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The Mess => Radio Chatter => Topic started by: E.R. Campbell on November 09, 2012, 08:34:57

Title: US Election: 2016
Post by: E.R. Campbell on November 09, 2012, 08:34:57
I suspect that America may have to endure, in its own more complex manner, what we did from 1993 - the electoral destruction of the PC Party and the rise of Reform - until 2003 - the union of the Canadian Alliance and PC Party into the Conservative Party of Canada.

My guess is that the Real Republicans will abandon the GOP and for a new party with socially moderate, fiscally conservative, resoundingly secular and inclusive values. The current GOP will wither and die on the vine because angry, white, poorly educated, Christian fundamentalist men are simply too small a base upon which to build or sustain a national party. The new party - let's call it the Reform Party, just for fun - will, eventually merge with the few Republicans that are left and, in the process, will drive out the "religious right" and other assorted fruitcakes.

I think this may take them the same full decade it took us and it, too, will require two leaders who are fed up with the Liberals' Democrats stranglehold on power.


The 2012 US Election thread had almost run its course and it is in the nature of 21st century US politics that the 2016 campaign is almost underway now. In this column, which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail, Jeffrey Simpson speculates on who might carry the Republican banner:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/dont-expect-republicans-to-move-to-the-centre/article5103229/
My emphasis added
Quote
Don’t expect Republicans to move to the centre

JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Nov. 09 2012

Americans were still rubbing sleep from their eyes the morning after the election when the Tea Party headquarters in Washington began breathing defiance.

The election, its spokesmen insisted in a press release, showed that the Republican Party had not been true enough to the conservative principles that reflected the virtues and values of the Founding Fathers. A temporary setback, the Tea Party declared, would not deter the movement from going from future strength to future strength.

Now, it would be easy to dismiss this response as post-election delusion and to argue that the Tea Party had not done very well. Several high-profile Tea Party senators lost, as did a few Tea Party House members. But many of them won, and the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket came within a couple of points in the popular vote of President Barack Obama.

Far from reflecting on the lessons of defeat, it’s likely the Republicans will regroup and remain well on the political right, because that’s where their voters are, not to mention their mega-money backers, the think tanks that animate them and, although this is mere conjecture at this point, most of the possible candidates for the party’s presidential nomination four years hence.

These would include Mr. Ryan, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and South Carolina Senator and Tea Party favourite Jim DeMint, plus an assortment of also-rans and has-beens on the far right (including Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee).

This prospective field – Mr. Bush excluded – doesn’t look much like one crafted from the notion now put about by post-election analysts that the Republican defeat sprang from being too far right for the American people. Forty-eight per cent or so of Americans voted for Mr. Romney, who twisted himself into a political pretzel appeasing his party’s right wing.


Indeed, the very words “right wing” misstate reality. The word “wing” suggests one part of an object, presumably balanced by another “wing.” But there being no moderate “wing” of consequence in the Republican Party, the “right wing” is the party. The moderates have fled or been pushed to the margins, and a few of them actually endorsed Mr. Obama.

What makes it unlikely that Republicans will become more moderate is the intellectual and media worlds in which they live, from which they get most of their ideas, and to which they look for inspiration. How could it be, you might ask, that 30 per cent of Republicans tell pollsters they believe Mr. Obama is a Muslim?

It’s because, out there in cyberspace and in the kind of media most Americans never consume, this is stated and restated as fact. A few years ago, a fascinating study asked Americans a series of questions based on understood facts, that, for example, climate change is caused by human activities. An astonishing number of people who identified themselves as Republicans replied to these fact-based questions with assertions that were clearly wrong, in fact, but were obviously believed by these people.

If your major source of news comes from Fox and the right-wing shock jocks on radio, and your preferred think tanks are Cato and the American Enterprise Institute, and you gladly accept oodles of dough from far-right donors such as casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers, and if you bow before the likes of Grover Norquist (he of the “no tax increase ever” pledge), and if your rank and file are full of religiously inspired, fire-breathing populists, then your party is going to be what it is.

Mr. Romney got caught out telling a group of wealthy types in Florida that 47 per cent of Americans were essentially sponges for public money. He got shellacked in many quarters for this remark, but he was just telling those wealthy Republicans what they wanted to hear. He was them, in other words.

The Republicans have been moving toward this state of affairs for decades, and they did well enough Tuesday to suggest that the kind of fundamental rethink the party needs won’t happen. Half a century of repositioning can’t easily be turned around.


Perhaps we can keep the nasty, partisan insults out of this thread. There are some useful icons you can add to your posts to aid understanding (and I, too often, forget to use them):  :irony:   :sarcasm:    :crystalball:

Ignore Mr Simpson's antipathy towards Republicans and the right, in general; take his ideas for what they are worth: the prognostications of a seasoned political observer.

As GAP opined in the 2012 thread, the Democrats will also have a problem selecting thier 2016 candidate: with their base, which has a strong left wing.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: tomahawk6 on November 09, 2012, 10:28:59
I dont even want to think about an election before 2015. We will probably have a global economic meltdown well before then which should make for more interesting discussion.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: E.R. Campbell on November 09, 2012, 10:44:03
I dont even want to think about an election before 2015. We will probably have a global economic meltdown well before then which should make for more interesting discussion.

:ditto:

In fact I'd prefer to not think about the 2016 election until about October 2016 ~ but I doubt the media, with its insatiable demand for 24/7 "news," will allow that.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on November 09, 2012, 14:59:22
The GOP needs to be renewed, very much like the Conservative movement in Canada was; here is a possible scenario for this to happen:

http://libertylawsite.org/2012/11/07/a-constitutional-moment-sometime/

Quote
A Constitutional Moment. Sometime?
by Michael S. Greve   / 5 Comments

Filed Under: 2012 Presidential election, Constitutional Moments, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton   

To my constricted mind, elections are like meteorological events. They happen, at more or less regular intervals. People can’t stop talking about them. If I had a desire to participate actively in either, it wouldn’t make a difference; and so I never have and never will. I’d be grateful if electoral politics and the weather could stay in the background, where they belong; but if they intrude all too much I’ll move, uncomplainingly, to a place where they don’t . In short, I don’t have any actual opinion on Tuesday’s election or its outcome, only a few rain-drenched musings:

The thing to behold is the breathtaking professionalization of our politics. Political parties and operatives can micro-target and mobilize every last voter, focus-group and finesse every ad in every precinct and medium. Because the pros are not going to leave anything on the table, every election will be basically 50:50. Thus, small events—a purloined campaign video, an indifferent debate performance, a storm—assume outsized significance, because the margins are so small.

As each side has to compete for the marginal voter while keeping partisans on board, political campaigns elevate trivial policy differences into points of principle. Moreover, government itself becomes a permanent campaign, because you have to buy or at least rent the decisive voting blocs as soon as you can. (This style of government according to Rove and Plouffe works, by the standards of their trade.) No government will be able to claim a mandate—because the election wasn’t about any serious differences in the first place, and because razor-thin margins (and, as now, divided government) don’t enable the winner to do much of anything. These results will obtain even if the country’s status quo is truly miserable and if absolutely everyone is convinced that this is so.

The miserable condition, I argued here, is an unsustainable, let’s-have-it-and-not-pay-for-it transfer state that both parties promised to maintain. We are stuck with that condition, as we would have been under President Romney. What now?

For advanced democracies in the transfer state predicament, there are only two ways out. One is a responsible Social-Democratic party that is (1) cognizant of the fact that a wrecked economy would also wreck its constituencies and (2) capable of holding labor unions in line. Successful reform countries—Canada, Germany, Sweden, and (more arguably) Brazil—all  have that dynamic in common. America had but forfeited that chance in 2008, with Mr. Obama’s victory over Mrs. Clinton. The moment is gone for good, and Mrs. Clinton (should she enter the 2016 sweepstakes that started yesterday) will go nowhere. The new face of the party is Elizabeth Warren et al—brutal, ruthless hacks from Harvard.

The only other way out is a political force that offers a competing social model. That force, and that model, does not now exist—largely, I suspect, on account of our grimly professional politics. Conservatives felt compelled, for eight long years, to defend the Bush administration, an exercise that left them exhausted and compromised. After 2008, they should have done what opposition parties normally do—rethink, and regenerate. Alas, there was never any time for that: all the energy went into a fight against Obamacare, stimulus bills, etc.

The natural temptations is to keep it up: the people voted for “the people’s House” to keep taxes low. Maybe. But they also voted to keep benefits high, and so there’s the problem. A responsible opposition, it seems to me, would have to start at the opposite end—not with some clever promise to move crucial voting blocs (Hispanics, blue-collar Catholics), but with the truth: the country is broke. Our institutions are broken.  Our economy is on the ropes. To fix the mess, you must give up something; but we have a plan that makes it worth your while.

That pretty much sums up The Federalist. The difference between Publius and us is the willingness to tell the truth, and the plan.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: jollyjacktar on November 09, 2012, 15:28:41
:ditto:

In fact I'd prefer to not think about the 2016 election until about October 2016 ~ but I doubt the media, with its insatiable demand for 24/7 "news," will allow that.

Nope. 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2230160/Hillary-Clinton-THREE-times-popular-nearest-rival-Joe-Biden-Democrats-presidential-candidate-2016.html
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on November 09, 2012, 20:08:25
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Bad ERC! Bad Boy!
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on November 10, 2012, 10:09:08
Maybe the GOP can take home a few lessons from us:

http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/Barbara+Yaffe+Republicans+need+take+page+from+Stephen/7513603/story.html

Quote
Barbara Yaffe: Republicans need to take a page from Stephen Harper’s playbook
 
The presidency was winnable for Mitt Romney. But he annoyed many women and failed to court the immigrant vote
 
By Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver Sun columnist November 7, 2012
 
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s success has come largely from his focus on the economy. Conservative policies are packaged and sold mainly as measures to boost job growth. Even immigration policy is fashioned to help Canada’s bottom line as much as to be compassionate.

Photograph by: Adrian Wyld , The Canadian Press

Republican strategists need to fly to Ottawa for a lesson on how Conservatives win elections even in the toughest of economic times.

Stephen Harper, an uber-conservative, is a year and a half into a third term in office; his 2011 win, a robust majority government.

U.S. Republicans, fresh from their second electoral defeat in a row at the hands of a Democrat, might imagine they have little to learn from Canada because the political system and population are so different.

But both nations are advanced democracies in the grip of slowing growth, with large immigrant populations.

In the U.S. race, the Republican candidate had trouble defining himself. Voters kept waiting for the real Mitt Romney to stand up. Was he a moderate conservative or a Tea Party type?

Voters typically are reluctant to embrace leaders with authenticity problems.

By contrast, Harper’s persona as a right-leaning fiscal conservative is clear. When folks mark an X beside his party, they know what they’re getting.

Harper’s success has come largely from his focus on the economy. Conservative policies are packaged and sold mainly as measures to boost job growth. Even immigration policy is fashioned to help Canada’s bottom line as much as to be compassionate.

The PM has worked overtime to reach out to immigrant groups, paying attention to historical grievances, courting trade with home countries and tapping into the small-business interests of new Canadians and their concern about crime.

Harper refuses to discuss incendiary social issues. Same-sex marriage, abortion, contraception — all are shelved topics. Should any Conservative backbencher raise them, the parliamentary agenda is arranged to ensure such topics remain a one-day wonder.

Romney, in his campaign, was forever jabbering about protecting religious groups’ rights not to fund contraceptive pills for their employees, closing Planned Parenthood, restricting abortion. (Interpolation by me: the Legacy Media was forever jabbering about such things, reading transcripts or watching live (unedited) video of Governor Romney's speeches and public appearances, not so much....)

Those issues are historical for most women. In this century, North Americans covet individual freedom. Many are even libertarian.

Even in the more religiously conservative U.S., a growing number of states are opting to sanction same-sex marriage.

And resolutions on marijuana legalization, in both Colorado and Washington state, passed Tuesday night.

Blacks and Hispanics were a huge part of the Democratic victory. They obviously saw in Barack Obama someone who would protect their interests.

A presidential candidate can no longer ignore this community. There are 52 million Hispanics in the U.S., making up 16.7 per cent of the population. By 2050, they’ll be 30.5 per cent of the population.

In New Mexico, they’re 44 per cent of all residents. In Texas and California, 36 per cent. In Arizona, 30 per cent.

These are religious people seeking a better life, who believe in family and hard work. Just as in Canada, this immigrant group is susceptible to conservative-think.

Canada’s Liberals used to pretty well own the immigrant vote — until Harper manoeuvred to win it over. This is a challenge Republicans must take up.

Obama went into the campaign with the considerable advantage of owning the black and Hispanic vote. But he also had a record of having done nothing on the deficit and debt, and not enough on job creation.

This contest should have been winnable by the Republicans, who did manage to come close in terms of the popular vote.

Had they not alienated women, had they cultivated and nurtured the Hispanic vote, the Republicans doubtless would have pulled off a win.

Canadian politicians have taken a lot of notes from the U.S. playbook over the years.

It’s time for Republicans to consider the modus operandi of Canadian conservatives.

byaffe@vancouversun.com

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Barbara+Yaffe+Republicans+need+take+page+from+Stephen+Harper+playbook/7513603/story.html#ixzz2BpMChFWv

Perhaps the biggest problem is the block that votes for "Free Stuff" is large and growing (even in Canada, about 60% of the vote is split between the Social Democrat NDP, the transactional Liberal Party, the National Socialist BQ and the Greens [another Social Democrat party with a different client base]). Campaigning on a straight individual liberty ticket is astoundingly futile, look at the performance of the Libertarian parties in Canada and the US, or the Freedom Party in Ontario.

If arguments can be effectively re-framed (which is essentially what PM Harper's team has done), then the key leadership of many of these voting blocks will move over, and take a large number of voters with them (the "severely normal", who were described on one of the Canadian Politics threads as people who think about the election several months after it happens). I suspect this will be a far more involved process in the United States due to the two party system and the different nature (and internal mechanics) of party politics there, but it can be done.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: tomahawk6 on November 10, 2012, 16:48:52
Immigrants are not going to vote for republicans.Reagan signed the first amnesty bill but the votes didnt follow. Look at the jewish vote. They vote democrat even when their man in the White House is openly anti-Israel. The biggest loser in this election was Israel.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: E.R. Campbell on November 10, 2012, 17:02:25
Immigrants are not going to vote for republicans.Reagan signed the first amnesty bill but the votes didnt follow. Look at the jewish vote. They vote democrat even when their man in the White House is openly anti-Israel. The biggest loser in this election was Israel.


I agree that immigrants and Jews and other "groups" will not vote for the Republican Party you describe here:

I suspect that Romney being a Mormon and a moderate may have been the reason he lost. The former would have been reason enough for southern Baptists.As for being a moderate against Obama I wouldnt think that would have been much of a problem. Onward to 2016. I do hope that the GOP learns a lesson by closing the primaries to Republicans only.

The very immoderate candidate you appear to want (e.g. Santorum this year) will lead that party into oblivion.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on November 10, 2012, 20:45:15
Mark Steyn lays out the issue in his usual brilliant way. Frankly, if we have reached the point where there are more voters who are willing to vote for "Free Stuff" than the ones who vote against, then the tipping point has been reached and the only end is calamity. Does anyone really believe the US will continue on with yearly trillion dollar deficits until 2016?

History tells us that the most common result after that will be the apperance of "The Man on the White Horse". Styen does offer one small ray of hope, telling his readers to tend to their gardens of local governance. America, alone of the nations of the world, was built on the idea of small governmetn and local control, not big government dictating the size of soft drink you can order. This is a reprise of an idea first articulated in "Democracy in America"; that America is a nation of associations, so when the calamity happens, the people who can pull through by creating pockets of order might well be the members of the Rotary Club or congregation of local churches (and gangs of criminals are also examples of local associations that are well equipped to function in the absence of order).

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/333116/edge-abyss-mark-steyn

Quote
The Edge of the Abyss
The default setting of American society is ever more liberal and statist.
By Mark Steyn

About AuthorArchiveLatestRSSSendFollow•  35851 followers

From the cover of After America, by Mark Steyn

 
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Mark Steyn
Amid the ruin and rubble of the grey morning after, it may seem in poor taste to do anything so vulgar as plug the new and stunningly topical paperback edition of my book, After America — or, as Dennis Miller retitled it on the radio the other day, Wednesday. But the business of America is business, as Calvin Coolidge said long ago in an alternative universe, and I certainly could use a little. So I’m going to be vulgar and plug away. The central question of Wednesday — I mean, After America — is whether the Brokest Nation in History is capable of meaningful course correction. On Tuesday, the American people answered that question. The rest of the world will make its dispositions accordingly.

In the weeks ahead, Democrats and Republicans will reach a triumphant “bipartisan” deal to avert the fiscal cliff through some artful bookkeeping mechanism that postpones Taxmageddon for another year, or six months, or three, when they can reach yet another triumphant deal to postpone it yet again. Harry Reid has already announced that he wants to raise the debt ceiling — or, more accurately, lower the debt abyss — by $2.4 trillion before the end of the year, and no doubt we can look forward to a spectacular “bipartisan” agreement on that, too. It took the government of the United States two centuries to rack up its first trillion dollars in debt. Now Washington piles on another trillion every nine months. Forward!

If you add up the total debt — state, local, the works — every man, woman, and child in this country owes 200 grand (which is rather more than the average Greek does). Every American family owes about three-quarters of a million bucks, or about the budget deficit of Liechtenstein, which has the highest GDP per capita in the world. Which means that HRH Prince Hans-Adam II can afford it rather more easily than Bud and Cindy at 27b Elm Street. In 2009, the Democrats became the first government in the history of the planet to establish annual trillion-dollar deficits as a permanent feature of life. Before the end of Obama’s second term, the federal debt alone will hit $20 trillion. That ought to have been the central fact of this election — that Americans are the brokest brokey-broke losers who ever lived, and it’s time to do something about it. 

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My Hillsdale College comrade Paul Rahe, while accepting much of my thesis, thought that, as an effete milquetoast pantywaist sissified foreigner, I had missed a vital distinction. As he saw it, you can take the boy out of Canada but you can’t take the Canada out of the boy. I had failed to appreciate that Americans were not Euro-Canadians, and would not go gently into the statist night. But, as I note in my book, “a determined state can change the character of a people in the space of a generation or two.” Tuesday’s results demonstrate that, as a whole, the American electorate is trending very Euro-Canadian. True, you still have butch T-shirts — “Don’t Tread On Me,” “These Colors Don’t Run” . . . In my own state, where the Democrats ran the board on election night, the “Live Free or Die” license plates look very nice when you see them all lined up in the parking lot of the Social Security office. But, in their view of the state and its largesse, there’s nothing very exceptional about Americans, except that they’re the last to get with the program. Barack Obama ran well to the left of Bill Clinton and John Kerry, and has been rewarded for it both by his party’s victory and by the reflex urgings of the usual GOP experts that the Republican party needs to “moderate” its brand.
I have no interest in the traditional straw clutching — oh, it was the weak candidate . . . hard to knock off an incumbent . . . next time we’ll have a better GOTV operation in Colorado . . . I’m always struck, if one chances to be with a GOP insider when a new poll rolls off the wire, that their first reaction is to query whether it’s of “likely” voters or merely “registered” voters. As the consultant class knows, registered voters skew more Democrat than likely voters, and polls of “all adults” skew more Democrat still. Hence the preoccupation with turnout models. In other words, if America had compulsory voting as Australia does, the Republicans would lose every time. In Oz, there’s no turnout model, because everyone turns out. The turnout-model obsession is an implicit acknowledgment of an awkward truth — that, outside the voting booth, the default setting of American society is ever more liberal and statist.

The short version of electoral cycles is as follows: The low-turnout midterms are fought in political terms, and thus Republicans do well and sometimes spectacularly well (1994, 2010); the higher-turnout presidential elections are fought in broader cultural terms, and Republicans do poorly, because they’ve ceded most of the cultural space to the other side. What’s more likely to determine the course of your nation’s destiny? A narrow focus on robocalls in selected Florida and New Hampshire counties every other fall? Or determining how all the great questions are framed from the classroom to the iPod to the movie screen in the 729 days between elections?

The good news is that reality (to use a quaint expression) doesn’t need to swing a couple of thousand soccer moms in northern Virginia. Reality doesn’t need to crack 270 in the Electoral College. Reality can get 1.3 percent of the popular vote and still trump everything else. In the course of his first term, Obama increased the federal debt by just shy of $6 trillion and in return grew the economy by $905 billion. So, as Lance Roberts at Street Talk Live pointed out, in order to generate every dollar of economic growth the United States had to borrow about five dollars and 60 cents. There’s no one out there on the planet — whether it’s “the rich” or the Chinese — who can afford to carry on bankrolling that rate of return. According to one CBO analysis, U.S.-government spending is sustainable as long as the rest of the world is prepared to sink 19 percent of its GDP into U.S. Treasury debt. We already know the answer to that: In order to avoid the public humiliation of a failed bond auction, the U.S. Treasury sells 70 percent of the debt it issues to the Federal Reserve — which is to say the left hand of the U.S. government is borrowing money from the right hand of the U.S. government. It’s government as a Nigerian e-mail scam, with Ben Bernanke playing the role of the dictator’s widow with $4 trillion under her bed that she’s willing to wire to Timmy Geithner as soon as he sends her his bank-account details.

If that’s all a bit too technical, here’s the gist: There’s nothing holding the joint up.

So Washington cannot be saved from itself. For the moment, tend to your state, and county, town and school district, and demonstrate the virtues of responsible self-government at the local level. Americans as a whole have joined the rest of the Western world in voting themselves a lifestyle they are not willing to earn. The longer any course correction is postponed the more convulsive it will be. Alas, on Tuesday, the electorate opted to defer it for another four years. I doubt they’ll get that long.

— Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is the author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. © 2012 Mark Steyn
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Brad Sallows on November 11, 2012, 01:16:28
One of the interesting features in 2016 is going to be the lack of an incumbent.  Sympathetic media have successfully run interference for Obama's past for two elections.  Conversely, they've gone beyond parody seeking dirt on Republicans.  Romney was about the high watermark for scandal-free candidates; both parties will have to work hard to find respective candidates with as few skeletons as Romney.  The question is whether the Democratic apology machine is going to be as effective at throwing blocks for the Democratic candidate and attacks at the Republican candidate if their influence becomes increasingly confined to their own echo chamber.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Nemo888 on November 11, 2012, 02:53:50
The reality TV gong show this time around was definitely second string bench warmers. I expect a real Republican candidate in 2016. Next election Dems won't get the cake walk they had this time against Magic Underwear Mitt with all the human warmth of an ATM machine. The Republicans better have learned that misogyny, racism and homophobia will kill you on election night. From just the misogyny alone they were 38 points behind Obama in the single woman demographic. 38 is unbelievable. STFU and never touch that issue again unless you want to be irrelevant. Women vote, as do minorities and gays.

Too bad Petraeus is out. Some are saying McChrystal. Powell blew it, but he would have been a good choice IMO. Bush doesn't have a chance in hell of winning after his brother destroyed the country. He'll play well to the base, but never get elected. Republicans need a winner next time.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Brad Sallows on November 11, 2012, 12:01:15
Romney was a winner, but selected members of his party were stronger losers.

I think I understand what you mean by "misogyny, racism and homophobia" (in terms of who said what to antagonize voters) but each of those labels overstates the position and glib demonization generally halts meaningful discussion before it can begin.  Opposition to compulsory provision of contraceptive care in insurance packages is not misogyny.  The position that abortion is only wrong if the life at stake is human, but is always wrong if the life at stake is human, is entirely uncontroversial - it is the simplest and most logical ethical position.  A desire for controlled immigration is not racism.  An objection to SSM which is founded on the needs of children rather than the desires of adults (ultimately, the point of the contract is to bind fathers to children; and if government has not that interest, marriage should be purely a ceremony delegated to whoever cares to perform it) is not homophobia.

