July 14, 2017

"An in-depth analysis of the false allegations and misleading claims made against the 45th President since his inauguration."

At Snopes!
Broadly speaking, most of the falsehoods levelled against Trump fall into one or more of four categories, each of them drawing from and feeding into four public personas inhabited by the President. They are:

• Donald Trump: International Embarrassment
• Trump the Tyrant
• Donald Trump: Bully baby
• Trump the Buffoon.

Some of these claims are downright fake... But the rest... provide a fascinating insight into the tactics and preoccupations of the broad anti-Trump movement.... Generally speaking, we discovered that they are characterized and driven by four types of errors of thought:

• Alarmism
• A lack of historical context or awareness
• Cherry-picking of evidence (especially visual evidence)
• A failure to adhere to Occam’s Razor — the common-sense understanding that the simplest explanation for an event or behavior is the most likely.
Much detail at the link.

264 comments:

1 – 200 of 264   Newer›   Newest»
Nonapod said...

It's pretty fascinating how human minds are able to project so many different things on the same person. We build our own stories and choose to believe or disbelieve various things to fit them. But reality tends to be more dull than our own imaginations, less conspiratorial, more error driven, sometimes more tragic and sometimes more comic.

n.n said...

drawing from and feeding into

Hedging their prejudice.

Unknown said...

Alarmism?

With the recent revelations of the Trump campaign meeting with Russians, which looks like collusion/ conspiracy, one should be alarmed, if one is a thinking person.

Cherry picking? Nope. The Russia connection goes far and wide, an entire basket of cherries actually.

It's beyond parody now to continue to dream up innocent excuses for collusion with an adversary nation by the Trump campaign. If you consider yourself a common sense person and still believe this is all just oppo research, you're delusional.

Chuck said...

The mainstream media (gosh, I hate that term more and more these days) has always been rough on Republicans. Meet Dan "Fake but Accurate" Rather.

But what about all of the Donald Trump howlers, the falsehoods, the insane puffery and phony salesmanship, that is beyond dispute mostly because there is video and/or other recordings of Trump doing and/or saying it?

Fake news about Trump doesn't faze me. It's the stuff that beyond doubt that I find so astonishing.

A Birther. A Vaxxer. A Truther. A draft dodger. The "pussy grabber." The "General Pershing" speech. 'The biggest win since Reagan.' The John Miller/John Baron calls and tapes.

I mean, I am not even researching this stuff; this is right off the top of my head.

St. George said...

Then there is the possibility that President Trump will be one of the truly great presidents, something one rarely sees written.

There are two types of leaders, according to Harvard B-School Prof. Gautam Mukunda. The type most often seen in politics is what he calls the "Filtered" leader, a Gerry Ford or Neville Chamberlain or Hillary Clinton. Someone who has spent their life in politics and has been vetted thoroughly.

According to him, the best leaders are "Unfiltered," outsiders who ascended to the top somewhat through chance.

"Lincoln is the ultimate example of the unfiltered leader. Two-time loser in Senate races, and so outside the system that he wasn’t even listed in the top 10 Republican presidential candidates in some newspapers in 1860. Most other Republican leaders thought the South was bluffing about secession and would have let them go peacefully, expecting them to return soon enough. Only Lincoln had the capacity to say “We won’t give up Fort Sumter without a fight,” to come up with a strategy that forced the South to fire the first shot, and to unite the North behind him. I think if anyone other than Lincoln had been president, the North would have lost the war—if there even was a war."

"in Britain in May 1940, when the German offensive had begun and the Chamberlain government fell, nearly everyone wanted Lord Halifax—the quintessential insider—to be prime minister. But Halifax turned the job down, and Churchill was the only other candidate. Then Churchill chose to keep fighting, which Halifax wouldn’t have done. That’s the wrinkle: Leadership doesn’t matter much, until the rare moment comes when it’s the most important thing. So you want filtered leadership, right until you need unfiltered leadership."

Who else but Trump would have been tough enough to deal with the Russians, Chinese, and North Koreans? Who else has the deal-making background? Who else would have had the balls for brinksmanship? We don't know the answer yet, but he is one tough son-of-a-bitch, that Trump.

buwaya puti said...

Did someone get to Snopes?
I wonder what leverage was used.
This sort of thing does not come out of nothing.

The BubFather said...

I only have internet chatter confirming something happened. Oh my, how often has that turned out to be nonsense?

Well, here's my internet chatter for the day. Supposedly, Paul Manafort's phone was bugged during the meeting with this Russian woman, ordered by Loretta Lynch. Should I believe it? Heck no, not until CNN carries it, since they'll only release it if it's damaging to Trump. And then they'll suggest there was something even more sinister discussed at the meeting.

See, I can do this as well. I'll be a lot more comfortable when Mueller releases some kind of report. Who knows how long that'll take?

William Chadwick said...

My favorite is that Trump i9s embarrassing the entire country in front of Europe. Like we should care. The Euroweenies are socialists, so how bright can they be anyway? At this point in human history, if you really think the State is your best friend, and the more power you give it the better off we'll all be, you're in no position to mock Trump.

Tommy Duncan said...

The left used Barack Obama as a blank slate on which they projected their dreams, hopes and wishes.

The left uses Donald Trump as a blank slate at which they hurl their hatred, invective and disdain.

In both cases the acts were sourced in mindless emotion.

n.n said...

embarrassing the entire country in front of Europe. Like we should care.

And with sustainable progress (i.e. monotonic change) will soon (before Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) become a state in the Islamic Caliphate. ISIS loses by force. They win by evolutionary fitness and virtue of the ulterior motives directing special interests, domestic and foreign, that have a peculiar anti-native outlook.

Static Ping said...

It almost feels that someone saw what has happened to CNN and reconsidered going down the same path. Once the trust and respect is gone, it typically does not come back.

Nonapod said...

With the recent revelations of the Trump campaign meeting with Russians, which looks like collusion/ conspiracy, one should be alarmed

The anti-Trump crowd imputes very grand & sinister motives and stories to all things Trump. He's the great villain who certainly must have conspired with Russians. Nothing will dissuade them from this story. The DJT meeting confirms all this in their minds.

While pro-Trump people may may imagine the DJT meeting to be a honey pot situation involving Lorreta Lynch, Fussion GPS, entrapment

Some Trump agnostics tend to look at something like the DTJ meeting in much more pedestrian terms, a guy took a meeting in hopes of getting some dirt, but got some weird anti-Magnitsky Act lobbying pitch instead.

Dave from Minnesota said...

False claims?

Racist
Anti-Gay (which is ironic since he was very pro-gay rights back when Hillary and Obama were sounding like Jerry Farwell)

And on and on.

I was a never Trumper until about Oct 26th or so, but have largely come around. I still say much of what he said in March-July last year were an act as this NYC Democrat was trying to figure out what it is to be a Republican.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Now Trump is not Reagan. Trump is not Reagans anything, but to make a point........ western Europe HATED HATED HATED President Reagan. They said he was a low IQ cowboy who will destroy the world in a nuclear war. Should we have impeached him circa-1983 to appease Europe?

Darrell said...

As Rev. Jackson said, sometimes it's not the allegations, it's the allegators. Beware the allegators.

n.n said...

figure out what it is to be a Republican

Or rather an Americans conservative, really.

As far as religion, moral philosophy, or behavioral protocols go, normalize/promote behaviors that have a redeeming value to humanity or society; reject behaviors that are incompatible with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and tolerate everything else. Most behaviors can be tolerated, in context.

Bay Area Guy said...

It's a good article. Well done, Snopes!

There are many legitimate reasons on which to challenge President Trump.

There are many legitimate policy questions:

1. Should we support Assad or the rebels in Syria?

2. Should we have a lenient or strict immigration control on our borders?

3. Do minimum wage laws help low-income workers or hurt them?

4. What should we do about North Korea missiles-- keep the pressure on or ease the pressure off?

The amount of actual sober policy discussions are almost infinite.

But the Left doesn't operate that way. They revel in fear-based emotion. Anything that stalls or slows their steady march towards a more atheist, bisexual, genderless, multi-cultural, green statist society is seen as a threat -- that must be removed.

So, they spend their time lying and exaggerating about the horrors of Trump. Russia!

I've learned to yawn at them.

Chuck said...

Speaking only for myself, I have never even heard of the vast majority of those lies about Trump. I did hear about the "Meals on Wheels" controversy, because even the "NeverTrump" WSJ and NRO were defending Trump from that charge.

I like how the Snopes page concludes:

It has to be acknowledged that since January, many of Trump’s opponents, and even lukewarm supporters, have found considerable fault with his policies and behavior, based on accurate facts. There have been many occasions when Trump himself, undistorted and unfiltered, contributed mightily to the four personas we have outlined.

Indeed, in many instances the false claims against him carry a grain of truth. The president’s plan to scrap the Community Development Block Grant was real, and could very reasonably be expected to have significant consequences across a number of services and programs, including Meals on Wheels. All this is true, but it makes it no less false and no more acceptable to claim, on this basis, that he had singled out Meals on Wheels for elimination. He had not.

Sebastian said...

It is an error of thought to describe anti-Trump lies as errors of thought (or "collective hallucinations" etc.). Most are deliberate fabrications, used as tools in an ongoing campaign.

buwaya said...

One has to reconstruct stuff out of what the mighty hint at.
A very embarrassing situation in a free society, that people have to resort to Kremlinology, out of distrust of their leadership class.

The G20/Poland/France thing has gone very well for Trump.

Both Macron and Bill Gates (and some others) have much more than hinted that the EU is going the wrong way with immigration - i.e., the heat is off Poland, and Trump has made his point, or that one anyway.

And Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan has gone on a rant castigating Washington for wasting time on politics that they could be applying to regulatory reform. And more than hinting that foreigners are disgusted with the US Deep State.

St. George said...

I can't help but wonder if part of the reason so much energy is being devoted to the imaginary "Russia scandals" is that they are harmless fancies.

Imagine how stressed people and the pundits would be if an equal amount of chatter were being devoted to the North Korean crisis. Very stressed.

Odds are that country is much further down the road in its mastery of miniaturizing warheads than is acknowledged.

Remember back in May, Tillerson said the U.S. policy of "strategic patience" had ended. Then Trump said that N. Korea has "been 'playing' the United States for years."

How many among us, based on what we have so far seen of Trump's behavior, that he is a man who tolerates being "played with"?

Matthew Sablan said...

