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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trump is right about China on: March 11, 2016, 09:58:37 PM
people I have spoken to about China who have first hand knowledge tell me the Chinese are laughing at us and think we are stupid. Only Trump points this out:

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/11/trump-may-be-proven-right-on-china-tariffs-chang.html

If so, then he is like Perot, good at pointing out the problem and lacking in solutions.

'All we do is lose, lose, lose... All they do is win against us...'

They are 'getting rich' by devaluing their country via its currency.  That worked where?  When?

Never?
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: more on PACS on: March 08, 2016, 03:43:27 PM

Yes the PACs have been all negative on Republicans, doing the work for Democrats.
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: March 08, 2016, 12:52:18 PM
Last chance, Rubio must win his home state to stay in the race.  I sent him money today.  If he loses, Rubio is out, Trump starts taking big winner take all states, likely wins thenomination and loses the election.

If Rubio wins, which is possible, it means a number of things:
1.  It could mean nothing; it was Rubio's home state.
2. It could mean Trump has lost Ohio to Kasich as well. 
3. Trump can't reach 1200 delegates prior to the election if he loses these two.
4.  It means Trump shows weakness in crucial states.
5. The frontrunner is no longer inevitable.  The magic and momentum is gone.
6.  Rubio gets a big momentum bump, a much better story to tell, overcame 20 point deficit with EVERYONE writing him off...
7.  The primary map moves to different areas of relative strength and weakness for the candidates. 
8. We are left with a very messy, divided, 4 way race.  Questions remain:
9. Will the convention change the rules in the week prior?
10. Will the convention feel it has to endorse the candidate who is leading even if they are well short of the threshold required?
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance Glibness, Biden shut down confirmation of John Roberts 1992 on: March 08, 2016, 12:27:12 PM
How Biden killed John Roberts’s nomination in 1992 (to the DC Court of Appeals)

By Marc A. Thiessen  February 25, 2016,  Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-biden-killed-john-robertss-nomination-in-92/2016/02/25/c17841be-dbdf-11e5-81ae-7491b9b9e7df_story.html?postshare=3631456434039221&tid=ss_fb

In 1992, then-Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Joe Biden launched a preemptive attack on any nominee President George H.W. Bush named to the Supreme Court, warning that if Bush tapped someone, Biden’s committee “should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination . . . until after the political campaign season is over.”

While Biden did not get the chance to kill a Supreme Court nomination that year, he did kill the nomination of a future chief justice of the Supreme Court — John G. Roberts Jr.

On Jan. 27, 1992, President Bush nominated Roberts to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Roberts was immensely qualified for the job. He had served since 1989 as principal deputy solicitor general of the United States, arguing 39 cases before the Supreme Court, making him one of the country’s most experienced Supreme Court litigators.

But his nomination to the federal bench was dead on arrival at Biden’s Senate Judiciary Committee. Biden refused to even hold a hearing on Roberts’s nomination, much less a vote in committee or on the Senate floor. Roberts’s nomination died in committee and was withdrawn on Oct. 8, 1992. It was only about a decade later that he was re-nominated to the federal bench by President George W. Bush — and we all know the rest of the story.

Roberts was not alone in being denied a hearing or a vote by Biden. According to a report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), in 1992 Biden killed the nominations of 32 Bush appointees to the federal bench without giving them so much as a hearing. And that does not count an additional 20 nominations for the federal bench where Biden did not hold hearings that year, which CRS excluded from its count because they reached the Senate “within approximately [four] months before it adjourned.”

So none were cases in which time simply ran out. There was plenty of time to consider the nominations. But Biden refused. Why? According to an article in Texas Lawyer magazine, cited in the CRS report, some of the “nominees reportedly fell victim to presidential election year politics, as Democrats hoped to preserve vacancies in expectation that their presidential candidate would win election.”

That’s not all. In 1988, then-Chairman Biden also killed the nominations of nine candidates for the federal bench appointed by President Ronald Reagan without so much as a hearing. The New York Times reported at the time that “Democrats were determined to bury” some of the nominations because, as one liberal lobbyist told the paper, “the appellate seats were too precious to for us to give up” in a presidential election year.

Biden’s defenders claim that he made his 1992 remarks about killing a Supreme Court nominee in June of an election year, not February. But some of the nominees Biden killed that election year had been nominated as early as January 1991 — 17 months before the presidential election. And some of the nominees he killed in 1998 had been nominated as early as February 1987 — 16 months before voters went to the polls to choose a new president.

Biden’s record of election-year judicial obstruction came to light in 1997, when he tried to force then-Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms to hold a hearing on the nomination of Massachusetts Gov. William Weld to be U.S. ambassador to Mexico (I was on Helms’s committee staff at the time). When Helms declared Weld’s nomination dead on arrival, Biden and other committee members forced Helms to convene a committee meeting, which they hoped would take up Weld’s nomination. Instead, Helms turned the meeting into a lecture on the “History of Presidential Nominees Not Receiving Confirmation Hearings.” He presented 10 pages of charts prepared by CRS detailing 154 presidential nominations during the previous decade that had been killed without a hearing — including dozens of judicial nominations that Biden had killed.

When challenged by Helms on his record, Biden explained that the nominees in his case were different than Weld’s, because they were nominated in an election year. “When I was chairman of the Judiciary Committee,” he admitted to Helms, “there were a number of judges who were left at the gate who did not in an election year get through.”

His point was that this was normal Senate practice — and he is right. Both parties have a history of killing judicial nominations without a hearing in an election year, particularly in cases where the nomination would shift the balance of the court. The CRS report notes that in 1995 and 1996, when Republicans controlled the Senate, they killed 14 of President Bill Clinton’s nominees to the federal bench without a hearing.

The bottom line is that what Republicans are doing today is far from unprecedented. To the contrary, it is the norm. There is a graveyard filled with judicial appointments killed without a hearing by both Republicans and Democrats in an election year.

Just ask John Roberts.
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 23 Unsecured Classified Emails Sent By Sydney Blumenthal to Hillbillary Clinton on: March 08, 2016, 12:18:39 PM
2009
June 23 email — Blumenthal forwarded Clinton a nearly entirely redacted email with subject line “N. Ireland/Shaun,” an apparent reference to Shaun Woodward, who then served as Northern Ireland’s secretary of state.

July 15 memo — Blumenthal refers to information from William Drozdiak, who at the time was the president of the American Council on Germany. The non-redacted portion of the email refers to the “disastrous nature” of an Obama diplomatic trip.


Sept. 23 email — Entitled “URGENT FOR NORTHERN IRELAND MEETINGS TOMORROW,” the Blumenthal memo refers to a Clinton Global Initiative event held days before to discuss ways to increase foreign investment in Northern Ireland.

Oct. 8 memo — Blumenthal provided an update on developments in Northern Ireland.

Oct. 11 memo — Blumenthal advised Clinton ahead of a speech she was set to give at Stormont Castle in Belfast in support of devolution, or the shifting of power from the U.K. parliament to the Northern Ireland national assembly.

Oct. 20 memo — Blumenthal shared an email from Northern Ireland’s Sec. of State Shaun Woodward. Clinton was set to meet with UK Shadow Foreign Minister William Hague. “This makes your meeting with Hague unexpectedly pressing,” Blumenthal wrote of Woodward’s email.

Nov. 28 memo — Blumenthal sent yet another update about negotiations in Northern Ireland.

2010

Blumenthal sent Clinton more updates on negotiations in Northern Ireland, including a Jan. 25 memo, a Jan. 27 memo, a March 4 memo, a March 6 memo, and a March 8 memo.

April 8 memo — Blumenthal forwarded Clinton an email from a source discussing internal politics in Kyrgyzstan, which was then in the midst of a revolution.

April 23 “Secret” memo — Blumenthal updated Clinton on the situation in Kyrgyzstan. The portion of the memo redacted for “secret” classified information discussed a criminal investigation.

2011

March 5 memo — Blumenthal forwarded Clinton an email from his longtime associate Cody Shearer, who has worked on behalf of the Clintons over the years. The memo, sent in the early days of the Libyan revolt, discussed the formation of the National Transitional Council, which replaced Muammar Gaddafi’s dictatorship.

March 18 memo — Blumenthal discussed Gaddafi’s response to the UN’s decision to authorize the use of force in Libya.

June 20 memo — Blumenthal’s memo, with the subject line “Bahrain, Iranian intelligence,” is completely redacted.

Oct. 12 memo —  A memo entitled “Saudi Arabia/Iran/Turkey” relied on Blumenthal’s “Sources with access to the highest levels of the Government of Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, as well as regional and Western Intelligence services.”