However, few of those distinctions are likely to make headway among voters when the "data-driven reality-based community" is quite happy to excrete the intellectual rigor to which it nominally claims to aspire and just makes statements equivalent to the apt "misogyny, racism and homophobia" summary.  When it's that easy to say and people want to believe it, it's hard for even a scandal-free candidate to overcome it.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: RDBZ on November 12, 2012, 05:27:33
Mark Steyn lays out the issue in his usual brilliant way. Frankly, if we have reached the point where there are more voters who are willing to vote for "Free Stuff" than the ones who vote against, then the tipping point has been reached and the only end is calamity. Does anyone really believe the US will continue on with yearly trillion dollar deficits until 2016?

History tells us that the most common result after that will be the apperance of "The Man on the White Horse". Styen does offer one small ray of hope, telling his readers to tend to their gardens of local governance. America, alone of the nations of the world, was built on the idea of small governmetn and local control, not big government dictating the size of soft drink you can order. This is a reprise of an idea first articulated in "Democracy in America"; that America is a nation of associations, so when the calamity happens, the people who can pull through by creating pockets of order might well be the members of the Rotary Club or congregation of local churches (and gangs of criminals are also examples of local associations that are well equipped to function in the absence of order).

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/333116/edge-abyss-mark-steyn

I found this line a little unsettling...

"In other words, if America had compulsory voting as Australia does, the Republicans would lose every time. In Oz, there’s no turnout model, because everyone turns out. The turnout-model obsession is an implicit acknowledgment of an awkward truth — that, outside the voting booth, the default setting of American society is ever more liberal and statist."

With compulsory voting, we here in Aus still elect governments that aren't that dissimilar to the GOP (John Howard vs George Bush jnr), and look like electing to government an opposition party who's members could easily slip into a tea party campaign meeting totally unnoticed.... :o
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: ModlrMike on November 12, 2012, 09:58:40
I think the salient difference lies in the likelihood that one or the other camp will turn up to vote. In Aus everyone votes, so there's no voter imbalance for one party vis-a-vis the other from the turning up at the polls perspective. The Dems had an enormously effective get out the vote machine targeting key demographics in key seats. If everybody were mandated to vote then this advantage would disappear.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on November 12, 2012, 20:41:31
Here is some food for thought. Can the younger part of the GOP save it from itself, and break it out of the bubble / echo chamber / cocoon?

The GOP's media cocoon

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83704.html?hp=f1

Quote
A long-simmering generational battle in the conservative movement is boiling over after last week’s shellacking, with younger operatives and ideologues going public with calls that Republicans break free from a political-media cocoon that has become intellectually suffocating and self-defeating.

GOP officials have chalked up their electoral thumping to everything from the country’s changing demographics to an ill-timed hurricane and failed voter turn-out system, but a cadre of Republicans under 50 believes the party’s problem is even more fundamental.


The party is suffering from Pauline Kaelism.

Kael was The New Yorker movie critic who famously said in the wake of Richard M. Nixon’s 49-state landslide in 1972 that she knew only one person who voted for Nixon.

Now, many young Republicans worry, they are the ones in the hermetically sealed bubble — except it’s not confined to geography but rather a self-selected media universe in which only their own views are reinforced and an alternate reality is reflected.

Hence the initial denial and subsequent shock on the right that the country would not only reelect President Barack Obama — but do so with 332 electoral votes.

“What Republicans did so successfully, starting with critiquing the media and then creating our own outlets, became a bubble onto itself,” said Ross Douthat, the 32-year-old New York Times columnist.

“The right is suffering from an era of on-demand reality,” is how 30-year-old old think tanker and writer Ben Domenech put it.

Citing Kael, one of the most prominent Republicans in the George W. Bush era complained: “We have become what the left was in the ’70s — insular.”

In this reassuring conservative pocket universe, Rasmussen polls are gospel, the Benghazi controversy is worse than Watergate, “Fair and Balanced” isn’t just marketing and Dick Morris is a political seer.

Even this past weekend, days after a convincing Obama win, it wasn’t hard to find fringes of the right who are convinced he did so only because of mass voter fraud and mysteriously missing military ballots. Like a political version of “Thelma and Louise,” some far-right conservatives are in such denial that they’d just as soon keep on driving off the cliff than face up to a reality they’d rather not confront.

But if the Fox News-talk radio-Drudge Report axis is the most powerful force in the conservative cocoon, technology has rendered even those outlets as merely the most popular destinations in the choose-your-own-adventure news world in which consumers are more empowered than ever.

Facebook and Twitter feeds along with email in-boxes have taken the place of the old newspaper front page, except that the consumer is now entirely in charge of what he or she sees each day and can largely shut out dissenting voices. It’s the great irony of the Internet era: People have more access than ever to an array of viewpoints, but also the technological ability to screen out anything that doesn’t reinforce their views.

“The Internet amplifies talk radio and cable news, and provides distribution for other sources like Newsmax,” said Trey Grayson, 40, the former Kentucky secretary of state and the current head of Harvard’s Institute of Politics. “Then your friends, who usually agree with you, disseminate the same stories on Facebook and Twitter. And you assume that everyone agrees with you!”

Grayson continued: “It’s very striking for me living in Cambridge now. My Facebook feed, which is full of mostly conservatives from Kentucky, contains very different links to articles or topics than what I see in Cambridge. It is sort of the reverse up here. They don’t understand how anyone would eat Chick-fil-A, watch college sports or hold pro-life views.”

“Social media has made it easier to self-select,” added 45-year-old GOP strategist Bruce Haynes. “Who do you follow on Twitter, who do you friend on Facebook? Do they all look the same and say the same things? If so, you’ve created a universe for yourself that is wedded to its own self-fulfilling prophecies.”

Like Grayson, Haynes and many of the approximately two-dozen young Republicans interviewed for this story noted that Democrats have their own self-reassuring echo chambers.

What worries Republicans, though, is that their Kaelism may be harder to overcome in the short term.

“Unfortunately, for us Republicans who want to rebuild this party, the echo chamber [now] is louder and more difficult to overcome,” said Grayson.

That’s partly because of the difference between the two cocoons in the two parties.

First, the Al Sharptons and Rachel Maddows of the left don’t have the same influence as their counterparts on the right. There are as many, if not more, NPR-oriented liberals as MSNBC devotees on the left; the Democratic media ecosystem is larger and more diverse.

Further, and more importantly, the Democratic Party has a leader in Obama who for over four years has sought to appeal to a majority of Americans for the obvious political reasons.

“Being a Democrat means being identified with Barack Obama, not Ed Schultz and Martin Bashir,” said Douthat, citing two liberal MSNBC hosts.

Conversely, for nearly six years, since President Bush’s second term went south, Republicans have been effectively without a leader. And into that vacuum has stepped a series of conservative figures whose incentives in most cases are not to win votes but to make money and score ratings by being provocative and even outlandish.

“Their bottom line is their main goal, but that doesn’t mean they’re serving the population that buys their books,” said Domenech.

And this, say next-generation Republicans, is where cocoonism has been detrimental to the cause.

The tension between the profit- and ratings-driven right — call them entertainment-based conservatives — and conservatives focused on ideas (the thinkers) and winning (the operatives) has never been more evident.

The latter group worries that too many on the right are credulous about the former.

“Dick Morris is a joke to every smart conservative in Washington and most every smart conservative under the age of 40 in America,” said Douthat. “The problem is that most of the people watching Dick Morris don’t know that.”

The egghead-hack coalition believes that the entertainment-based conservatives create an atmosphere that enables flawed down-ballot candidates, creates a cartoonish presidential primary and blocks needed policy reforms, and generally leave an odor on the party that turns off swing voters.

It even fosters an atmosphere in which there’s a disconnect with the ostensible party leaders.

Consider: In the fall of the past two presidential campaigns, those in the conservative cocoon were talking about, respectively, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Obama as a black radical, and the seemingly impeachment-worthy scandal surrounding the deaths of U.S. officials in Libya. Meanwhile, on the actual campaign trail, John McCain and Mitt Romney showed little interest in even mentioning either topic.

And the entertainers’ power isn’t just with gullible grass-roots activists who are likely to believe whatever nefarious rumor about Obama is forwarded to them in an e-mail chain — it’s with donors, too.

Outside of Washington, New York and state capitals, the big conservative givers are as likely to have read Ed Klein’s Obama book and seen Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary “2016,” and generally parrot whatever they just heard on Fox News as the old lady stuffing envelopes at county GOP headquarters.



“One of the reasons the entertainment complex has the influence they do is because the people who are supposed to be responsible figures in the party, those who fund the campaigns, have bought into this apocalyptic world view,” said Douthat.

More than a few Republicans said it was such donors whom Romney was trying to impress when he infamously riffed about the “47 percent,” a variation of the makers-versus-takers world view that has become popular in the conservative cocoon (Rush Limbaugh has called Obama “Santa Claus” since Election Day).

The tension between entertainers and operatives-thinkers may have come into sharpest relief in the prolonged, and for many Republicans, painful 2012 GOP primary. The thinkers and the operatives cringed at the umpteen debates and carnival-like procession of candidates with little chance of landing in the Oval Office.

“Look at Newt Inc., [Herman] Cain and [Michele] Bachmann,” sighed Haynes. “What’s the purpose of entering a presidential primary anymore?”

Suggesting the incentives for getting in the race now owe as much to fame as to winning the job, Haynes added: “If that market didn’t exist, what would our primary look like?”

The sexual harassment scandal around Cain offered a vivid example of the different goals of the two groups. To the entertainment-based right, it was a great opportunity to rally the faithful against a purportedly liberal media targeting a black conservative. It touched almost every erogenous zone for the likes of Rush Limbaugh. But for the operatives and thinkers, the story threatened to tarnish the GOP with a sex scandal and make a martyr out of a marginal figure they were already cringing over before POLITICO reported the harassment charges.

Long after the primary ended, the entertainment-based right was still promoting figures that many in the GOP believe are harmful to the party’s brand. Take Donald Trump, who made regular appearances on “Fox & Friends” all year and delighted in pushing the discredited idea that Obama wasn’t born in America. Why energize black voters and turn off moderates broadly by elevating a buffoonish figure questioning the president’s legitimacy? Because it’s good box office. (To be sure, other nonpartisan outlets, including POLITICO, not to mention Romney himself, did their share of enabling Trump).

“It’s like a weird version of identity politics for people who like trash culture and reality TV,” said Douthat of Trump.

This same financial-political tension also arose two years ago in one of the most high-profile GOP Senate primaries in the country between Grayson and Rand Paul. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, worried that his hand-picked candidate wasn’t getting equal time on Fox to make his case, called Fox President Roger Ailes to ask that Grayson get similar treatment as the oft-interviewed Paul, according to a source familiar with the call. Ailes, who consulted on McConnell’s first Senate race, had tough news for his old friend: Paul was just a better draw.

Some younger conservatives worry that the effects of cocoonism are just as evident after the race as before — and not only in the disbelief that Obama won. The knee-jerk reaction by some on the right to Romney’s poor performance with Hispanics has been to simply say that all will be well with the party if they pass an immigration bill and elevate Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

But to many next-generation Republicans, this smacks of tokenism and is more than a tad patronizing.

“They just want to put a sombrero on the Republican elephant,” said one Latino GOP operative, who didn’t want to be identified discussing such a sensitive topic.



Similarly, Haynes fretted that “the mistake Republicans are going to make is thinking this is a demographic and political problem and not a social and cultural problem. You can’t fix this with Orca (the Romney campaign’s ill-fated GOTV software) or iPad apps or to some extent even running Hispanic candidates.”

To young Republican strategists and writers, a fundamental shift of how the party communicates is required. That doesn’t mean delegitimizing hugely popular and powerful outlets on the right, but rather transcending them.

“Communicating to the country’s changing demographics and outside of the Fox News echo chamber is a strategic imperative,” said GOP operative Phil Musser, 40.

“The rise of conservative media has been one of the best things to ever happen to the conservative movement. It has helped us reach new voters, has helped with voter persuasion and even motivation,” said GOP strategist Todd Harris, 41. “But with all the positives, there is this fact: If all you did was watch and read the conservative media, you were probably pretty shocked at what happened Tuesday. There’s a huge and ever-growing segment of the vote that Republicans just aren’t talking to and in some cases didn’t even know existed.”

The good news, say the young Republicans, is that there’s hope for them to appeal more widely. They look no further than to 2004, when liberals were in disbelief that America had reelected George W. Bush. “Jesusland” was the name of the famous map of the country showing where Bush had won.

But instead of inveighing against the purported theocracy the country had become, Obama and his aides began to plot how they could appeal to a broad coalition of voters.

Younger Republicans are confident that they, too, will take over the party and reorient it to accommodate a more tolerant country.

“I expect that in the years to come, a class of young and up-and-coming Republican practitioners will exert a greater degree of influence on how the party’s outreach to key groups is handled and ensure that the tone and tenor of our message is reflective of today’s society,” said Jon Downs, 35, a Republican media consultant.

But these Republicans know a degree of self-examination is required.

“In some communities, like with African-Americans, it’s simply unacceptable to be a Republican. This is a cultural phenomenon,” said Haynes. “Who do you go to church with, who do you send your kids to school with? Are enough Republicans socially and culturally engaged with folks who don’t look like themselves?”

Or, as Domenech put it: “Conservatives may be content to stay in a bubble and yell about Benghazi, but it doesn’t help the cause in the long term.”

What’s needed, he said, is to develop new institutions that will engage conservatives on the issues that the broader country is focused on.

He cited the much-buzzed-about piece in The Atlantic earlier this year about whether women can have successful careers and devote ample attention to child-rearing as a conversation conservatives should have gotten in on.

“We need to play the long game on how people engage in culture and society,” Domenech said. “Conservatives and the right generally have a lot to say, but it’s going to require more than a place to discuss the latest campaign or the New Black Panthers.”


Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Brad Sallows on November 12, 2012, 22:23:47
Compared to the average university campus, I doubt anyone else could be thought of as "cocooned".
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on June 23, 2013, 17:18:13
Perhaps it was inevitable she would play the gender card as opposed to just coming out and saying "I WANT to be president"... :blotto:

link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/hillary-clinton-see-woman-u-president-205335237.html)

Quote


Hillary Clinton would like to see a woman U.S. president


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton has fed speculation that she might run for the White House in 2016 by telling an audience in Canada that she would like to see a woman president in the United States in her lifetime.

"Let me say this, hypothetically speaking, I really do hope that we have a woman president in my lifetime," Clinton told a private audience in Toronto. "And whether it's next time or the next time after that, it really depends on women stepping up and subjecting themselves to the political process, which is very difficult."

Clinton, a Democrat who was secretary of state under President Barack Obama, a former senator from New York and is the wife of former President Bill Clinton, is said to be undecided whether to seek the presidency in 2016.

Many Democrats and Republicans in the United States are expecting her to run, although the 65-year-old Clinton has said she needed to rest after four years as a globe-trotting secretary of state.

Polls have indicated she is far and away the most popular potential Democratic candidate for 2016, and that most Americans would prefer her to several possible Republican contenders.


Clinton picked up an endorsement on Tuesday from Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, who announced she is supporting a group encouraging Clinton to run for the White House.

McCaskill, who backed Obama over Clinton in the Democratic primaries in 2008, became the first member of Congress to announce her support for Clinton.

She praised the political action committee called Ready for Hillary for using the Internet to build support in the hope that Clinton will run.

Last week Clinton started her official Twitter account, describing herself as, among other things, a "wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate." She alluded to her future as "TBD" - to be determined
(...)


Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: dapaterson on June 23, 2013, 17:37:27
Perhaps it was inevitable she would play the gender card as opposed to just coming out and saying "I WANT to be president"... :blotto:

link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/hillary-clinton-see-woman-u-president-205335237.html)

Or is she attempting to position herself as a Queen-maker?  Fewer prying eyes than if you are the candidate, and the potential to exercise power behind the scenes.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on August 28, 2013, 12:33:41
Defense News link (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130828/DEFREG02/308280022/March-War-Syria-Reveals-Fissures-Within-GOP)

Quote
March to War in Syria Reveals Fissures Within GOP

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s march to war in Syria is exposing anew fissures in the Republican Party, with its members splitting over whether the United States should intervene militarily.

President Barack Obama could order Tomahawk missile strikes on Syrian targets at any moment, but GOP members’ reactions to the simmering conflict have put the party’s isolationists and interventionists on opposite sides.

The factions of the party agree with the White House’s determination that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemical weapons in a deadly Aug. 21 attack. But that’s where members head to different sides of the party’s famed “big tent.”

The Skeptics

In one corner are Republican lawmakers who appear skeptical that an American military mission in Syria is in Washington’s interests. This group also is warning that US action could cause further instability in the always-chaotic Middle East.

“The United States has deep national security interests in Syria and the region,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif.

But Royce also warned that “any US military action could bring serious consequences or further escalation.”

Libertarian GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who has become a thorn in the side of both Obama and his party’s hawks, on Monday said the administration “is right that Assad using chemical weapons is an outrage, and it is wrong.”

But Cruz sees something “missing” in the White House’s publicly stated reasons for the expected strikes.

“Unfortunately missing from … the president’s approach so far has been a focus on what the touchstone should be, which is the vital US national security interest of this country,” Cruz said. “The United States armed forces is not, doesn’t exist to be a policeman for the world.

Cruz, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, also is warning that “simply lobbing some cruise missiles in to disagree with Assad’s murderous actions” would not equal “protecting our national security.”

Another libertarian-leaning GOP lawmaker, Michigan’s Justin Amash, opposes a Syrian military intervention on legal grounds.

Amash posted this on his Twitter page Monday: “War Powers Resolution is consistent w/Constitution: Pres can take unilateral action only pursuant to nat’l emergency.”

He has since tweeted quotes from Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden from 2007, when they argued a president can authorize a military strike without congressional approval only if an imminent threat to the US exists. Amash says no such threat is evident with Assad’s forces in Syria.

“Obama ‘07: ‘Pres does not have power ... to unilaterally authorize military attack ... that does not involve stopping actual or imminent threat,’” Amash tweeted this week, followed later by: “Biden ‘07: ‘Founding Fathers vested in Congress, not Pres, power to initiate war, except to repel imminent attack on U.S. or its citizens.’”

War Drummers

In another corner of the GOP tent, members are pounding the drums of war.

John McCain, R-Ariz., a longtime Senate Armed Services Committee leader, took to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program Wednesday to deliver a full-throated call for strikes that go beyond what the Obama administration reportedly is mulling.

Experts predict the coming missile and air strikes likely will target Assad’s command and control capabilities, chemical-weapons delivery units and platforms, air-defense systems, and other military targets.

The idea is to punish Assad and send a message. But the goal will not be to remove him from office, according to the White House.

“I want to make clear that the options that we are considering are not about regime change,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday. “They are about responding to a clear violation of an international standard that prohibits the use of chemical weapons.”

McCain said Wednesday morning that the Obama administration should be preparing war plans for strikes that would drive Assad from office.

The leader of the Senate’s “Three Amigos” pointed to Obama’s repeated declarations that Assad cannot remain in power after leading a civil war that has killed tens of thousands of Syrians and driven others to refugee camps in neighboring countries.

Also in the McCain group are lawmakers such as Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who support strikes but want them limited to Tomahawk missile launches.“I think you’re [going to] see a surgical, proportional strike against the Assad regime for what they have done,” Corker said this week. “And I support that. … With the use of chemical warfare, I think we have to act. And I think we’ll do so, again, in a very surgical, proportional way.””

This is where Corker breaks with McCain.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member, who has been briefed by the White House, wants a limited response that avoids another protracted ground operation in a Middle Eastern nation where violence from al-Qaida and sectarian conflict could break out — thereby dramatically increasing the amount of blood and treasure America would have to expend.

“I do not want us, though, to move into a situation where we’re moving beyond supporting the moderate, vetted opposition on the ground,” Corker said. “I do think Syrians need to be the ones to deal with this issue.”

Resigned to War

Finally, a third group appears almost resigned to war’s inevitability.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., on Monday endorsed a US military intervention.
But he did not do so without questioning Obama’s logic. Essentially, McKeon is asking: Why did Obama issue his now-infamous “red line” warning to Assad over the use of chemical arms if he did not already know how he would enforce it?

Once that kind of line was set, this group said this week, Obama might have made war inevitable.

“Now that American credibility is on the line,” McKeon said, “the president cannot fail to act decisively.”

Sounding a similar tone this week is former House Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King, R-N.Y.

“Once that red line has been crossed and once chemical weapons have been used,” King said, “I believe the president has to take action.”

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on September 03, 2013, 00:19:15
War talk is probably more aimed at the mid terms than 2016:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/1/curl-obamas-2014-calculation-lets-have-war/print/

Quote
CURL: Obama’s 2014 calculation: Let’s have a war

By Joseph Curl Sunday, September 1, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The first rule for President Obama: It's all about 2014. The second rule for President Obama: See Rule No. 1.

Make no mistake: The president couldn't care less about the plight of Syrians, the 1,500 gassed to death — including nearly 500 children. It's all about 2014. Win the House, reign supreme.

Consider this: Mr. Obama made his dramatic Rose Garden statement Saturday — then headed to the golf course. Congress has no plans to cut short its 30-day vacation, and the president did not call lawmakers back. So much for urgency.

The conventional wisdom is, as usual, wrong. Losing the congressional vote won't be an embarrassment for the president, as all the talking heads are still parroting. A loss would be a double win. First, because a "No" vote would allow the foreign policy neophyte to walk away from his blundering "red line" declaration on chemical weapons ("I wanted to go in, but Congress said no"). And second, should Republicans who voted for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars now oppose Syria, the president would be armed with clear "evidence" that their opposition is purely political.

Keep in mind: This president knows no way to campaign other than to blame others. He'll batter Republicans for all of 2014 as obstructionists should they be the reason the effort fails.

But the bloviating politicos are also wrong that the "Republican-controlled House" could reject the plan for partisan reasons. It is Democrats who seem most squeamish — and they were the most vocal in demanding their say before intervention in Syria. Remember, two years ago, as the president prepared to bomb Libya, 70 Democrats joined Republicans in voting against military operations. Mr. Obama bombed anyway.

Still, the entire fiasco has been hard to watch, "Amateur Hour" indeed. The president declares a "red line," then sees the Syrian dictator cross it again and again. The Nobel Peace Prize winner declares he'll take America to war — but only then does he seek partners and only to find a "Coalition of the Unwilling." The United Nations says no, the Arab League says no, China and Russia say no — even the United Kingdom says no (mainly because Brits did not want to have another U.S.-led war jammed down their throats).

Back home, polls find 80 percent of Americans want Congress to decide, and nearly half oppose intervention. So the president — hoping to appear magnanimous — declares he'll seek authorization (read: share the blame).

Still, the president and his secretary of state are absolutely right. "The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity," John F. Kerry said. Mr. Obama, in his most powerful passage, said: "Here's my question for every member of Congress and every member of the global community: What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?"

Of course a firm response is the correct action. And Mr. Obama doesn't need authority to do so in Syria, just as he didn't in Libya. While Republican support on the Hill now would help Mr. Obama save face after his "red line" throw-down, striking Syria with a few cruise missiles — however fleeting and ineffectual that would be to the course of its 2-year-old civil war — also would send a signal to the real target: Iran. That's why, most likely, Republicans will support the president after rewriting the White House's draft resolution.

Now, it is up to Mr. Obama's own party: Does he still hold sway over Democrats? Will they bend to his will? Many already seem to be running for the hills. And if they don't, will the president have the temerity to order strikes anyway?

Whatever happens, this much is clear: We're no longer talking about the IRS targeting tea party groups, the Justice Department tapping reporters' phone lines, the NSA's surveillance programs, Benghazi. The president has smartly changed the subject to the most important decision a commander in chief makes: war.