"It's beyond parody now to continue to dream up innocent excuses for collusion with an adversary nation by the Trump campaign."

-- I remember when the 1980s were calling about their foreign policy.

Darrell said...

Resist, persist, insist, enlist, Chuck.

Dave from Minnesota said...

I went and read the entire Snopes piece. Its pretty good. Yes, Trump has said some stupid things and can be a dofuss at times, but the left is just too way over-the-top.

The Snopes article was especially good when it called out the lies that Stephen Colbert and George Takei told.

Gahrie said...

When you've lost Snopes....

buwaya said...

Sources of worry abroad, beyond US political instability.

Foreigners of influence may be losing patience with US politics and the anti-Trump hysteria. It is bad for the global economy, tied intimately as it all is to the US economy.

Real stuff that needs to be sorted out -

- China. Not only threatening everyone in the South China Sea, but intruding into Japanese airspace (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-japan-military-idUSKBN19Z0NO) , and now border troubles with India (https://warontherocks.com/2017/07/high-noon-in-the-himalayas-behind-the-china-india-standoff-at-doka-la/)

- North Korea (as well stated above).

- Putin/Russia hysteria needs to stop.

Peace is good for business, even vague threats of war on the scale implied in these three is not a good thing.

And the US, as a global necessity, needs to get on a genuine growth track. Its been stagnant for a decade.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buwaya said...

"but the left is just too way over-the-top. "

The interesting thing is that its not really "the left".

The energy behind the hysteria is the US upper class, the truly rich and powerful. They aren't "left" in any meaningful way. They may imagine they are "left" in some cultural, semi-religious sense, but that's it.

h said...

I would add a category for internal dissension in the Trump ranks. It seems to me that unnamed sources have been reported since day 1 (or perhaps even day -50) as saying Conway to resign, Priebus future in doubt, Bannon threatens to resign, Spicer to be replaced, the TIllerson is going to resign, etc. Obama's early days were celebrated as a team of rivals -- an indicator of strength. Trump's early days are described as total disarray.

Gahrie said...

western Europe HATED HATED HATED President Reagan.

The Leftist elites have hated every republican president going back at least as far as Eisenhower.

n.n said...

I remember when the 1980s were calling about their foreign policy

It's easy to confuse and transpose Soviets and Russians. It was an imperative with the latter's intervention in Syria, and became a cause célèbre with resistance that defused a refugee crisis in Ukraine.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Buffoon survives the shave with Occam's razor.

If the Trump Presidency succeeds, that will raise the question of what other buffoons we might elect President. Buffoonery is entertaining, and it is especially fun to watch the foreign leaders having to take our buffoon seriously. Could we elect the selfie monkey? Damn, he or she is probably not a natural born citizen. How about Kathy Griffin? Or Caitlyn Jenner?

Robert Cook said...

"Then there is the possibility that President Trump will be one of the truly great presidents...."

Hahaha!

No.

IgnatzEsq said...

I agree that I have heard very few of these and though I appreciate the effort I was also unimpressed since Snopes didn't delve into something that would actually challenge their audience. As one example that struck me, I distinctly remember the claim that Trump misrepresented a Climate change study from MIT regarding the Paris Accords. In reality, Donald Trump accurately stated the exact findings of the paper - the Paris Climate accord would very little on climate - and it was portrayed like this:

Trump misunderstood MIT climate research, university officials say (Reuters)
Author of MIT climate study says Trump got it wrong (CNN)
Trump cited MIT climate data. Not so fast, researchers say (Boston Globe)
...and plenty more if you'd like.

And this was the response for Trump *accurately* citing data to reach a conclusion that they don't want to hear.

(If you read the full-text of the articles, the rationale for the 'misunderstanding' is that the MIT researchers thought the US should still be a part of the Paris climate accord even though it will have little effect because little is more than zero. That is, they reached a different conclusion from the data. But Trump got the data 'right,' and was pilloried for getting it 'wrong.' 2 + 2 = 5?)

Robert Cook said...

"Did someone get to Snopes?
"I wonder what leverage was used.
"This sort of thing does not come out of nothing."


Do you not believe that they try to be objective and factual as standard practice?

n.n said...

The energy behind the hysteria is the US upper class, the truly rich and powerful. They aren't "left" in any meaningful way.

They're "left" in the sense that they they oppose, in progressive measure, American conventions of religious/moral (i.e. behavioral), legal, cultural, and social standards. However, I would agree, that there are two faces, where the silent partner is more than merely "left-wing", and that it exhibits an extra or trans-national outlook, which may but often does not coincide with American (i.e. People and Posterity) interests.

buwaya said...

The political sides in the US are, of course, broadly speaking a high-low centralizing Democratic party coalition against the Republican, federal Middle. This is not unusual, it is otherwise called Whig politics.

The 'high' part of the Democratic coalition has to give lip service at least to its 'low' clientele.

buwaya said...

"Do you not believe that they try to be objective and factual as standard practice?"

Never. Nobody is ever objective and factual as standard practice. Everyone has an angle.

Robert Cook said...

@ Tommy Duncan:

The right uses Donald Trump as a blank slate on which they project their dreams, hopes and wishes.

The right used Barack Obama as a blank slate at which they hurled their hatred, invective and disdain.

In both cases the acts were sourced in mindless emotion.

(Mind you, Obama was a fraud and a bad president, because he mouthed progressive homilies as he served the interests of the elites who own this country, not because, as the right hallucinated, he was any sort of leftist, socialist, or communist.)

antiphone said...

The interesting thing is that its not really "the left".

The energy behind the hysteria is the US upper class, the truly rich and powerful. They aren't "left" in any meaningful way. They may imagine they are "left" in some cultural, semi-religious sense, but that's it.


We are the Center and the rest of you are Extremists.

Nonapod said...

If the Trump Presidency succeeds, that will raise the question of what other buffoons we might elect President. Buffoonery is entertaining, and it is especially fun to watch the foreign leaders having to take our buffoon seriously.

It'd be great for a number of reasons if the Trump presidency ends up being a wild success, not the least of which is that it would upend many long held assumptions about the sort of person who could be a successful president. It would prove that this 241 year old experiment is far more durable than we thought. It would suggest that there's enough checks on the presidents power, be they Constitutional, public opinion, or other systematic ones that even if the president is a "buffoon" things will be fine.

Gahrie said...

Do you not believe that they (Snopes) try to be objective and factual as standard practice?

I certainly don't.

Robert Cook said...

"Never. Nobody is ever objective and factual as standard practice. Everyone has an angle."

This is an unproven and cynical assertion. Even if no one can succeed in always being completely objective and factual, it does not follow that no one tries.

Bob Ellison said...

Mistaken impressions about U.S. Presidents are common.

JFK was a leftist? (tax cuts, strong military)

Nixon was a rightist? (EPA, wage and price controls)

Clinton was a leftist? (OK, Gingrich cornered him like a rat.)

Trump has so far been governing like the guy he claimed he is: a businessman, acting more than talking. It surprises me, too.

buwaya said...

" that will raise the question of what other buffoons we might elect President."

Or it might challenge the cultural foundations of those who designate "buffoons"?
Most of this is social signalling by an upper class, or rather an upper caste.

The markers for acceptability are not objective, but subjective, as with Swift's end-of-the-egg discrimination between Lilliput and Blefuscu.

Birches said...

I don't think the media intends to be so biased. They just have a bubble so large they don't realize how out of step they are with most Americans. The fact snopes wrote this wrticle shows they are trying, at least today.

David Baker said...

"How many among us, based on what we have so far seen of Trump's behavior, that he is a man who tolerates being "played with"?"

I wonder.

North Korea retains its first-strike option.

Obamacare is not headed for repeal, but solid Marxist reinforcement.

Someone has taken us for a hayride.

Drago said...

Wow, the far left continues with their draft dodging lies about Trump.

Some even go so far as to defend Stolen Valor Dems simultaneously!

Just goes to show how low the lefties will stoop.

Robert Cook said...

"They're 'left' in the sense that they they oppose, in progressive measure, American conventions of religious/moral (i.e. behavioral), legal, cultural, and social standards."

Wrong. They're simply amoral--interested only in consolidating and increasing their wealth and power, at the expense of anything or anyone else. This does not make them "left," (however much you may erroneously believe this is a definition of the left).

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

"I was a never Trumper until about Oct 26th or so, but have largely come around. I still say much of what he said in March-July last year were an act as this NYC Democrat was trying to figure out what it is to be a Republican."

Usually the Left tries to draw a Republican president Leftward. It's a novel (and delightful) experience to watch them push one Rightward. I imagine the DJT Jr. attacks are making Trump cold-hearted towards anything the Left desires.

Robert Cook said...

"Obamacare is not headed for repeal, but solid Marxist reinforcement."

????

"Someone has taken us for a hayride."

It seems you have taken yourself for a hayride.

Drago said...

Cookie: "The right uses Donald Trump as a blank slate on which they project their dreams, hopes and wishes."

This is of course a rather sad lie and projection by the left onto the right as we witness time and again cult like behavior by the lefties in their worship of their earth bound "sort of a god" secular messiahs.

The examples are legion and always lead to mass graves which is probably a plus for our Stalinist self-appointed "betters".

Luke Lea said...

Couldn't read very much. All the anti-Trump lies were so preposterous I had never even heard of them. Giving the middle finger to Italian head of state? Come on.

Trumpit said...

Trump is so very bad, and so very stupid! He is a rotten human being, and a huge embarrassment to the cuntry. He is disgusting. I don't want to work myself into a frenzy, so I'll leave it at that. I'll just add that there are a lot of creeps in this cuntry who have no brains or sense. That answers the question of how this colossal misfortune could have befallen this godforsaken cuntry of ours. Black didn't vote for this clown, so they deserve the utmost respect from all of us.

St. George said...

Nonapod and Bob Ellison (above) both have it right.

"If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will," Trump told the Financial Times in April.

Does anyone think he is kidding? He now must surely understand that it serves both Russia and China's interests, especially China's, for the U.S. to be stymied by N. Korea. They want us (and Japan and our Asian friends) to be blackmailed, i.e. to live under the threat of an unstable nuclear N. Korea. That's not the way to make America great again.

Birches said...

The entire episode is a remarkable example of something bordering on collective hallucination, most likely brought on by confirmation bias. Here hundreds of thousands of people — including professional journalists working for influential news organizations, and a chat show host with more than three million nightly viewers — literally heard Trump say something he never said, in most cases probably because it confirmed a pre-existing image of the President as a poorly read, culturally ignorant buffoon.