2012

May 30 memo — Blumenthal sent Clinton two memos containing information on German policy on the Eurozone crisis, which had reached full steam at that point. The information in the memos was passed to Blumenthal by sources who had conversations with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble.

In the memo, Blumenthal cautioned Clinton that the information came from “an extremely sensitive source” and “should be handled with care.” He also insisted that the information must not be shared “with anyone associated with the German government.

June 27 memo — A memo entitled “Internal pressures and potential schisms in German government over Euro-zone” is entirely redacted.

July 14 memo — Blumenthal’s memo entitled “Egypt internal politics” came from “sources with access to the highest levels of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and Western Intelligence and security services.”

Blumenthal characterized the sources as “extremely sensitive” and cautioned that the information should be “handled with care.”

Aug. 3 memo — Blumenthal passed along a memo discussing European Central Bank president Mario Draghi and negotitions with Germany to resolve the Eurozone debt crisis. The memo is entirely redacted as classified and is b ased on “sources with access to the highest levels of the Governments and institutions.”

Sept. 4 memo — Blumenthal passed along another now-entirely redacted memo based on “high-level sources.” The subject matter of the memo is not clear.

http://dailycaller.com/2016/03/07/here-are-the-23-classified-memos-sidney-blumenthal-sent-to-hillary-clinton/#ixzz42KvnGm8N
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trump will likely reduce not increase Republican turnout on: March 08, 2016, 11:42:51 AM
This is absolutely true that some Republicans would vote for Hillary over Trump.  Without a doubt many would simply stay home.  So for those who tell us he would bring voters to the Republican side there are many he would drive away - in droves - probably much worse then Romney.  My own sister is one of them.  She is very afraid of Trump.  He is nuts she says.  Unfortunately I could not convince her to consider Cruz either who she says no one he works with likes him.  He was always this way even when he was an aide. 

http://www.thewrap.com/fox-news-bret-baier-some-republicans-could-back-hillary-clinton-over-donald-trump/

Rush has been making the point that Republicans have wanted to reach and bring in new voters and Democrats etc. and Trump is doing that.  What he doesn't say is that Trump is doing that at the expense of driving others away, still scoring worst in general election matchups.

Would I vote for Trump over Hillary?  Of course.  But my motivation to vote would be VERY low and if something else should come up... pulling the lever for a lesser evil isn't going to be a highest priority or a proudest moment.
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More from Thomas Sowell:

What are the chances that the world's greatest violinist would make a good quarterback? Or that the world's greatest quarterback would make a good violinist? Why then would anyone think that a successful businessman would make a good president — especially when he is demonstrating almost daily why he would not?

https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/03/16/random-thoughts-b2798
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics, Who are the people in the "top 10%"? on: March 08, 2016, 11:29:11 AM
Here is a trick question: What percentage of American households have incomes in the top 10 percent? Answer: 51 percent of American households are in the top 10 percent in income at some point in the course of a lifetime — usually in their older years. Those who want us to envy and resent the top 10 percent are urging half of us to envy and resent ourselves.

https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/03/16/random-thoughts-b2798
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 08, 2016, 11:23:39 AM
Will a Supreme Court without a single Protestant justice rule that an "under-representation" of any group is evidence of discrimination?

https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/03/16/random-thoughts-b2798
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science: NOAA data shows no increase in 60 years. Hide the data. on: March 07, 2016, 05:33:31 PM
By choosing a different starting date and intermixing the urban heat island effect, NOAA press releases find one half of a degree of warming over 37 years while their more accurate data show no warming over 60 years.



http://realclimatescience.com/2016/03/noaa-radiosonde-data-shows-no-warming-for-58-years/

Read the longer story.  These people take Billions in taxpayer money just to commit a fraud on us.

In their “hottest year ever” press briefing, NOAA stated that they have a 58 year long radiosonde temperature record. But [to show warming] they only showed the last 37 years in the graph.

Here is why they are hiding the rest of the data. The earlier data showed as much pre-1979 cooling as the post-1979 warming. (see graphs)

[NOAA data] shows that the earth’s atmosphere has not warmed at all since the late 1950’s.

The omission of this data from the NOAA report, is just their latest attempt to defraud the public. NOAA’s best data shows no warming for 60 years. But it gets worse. The graph in the NOAA report shows about 0.5C warming from 1979 to 2010, but their original published data shows no warming during that period.

Due to Urban Heat Island Effects, the NOAA surface data shows nearly one degree warming from 1979 to 2010, but their original radiosonde data showed no warming during that time. Global warming theory is based on troposphere warming, which is why the radiosonde data should be used by modelers – instead of the UHI contaminated surface data.

NOAA’s original published radiosonde data showed no net troposphere warming from 1958 to 2010, when the data set ended.
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: March 07, 2016, 12:48:57 PM
These could go under media and professional journalism.

1.  Hillary needs to release Wall Street speeches.  Bernie says that at a quarter million each, these must be great speeches.  Why can't we see her at her very best?

2.  Trump needs to direct NY Times to release off the record conversation with their editorial board.  Why can't we know now he plans to run in the general election and how he plans to govern?  It might affect our vote...

3.  Trump needs to release his tax returns.  HE is the one who makes a big deal out of his finances.  They are great.  They are huge.  It's Missouri primary time, show us!  Show us now!  You know they'l be 'leaked' in the general election.

4.  Obama needs to release his college transcripts.  I had to throw that in there, point being that when it doesn't favor the media agenda, nobody makes it happen.  Young students ought to know what it takes to get into Columbia, Harvard Law School and elected President.

5.  None of this will happen.  Let's vote without knowing the most important things about the most important people.  What could possibly go wrong.  The media thinks it is the opponents' responsibility to press these (when it doesn't fit their agenda) and then they don't cover the opponents when they do so.
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: March 07, 2016, 12:07:29 PM
Bringing some of this over from the Clinton Crime Family thread.

"Donald is who brought this down, single-handedly"

I meant the tone, profanity and vulgarity.  The fault is Trump, the media, and Trump's mastery of the media.  We ought to be able to invite the children to watch a "Presidential" Debate.  Rubio made the hands joke but it was more subtle.  He joked that hand size correlates with trustworthiness, got bad feedback and dropped it.  Then Trump went on national television and started making public assurances about his manhood.  Coincidentally, he is close friends with the guy who "did not have sexual relations with that woman...", and is still the most popular of the living former Presidents.

But before that Rubio and others went after him on every issue only to be ignored while the media attention was going to Trump by a ratio of 58:1.

Case in point, Crafty asked why no one is bringing up China's provocations in the South China Sea, but Rubio has made that point is every stump speech he has given - to the brink of being disqualified for repetition - and the reporter following speech tells his editor nothing newsworthy happened there, no gaffes and no over the top rhetoric, and they switch back to Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims from entering.   He went to the levity and the edge of the gutter only after everything else failed in a 17 way race and then a 4 way race.  Compare the coverage of defending the South China Sea with a hand joke.  Trump knows where people want there reassurances.  Trump is right unless people vote either for the guy who would defend the South China Sea (or the one was against legalization from the beginning).

On immigration, there is no doubt that Trump brought this up with a landmine in his opening, linking illegals to crimes committed here - taking real data right out of Ann Coulter's book and making it sound like all of them are rapists.  Ever since he didn't back down on the followup to that, the media has been addicted to him.  He constantly attracts more attention than he deserves - even here!

Crafty:  "Certainly he brought spotlight to the [immigration] issue, but as Cruz says, he was donating to 5 of the Gang of Eight when they were looking to pass Amnesty while Cruz was fighting it."

True, but that is not what is visible to the casual viewer.  The cameras don't follow Cruz or Rubio except to wait for a gaffe or an overstep and then they are disqualified, not worshipped.  Trump brings out the issue by saying it irresponsibly and insincerely.  He knows they aren't all rapists and he knows he was giving money to Pelosi-Reid just a minute ago and that just adds to the shock value.  His way is better (in the current media world) than Cruz being right and consistent or Rubio struggling to address both sides and solve the issue.  The boldness of his talk makes people think he will get it done, but as Crafty mentioned, the "off the record" tapes along with his previous opposing positions might make you think otherwise. 

But ccp is right.  The party has ignored these people and the law on this issue, taken our country down the tubes out of fear that Democrats would take it down the tubes without them.  25-40% would rather lose and be heard and represented than be part of the RINO liberal ruling coalition.  Same goes for shutting down destructive and counterproductive programs and agencies like the Fannie Mae CRAp that brought down our economy last time.  But the ones who would actually do that get no voice, no audience and no coverage.

