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  • Nov 24, 2020 04:06 PM
    Last: 31m
    360
    Dockadams Wrote:

    JD, what liberal media needs to do after Joe is in the fumigated white house is to not give Trump airtime too. What ABC, CBS, and NBC needs to do is put the new administration front and center in their news reporting, and of course, there won't be any more reports of firings by tweeting! We will possibly return to some sense of normal.

    Yes, what the narcissist Trump craves is attention. The mainstream media and cable news needs to quit covering him and his events...no cameras, no reporters, maybe just one shared very junior local pool reporter if something noteworthy happens. And then make no mention of him at all in the news. Fox News might cover him to an extent. Same for Newsmax and OAN, but they just don't have the audience of Fox News.

    Fill the daily news with Biden and Harris. Throw in a little Obama, but ignore Trump, his family and his tweets. He will fade out. Oh and if they have to cover him, put the word "loser" in front of his name, much like he did to "Crooked Hillary" and "Sleepy Joe".

    Okay, that's wishful thinking, but he seems to get more energized the more he's in the news headlines.

  • Dec 01, 2020 10:13 AM
    Last: 2d
    48

    Yes I agree that Trump is an accomplished liar, and after four years, his base believes every lie and conspiracy theory that he has tweeted or planted in his rallies. However to put things in perspective, his percentage of the popular vote increased only slightly from 2016 largely because the 3rd party candidates were a non-factor compared to 2016. Here's some statistics to ponder:

    2016 total popular vote count: 136.7 million, Trump 63.0 million (46.1 %), Clinton 65.9 million (48.2%), 3rd party 7.8 million (5.7%)

    2020 total popular vote count: 158.1 million, Trump 74.1 million (46.9%), Biden 81.1 million (51.3%), 3rd party 2.9 million (1.8%)

    Trump only increased his percent of the popular vote by 0.8 percent, whereas Biden increased his percent over Clinton in 2016 by 2.9 percent. The 3rd party candidates largely responsible for Trump's victory in 2016 (protest votes) went from 5.7% in 2016 to just 1.8% in 2020. Most of that difference went to Biden.

  • Aug 27, 2020 06:54 PM
    Last: 2d
    445
    wwjd Wrote:

    In the Matrix the main character Neo was given the option to take a Blue pill or take a Red Pill. It is a question of strength. Do you want to deal with reality and become better, stronger, wiser through adversity, or live in a dream world where reality is nothing but an illusion, and nothing new is learned and no progress is made.

    Pretty much what Donald Trump is selling is that "fiction" is a better choice than choosing the reality of the truth. This is what is at the core of the 2020 election. Trump voters are personality types that prefer a leader who tells them false information that makes them feel good about their failures(weaknesses). Racism is not a flaw in a Trump voter, they want to have a leader that is able to fictionalize racism into a virtue. Black people get murdered by police because they are criminals. COVID-19 is not serious problem, so just accept it and it will go away, etc, etc.

    If Trump is able to win, which I highly doubt, it will because he has convinced enough people that its better to accept false information than facing the tough realities of life and attempt to solve difficult problems.

    Getting back to wwjd's original post, it all boils done to identity politics...a blue pill or a red pill. Note that any president that garners more than 52 percent of the vote is considered to have won in a "landslide". Biden gets 51 percent and it's close to a landslide. Ezra Klein wrote an article on identity politics in 2018 that I think captures much of what we have been discussing:

    Ezra Klein, Vox, November 5, 2018: How identity politics elected Donald Trump

    "Virtually all politics is identity politics, and the most powerful political identities are the biggest political identities — Democrat and Republican, which are increasingly merging with our racial, geographic, religious, and cultural groups to create what the political scientist Lilliana Mason calls “mega-identities".

    “The Obama administration was not only eight years of a Democratic president — which meant that partisan polarization would only continue to grow — but also eight years of a black president,” write Sides, Tesler, and Vavreck. “Once Obama was elected, Americans’ racial identities and racial attitudes became even more potent political forces. The gap between the political opinions of whites and blacks grew larger.”