And the most presidential. That, he knows, will play better in the midterm elections, whichever way Congress votes.

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times and is now editor of the Drudge Report. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and on Twitter @josephcurl.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/1/curl-obamas-2014-calculation-lets-have-war/#ixzz2dnPngmbl
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on September 22, 2013, 11:15:13
A look at some of the internal stresses that are working in the Democrat Party. The comment is quite interesting as well; with the party silently struggling between the Obama and Clinton wings, who is being groomed to move into the top ranks for 2016 and beyond?

http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2013/09/21/hillary-losing-stings-for-bill/

Quote
How Much Does Hillary Losing to Obama in ’08 Still Sting for Bill?

September 21st, 2013 - 1:44 pm
     
A lot. That’s the subtext I’m taking away from this quote from Bill Clinton’s interview with Obama sycophant Fareed Zakaria on CNN, aside from the boilerplate leftwing bitching (from a guy who ran to the right, on several issues, of George H.W. Bush in ’92, no less):

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST: You’re not worried about the Democratic Party?

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No. We’ve got a lot of good people in the Party. We’ve got a lot of good ideas.

But I think you’ve got to give it the Republicans. They have a much more reliable media base. And they just say no. They know what they want. They want power to cut taxes, eliminate regulations, take government down except for what they like. And they can fill the atmosphere with a lot of static.

When you’re trying to get something done, it requires a much more deft strategy because you have to explain what you’re trying to do, and it’s a little tougher for us.

In the fall of 2006, Bill told John F. Harris, then with the Washington Post, now with Politico, that “There is an expectation among Democrats that establishment old media organizations are de facto allies — and will rebut political accusations and serve as referees on new-media excesses.”

So it must have really stung a year and a half later when those old media organizations he and his wife viewed as “de facto allies” turned around and accused the Clintons of racism* in order to advance the Democrat candidate they much preferred over Hillary.

And could very possibly devour the Clintons once again if a fresh face who’s “clean and neat,” to coin a Biden-esque phrase, “a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views,” ”an exotic who says nothing,” to coin a couple of others, shows up to take on someone who carries as much baggage to exploit as Hillary does.

* Which was nothing compared to the drubbing that Hillary received in some of the fever swamp regions of the leftwing media back then.
and the comment:
Quote

Jon1979
While the left side of the Democratic Party would love to spurn Hillary again in 2016, the Democratic Party's presidential playbook has been set in that the hierarchy plans to dig up a candidate from every one of the party's special interest groups then can find and (in their mind) run them in eight-year intervals through the middle of the century, while working with the media to endow each new face with the God-like powers they promoted for Obama in 2008.

The problem is while they would love to run a Latino, an Asian, an LGBTmember, or whatever other special interest group they can find or create, they haven't prepped anyone yet the way they did with Obama in the 2004 DNC convention (San Antonio Mayor Joaquin Castro was showcased at last year's DNC convention as a quick response to Ted Cruz's Texas Senate primary win, but both Castro and his twin brother -- who won election to one of the state's new House seats in 2012 -- are checkmated from advancing higher at the state level at least until 2018).

So Hillary's the only option for the playbook in 2016. But after what happened in 2008, if she does run and get the nomination, you can be sure there will be a wholesale purge of the Obama types from the levers of power within the party as part of payback time, as soon as Hill and Bill decide it won't hurt them in the general election.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on September 23, 2013, 23:10:07
If nothing else, this is a very creative way to sell an essential economic truth to the voters. Of course, once elected on a platform like this, you also have to "walk the walk", something neither party seems very good at:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntamny/2013/09/22/republicans-will-win-the-government-shutdown-pr-battle-if-they-promise-voters-private-jets/

Quote
Republicans Will Win The Government Shutdown PR Battle If They Promise Voters Private Jets
 
 Assuming a federal government shutdown come October, there’s a surefire way for the Republicans to win the ensuing war of words. Without a hint of hyperbole, they should promise voters a future of widespread private jet ownership.

The above proclamation is easy to laugh at, many surely will, but when Karl Friedrich Benz created the first gasoline powered car in 1885, it was exponentially crazier to contend then that cars would be a middle class good within 25 years. But by the 2nd decade of the 20th century the once inconceivable to own luxury that was the automobile had become rather commonplace. Thanks to Henry Ford’s aggressive investment and reinvestment of profits into perfecting mass production of the auto, gasoline-powered cars rather quickly became ubiquitous.

Just the same, if someone had said in 1903 (when the Wright brothers first took flight) that flying would within the 20th century become a pedestrian and often bothersome necessity, that person too would have been laughed out of the room.  But with government on all levels consuming exponentially less capital in the early part of the 20th century, huge technological leaps were taking place thanks to extra capital in the private sector funding all manner of commercial experimentation.  To deny the correlation between small government and big private sector advances is to ignore basic economics.

More on private flying in a little bit, but first it should be said that the Republicans, even though Obamacare is dying before our eyes of its own myriad contradictions, must stand firm on defunding it anyway. They must do this even if it means a shutdown of the federal government.

Wise political minds have made very apparent their view that a GOP-authored shutdown would amount to political suicide, but it seems the thinkers inside the Establishment have misread the electorate. Put plainly, a Republican Party that deserved rebuke after the George W. Bush economic disaster was given a very probationary second chance in 2010.

The second chance was rooted in voter discomfort not just with the growing size and scope of government, but also in fear of Obamacare’s implications for the quality and cost of healthcare. If voters had desired the status quo, they would have left the Democrats in control.

To be blunt, if the Republicans aren’t willing to do everything in their power to defund, delay, or repeal Obamacare, what’s the point of voting them majority status to begin with? Just the same, if the cost of government is going to continue to grow no matter the Party in control of the purse strings, why vote Republican at all?

The allegedly wise thinkers of the GOP Establishment will respond that a ‘defund, shutdown and shrink’ strategy will just make things worse for those who want smaller government, and who similarly want freedom over their healthcare choices. The thinking seems to be that absent the Republicans, full-throated national healthcare and expansive government are just around the corner. It’s an argument that has merit on its face, but it’s also one that is no longer credible.

Indeed, going back to 1994 the Republican base was sold a similar line about GOP parsimony with the money of others. To see how well that worked out, readers might compare federal spending in ’94 to 2000, not to mention spending in 2000 vs. 2006 when a disgusted base finally – and very correctly – helped return the Republican Party to much-deserved minority status. To state the obvious, Republicans have historically talked a good game about limited, less expensive government, but the expense of it always seems to grow on their watch. (interpolation. Sadly, the spending record after 2006 was far, far worse...)

They probably don’t deserve it, but Republicans have been given yet another chance to match policy with their bold rhetoric. Even better, and contrary to some of the more established consensus, good policy will in this case be good politics for the Republicans. The House of Representatives is where spending originates, and Republicans were handed control to delay, defund or repeal Obamacare in concert with serious shrinkage of the size of the federal government itself. Assuming what’s likely true, that President Obama and the Senate won’t go along with GOP plans, a Republican House in control of spending will get to starve Obama’s signature legislation, and then with a government shutdown that decidedly does not mean a shutdown of the federal government (Social Security checks will go out, the military will be funded, the IRS will for good or bad remain functional), it will force a happy realization on the citizenry that life goes on rather swimmingly without Leviathan running on all cylinders.

Assuming the opposite, as in assuming that voters make Republicans pay for a ‘defund, shutdown and shrink’ strategy in 2014 and beyond, well, that must be a risk the Party’s leaders are willing to take. That’s the case because in addition to talking a good game about limited government, Republicans almost to a man talk big about the dangers wrought by lifelong politicians, not to mention how ‘alien’ to them is the ‘corrupt’ Washington culture. Since they do, they should be very eager to give up their privileged perches in Washington in order to ‘stand athwart’ an ever expanding federal government. Furthermore, for a Party that talks a lot about the very real horrors of dependency, why should its political leadership in Congress expect the base to sacrifice their principles in order to save the cushy jobs of GOP Congressmen?

Further on with the alleged political risks, since GOP voters decidedly did not send the Republicans to Washington in order to do that which would get them re-elected, it’s fair to contend that the presumed risks associated with ‘defund, shutdown and shrink’ are well overdone. Indeed, wouldn’t it be more risky for the Republicans’ electoral chances if Obamacare were in full flower and the cost of government even greater come November 2014?

It’s worth mentioning that in pursuing ‘defund, shutdown and shrink,’ the Republicans needn’t do this in angry fashion. Obamacare is inimical to quality healthcare outcomes given its focus on non-market cost controls, so Republicans should talk about the heart, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and ACL cures that will more quickly reach all of us if the government’s role in healthcare is substantially reduced.

And then rather than talk about deficits, Greece, entitlements, and how the size of government is unsustainable, Republicans should go the optimistic route; talking about how the federal government’s loss is the private sector’s certain gain. Indeed, they should talk about how much more we’ll have, including many more Microsofts, Intels, and Apple products that will make the iPad seem dated, if the size and cost of government shrinks. They should talk about how Henry Ford’s quite speedy ability to mass produce the once unimaginable luxury that was the automobile was directly related to his being able to retain Ford Motor Company’s profits in order to re-invest in the perfection of car manufacture. They should talk about how Jeff Bezos, Fred Smith and Warren Buffett are much better allocators of capital than are John Boehner, Harry Reid and Barack Obama.

To state what’s obvious, Republicans should talk about how much better our lives will be, how much more we’ll earn, and how much more often we’ll be blown away by staggering technological innovations if the federal government is consuming much less of our hard-earned money. In short, Republicans should talk about the private jets we’ll all eventually own if the economy-suffocating growth of government is reversed by the Republican Party.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on October 17, 2013, 00:25:39
Here we go...seems Hillary Clinton just began campaigning again...

Yahoo News (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/did-hillary-clinton-tip-her-hand-on-2016-presidential-run--001742228.html)

Quote
Did Hillary Clinton tip her hand on 2016 presidential run?
By Jay Hart | Yahoo News – Tue, 15 Oct, 2013.

Hillary Clinton may have tipped her hand on Tuesday about her plans for a 2016 presidential run.

Speaking in Atlanta at a convention that was closed to the media, Clinton spent 25 minutes talking about the 2011 raid on the Osama bin Laden compound, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The crux of that discussion: that she was for the 2011 raid in which al Qaida leader bin Laden was killed ― and Vice President Joe Biden did not support the military action.

State Representative Tom Taylor, a Republican, told the AJC that Clinton went to great lengths to paint herself and former CIA director Leon Panetta as the raid's fiercest advocates, while at the same time highlighting Biden's opposition.

"Without turning the knife too deeply, she put it to Biden," Taylor told the AJC.  

(...)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on October 18, 2013, 21:55:02
Why polls are becoming even less reliable than usual: polling firms are radically manipulating the data. This isn't just the usual skewed questioning or oversampling/undersampling, which are generally subtle and sometimes difficult to detect. Polling firm PPP, in developing a poll for a "progressive" group, adjusted the racial composition of Georgia from 71% White voters in an August poll to 62% in the September poll.

Now if the group that comissioned the poll was looking to get a snapshot of what the electorate was thinking, they should sue for fraud. If, on the other hand, the desired result was to release poll numbers showing radical changes in voter intentions and support to embolden firends and demoralize enemies, then that is what they got. Since most news organizations, bloggers etc. do not look at or release the methodology (amd the vast majority of voters never ask), I would suspect the second reason was the real reason for these polls.

http://georgiatipsheet.com/2013/10/18/ppp-criticized-for-gaming-ga-poll-results/

(formatting issue: go to the link to read the article)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on October 19, 2013, 15:18:10
A poll just out by NBC / Esquire Magazine shows that Americans are moderate / centerist in their views.

http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/14/20960588-the-new-american-center-why-our-nation-isnt-as-divided-as-we-think

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/new-american-center-1113

55% of Americans fall in the center or moderate part of the spectrum, with 20% falling on the left, 25% falling on the right.

Therefore, the Tea Party policies don't represent the views of most Americans beyond their base, which is not sufficient to win control of the legislative branch or the White House. Same with progressives on the left end of the spectrum. In order to win, either party needs to win the center.

It seems that the Dems know this well, but the GOP still hasn't figured it out.

And if you don't believe that, look at the rhetoric that is starting to come out after the shutdown ended this week. The push to move on Immigration reform is flailing for traction within the GOP conservative caucus.

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/raul-labrador-budget-immigration-reform-98404.html

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/marco-rubio-obamacare-2014-98457.html

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/laura-ingraham-debt-ceiling-amnesty-push-98392.html
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Haletown on October 19, 2013, 16:23:56
Here we go...seems Hillary Clinton just began campaigning again...

Yahoo News (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/did-hillary-clinton-tip-her-hand-on-2016-presidential-run--001742228.html)

Watch how she reacts to the ObamaCare rollout/impending GCF.  If it continues to tank and she throws it under t he bus, them more indication she is in.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Retired AF Guy on October 20, 2013, 21:49:42
I was going to post this in the funnies thread, but thought may be posting here was better:

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on November 05, 2013, 23:18:52
We have winners declared.

Chris Christy had a cake walk in his race which came as no surprise to anyone. Took 60% of the vote over his Democratic opponent.

But more to the point, FOX News and NBC are calling the Virginia race for Terry McAuliffe over Ken Cuccinelli in a very tight race. 47% to 46% with about 4% of the vote left to be reported.

And this is a definitive defeat of the extreme right social conservative policy. The GOP candicate for Lt. Governor is a hard right evangelical pastor with some extreme views on social issues. He lost in counties that went overwhelmingly for Cuccinelli. He even lost in Lynchburg City, home of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.

The race for Attorney General is also close, and no call has been made as of yet. The GOP candidate is leading 51 to 49.

About the only real takeaway from this is:

A) Virginia is solidly a purple state, and depending on the ticket in 2016, it could go either way.

and

B) This was the GOP's election to lose, and they did because of the slate of candidates they put up.

My early prediction is Christy will be the GOP nominee in 2016, and Virginia will go for him over the Dem ticket.


Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on November 05, 2013, 23:53:01
More early analysis of the results from The Washington Post:

6 takeaways from Election Night 2013

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/11/05/6-takeaways-from-election-night-2013/?hpid=z3

Quote
* Virginia isn’t for social conservatives. Ken Cuccinelli beat McAuliffe among voters who said the economy was the most important issue and among those who named healthcare as the biggest priority.  But, among those who said abortion was their most important voting issue — roughly one in five voters — McAulliffe crushed Cuccinelli by something close to a two-to-one margin. (Worth noting: Virginia voters were given four options to choose as their most important issue, only one of which — abortion — involved a social issue.) Half of Virginia voters said that Cuccinelli’s position on issues was “too conservative”  while just more than one in three said he was “about right” on the issues. What those numbers tell us is that McAuliffe’s efforts — primarily through a blitz of campaign ads in northern Virginia — to paint Cuccinelli as a warrior for the social conservative movement worked . Even though “economy”  and “healthcare” voters sided with Cuccinelli, it wasn’t by anywhere close to a large enough margin to offset his losses among voters who prized social issues.

* The Republicans’ un-married people problem: Cuccinelli carried married men and married women by single digits. But, he lost among unmarried people by massive margins.  Unmarried men favored McAuliffe over Cuccinelli by almost two dozen points and unmarried women by more than forty.  The only solace Republicans can take — and it’s not much of one — is that Cuccinelli’s dreadful performance among unmarried voters was significantly worse than that of Mitt Romney in Virginia in the 2012 presidential election; Romney lost single men by 16 points and single women by 29. The lesson for Republicans is that while they don’t need to win unmarried voters, who are still heavily outnumbered by married ones, they can’t lose anywhere close to as badly as Cuccinelli did and hope to win a statewide election in Virginia.

* The Virginia white vote is eroding, rapidly: In 2009, 78 percent of the Virginia electorate was white — and Republican Bob McDonnell rolled up a 35 point win over Democrat Creigh Deeds. Four years later, the electorate was only 72 percent white and Cuccinelli led McAuliffe by 21 points, according to exit poll results. That trend of white voter erosion is nothing new. In the 2012 election, it was on stark display.

* Republicans don’t need independents; they need moderates: Despite Cuccinelli’s loss, he actually won among self-described independents. At the same time, he lost by more than 20 points about self-described “moderates” — further proof that these two categories are hardly the same thing. The fact is that and increasing number of conservatives identify as “independent” these days even as they continue to reliably vote Republicans. That’s why Mitt Romney won independents by clear margins in states like Ohio but still lost the state. We would all be better served switching our focus to “moderate” voters rather than independents — as would Republicans searching for the way forward.

* The path forward is clear for Republicans. They just have to convince their base: Christie’s win, contrasted with Cuccinelli’s loss, could hardly provide a starker contrast for the GOP and a clearer message about how it wins in the future. Exit polls showed Christie winning among women and running even with his Democratic opponent among Latinos. If Republicans could emulate that in other states, they would win just about all of them. Christie is a pragmatic conservative politician who won a massive victory in a blue state; Cuccinelli was a very conservative tea party-esque candidate who lost to an unheralded opponent in one of the nation’s premier swing states. Tea partiers often argue that Republicans can only win presidential races with a true conservative on the ballot. The problem for the broader GOP is the definition of a true conservative has become increasingly stringent. As Tuesday’s elections demonstrate, the GOP — at least in places like Virginia and New Jersey — would be much better served nominating a Chris Christie conservative than a Ken Cuccinelli or Ted Cruz conservative. Of course, this message has often fallen upon the GOP base’s deaf ears (think Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, Christine O’Donnell, Richard Mourdock, Todd Akin) and it likely will again.

* And/but…Chris Christie ran as the un-Republican: Christie’s victory was much more about the Chris Christie brand than the Republican brand.  He spent very little time talking about his Republican credentials and much more time talking about his own accomplishments in the state. And the data in the exit polls proved that while New Jersey voters liked (loved?) Christie, they didn’t like his party much. Just 38 percent of Garden State voters had a favorable view of the GOP while 58 percent had an unfavorable one. Christie and his allies will argue that his victory is evidence that a Republican can win in a blue state. But, did Christie really run as a “Republican”?
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on November 05, 2013, 23:55:16
But the best thing about tonight's results:

NO MORE POLITICAL ADS!!!!!!!!!

at least for the next 6 months.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on November 15, 2013, 17:22:17
Since it is all about the money (and remember that in Organizational Theory, Politics is defined as a means of allocating scarce resources), this might further weaken the Administration as the House and Senate seek to preserve their own powers. (The Foundeers were geneii, after all). This has implications into the future, as the Legislative branch seeks to limit or undo the drift of power to the Executive branch. While it may not be a direct election issue, look for lots of undercurrents. Republicans, especially from the TEA Party movement may indeed latch onto Executive power as an issue:

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/11/14/weakened-obamas-trade-initiatives-in-trouble/

Quote
Weakened Obama’s Trade Initiatives In Trouble

President Obama is facing some stiff opposition from members of his own party over the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement currently being negotiated. Reuters:

In a letter to President Barack Obama, 151 House Democrats said there had not been enough consultation between the administration and Congress over the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP pact.

“Given our concerns, we will oppose ‘fast track’ Trade Promotion Authority or any other mechanism delegating Congress’ constitutional authority over trade policy that continues to exclude us from having a meaningful role in the formative stages of trade agreements and throughout negotiating and approval processes,” the lawmakers said.

Trade deals these days are less about traditional business of free trade—lowering tariffs—than about getting rid of “non-tariff barriers” to trade. Essentially, that means moving towards common regulations so that goods produced under the rules of one country can be consumed in others. For example, EU-US negotiations would try to establish a common framework over car safety so that any cars produced under EU rules could be legally sold anywhere in the US.

This quickly gets complicated. Think about pharmaceuticals. Could drugs approved by Japanese or European regulators be made available in the US? How about vice versa? Think about issues like intellectual property—harmonization of these rules across the area of the proposed trade agreements could involve serious changes.

As a result, these days trade talks don’t just involve international policies—tariffs are a tax collected at the frontier, and an international agreement to reduce tariffs is conceptually simple and its domestic ramifications are usually fairly limited. But new style trade talks involve much broader commitments and often involve changing a raft of domestic laws—and challenging a raft of domestic interests. They often have very broad policy consequences—like the intellectual property rules proposed as part of the Trans-Pacific trade agreement.

Here’s where the debate over the “fast track” Trade Promotion Authority comes in. TPA means that Congress agrees to debate any given trade agreement under special rules—the agreements have to be considered as a package deal and cannot be amended. Congress votes them up or down as a package.

This is important in giving the US the ability to negotiate trade agreements. Other countries don’t want Congress to get in there and essentially rewrite any trade deal by amending the treaties or adopting them with reservations. They won’t make concessions of their own unless they believe that the US will stand by the concessions it makes in negotiations.

This was one thing in the old days when trade talks were mostly about tariffs. But now that the emphasis has shifted to non-tariff barriers, TPA is a much bigger deal. Congress is essentially giving trade negotiators a license to make commitments that involve substantial changes in US domestic policy. TPA does more than facilitate trade negotiations; it transfers power from the legislative to the executive branch.

That is problematic for Constitutional theoreticians. And in a very practical sense this is a problem for Congressional representatives. Laws that affect important industries are Congress’ bread and butter. Literally. Laws like that attract lobbyists and campaign contributions. Industry desperately wants influence over bills that affect the basic regulations of their business, so a nice juicy regulatory bill is a kind of ATM for Congressional representatives yielding lots of campaign contributions. TPA shifts all the discretionary power to the White House, however. All those lobbyists that want to influence the content of a trade deal that covers hundreds of industries and issues, will ignore Congress and descend on the executive branch.

The move by two-thirds of House Democrats to oppose giving Obama TPA is a revolt against this surrender of power and money to the White House, and it is a sign that the Obamacare rollout among other things has weakened the President’s hold on his own party. Just as we are seeing Democratic senators looking for ways to repeal or amend important features of the health care law, we are seeing House Democrats turning on a key element of the President’s second term agenda.

It’s too soon to tell whether these challenges signal a permanently weakened White House, but they are a sign that even as the President slips in the polls, his authority within the political system is being challenged. (Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog this morning declared “a new low for the Obama administration.”)  The White House still has some time to reverse these trends and regain momentum in Washington, but as time goes by the danger increases that the inevitable decline in the power of a second term president will combine with unfavorable political developments to relegate the President to lame duck status relatively early in his second term.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on November 15, 2013, 21:26:42
 ;D

Quote
Former President George W. Bush to appear on 'Tonight Show'

Former President George W. Bush will appear on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Nov. 19, his first visit to the show since his 2010 book tour, NBC announced Tuesday.

He'll be discussing life after the White House. Bush's spokesman Freddy Ford told The Hill, “President Bush is going to be in the area next week so he was happy to accept Jay Leno’s invitation to drop by the show one last time."

Bush's visit next week will mark his fourth appearance on Leno's show.

More at...

NBC News (http://www.nbcnews.com/entertainment/former-president-george-w-bush-appear-tonight-show-2D11585033)

An even bigger picture for those who didn't see Baden Guy's graphic above:

(http://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi246.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fgg120%2Fn00bieman%2Fbush.jpg&hash=c9c4410532169772013ea423bf25b8b1)  (http://media.photobucket.com/user/n00bieman/media/bush.jpg.html)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on November 16, 2013, 00:23:32
One thing I have found very impressive about the President George W Bush is that he has never publicly spoken against the current administration on his many speaking engagements, even when offered the opportunity by eager (and supportive) hosts on various TV shows. Dr Rice has also shown equal restraint on the few appearances that I have seen as well.