Trump saw an unaddressed market and knew that 25-40% is yuuuge in a crowded field.   He knew something powerful in terms of media manipulation but what he knew is ugly.  We are worse off for the tone of Donald and like other societal decay, the country will never be the same again.  "Bleeding from wherever"[Kelly], "just look at her! [Fiorina]", "He's a nasty, nasty guy"[Cruz], "Bush Lied and People Died", "believe me, there's no problem [down] there", "little Marco" [a former college football player of average height], "Third rate radio show, nobody listens" [Hugh Hewitt radio show where Trump has been a guest at least a dozen times].

The best chance we have to control the border now is to nominate someone who would do that, is electable, can help hold the Senate, and can work something acceptable through Congress.  Trump brought it to the spotlight; someone else can see it through.
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: March 07, 2016, 10:45:29 AM
I confess to being more than a tad proud  grin grin grin

He is scary-good at this!  I take back my proposal to raise the voting age to 30.
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Online voting will lead to hackers voting on: March 07, 2016, 10:24:03 AM

Why wouldn't you make it easier to vote?

This is one reason why easier to vote isn't better.

Another case where the liberal view needs answering or else the young and impressionable fall prey to the other side.  Explaining these things once every four years isn't how how you compete either when the other side has total control K-12, the colleges and the media.

You vote in private, but you may have to come out in front of your neighbors and show your ID to do so.

Early voting is turning into a bad thing too.  It used to be that you needed a reason to vote absentee.
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: I'm sure bigdog would explain that she is a professional journalist on: March 07, 2016, 09:27:26 AM
http://freebeacon.com/politics/msnbc-reporter-no-idea-shes-live-post-debate-interview/

It's almost like the media acts as a PR arm of the dems. Who knew?

You'd think MS and NBC would want to get their names off of that network. 

John Dickerson discussed the questions with both sides before the first debate.  (SeeBS)

Maybe candidates can submit answers in advance too so they can all get on the same page with the followup.

I'm guessing Megyn Kelly and DT don't get together and go over the questions before their debates.  Nor Chris Wallace and his charts screen.
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: March 06, 2016, 10:39:22 PM
"There has to be a better way."

There have to be better people.  Others responded in kind, but Donald is who brought this down, single-handedly.
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marco Rubio starts over in Florida, it's Trump's race to lose on: March 06, 2016, 03:54:37 PM
On this day (roughly), 7 years ago, tea party candidate Marco Rubio had 3% support challenging a popular sitting governor in his own party as an underdog.  He exposed that emperor as having no clothes and now he tries to expose a different emperor for having his clothes made in China.

http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/news/national-govt-politics/shaped-by-immigrant-experience-rubio-has-been-unde/nqc5n/
-----------------------------------

Conventional wisdom today:  Cruz is now firmly in 2nd place in the GOP nomination but his original area of geographic strength is mostly done.  Trump wins the nomination and Hillary wins the Presidency if the dynamic of this race doesn't change.  (Conventional wisdom has been wrong so far.)  Trump has a big lead in Florida and Rubio is presumed out of the race if and when he loses there.  (Simultaneously, Kasich faces the same challenge in Ohio.)

Florida is a winner take all contest, 99 delegates.  What most don't tell you is that Florida is at least two states (covering two time zones).  North Florida including the panhandle is Trump country similar to where he swept Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and southern Georgia.  Trump has been getting about 41% in those states.  Florida is a closed primary; maybe that knocks Trump down a couple of points and Cruz is coming in to fight.  Cruz competing is presumed to help Trump but who knows, it could be a head fake.  Cruz needs Trump to lose Florida in terms of delegates, but if Rubio wins, he stays in and is re-energized.  A no-win for Cruz(?).

South Florida is diverse and not as Republican as the north.  Only a small part is Cuban-American.  Rubio's strengths in this race have tended to be the suburban areas, college educated Republican voters (is that an oxymoron?)  He needs to win his strong areas by large margins and keep down his losses in the in his weaker areas.

Floridians have been hearing plenty about Rubio "not showing up for work" and also about allegedly breaking his no blanket amnesty pledge.  Now they getting an earful of anti-Trump messages to go with that.  

Results yesterday (Kansas, etc.) say that Rubio's attacks did some damage to Trump, and also to himself.

If Trump loses Florida after leading by 20, it's a sign of weakness (understatement) and he probably loses Ohio as well.  Then the 4-way race goes the distance.

Long shot:  If Florida believes Rubio is already done and a majority think Trump is a mistake, maybe Cruz can win a big upset in Florida and be the new frontrunner.  It might be his only path to the nomination too!
------------------------------------------------

Update:  Rubio swept all 23 delegates in Puerto Rico with the first over 50% win of any of them.  I was going to say jokingly, this changes everything.  But there are a million Puerto Ricans in Florida, this changes everything.  Like Bush-Gore-2000, we will soon be tired of hearing about how the course of US history changed in the 2016 primary in Florida.  A week before it (now), people though Donald Trump was going to be President!
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 06, 2016, 02:23:52 PM
It's been quiet on the SCOTUS nomination front.  Suddenly that will change with an Obama appointment.  Probably tomorrow morning, but you know he will do it soon.  I am surprised at how unready they were for this (makes you think maybe they didn't kill Scalia after all).  The delay just feeds into the Republican argument that there isn't time left to do this.

NY Times (and others) reported recently on this contender:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/03/us/politics/white-house-vetting-jane-kelly-judge-supreme-court.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

In a Senate floor speech in 2013, Mr. Grassley effusively praised Judge Kelly, a longtime public defender, just before she won unanimous confirmation to her current position on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
--------------------------------------

Is that the best we can do for a lifetime appointment with more power than all the voters combined, a 51 year old with 2 years experience as an appellate judge?
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Kasich, big government 'conservatives' on: March 06, 2016, 01:39:10 PM
"The one that had the most visceral impact for me was the one on the Second Amendment losing out to the No Fly list."

If I may expand on that...

When a liberal hears a liberal say that, the connection makes sense.  If we wouldn't let someone get on an airplane, why would we let them buy a gun?  Two problems with that:

Bureaucrats put people arbitrarily on the no fly list with no notice, hearing or real process for recourse. 

Gun ownership as a constitutional right is actually a far higher right than boarding an airplane.

An awful lot of people don't agree that '...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed...'   What I don't understand is why they don't address their disagreement with that 'old idea' through the amendment process instead of by asking elected officials to violate it.  Diminishing one clause of the constitution diminishes the whole thing.

As to Kasich and his political judgment on this, when you run against your own side on an important issue, you should have your position and the issue fully thought through.  No sign of that here. 

Maybe Kasich would empower the NSA to make a bigger, better no-fly, no-gun list.
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Foundation scores Rubio and Cruz tax plans better than Trump's on: March 06, 2016, 01:10:17 PM
We don't see many of these comparisons because we don't hear the candidates publicly getting behind their own tax plan very much.

I think Ted Cruz is being completely unrealistic to thin we are going to a top marginal rate of 10% anytime soon.  Hillary will eat his lunch on that.  Likewise for Marco Rubio's plan to put a zero tax on capital gains.  That would be a wonderful thing for growth and solve all of my problems personally.  As it stands now I would have to die to get at my accumulated net worth and then get taxed on it anyway!  But a zero tax on capital gains is not going to happen.  So from my point of view, I am waiting for the Ryan plan that will hopefully balance out the concerns and have the best chance at prevailing in the election and getting enacted.

All that said, Trump actually has the most reasonable tax rates but his plan is scored worst for deficit and growth by the Tax Foundation:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://taxfoundation.org/blog/why-marco-rubio-and-ted-cruz-s-tax-plans-generate-more-growth-donald-trump-s

Why Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz’s Tax Plans Generate More Growth than Donald Trump’s

An exciting presidential race has brought attention to tax policy, and frequently, to Tax Foundation’s analysis of candidate plans. The three most popular candidates in the Republican race have all put together tax reform proposals.

Tax cuts can increase the size of the economy by improving incentives to work or invest. To some extent, all three candidates’ proposals do this, and our modeling results for each plan show growth. But our model shows more growth from the Rubio and Cruz plans than the Trump plan, even though Trump proposed a larger cut:



Some of our readers may be curious why some tax cuts generate more growth than others. The answer is pretty simple. While Donald Trump largely opted for big rate reductions across the board, Rubio and Cruz made improvements to the structure of taxes, while cutting taxes by less overall. In this, they got more bang for their buck. I’ll highlight one particular example here.