    The fact is that racial, religious and cultural identity played a large part in Trump's 2016 election, and it played a large part in his getting 74 million votes in 2020 (versus 63 million in 2016). Digging into the issues there is not much separating us on such things as health care. However, most people are ignorant of just how issues affect them. It is telling that when people were polled on the various individual aspects of the Affordable Care Act, even the act itself, they were supportive. But when they were asked about "ObamaCare" they became adamantly opposed.

    Trump is a master of messaging -- creating misinformation in the minds of his supporters. I give him an "A" for that. He is successful because he deals not with the details of an issue but rather using flowery language that people like to hear -- a big beautiful heath care plan, a big beautiful wall, etc.

    I suppose the appropriate word is "gullible".

  • Jul 13, 2019 11:32 AM
    Last: 5d
    3.8k

    Arizona -- Yes the character of a company reflects the character of the CEO or the department head. It does take time, however. A new boss will have to purge the next level managers that don't want to play his/her game. I've seen it first hand in the corporate world where I lived for 35 years.

    Trump's administration was entirely predictable once the con man became president. For a president that has lied to the public over 20,000 times, it makes sense that his press secretaries would do likewise. They all lied, but Kayleigh McEnany is the most polished liar. Oh and then there is the "alternative facts" Kellyanne Conway. Wow.

    But getting back to Trump's initial staffing of the White House, he had no clue or no interest. He was too lazy to learn even the basic functions of government. But that too was predictable. As a "businessman" his biggest failures were when he was put in direct charge -- his Atlantic City casino bankruptcies for example, but a whole lot of other ventures where he dived in without doing his homework. He did better making money by putting his name (his brand) on hotels and products that others managed. And he made money as a host of the NBC reality show where the NBC executives called the shots on business decisions, and he was just there to pretend to fire people...something that appealed to the dark side of certain America psyches.

    Mary Trump's book is revealing about his character from a young age. Mary Trump is a psychologist and does an excellent job of analyzing his character from boyhood to adult and how his family was always there to bail him out. The mantra of "loser" has effected him throughout his life so much so that he has learned to lie and cheat at everything...even golf to avoid being a "loser". He just cannot psychologically accept losing at anything. Winning is everything. He invents alternative facts to avoid being cast as a loser. That's his whole life. And that's why he will never concede the Presidential election.

  • Nov 05, 2020 08:19 AM
    Last: 5d
    53

    The Doonesbury comic strip is a documentation of the moods of much of the pubic on the issues of the day for the last 50 years. The strip on the Texas abortion law in 2012 hit too close to home for many of the religious hypocrites of the day. I remember in 2008 our state representative, Larry Liston calling unwed teens "sluts". From Westworld:

    "Back in Representative Larry Liston’s day, people called ‘em as they saw ‘em, and Liston calls ‘em sluts. Or at least, that’s how the Colorado Springs Republican chose to describe unwed teenage parents on February 6 during a Republican caucus meeting. “In my parents' day and age, they were sent away. They were shunned. They were called what they are,” he said during a discussion of teenage pregnancy rates. “There's no sense of shame today. Society condones it ... They're sluts. And I don't mean just the women. I mean the men, too.”"

    Liston subsequently apologized for his remarks, but for Colorado Springs, a mecca community for the Christian right, his remarks fit right in with the prevailing view of much the Christian community here at the time. He was pandering to his audience. Oh and he overwhelmingly won election.

  • Nov 20, 2020 08:49 AM
    Last: 6d
    227

    Oh and for those interested, I wrote another article in 2014: Campaign Finance Reform going nowhere fast

    The point I made then is that attempts to fix our campaign finance laws will not go anywhere as long as Republicans oppose those fixes. I complained then about all the money pouring into campaigns. Today we cannot find any comfort in the fact that the $7 billion spent in the 2011 -- 2012 campaign has increased to something like $14 billion spent in 2020 and still counting. The Supreme Court set this scenario up by their 5-4 successive decisions. If the American people in prior elections had voted intelligently instead of emotionally, we would not be in this fix with a highly polarized Supreme Court.