This paragraph sums up things nicely.

Drago said...

Howard Baker goes for the Six Months Is Plenty Of Time To Call It All A Big Fat Failure.

He's the kind of Chap you wouldn't want running things early in any difficult and protracted fight.

Birches said...

Also, extra points for using the phrase, "chat show."

Actually, that means the author is probably British, which is why the piece ended up being good.

buwaya said...

"Even if no one can succeed in always being completely objective and factual, it does not follow that no one tries."

I think nearly everyone tries hard to fool themselves into thinking that they are trying. But the act of actually being objective and factual in human affairs takes such an extreme effort that I don't think anyone succeeds. Or if someone does, who would be able to tell? Two paragons of objectivity are unlikely to find and certify each other as objective.

Science (of the "hard" sort) and engineering are the only areas where objectivity is possible, because nature is unforgivingly objective - it will reveal fakes and frauds, eventually. As Feynman put it, on the challenges of honesty, objectivity, etc., even in the physical sciences -

http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/51/2/CargoCult.htm

Drago said...

Trumpit: "I don't want to work myself into a frenzy, ..."

Lol

As Marty Feldman said in "Young Frankenstein":"Too Late".

Robert Cook said...

"I can't help but wonder if part of the reason so much energy is being devoted to the imaginary "Russia scandals" is that they are harmless fancies."

It's because the Dems have invested themselves emotionally into the belief that their Hillary couldn't have lost to Trump without some sort of skullduggery on his part, and the purported-but-unproven "Russia hacked the election" excuse allows them to explain away her loss while simultaneously providing them with ammo to accuse him of "collusion with the enemy" (why are the Russians our enemy?) and "treason."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why should we, as Americans, care what the people of Europe think about Trump. Europe is slowly committing suicide. Should we join them because we want to be popular? I don't think so.

Nice of Snopes to point out the inaccuracy, cherry picking and out and out confirmation bias in everything the left wants to pin on Trump.

Bob Ellison said...

Robert Cook is correct on amoralism in politics. We proles want to think the people on high do what they do for moralistic reasons like "we should help the poor!" or "no fetus should be killed!", but it's usually just power.

The desire to see them differently is part of what sets America apart, especially as described in our founding documents. Don't project, says Jefferson. Don't hope for the best, says Madison. Don't hope for the benevolent dictator.

James K said...

I don't think the media intends to be so biased.

The problem with this view is that at least some like Jim Rutenberg of the failing NYT have explicitly called for dropping objectivity in favor of advocacy.

Lucien said...

I'm really impressed by this - Snopes is really above board about the bullshit claims against Trump. It's telling that Lifelong Republican Chuck chooses to quote the throat-clearing "for the avoidance of doubt, we still hate Trump" disclaimer at the end of the article rather than the evisceration of the anti-Trump movement that makes up the majority of the article.

Chuck, if you ever wonder why the vast majority of Althouse posters think you are a bullshit Democrat Moby, this comments thread is the reason. Althouse comment posters should just perma-link this thread as an example of why you're a bullshit Democrat Moby. Snopes absolutely obliterates the claims against President Trump and you pick the throat-clearing "I'm still a liberal" quote at the end of the article to try to defuse the attack.

You Are A Moby.

You explicitly demonstrate your Mobyism.

And we Get That about you. Go vote for Hillary in 2020 just like you did in 2016.

rhhardin said...

They're not mistakes. They're soap opera narrative elements.

Audience is the key.

They're not trying to get it right. They're trying to keep audience eyeballs.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Once written....most (at least in my opinion) traditional Republicans and moderate liberals did not take Trump very seriously and did not want him to win the nomination because of things like Birtherism, attack McCann for being captured, the "women who have abortions should go to jail" thing. Also for being a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, probably Atheist (although now I am not sure about that one) NYC Democrat.

But my low bar of expectations is being exceeded. And he's better than Hillary.

David Baker said...

"Does anyone think he is kidding?"

China thinks he's bluffing.

Too many words, so little action.

Unknown said...

America First, not Make Russia Great Again, at least it is so for us patriots. You people who see nothing wrong with what Trump Jr. did, really need to take a good long look at yourselves. What are you going to do if/when these investigations are over and Trump is impeached and he and his associates are charged with crimes? How can you people continue to delude yourselves? Your sychophancy goes beyond the Obama popularity. You people sound as if you are hypnotized. Snap out of it.

rhhardin said...

As if Snopes were to list romantic ocmedy errors.

1. Guy wins girl

2. Guy screws up and loses girl.

3. Guy apologizes and wins girl back.

Men are all like that.

buwaya said...

"They're simply amoral--interested only in consolidating and increasing their wealth and power, at the expense of anything or anyone else."

I have, as it happens, plenty of experience with people whom others would consider amoral self-seeking toadies of a kleptocratic regime. They certainly were toadies, functionaries of a kleptocratic regime, there is no argument there. However, knowing them personally I know that to a man they BELIEVED that they were, somehow, doing the right thing under difficult circumstances. They certainly weren't the villains of their internal drama. They excused their behavior, even such matters as served to enrich themselves, by various means.

And to be clear, they were, to a man, ideologically and socially "left", in the fashionable third-world socialist nationalism of the day.

bagoh20 said...

As I read those lies, I was forced to think of my leftist friends and how they have completely accepted every lie, and how they have watched hours of the repeating and embellishing of those lies like someone with a Bedazzler and a lifetime supply of sequins who just keeps applying them to their jacket until that l it's too heavy to even carry, but they insist on wearing it anyway. They can never admit now what they have created is truely unsupportable and ugly.

glenn said...

The real problem is Trump promised to kick over some really expensive rise bowls. And the bowlsitters don't like it. He's going to send their gardeners, maids, the cooks, busboys and dishwashers from their favorite upscale restaurants and the folks who pick the organic peaches they buy down at Whole Foods home. That's the real problem.

antiphone said...

Trump has so far been governing like the guy he claimed he is: a businessman, acting more than talking. It surprises me, too.

His erratic behavior is good business for those who see opportunity in catastrophe.

David Baker said...

That's it, keeping dancing around the big things.

buwaya said...

" What are you going to do if/when these investigations are over and Trump is impeached and he and his associates are charged with crimes?"

Should such a thing happen, even the unknowns would not like the consequences. This would be a irrecoverable calamity in the national polity, a divide that will be impossible to reconcile.
This will have to be a mighty power-play that will create the bitterest of enemies on both sides. The end of the Republic will be in sight.

History does not have hopeful lessons here.

Bay Area Guy said...

I've always thought that it would be better for pundits to simply declare their political biases and preferences rather than hide them and tell us they truly are being objective.

It's hard to be objective. We all have biases.

Gwen Ifill was a nice woman, a solid contributor to NPR for years. But, of course, she had a preference for Obama. Why try to hide it?

For decades, Dan Rather was the face of CBS news. But he had opinions. He thought the right was evil and stupid. He did a pretty good job of hiding for years, but then lost it in 2004. Why try to hide it?

Take CNN. Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon are two of their important faces. Do you really think either one was read Milton Friedman? Or regularly goes to Church on Sundays? Or has started a small business, where they've had to hire and fire people?

Probably not.

If you ever got those two drunk with a lie detector test they would probably rant and rave about all sorts of things, but mostly slanted far left.

At least, that what it seems to me.

Most the media talking heads don't like Trump and can barely hide their disdain for him. It'd be better if they just admitted it, and stopped pretending to be objective.

We can see through it pretty clearly now.

Bob Ellison said...

antiphone, I've never been an arbitrager, like George Soros. That's how he made his money, raking nations on currencies. A truly disgusting human.

What do you propose Trump's "erratic behavior" is setting up? and who stands to profit? Soros again?

tcrosse said...

Hillary would have been the best gosh-darned President money could buy.

Nonapod said...

They certainly weren't the villains of their internal drama. They excused their behavior, even such matters as served to enrich themselves, by various means.

I guess that falls under the whole "banality of evil" thing. Human nature being what it is, villains rarely are going to think of themselves as villains. Humans can justify or rationalize some horrible stuff in their own minds. It's a survival, sanity preservation thing I guess.

Massive society-wide corruption doesn't happen overnight, it's a slow gnawing thing. Corruption of the soul doesn't happen overnight either, it starts with something small that is justified internally.

antiphone said...

We can see through it pretty clearly now.

It's hilarious how none of the anti-leftists here ever mention Fox news.

buwaya said...

The talking heads, Ifill, Cooper, Lemon and Rather, plus the hundreds of others, and nearly all the scribblers, editors, producers and the like - these are just the hired hands.
No doubt they have opinions. They have been chosen, in part, because of their opinions.

But what they actually do is their masters bidding. You are unlikely to hear an unapproved or idiosyncratic opinion from these people. Any that do get creative is quickly gotten rid of, and they know it.

Darrell said...

Ms Althouse, please provide a link where you wrote a critical analysis of Hillary's Birtherism campaign against President Obama. On second though, just delete Once.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Fox News commentary is center-right. As conservative as I am, I can't stand to watch Hannity.

I'd put the rest fairly centrist to sympathetic to conservative views.

Robert Cook said...

"I have, as it happens, plenty of experience with people whom others would consider amoral self-seeking toadies of a kleptocratic regime. They certainly were toadies, functionaries of a kleptocratic regime, there is no argument there. However, knowing them personally I know that to a man they BELIEVED that they were, somehow, doing the right thing under difficult circumstances. They certainly weren't the villains of their internal drama. They excused their behavior, even such matters as served to enrich themselves, by various means."

Sure. Nearly everyone justifies his or her own actions in such a way that they see themselves as "good" and "right." It is the rare person who can see his or her own predatory, unjust, or injurious behavior as predatory, unjust, and injurious.

"And to be clear, they were, to a man, ideologically and socially 'left,' in the fashionable third-world socialist nationalism of the day."

I'm sure this is true, but it doesn't mean there aren't also such people who are of the right, and neither does it mean that all leftists are such people.

n.n said...

Never. Nobody is ever objective and factual as standard practice. Everyone has an angle.

Often multidimensional. A constellation of biases.

Science (of the "hard" sort) and engineering are the only areas where objectivity is possible

At least until the next engineer optimizes the design or scraps it altogether.