Senators Rubio and Cruz both put thought into the nature of the taxes that businesses pay. They noticed that the current way businesses are asked to calculate taxes creates a bias in the code. When a business builds something new, like, say, a new industrial lathe, that decision actually has a higher tax burden, on net, than simply disbursing the money to shareholders. That’s bad news for machinists, who would much rather that they had new and better tools with which to do their jobs.

Rubio (through modifications of the corporate income tax) and Cruz (through the total conversion of corporate income taxes to his business flat tax) both fix this problem by making the full amount of money spent on the lathe deductible from taxable income. And of course, this applies not just to lathes but to all other kinds of capital investments that businesses purchase: things like buildings or pile drivers or trucks or oil rigs. I write about the cleverness of this policy in Marco Rubio’s plan here, though it applies equally to Ted Cruz’s plan.

In contrast, Trump did little to change the domestic corporate tax system, and merely lowered its rate. This policy has its benefits, including the benefit of growth, but it substantially reduces revenue.

There are, of course, other things in play besides this particular provision. But it’s a good example of a broader trend: the senators pay attention to the details of the tax base, and try to fix incentive problems that the tax base creates. Mr. Trump mostly lowered rates.
Our model notices distinctions like this, and observes the incentives that different tax systems create. America under the Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz tax plan would simply have more lathes and buildings and trucks, and people would be more productive and have higher incomes because of it. And this is not because they propose fewer taxes, but rather, because they propose taxes with better bases.
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump, a dunce on trade on: March 06, 2016, 12:52:55 PM
I saw DT on a couple of channels this morning and some of it was from campaign speeches.

'We lose on trade.  The are beating us by billions and billions of dollars and we get nothing for it', paraphrasing him pretty closely.

Let's examine that.  Every trade transaction is what?  A mutually beneficial arrangement.  What part of, both sides benefit, doesn't he understand? 

Yes we would like our exports to be larger, much larger.  Yes it is nice if export amounts are similar to import amounts, that makes the balancing of the other side of the equation simpler.  But the difference is not a "deficit" and the pronouncement that we get nothing from it is naive and dangerously false

We basically prohibit manufacturing in this country, see EPA and a billion other regulations.    That is the main reason for our export dearth, and the second biggest problem is that the rest of the world mostly has screwed up economies.  Then we have the tax code with the highest business taxes in the developed world.  So when we invent something great like the iphone, we go there to build it.  If we are the most prosperous country in the world, we will never have the lowest wage rates either.  So we have to build what we build best, not stop the trade of low wage products. 

We can increase our exports without stopping imports; these are two partially unrelated phenomena.

Back to imports.  Who buys them and why?  One generalization is Walmart shoppers, isn't that the heart of Trump's support?  Why do we buy there?  The low cost of basic supplies lowers the cost of living and raises our standard of living in ways that wage gains haven't for many, many years.  Important point here is not just Walmart, but nearly all suppliers in nearly all industries.  In building maintenance, we buy large amounts of supplies everyday from the 'big box' stores.  I buy custom metal roofing made in Wisconsin, toilets from Chile and plumbing valves made in China.  We are always looking for the best price for acceptable quality.

It's called comparative advantage.  As Conrad might say, it's covered in Econ 102 and a mental, f'ing 12 year old should be able to figure it out.  On the consumer side we want to buy from the people who build and sell it most efficiently and then produce what we can build and sell the best.

Let's look at the Trump 'solution'.  Threaten a trade war, levy a 45% tax, cut off all imports, we don't get anything out of anyway!?  Really?  Who pays the import tax?  China?  No.  An import tax goes straight to the American consumer.  He doesn't have taxing jurisdiction over China, only on the importer and the retailer.  Then what?  Our cost of living goes up, our standard of living goes down, they retaliate and the global economy spirals down the tubes.

Trump's plan is to threaten a suicide trade war with Mexico and China, not actually have one.  One problem there is that he sounds like the Executive Order President we have now, but he is running for President of a divided power government, not King, so he can't do that alone anyway, not to mention that he is bluffing, they know it and it would have no effect on them anyway.

There are a number of ways that we could negotiate a lot tougher with the Chinese and work smarter with our Mexican neighbor.  Trump supporters see that possibility in him but not from anything he has been saying so far.
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WaPo: EDC wrote 104 classified emails on: March 06, 2016, 12:10:02 PM
I saw her on Face the Nation this morning heavily using her new buzz phrase, "retroactively classified".  She applauds that the aide with immunity is cooperating.  Hoping this comes to a "conclusion" soon. 

Her supporters need talking points to answer their own critics making the accusations that we are making.  Even if aides face trial, even if she is indicted and pardoned or whatever, she will be glad to get this behind her and get on to the real issues, like the extreme views of her Republican opponent.

Back to the show, John Dickerson, a known liberal was trying to play the role of real journalist.  He started with election and issue questions, then dove into this.  He was surprised at her answer and asked again, you are glad this aide is cooperating?  Made her look good.  What is missing is a relentless followup:

Secretary Clinton,  You chose to do national security business over an insecure server.  Your motives for that were obvious, the co-mingling of Foundation interests with State Department clout.  You said no classified material was sent or received.  But it had to be because being in the loop on national security matters was your job.  In fact, you received 2000 classified emails, not zero.  You sent over 100, not zero.  And that is just out of the emails you chose to later to disclose.  You were wrong.  You made a bad decision and stayed with it while it was failing you.  You got caught.  Information taken from your insecure communications may have even enabled the 9/11/12 attacks or other worse attacks on our forces.  Yet you tell us today you learned nothing from the experience.  You still rely on the person (Bill Clinton) who gave you this horrible advice as your top advisor.  People are fired for errors in judgment far less than this.  Instead you want a promotion.  And so on

Instead the media thinks the attacks should only be made by the opposition, but then criticizes them when they spend all their time attacking instead of laying out their own, positive agenda.

I was wrong on all my bets with ccp.  I was horribly wrong to be optimistic about how this election season would go.  The Republican primaries turned out to be a circular firing squad, dividing and destroying the right while chasing away the undecideds and the persuadable.  People are smart enough to distrust Hillary, and then vote for her anyway, while our side seems to be chasing all the wrong issues.
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Kasich on: March 06, 2016, 11:37:42 AM
And thus endeth my mini-moment of consideration , , ,

Which of those clinched it or was it the preponderance of the evidence?

He came into the election like Bush saying, as I heard it, that he didn't have to win conservative support and didn't even want their support. 

It's funny how the media plays the expectations game.  Googling this morning that 'Rubio had a bad day' brings up 20 million search results, yet he beat Kasich resoundingly to stay in 3rd place.  (

Kasich is way better than Hillary and leads her at this point in general election matchups.  That alone is always worth a second look.  If this was going to be a resume or government competency election, who knows the line items of the budget best, then he or maybe Jeb was the guy.  It isn't and he isn't.

He is probably right about letting go on gay marriage even though it was a wrongly decided Supreme Court case, and he is partly right that we need to deal with the people who came here while it was our official government policy give them sanctuary rather that deport them.  But winning with a centrist or RINO right now isn't a win after all we've been through, just repeating the mistakes of the past.  And he isn't a stronger candidate than Romney 2012 or McCain 2008.

My goal this time around was to find a leader who comes from the right but can speak to the center and bring some of them over.  Kasich starts as centrist, speaks for the center and sees the pro-constitutionalists as extremists much like the left.  Like McCain and Romney, he would have to go back and reach to the right in a general election when it is time to speak to the middle. 

If Kasich is the nominee, I will vote vote him.  If he is the VP choice, I may applaud that if it helps a good nominee win.  Is he going to energize a new generation of conservatism to take this country back?  No. 
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Kasich in the race on: March 05, 2016, 11:24:39 AM
Yes, he is a highly qualified guy.  People find him not very interesting to listen to.  I see him as a sort of Cheney-gravitas VP pick if one of the younger candidates were to win the nomination.  He sees himself only as top of the ticket, "the adult in the room".  He is still in the race because he chooses to stay in the race and isn't campaigning nationwide.  His support has been below that of others who responsibly dropped out. 

As Crafty says, Kasich's remaining presence is interesting because like Rubio, he beats Hillary in general election polling.  OTOH, his support has drawn from what Rubio would have otherwise.  He cost Rubio votes in NH and cost him a big win in Virginia that could have been the bump up he needed.  Like the others, Kasich needs to beat Trump, but in fact his continued candidacy has been a serious factor as to why Trump is in control of this race.  Won't Christy be surprised when Trump picks Kasich for VP!