    "We have met the enemy and he is us." -- Pogo

  • Nov 20, 2020 08:49 AM
    Last: 6d
    227

    In 2014 on this website I wrote a blog article: The Supreme Court's Judicial Activism role in Campaign Finance Reform

    You don't have to read it. It gets into the details of how corporations became to be recognized as "people" under the law although there is no mention of corporations at all in the Constitution. But I also wrote about how the later Supreme Court 5-4 decisions have overturned prior Supreme Court decisions. Here are some extracts:

    1976: Buckley v. Valeo: In this landmark case, the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Federal Elections Campaign Act of 1974 including provisions that limited expenditures by campaigns, individuals and groups, and by a candidate from personal funds. The court's decision was a recognition that money counts as speech, since "virtually all meaningful political communications in the modern setting involve the expenditure of money." The case was the first in a chain of decisions over the next 38 years that allowed corporations, organizations and rich individuals to use their money to influence elections.

    2010: Citizens United versus the Federal Election Commission: Justices Scalia and Kennedy, supported now in their 5-4 majority decision by conservative Justices Thomas, Roberts and Alito, not only reversed the court's 1990 Austin, Michigan decision but also rolled back parts of McCain Feingold as restricting free speech. Essentially the court prohibited the government from restricting political independent expenditures by corporations, associations and labor unions. Justice Stevens was particularly incensed by the reversal on the Austin, Michigan case, and within his 90 page dissent he chastised the court for expanding the scope of the arguments beyond what was being specifically litigated in Citizens United.

    Stevens writes somewhat sarcastically, "Our colleagues’ suggestion that “we are asked to reconsider Austin and, in effect, McConnell ,” ante , at 1, would be more accurate if rephrased to state that “we have asked ourselves” to reconsider those cases." Stevens goes on in his dissent:

    "The conceit that corporations must be treated identically to natural persons in the political sphere is not only inaccurate but also inadequate to justify the Court’s disposition of this case.

    "Congress has placed special limitations on campaign spending by corporations ever since the passage of the Tillman Act in 1907…The Court today rejects a century of history when it treats the distinction between corporate and individual campaign spending as an invidious novelty born of Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

    ". . . corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their 'personhood' often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.

    2011: Arizona Free Enterprise PAC v. Bennett: On June 27, 2011, the Roberts Supreme Court made another egregious ruling (again 5-4) to throw out a provision of Arizona’s 13 year old well regarded public campaign financing system. The concept for matching funds in Arizona has several well documented positives that seemingly avoid the legal pitfalls of the free speech arguments...or so it seemed. Note that in 1976, an earlier Supreme Court in Buckley vs Valero upheld public financing as Constitutional. Times have changed and the make-up of the court has changed.

    Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion that the Arizona law was unconstitutional because it “plainly forces the privately financed candidate to ‘shoulder a special and potentially significant burden’ when choosing to exercise his First Amendment right to spend funds on behalf of his candidacy.” For many legal scholars including the ACLU, the Roberts opinion defied logic.

    Justice Kagan didn't mince her words in writing the dissent: “Except in a world gone topsy-turvy, additional campaign speech and electoral competition is not a First Amendment injury... Arizona, remember, offers to support any person running for state office. Petitioners here refused that assistance. So they are making a novel argument: that Arizona violated their First Amendment rights by disbursing funds to other speakers even though they could have received (but chose to spurn) the same financial assistance. Some people might call that chutzpah.”

    ===============================

    I'll leave it at that. The point I was making in 2014 was that the Supreme Court has been highly politicized in their interpretations of the Constitution, and that prior Supreme Court findings can serve as precedent for other cases only until they are challenged again in the courts. Later Supreme Court rulings can overturn prior Supreme Court decisions and can even engage what is termed "judicial activism" -- going beyond the remit of the case to make law.

