horse to water."

He did more than that, though--he singled out companies for shame and claimed he would never use their products.

"It's his same argument about giving money to Hillary, it stinks, but that's the way America is and it should change. And Hillary showed up at his wedding even though she claims to be "no friend of his." So she did it for the money. Not to mention the opportunity to mingle with rich donors and hear their "concerns.""

That just makes them both look bad, which for those of us who can't stand either of them it's just grist for the mill. But this idea that he had to give to her for "business"--what "business" did he get from this? How did paying her to attend his wedding help him in any of his deals? He has never provided plausible specifics on this.

CStanley said...

Tim, help me understand. If he meant that we should change laws to keep Nabisco and Ford manufacturing in the US, why didn't he say that instead of saying that he'll never eat another Oreo again? Why direct anger at the corporation (which is doing exactly what the companies that manufacture clothing lines with his brand on them do) instead of at the government policies that make those decisions rational?

CWJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CWJ said...

Brando wrote -

"Had Trump simply said "our laws and policies are making good companies take their business overseas to remain competitive, so I want to change those laws" that would be one thing--in fact, it's what Republicans usually say re: corporate relocations and moving jobs from states like Michigan to states like Alabama. But instead Trump does what a lot of Democrats do--make the companies out to be villains for doing this, and the fact that he has repeatedly done this himself makes him a hypocrite (though even if he wasn't a hypocrite, calling out businesses for legally looking out for their interests is leftist crapulence). "

I agree. "...it's what Republicans usually say..." and then lose. Nobly perhaps, but still lose. Sadly, "...what a lot of Democrats do..." wins on the national stage. Not justifying it, just pointing out the practical dilemma that candidates face.

CStanley said...

CWJ, that's a decent theory, that he's playing to rubes on both sides. I can't condone that either but at least as strategy it makes some sense, instead of just being stupid and incoherent.

tim in vermont said...

Yeah, the Oreo thing was a bit of troubling grandstanding. Like I said, I won't vote for the guy, but his larger point is still valid. He's like cigarettes, might give you cancer, but they have undeniable benefits or they wouldn't be so popular.

Hagar said...

Trump intends to become the 45th president of the United States; he is not into political science (which in any case is a contradiction in terms) seminars.
Already being Donald Trump, he could not run anything resembling a conventional campaign and what he did come up with seems to be working pretty well.

Hyphenated American said...

Obama claims that rich are not paying their fair share. Well, does it mean he pays more than what the tax law requires? Was he using Bush's tax cuts? And how did he expect people to pay more in taxes, if he did not?