We have Trump leading in all states that vote today(?).  Rubio and Kasich both have their must win home state contests a week from Tuesday.  A number of scenarios can come out of that, but unless the dynamic of the race changes, Trump wins both contests and both Kasich and Rubio get out at the same, partly because of each other, and leave in the race the two weakest general election candidates.   sad

The second most likely scenario is that Kasich wins Ohio and Rubio loses Florida.  Then Kasich stays in with far fewer delegates and weaker support going forward.  Kasich competes with Cruz for the anti-Trump vote and enables a Trump nomination and a Hillary presidency.
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / El Chapo, most wanted fugitive, came and went freely across the border on: March 05, 2016, 10:44:28 AM
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/04/el-chapo-entered-us-california-manhunt-prison-break-daughter-says

El Chapo entered US twice while on the run after prison break, daughter claims
The drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” ...twice secretly entered the United States to visit relatives, according to his eldest daughter. Rosa Isela Guzmán Ortiz said that shortly after an interview with Hollywood star Sean Penn last year, her father dodged a massive manhunt with the complicity of corrupt Mexican officials and evaded US border controls to sneak into California – despite being one of the world’s most wanted fugitives.
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: March 05, 2016, 10:28:10 AM
A Daily Expression of (Political) Gratitude:  As I have been trashing the youngest generation of voters, even to my daughter, this group that helped bring us Obama and is now so excited about Bernie and socialism.  These young 'adults' are ignorant to the failures of socialism and unlike our generation who believed at least in questioning authority instead of just voting the same as your teachers, professors and media who are at least 90% ultra liberal. This week I found out that my daughter, feared to be turning left, went out to the caucus in her small college town with no prompting from here and unlike her peers voted for the same conservative candidate as me!  That won't turn the country around but it makes me feel better about it all.  I am so proud that the destruction of our country that is about to happen is not her fault!  grin

Liberal and leftist ideas sound great but they don't work.  I wish someone would tell the rest of her generation that.
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Wesbury: NIRP (and ZIRP and Central Bank Quackery) on: March 05, 2016, 10:00:53 AM
Speaking of business textbooks, where did these policies come from?  Zero Interest Rate Policy was an accusation I have been making against the Fed since interest rates were artificially set below 3%, 2% and 1%.  I didn't know they could actually go to zero except in a fraudulent come-on. Now it's a widely recognized acronym.  In fact, the danger of having interest rates so low, like 2%, was that the Fed runs out of tools, is unable to lower them further.  My bad!  Now think of negative interest rates across an entire continent or the globe.  We have effectively canceled the concept of savings (Crafty has been on this as well), we have repealed the time value of money and the removed most powerful force in the world, the power of compound interest.  My grandfather sat me down when I started investing and showed me how 7% starts turning into real gains if you let it work over multiple years.  But like the living constitution judges of today knowing more than the Founding Fathers, the people 'managing' our money supply think they know more than everyone that came before them.  FYI to these new know-it-alls, there isn't a monetary trick that makes up for running your fiscal policy at accumulated deficits of at least 24 trillion before it would even be possible to turn it around if you started today.

Wesbury is right on this, just a little too low key about the dangers.  This is insanity and bad policies have bad consequences.  Why would we expect anything else?

Japan is running out of safes and the US is trying to ban currency.  What could possibly go wrong?

...The experimental monetary policies of quantitative easing (QE), zero interest rates (ZIRP), and NIRP have a spotty record at best. There is little evidence they have worked. After all Japan has been doing QE since 2001 – so where are the fruits?
...
So, how can this make sense? First, the Federal Reserve is in the midst of an incredible monetary experiment that has never been done before.

From 1913 to 2008, when the Fed wanted to raise interest rates it reduced the amount of outstanding reserves by selling bonds to banks. But this time it really is different; banks have more reserves than they know what to do with. So instead, the Fed is offering to pay a slightly higher interest rate on current bank reserves. But it’s a weak tool at best. Though the Fed has withdrawn some reserves from the banking system, there are still over $2 trillion in excess reserves system-wide.

In other words, the banking system is still awash in a massive amount of liquidity that can be turned into loans and an increased money supply. And as the Fed has lifted rates, both the M2 money supply (all deposits at all banks) and bank loans and leases have accelerated. In the three months ending in February, M2 has grown at a 6.9% annual rate versus just 5.6% in the past 12 months, while overall loans and leases have accelerated to a 9.8% growth rate in the past three months.

At the same time, there is a shortage of safes in Japan as consumers try to get cash out of banks where they may be charged interest, instead of receiving interest, in the future. At the margin this is happening in Europe as well. When people hold more cash, banks have fewer deposits, so the idea that these negative interest rates will force banks to lend and expand the money supply is suspect.

The big mistake investors are making is believing that central banks can actually manage economic growth. It’s not true and, in fact, the conventional wisdom is causing investors to make big mistakes with what we can only call very simplistic monetary analysis. Don’t always take things at face value.


227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trump, Moving left and still defrauding on: March 05, 2016, 09:32:19 AM
G M:  "Trump has been as conservative as we will see him. This is all about "making the deal". Anyone who thinks Trump isn't going to screw us over, can I interest you in some Trump steaks, or classes at Trump University?"

I wonder if I can get in on the class action fraud lawsuit.  I have been almost alone calling his book Art of the Deal a fraud and a scam since 1987.  Yes, I am still bitter about my hardcover purchase 29 years ago for somewhere between $10 and $20.  Those were hard earned dollars and I expected something of value out of it - to me.  I can imagine how the people who are out $36,000 feel, asked to keep putting in more to get the real secrets.  Secrets like be Donald Trump.  Be as handsomw as Donald Trump.  Be as well connected as Donald Trump.  Trump calls this book "the No. 1 selling business book of all time, at least I think, but I’m pretty sure it is."  It belongs over by People magazine, not by the Harvard Business Review.

PolitiFact dug in and found some people who agree with me:

"Trump is full of B.S.," said Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of business management at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. "The best selling/most important business books would have to be In Search of Excellence by (Thomas) Peters and (Robert) Waterman that started the genre, Built to Last by Jim Collins, The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey."

The Art of the Deal isn’t used in business schools like Michael Porter’s Competitive Strategy, nor is it a text business executives find useful like Machiavelli's The Prince, said Lawrence White, a business and economics professor at New York University's Stern School.


When you compare it with books of similar intent, 'How to Win Friends & Influence People' by Dale Carnegie outsold 'Art of the Deal' by 13-fold.  And people weren't pissed off about their purchase.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/jul/06/donald-trump/donald-trumps-art-deal-best-selling-business-book-/

"We rate the claim False."

But instead of hearing that the claim was false, we continue to hear he wrote the nest selling business book of all time.
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: March 04, 2016, 06:19:19 PM

Best friends forever.
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: March 04, 2016, 06:17:31 PM
Moved here by request.
"Paul Ryan isn't going to be the President"

That is right.  So why is there a pac trying to rally him to run?

These last minute desperation moves by establishment types is not helping ( and I don't want to hear these very same people suggest there is no "establishment" - they know who and what we mean)

I can only conclude that the people behind these pacs are con artists taking money from people who have money.

None of this helps the right.

Who knows.  What I would not rule out in this bizarre election year is that if Trump and Hillary are the nominees and #neverTrump is a serious viewpoint that this becomes, not a 3-way, but maybe a 4-way race and conservatives could run someone who was not on any ballot in any primary, in addition to Bloomberg running or whoever challenges the felon on the left.  For me, a ticket with the names Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal or Scott Walker come to mind.  Not Romney.  Not Ryan.
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: March 04, 2016, 01:42:12 PM
The wide open border helps very pure meth and heroin move into the US, the lack of immigration enforcement helps the drug distribution networks mature.
.

Not to mention that when drug lords control the border, terrorists with money are also welcome.
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Pacs sound like scams and cons on: March 04, 2016, 01:39:49 PM
"new pac now wants to recruit Paul Ryan now for President." 

Paul Ryan isn't going to be the President but his policy proposals might be what becomes policy IF we could win the Senate AND the Presidency with a mandate.
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2016 Presidential - GOP Debate #11 on: March 04, 2016, 12:09:23 PM
I listened only on the radio so I missed some of the fighting where they talk over each other.  I have a bias and not undecided so what I think of each isn't crucial anymore.  The media highlights are the fights and the vulgarity, not the substance.  

The feedback I heard from people less political is that this level of 'discussion' is embarrassing and un-Presidential.