As for science, if only, but liberal assumptions -- assertions, really -- and designated outcomes, as well as the improper characterization of inference, defeat its purpose and reduce its value.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Darrell, I can't speak for AA of course, but many of us did't take Trump seriously when he was doing that stuff. We thought he was a novelty candidate who would soon go away.

Darrell said...

I don't think the media intends to be so biased.

It's tough being a mouth organ/company newsletter for the Democrat/Left. Stressful.

buwaya said...

"It's hilarious how none of the anti-leftists here ever mention Fox news."

Fox is interesting. Ailes actually chose some divergent characters that actually did disagree with each other. Some of this was a bit of arranged WWF-ism, but much of it seemed honest, more or less. There were idiosyncratic people there, in a way that there weren't in the rest of the MSM.

Fair and balanced? I don't know, thats in the eye of the beholder. But tightly managed messages, no, not for all, or most.

Mike Sylwester said...

St. George, what a superb comment!

Achilles said...

buwaya puti said...
Did someone get to Snopes?
I wonder what leverage was used.
This sort of thing does not come out of nothing.


Polls. Real polls that reflect opinion rather than attempt to shape it. The American people are fed up with the media and with the traitorous jerks like Once and Chuck and pretty much everyone in DC. There are 20-30% or the population that eat this garbage up.

But.

A good 20-30% of the country is enraged. Another 30-40% would cheer as that 20-30% wiped the treasonous losers out. The republicans in congress are on a timer. It is clear a good number of them are part of the treasonous shithead brigade.

Dave from Minnesota said...

To me it gets down to social issues as the biggest difference between the parties.

Trump will scale back (hopefully) the war on the Little Sisters of the Poor
Trump's judges are less likely to criminalize Christianity
Parents wanting to send their kids to private schools will have more tools
And with his business background...more emphasis on trade schools vs useless 4 year degrees


He may be a pro-choice liberal on his third wife, but it isn't ideological.

antiphone said...

What do you propose Trump's "erratic behavior" is setting up? and who stands to profit?

Well to begin with there are the ratings he's always bragging about. It's all professional wrestling to him so if the corporate owners of the media make money off his antics he's doing them a favor, right?


David Baker said...

Mike Sylwester said..."St. George, what a superb comment!"

Agree, and certainly a cut above.

St. George said...

David--

Does China think he is bluffing?

No.

Back in 2010, a N. Korean submarine torpedoed and sank a 300-foot-long S. Korean warship, killing 46 sailors. Like a destroyer, but smaller.

If that happened today--and to an American warship--we all know what would happen.

In 2010, our State Dept. said, "Clearly this was a serious provocation by North Korea, and there will definitely be consequences because of what North Korea has done." And Pres. Obama said that N. Korea "must be held to account."

Those responses were bluffs.

Darrell said...

Before Trump ran for office, he often had cable news stations, like CNN, running in the background while he worked. That's where his wacky ideas came from. To his credit, he did more research into most matter--like AGW--and he re-evaluated his position. That's the kind of President I want. One that can revisit every topic.

traditionalguy said...

Trump is far ahead of the next moves of the Deep State's Media arm. He is getting his people in place. There is no opposition party to Trump except the GOP Congressional leaders who are compromised politicians with zero courage to cross their billionaire owners.

But the CIA and FBI with their NSA in charge of DC by blackmail since 1960 are bigger and meaner than ever. And they run professional assassin teams. Trump will need lots of prayer warriors once the Deep State learn he cannot be stopped by a Media Coup.

Jim at said...

"If you consider yourself a common sense person and still believe this is all just oppo research, you're delusional."

Snort. The people who openly sided with the Soviet Union during the entire Cold War now have the vapors over some non-existent 'collusion' with the Russians. And then have the unmitigated call to call OTHER people delusional and lacking common sense.

It is to laugh.

Achilles said...

Robert Cook said...

"Did someone get to Snopes?
"I wonder what leverage was used.
"This sort of thing does not come out of nothing."

Do you not believe that they try to be objective and factual as standard practice?

Leftists like Snopes are largely incapable of this. Their only goal is to push an agenda forward. In this case Snopes is aiming for self preservation.

FullMoon said...

I remember when the 1960s were calling about their foreign policy.

I've learned to hate the Russians
All through my whole life
If another war comes
It's them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side

gadfly said...

My perusal of the Snopes analysis quickly establishes that Snopes gets very few things right, as in the example where Pope Francis stands frowning next to Trump but smiles in his pose next to Obama. All this establishes is that Pope Francis is a fringe leftist.

But I oppose Trump because my extensive research showed that he has always been dishonest, likely criminal, a pathological liar, loony for sure, deeply self-absorbed and he possesses the no social skills whatsoever. Nothing has happened in his presidency to date to change my mind. The Donald has hit the fans, including Mr. Spic n' Span, who tells us that Trump got us Gorsuch and that makes him a winner - despite the fact that all serious GOP presidential candidates would have gotten us Justice Neil Gorsuch as well.

The world is bigger than DJT and it is high time we get over him. In the end it was wonderful when Prez Zero disappeared from the airways and it will be wonderful when we turn out the lights on tonight's movie starring Donald.

FullMoon said...

Unknown said...

America First, not Make Russia Great Again, at least it is so for us patriots. You people who see nothing wrong with what Trump Jr. did, really need to take a good long look at yourselves. What are you going to do if/when these investigations are over and Trump is impeached and he and his associates are charged with crimes? How can you people continue to delude yourselves? Your sychophancy goes beyond the Obama popularity. You people sound as if you are hypnotized. Snap out of it.

7/14/17, 3:09 PM


What will you do when it all turns out to be lies? No doubt some scooter libby type will be railroaded for mis-remembering something. After all, investigators need to justify their existence.

Darrell said...

China stopped fuel deliveries to North Korea last week--I don't know if it's still going on. Sounds like cooperation to me. Trump and Putin seem to have reached some kind of agreement as well, at the G20. Michelle holding up signs on Twitter seems to have been retired.

MikeR said...

I'm thinking that (5) mental filters, is another factor that is at least as important. I don't see what else could explain the multitudes of liberal commentators who heard Trump speak in Poland about Western Civilization and translated it, entirely in their heads, into something at White Supremacy.
It hardly matters what he does any more. They see what they see.

buwaya said...

"So if the corporate owners of the media make money off his antics he's doing them a favor, right?"

There simply isn't enough money in the news, or news-entertainment, to drive anyone's political commitments strictly on that basis. A comment like the above comes out of a lack of perspective.

All of the MSM news outlets are simply small bits of much larger entertainment and industrial enterprises (check out Wiki for the size of CNN vs its owner Time-Warner, CNN revenues are @ 1/25th of its parents total), and these are relatively small vis-a-vis the giants of the US (and global) economy.

It may not seem that way to news-and politics junkies, but its true anyway. The entire news and political commentary industry is a tiny niche, valuable only for its political utility, that may have an impact on much more important things.

lostchild said...

"With the recent revelations of the Trump campaign meeting with Russians, which looks like collusion/ conspiracy, one should be alarmed"

People should have been alarmed before electing him as president... there's nothing we can do now to change that..

David Smith said...

Does plain old dishonesty qualify as an "error of thought"?

"This guy is a threat to my present and future prosperity, so I'll lie about him."

It is, of course, a moral error, but that's different, if not completely unrelated.

MikeR said...

"What are you going to do if/when these investigations are over and Trump is impeached and he and his associates are charged with crimes?" Speaking for myself, I will be extremely surprised, as I don't see things heading in that direction in any way.
But now speak for yourself. What will you do when pretty much nothing happens at all in the end? Will you stop and consider how badly you fooled yourself, and resolve that it shouldn't happen again?

Pookie Number 2 said...

The Donald has hit the fans, including Mr. Spic n' Span, who tells us that Trump got us Gorsuch and that makes him a winner - despite the fact that all serious GOP presidential candidates would have gotten us Justice Neil Gorsuch as well.

I doubt that any of the other serious GOP presidential candidates would have won. Trump successfully tapped into a well of frustration that I think put him over the top (probably by being over the top), and a "normal" Republican wouldn't hav had that boost.

Bob Ellison said...

Snopes was a good source about twenty years ago. Strange how they went bad. There seems to be a universal rule: eventually everyone goes left, and bad. Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Fund, Snopes, Gates, that guy from Wyoming or wherever. They all go left and bad.

Jim at said...

"he (Obama) was any sort of leftist, socialist, or communist."

At some point, you've simply made enough money.
We need to spread the wealth around.

Nope. Not even a smidgen of leftism/socialism/communism in that.

Never.

It appears your only problem with Obama was he wasn't far ENOUGH of a leftist.
Which causes me to ask why in the hell you continue to live in this country?

Go to North Korea, Venezuela or Cuba to get your totalitarian fix. Leave the rest of us the hell alone.

bagoh20 said...

It really is just like the Reagan derangement: faster cycle, more dense, more over the top, more mean, partisan, unfounded, and shameless, in other words, more modern, but the same thing.

Like with Reagan, the hate-driven reporting helps to make him look unpredictable, even dangerous, which works out great for an American leader when negotiating with our enemies. If you are weak and crazy someone calls your bluff or takes you out. If you are a superpower, they opt for cooperation or perestroika. It's the only way to be safe.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

buwaya said...

The interesting thing is that its not really "the left".

The energy behind the hysteria is the US upper class, the truly rich and powerful. They aren't "left" in any meaningful way. They may imagine they are "left" in some cultural, semi-religious sense, but that's it.


Elite vs Non-Elite work better as descriptors. And I would say it's more those who aspire to be in the upper class than the actual upper class.

Achilles said...

Unknown said...
America First, not Make Russia Great Again, at least it is so for us patriots. You people who see nothing wrong with what Trump Jr. did, really need to take a good long look at yourselves.

Explain to us what Don Jr. did that was so wrong. Be specific. Remember you supported a Woman who took millions of dollars from Russians while in office.

What are you going to do if/when these investigations are over and Trump is impeached and he and his associates are charged with crimes? How can you people continue to delude yourselves?

We will delude ourselves by gathering up in very large numbers and descending on DC to perform a long overdue enema.

Your sychophancy goes beyond the Obama popularity. You people sound as if you are hypnotized. Snap out of it.

You have convinced yourself that Don Jr. did something wrong. Talk about delusions. There is not a single piece of evidence that Trump and his campaign colluded with the Russians. Furthermore Trump has opened up gas and oil drilling and exportation. The first LNG exports to Poland started a month or so ago.