Considering the verbal abuse he has been given by the legacy media and even the current President (blaming every bad thing that happens on the previous administration may be good politics for your base, but is essentially running away from your own responsibilities), this shows remarkable character and integrity.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 13, 2013, 11:38:11
This is going to be a huge issue in the mid terms, and possibly the killer issue in 2016 as well. The many other scandals of the Obama Administration (Bengazi, Fast and Furious, The IRS's harrassment of political groups, crony capitalism, inept foreign policy, massive overspending and debt increase, the GM bailout etc. ) have been ignored by the media, but getting your health insurance cancelled, being forced to leavce your existing healthcare network, seeing premiums double or more and (starting in Jan) getting their work healthcare cancelled isn't something that people will overlook, and certainly something that is impossible to hide:

http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2013/12/12/potus-wins-lie-of-the-year/?singlepage=true

POTUS Wins ‘Lie of the Year
December 12th, 2013 - 4:52 pm     

As spotted by Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler, Politifact, the leftwing “fact” “checking” organization, awards Mr. Obama their “Lie of the Year” today for his repeated claims that “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan”:

“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” President Barack Obama said — many times — of his landmark new law.

But the promise was impossible to keep.

So this fall, as cancellation letters were going out to approximately 4 million Americans, the public realized Obama’s breezy assurances were wrong.

Boiling down the complicated health care law to a soundbite proved treacherous, even for its promoter-in-chief. Obama and his team made matters worse, suggesting they had been misunderstood all along. The stunning political uproar led to this: a rare presidential apology.

And a rare admission from Politifact that the president has been lying, since they’ve been working very hard at dissembling on his behalf since 2008, by smearing his critics on the right:

In 2009, [Politifact's Lie of the Year] was “death panels.” In 2010, the Affordable Care Act was a “government takeover of health care.” In 2011, the GOP supported a budget which would “end Medicare.” Finally, in 2012, the Politifact “Lie of the Year” was a claim by Mitt Romney that Chrysler had moved Jeep production to China.

Last month, Time-Warner-CNN-HBO’s Mark Halperin came clean on the death panels; “Chrysler moves closer to restarting Jeep production in China,” the Detroit Free Press reported in April of this past year.

As Alllahpundit writes today at Hot Air:

The fact that it took until 2013 for them to identify “if you like your plan” as a mammoth lie is proof that the media’s collectively either out of its depth in analyzing policy — even when scores of conservative policy experts were willing and able to help them identify problems with the law — or uninterested for political reasons in recognizing the law’s flaws until they’re so glaring that they can’t plausibly be ignored. This really is the Lie of the Year, and outfits like PolitiFact are entirely complicit in it.

And so is CNN, ABC, CBS, and the Washington Post. “Exit quotation via Guy Benson: “‘Keep your doctor. Period’ has to be the early favorite for 2014 ‘lie of the year,’ right?”,  Allahpundit adds.

The speed at which the coordination between the leftwing White House and its complicit palace guard in the MSM steamrollered the country played a huge role in the creation of this moment, which was made immediately clear to the nation once the cancellation notices started arriving in the mail (not to mention the occasional audit as well). Coupled with the right’s repeated warnings that Obamacare would be a disaster upon implementation, and the left plugging their ears as they moved forward constructing the Krell Machine.

In January of 2009, the left looked at the first Democrat presidential candidate to win over 50 percent of the vote since 1976, and internalized into groupthink the notion that as Newsweek (then-owned by the Washington Post) exclaimed, “We Are All Socialists Now,” and the country would remain that way for the next 40 years, as James Carville also boasted at the time.

But in the mid-1960s, at what the left viewed as a similar moment, after JFK’s assassination helped Lyndon Johnson to clock Barry Goldwater in 1964 by a 22 percent majority, LBJ was no amateur, as Bill Clinton reportedly dubbed Mr. Obama. In the past, broad sweeping bills that dramatically changed the warp and woof of the land didn’t make it to the floor of Congress unless they had bipartisan support, if only to provide cover if things went pear-shaped. As PJM’s Rick Moran wrote back in August at the American Thinker, even at the zenith of the Great Society, “There was a national consensus for Medicare in 1965, but LBJ still made a supreme effort to make the program a bi-partisan undertaking”:

But at least one veteran of the launch of Medicare — Joseph Califano, one of LBJ’s top domestic aides at the time — isn’t too surprised with the fallout of the decision to move ahead on Obamacare without GOP support.

Even though LBJ had huge Democratic majorities in 1965, he insisted that “we have to shoot for half the Republican votes, because if we don’t, they’ll drive us crazy — they’ll kill us on appropriations, they’ll kill us with the Republican governors,” recalls Califano, now the founder and chairman emeritus of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. It was a different GOP back then, but LBJ still managed to win half of the House Republicans and nearly half of the Senate Republicans.

“I don’t know if Obama’s problem was the incalcitrance of the Republicans or his inexperience — probably both,” said Califano. But whatever the reason for the failure to get Republican buy-in, he said, “they’ve got a hell of a difficult couple of years ahead.”

“I won,” said Obama. The implication of that statement was that he didn’t need Republicans to govern. He has proven that time and time again over the years, refusing to compromise with those few Republicans who were willing to go along with some of his agenda.

Now he’s in trouble and he needs the GOP to have a successful roll out of Obamacare. Why on earth should they accommodate him? He insulted them, belittled them, called them crazy and extreme. What kind of arrogant person would expect the opposition to help after all that?

“Obama and the Democrats have sown the wind. Now let them reap the hurricane,” Rick presciently concluded back in late August, foreshadowing the horrors to come just a couple of months later.  And it really has been a storm of that magnitude, the speed of which has astonished the far left, both in DC and in the MSM.  “It used to be it took a decade or more for the results of bad social policy to manifest — which gave big government elites & their media allies plenty of time to put out plausible sounding excuses to paper over the failure and deflect any fallout onto others,” Brian Cates writes at his Draw and Strike blog. Not this time around:

The difference with ObamaCare is that Obama & his administration have gone about passing & implementing this disastrous new policy so quickly with such a high level of deception and such abject incompetence that there isn’t any gap in time of a few years in which to spin the increasingly evident bad results.

Never before have the progressives driving for social change gone for it with the speed – and the outright deceptions — that the Obama administration has. Which means the bad results are cropping up immediately and in a way that it’s impossible to paper them over or shift the blame onto others.

Those who tried to warn the country what ObamaCare would actually do had to endure almost 5 years of ridicule, mocking and name calling for trying to sound the alarm. They were called racists and far worse. And now it’s evident they were right all along.

Progressives have done more to destroy their carefully crafted illusion of competency with this ObamaCare trainwreck than the GOP establishment ever did.

Tech writer Bruce Webster adds that “I believe what we are witnessing will turn out to be the single largest and most catastrophic government policy failure in US history, as well as the most public IT failure in world history”:

I believe that over the next several weeks, the ‘cold equations’ of Obamacare as it actually exists and is currently implemented – as opposed to the magic thinking version on the Left — are going to lead to more and more unavoidable disasters — train wrecks, in the metaphor that Jim Geraghty has been using since before Healthcare.gov went live. Vastly more Americans will have both their bank accounts and their personal health damaged than those that will benefit under Obamacare.

This did not need to happen. There have been multiple points all the way back to 2009 when a different course could have been pursued, one founded in reality-based reasoning about math, software, and social change. Instead, we are witnessing the mother of all train wrecks. To paraphrase a famous passage from the Reagan Administration’s famous scathing report on the US educational system issued 30 years ago (A Nation at Risk, 1983):

If an unfriendly foreign power attempted to impose on America the disastrous health care system that is unfolding today, we might well view it as an act of war.

I fear the worse is yet to come.
[/quote]
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Jed on December 13, 2013, 12:19:07
This is going to be a huge issue in the mid terms, and possibly the killer issue in 2016 as well. The many other scandals of the Obama Administration (Bengazi, Fast and Furious, The IRS's harrassment of political groups, crony capitalism, inept foreign policy, massive overspending and debt increase, the GM bailout etc. ) have been ignored by the media, but getting your health insurance cancelled, being forced to leavce your existing healthcare network, seeing premiums double or more and (starting in Jan) getting their work healthcare cancelled isn't something that people will overlook, and certainly something that is impossible to hide:

http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2013/12/12/potus-wins-lie-of-the-year/?singlepage=true

POTUS Wins ‘Lie of the Year
December 12th, 2013 - 4:52 pm     

As spotted by Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler, Politifact, the leftwing “fact” “checking” organization, awards Mr. Obama their “Lie of the Year” today for his repeated claims that “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan”:

“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” President Barack Obama said — many times — of his landmark new law.

But the promise was impossible to keep.

So this fall, as cancellation letters were going out to approximately 4 million Americans, the public realized Obama’s breezy assurances were wrong.

Boiling down the complicated health care law to a soundbite proved treacherous, even for its promoter-in-chief. Obama and his team made matters worse, suggesting they had been misunderstood all along. The stunning political uproar led to this: a rare presidential apology.

And a rare admission from Politifact that the president has been lying, since they’ve been working very hard at dissembling on his behalf since 2008, by smearing his critics on the right:

In 2009, [Politifact's Lie of the Year] was “death panels.” In 2010, the Affordable Care Act was a “government takeover of health care.” In 2011, the GOP supported a budget which would “end Medicare.” Finally, in 2012, the Politifact “Lie of the Year” was a claim by Mitt Romney that Chrysler had moved Jeep production to China.

Last month, Time-Warner-CNN-HBO’s Mark Halperin came clean on the death panels; “Chrysler moves closer to restarting Jeep production in China,” the Detroit Free Press reported in April of this past year.

As Alllahpundit writes today at Hot Air:

The fact that it took until 2013 for them to identify “if you like your plan” as a mammoth lie is proof that the media’s collectively either out of its depth in analyzing policy — even when scores of conservative policy experts were willing and able to help them identify problems with the law — or uninterested for political reasons in recognizing the law’s flaws until they’re so glaring that they can’t plausibly be ignored. This really is the Lie of the Year, and outfits like PolitiFact are entirely complicit in it.

And so is CNN, ABC, CBS, and the Washington Post. “Exit quotation via Guy Benson: “‘Keep your doctor. Period’ has to be the early favorite for 2014 ‘lie of the year,’ right?”,  Allahpundit adds.

The speed at which the coordination between the leftwing White House and its complicit palace guard in the MSM steamrollered the country played a huge role in the creation of this moment, which was made immediately clear to the nation once the cancellation notices started arriving in the mail (not to mention the occasional audit as well). Coupled with the right’s repeated warnings that Obamacare would be a disaster upon implementation, and the left plugging their ears as they moved forward constructing the Krell Machine.

In January of 2009, the left looked at the first Democrat presidential candidate to win over 50 percent of the vote since 1976, and internalized into groupthink the notion that as Newsweek (then-owned by the Washington Post) exclaimed, “We Are All Socialists Now,” and the country would remain that way for the next 40 years, as James Carville also boasted at the time.

But in the mid-1960s, at what the left viewed as a similar moment, after JFK’s assassination helped Lyndon Johnson to clock Barry Goldwater in 1964 by a 22 percent majority, LBJ was no amateur, as Bill Clinton reportedly dubbed Mr. Obama. In the past, broad sweeping bills that dramatically changed the warp and woof of the land didn’t make it to the floor of Congress unless they had bipartisan support, if only to provide cover if things went pear-shaped. As PJM’s Rick Moran wrote back in August at the American Thinker, even at the zenith of the Great Society, “There was a national consensus for Medicare in 1965, but LBJ still made a supreme effort to make the program a bi-partisan undertaking”:

But at least one veteran of the launch of Medicare — Joseph Califano, one of LBJ’s top domestic aides at the time — isn’t too surprised with the fallout of the decision to move ahead on Obamacare without GOP support.

Even though LBJ had huge Democratic majorities in 1965, he insisted that “we have to shoot for half the Republican votes, because if we don’t, they’ll drive us crazy — they’ll kill us on appropriations, they’ll kill us with the Republican governors,” recalls Califano, now the founder and chairman emeritus of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. It was a different GOP back then, but LBJ still managed to win half of the House Republicans and nearly half of the Senate Republicans.

“I don’t know if Obama’s problem was the incalcitrance of the Republicans or his inexperience — probably both,” said Califano. But whatever the reason for the failure to get Republican buy-in, he said, “they’ve got a hell of a difficult couple of years ahead.”

“I won,” said Obama. The implication of that statement was that he didn’t need Republicans to govern. He has proven that time and time again over the years, refusing to compromise with those few Republicans who were willing to go along with some of his agenda.

Now he’s in trouble and he needs the GOP to have a successful roll out of Obamacare. Why on earth should they accommodate him? He insulted them, belittled them, called them crazy and extreme. What kind of arrogant person would expect the opposition to help after all that?

“Obama and the Democrats have sown the wind. Now let them reap the hurricane,” Rick presciently concluded back in late August, foreshadowing the horrors to come just a couple of months later.  And it really has been a storm of that magnitude, the speed of which has astonished the far left, both in DC and in the MSM.  “It used to be it took a decade or more for the results of bad social policy to manifest — which gave big government elites & their media allies plenty of time to put out plausible sounding excuses to paper over the failure and deflect any fallout onto others,” Brian Cates writes at his Draw and Strike blog. Not this time around:

The difference with ObamaCare is that Obama & his administration have gone about passing & implementing this disastrous new policy so quickly with such a high level of deception and such abject incompetence that there isn’t any gap in time of a few years in which to spin the increasingly evident bad results.

Never before have the progressives driving for social change gone for it with the speed – and the outright deceptions — that the Obama administration has. Which means the bad results are cropping up immediately and in a way that it’s impossible to paper them over or shift the blame onto others.

Those who tried to warn the country what ObamaCare would actually do had to endure almost 5 years of ridicule, mocking and name calling for trying to sound the alarm. They were called racists and far worse. And now it’s evident they were right all along.

Progressives have done more to destroy their carefully crafted illusion of competency with this ObamaCare trainwreck than the GOP establishment ever did.

Tech writer Bruce Webster adds that “I believe what we are witnessing will turn out to be the single largest and most catastrophic government policy failure in US history, as well as the most public IT failure in world history”:

I believe that over the next several weeks, the ‘cold equations’ of Obamacare as it actually exists and is currently implemented – as opposed to the magic thinking version on the Left — are going to lead to more and more unavoidable disasters — train wrecks, in the metaphor that Jim Geraghty has been using since before Healthcare.gov went live. Vastly more Americans will have both their bank accounts and their personal health damaged than those that will benefit under Obamacare.

This did not need to happen. There have been multiple points all the way back to 2009 when a different course could have been pursued, one founded in reality-based reasoning about math, software, and social change. Instead, we are witnessing the mother of all train wrecks. To paraphrase a famous passage from the Reagan Administration’s famous scathing report on the US educational system issued 30 years ago (A Nation at Risk, 1983):

If an unfriendly foreign power attempted to impose on America the disastrous health care system that is unfolding today, we might well view it as an act of war.

I fear the worse is yet to come.

You can take that to the bank.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on January 05, 2014, 16:59:03
Even people notionally supportive of the Democrat party are getting fed up with the political class (and since the Dems took over the House and Senate in 2006, and the White House in 2008, it is increasingly clear that the economic, mdiplomatic and policy failures are no longer the legacy of the previous Administration....). While Blue Dog Democrats share similar interests to the TEA Party movement, I'm inclined to think the so called "Centerist Democrats" do not. While some sort of an alliance would probably be beneficial, the most probable end result will be a further fracturing of the American political landscape, with the old political class (Dem and Republican) fighting to maintain the status quo and their hold on the perques and power it gives them, while the new political movements build thier strength and try to make inroads. Look for much more movement at the municipal and State levels than the Federal level:

http://legalinsurrection.com/2014/01/could-2014-be-the-year-of-the-tea-party-democrat/

Quote
Could 2014 be the “Year of the Tea Party Democrat”?
 
Posted by Leslie Eastman       Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 3:56pm
Democratic Party heads would explode if the rank and file went Tea Party in protest

At the start of the New Year, Legal Insurrection reader Nicholas wrote to ask Professor Jacobson the following question: Could 2014 be the year of the Tea Party Democrats? The political climate certainly seems appropriate.

As Legal Insurrection’s designated “Tea Party Democrat,” I would like to answer this: Yes and No.

Yes: Democrats are becoming as frustrated with their establishment leaders and failed policies as “Tea Party Republicans” have been with theirs. Exhibit 1: A townhall meeting in Chicago a hosted by Al Sharpton transformed into a “tea party” against “Chicago Machine” politics, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and the aldermen in City Hall.

“This was a historic event,” Paul McKinley of V.O.T.E. (Voices of the Ex-Offender) and former 2nd Congressional District GOP nominee to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr. told Breitbart News…..

McKinley told the room, “Stop blaming just anybody for the violence in the city of Chicago. Blame the right people, not just white people, but the right people. Because it’s not just white folks a part of this, but it is on the fifth floor. The fifth floor took your schools, the fifth floor just took your jobs that he said that he gave to the ex-offender… and every single alderman was a part of this criminal process.”

The video will delight fans of schadenfreude:

To paraphrase Frank Sinatra: If a revolt can make it here, it can make it anywhere.

Exhibit 2: Another core constituency is showing signs of open rebellion. Last month, it was reported that Obama’s approval numbers had tanked in 2013 among Hispanics — the biggest plunge for any core group.

Now, comes word that Eric Holder’s Justice Department is disputing as unfounded the religious challenge that led a Supreme Court justice to partially block the provision from taking effect this week. Hispanic justice, Sonia Sotomayor, was the one who signed the eleventh-hour order in response to a plea from the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, a Colorado-based order of nuns, that is now being challenged.

I suspect this will not enhance the popularity of the Obama administration.

And as many Americans trusted Obama’s healthcare promises, the fact that frustrated patients (some of them Hispanic) are walking out of hospitals without treatment:

‘They had no idea if my insurance was active or not!’ a coughing Maria Galvez told MailOnline outside the Inova Healthplex facility in the town of Springfield.

She was leaving the building without getting a needed chest x-ray.

‘The people in there told me that since I didn’t have an insurance card, I would be billed for the whole cost of the x-ray,’ Galvez said, her young daughter in tow. ‘It’s not fair – you know, I signed up last week like I was supposed to.’

Legal Insurrection readers now may be asking, “Then, Leslie, why do you also say NO?“

Because “Tea Party” has been so derided and mocked in the mainstream media and comedy shows…which is still the main source of news for the less politically engaged. Cue Jon Stewart:

It is also not terribly helpful when conservative luminaries like Charles Krauthammer refer to Tea Partiers as the “Suicide Caucus” and Republicans name “top generals in the War Against Tea Party“.  Also, GOP guru Karl Rove further derided grassroots activists recently by saying this of his new group: “Our object is to avoid having stupid candidates who can’t win general elections.”

While all of this is unfair, sensible activists deal with “conditions on the ground”.

As a Democrat, I offer this hopeful forecast related to my party for 2014: Democrats around the country will begin pushing back on government in their own way under a different label.  It was done in 1992 by Bill Clinton and his team’s concept of “centrist Democrats“.

More recently, a Blue Dog Coalition of “fiscally conservative Democrats” has this to say:

I am a Blue Dog Democrat because I believe that a fiscally conservative government and being committed to the security and safety of the United States are two principles our founding fathers supported and should continue to be the core principles upon which our leaders govern.

So, 2014 will probably not be the “Year of the Tea Party Democrat”, but of the “Blue Dog” (or some other trendy moniker).

Same concept. Different label. And probably not entirely the same set of goals.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on January 13, 2014, 10:06:45
Well, more proof (as if any is needed) that in America it's "Vote Early, Vote Often":

http://www.nationalreview.com/node/368234/print

Quote
Voter Fraud: We’ve Got Proof It’s Easy
Undercover agents were able to vote as dead people, but election officials are attacking the agents.
By John Fund

Liberals who oppose efforts to prevent voter fraud claim that there is no fraud — or at least not any that involves voting in person at the polls.

But New York City’s watchdog Department of Investigations has just provided the latest evidence of how easy it is to commit voter fraud that is almost undetectable. DOI undercover agents showed up at 63 polling places last fall and pretended to be voters who should have been turned away by election officials; the agents assumed the names of individuals who had died or moved out of town, or who were sitting in jail. In 61 instances, or 97 percent of the time, the testers were allowed to vote. Those who did vote cast only a write-in vote for a “John Test” so as to not affect the outcome of any contest. DOI published its findings two weeks ago in a searing 70-page report accusing the city’s Board of Elections of incompetence, waste, nepotism, and lax procedures.

The Board of Elections, which has a $750 million annual budget and a work force of 350 people, reacted in classic bureaucratic fashion, which prompted one city paper to deride it as “a 21st-century survivor of Boss Tweed–style politics.” The Board approved a resolution referring the DOI’s investigators for prosecution. It also asked the state’s attorney general to determine whether DOI had violated the civil rights of voters who had moved or are felons, and it sent a letter of complaint to Mayor Bill de Blasio. Normally, I wouldn’t think de Blasio would give the BOE the time of day, but New York’s new mayor has long been a close ally of former leaders of ACORN, the now-disgraced “community organizing” group that saw its employees convicted of voter-registration fraud all over the country during and after the 2008 election.

Greg Soumas, president of New York’s BOE, offered a justification for calling in the prosecutors: “If something was done in an untoward fashion, it was only done by DOI. We [are] unaware of any color of authority on the part of [DOI] to vote in the identity of any person other than themselves — and our reading of the election law is that such an act constitutes a felony.” The Board is bipartisan, and all but two of its members voted with Soumas. The sole exceptions were Democrat Jose Araujo, who abstained because the DOI report implicated him in hiring his wife and sister-and-law for Board jobs, and Republican Simon Shamoun.

Good-government groups are gobsmacked at Soumas’s refusal to smell the stench of corruption in his patronage-riddled empire. “They should focus not on assigning blame to others, but on taking responsibility for solving the problems themselves,” Dick Dadey of the watchdog group Citizens Union told the Daily News. “It’s a case of the Board of Elections passing the buck.” DOI officials respond that the use of undercover agents is routine in anti-corruption probes and that people should carefully read the 70-page report they’ve filed before criticizing it. They are surprised how little media attention their report has received.

You’d think more media outlets would have been interested, because the sloppiness revealed in the DOI report is mind-boggling. Young undercover agents were able to vote using the names of people three times their age, people who in fact were dead. In one example, a 24-year female agent gave the name of  someone who had died in 2012 at age 87; the workers at the Manhattan polling site gave her a ballot, no questions asked. Even the two cases where poll workers turned away an investigator raise eyebrows. In the first case, a poll worker on Staten Island walked outside with the undercover investigator who had just been refused a ballot; the “voter” was advised to go to the polling place near where he used to live and “play dumb” in order to vote. In the second case, the investigator was stopped from voting only because the felon whose name he was using was the son of the election official at the polling place.

Shooting the messenger has been a typical reaction in other states when people have demonstrated just how easy it is to commit voter fraud. Guerrilla videographer James O’Keefe had three of his assistants visit precincts during New Hampshire’s January 2012 presidential primary. They asked poll workers whether their books listed the names of several voters, all deceased individuals still listed on voter-registration rolls. Poll workers handed out ten ballots, never once asking for a photo ID. O’Keefe’s team immediately gave back the ballots, unmarked, to precinct workers. Debbie Lane, a ballot inspector at one of the Manchester polling sites, later said: “I wasn’t sure what I was allowed to do. . . . I can’t tell someone not to vote, I suppose.” The only precinct in which O’Keefe or his crew did not obtain a ballot was one in which the local precinct officer had personally known the dead “voter.”

New Hampshire’s Democratic governor, John Lynch, sputtered when asked about O’Keefe’s video, and he condemned the effort to test the election system even though no actual votes were cast. “They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, if in fact they’re found guilty of some criminal act,” he roared. But cooler heads eventually prevailed, and the GOP state legislature later approved a voter-ID bill, with enough votes to override the governor’s veto. Despite an exhaustive and intrusive investigation, no charges were ever filed against any of O’Keefe’s associates.