What should have happened in the primary process was 17 pretty strong candidates auditioning to see who can best articulate what has gone wrong over the Obama years (and before that) and who is in the best position to fix it with the best proposals to put us back on the right course.  The large field and the large number of debates should have served to expose the failures of the current regime to the point where all but the most hardcore leftists can see failure.  

And then along came Trump, and now the result of this process is that Republicans are in total disarray, mostly off-topic, perceived totally off-topic, while Obama's approval/disapproval rating has actually improved over the process.  We are picking the candidate to represent us who polls worst of the whole field against the opposition.  He is a caricature of what opponents think is all wrong about Republicans and his belief in conservative principles less than skin deep.

Contenders like Cruz, Rubio and others tried to defeat Trump on substance throughout this process, made no headway and ran out of time.  So Rubio in particular tried to attack him back in kind.  That makes Rubio look desperate and no better than the vulgar one.

Instead of seeing the failure of the Obama Presidency, we just see the failure of this process that is promising to get worse.

Meanwhile, Obama and Hillary elevate as people tune out the Republican side show.
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: March 04, 2016, 12:09:04 PM
Continuing the discussion about fascism/socialism...

62 people have as much wealth as world's 3.6B poorest
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/17/62-people-have-as-much-wealth-as-worlds-36b-poorest-oxfam-finds-ahead-of-davos.html

So which side of this equation is the problem, that some people have vast wealth or that billions of people don't have any wealth.  That is the political question of our time.

The left's answer is bring down the wealth of the wealthy. 

The right's answer is open up wealth creation opportunities for everyone.

Left logic:  If A and B are both true, then A caused B.

The false premise of the left is that 3.6 billion are poor because 62 people are very rich.  How so?  It simply isn't true.  I wish we had a thoughtful leftist here to argue their side of this.  How does one's success cause another's failure?  Where is the evidence to support the idea we have a zero sum economy?  All evidence proves the opposite.  Take a look at the Heritage Freedom  Index.  Where people have economic freedom, all people tend to benefit.  Where you have dictators, oppression and excessive government, inconsistent rule of law, all tend to stagnate.  We see minor and temporary exceptions such as in Scandinavian countries where the work ethic was so strong that the generous safety net is not abused.  They maintained a high standard of living but no growth.  Then it implodes as people without that strong cultural work ethic come for the benefits.
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump's shock strategy works until it doesn't, Megan McArdle on: March 04, 2016, 10:43:28 AM
Megan McArdle nails the Trump problem.  This strategy works for him until it doesn't.  For Republicans, his downfall will most likely be too late.

As ccp asked, how does Trump close his general election gap.  By acting like a serious candidate.  But at doing that he was about the 16th best Republican and that doesn't erase the tape of this unPresidential circus.

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-03-02/trump-s-shock-strategy-works-till-it-backfires
Trump's Shock Strategy Works, Till It Backfires
1087 MAR 2, 2016 3:30 PM EST
By Megan McArdle

Many Trump followers love that he doesn’t care about being called racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, etc. They’re sick of the media demanding that every Republican in the land disavow some dumb thing said by someone they’ve never heard of. They’re happy when Trump won’t “play the game,” as they keep tweeting at me, including when Donald Trump waffled on denouncing former Klan leader David Duke on CNN this past weekend. Given his big wins two days later, on Super Tuesday, his followers are likely to see vindication that this strategy works.

But this strategy “works” only in a narrow, shortsighted sense. Such thinking is likely to cost the party the election, and saddle Trump and his supporters with costly baggage that will make it harder for them to achieve their goals in this or any other election cycle.

That starts with an observation: Politics is a long game. It’s no good just sweeping up some support, getting your guys in office, and passing some laws. What’s to stop the Other Guys from waiting until you get bored, and unpassing those same laws? There is, to be sure, some amount of stickiness in politics, but certain laws are stickier than others. In particular, laws that require active, ongoing efforts (like border enforcement) are a lot harder to keep around than things that just involve, say, telling the federal computers to send bigger checks to various program beneficiaries.

That means that politicians need to stick around. This is what game theorists call a repeat game. And the thing about repeat games is that you can’t just think about winning the next round; you have to think about what happens in the next round, and the round after that.

Trump has won the early rounds of this race. But you have to remember all the things that had to line up for this to happen: a crowded field that didn’t winnow as fast as it should have, the lack of a beloved ex-president who could rally the party around an establishment figure; Jeb Bush’s insane decision to run with his toxic last name, and then spend over $100 million of donor money attacking everyone but Trump.

Sean Trende and David Byler argue that he was effectively the only candidate in one of the four “lanes” of Republican politics, so he consolidated a lot of support while other folks were trying to claim more crowded lanes.

But he’s also had a particular, weird skill that really helped him: Trump was able to use his monopolization of media attention through outrageous statements to keep that consolidation from happening in other lanes, because no one else could get enough attention to become the obvious choice for the voter base they were pursuing. By the time the race consolidated, it was too late.

But before you start hailing his brilliance, you have to ask yourself why no other candidate has done this in living memory.

Trump is just starting to find out what other politicians have long known: being a front-runner is very different from being a loudmouth in a crowded field. As I remarked after his debate debacle, Trump is not good at debating; he’s good at getting attention, which is valuable when there are 19 people trying to get noticed. But the way he goes about getting that attention is going to be a negative when he’s one on one, and he can no longer “win” by depriving the other candidate of media oxygen. As the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton is going to get just as much airtime as he will.

Trump's debate performance in a shrunken field was so bad that his praise of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi went nearly unnoticed because of all the other cringe-worthy moments. Next summer and fall, however, it will not. It will be running on every screen in the country, as Democrats point out that under Qaddafi, Libya accepted responsibility for the airplane bomb that killed 189 Americans. They’ll be running that Klan clip to horrify Americans and to drive up black turnout. All of those attention-getting, outrageous statements that his supporters loved, the ones that helped him dominate the primary, are going to come back to bite him in the general. Along with all the baggage, such as Trump University, that is only now coming out for Trump, in contrast to the other viable GOP candidates, who have gone through the standard press vetting that any Senate candidate gets. Trump eluded that until now simply because no one really thought he could win.

But Trump fans want to shout at me: He is winning! Ah yes. In low-turnout elections, a very small fraction of highly motivated supporters can swing things. At the moment, Donald Trump has collected about 3.3 million votes, with about a third of the states having voted.

Trump is just starting to find out what other politicians have long known: being a front-runner is very different from being a loudmouth in a crowded field. As I remarked after his debate debacle, Trump is not good at debating; he’s good at getting attention, which is valuable when there are 19 people trying to get noticed. But the way he goes about getting that attention is going to be a negative when he’s one on one, and he can no longer “win” by depriving the other candidate of media oxygen. As the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton is going to get just as much airtime as he will.

Trump's debate performance in a shrunken field was so bad that his praise of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi went nearly unnoticed because of all the other cringe-worthy moments. Next summer and fall, however, it will not. It will be running on every screen in the country, as Democrats point out that under Qaddafi, Libya accepted responsibility for the airplane bomb that killed 189 Americans. They’ll be running that Klan clip to horrify Americans and to drive up black turnout. All of those attention-getting, outrageous statements that his supporters loved, the ones that helped him dominate the primary, are going to come back to bite him in the general. Along with all the baggage, such as Trump University, that is only now coming out for Trump, in contrast to the other viable GOP candidates, who have gone through the standard press vetting that any Senate candidate gets. Trump eluded that until now simply because no one really thought he could win.

But Trump fans want to shout at me: He is winning! Ah yes. In low-turnout elections, a very small fraction of highly motivated supporters can swing things. At the moment, Donald Trump has collected about 3.3 million votes, with about a third of the states having voted.

To win a general, he’s going to need another 55 million or so. And as I noted a few months back, the bigger the coalition you need, the more blandly inoffensive you have to be: the political equivalent of Applebee's, or Olive Garden, or TGI Fridays.

Trump is not doing that. His strategy is all primary, no general. It clearly works … for certain values of the word “work,” which would probably not include “winning a general election” or “winning re-election before the folks with pitchforks descend to chase you out of town.”

And indeed, that’s what we’re already seeing with Trump. He’s alienated a substantial chunk of the Republican base pretty badly, so badly they coalesced into the #NeverTrump swarm. That means he needs more independent voters or disaffected Democrats. Which his primary strategy makes him less likely to pick up.