Trump has turned our policy 180 degrees from the Obama appeasement of Russia. No flexibility after the election. No reset buttons. No 80's calling and wanting their foreign policy back.

We see right through you people. You should hope with everything you have Trump doesn't get impeached.

buwaya said...

"My perusal of the Snopes analysis quickly establishes that Snopes gets very few things right"

My perusal agrees with yours, in a much more general level. Snopes is largely an opinion site, and their modus operandi is to define their standard of truth, or rather their statement of of the matter at issue, for any given question, in order to produce a convenient result. I.e., they will call something false if it is 90% correct, if that is what they want, and vice versa.

They have other tricks. That they apply some of them here is no surprise, they have their bag of tricks and they will use it. The interesting thing is what they are using it for, and why.

Darrell said...

scooter libby type will be railroaded for mis-remembering something.

Scooter's memory matched the phone records. The Press idiot, who was forced to admit that his journal entries were made weeks after the phone calls, had recollections that didn't match the phone records. Jurors cited media "facts" that weren't presented in the court room as the rationale for their decision. It was another judicial clusterfuck.

FullMoon said...

Darrell said...

scooter libby type will be railroaded for mis-remembering something.

Scooter's memory matched the phone records. The Press idiot, who was forced to admit that his journal entries were made weeks after the phone calls, had recollections that didn't match the phone records. Jurors cited media "facts" that weren't presented in the court room as the rationale for their decision. It was another judicial clusterfuck.

7/14/17, 3:53 PM


Even worse than I remembered.

gadfly said...

@St. George said...
Nonapod and Bob Ellison (above) both have it right.

"If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will," Trump told the Financial Times in April.

Does anyone think he is kidding?


For the past two years Trump has filled the airways with noise about how things will be great with him as president. When a crisis arises, he fires people and he fires off another barrage of Twitter shots but that is about all there is. No, he is not kidding, he is lying. I can only conclude from his followers that his childishness brings out the child in all of them.

David Baker said...

"If that happened today--and to an American warship--we all know what would happen."

In such a scenario, even Obama would strike back.

Meanwhile, an armed Russian fighter-jet harassed an American reconnaissance aircraft just a few weeks ago, coming within 5 feet of colliding.

American response: Other than declaring the provocation as "unsafe," crickets.

St. George said...

All this impeachment talk and mocking of Trump, as Dilbert's creator recently said, benefits the U.S. and Trump. It makes our enemies think we are in a dither and that our leaders are fools. It can be good for one's opponents to underestimate you. It makes N. Korea more likely to miscalculate.

"Obviously the Americans do very well in some technical fields. We know they produce a colossal number of fast cars. And the development of radio is one of their special achievements, and so is razor blades...But you must not forget there is one word in their language that is written with a capital B, and this word is Bluff."

(from "Goering" by Roger Manvell. Interestingly, there are lots of versions of this quote, which makes me think it is either a phony or Goering said it many times.)

antiphone said...

There simply isn't enough money in the news, or news-entertainment, to drive anyone's political commitments strictly on that basis. A comment like the above comes out of a lack of perspective.

You might have missed where I said to begin with, but on the most straightforward level the income generated by the the "media war", love hate, relationship, is an interesting part of the overall dynamic. It's a heads I win, tails you loose situation that exists in many other sectors of our rigged, crony capitalist economy.

St. George said...

David--

Those games of chicken went on for years during the Cold War.

Don't for a moment think that we are not doing the same thing to the Russians, though perhaps in different ways.

buwaya said...

" It makes our enemies think we are in a dither and that our leaders are fools. It can be good for one's opponents to underestimate you."

The problem is that the US is not just communicating this to its enemies, but to everyone.
I don't think a perception of US political instability is a good thing for the US or global economy. Every one has had it with lousy American growth.

Gospace said...

Robert Cook said...
Do you not believe that they try to be objective and factual as standard practice?


gadfly said...
But I oppose Trump because my extensive research showed that he has always been dishonest, likely criminal, a pathological liar, loony for sure, deeply self-absorbed and he possesses the no social skills whatsoever.


His marriages to Marla, Ivana, and now Melania prove your statement false. And the reported fact he gets along with his ex-wives, which is very very rare. My advice to you Reevaluate!

Bob Ellison said...

The top story on NPR right now, 5pm EST, is that Donald Trump Jr. was in bed with a Russian, or something like that.

The top story. That's the drive-time story. People are hearing this crap on the way home.

buwaya said...

" is an interesting part of the overall dynamic."

Its a very, very tiny part of the overall dynamic.
What the SEC may or may not decide on any given day is worth dozens of CNN's.
Thats why its important to grasp the big picture.
The entire MSM is simply a tool used for much greater purposes.

rcocean said...

Never have I seen the MSM so biased, so fake, so completely and unabashedly liberal Democrat.

They hate Trump and the Republicans. And everyone at the NYT and Wapo from the publisher to the copy boy feels the same. And all NBC/CBS/CNN/ABC do, is fall in line with what the NYT and WaPo do.

Its astounding. Its amazing. Its incredible. We've actually had reporters claiming there was Watergate Part II the day Trump was elected.

Is there any smart person out there who believes anything they print or broadcast about Trump, without checking twice or three times from some other credible source?

buwaya said...

"he possesses the no social skills whatsoever."

Its interesting. I am a foreigner and even after 30+ years in this country, plus growing up seeing a great deal of US media, I am not entirely up on the social signalling going on. But I have seen several of Trumps rallies (on Youtube), and some episodes of his shows, and even I can tell he has superlative social skills. He is very very good at pleasing people, especially in person. Or some sorts of people anyway.

Now, he may not please you, and this is understandable. De gustibus and all that. But it is an understandable delusion to assume your tastes apply universally. It is helpful to read history broadly, to understand, among other things, just what human variety there has been in leaders.

Birkel said...

Pearls before swine, buwaya.

dbp said...

buwaya puti said...

"Did someone get to Snopes?
I wonder what leverage was used.
This sort of thing does not come out of nothing".

Slow Clap... Well played sir!

antiphone said...

Thats why its important to grasp the big picture.
The entire MSM is simply a tool used for much greater purposes.


Well then, enlighten us buwaya. What is this big picture and what great purposes does the MSM serve?

David Baker said...

St. George said... "David--Those games of chicken went on for years during the Cold War."

That's kind of my point.

Now it's Obamacare: They won't actually repeal it, they'll just call it something else.

But I also appreciate your point, that the world sees "Trump" as a different animal. And not to be played... with.

FullMoon said...

buwaya said...

"he possesses the no social skills whatsoever."

Its interesting. I am a foreigner and even after 30+ years in this country, plus growing up seeing a great deal of US media, I am not entirely up on the social signalling going on. But I have seen several of Trumps rallies (on Youtube), and some episodes of his shows, and even I can tell he has superlative social skills. He is very very good at pleasing people, especially in person. Or some sorts of people anyway.


My wife was an Apprentice fan.
The three things I remember from several years ago:

Introduced "My good friend, Chuck Shumer"( when I knew Shumer was an ass)

Talking to someone: "Do you think people change? I don't"

Gave his friend Joan Rivers the win when another contestant had annihilated Joan in the money raising competition, which was the entirety of the contest.

dbp said...

I find the cognitive dissonance always entertaining.

There was a twitter post from John Cleese, something to the effect that everybody in Europe finds Trump a laughing stock. Lots of his fanboys agreed with statements like 'I'm from a red state and do not know a single Trump voter'.

If you are from a red state and do not know a Trump voter, this does not prove there aren't any (he won your state after-all). John Cleese, being in show business, probably lives in a similar bubble. Or similar bubbles, here and there throughout whatever parts of Europe he haunts.

St. George said...

David--

There you have it.

As the Chinese say, "Kill the chicken to scare the monkey."

Bay Area Guy said...

It doesn't impress me when someone from Europe expresses mockery or displeasure at President Trump.

My gut reaction is: Pause. Hmmm. Europe is slowly rotting away in an atheist, socialist, genderless paradise, where a few millions Muslims will be continually immigrating for the foreseeable future.

So, I don't want any part of that.

So, from that hideous vantage point they don't like Trump?

Hmmm. Maybe Trump is doing something right to avoid a similar sloth-like descent.......

Bay Area Guy said...

It's hilarious how none of the anti-leftists here ever mention Fox news.

Well, c'mon, it's not that hilarious.

But, Yes, Foxnews, is biased to the right. No doubt about that.

You have ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, NYT and Wapost.

We have Foxnews, WSJ and most of talk radio.

Happy now?

Khesanh 0802 said...

Dave from MN makes the point that much of Trump's pre-nomination blathering had to do with him figuring out how to be "conservative " candidate. I think he's correct. Right now Trump is learning how to be president. So far he is doing okay. He's met with most of the important folks in the world once or more. He has made clear where he stands when pushed and has saved his ammo when not. I am sure the failure of leadership/cooperation in Congress has surprised him - should not have, but I think it surprises all presidents. I doubt the Russian thing bothers him too much, although as Cookie says: why are the Russians enemies? Trump knows that we have to deal with Russia (as do most thinking people); why make it more difficult?

Interesting to see Snopes' take on stuff I didn't know existed. Regardless, Hillary is still not anyone's President!

exiledonmainstreet said...


"he possesses the no social skills whatsoever."

It's pretty ridiculous to think a NY real estate mogul possesses no social skills whatsoever.

Being a real estate tycoon in Manhattan is not like being an software engineer sitting in a cubicle at Microsoft.

If Trump had no social skills, how did he end up with a TV show. The Hollywood crowd was happy to hang around with him until he got political.

antiphone said...

Happy now?

Baby steps.

Robert Cook said...

"Trump is far ahead of the next moves of the Deep State's Media arm. He is getting his people in place. There is no opposition party to Trump except the GOP Congressional leaders who are compromised politicians with zero courage to cross their billionaire owners.

"But the CIA and FBI with their NSA in charge of DC by blackmail since 1960 are bigger and meaner than ever. And they run professional assassin teams. Trump will need lots of prayer warriors once the Deep State learn he cannot be stopped by a Media Coup."



Wow! Talk about projecting one's hopes, dreams and fantasies onto someone! One would think Trump actually has a plan and a comprehensive command of the many complex issues he must address, rather than just a blustering, self-serving fraud.

steve uhr said...