Later in 2012, in Washington, D.C., one of O’Keefe’s assistants was able to obtain Attorney General Eric Holder’s ballot even though Holder is 62 years old and bears no resemblance to the 22-year-old white man who obtained it merely by asking if Eric Holder was on the rolls. But the Department of Justice, which is currently suing Texas to block that state’s photo-ID law, dismissed the Holder ballot incident as “manufactured.” The irony was lost on the DOJ that Holder, a staunch opponent of voter-ID laws, could have himself been disenfranchised by a white man because Washington, D.C., has no voter-ID law. Polls consistently show that more than 70 percent of Americans — including clear majorities of African Americans and Hispanics — support such laws.

Liberals who oppose ballot-security measures claim that there are few prosecutions for voter fraud, which they take to mean that fraud doesn’t happen. But as the New York DOI report demonstrates, it is comically easy, given the sloppy-voter registration records often kept in America, to commit voter fraud in person. (A 2012 study by the Pew Research Center found that nationwide, at least 1.8 million deceased voters are still registered to vote.) And unless someone confesses, in-person voter fraud is very difficult to detect — or stop. New York’s Gothamist news service reported last September that four poll workers in Brooklyn reported they believed people were trying to vote in the name of other registered voters. Police officers observed the problems but did nothing because voter fraud isn’t under the police department’s purview.

What the DOI investigators were able to do was eerily similar to actual fraud that has occurred in New York before. In 1984, Brooklyn’s Democratic district attorney, Elizabeth Holtzman, released a state grand-jury report on a successful 14-year conspiracy that cast thousands of fraudulent votes in local, state, and congressional elections. Just like the DOI undercover operatives, the conspirators cast votes at precincts in the names of dead, moved, and bogus voters. The grand jury recommended voter ID, a basic election-integrity measure that New York has steadfastly refused to implement.

In states where non-photo ID is required, it’s also all too easy to manufacture records that allow people to vote. In 2012, the son of Congressman Jim Moran, the Democrat who represents Virginia’s Washington suburbs, had to resign as field director for his father’s campaign after it became clear that he had encouraged voter fraud. Patrick Moran was caught advising an O’Keefe videographer on how to commit in-person voter fraud. The scheme involved using a personal computer to forge utility bills that would satisfy Virginia’s voter-ID law and then relying on the assistance of Democratic lawyers stationed at the polls to make sure the fraudulent votes were counted. Last year, Virginia tightened its voter-ID law and ruled that showing a utility bill was no longer sufficient to obtain a ballot.

Given that someone who is dead, is in jail, or has moved isn’t likely to complain if someone votes in his name, how do we know that voter fraud at the polls isn’t a problem? An ounce of prevention — in the form of voter ID and better training of poll workers — should be among the minimum precautions taken to prevent an electoral miscarriage or meltdown in a close race.

After all, even a small number of votes can have sweeping consequences. Al Franken’s 312-vote victory in 2008 over Minnesota senator Norm Coleman gave Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate majority of 60 votes, which allowed them to pass Obamacare. Months after the Obamacare vote, a conservative group called Minnesota Majority finished comparing criminal records with voting rolls and identified 1,099 felons — all ineligible to vote — who had voted in the Franken–Coleman race. Fox News random interviews with ten of those felons found that nine had voted for Franken, backing up national academic studies that show felons tend to vote strongly for Democrats.

Minnesota Majority took its findings to prosecutors across the state, but very few showed any interest in pursuing the issue. Some did, though, and 177 people have been convicted as of mid 2012 — not just “accused” but actually convicted — of voting fraudulently in the Senate race. Probably the only reason the number of convictions isn’t higher is that the standard for convicting someone of voter fraud in Minnesota is that the person must have been both ineligible and must have “knowingly” voted unlawfully. Anyone accused of fraud is apt to get off by claiming he didn’t know he’d done anything wrong.

Given that we now know for certain how easy it is to commit undetectable voter fraud and how serious the consequences can be, it’s truly bizarre to have officials at the New York City Board of Elections and elsewhere savage those who shine a light on the fact that their modus operandi invites fraud. One might even think that they’re covering up their incompetence or that they don’t want to pay attention to what crimes could be occurring behind the curtains at their polling places. Or both.

— John Fund is a national-affairs columnist for National Review Online. Along with Hans von Spakovsky, he is the author of Who’s Counting: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk​.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on January 23, 2014, 00:51:04
It may be easy, but the instances of it actually happening are still rare, as in 40 voters out of 197 million votes cast between 2002 and 2005.

Voter Fraud Is 'Rare,' Presidential Election Commission Finds

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/voter-fraud-is-rare-presidential-election-commission

Quote
Voter fraud is "rare" and mostly occurs by absentee ballot, concluded a report Wednesday by the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.

"Fraud is rare, but when it does occur, absentee ballots are often the method of choice," the report said, proposing expanded access to early voting as a measure to ease the sorts of long lines seen at the polls in the 2012 election.

The finding is likely to fuel an ongoing partisan debate across the country about the extent of voter fraud and the appropriate measures to deal with it. It is backed by other studies showing that fraud occurs but is extremely uncommon. A Justice Department study found that between 2002 and 2005, just 40 voters (out of 197 million votes cast for federal candidates) were indicted for voter fraud, and just 26 resulted in convictions or guilty pleas.

"That's my conclusion too," wrote election scholar Rick Hasen, commenting on the commission's finding about the rarity of fraud, "but it is not the typical line of hard line Republicans like [Kansas Secretary of State] Kris Kobach."

The 10-member bipartisan commission was set up by President Barack Obama last year and tasked with recommending steps to streamline voting. It proposed a series of measures such as expanding online voter registration, allowing early voting in polling facilities such as schools, better management at polling places and overhauling the certification process for new voting technologies.

Link to the Commission's report:   http://www.scribd.com/doc/201461207/PCEA-Report
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on January 23, 2014, 22:49:33
No cupper, what is rare is investigation, prosecution and conviction. Reread the article upthread and see how easy it is to commit voter fraud in a small sample of jurisdictions. Now multiply by the literally tens of thousands of jurisdictions and you see the true scale of the problem.

Voter fraud in the United States is a common occurance, and the fight against proper voter ID, "cleaning" electoral rolls and other measures to limit the ability to commit fraud can only be seen as machinization by the political class to enable manipulating elections for their benefit.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on January 23, 2014, 23:03:37
While many people wish the TEA Party movement would vanish, it seems they are firmly entrenched and will be a huge factor in the mid terms and the 2016 Federal election. Perhaps more worrying for the Dems is how the TEA Party movement is growing in influence in their districts...

http://washingtonexaminer.com/report-tea-party-expands-influence-even-in-democratic-leaning-districts/article/2542648

Quote
Report: Tea Party expands influence even in Democratic-leaning districts
BY PAUL BEDARD | JANUARY 22, 2014 AT 11:12 AM
TOPICS: WASHINGTON SECRETS TEA PARTY JOHN BOEHNER 2012 ELECTIONS 2014 ELECTIONS MITT ROMNEY HOUSE REPUBLICANS

Despite national polls showing dwindling voter support for the Tea Party, House Republicans are embracing the movement’s issues tighter than ever, setting up a potential clash with voters in districts that lean Democratic, according to a new study of key House votes.

On average, said the study provided in advance to Secrets, House Republicans in Democratic-leaning districts or those that voted for President Obama over Republican Mitt Romney in 2012 sided with the Tea Party about 81 percent of the time on key votes like defunding Obamacare, blocking an increase of the debt limit and supporting a government shutdown.

“When swing Republicans grumble that [House Speaker John] Boehner should stand up to the Tea Party caucus they should be looking in the mirror,” said Brad Woodhouse, president of the progressive group Americans United for Change, which sponsored the study.

“The beauty of this report,” he added, “is that it doesn't take an ounce of spin -- it comes straight from their own votes and those scored by what are undoubtedly Tea Party groups.”

With the vote scorecard, titled “Tea Stained,” Woodhouse’s group is launching an effort to spotlight Tea Party votes by moderate Republicans and those in Democratic-leaning districts in advance of this year’s midterm elections. Winning some of those districts is the only chance Democrats have of taking back control of the House, though most pollsters see the Republicans staying in charge.

“The ‘Tea Party' -- which is now synonymous with the Republican Party -- is an anvil around the necks of moderate and swing GOP members - and this report ensures that as hard as they try - they can't run from their records,” Woodhouse told Secrets.

The report looks at 47 House members and 48 votes on Tea Party issues to determine a score. The group chose several issues and votes on the scorecards of Tea Party groups such as Americans for Prosperity and Freedomworks, though Republicans argue that many of the issues are mainstream conservative topics such as ending Obamacare.

The bottom line findings of the Republicans studied:

-- Republicans in swing districts and facing competitive races voted with the Tea Party 81 percent of the time in 2013.

-- On average, Republicans in Democratic-leaning districts voted with the Tea Party 76 percent of the time in 2013.

-- Republicans in districts won by Obama in his 2012 re-election voted with the Tea Party 75 percent of the time.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on February 09, 2014, 19:25:01
How will the post Obama democrat party look? Some speculation here:

http://triblive.com/opinion/salena/5547613-74/democrats-race-seat#ixzz2sn5icujs&w

Quote
Pa. House race previews Dems' 2016

About Salena ZitoPicture Salena Zito 412-320-7879
Political Reporter
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Salena Zito is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review staff writer and a Trib editorial page columnist.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

By Salena Zito

Published: Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Updated 21 hours ago

Sometimes the smallest races tell the biggest stories.

Take Pennsylvania Democrats' primary race to replace Allyson Schwartz in suburban Philadelphia's 13th Congressional District. (Schwartz is campaigning for the Democrats' nomination to challenge Gov. Tom Corbett in November.)

Unless the bad election year projected for Democrats has been vastly underestimated, this House seat was designed to be held comfortably by a Democrat — which means the battle for it essentially occurs in the party's primary.

Those vying for the seat include political newcomer Dr. Val Arkoosh, state lawmakers Daylin Leach and Brandon Boyle, and Marjorie Margolies, who held the seat from 1993 to 1995. She is considered the frontrunner because of her name recognition and her unique connection to the Clinton family. (She is Chelsea's mother-in-law.)

At its core, this race is for the soul of the party in a post-Obama political landscape. In a year in which Democrats have had a hard time attracting quality candidates for House races — a common occurrence for both parties when they know their chances are slim to win a majority — this race has attracted four qualified candidates.

All of them have a legitimate political argument and a path to victory.

All of them are very different types of Democrats, too.

Boyle is a young state representative, popular with big labor and very much the old-fashioned Catholic Democrat; he comes from a hardworking neighborhood and is proud of his working-class roots. In fact, he's the only candidate who isn't a millionaire or married to one.

Leach is the classic Netroots fighting progressive. If he can make this race about ideology, he can win.

Arkoosh is a doctor, the classic outsider, running as a mainstream liberal; she has some implicit support from the incumbent, although it is doubtful that Schwartz will outwardly support her in the primary. She also has raised a lot of money.

Then there's Margolies, an establishment Democrat. She has a perceived edge, not because of previously holding the seat — retreading alone wouldn't put her in that position — but because the Clintons' influence in Pennsylvania Democrat primaries should never be underestimated.

Their support in 2012 helped to lift Kathleen Kane, an unknown assistant prosecutor from Scranton, over well-liked, union-backed Congressman Patrick Murphy in the state attorney general's race. They also helped former Congressman Mark Critz to defeat fellow Congressman Jason Altmire for a House seat that was combined in redistricting.

If Margolies flubs her frontrunner status by deliberately missing debates and burning her campaign money, it's not difficult to imagine Bill Clinton coming into town to hold a glitzy fundraiser for her, then chasing it with an ad full of nostalgia about how her decisive vote on his budget cost her seat in 1993 but saved his presidency — and how he is ready to return the favor.

That stuff works, folks. All of the Democrats in this race, or watching it, realize that.

But Margolies' campaign style is tying Philadelphia-area Democrats in knots, especially her decision not to debate. For many Democrats still sitting on the political fence, her decision helps to perpetuate a feeling that she is running out of validation and vindication; they would rather hear her robustly debate with her competitors about the Affordable Care Act, the NSA's surveillance of Americans, and other pressing issues that drive “super-D” primary voters to the polls.

This race is the country's first glimpse of what a post-Obama Democratic Party could become. Despite all of its post-2012 proclamations, Organizing for America — Obama's campaign machine — probably will not run the world, let alone a very twitchy party that is ready to break away from the Obama years and stretch out on its own.

Obama has disappointed many progressive Democrats; he's lost the connection with many blue-collar Democrats; he's done no favors for many establishment Democrats on a host of issues, including helping to lose their House majority. As for Democrat outsiders, his presidency only emboldens their chances to be authentic change-agents.

Keep your eye on this race: It's a small but telling glimpse of what 2016 will look like for the party.

Salena Zito covers politics for Trib Total Media (412-320-7879 or szito@tribweb.com).

Read more: http://triblive.com/opinion/salena/5547613-74/democrats-race-seat#ixzz2ss16i81u
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on February 10, 2014, 08:32:08
And the fratricide within the Democrat party as the Clintons take their revenge will be entertaining to watch as well:

http://nypost.com/2014/02/09/clintons-keeping-revenge-list-of-enemy-dems-who-supported-obama/

Quote
Clintons still hate Obama-backing Democrats
By Michael GartlandFebruary 9, 2014 | 1:19am

Forgive and forget? Not Bill and Hillary.

A system of political rewards and punishments devised by the political power couple set aside “a special circle of Clinton hell . . . for people who had endorsed [President] Obama,” according to “HRC,” a new book by Politico former White House bureau chief Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes of The Hill.
The most helpful Clintonistas were rated “1” under the Clintons’ rating system, while turncoat former allies, such as John Kerry, received “7’s.”
The Clinton camp would later “joke about the fates of the folks they felt had betrayed them,” the book said.

“Bill Richardson: investigated; John Edwards: disgraced by scandal; Chris Dodd: stepped down; . . . Ted Kennedy: dead,” an aide quipped, according to the book.

Kennedy “had slashed Hillary worst of all, delivering a pivotal endorsement speech for Obama just before the Super Tuesday primaries [in 2008] that cast her as yesterday’s news and Obama as the rightful heir to Camelot,” the authors wrote. “Bill Clinton had pleaded with Kennedy to hold off, but to no avail.”

The couple’s political hardball — and groundwork for a potential Hillary presidential run in 2016 — began behind the scenes in 2008 after she lost the Democratic presidential primary to Obama, and it ramped up in 2012 as the president struggled to defeat Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Bill Clinton applied his own version of the “friend in need” adage, offering letters of recommendation, endorsements and advice to potential and established allies — with the expectation the chits will be cashed in for the 2016 race.

Immediately after her 2008 defeat, Hillary aides made a spreadsheet of those who burned her.
“She and Bill would have at their fingertips all the information needed to make a quick decision,” the authors reported. “So that friends could be rewarded and enemies punished.”

Punishment came in the form of Bill backing the opponents of Obama backers — even four years after his wife’s bitter 2008 campaign.
In New Jersey, Clinton supported Rep. Bill Pascrell against early Obama supporter Rep. Steve Rothman in their 2012 primary fight for a congressional seat that had been consolidated from two districts. Pascrell handily ­defeated Rothman.

In Pennsylvania, both Clintons courted Rep. Jason Altmire for his endorsement in the 2008 primary. Altmire went with Obama, and in 2012, Bill went with Altmire’s opponent Mark Critz, who won the primary.

Even when Bill Clinton famously campaigned for Obama in 2012, he would draw the line at anything that could hurt his wife’s 2016 chances.
Bubba refused Obama’s request to appear with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a first-term Democrat from Massachusetts, because she was viewed as a potential primary rival in 2016.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on February 15, 2014, 21:31:08
Discovery of an archive of "Hillary" documents, and the perhaps predictable reaction of the Legacy media. I suspect that there will far more "Samizdat" of this kind as the Legacy media surrenders its independence and objectivity in search of special favour from the ruling "elites":

http://freebeacon.com/the-golden-egg/

Quote
The Golden Egg
Column: The Hillary Papers and the Death of the Mainstream Media
   
Credit: The University of Arkansas LibraryCredit: The University of Arkansas Library
     
BY: Matthew Continetti
February 14, 2014 5:00 am

The school of literary criticism known as reception theory holds that a text should be studied in light of its effect on its contemporaries, that a reader should be aware of the “horizon of expectations” in which a text is produced. I was reminded of this the other day as I observed, in amusement, fascination, and occasional pity, the reaction of the so-called mainstream media to Alana Goodman’s lengthy and rock-solid report on “The Hillary Papers.” This trove of previously unexamined transcriptions of conversations between Hillary Clinton and her best friend Diane Blair had been collecting dust at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville for years. Not anymore.

As far as Bill and Hillary Clinton are concerned, the media’s horizon of expectations is stunningly narrow. It encompasses on the one hand the belief that the “secretary of explaining stuff” is a national treasure beyond reproach, and on the other hand the expectation that the former secretary of state will be our next president. Stories that fall outside of this horizon are problematized, scrutinized, ascribed to partisanship, and read with the sort of incredulity reporters are supposed to apply to public figures such as the Clintons.

When the Free Beacon published “The Hillary Papers” last Sunday night, we knew the story would have to cross a high bar. The piece was scrupulously fact-checked. All of the documents we cited were loaded onto the Internet. Every effort was made to present as straightforwardly as possible the contents of the papers, which show Hillary Clinton as hardheaded, calculating, and, yes, ruthless. (Re-read the part where she axes a Supreme Court appointment out of spite.)

What I did not expect was that the media would undergo such a tortured and dramatic breakdown, would struggle so laboriously to acknowledge the scoop while schizophrenically downplaying its importance. That a conservative online newspaper could have understood the significance of the archive, and actually examined its public contents, seemed too much an embarrassment for the staffs of the major newspapers and networks and magazines to bear. By being the first to report on the papers, the Free Beacon exposed the inanity and irrelevance of the mainstream media. We beat them. And they are sore losers.

The very fact that the story appeared on the Free Beacon prompted journalists to append elaborate, silly, and inaccurate qualifiers to their reporting on our findings. In various outlets the WFB was called “relatively obscure,” “conservative,” “ultra-conservative,” and an “anti-Clinton website,” in order to make it easier for liberals to dismiss the story altogether. The case of CNN is demonstrative. The network wrote that a “conservative website”—guilty as charged—was “claiming” to have found documents shedding new light on Hillary Clinton’s years as first lady. “Claim” was an unusual choice of words, since the documents in the story were all on FreeBeacon.com. Then CNN reduced the fascinating and novelistic details contained in our 3,408-word article to a slug-line: Clinton once called Monica Lewinsky a “narcissistic loony toon.” Later CNN “authenticated” the WFB story, giving it, one assumes, a stamp of approval—which CNN is free to have back.

One of CNN’s contributors, New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza, prefaced a discussion of the Hillary papers by saying of the Free Beacon, “Let’s be honest, their approach to journalism generally is sort of opposition research.” Still, he went on, “kudos to them for finding this.” Thank you, Ryan, for the kudos, but your condescension is completely unwarranted, as is your air of professional and moral superiority. All investigative journalism can be construed as “opposition research,” as any reader of Jane Mayer’s attacks on Republicans in the New Yorker, or any journalist who praised David Corn’s “47 percent” scoop in 2012, or any viewer of MSNBC’s nonstop coverage of a lane closure in New Jersey, would know.

A weird arrogance and disdain, a slapdash ascription of motive, characterized most discussions of the “Hillary Papers.” While spokesmen for the Clintons had no official comment, one could discern from the mumblings of journalists the line adopted off the record by servants of the once and future first family: The Free Beacon report was a political hash job, meant to give bad publicity by dredging up the ugly past, maybe even coordinated with the Republican National Committee and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who in recent weeks has been attacking Bill Clinton’s sexual habits. It was a report to be dismissed, downplayed, debunked. Jay Newton-Small, a writer for Time magazine, wrote, “Despite some early interpretations to the contrary, the papers represent a collection of thoughtful reflections and evolving positions on Clinton’s part, rather than a smoking gun of anything damning, or anything surprising.”

Notice that Newton-Small did not link to any of these sensationalist “early interpretations,” probably because the “conservative blog” that broke the story never made sensationalist claims. Nor did the Free Beacon say we had uncovered a “smoking gun” that would doom Clinton. “Thoughtful reflections,” moreover, is a unique way to describe some of Clinton’s words as recorded by Blair, such as her psychiatric description of Lewinsky, and her complaint that no one in the White House was tough enough or mean enough. But Newton-Small must be one tough and mean journalist herself, or else an extremely well sourced one, if she was not surprised by Hillary Clinton’s onetime support for single-payer health care, influence over Supreme Court nominations, and private lobbying against intervention in Bosnia. Of course all this assumes Newton-Small actually read our article before brushing it off. Which is an assumption I am not prepared to make.

Among Clinton’s most loyal defenders there was a panicked rush for the exits, an eagerness to switch topics, to reach the next commercial break: Nothing to see here, time to move on, no one cares about Monica, Hillary is inevitable, etc., etc. This was the tone taken by our lady of the eye-roll, Andrea Mitchell, who said on Morning Joe that she had argued against NBC even mentioning the Free Beacon story, and who like many other pro-Clinton journalists said the story lacked “context.” What she meant was that our magazine-length article, heavily researched and polished, disclosed information to the public without having Mitchell there to explain why none of it mattered.

Mitchell was not alone: There were more than a few Democratic partisans who said publishing material related to the 1990s was an exercise in futility. Former Clinton employee Paul Begala tweeted, “The personal attacks on the Clintons will fail.” Columnist Margaret Carlson wrote that if it hadn’t been for Lewinsky, Hillary Clinton’s numbers “might not have risen enough for her to run for, and win, a Senate seat in New York.” Political commentator Craig Crawford told WTOP radio, “No one has ever defeated the Clintons with these kinds of charges.”

Is this really true? I seem to remember that the shadow of the Clinton scandals—described in the “Hillary Papers” as a “pattern of sleaze”—loomed over Al Gore’s candidacy in 2000; that George W. Bush made a vow during that campaign to restore “integrity” to the White House; that when Democratic mogul David Geffen threw his allegiance to Barack Obama in 2007, he told Maureen Dowd, “I don’t think anybody believes that in the last six years, all of a sudden Bill Clinton has become a different person.” The Clintons call to mind the old Faulkner line that “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.” They carry their baggage like Marley carries his chains. It weighs them down.

And yet: Even as the Victorian gentlemen of the press debated the newsworthiness and propriety of the Free Beacon scoop, even as some of the most prominent correspondents in America publicly stated that the story was beneath contempt and unworthy of notice, reporters and producers were booking flights to Fayetteville to see what else they could find inside the Diane Blair archive. Suddenly CNN, NBC, The Wall Street Journal, ABC, and others were devoting manpower and work hours and financial resources to cover a story they had neglected for years, all in the hopes that the supposed partisanship of the Free Beacon had led us to overlook some crucial element of the narrative, some nugget that would reveal Hillary Clinton as the saintly and courageous Tiger Mother of liberal dreams. And what have these crack reporters found that wasn’t covered in Goodman’s original report? “The former first lady coped with severe back pain from wearing heels,” says CNN. Stop. The. Presses.

“I sort of liken it to an Easter egg hunt when you were a child,” said Timothy Nutt, head of special collections at the library where the Blair archive is stored. As Nutt was speaking to his local paper, reporters from New York and D.C. squabbled like children over the 16 boxes of Clinton materials, which the Free Beacon had spent a week analyzing. “Someone finds the golden egg,” Nutt said, “so all the other kids run over to the same place thinking they’re going to find the golden egg when, in fact, there’s only one golden egg, and it’s been found.”