To sum up: Trump looks like the Teflon candidate largely because none of the traditional political tools have yet been deployed against him. In four short days between Thursday and Tuesday, simply by attacking him loud and long, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz managed to check his momentum and deny him an expected 11-state sweep on Super Tuesday; if Kasich hadn’t been in, Rubio would have won Virginia as well. On Tuesday, before the results came in, I mentally composed a tweet to commemorate the results: “Things fall apart, the ceiling cannot hold.” Then it held; Trump remains stuck around 35 percent, even as the field winnows (bye, Ben Carson!) and his front-runner status ought to be creating momentum.

Meanwhile, his front-runner status means that he is no longer going to be immune from those traditional attacks. His support may begin to slip in the primary, as his opponents finally start doing what they long ago would have done to any other front-runner: hammering him with every bit of oppo research, and rolling out those negative ads.

Even if they don’t, the Democrats certainly will. These ads will be devastating. Most Americans already dislike him even more than they dislike Hillary Clinton, even though most of them probably don’t yet know about the Klan gaffe or the fraud trial. By November, I guarantee that they will.

Which means that casting a vote for Trump in the primary most likely means you’re casting a vote for Hillary Clinton in the general. Trump supporters wrote to me to ask whether #NeverTrump folks understood that not backing Trump was equivalent to backing Clinton. They should start asking themselves whether backing Trump is also equivalent to backing Clinton.
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WaPo: Legal pot squeezing narco cartel profits on: March 04, 2016, 10:16:13 AM

I know from recent training that the cartels are moving super lab meth to Colorado, and trading it for Colorado weed for distribution to the rest of the country.

As Dem Gov John Hickenlooper (my pick for the Dem nominee) says to other states, don't follow our lead, we don't have this figured out yet.

Transporting pot out of Colorado across state lines is still a violation of state and federal law.  Pot sales aren't legal in Colorado; they are just state sanctioned.  If you and I make a private, consensual transaction, it isn't legal.  They can't stop the movement of the drug so now they try to ban money!

Stated previously, we didn't need legalization and state sponsorship (the tax builds schools, do it for the children), we needed decriminalization for private behavior that isn't criminal.

Yes, I wonder what part of the heroin and meth epidemics are a direct result of pot revenues squeezed.  As BBG has argued, people are going to have a curiosity about mind and body altering substances.  Laws come into play when you are harming others.  Drug abuse harms others.
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: "Equally Poor" on: March 04, 2016, 09:57:29 AM
That is the general election campaign question of 2016, once we get past bad hair and small penis size.

Everything Bernie and his parrot Hillary say including the false war against 'income inequality' translates into let's all be equally poor.

My question all along has been, who answers their socialist left turn best and who calls them out on it most effectively, Mr. it-will-be-yuge/great or the one saying that we can leave our children and each generation that follows with a better life and better opportunities.

The unfair part of top 1% income is when the success is rooted in government cronyism.  Since the most powerful force in our economy today is the government, almost all the top income tends to have ties there.
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: one analysis of Trump's health care plan on: March 04, 2016, 09:43:11 AM
I have no opinion on this analysis though it sounds reasonable:

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/03/03/physicians-take-on-trumps-health-care-plan.html

It at least solves the problem for him politically t get through the primaries.  It's similar enough to Cruz and Rubio and also to whatever Paul Ryan comes out with shortly.  His problem is that knowing nothing about it just days ago means he won't be the best person to defend it in the general election.

Republicans have to face the contradiction that people want no consequence for pre-existing conditions and they want no mandate:

In a Feb. 18 interview with CNN, Trump indicated he would keep ObamaCare’s individual mandate, which makes you pay a fine if you don’t have health insurance. But the next day he tweeted that he would remove the mandate (a central piece of ObamaCare) and install a “backstop for pre-existing conditions."

What is a 'backstop for pre-existing conditions' and how do we all get one?
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: I did not see this coming on: March 03, 2016, 11:41:05 PM


That means the other Republicans aren't winning any Muslim votes either.

Yet 80% of Muslim Americans disapprove of Trump and 70% strongly disapprove.
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Lib strategy now clear on: March 03, 2016, 11:30:47 PM
Ok here we go.  The lib's strategy against Trump is now clear.  He is the new Hitler:

http://www.vox.com/2015/2/11/8016017/ny-times-hitler

Every republican is Hitler. Just ask the left.

Yes, a good liberal friend made a slip of the tongue about me supporting the fascist which I think meant to support any of the Republicans.  But isn't it exactly the other way around?
240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: March 03, 2016, 11:10:01 PM
"slightly over 45 percent of American households have no federal income tax liability"
   - One telling descriptor of the O'Bummer economy.

"Exactly what percentage of total federal income taxes should the 1-percenters pay?

From a conservative point of view, there are two criteria that guide the answer. the efficiency question and the moral question.

From an efficiency point of view, there is no reason and it is counter-productive to tax at above a rate where the person taxed is mostly motivated to avoid the tax even to the point of choosing to not earn the additional dollar of income.  That helps no one, especially the federal treasury.

One case in point, during the decade of the 1980s, the top marginal rate was lowered from 70% to 28%.  Coincidentally, revenues to the treasury doubled during the decade of the 1980s.  Even if the revenues were the same, a 28% rate is less disruptive than a 70%. 

Second example, Gingrich-Clinton lowered capital gains tax rates in the 1990s and revenues exploded to the point of balancing the budget by the end of the decade.

At some point, lowering the rates brings in less revenue.  At the state level, Kansas learned that.  They lowered their rates further than income could rise, because of the Obama economy and because their rates were still higher than places neighbors like South Dakota and Texas.  No one was moving their business to Kansas just for the tax rates.

From the moral point of view, it is wrong to put a tax on someone else that you wouldn't pay yourself.

From the liberal point of view, punishment and retribution are the motivators for setting higher and higher marginal tax rate, which is morally wrong and highly inefficient.  Earning legal, taxable income in America is a great thing in America and we need more of it.

If we really want to have lower tax rates, we need to CUT SPENDING FIRST.  If you are at the 45th or 50th percentile of income in America, you are not in need of government income assistance.  You are in need of having government get out of your way, making all these taxes and rules that drive up the cost of living.
241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Morris: Clinton v. Trump not inevitable on: March 03, 2016, 02:47:57 PM
[After it's down to Trump and Cruz] "Nobody will pay the slightest attention to Cruz. He can't win, after all. And, gradually, he will start winning primary after primary as the Trump brand is -- rightly or wrongly -- besmirched.

If Trump brand is going to fall, why not sooner rather than later?
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Open letter from national security leaders on: March 03, 2016, 11:57:03 AM

From the letter:

His vision of American influence and power in the world is wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle. He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence.

His advocacy for aggressively waging trade wars is a recipe for economic disaster in a globally connected world.

His embrace of the expansive use of torture is inexcusable.

His hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric undercuts the seriousness of combatting Islamic radicalism by alienating partners in the Islamic world making significant contributions to the effort. Furthermore, it endangers the safety and Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of American Muslims.

Controlling our border and preventing illegal immigration is a serious issue, but his insistence that Mexico will fund a wall on the southern border inflames unhelpful passions, and rests on an utter misreading of, and contempt for, our southern neighbor.

Similarly, his insistence that close allies such as Japan must pay vast sums for protection is the sentiment of a racketeer, not the leader of the alliances that have served us so well since World War II.

His admiration for foreign dictators such as Vladimir Putin is unacceptable for the leader of the world’s greatest democracy.

He is fundamentally dishonest. Evidence of this includes his attempts to deny positions he has unquestionably taken in the past, including on the 2003 Iraq war and the 2011 Libyan conflict. We accept that views evolve over time, but this is simply misrepresentation.

His equation of business acumen with foreign policy experience is false. Not all lethal conflicts can be resolved as a real estate deal might, and there is no recourse to bankruptcy court in international affairs.
------------------------------------------------

76 signatories (?), Trump will just say this is the establishment upset about losing power.  But every statement made here is backed up with substance.
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: March 03, 2016, 11:48:32 AM
Doug,
since you are more closely involved then me what would you say that Trump will have to do to reverse this gap?

I really don't believe his changing the consideration for temporarily banning Muslims is truly the key.  That is just a leftist tool.  I don't really think the goal of dealing firmly with illegals is the key.

Perhaps if he stops the vulgarity?  What do you think?

More conservatism?

ccp,  This new health care plan is an example of how he can improve the campaign and so was his tax plan, which he also hasn't read or pushed.  He couldn't go into one more debate not having a clue and siding with Sanders on healthcare.  He promised to quit swearing.  He acted Presidential, they say, in his press conference Tuesday.  All of that said, I don't think he can quit being himself, and if he did he would just be a regular politician.  You also don't get another try at a first impression.  Theone he has made now is lasting.