I'm tired of all the bickering. Trump is a great guy and will surely go down in history as the greatest leader this planet has ever seen. Happy now?

Robert Cook said...

"For the past two years Trump has filled the airways with noise about how things will be great with him as president. When a crisis arises, he fires people and he fires off another barrage of Twitter shots but that is about all there is. No, he is not kidding, he is lying. I can only conclude from his followers that his childishness brings out the child in all of them."

Yes.

Night Owl said...

"Did someone get to Snopes?"

Yes... Trump.

Snopes target audience is people that get news and entertainment primarily from the internet. My guess is similar to Status Ping's @ 2:06. This article is fallout from the internet meme-battle between Trump and CNN, which Trump won bigly.

buwaya said...

"Well then, enlighten us buwaya. What is this big picture and what great purposes does the MSM serve?"

Certainly. It is there to make noise when their masters require noise, or more commonly to shut up, or even more often to make noise about something irrelevant, when their masters desire silence. Below I have an interesting case of silence. The nature of it is intensely inside-baseball and fairly technical, but it involves huge piles of money. Thats how these things work.

Firstly, as you know, the USG is in charge of regulation of extremely large scale business activities - I will call out a relatively small one, regulation of private pensions, just one of thousands upon thousands of categories of business interests. Private companies have pension funds regulated by the USGov (ERISA and other laws, and a Pension Guarantee insurance fund); the last I saw was private pension annual contributions were running at @$300Billion annually.

This is not public pensions, about which there is plenty of noise.

The USG is supposed to make sure that private pension funds are fully funded, in order to avoid having to bail them out. Pension funds are supposed to obtain sufficient rates of return to meet their future obligations, or failing that employers must increase their annual payments into these funds. The old rule, a sound actuarial one, required the calculation of future rate of return to be based on the average rates of return of the previous two years. As it happens, the long recession of 2008-to this day has reduced rates of return; in order to comply with funding this should have required employers to greatly increase pension plan funding, a cost.

Back in 2012 there was a pension rule change inserted in an unrelated highway bill (you can see where this is going). It was a bipartisan bill, backed by congressional leadership on both sides, signed by President Obama. The hidden rule required the use of an average of the previous 12 years rates of return - those years enjoyed much higher rates of return than during the Great Recession of course. A seemingly minor thing, but the result was that US private pensions went from being only 82% funded under the old rules to being 100% funded.

Huzzah! No need for increased pension fund contributions. This saved US businesses something on the order of $30 Billion in pension contributions annually. That is 30 or so CNN's on an annual revenue basis. Or about $300 Billion in underfunding was excused. Just a small rule change.

Note that the MSM did not bother to tell the tens of millions of Americans expecting a private pension, and current pensioners, that the government had just redefined pension fund solvency against their interests. The change was covered in professional actuarial publications, but not very any people read those things.

Do you know what is really going on? Its this, in thousands of permutations of all sorts of complex issues.

tim maguire said...

I haven't had a chance yet to read the article, but perhaps Snopes has finally figured out that Trump's critics are Trump assets. Their assinine bloviating paranoia serves to protect him from legitimate criticism.

Bay Area Guy said...

Chicken Little < Boy who cried Wolf < Trump's hysterical critics

Birkel said...

buwaya:
And it is for those reasons, multiplied as you say a thousand fold, that the centralized state must be unwound. By the same logic other interests must resist decentralization.

The Founders had it right.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

People don't trust Trump, and legally speaking and in reference to policy, he usually doesn't know what he's doing.

Even if the other branches of government are sensible and powerful enough to block-check his tyranny and psychological warfare games, that doesn't mean that he's comfortable with constitutionally limited power. (Or is just too ignorant or incurious to know how it works). That's not a testament to Trump's sense of restraint, but to our system of government. In this sense, it's the system that's winning, not Trump.

antiphone said...

The Founders had it right.

Indubitably, the free market reached it's zenith in the the eighteenth century and it's been downhill ever since.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

There is no opposition party to Trump except the GOP Congressional leaders who are compromised politicians with zero courage to cross their billionaire owners.

Hilarious. The same "billionaire owners" who were threatened with Medicaid cuts and being priced out of the insurance market, while being offered $800 billion in tax cuts. A bill pushed for by the Kochs, no less.

Hilariously delusional.

buwaya said...

"Even if the other branches of government are sensible and powerful enough to block-check his tyranny and psychological warfare games'

But the other branches of the US government are, on the whole, hopelessly corrupt and utterly lacking in good sense, besides being overbearing to a degree that frightens even French Enarques.

Big Mike said...

It makes N. Korea more likely to miscalculate.

@St. George, and if they miscalculate by blowing up Seattle with an ICBM? What then?

antiphone said...

Certainly. It is there to make noise when their masters require noise, or more commonly to shut up, or even more often to make noise about something irrelevant, when their masters desire silence.

I agree that it's often a case of the dog that doesn't bark. In the situation you describe would you be in favor of keeping the two year average in place or deregulating completely?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The Apprentice was bullshit. Even the Great Firer in Chief needed instructions from network on whom to fire at the last minute, flashed to him on an display on the desk phone.

He's an emcee. Not a leader. He's about as fit for the office as someone reading the cards and introducing the next Oscar winner.

buwaya said...

"The same "billionaire owners" who were threatened with Medicaid cuts and being priced out of the insurance market, while being offered $800 billion in tax cuts."

Well, they were weren't they?
So you are saying that the politicians (the system) are corrupt in one way, or that they are corrupt in some other way? It seems to me that you can't have your cake and eat it too. The system seems designed to preserve and promote corruption against any sort of reform.

Bay Area Guy said...

@TTR,

The Apprentice was bullshit. Even the Great Firer in Chief needed instructions from network on whom to fire at the last minute, flashed to him on an display on the desk phone.

He's an emcee. Not a leader. He's about as fit for the office as someone reading the cards and introducing the next Oscar winner.


All that is fair game. I don't mind criticism of President Trump -- even harsh criticism. Even insults. We dish it out, so we have to take it.

What I can't stand is conjuring up phony legal charges to try drive him from office with trumped up prosecutions (no pun intended). That I will resist.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

It's pretty ridiculous to think a NY real estate mogul possesses no social skills whatsoever.

Being a real estate tycoon in Manhattan...


Which mogul/tycoon? Fred Trump?

I guess it must have been Fred - to have successful enough to bequeath to his ne'er-do-well son the hundreds of millions necessary to grow his current wealth to just over the billion benchmark he needs to classify himself with.

Flyover people really need to visit a big city more, and learn how things work. NYers will tell you who the bullshitters are and who's the real deal, and they won't get confused by wealth, either. Flyover people seem to have this notoriously incurable emotional defect that forces them to frame issues of character in terms of wealth vs. poverty. It's really depressing to know how easily fooled they are by materialism.

Trump's horrifying taste in furnishings alone tells you that he's just someone who talks the talk. He's a shower, not a grower.

FullMoon said...

The Toothless Revolutionary said... [hush]​[hide comment]

The Apprentice was bullshit


NO WAY! Next, you will realize WWE is fake wrestling, and GOT is not based on history.. You a genius.

Achilles said...

"Well then, enlighten us buwaya. What is this big picture and what great purposes does the MSM serve?"

WAPO is owned by Bezos.

NYT is owned by Slim.

NBC used to be owned by GE but they essentially sold it to themselves. Now it is just owned by the same people that own GE.

CBS is owned by the Redstones.

ABC is owned by the Disney family.

The media is owned by a very small and wealthy group of people that share similar agendas. Open borders free trade heavy regulations that only fall on competitors. High taxes that only affect other people. Not hard to figure out.

Once written, twice... said...

Ann, please provide a link where you wrote critical analysis of Trump's Birtherism campaign against President Obama.

Second, how can one have sympathy for any perceived unfairness against Trump when he has unfairly led the charge against many others.

buwaya said...

" In the situation you describe would you be in favor of keeping the two year average in place or deregulating completely?'

As long as the USG is offering to bail out private pensions through its insurance fund (wherein beneficiaries of a failed fund will still get a severe haircut BTW) then it should enforce its funding rules. Also they require beneficiary disclosure of funding of private pension funds, which is a reasonable business-labor regulation.

Note that a business is not required to offer a pension fund-based benefit. Many businesses have a 401K only these days, and the majority I think have no matching employer contributions.

In any case my point here is to show that a very great deal of very great importance goes on under the table, hidden by the obscurity of regulation and the lack of transparency, to a great degree enforced by the nature of the press.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

What I can't stand is conjuring up phony legal charges to try drive him from office with trumped up prosecutions (no pun intended). That I will resist.

You can resist it (and thanks for the fair allowances), but a president as gung ho as Trump to not only threaten suits but to change the libel laws is breaking new ground in the past several decades of presidential politics. He can hire flotillas of lawyers to chill speech and intimidate defendants even when the suits couldn't go anywhere - because that's what access to enough money and lawyers and ego does for someone. I don't know many fair-minded lawyers who dismissed the threat he posed to constitutional boundaries. He sent out that Miller kid to say his orders, "won't be questioned!"

So there's really no good reason to assume that he has the kind of respect for our constitutional freedoms and his own legal boundaries that people could feel free to take for granted with most of his predecessors. People knew that they would at least take the system of checks and balances seriously.

FullMoon said...

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Trump's horrifying taste in furnishings alone tells you that he's just someone who talks the talk. He's a shower, not a grower.

7/14/17, 5:31 PM


Not surprising people like you would judge people because of their choice of furniture. SAD.

antiphone said...

What I can't stand is conjuring up phony legal charges to try drive him from office with trumped up prosecutions...

It's always going to be an issue though, whether the powerful are subject to the law, like that time some group of people claimed Obama couldn't be President he wasn't a citizen, or that time some political party attempted to remove Clinton from office for "sex crime" in the oval office.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

But the other branches of the US government are, on the whole, hopelessly corrupt..

I'm glad they've got someone as upstanding as morally righteous as you to be the one to appoint yourself the person to make that call, Monsieur Maximilien Robespierre.

buwaya said...

"Flyover people really need to visit a big city more, and learn how things work. "

I was educated in an out and out Asian kleptocracy. I have seen every sort of scheme and arrangement. How things work? This requires a deep understanding of the details of the rules being exploited in a particular scheme.