  • Dec 19, 2019 11:26 AM
    Last: 7d
    32k

    Yes this is typical of what Trump did as a "businessman" -- refusing to pays bills inviting lawsuits that were ultimately settled for considerably less than the face amount. He did it to everyone. From my blog article on Trump as a bad businessman: "He stiffed the workers and small companies who worked for him on those projects -- a dishwasher, a plumber, numerous waiters and bartenders, painters, a glass company and a carpet company, real estate brokers who sold his properties, and ironically, several law firms that once represented him in lawsuits."

    And now he is suing the state election boards for "election fraud" while he himself is the biggest fraud of the election year. His last gasp in clinging to the presidency is to claim Biden must "prove" that his 80 million votes were not illegally obtained...putting the onus on Biden to prove his made up bullshit conspiracy theories wrong. He wants to take his various debunked cases to the Supreme Court but they might not even hear them.

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump

    Biden can only enter the White House as President if he can prove that his ridiculous “80,000,000 votes” were not fraudulently or illegally obtained. When you see what happened in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia & Milwaukee, massive voter fraud, he’s got a big unsolvable problem!

    This claim about election fraud is disputed

    8:56 AM · Nov 27, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

    In any case, though, the longer he fights in Twitter and public, the more money pours in from his supporters. That's what it always really is about for Trump -- follow the money. Those campaign contributions serve him well. I expect more rallies to keep the Trump cult energized and ready with their pocket books.

  • Nov 26, 2020 10:28 AM
    Last: 8d
    47

    Well maybe. We both have seen extreme poverty in the third world countries we have visited. And these are countries that have sources of income...oil reserves or other natural resources that could otherwise sustain a nation. Venezuela did all right for itself before oil was discovered. It has enormous tourist and agricultural potential. But when I lived there, I saw extremely wealthy Venezuelans flaunting their wealth and extremely poor people begging on street corners. This was under Chavez.

    Still if certain Americans are accustomed to a standard of living, and that is suddenly taken away from them, then yes running short of food is suddenly at the top of their fears. So I can understand their fears...maybe they have a week's supply or more of food at home, but without the security of a job, they will take every opportunity to stock up as the pandemic situation worsens. I cannot blame them. It is human nature, much the same as you and I running out to stock up on toilet paper.

  • Nov 24, 2020 04:06 PM
    Last: 31m
    360

    Ruth Marcus, Washington Post, November 27: Should Donald Trump be prosecuted? Proceed with caution.

    Ruth Marcus does not touch the subject of pardoning Trump, but she does point out all the pitfalls of going after a previous president for what people perceive as crimes committed while in office.

    "It’s not an easy call. Anyone who believes it to be simple is not grappling with the implications of taking the unprecedented step of lodging criminal charges against a former president. The United States is not a place, chants notwithstanding, where those in power lock up their political enemies. There is a delicate line between the pursuit of justice and indulging the urge for retribution," Marcus writes.

    "Prosecuting Trump may well be justified, but the consequences of further inflaming an already divided country ought to be sobering. A decision this momentous needs to be made on the merits and kept as far from politics as possible."

    Marcus is not saying to not investigate....only to be cautious: "Prosecutors shouldn’t have a roving commission to comb through all the outrages of the Trump administration in search of a fact pattern that fits the criminal code, and that’s a risk. But where there is enough of a predicate to open a criminal investigation, they should not be hobbled."

    Rather than pardoning Trump, which could lose Democratic Party voters wanting to see him in an orange jump suit, it might be best to leave things alone and let the process play out with the Attorney General and New York prosecutors. Once his precarious financial situation is revealed, and the banks start calling in loans (unless Putin acts as a sugar daddy to buy up his loans), people will begin to realize what a con job he has pulled on them.

    Certainly 74 million Americans voted for Trump, and they won't take kindly to Biden going after him. Somehow they have to come to the idea that Trump is a fraud on their own. They hate Democrats rubbing Trump's misdeeds in their faces. They only dig in deeper.