He can 'clarify' his Muslim comment and follow with a more detailed proposal, like with healthcare.  He said, paraphrasing, ...until the Obama administration knows what is going on and who is coming in.

Trump has crossover appeal, but that is already built in to his numbers.  His support is roughly 33% of the Republican vote, with 2/3rds preferring someone else.  His overall disapproval is over 60%, a record for a winning politician.  http://www.gallup.com/poll/187607/donald-trump-known-not-liked.aspx  91% are familiar with him and 32% approve.

To me it isn't how Trump can close his general election losing gap, it is this: why are Republican voters choosing the candidate most likely to lose - the White House AND the Senate?

To beat Trump his opponents need to drive his support down from 33% to about 29%, that is, break off one out of ten remaining Trump supporters.  Closed primaries and the fact that after Kentucky and Louisiana he is starting to run out of southern states will help with that. 

Also, the rest of the remaining field to get its act together!
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump, Late Bloomer? on: March 03, 2016, 11:14:14 AM
When I posted it I must say I was surprised after Trump's simpleton answer at the last debate at how closely it tracks my own thinking, including my treasured variable about making prices transparent.  Has Donald become another one of our famous lurkers?

It must be Donald's writers lurking here because, as you say, he didn't have a clue about having a plan just a few days ago.

Smart guy, really smart guy, just wrong on nearly everything by his own standards for the first 69 years.

Maybe we can start tracking what age he was when he saw the conservative light on each issue.  He turns 70 this June.  Then we can track his trackback in his general election pivot.  He still has an open mind...

At 65 he turned pro-life but at 69 still supports Planned Parenthood.  "They do good work."
At 69 he dropped the wealth tax and went for supply side economics.  Or did he?
At 69 he dropped support Bernies Sanders single payer, socialist healthcare and proposed introducing Ben Carson/Crafty market reforms to healthcare.

Still to go:  
At what age will he recognize government takings of private properties for cronies' use is fascism?
At what age will they tell him about the nuclear triad and that Putin doesn't represent our interests in the Middle East?
At what age will he find out it was the "Bush Lied" accusers who lied?
At what age will he learn that trade wars never have and never will 'make America great again'?
At what point will he admit that his support of Pelosi-Reid-Obama-Clinton and government nationalizing industries like the mortgage business is what brought this country down to near destruction?

At what age will he admit being stupid and self centered the first 69 3/4 years?
245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: March 02, 2016, 11:40:00 AM
Cruz and Rubio combined won more delegates than Trump.  Outside of Texas, Rubio won more votes in the South than Cruz, taking second in Georgia and Virginia. 

The dynamic of this race needs to change.

Rubio and Kasich have the best general election matchups.  Latest from RCP:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/2016_presidential_race.html

General Election: Trump vs. Clinton
                                                 Clinton (D)Trump (R)Spread
RCP Average   2/10 - 2/27   --   --   46.5   43.5   Clinton +3.0
CNN/ORC   2/24 - 2/27   920 RV   3.0   52   44   Clinton +8
FOX News   2/15 - 2/17   1031 RV   3.0   47   42   Clinton +5
USA Today/Suffolk   2/11 - 2/15   1000 LV   3.0   43   45   Trump +2
Quinnipiac   2/10 - 2/15   1342 RV   2.7   44   43   Clinton +1


General Election: Cruz vs. Clinton
                                                 Cruz (R)Clinton (D)Spread
RCP Average   2/10 - 2/27   --   --   46.5   45.0   Cruz +1.5
CNN/ORC   2/24 - 2/27   920 RV   3.0   49   48   Cruz +1
FOX News   2/15 - 2/17   1031 RV   3.0   46   45   Cruz +1
Quinnipiac   2/10 - 2/15   1342 RV   2.7   46   43   Cruz +3
USA Today/Suffolk   2/11 - 2/15   1000 LV   3.0   45   44   Cruz +1

General Election: Rubio vs. Clinton
                                                 Rubio (R)Clinton (D)Spread
RCP Average   2/10 - 2/27   --   --   48.5   43.5   Rubio +5.0
CNN/ORC   2/24 - 2/27   920 RV   3.0   50   47   Rubio +3
FOX News   2/15 - 2/17   1031 RV   3.0   48   44   Rubio +4
Quinnipiac   2/10 - 2/15   1342 RV   2.7   48   41   Rubio +7
USA Today/Suffolk   2/11 - 2/15   1000 LV   3.0   48   42   Rubio +6

General Election: Kasich vs. Clinton
                                                Kasich (R)Clinton (D)Spread
RCP Average   2/10 - 2/17   --   --   47.7   40.3   Kasich +7.4
FOX News   2/15 - 2/17   1031 RV   3.0   47   44   Kasich +3
Quinnipiac   2/10 - 2/15   1342 RV   2.7   47   39   Kasich +8
USA Today/Suffolk   2/11 - 2/15   1000 LV   3.0   49   38   Kasich +11

General Election: Trump vs. Sanders
                                                 Sanders (D)Trump (R)Spread
RCP Average   2/10 - 2/27   --   --   49.8   41.8   Sanders +8.0
CNN/ORC   2/24 - 2/27   920 RV   3.0   55   43   Sanders +12
FOX News   2/15 - 2/17   1031 RV   3.0   53   38   Sanders +15
Quinnipiac   2/10 - 2/15   1342 RV   2.7   48   42   Sanders +6
USA Today/Suffolk   2/11 - 2/15   1000 LV   3.0   43   44   Trump +1
All General Election: Trump vs. Sanders Polling Data

General Election: Cruz vs. Sanders
                                                Sanders (D)Cruz (R)Spread
RCP Average   2/10 - 2/27   --   --   50.0   40.3   Sanders +9.7
CNN/ORC   2/24 - 2/27   920 RV   3.0   57   40   Sanders +17
Quinnipiac   2/10 - 2/15   1342 RV   2.7   49   39   Sanders +10
USA Today/Suffolk   2/11 - 2/15   1000 LV   3.0   44   42   Sanders +2
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: March 01, 2016, 11:37:19 PM
Super Tuesday is behind us.  Largest (Republican) caucus turnout ever in our small town.  Democrat turnout continues to be down.  Trump rolls in several states.  Cruz beat him in TX and OK.  Rubio ran a strong second in swing state VA. 

Metaphor alert, Hugh Hewitt says Hurricane Trump has been downgraded from a Category 5 to a Category 3 as it hit land.

Rubio wins Minnesota.

This changes everything.
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Forked Tongue Warren endorses Sandernista on: March 01, 2016, 11:10:57 PM

Why did she endorse Sanders [more power at the base than in the establishment] and why did she wait until just after he lost to do it [professional courtesy]?


When a leftist tries to hold a leftist to the leftist agenda, do you call it 'keeping her honest'?
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Dick Morris on why Rubio cannot win on: March 01, 2016, 11:50:41 AM
but does he think Trump could win the general?

http://www.dickmorris.com/why-rubio-cant-win/

Dick Morris is partly right and partly wrong.  One thing he misses is the value of the endorsement.  If Carson supporters still have loyalty to Carson after he withdraws and he endorses Rubio and actively campaigns with him, that makes at least a small difference.  Even more so for Cruz. If he got out, he would become Rubio's biggest supporter very quickly and maybe even take down the anti-Rubio ads!  Kasich's support goes more to Rubio in the first place.  The bigger problem is that none of them show any indication that are getting out.

I will be at my caucus tonight.  Who else here gets to vote today?

Three candidates need to get out tonight when the polls close and caucuses adjourn.  I'm hoping one of them will be Trump!
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: March 01, 2016, 11:05:27 AM
[Rev. Al Sharpton] "Again why do so many suck up to this charlatan?"

The business plan is a form or blackmail/extortion.  Support us (financially) or we will find and exploit issues against you (legal, public relations and financially).  Making the problem worse that you are ostensibly addressing is an inherent part of leftism that you have to accept to be a leftist.

False leaders are made possible by the absence of real leaders.  Except on a tape from half a century ago, I don't hear a Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King calling for a color-blind society today:

"I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."  - MLK, I Have a Dream, August 28, 1963  https://www.archives.gov/press/exhibits/dream-speech.pdf

What if we were all judged only by the content of our character, what special interest or 'civil rights' group would benefit from that?   None.  Who would benefit?  Every black person except Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, and the rest of the race baiters.
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trumped on: February 29, 2016, 07:20:37 PM
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/02/the-producers-meets-the-trump-campaign.php
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