The US is, in sheer volume of graft and the stakes being played for, by far the most corrupt polity on earth. The rest are pikers. Its also got some of the most sophisticated scams ever organized. In that humanly incomprehensible mass of rules and organizational interests in Washington (and elsewhere to be fair) absolutely anything is possible.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

buwaya seems to think the role of the federal judiciary is to enforce standards of moral righteousness and personal virtue across the land.

Hahaha. Conservatives crack me up.

Get a legislature that can't be bought, first - Mr. Citizens United and Gerrymandered.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The US is, in sheer volume of graft and the stakes being played for, by far the most corrupt polity on earth. The rest are pikers. Its also got some of the most sophisticated scams ever organized. In that humanly incomprehensible mass of rules and organizational interests in Washington (and elsewhere to be fair) absolutely anything is possible.

I'm sure you think our campaign finance laws and congressional redistricting procedures have nothing to do with this.

Actually, I'm not even sure you're familiar with our campaign finance laws and redistricting procedures.

Feste said...

"A failure to adhere to Occam’s Razor."

Non sunt multiplicanda entia sine necessitate.

It's the necessitate part that's a bitch.

Unknown said...

"Second, how can one have sympathy for any perceived unfairness against Trump when he has unfairly led the charge against many others."

Oh, he was only joking, people are just too obtuse to see it. What a kidder, that Trump!

buwaya said...

"I'm glad they've got someone as upstanding as morally righteous as you"

I'm glad you think so, but I must be humble. This does not require being righteous, merely experienced and knowledgeable. The situation is what it is, and far more senior and capable people than myself understand it the same way, though most aren't willing to put it plainly.
They are however, willing to hint, loudly. See todays story about what JPMorgans Dimon has been saying.

Achilles said...

"He can hire flotillas of lawyers to chill speech and intimidate defendants even when the suits couldn't go anywhere - because that's what access to enough money and lawyers and ego does for someone. "

Or if you are Hillary you have a law passed making it so people can't criticize you.

antiphone said...

The media is owned by a very small and wealthy group of people that share similar agendas. Open borders free trade heavy regulations that only fall on competitors. High taxes that only affect other people. Not hard to figure out.

Other than the open borders part, that is the left wing critique of the media and the two political parties and that makes us commies. Go figure.

buwaya said...

"buwaya seems to think the role of the federal judiciary is to enforce standards of moral righteousness "

I don't recall saying anything about the judiciary, or for that matter righteousness. And I haven't got a clue how you Americans are going to get out of this situation, or if it is at all possible. Personally, my prediction for the US is that it will turn into a really large version of Argentina.

Bay Area Guy said...

@TTR,

He can hire flotillas of lawyers to chill speech and intimidate defendants even when the suits couldn't go anywhere - because that's what access to enough money and lawyers and ego does for someone. I don't know many fair-minded lawyers who dismissed the threat he posed to constitutional boundaries. He sent out that Miller kid to say his orders, "won't be questioned!"

You're conflating 2 separate things. As a rich businessman, I have no doubt that he used lawyers -- civil lawyers -- to help achieve his business objectives. That's the cost of doing business in the real world. It can get ugly and messy.

But I don't care about that.

I care about the country and his temporary role as Chief Executive. I respect the office.

How about a truce? Drop the empty threats of impeachment, drop the bogus Russian investigation, and hammer away at him for his persona and politics.

I guess what I'm saying is that "lawfare" -- a favorite tactic of the Dems (but also employed by the GOP against Bill Clinton in 1998) is bad for the country. It's much easier to say, "vote the crook out of office," then "vote the bastard out of office."

So, yes, I am suggesting that the Left drop "lawfare," but vigorously assail the politics and policy, because all that is fair game.

Achilles said...

"Get a legislature that can't be bought, first - Mr. Citizens United and Gerrymandered."

The difference between the right and the left in this country is that the right understands this is impossible and all politicians are inherently corrupt and the left deludes itself into thinking their leaders are not corrupt despite obvious evidence.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I'm glad you think so, but I must be humble. This does not require being righteous, merely experienced and knowledgeable.

Go to law school, get elected judge.

The judges are the least worst part of this system. You Republicans simply refuse to acknowledge that regular opportunities for payment to advance your career or electoral prospects are really nothing more than bribes. Or at least your Republican friends refuse to acknowledge such.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The difference between the right and the left in this country is that the right understands this is impossible...

To crack down on bribery? Not at all.

Your party's problem is that it decides that because the government should be corrupt, they will institute whatever law or philosophical practice they can to make it that way.

buwaya's cites are correct. We are one of the most corrupt advanced industrial democracies. But that's by design. Other countries with a system of public financing for campaigns don't have this bad a problem. It doesn't take a genius to understand why, just the average intelligence necessary for knowing the dictionary definition of the word "bribe." Republicans want a system of bribed campaigns and Democrats don't. It's really that simple. Republicans want a corrupt government and every time they attain power, they demonstrate how one can be identified.

buwaya said...

"You Republicans simply refuse to acknowledge that regular opportunities for payment to advance your career or electoral prospects are really nothing more than bribes. "

I am not a Republican, just a minor point. I vote for the Partido Popular (Led by Senor Rajoy these days).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariano_Rajoy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Party_(Spain)

I note also, that my experience in the US indicates that the Democratic Party is extensively compromised by bribery, and a truly incredible array of corrupt arrangements. Living as I do in California I have observed with great interest, for instance, the career of Willie Brown, and the operations of his machine.

buwaya said...

"Go to law school, get elected judge."

I am not one of you, besides being much to old for a judicial career!
Consider me a sort of de Toqueville, I observe and comment.

Once written, twice... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Feste said...

Blogger Bay Area Guy said...

"You're conflating 2 separate things ...."

Hey, Bay.

Fair ‘nuff. I’ll present this as rumors and not settled fact. Nor is this adversarial. I know the Bay Area. Lived there. I know the “wealthy businessman” part too. Co-owned big business downtown, then moved to major warehouses north of drydocks. Been there. Done that. It’s not my current status. So blah, blah, blah.

Here’s the scoop. Rumor has it - please allow me rumor status on this because that’s all I’ve got - that wealthy agro from Sonoma through the Big Valley, and including wealthy blue ball Republicans (some are friends of mine - this is off-the-record so don’t tell anyone) big agro are resisting Trump because the necessity (“non sunt multiplicanda entia sine necessitate”) - the necessity - of illegals, so the theory goes, is a necessity to keep migrant wages down, ala your infamous ancestors in the “Bay Area,” Dorothea Lange and her Berkeley economist husband, Paul Taylor (“American Exodus”), may they rest in peace, were saying all along about the economic necessity (so the theory goes) of illegals to keep field wages down – it’s the blue ball Republican growers who are resisting Trump and his wall (I saw one article on this in some newspaper from Sonoma, no link, sorry), and they will use boats to ship bodies to the fields.

Rumors are as rumors do, just as stupid is what stupid does, so I don’t know the truth of all this.

It’s still a bitch to get Occam right, because what’s “necessary” (in this case: it’s “necessary” to have illegals), is just a real, well, bitch.

Occam applied: a house (Republican) divided cannot stand. Or, something like that.

Achilles said...

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
The difference between the right and the left in this country is that the right understands this is impossible...

To crack down on bribery? Not at all.

It is funny that you think a politician of any party would do this willingly.

Your party's problem is that it decides that because the government should be corrupt, they will institute whatever law or philosophical practice they can to make it that way.

"Your party"

Stop being a dishonest clown. The only thing I hate more than the corrupt democrat party is the traitorous republican party. This is pure bad faith on your part.

buwaya's cites are correct. We are one of the most corrupt advanced industrial democracies. But that's by design. Other countries with a system of public financing for campaigns don't have this bad a problem.

This is just stupid. These systems are merely patronage enforced by law. They are meant solely to protect a permanent political class. The only way to get public funding for a campaign is to be in the correct caste.

It doesn't take a genius to understand why, just the average intelligence necessary for knowing the dictionary definition of the word "bribe." Republicans want a system of bribed campaigns and Democrats don't. It's really that simple. Republicans want a corrupt government and every time they attain power, they demonstrate how one can be identified.

You talk about intelligence and you spew this stupidity? The democrat party doesn't want a system of bribed campaigns? Hillary. Clinton.

The democrat party just rigged their own primary to nominate Hillary Clinton.

Hillary. Clinton.

Do you want me to act like you and call into question the level of intelligence you displayed there? Seriously get over yourself.

grackle said...

western Europe HATED HATED HATED President Reagan.

Of course they hated Reagan. Western Europe, like the Middle East, are never happier than when the USA looks like it is on the downswing.

They liked Obama because they could recognize one of their own – nothing is too good for a fellow socialist who dislikes America. Obama fitted right in.

Do you not believe that they try to be objective and factual as standard practice?

I try not to allow self-appointed arbiters of the truth dictate what I believe. What they may “try” to do is irrelevant.

… who tells us that Trump got us Gorsuch and that makes him a winner - despite the fact that all serious GOP presidential candidates would have gotten us Justice Neil Gorsuch as well.

“ .. serious GOP presidential candidates …” You mean like McCain and Romney? Oh … I forgot … they lost … with NO chance to appoint anything, much less a SCOTUS Justice.

buwaya said...

"Your party's problem is that it decides that because the government should be corrupt, they will institute whatever law or philosophical practice they can to make it that way. "

The route to corruption begins, unfortunately, with regulation, and ambition. Give the government power over something, and power and wealth seekers will be attracted to that. It is inevitable. Complex hierarchical systems with control of mega-Croesus-hoards of money, in and out of government, will attract corruption. This on its own will create impunity as all related systems are corrupted in protection of the loot.

Campaign finance has little to do with it. In fact the elected politicians have a minor part of your problems, no matter their corruption. France and Spain are very corrupt for instance, but there it works largely through the bureaucracy - though French-Spanish politicians are bought all day anyway, in spite of public funding. In your case it is really that, bureaucratic systems and their personnel subject to bureaucratic capture.

And the real payoff for American politicians is not in paying for their campaigns, but in making them wealthy, and their families and friends.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

As a rich businessman, I have no doubt that he used lawyers -- civil lawyers -- to help achieve his business objectives. That's the cost of doing business in the real world. It can get ugly and messy.

But I don't care about that.


Well, then I don't see how you can say that you care about constitutional uses of presidential power. It's one thing that you (sadly, IMO) feel you need to defame and judge-shop and abusively sue your way to riches. But a president needs to be a bit more humble than that, and focused on the needs of every American. And that starts with allowing them to voice their say without a knee-jerk need to get retaliatory about it.