There is a moment near the close of every episode of Punk’d, Ashton Kutcher’s prank show, when a certain expression crosses the face of the mark, when he becomes aware of his credulity, his gullibility, his ignorance, his willingness to suspend disbelief in the service of fantasy. It is at this moment when the eyes of the mark open wide, his brow furrows, and his mouth, opened briefly when his jaw went slack, contorts into a frown. Then the grimace quickly becomes a tight grin—obviously forced—as the mark attempts to convey, with mixed results, the impression that he had been in on the joke all along.

I like to imagine such an expression crossing the faces of all of the sophisticated, holier than thou, “objective” reporters inside the library at Fayetteville, as it dawned on them that a small conservative news outlet had them scooped. Mainstream media, you just got punk’s.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on February 19, 2014, 22:49:20
The sort of vote rigging tactics that will be out in force for the 2016 elections. Video on link:

http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2014/02/19/new-okeefe-video-battleground-texas-violates-election-law-to-help-wendy-davis/

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New O’Keefe Video: Battleground Texas Violates Election Law to Help Wendy Davis
Posted By J. Christian Adams On February 19, 2014 @ 6:22 am In Uncategorized | 30 Comments

James O’Keefe strikes again. He captures the community organizing group Battleground Texas breaking Texas election law.  The group registers voters as deputy registrars, illegally copies information from voter registration forms, and then cranks the illegal information into the Wendy Davis campaign for Texas governor.

Related: How the Texas Tribune Will Cover James O’Keefe’s Latest Video

Article printed from Rule of Law: http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2014/02/19/new-okeefe-video-battleground-texas-violates-election-law-to-help-wendy-davis/
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on February 23, 2014, 00:27:59
Follow up on American election fraud. Look for more of this leaking out in the future. It should make you wonder if some version of this is going on here as well? Given the stakes of winning an election could include access to billions of dollars worth of resources (the City of London ON has an annual budget of close to a billion dollars a year, and it is an unremarkable, medium sized city. Potential fraudsters getting a fraction of that would have access to more than the bank robbers in the movie "Heat"), this should be of concern to everyone:

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/02/21/battleground-texas-the-texas-media-and-wendys-choice/?print=1

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Battleground Texas, the Texas Media, and Wendy’s Choice
Posted By Bryan Preston On February 21, 2014 @ 2:29 pm In Politics | 21 Comments

James O’Keefe and his Project Veritas captured Battleground Texas organizer Jennifer Langoria admitting that the group uses its voter registration drives as data-mining operations for their political operations. Whatever one thinks of Project Veritas, it did not put words into Battleground Texas’ mouth.

“So every time we register someone to vote we keep their name and number,” Langoria says.

According to Texas election law, it is unlawful to transcribe, copy, or otherwise record a telephone number furnished on a voter registration application.

Battleground Texas has, therefore, been caught in what appears to be election fraud.

It’s not the first time. Earlier this year, Project Veritas captured a Battleground Texas volunteer discussing forging a signature on official voting documents. “It happens all the time,” she said.

It’s also illegal. Project Veritas did not put those words into the mouth of that Battleground Texas volunteer.

Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and state Sen. Ken Paxton, candidate for attorney general, are calling for the group to be investigated.

The media in Texas have done their dead-level best to ignore both of Project Veritas’ videos as long as they possibly could. When the media here do cover them, they have tended to downplay the videos’ potential significance. The Texas Tribune even interviewed a Democrat election lawyer — but not a Republican one — to defend Battleground Texas’ actions seen in the Veritas video. The prevailing media opinion seems to be that, because leftwing outfits have often criticized Project Veritas, every story that it unearths is worthless or worse.

Leftwing outfits are often created expressly to attack Republicans and to defend Democrats and their allies. The media ignore that, too. Media often cite these leftwing groups as if they are non-partisan watchdogs, while either joining criticism of Project Veritas or downplaying what the group finds. This is neither fair nor balanced journalism.

Wendy Davis should not be allowed to ignore the Project Veritas videos. Wendy Davis should answer for them. Davis is the presumed Democratic Party’s nominee for governor in Texas. She is running for office, presumably, to represent all of Texans and Texas values.

Battleground Texas has our state’s name in its, but it is not a Texas group. It is led by out-of-state operatives who hail from Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns. It is bringing the values and tactics of those campaigns into Texas in an attempt to shape Texas toward those out-of-state values. Those values  – curbing Second Amendment rights, expanding federal government power at the expense of the states, Obamacare, on-demand late-term abortion, high taxes, extreme and economically damaging regulations — do not play well in Texas. The majority here soundly reject them.

Davis has allied her campaign to Battleground Texas and its values, even lumping in her fundraising totals with theirs to claim that her campaign is outraising the Republicans. Having made that choice, she has not given herself the option of ignoring the videos showing Battleground Texas advocating forging election documents, and engaging in what appears to be illegal data-gathering activity.

The media in Texas, which have the duty of fairly covering this election and which have covered the old remarks of a rock star who supports a Republican candidate non-stop for the past couple of days, must ask Wendy Davis for her opinion of the content of those videos. Not for her opinion of Project Veritas or James O’Keefe, but for her opinion of what Battleground Texas operatives are saying and doing in those videos.

Wendy Davis should join Dewhurst and Paxton in calling for an investigation of Battleground Texas. If she does not, the media should put her on the spot, as it has put Republicans on the spot about a far less important issue than the integrity of our elections. If she does not, and if the media do not call her to account for the actions of her allies with the same energy it has called for and obtained an apology from Ted Nugent, what will that say about the media’ fairness? What will silence say about the character and values of Wendy Davis?

Wendy Davis must either explain and defend her continued alliance with Battleground Texas, or disavow the group and send it packing. The media must make sure that she makes that choice in front of all the eyes of Texas.

Article printed from The PJ Tatler: http://pjmedia.com/tatler

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/02/21/battleground-texas-the-texas-media-and-wendys-choice/
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on February 24, 2014, 18:36:50
To say that this is a case of election fraud is a gross distortion of the facts at hand.

Yes it is a violation of Texas Election laws, much in the same way that handing out campaign literature within a specified exclusion zone around a polling place violates election law.

But neither case is an example of fraudulent activity on the part of either the voter or the campaign worker.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: ModlrMike on February 24, 2014, 23:04:34
I think it's something in the middle.

It's not really fraud because they are clear in who they support. It is dishonest in that they link voter turnout to the number of times they call folks. Clearly they would make no secret of who they are on the subsequent contacts, thereby increasing the votes for their side. An activity that violates the spirit of the law. On the other hand it is illegal by the letter of Texas law.

In any event, I would be interested in the outcome of any judicial finding...
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on February 26, 2014, 14:38:32
This could go several ways. The documents could be leaked or released by "interested" parties determined to destroy the Clinton's. This could even include supporters of Obama (remember the Chretien/Martin split?) or other factions in the Democrat party determined to stop Hillary, as well as various factions in the Republican party. Stonewalling the documents might also be counterproductive. Even if the Legacy media fails to investigate or follow up, a gradually rising chorus of "what are they hiding?" could eventually swallow any messaging the Clinton's or the Democrats try to present.

http://freebeacon.com/politicos-mike-allen-thousands-of-docs-being-withheld-at-clinton-library/

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Politico’s Mike Allen: Thousands of Docs Being Withheld at Clinton Library

BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
February 26, 2014 8:13 am

After the Washington Free Beacon’s Alana Goodman revealed the existence of the “Hillary Papers,” a trove of documents written by Hillary Clinton’s friend Diane Blair, attention has been drawn to the thousands of files related to former President Bill Clinton’s tenure as Arkansas governor, housed by the Central Arkansas library system. These files remain under the control of the Clinton Foundation, which has largely refused to open the files to public access.
 
Now Politico has learned that many of President Clinton’s White House records are not available to the public at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, despite the fact the documents were meant to be released in January of last year.
 
Politico’s Mike Allen spoke to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on the documents, highlighting that over a fourth have yet to be released.
 
“33,000 documents should have been released twelve years after Clinton left office, so in January 2013,” Allen said. “25,000 have been released but there’s another 8,000 of some of the president’s most sensitive communications that are still being blocked.”
 
Allen said the documents could pose problems for the Clintons should the trove contain any new scandals that could damage a potential 2016 presidential run by Hillary Clinton.
 
Because the documents are under federal jurisdiction, President Obama has some control over their ultimate release. Allen noted Obama would be hard-pressed to continue to block the remaining documents’ release, given that the president promised more access to presidential documents when he campaigned for office.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on February 27, 2014, 15:31:10
In addition to electoral fraud, expect to see more activity by politicized government organs like the IRS. Here is the chronology of how the IRS was unleashed on conservative (only) political groups, possibly tipping the 2012 election since political activists for one side were supressed:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303426304579401513939340666?mg=reno64-wsj

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Bradley A. Smith: Connecting the Dots in the IRS Scandal

The 'smoking gun' in the targeting of conservative groups has been hiding in plain sight.
By
Bradley A. Smith
 

Feb. 26, 2014 7:47 p.m. ET
 
The mainstream press has justified its lack of coverage over the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups because there's been no "smoking gun" tying President Obama to the scandal. This betrays a remarkable, if not willful, failure to understand abuse of power. The political pressure on the IRS to delay or deny tax-exempt status for conservative groups has been obvious to anyone who cares to open his eyes. It did not come from a direct order from the White House, but it didn't have to.
 
First, some background: On Jan. 21, 2010, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Citizens United v. FEC upholding the right of corporations and unions to make independent expenditures in political races. Then, on March 26, relying on Citizens United, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the rights of persons (including corporations) to pool resources for political purposes. This allowed the creation of "super PACs" as well as corporate contributions to groups organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that spend in political races.

The reaction to Citizens United was no secret. Various news outlets such as CNN noted that "Democrats fear the decision has given the traditionally pro-business GOP a powerful new advantage."

Sens. Carl Levin (D., Mich.) and Dick Durbin (D., Ill.). Getty Images (2)

The 501(c)(4) groups in question are officially known as "social-welfare organizations." They have for decades been permitted to engage in political activity under IRS rules, so long as their primary purpose (generally understood to be more than 50% of their activity) wasn't political. They are permitted to lobby without limitation and are not required to disclose their donors. The groups span the political spectrum, from the National Rifle Association to Common Cause to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. If forced out of 501(c)(4) status, these nonprofit advocacy groups would have to reorganize as for-profit corporations and pay taxes on donations received, or reorganize as "political committees" under Section 527 of the IRS Code and be forced to disclose their donors.
 
Now consider the following events, all of which were either widely reported, publicly released by officeholders or revealed later in testimony to Congress. These are the dots the media refuse to connect:

• Jan. 27, 2010: President Obama criticizes Citizens United in his State of the Union address and asks Congress to "correct" the decision.

• Feb. 11, 2010: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) says he will introduce legislation known as the Disclose Act to place new restrictions on some political activity by corporations and force more public disclosure of contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations. Mr. Schumer says the bill is intended to "embarrass companies" out of exercising the rights recognized in Citizens United. "The deterrent effect should not be underestimated," he said.

• Soon after, in March 2010, Mr. Obama publicly criticizes conservative 501(c)(4) organizations engaging in politics. In his Aug. 21 radio address, he warns Americans about "shadowy groups with harmless sounding names" and a "corporate takeover of our democracy."
 
• Sept. 28, 2010: Mr. Obama publicly accuses conservative 501(c)(4) organizations of "posing as not-for-profit, social welfare and trade groups." Max Baucus, then chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, asks the IRS to investigate 501(c)(4)s, specifically citing Americans for Job Security, an advocacy group that says its role is to "put forth a pro-growth, pro-jobs message to the American people."

• Oct. 11, 2010: Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) asks the IRS to investigate the conservative 501(c)(4) Crossroads GPS and "other organizations."

• April 2011: White House officials confirm that Mr. Obama is considering an executive order that would require all government contractors to disclose their donations to politically active organizations as part of their bids for government work. The proposal is later dropped amid opposition across the political spectrum.
 
• Feb. 16, 2012: Seven Democratic senators— Michael Bennet (Colo.), Al Franken (Minn.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Mr. Schumer, Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Tom Udall (N.M.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)—write to the IRS asking for an investigation of conservative 501(c)(4) organizations.

• March 12, 2012: The same seven Democrats write another letter asking for further investigation of conservative 501(c)(4)s, claiming abuse of their tax status.
 
• July 27, 2012: Sen. Carl Levin (D., Mich.) writes one of several letters to then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman seeking a probe of nine conservative groups, plus two liberal and one centrist organization. In 2013 testimony to the HouseOversight and Government Reform Committee, former IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller describes Sen. Levin as complaining "bitterly" to the IRS and demanding investigations.
 
• Aug. 31, 2012: In another letter to the IRS, Sen. Levin calls its failure to investigate and prosecute targeted organizations "unacceptable."
 
• Dec. 14, 2012: The liberal media outlet ProPublica receives Crossroads GPS's 2010 application for tax-exempt status from the IRS. Because the group's tax-exempt status had not been recognized, the application was confidential. ProPublica publishes the full application. It later reports that it received nine confidential pending applications from IRS agents, six of which it published. None of the applications was from a left-leaning organization.
 
• April 9, 2013: Sen. Whitehouse convenes the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism to examine nonprofits. He alleges that nonprofits are violating federal law by making false statements about their political activities and donors and using shell companies to donate to super PACs to hide donors' identities. He berates Patricia Haynes, then-deputy chief of Criminal Investigation at the IRS, for not prosecuting conservative nonprofits.

• May 10, 2013: Sen. Levin announces that the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will hold hearings on "the IRS's failure to enforce the law requiring that tax-exempt 501(c)(4)s be engaged exclusively in social welfare activities, not partisan politics." Three days later he postpones the hearings when Lois Lerner (then-director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division) reveals that the IRS had been targeting and delaying the applications of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

• Nov. 29, 2013: The IRS proposes new rules redefining "political activity" to include activities such as voter-registration drives and the production of nonpartisan legislative scorecards to restrict what the agency deems as excessive spending on campaigns by tax-exempt 501(c)(4) groups. Even many liberal nonprofits argue that the rule goes too far in limiting their political activity—but the main target appears to be the conservative 501(c)(4)s that have so irritated Democrats.
 
• Feb. 13, 2014: The Hill newspaper reports that "Senate Democrats facing tough elections this year want the Internal Revenue Service to play a more aggressive role in regulating outside groups expected to spend millions of dollars on their races."

In 1170, King Henry II is said to have cried out, on hearing of the latest actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" Four knights then murdered the archbishop. Many in the U.S. media still willfully refuse to see anything connecting the murder of the archbishop to any actions or abuse of power by the king.
 
Mr. Smith, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, is chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on March 15, 2014, 02:46:32
More Vote Early. Vote Often news:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/03/florida_tv_station_documents_ineligible_voters_as_doj_sues_to_prevent_state_from_purging_rolls_.html#.UyHEj024YHI.facebook

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Florida TV station documents ineligible voters as DoJ sues to prevent state from purging rolls

Thomas Lifson

WBBH TV in Ft. Myers, Florida has performed a public service with its investigative reporting documenting non-US citizens voting regularly in local elections.  The segment can be seen below, but Judicial Watch summarizes it:

The segment focused on Lee County, which has a population of about 620,000 and Collier County with a population of around 322,000. The reporter spent about two months digging around the voter rolls in the two counties and the discoveries are dumbfounding.

In that short time, more than 100 people registered to vote in those two areas were proven to be ineligible by the reporter. A Cape Coral woman, eligible to vote in elections, was tracked down through jury excusal forms that verify she’s not a U.S. citizen. A Naples woman, who is not a U.S. citizen either, voted six times in 11 years without being detected by authorities. A Jamaican man is also registered to vote though he’s not eligible. The reporter obtained his 2007 voter registration form, which shows the Jamaican man claims to be a U.S. citizen. Problem is, no one bothers checking to see if applicants are being truthful.

Incredibly, election supervisors confirmed on camera that there’s no way for them to verify the citizenship of people who register to vote. The only way to detect fraud is if the county offices that oversee elections receive a tip, they say, and only then can they follow up.

But Gov. Rick Scot has launched a program to purge ineligible voters form the rolls, only to be sued: Judicial Watch notes:

The Department of Justice (DOJ) was quick to sue the state to stop the purging because the agency claims it discriminates against minorities. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has colluded with the DOJ in Florida and the head of the group’s local chapter says purging voter rolls disproportionately affects the state’s most vulnerable groups, namely minorities.

Kudos to WBBH and Judicial Watch for exposing this fraud and government encouragement of it in the most important swing state in presidential elections.

The key for people like Cupper who are in denial about US voter fraud is in the headline; since the rewards for voter fraud (access to billions of taxpayer dollars) are so great, the perverse incentive is to institutionalize this and prevent the cleanup of voter rolls. Better administration will also help

And a bonus:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/mummified-mich-woman-voted-death-records-article-1.1718254

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Mummified Michigan woman seemingly voted in the afterlife, records show

Voting records show that Pia Farrenkopf, believed to have died in 2008, voted in Michigan's November 2010 gubernatorial election. The vote may have been an administrative error — or something far more troubling.
By Michael Walsh  / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 6:08 PM.
 
Pia Farrenkopf, shown in a high school photo, on Wednesday was found mummified inside her garage of her Pontiac, Mich., home. She’s believed to have died in 2008 — but voting records show she cast a ballot in 2010.

How could a dead woman vote?

The mummified remains of a Michigan woman whose death went unnoticed for six years appear to have turned up last week — along with a vote she supposedly cast from beyond the grave.

Mummified Remains Found In Foreclosed Home

A contractor found the body in question in a garage last Wednesday after the $54,000 in Pia Farrenkopf's bank account dried up and her house in Pontiac, outside Detroit, went into foreclosure, according to local media.

Authorities say they think the remains belong to Farrenkopf, whom they believe died in 2008. But the mystery turned even murkier Monday.

RELATED: MYSTERY MUMMY MICHIGAN GARAGE SUBJECT OF PROBE

Voting records show that Farrenkopf voted in Michigan's November 2010 gubernatorial election, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Police tape winds around a home in Pontiac, Mich., where the mummified body of a woman was found in the garage. Paula Logan has said the body is that of Pia Farrenkopf, her sister.
Daniel Mears/Detroit News/AP

Police tape winds around a home in Pontiac, Mich., where the mummified body of a woman was found in the garage. Paula Logan has said the body is that of Pia Farrenkopf, her sister.

Farrenkopf, who would be 49, registered to vote in 2006 but did not vote until 2010, and that the vote may have been an administrative error, they revealed. Otherwise, the ghastly discovery may have uncovered something politically nefarious.

RELATED: HUNGRY? CHEESE AGED FOR 3,600 YEARS FOUND IN CHINA

The Michigan paper said no one noticed the mummified body for several reasons: she lived alone; her neighbor mowed the lawn; her bills were paid automatically through her bank account; and she had long ago asked her mail carrier not to deliver anything to her home, saying she traveled frequently for work and sent most of her messages online.

"There was a long-standing agreement with her carrier that her mail should be returned," Ed Moore, a U.S. Postal Service spokesman, told the Detroit Free Press.

Neighbors said Farrenkopf came from a large family near Boston and was known for walking her white dog through the neighborhood, according to MLive.com. They thought she might have moved after she hadn't been seen for a while.

Officials said they do not yet know the cause of death but there was no trauma to the body and no note left behind.

The Medical Examiner's Office has not positively identified the body. Investigators are looking for dental records that might be useful.

mwalsh@nydailynews.com

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/mummified-mich-woman-voted-death-records-article-1.1718254#ixzz2w0VtUi6D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on March 24, 2014, 13:38:28
Anyone still want to say voter fraud isn't an ongoing problem? Consider how this admitted fraudster is being treated, and you see where the problem really lies:

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/03/22/No-Justice-Department-Charges-Against-Ohio-Woman-Who-Voted-Six-Times-for-Obama

Quote
NO JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CHARGES AGAINST OHIO WOMAN WHO VOTED SIX TIMES FOR OBAMA

by J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS  23 Mar 2014 202 POST A COMMENT

Last week Al Sharpton embraced convicted vote fraudster Melowese Richardson at a “voting rights” rally in Cincinnati.  The United States Department of Justice under Eric Holder has done nothing to Melowese Richardson 410 days after she admitted on camera that she committed multiple federal felonies by voting six times for President Obama’s reelection.

Federal law makes it a felony to vote more than once for President.  In fact, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973i(e) subjects Richardson to twenty-five years in federal prison for her six votes for Obama.

The lack of DOJ action against an unrepentant federal vote fraudster combined with Richardson’s lionization by Sharpton and the organization that sponsored the rally demonstrates how the Justice Department is facilitating a culture of brazen criminality on the eve of the 2014 midterm elections.  The failure to indict Richardson is the latest example of Holder’s department excusing lawlessness in federal elections and abandoning law abiding Americans.

Melowese Richardson was charged with state voter fraud crimes in Ohio.  She was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison on July 7, 2013. Unfortunately, instead of serving five years, Richardson was set free after only eight months.
A state court judge dismissed her May 2013 conviction and five-year prison sentence and allowed her to plead no contest to four counts of illegal voting, the same charges for which she was convicted.

Richardson was represented by the George Soros-funded Ohio Justice and Policy Center, which claimed she suffered from bi-polar disorder.  No claim was made that she was insane when she committed her election crimes.  Nor was any effort made to establish her insanity.
Her mental state was healthy enough to appear at a rally this week with Al Sharpton where she received warm applause and a hearty embrace by Sharpton.

Federal criminal charges, even after a state court conviction, do not implicate double jeopardy. The Justice Department routinely charges criminals who were previously subject to state charges.  The Justice Department’s US Attorney’s Manual spells out the three tests for a federal prosecution of Richardson, standards which are easily satisfied.

First, the matter must involve a substantial federal interest; second, the prior prosecution must have left that interest demonstrably unvindicated; and third, applying the same test that is applicable to all federal prosecutions, the government must believe that the defendant's conduct constitutes a federal offense, and that the admissible evidence probably will be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction by an unbiased trier of fact.

Federal charges against Richardson easily satisfy DOJ guidelines.  There is a unique federal interest in ensuring voter fraud does not taint the election of the President and Congress.  Second, the federal interest in having valid elections for President and Congress remains unvindicated; Richardson walks free and is now being cheered at rallies. Last, Richardson admitted on camera that she committed multiple federal felonies and her handwriting matched the ballot applications that were sent to her house.  Game, set, match.

DOJ doesn’t hesitate to bring federal charges against local police officers.  For example, when a policeman receives a light sentence in state court after allegedly employing excessive force against a citizen, the DOJ Civil Rights Division is keen to initiate federal prosecution to exact its own federal pound of flesh against that officer.  But the failure to prosecute Richardson demonstrates that criminal behavior which aids the reelection of President Obama receives very different treatment.

Federal charges against Richardson for voting for Obama six times can be initiated by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Springer, who serves as the District Election Officer (DEO) in Cincinnati.  U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart could also initiate charges, as could the Public Integrity Section in Washington D.C., or even Eric Holder himself.

DEO Anthony Springer donated $750 to Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign according to FEC records.
Ohio Votes sponsored the rally where Richardson appeared with Sharpton.  According to their website, it is a “year-round, statewide, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) voter mobilization initiative. It galvanizes nonprofits based in low income Ohio communities to increase voter participation and join efforts for fair elections.” The umbrella organization received $1,886,723 in government grants in 2012.  The organization’s tax returns state the group exists to change “onerous voting laws” and that it focuses on “educating voters on the mechanics of how, when and where to participate in early voting for the Presidential election.”