How about a truce? Drop the empty threats of impeachment, drop the bogus Russian investigation, and hammer away at him for his persona and politics.

He's being investigated at the authority/behest of his own party in Congress and if it uncovers impeachable offenses, then a hearing may take place. He doesn't get to call off investigations, even if (especially if) he feels he has something to hide - which he seems to always act like he does. Maybe that's just his own paranoia, but that's not the investigators' problem. And he never earned any right to the people's trust when it comes to unimpeachably honorable conduct in anything he's done - business included. So he starts off looking like a suspect with something to hide. His staffs' behaviors haven't helped that at all. If you really do work in business, you should know the importance of culture. He obviously has an autocratic business culture - filled with every manner of obsequiousness, defensiveness, backstabbing, backbiting and rule-bending. It does not promote integrity. So there is no "right" to be trusted. As every decent business knows, that "right" is earned. He's not earned it.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I guess what I'm saying is that "lawfare" -- a favorite tactic of the Dems (but also employed by the GOP against Bill Clinton in 1998) is bad for the country. It's much easier to say, "vote the crook out of office," then "vote the bastard out of office."

So, yes, I am suggesting that the Left drop "lawfare," but vigorously assail the politics and policy, because all that is fair game.


This country would not be as business-friendly as it is if it weren't for our elevation of the law and its lawyers as the vanguard of our political elite.

Sure, there comes a point when legalistic wrangling becomes self-defeating, and distracts from what should be an issue of character and performance. But Trump never earned a reasonable person's trust on those scores, either. Five bankruptcies, stiffing contractors and infidelity galore. I feel bad for him. As a narcissist, he's got the emotional make-up of a defensive little kid, and doesn't know it. But he wanted to have the most responsible position in the world, and he got it. He needs to learn to act as if he's up to the job, as long as he wants to be taken seriously enough to handle it.

We can have a "truce." I don't mind Trump on everything, and get the sense that he is really probably just his own worst enemy on a lot of this stuff. I want to give him a break, just because of how exhausting it is following his lies. Perhaps he means well, despite lying constantly. But that stuff throws people off. It's just not how a democratic country's equipped to expect accountability of its leaders.

At some point, I think what the right is going to have to admit is that he's the Republican Bill Clinton. Bill was the one who urged him to run, after all. Some people loved Bill Clinton. Even let him grope them. Dreamed about it. Defended his every single act of bending the truth as far as it would go. It almost seemed like the guy's guiding ethic was, that if he could convince you to believe it, it might as well have been true.

But those other Democrats (I was not one of them) learned their lesson about Bill Clinton. Despite how much he seduced you into never stopping dreaming about tomorrow. And I fear I've seen this song and dance before. I predict the right will suffer a fall once they finally accept what Trump's all about, just like the left had to with Clinton. AND his wife.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The route to corruption begins, unfortunately, with regulation, and ambition.

No. It begins with money, goofball. That's where it becomes traceable. We will not be prosecuting thought-crimes in this country, or whatever x-ray machine or polygraph conservatives want to drag out when it comes to their dream of determining who the most noblest of people are to run.

As for Achilles, I won't be responding to him any more. Or even reading him. He's like a broken record of phony open-mindedness and honesty, and then just devolves into really the most repetitive of partisan hacks. Sad, I thought he was better than that. For someone who always asks others to do better, he certainly doesn't seem to expect it of himself.

buwaya said...

"This country would not be as business-friendly as it is "

Its not really very business-friendly anymore.
Its quite annoying to do a great number of things in the US. Thats one reason why there are masses of retained earnings held offshore (last year IIRC Apple was holding $200B, overall its over 10% of GDP), and have been for over a decade. The very low rate of business investment (as a % of GDP) in the US is another clue.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

At 6:12 a self-described non-partisan just proved himself to be anything but, with an obsessive, just-as-out-of-place-and-irrelevant-as-ever insertion of the former Republican Hillary Clinton yet again into a discussion that didn't have anything to do with her.

Hillary was once a Republican. Trump was a Democrat. Any defenders of either of these two clowns, openly partisan or not, who don't accept what hacks these two lowest rated opponents ever are, are just plain dishonest and not worth reading.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Its not really very business-friendly anymore.

You're a funny guy. Often seeing the complexity of the world for what it is, but still insisting on comically oversimplified answers.

The Netherlands is more business-friendly than us. Also way more socialistic and liberal and libertarian.

Perhaps we will have to make progress on those fronts first.

But not with Foghorn Leghorn Drug Warrior as the attorney general. He's seriously prohibition's last great defender.

If only he could sort out his own legal problems, first.

Achilles said...

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
The route to corruption begins, unfortunately, with regulation, and ambition.

No. It begins with money, goofball. That's where it becomes traceable. We will not be prosecuting thought-crimes in this country, or whatever x-ray machine or polygraph conservatives want to drag out when it comes to their dream of determining who the most noblest of people are to run.

And you want a system where the rich people go to government to set the rules.

As for Achilles, I won't be responding to him any more. Or even reading him. He's like a broken record of phony open-mindedness and honesty, and then just devolves into really the most repetitive of partisan hacks. Sad, I thought he was better than that. For someone who always asks others to do better, he certainly doesn't seem to expect it of himself.

Does it hurt that much? You have to call it phony because projection is your standard fallback. My goal would be to get you to do a little self evaluation. It seems I have failed.

I will keep responding to you because it is not personal to me. It is hilarious that you think Democrats are so righteous even after they screwed Bernie and nominated the most corrupt politician in history.

I could take that last paragraph apart line by line and demonstrate how it applies to your love of the democrat party. But I think you need to do that.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Does it hurt that much?

Nope. You're just boring. I don't see the point in responding to people who don't read.

It's like you start with a word or two, and then use it as a springboard for launching into a partisan tirade that was wound up in your own head, and had nothing to do with the word that provoked you, that you fixated on.

...your love of the democrat party.

Hahaha. You should get on one of their calls to me and listen to that alleged "love" of mine for them be expressed. It might teach you a thing or two. I can guarantee you I give them a lot more shit than you've given any Republican. Especially one of their paid party hacks.

Come on over, we'll have a good time. Maybe watch Game of Thrones, fire up a grill. You'll listen to me shut down and insult their cold-calls like a pro. They should put me on Crank Yankers, I tell ya. Every insult I've every lobbed against a Republican or conservative on here comes back ten times worse on those calls I answer to Democrats/DNC hacks.

It'll be fun. I'm serious. Let's do this. You can even show me how you handle things on the shooting range after, or something.

buwaya said...

"No. It begins with money, goofball. "

Goofball I may be.

Corruption is in all its forms a transaction. Someone buys, someone sells.

In order to have a reason to bribe (and this I know very well) there must be something worthwhile to buy.

Simple sorts of corruption are, for instance, purchasing an exclusion from some law or rule, the traditional third-world $ in a drivers license sleeve to a cop to excuse a traffic violation, or $millions to have your shipment of imported goods avoid a customs inspection.

More complex ones involve purchasing government benefits, the simple one the age-old corruption of government purchasing agents re contracts, like Dianne Feinsteins husband did for his consulting firm re the California railroad. More recently other benefits like licenses, or tax credits, like Solyndra and its dozens of analogues. This is extremely ancient, but alive and well.

Much more interesting ones benefit you vs competitors, in other words opportunities for monopoly profits - thats the effect of regulatory capture for the most part. Thats a business goal BTW, chasing competitive advantage through creating barriers to entry via regulatory overhead. Take a business strategy class and note what economies of scale are. Thats subtle, that is. Consider the reasons for financial industry consolidations since the 1980's.

So it is largely government size (contracts), scope (how much of the economy of polity it controls), complexity (its easier to hide this stuff in masses of regulations and legal bumpf), etc. that create the opportunity, or often the need, for corruption.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

In order to have a reason to bribe (and this I know very well) there must be something worthwhile to buy.

Yeah. Well, good luck on that effort of yours to get the monopoly on the use of coercive power that is socially contracted to the state to be less valuable.

sodal ye said...

It makes N. Korea more likely to miscalculate.
@St. George, and if they miscalculate by blowing up Seattle with an ICBM? What then?

Then it will have made it over Vancouver. Phew!

Achilles said...

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
Does it hurt that much?

Nope. You're just boring. I don't see the point in responding to people who don't read.

Excellent, you have been shocked to awareness.

It's like you start with a word or two, and then use it as a springboard for launching into a partisan tirade that was wound up in your own head, and had nothing to do with the word that provoked you, that you fixated on.

I will note that I use much larger quotes than you do. Do you notice how this applies to you as well? We all have a tendency towards reacting to power words.

...your love of the democrat party.

Hahaha. You should get on one of their calls to me and listen to that alleged "love" of mine for them be expressed. It might teach you a thing or two. I can guarantee you I give them a lot more shit than you've given any Republican. Especially one of their paid party hacks.

Come on over, we'll have a good time. Maybe watch Game of Thrones, fire up a grill. You'll listen to me shut down and insult their cold-calls like a pro. They should put me on Crank Yankers, I tell ya. Every insult I've every lobbed against a Republican or conservative on here comes back ten times worse on those calls I answer to Democrats/DNC hacks.


I understand you believe this. But I am going to repost this it out of your post above:

"Republicans want a system of bribed campaigns and Democrats don't. It's really that simple. Republicans want a corrupt government and every time they attain power, they demonstrate how one can be identified."

There are 3 words that I marked in bold that mess up the whole statement. Both parties are clearly corrupt. Not sure why you think the democrats are not inherently corrupt to the core.

It'll be fun. I'm serious. Let's do this. You can even show me how you handle things on the shooting range after, or something.

I think it would be fun as well. I have been too busy to make it to the range for a long time. I want to fix that. Most of my free time lately has been spent getting back into fighting shape but I will probably be going back to graduate school soon. Not sure what is going to happen when that starts.

buwaya said...

"The Netherlands is more business-friendly than us. Also way more socialistic and liberal and libertarian. "

So is Singapore more business-friendly. But rather less liberal and socialistic, though rather more fascist (in a good way!).

It doesn't matter about the socialistic or liberal, its all about the regulations and the systems that create and enforce them.

The business-friendly part mainly has to do with how messy and annoying and complex government regulations are. The US can be a horror show. The Germans are supposedly over-regulated (and they have their moments indeed, but in practice (in the case of industrial firms) they are far more reasonable.

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