The IRS continues to provide the group 501(c)(3) tax exempt status despite its active role in the reelection of the President, and its embrace of election criminals.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on April 03, 2014, 20:41:59
Anyone still wanting to claim vote fraud is rare needs to explain this away (saying "but George W Bush" does not count as an argument for or against). Of course as a moral issue, this is wrong even if only one instance was uncovered, much less 155,000...:

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/04/02/massive-voter-fraud-discovered-in-north-carolinas-2012-election/?print=1

Quote
Massive Voter Fraud Discovered in North Carolina’s 2012 Election
Posted By Bryan Preston On April 2, 2014 @ 12:14 pm In Politics | 74 Comments

The North Carolina State Board of Elections has found thousands of instances of voter fraud in the state, thanks to a 28-state crosscheck of voter rolls. Initial findings suggest widespread election fraud.

765 voters with an exact match of first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in N.C. and the other state in the 2012 general election.

35,750 voters with the same first and last name and DOB were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in both states in the 2012 general election.

155,692 voters with the same first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state – and the latest date of registration or voter activity did not take place within N.C.

The second point is key, as double voting is election fraud under state and federal statutes. Punishment for double voting in federal elections can include jail time.

In October 2012, Project Veritas produced video showing a Barack Obama campaign worker helping a voter register to vote in both Texas and Florida.

The Interstate Crosscheck examines 101 million voter records in more than two dozen participating states.

The findings, while large, leave open the question of just how widespread double voting might be since 22 states did not participate in the Interstate Crosscheck.

In addition to the above, the crosscheck found that more than 13,000 deceased voters remain on North Carolina’s rolls, and that 81 of them showed voter activity in their records after death.

North Carolina officials are now calling for tighter election security.

Article printed from The PJ Tatler: http://pjmedia.com/tatler

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/04/02/massive-voter-fraud-discovered-in-north-carolinas-2012-election/

Aside from the fact that a fraudulent vote cancels out someone's legal vote, we should also consider that government officials have access to or control literally billions of dollars of resources, and can affect the activities of people on a daily basis. I think that as s procedural matter, if nothing else, you should know that the person you are dealing with is actually represents the voters and constituents of their district, rather than being the creation of fraud and most likely a puppet for someone or something else, with an agenda unknown to you.

Doubly so for us, since as Canadians who may possibly be doing business deals or work in the United States, we need transparency to do our own due diligence before putting down our hard earned money.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on April 17, 2014, 08:39:05
Further evidence that the US is in serious trouble, as government departments and bureaucrats work to suppress the vote and political speech. The 2014 and 2016 election contests will be very interesting as these fights go on in the shadows, raising the question are the people running and sitting in office representing the "people" or something else?

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/04/16/the-terrifying-implications-of-the-irs-abuse-doj-connection/?singlepage=true

Quote
The Terrifying Implications of the IRS Abuse-DOJ Connection

by
BRYAN PRESTON
Bio
April 16, 2014 - 11:37 am
 
Thank God for Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George. His investigation of what turned out to be the IRS abuse scandal may well have saved the Constitution and the nation.

For his fair and impartial investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s abuse of Americans who dissent from President Obama’s agenda, Democrats have called for an investigation of him. George should not be investigated, but perhaps the Democrats who want him investigated — Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) — should be. Their call for an investigation of the investigator might constitute interference with the ongoing investigation of the IRS abuse scandal. That would be obstruction of justice, in what may turn out to be the most widespread and damaging scandal in American history.

The implications of today’s email disclosure are stunning and terrifying.

Lois Lerner intended to use her position atop the IRS’ tax exempt approval office to coordinate the prosecution of political speech. The Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder had at least tentatively bought into that. The Federal Elections Commission was being roped in as well. Lerner’s emails prove that beyond doubt.

Democrats in Congress were involved. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) appears to have led the anti-constitutional attack on free speech in the House. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) led it from the Senate.

Two days before Lerner was forced to publicly disclose the scandal, she was moving forward with an insidious plan to stamp out conservatives and Tea Party activists’ ability to organize and raise money, by working with the IRS commissioner’s office and the Department of Justice. At the same time, there was no plan for any government crackdown on groups who agreed with President Obama. The traffic was entirely one-way. It was nakedly political, and everyone involved knew it. They also had reason to believe that they would succeed, or they would not have engaged in it. DOJ would serve two roles: Prosecute conservatives, and protect the bureaucrats who were pushing those prosecutions.

Was there a full-fledged plan to use the full power of the federal government to take the abuse, delay and invasive questioning of conservatives to a new level after President Obama’s re-election? Was there a plan to criminalize the mere act of being a conservative activist? Was there a plan to drum up false charges of “lying” on applications in order to put conservatives in jail?

Lois Lerner’s communications with the Justice Department strongly suggest that there was. The disclosure provides strong, compelling evidence that Obama’s re-election had emboldened many, including government bureaucrats like Lois Lerner, to believe that they could move forward unchallenged to criminalize Americans for exercising their constitutional rights.

I also believe that the players in this scam had identified a target to single out, harass, investigate, silence, destroy, and send to prison. Her name is Catherine Engelbrecht.

Lerner’s email on March 27, 2013, suggests that there was an idea moving within the bureaucracy to hit one or just a few Americans, and prosecute and imprison them, to scare others out of political engagement.

“One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing the stuff,” Lerner wrote to IRS staff. “So, don’t be fooled about how this is being articulated – it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity.”

It was all about conservative 501(c)(4) orgs. Liberal groups were left entirely alone. This was to be a leftwing reign of prosecutorial terror.

Engelbrecht founded True the Vote in 2010 and filed for tax exempt status with the IRS that year. She was subjected to invasive questioning while Lerner’s IRS group held up her investigation. Soon thereafter, several executive branch agencies descended on her, her family and her business. The ATF, OSHA, the FBI all harassed her. OSHA fined her $25,000 for minor violations.

Fast forward to 2012. True the Vote is going strong, despite the IRS holding up its tax exempt application. It is making a difference. States are adopting voter ID and other election integrity improvements. Local groups are organizing to receive True the Vote’s poll training. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and his staff communicate with Lerner at the IRS, in what now appears to be a fishing expedition to find something — anything — to use against Engelbrecht.

Why Engelbrecht? True the Vote is not the largest activist group out there, and it is not partisan. It advocates election integrity legislation and it trains people to help ensure that our elections are fair and free from corruption. As such, it backs measures like voter photo ID. Voter ID is supported by about 70% of the American people. It’s not controversial, despite the left’s efforts to make it so.

Many Democrats including President Obama oppose such measures. Holder’s DOJ has even sued Texas to stop its voter ID law.

Rep. Cummings sought dirt on Engelbrecht and True the Vote not just to discredit it, and thereby halt election integrity legislation. It’s now clear that the next step, after re-election, was to turn activism for election integrity itself into a criminal offense. Not directly, of course. Congress would pass no law banning anyone from advocating for election integrity or voter ID or anything. But destroying Engelbrecht would serve the same end. No one would dare stand up for her if she faced prison. No one would dare step up and organize the next True the Vote election integrity group on the national level.

So let’s look at True the Vote’s “crime,” and how the Democrats intended to punish Engelbrecht and what it all means.

There was a plan by Democrats, in Congress and infested in the government bureaucracy, to use Barack Obama’s second term to destroy freedom of speech and the right to dissent, through prosecution and the fear of prosecution. Lerner’s emails disclosed today prove that. Only Russell George’s unstoppable disclosure forced her to shut it down and issue a modified, limited hangout to control the damage that was about to be done to her, the IRS and possibly the entire Democratic Party and the Obama White House. Lerner pleaded the Fifth Amendment to protect herself, and many others.

The purpose of the plan that Lerner was moving on was to stifle dissent and give Democrats total control of Congress in 2014, giving President Obama full control of all of government for his last two years in office.

Alongside that plan, was a plan to destroy anyone who advocated for election integrity legislation, legislation which gained steam and widespread passage at the state level after the 2010 mid-term elections. What this tells us is that the Democrats, at least some Democrats, fully intended to weaponize government against dissent while it watered down election law and used lawfare via the Justice Department to damage and even remove state-level election law improvements.

Criminalizing conservative activism was about consolidating the Democrats’ 2012 gains and winning back the House in 2014. Destroying voter ID by whatever means Democrats deemed necessary was about 2016. There’s only one reason to make it easier to commit election fraud. You only do that if you intend to commit election fraud.

And after that? Well, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants a law abridging the freedom of the press. And there’s always another tragedy to exploit to attack the Second Amendment.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on June 22, 2014, 07:43:48
Hilarious if true. The dysfunctionality of US politics may have seeped into the Democrat party as well:

http://nypost.com/2014/06/21/inside-the-jealous-feud-between-the-obamas-and-hildebeest-clintons/

Quote
Inside the jealous feud between the Obamas and ‘Hildebeest’ Clintons

By Edward Klein

June 21, 2014 | 6:48pm
Inside the jealous feud between the Obamas and ‘Hildebeest’ Clintons

In his new book, “Blood Feud,” journalist Edward Klein gets inside the dysfunctional, jealous relationship between Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack and Michelle Obama — and how it could explode in 2016.

Outwardly, they put on a show of unity — but privately, the Obamas and Clintons, the two power couples of the Democrat Party, loathe each other.

“I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived,” Bill Clinton said to friends on one occasion, adding he would never forgive Obama for suggesting he was a racist during the 2008 campaign.

The feeling is mutual. Obama made ­excuses not to talk to Bill, while the first lady privately sniped about Hillary.

On most evenings, Michelle Obama and her trusted adviser, Valerie Jarrett, met in a quiet corner of the White House residence. They’d usually open a bottle of Chardonnay, catch up on news about Sasha and Malia, and gossip about people who gave them heartburn.

Their favorite bête noire was Hillary Clinton, whom they nicknamed “Hildebeest,” after the menacing and shaggy-maned gnu that roams the Serengeti.

‘Michelle could be president’

The animosity came to a head in the run-up to the 2012 election, when Obama’s inner circle insisted he needed the former president’s support to win. Obama finally telephoned Bill Clinton in September 2011 and invited him out for a round of golf.

“I’m not going to enjoy this,” Bill told Hillary when they gathered with a group of friends and political associates at Whitehaven, their neo-Georgian home on Embassy Row in Washington, DC.

Modal Trigger
“Blood Feud” by Edward Klein

“I’ve had two successors since I left the White House — Bush and Obama — and I’ve heard more from Bush, asking for my advice, than I’ve heard from Obama. I have no relationship with the president — none whatsoever,” Clinton said.

“I really can’t stand the way Obama ­always seems to be hectoring when he talks to me,” Clinton added, according to someone who was present at the gathering and spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Sometimes we just stare at each other. It’s pretty damn awkward. Now we both have favors to ask each other, and it’s going to be very unpleasant. But I’ve got to get this guy to owe me and to be on our side.”

During the golf game, Clinton didn’t waste any time reminding Obama that as president he had presided over eight years of prosperity, while Obama had been unable to dig the country out of the longest financial ­doldrums since the Great Depression.

“Bill got into it right away,” said a Clinton family friend. “He told Obama, ‘Hillary and I are gearing up for a run in 2016.’ He said Hillary would be ‘the most qualified, most experienced candidate, perhaps in history.’ His reference to Hillary’s experience made Obama wince, since it was clearly a shot at his lack of experience when he ran for president.

“And so Bill continued to talk about Hillary’s qualifications . . . and the coming campaign in 2016. But Barack didn’t bite. He changed the subject several times. Then suddenly, Barack said something that took Bill by complete surprise. He said, ‘You know, Michelle would make a great presidential candidate, too.’

“Bill was speechless. Was Barack comparing Michelle’s qualifications to Hillary’s? Bill said that if he hadn’t been on a mission to strike a deal with Barack, he might have stormed off the golf course then and there.”

Blackberry snub

Bill Clinton would go on to campaign for Obama in 2012, but he felt betrayed when the president seemed to waver when it came to a 2016 endorsement of Hillary. Obama attempted to smooth things over with a joint “60 Minutes” interview with Hillary, and later a private dinner for the two couples at the White House.


‘I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived.’
 - Bill Clinton in 'Blood Feud'
And so, on March 1, 2013 — the very day that the $85 billion in budget cuts known as the “sequester” went into effect — the Clintons slipped unnoticed into the White House and sat down for dinner with the Obamas in the Residence.

Typically, once Obama decided to do something (for example, the surge in Afghanistan), he immediately had second thoughts, and his behavior during dinner degenerated from moody to grumpy to bad-tempered.

After the obligatory greetings and small talk about family, Obama asked Bill what he thought about the sequester: Would it turn out to be a political plus for him? Bill went into a long — and boring — lecture about the issue.

To change the subject, Hillary asked Michelle if it was true, as she had heard, that the first lady was thinking about running for the Senate from Illinois.

Michelle said that she was warming to the idea, though she had yet to make up her mind.

Bill shot Hillary a look of incredulity.

Bill then moved the conversation to Obama’s vaunted 2012 campaign ­organization. He told Obama that it would be a good idea to fold the organization, along with all its digital and social-media bells and whistles, into the Democratic National Committee.

Obama’s only response was a disparaging smile.

Modal Trigger
President Barack Obama acts cordial with former President Clinton but it’s all for show, according to the new book “Blood Feud,” by journalist Edward Klein.Photo: White House

“You have to use your organization to aid the candidate in 2016,” Bill pressed Obama.

“Really?” Obama replied in a tone of undisguised sarcasm.

The two men went back and forth over the subject of where the money for Obama’s campaign organization had come from and how to allocate funds for the 2016 presidential election. Bill raised his voice. So did Obama.

As Bill Clinton went on about his managerial experience, Obama began playing with his Blackberry under the table, making it plain that he wasn’t paying attention to anything Clinton had to say. He was intentionally snubbing Clinton. Others around the table noticed Obama thumbing his Blackberry, and the atmosphere turned even colder than before.

Hillary changed the subject again.

“Are you glad you won’t have to campaign again?” she asked Obama. “You don’t seem to ­enjoy it.”

“For a guy who doesn’t like it,” Obama replied tartly, “I’ve done pretty well.”

“Well,” Bill said, adding his two cents, “I was glad to pitch in and help get you re-elected.”

There was another long pause. Finally, Obama turned to Bill and said, sotto voce, “Thanks.”

After the dinner, and once the Clintons had been ushered out of the family quarters, Obama shook his head and said, “That’s why I never invite that guy over.”

Obama’s mini-me

Lately, Bill Clinton has become convinced that Obama won’t endorse Hillary in 2016. During a gathering at Whitehaven, guests overheard Bill talking to his daughter Chelsea about whether the president would back Joe Biden.

“Recently, I’ve been hearing a different scenario from state committeemen,” Clinton said. “They say he’s looking for a candidate who’s just like him. Someone relatively unknown. Someone with a fresh face.

“He’s convinced himself he’s been a brilliant president, and wants to clone himself — to find his Mini-Me.

“He’s hunting for someone to succeed him, and he believes the American people don’t want to vote for someone who’s been around for a long time. He thinks that your mother and I are what he calls ‘so 20th century.’ He’s looking for ­another Barack Obama.”

Excerpted from “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas” by Edward Klein. Out this week from Regnery Publishing.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on July 29, 2014, 20:39:30
Perhaps she should have a comedy segment and hire Tina Fey just to preempt the inevitable mockery that will ensue from the MSM??  ;D

 ;D

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/28/us/palin-news-channel/index.html)

Quote
Sarah Palin to launch her own online news channel

(CNN) -- Sarah Palin is again going rogue -- this time to the digital world, with the creation of her own online news channel.

The former vice presidential candidate plans to offer viewers an alternative to the "politically correct filter" of mainstream media.

"Are you tired of the media filters? Well, I am," she says in a promotional video. "I want to talk directly to you on our channel on my terms, and no need to please the powers that be."

The new Sarah Palin Channel will cost viewers $9.95 a month, or $99.95 for a year. Active military personnel can subscribe free of charge.

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on July 30, 2014, 19:21:46
I wonder if Rupert Murdoch & Fox News will sue for the cost of building a TV studio next door to her home with the scenic view of Russia?
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on August 27, 2014, 22:55:55
It's like deja vu all over again.

Mitt Romney: 'Circumstances can change'

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/mitt-romney-circumstances-can-change-110368.html?hp=r2

Quote
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has repeatedly said he is not planning to run for president in 2016 but acknowledged Tuesday that “circumstances can change.”

“Circumstances can change, but I’m just not going to let my head go there,” Romney said during an interview on the nationally syndicated radio program “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

“I had the chance of running,” the 2012 Republican presidential nominee told Hewitt. “I didn’t win. Someone else has a better chance than I do. And that’s what we believe, and that’s why I’m not running.”

Romney referenced a scene from the movie “Dumb and Dumber,” when pressed about running again for the GOP nomination, saying the chance he’d run is “one of a million.”

“Let’s say all the guys that were running all came together and said, ‘Hey, we’ve decided we can’t do it, you must do it.’ That’s the one of a million we’re thinking about,” Romney said.

Romney’s former running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, is one person who has said he wishes Romney would run again.
“I sure wish he would,” Ryan said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “I think he’d make a phenomenal president. He has the intellect, the honor, the character and the temperament to be a fantastic president. … But he keeps saying that he’s not going to run.”

On Tuesday, Romney continued to bat away a bid, saying a possible GOP contender “not defined yet” and “perhaps … from the next generation” could take on Hillary Clinton if she becomes the Democratic nominee.
“Had I believed I would actually be best positioned to beat Hillary Clinton, then I would be running,” Romney said.


Poll: Romney breaks away in Iowa

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/mitt-romney-2016-election-iowa-poll-110392.html?hp=r1

Quote
The day after Mitt Romney opened the door to another possible presidential run, a new poll shows he has a huge lead among likely 2016 Iowa Republican caucus voters.

According to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Wednesday, 35 percent of likely GOP caucus voters would vote for the 2012 GOP nominee in 2016. When Romney’s name was added to the pool, no other candidate received double-digit votes.

In Wednesday’s survey of 170 likely caucus voters, 9 percent said they would vote for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, putting him in a distant second to Romney. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum both came in third at 6 percent, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul tied for fifth with 5 percent.

Ten percent of likely voters said they were undecided.

In a field survey that did not include Romney, Huckabee scored 13 percent of the vote and Christie 10 percent, with 17 percent of voters saying they were undecided.

A June survey reported that Romney also had a double-digit lead over all listed potential Republican presidential contenders in New Hampshire, suggesting he has strong support in each of the first two presidential nominating contests.

In addition to losing to President Barack Obama in the 2012 general election, Romney unsuccessfully ran for the GOP nomination in 2008. Before Tuesday, he had said several times that he wants to give other Republican contenders a chance in 2016.
The survey was conducted Aug. 23-26 on landlines and cellphones. The margin of error for the 500-person general election survey was plus or minus 4.4 percentage points; there was no listed margin of error for the smaller selection of likely Republican caucus voters.

Meanwhile, a Gallup poll released Wednesday reveals that Republicans are giving more thought to the midterm elections coming in November.

Forty-two percent of Republicans answered that they have given “quite a lot” or “some” thought to the upcoming election — an increase from the 37 percent who answered similarly in April — while only 27 percent of Democrats showed the same amount of engagement. In April, 13 percent more Republicans answered that they were giving midterms “quite a lot” or “some” thought, and by August the gap has increased to 15 percent.

Regardless of political parties, only one-third of Americans say that are engaged in the upcoming elections.

This Gallup poll was conducted between August 7-10 among 1,032 adults and has a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 27, 2014, 23:43:07
Cupper your bias shows.I have no idea who will gain traction with the public - if anyone.Romney was a poor candidate last time and would be again.Obama cant run so who on the dem side can beat Hillary ? Would Biden run ? Personally I would like to see a true conservative,but we are too far out.Maybe in a year the chrystal ball will clear up.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on August 28, 2014, 00:52:23
Cupper your bias shows.I have no idea who will gain traction with the public - if anyone.Romney was a poor candidate last time and would be again.Obama cant run so who on the dem side can beat Hillary ? Would Biden run ? Personally I would like to see a true conservative,but we are too far out.Maybe in a year the chrystal ball will clear up.

I agree with you on pretty much all of your points.

Romney was a poor candidate with an even worse campaign team. It was his to lose and he didn't disappoint.

I'd like to see a centrist candidate or even a slightly right of center candidate from either party. (Although this would be the equivalent of the bat-poop crazy right fringe of Canadian politics  >:D) Clinton has a sherpa's load of baggage to carry, some real, some imagined. But she appears to be the anointed one.

Smartest thing the GOP could do is avoid the clown show that they put everyone through last time, not run against the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and come up with a sound, coherent platform with meaningful policy proposals.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on August 28, 2014, 00:59:30
Smartest thing the GOP could do is avoid the clown show that they put everyone through last time, not run against the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and come up with a sound, coherent platform with meaningful policy proposals.

They did; look up the "Romney was psychic" meme on the Internet. Of course the PCPO also had a well thought out and coherent platform as well (and we may actually get it implemented as the current Liberal government wakes up to the reality of a credit downgrade), but voters bought the fear mongering instead, and look what that got them in the US and Ontario.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on September 26, 2014, 00:49:36
For those unaware, ex-Senator James Webb is a former US Secretary of the Navy, and a Vietnam veteran. His acclaimed novel "Fields of Fire" is considered by many as required reading in US Marine OCS/TBS because of its vivid descriptions of life and combat within a USMC infantry platoon during the Vietnam War.

Quote
Webb 'seriously looking' at 2016 bid

Kelly Cohen
September 23, 2014

Add former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb to the list of potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidates.

During his speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, the former secretary of the Navy said he is “seriously looking at the possibility of running for president.”

Webb, who was recently called “Hillary Rodham Clinton’s worst nightmare” by the New York Times, said he would decide within the next four to five months.

[...]


Washington Examiner (http://washingtonexaminer.com/webb-seriously-looking-at-2016-bid/article/2553835)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on September 26, 2014, 21:37:43
For those unaware, ex-Senator James Webb is a former US Secretary of the Navy, and a Vietnam veteran. His acclaimed novel "Fields of Fire" is considered by many as required reading in US Marine OCS/TBS because of its vivid descriptions of life and combat within a USMC infantry platoon during the Vietnam War.

Washington Examiner (http://washingtonexaminer.com/webb-seriously-looking-at-2016-bid/article/2553835)

I would love to see Webb run and take the Democratic nomination. But Webb is way too conservative for the progressives in the party and not likely to dethrone the Queen designate.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: GnyHwy on October 03, 2014, 04:56:00
Study suggests we aren't smart enough for democracy, and I tend to believe it!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/why-our-brains-aren-t-built-for-democracy-1.2784220 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/why-our-brains-aren-t-built-for-democracy-1.2784220)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on October 07, 2014, 01:28:20
For those unaware, he's a state governor of Indian/South Asian descent and reportedly another GOP favourite who is mulling a presidential run...

Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/06/us-usa-politics-jindal-idUSKCN0HV21Z20141006)

Quote
Possible Republican 2016 contender Jindal stakes out hawkish tone
BY JEFF MASON
WASHINGTON Mon Oct 6, 2014 5:08pm EDT

(Reuters) - Potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal on Monday pressed for an increase in U.S. defense spending to 4 percent of GDP, distinguishing himself from rivals in the future nominating race with a hawkish tone on foreign policy.

The Louisiana governor, who is considering a run for the presidency, is trying to appeal to right-leaning conservatives in his party with an aggressive stance on foreign policy while distancing himself from Tea Party-affiliated candidates with more isolationist tendencies.

"Within the arena of national defense, the need now is for more funding, not less," Jindal said during remarks at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, setting a goal for defense spending to reach 4 percent of U.S. gross domestic product.

"We must undo the president’s harmful spending cuts, and ensure that our fighting men and women always have the tools they need to succeed."

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on November 01, 2014, 13:57:04
Not sure what to think of this...

Business Insider (https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/conservatives-already-freaking-jeb-bushs-102634856.html)

Quote
Conservatives Are Already Freaking Out About Jeb Bush's Possible Run For President
Business Insider
By Brett LoGiurato | Business Insider – 6 hours ago

During a prominent gathering of conservatives in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, the largest spattering of boos among the crowd didn't come at speakers' frequent mentions of President Barack Obama.

The loudest jeers came when a speaker would mention former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
"You know, I heard Jeb Bush the other day," mogul Donald Trump said during his speech at the Freedom Summit, hosted by the conservative groups Citizens United and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. He paused in his speech as the boos started.

As chatter heats up about a Bush possibly running for president in 2016, he faces a potentially significant obstacle — convincing the conservative base to rally around him as a Republican nominee.
Conservatives' problems with Bush, the brother of former President George W. Bush and younger son of
President George H.W. Bush,  are threefold. First, he supports overhauling the nation's immigration system, something that has made some on the right charge he supports "amnesty" for undocumented immigrants living in the US. Bush also has embraced the Common Core educational standards, a policy that is quickly becoming the "Obamacare" of education on the right.

And, to a lesser extent, conservatives also agree with the sentiment of Bush over-saturation. They are tired of the Bush name representing the Republican Party, and they want to avoid a potential third Bush in office over the last five presidencies.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Chris Pook on November 01, 2014, 14:09:35
So apparently he has a decent shot at the top job.  Which would mean that he has backers that like him and his family and, apparently, a solid cadre of people that are likely to vote for him - probably due to a consideration of Jeb and the Bushes versus the alternatives.

If he didn't have a shot why would anybody be bothered?

Any village idiot can run for office.  Most are not considered threats.  Although some actually do defy the odds and get elected.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on November 26, 2014, 16:59:43
More internal stresses in the Democrat party, from Instapundit:

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/198882

Quote
SO WHY ALL THE FERGUSON HOOPLA? Last time the Dems and Sharpton made a big deal of a shooting, it was the Trayvon Martin case, hyped to keep up black turnout for 2012. But now there’s not an election. So why Ferguson, and why now? Polling indicates that most people aren’t all that sympathetic, and protests that tie up Interstates, etc. aren’t going to attract swing voters.
 
But it’s not about swing voters. It’s about the base. And it’s not about the Democratic Party’s base, but about certain leaders’ base within the Democratic Party. This may be best understood as an intra-party struggle. Obama is the champion of the urban-black wing of the party, and because of him that wing has been on top. But his star is fading, black voters are beginning to realize that they haven’t benefited economically, and the next Dem nominee — whether it’s Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, or Elizabeth Warren — will be from the white gentry-liberal wing of the Democratic Party. The riots, the marches, the traffic-blocking are a way of telling them that the Sharpton wing is still a force to be reckoned with, and to improve its bargaining power between now and 2016. At least, that’s the only way this — not at all spontaneous — street theater makes sense.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on November 26, 2014, 19:21:44
Romney again? But then again Nixon did run more than once and lost at least once before becoming president later.

Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/26/us-usa-politics-poll-idUSKCN0JA1GT20141126)

Quote
Romney tops Republican poll for '16; ahead of Clinton in election

(Reuters) - Mitt Romney, the Republican Party's unsuccessful presidential nominee in 2012, leads the field for the 2016 election among Republican voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday.

The former Massachusetts governor would have a slight edge over potential Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by 45 percent to 44 percent in a general election, the poll found.

Among possible Republican candidates, Romney's 19 percent put him ahead of former Florida governor Jeb Bush with 11 percent, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Ben Carson each with 8 percent each, and U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky with 6 percent.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on November 26, 2014, 19:32:15
There are just too many rumblings down here about the possibility of Romney making another run at the White House to discount an announcement within the next few months.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 02, 2014, 22:18:31
One of the issues that won't be on the table is the large and growing underclass. Here is a review of a book about how some of the 47% really live:

http://reason.com/archives/2014/11/30/the-ghetto-archipelago

Quote
The Ghetto Archipelago
Life in an inner-city police state
J.D. Tuccille from the December 2014 issue

On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City, by Alice Goffman, University of Chicago Press, 288 pages, $25

For six years, starting as a University of Pennsylvania sophomore, the sociologist Alice Goffman lived in a black Philadelphia neighborhood that she calls 6th Street. (The place name is a pseudonym, as are the names of the people Goffman describes.) There she immersed herself in the family lives and legal woes of people whose experiences were far removed from her own. In On the Run, her book about the experience, Goffman concludes that the neighborhood is molded by its young men's relationship with the criminal justice system and that such places constitute an archipelago of racially tense police states within a larger liberal democracy.

The police presence in 6th Street is pervasive. Residents, young black men in particular, can expect to be frequently stopped, questioned, and searched. Many initial arrests are for drugs, often possession of marijuana. After that, as Goffman records, the system takes on a horrible logic of its own. Criminal records make employment hard to find, and recurring court dates devour time that might be devoted to work, job searches, or family responsibilities. Without regular income, court fees add up and may prove unpayable. Many of the people Goffman writes about are essentially constant low-level fugitives, hunted by police for missed appointments. Some end up committing additional crimes to pay their accumulating debts to the courts.

People living on the wrong side of the law are both dependent on and vulnerable to those around them. Goffman documents how chronic legal problems prevent young men from attending the births of their children or the funerals of their friends, since the authorities often monitor those occasions looking to make arrests. Those legal problems also provide opportunities for angry girlfriends and other acquaintances to avenge perceived wrongs with a simple phone call to the cops.

Neighborhoods heavily populated by young men on the run (usually in the most figurative sense, since their lives become circumscribed by familiar people and streets) also create business opportunities for those willing to serve their idiosyncratic needs. One memorable character in On the Run is Jevon, whose memory and ability at mimicry allow him to earn money impersonating men to their parole officers for curfew-checking phone calls. Another, Rakim, augments income from his passport photo business selling clean urine to men facing drug tests. Many local businesses-such as rental car lots and motels-have two price sheets, one for mainstream customers and one for those who have no credit cards or ID.

Identification itself is a commodity, with employees inside the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation selling drivers licenses-basically, new identities-for a substantial fee. (Other public employees, from court clerks to prison guards, also find it lucrative to sell favors and services.) "The level of social control that tough-on-crime policy envisions-particularly in a liberal state-is so extreme and difficult to implement," Goffman writes, "that it has led to a flourishing black market to ease the pains of supervision."

Not everybody profits from assisting these fugitives. Indeed, the depth and quality of intimate relationships are often judged by the degree to which people are willing to put themselves on the line to shield those sought by the police. That puts otherwise legally unsullied people at risk, as authorities pressure them for information using an arsenal that includes repeated raids and vindictively strict enforcement of a spider web of laws, including building codes, traffic rules, and business licensing requirements.

Through it all, policies intended to battle crime wind up creating a more criminal world. Barriers to legitimate employment multiply, so that many find it easier to stay outside the law than to work within it. This community is subject to excruciatingly close scrutiny; transgressions that might go unnoticed elsewhere result in serious consequences-and in more criminals to be policed.

Goffman's book has won both praise and pushback. Some of the questions its critics have posed are almost inevitable for a work at the intersection of sociology and advocacy journalism. Is the author just recording observations or is she trying to reveal a larger truth? And what about her very palpable presence in the lives of the people under scrutiny-eating alongside them, helping them out of jams, even professing unlikely ignorance under police questioning? How does that influence the final result?

One prominent critic is Dwayne Betts, a Yale Law School student who comes from a background comparable to that of Goffman's subjects. Writing in Slate, Betts objects that the author's "unrelenting focus on criminality is just as likely to encourage more arrests and surveillance than to convince people that mass incarceration should end." The book, he writes, is essentially a titillating peek into an alien society, one less likely to enlighten the reader than to give him license to marvel and shudder.

But Betts seems to suggest it's better to ignore the cycle of criminality and police reaction that make up a large part of life in many troubled neighborhoods. (Betts himself spent eight years in prison for carjacking before moving on to a very different life.) The book's unflattering portrait of the cops and courts hardly encourages calls for a heavier police presence.

Sara Mayeux of the University of Pennsylvania Law School has criticized Goffman for not adequately supporting some of her claims, such as her assertion that police peruse hospital visitor logs for people with open warrants. On Mayeux's blog, she argues that Goffman's "book is unevenly footnoted," requiring reader faith in the accuracy of portrayed conversations and experiences.

As a method, ethnography deliberately engages subjects in ways that escape the mile-high social-science approach; the tradeoff for such intimate and compelling access is that you're going to have a hard time documenting everything in a traditional scholarly way. And yes, it's true that Goffman's subjective approach and the advocacy built into it are open to challenge by those with different experiences and agendas. But Goffman does acknowledge the many neighborhood residents who work legitimate jobs and enjoy minimal legal entanglements, often as the result of a great personal effort to resist the pressures of the surrounding culture and the ever-present scrutiny of the police.

Goffman does have an ax to grind. She sympathizes with her subjects even as they venture into lives of criminality that are not always victimless. (She has an understandable soft spot for Tim, whose first arrest came at the age of 11 while traveling in a car he didn't know was stolen.) Yet despite that sympathy, Goffman is capable of criticizing the people of 6th Street. She notes, for example, that while encounters with the legal system make seeking work and getting ahead difficult, "being wanted also serves as a way to save face and to explain personal inadequacies." Constant conflict with the law not only raises hurdles to success but becomes a convenient excuse for failures that have little to do with courts or cops.

The world Goffman captures is not one amenable to easy solutions-though backing off the heavy-handed law enforcement would be a good start. A culture damaged and defined by decades under what Goffman describes as "one of the last repressive regimes of the age" is not one that's going to heal overnight.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on January 05, 2015, 19:59:07
Meanwhile in the US Congress...dissent among the GOP ranks calling for House Speaker Boehner's ousting. A party that seems to be as divided as ever with 2016 just around the corner.

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/05/politics/conservative-coup-attempt-grows/)

Quote
Conservative call for Boehner coup grows louder

Washington (CNN)Conservative momentum to oust John Boehner from House leadership during Tuesday's election for speaker continued to build through the weekend, with two alternatives emerging and a national conservative group joining the effort.

On Monday, Virginia Rep.-elect Dave Brat became the latest to confirm his intention to vote against Boehner for speaker. On Sunday night, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar and Iowa Rep. Steve King also came out opposed to Boehner.

In an op-ed published on Breitbart.com, King outlined a litany of complaints with the Speaker, arguing Boehner hasn't done enough to oppose President Barack Obama's signature health care law or the President's executive action on immigration and pointing to passage of the recent government funding bill, which tackled neither, as evidence.

Leadership aides, however, remain confident that Boehner will hold onto his position as the top Republican in the House. Conservatives need to gather nearly 30 lawmakers opposed to him to force a second round of voting in the race.

But the developing coup attempt is the latest reminder for the Ohio Republican that conservatives remain a troublesome and unpredictable force in his caucus that can cause public embarrassment if not out-and-out regime change.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on January 09, 2015, 19:47:40
There are just too many rumblings down here about the possibility of Romney making another run at the White House to discount an announcement within the next few months.

The rumblings just got considerably louder:

Romney tells donors he is considering 2016 campaign

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/01/09/romney-tells-donors-he-is-considering-2016-campaign/?hpid=z3

Quote
Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, told Republican donors in New York on Friday that he is seriously considering a third presidential campaign in 2016, according to a source present at the meeting.

Spencer Zwick, Romney’s former national finance co-chairman who was at the New York meeting, confirmed that Romney is weighing a 2016 run.

“I believe Mitt Romney is too much of a patriot to sit on the sidelines and concede the presidency to Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren when he knows that he can fix the country,” Zwick said. “He traveled the country in 2014, met with voters, met with citizens, and I think at the end of the day he believes he could actually make a difference.”

Zwick added, “He won’t make a decision to run for president based on who else is in the race. He will make a decision based on his own desire and his own abilities. He has to decide on his own.”

Romney’s move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes as former Florida governor Jeb Bush is swiftly snatching up major party donors and operatives as he prepares for an all-but-certain presidential campaign.

The former Massachusetts governor held a lengthy meeting on Friday with about 30 major donors to his past campaigns at an office in midtown Manhattan. His comment that he was seriously considering running came in response to a question from an attendee who asked if he would clear up whether he was jumping in the race.

“One of the more interesting things was Mitt said, ‘People ask if I really want to be president,’ and he said, ‘I’ve run twice. Yeah, I want to be president,’” said a source present for the session who was granted anonymity to share details of the meeting. “He said that box is checked.”

Romney's wife, Ann, had sounded adamant in public comments last year that she did not want him to run for president in 2016. “Done. Completely," she said in October when asked about the prospect of another presidential campaign. “Not only Mitt and I are done, but the kids are done. Done. Done. Done.”

But Romney told donors on Friday that Ann had changed her mind, according to a person in the room.

“Mitt said that Ann was ‘very encouraging,’ but that the boys are split,” this person said.

Romney's remarks Friday immediately electrified the Republican donor world, and set phones ringing across the country.

“What he has said to me before is, ‘I am preserving my options.’ What he is now saying is, ‘I am seriously considering a run,’” noted Bobbie Kilberg, a top GOP fundraiser who bundled millions for Romney’s 2012 bid. “And he said that in a room with 30 people. That is a different degree of intensity.”

“What that says to me that Mitt understands that if he is going to get into this race, he needs to get into it the very near future,” Kilberg added.

Since the GOP's midterm election romp, Romney has cultivated his role as one of the party's key behind-the-scenes players, nurturing relationships with members of Congress and keeping in close touch with his former consultants.

He made more than 80 phone calls to GOP candidates after the election — including Senate candidates Joni Ernst of Iowa and Thom Tillis of North Carolina — to congratulate them on their victories. He spent election night in Boston watching returns at the home of former aide Ron Kaufman, stopping in later at the Seaport Hotel to congratulate Baker on his win.

In the days after the elections, a group of Romney supporters began circulating a memo that compared the success of his midterm endorsements with those made by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination

The documents, which were obtained by The Washington Post, concluded that two out of three Romney candidates won their elections, compared with one in three for Clinton.

On Wednesday, Romney met with several of his former political advisers in Menlo Park, Calif., for a private dinner shortly after he lectured at Stanford University on presidential politics.

At the table were four Romney loyalists who held senior positions in his 2012 presidential campaign: Ben Ginsberg, Katie Biber Chen, Andrea Saul, and Lanhee Chen.

Ginsberg and Biber Chen were Romney’s campaign counselors during Romney’s last bid, Saul was his national press secretary, and Chen was his policy director.

According to a source who requested anonymity to discuss a private gathering, Romney ducked a question during the Stanford class about whether he would once again mount a White House bid.

The course, POLISCI 72, was titled “Policy, Politics, and the Presidency: Understanding the 2016 Campaign from Start to Finish,” according to a university syllabus. Its description begins: “In 2016, Americans will once again go to the polls to select a new president. But what will actually happen behind-the-scenes between now and then is largely a mystery to most.”

After the dinner, Romney took a red-eye flight to Boston to attend Massachusetts Republican Charlie Baker’s gubernatorial inauguration Thursday.

Romney’s decision to offer a more forceful declaration of his interest in running again appears to have been spurred by Bush’s quick entry into the race. Longtime Romney donors being wooed by Bush have been urging the former Massachusetts governor to let his intentions be known quickly, so they can decide who to back.

And one immediate challenge that would face Romney in a new presidential bid: many of the top donors and fundraisers that backed his last campaign have already signed up to back potential rivals such as Bush or New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Senior party operatives who assisted his bid are also getting scooped up. GOP super lawyer Charlie Spies, who co-founded the pro-Romney super PAC Restore our Future, is now representing two new pro-Bush PACs.

“Talking to lots of people close to him, I know the idea is still alive and certainly there are many of us who think he’d be an outstanding president,” said former Minnesota Republican congressman Vin Weber, a former Romney adviser, in an interview Wednesday. “But they will make a mistake if they think that his status allows him to wait for a long period of time. What Bush understands is that the advantage of having so-called front-runner status is that a lot of people will sign up early on.”

Former New Jersey governor Tom Kean, who is familiar with the donors allied with Romney and Bush, said Romney has remained close to New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, a major Republican fundraiser, among other financiers, since the 2012 campaign.

“When I walked into Woody’s box a few weeks ago, Romney was sitting there in a turtleneck,” Kean recalled in an interview. “He was in good spirits and we spoke for a half-hour.”

Craig Robinson, who runs The Iowa Republican, an influential Website covering the first-in-the-nation caucuses, expressed skepticism Friday about Romney's maneuvering.

"Romney needs to answer the question of why does he believe he deserves another shot. He's been the nominee, and failed miserably," Robinson wrote in a Twitter message. "The only reason Romney is "considering another run" is because he sees his influence in the GOP slipping away. Not a good reason to run."

A Bloomberg Politics/St. Anselm New Hampshire poll released in late November suggested that Romney held a healthy advantage over potential 2016 rivals in New Hampshire, with the support of 30 percent of potential presidential primary voters, to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's 11 percent, Christie's 9 percent, Bush's 8 percent.

But amid the speculation within Romney’s orbit about his thinking on 2016, Ron Kaufman, another former Romney adviser, said the former Massachusetts governor was not yet actively preparing for a third try, and simply enjoys staying in touch with his former aides and donors.

“He’s been consistent from Day One to make sure Republicans win in 2016,” Kaufman said in an interview Wednesday. “He is going to whatever he can to help and hopes someone out there catches fire. He’ll be out there the whole time helping.”
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on January 13, 2015, 20:41:09
He ain't just thinking about it. Let's hope he picks some new pollsters though. His last group were crap with numbers.

Romney moves to reassemble campaign team for ‘almost certain’ 2016 bid

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/romney-moves-to-reassemble-campaign-apparatus-for-2016/2015/01/12/d968592e-9a88-11e4-96cc-e858eba91ced_story.html

Quote
Mitt Romney is moving quickly to reassemble his national political network, calling former aides, donors and other supporters over the weekend and on Monday in a concerted push to signal his seriousness about possibly launching a 2016 presidential campaign.

Romney’s message, as he told one senior Republican, was that he “almost certainly will” make what would be his third bid for the White House. His aggressive outreach came as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — Romney’s 2012 vice presidential running mate and the newly installed chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee — announced Monday that he would not seek the presidency in 2016.

Romney’s activity indicates that his declaration of interest Friday to a group of 30 donors in New York was more than the release of a trial balloon. Instead, it was the start of a deliberate effort by the 2012 nominee to carve out space for himself in an emerging 2016 field also likely to include former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Romney has worked the phones over the past few days, calling an array of key allies to discuss his potential 2016 campaign. Among them was Ryan, whom Romney phoned over the weekend to inform him personally of his plans to probably run. Ryan was encouraging, people with knowledge of the calls said.

Other Republicans with whom Romney spoke recently include Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and Rob Portman (Ohio), former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Hewlett-Packard chief executive Meg Whitman, former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, former Missouri senator Jim Talent and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah).

The Washington Post’s Scott Wilson reveals details that he and colleague Philip Rucker uncovered about the Romney campaign’s regrets in the 2012 election. (Philip Rucker and Scott Wilson/The Washington Post)
In the conversations, Romney said he is intent on running to the right of Bush, who also is working vigorously to court donors and other party establishment figures for a 2016 bid. Romney has tried to assure conservatives that he shares their views on immigration and tax policy — and that should he enter the race, he will not forsake party orthodoxy.

On New Year’s Eve, Romney welcomed Laura Ingraham, the firebrand conservative and nationally syndicated talk-radio host, to his ski home in Deer Valley, Utah. Romney served a light lunch to Ingraham and her family as they spent more than an hour discussing politics and policy, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

“He was relaxed, reflective and was interested in hearing my thoughts on the American working class,” Ingraham said in an e-mail Monday. “He was fully engaged and up to speed on everything happening on [the] domestic and international front. To me, it didn’t seem like he was content to be just a passive player in American politics.”

Romney’s undertaking to re-engage and pursue anew the GOP’s leading financial and political players began Friday, when he told a private gathering of donors, “I want to be president.” He also told them that his wife, Ann, was “very encouraging” of another campaign.

Romney is considering attending this week’s meeting of the Republican National Committee in San Diego and is working on a new message about economic empowerment, advisers said.

“He’s a lot more focused in these calls on developing a path to victory and talking through a message, rather than talking about money,” said Spencer Zwick, Romney’s 2012 national finance chairman. “Mitt Romney has proven that he can raise the money.”

This comes as Bush — another favorite of the Republican elite — is holding meetings with party leaders and financiers as he explores his campaign. Bush and Romney have overlapping political circles.

Many of Romney’s past supporters may feel torn — not only between him and Bush but also among Christie, Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and other Republicans who are weighing a run. Some already have publicly aligned with Bush and others.

“They’re competing hard and it’s going to get complicated for Bush,” said former Senate majority leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.). “But Romney still has to prove that he has the ability to reach out to ordinary, hardworking people and emote — smiling with one eye and crying with the other.”

Romney’s outreach extends beyond his cheerleaders to onetime foes as well. He called Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker who relentlessly attacked Romney on the stump and debate stage in 2012 during his presidential run. Gingrich said he told Romney, “There are no front-runners” in the 2016 race. “We have runners, but no front-runners.”

Romney is measuring how much of his 2012 operation would gear up behind him again. He is particularly intent on rebuilding his past political infrastructure in New Hampshire, where he owns a vacation home in Wolfeboro. The state, which holds the first presidential primary, ignited his 2012 campaign when he won it resoundingly in a crowded field.

As of Monday, Romney had secured the backing of his top two New Hampshire-based advisers, Thomas D. Rath and Jim Merrill.

“He called me right after the Patriots beat the Ravens, so we were both in good moods,” Merrill said. “It was a good conversation. He was very clear that he is seriously considering a run. I’ve been with Mitt Romney since March 2006, so if he decides to do it, I’ll be there for him.” Rath, a former New Hampshire state attorney general, concurred in a separate interview: “I’ve been with Mitt Romney for eight years. If he’s in, I’ll make the coffee or drive the car — whatever he needs.”

Romney also has called Brown, who ran unsuccessfully for Senate from New Hampshire in 2014, as well as former governor John Sununu, who was a surrogate for Romney in 2012 but has close ties to the Bush family after serving as chief of staff under then-president George H.W. Bush.

Judd Gregg, a former U.S. senator from New Hampshire who backed Romney in 2008 and 2012, said, “He’s reaching out to people. My sense is he feels strongly he has an opportunity to do what was incomplete last time. He figures there’s a lot of buyer’s remorse now and that his message is a good message and it’ll resonate.”

Romney is also paying attention to Iowa, which holds the first-in-the-nation caucuses, calling his former Iowa strategist, David Kochel. Romney, however, has not connected with Iowa Republican Sens. Charles E. Grassley or Joni Ernst. “I haven’t talked to him in two years,” Grassley said Monday.

One Romney adviser, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, said, “Mitt’s a very restless character. He is not the type to retire happily, to read books on the beach. . . . He believes he has something to offer the country and the only way he can do that is by running for president again.”

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the GOP presidential nominee in 2008, was skeptical of a Romney candidacy and endorsed the idea of a “dark horse” run by his longtime friend in the Senate, Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.).

Eric Fehrnstrom, a former Romney spokesman, ticked through issues that he said were motivating Romney to try again. “At home our economy is still not as strong as it could be,” he said. “Long-term growth is in doubt. And around the world there’s really deep concern that America’s leadership has unraveled and hostile forces have filled that vacuum.”

Romney’s national finance network — which raised roughly $1 billion on his behalf for the 2012 campaign — came alive in the hours after he declared his interest in a 2016 bid.

“When the news broke Friday, my phone started blowing up with texts, calls and e-mails from people that had donated to the campaign before and pledging their help,” said Travis Hawkes, a Republican donor in Idaho who served on Romney’s national finance council. “They say, ‘Let me know when you need my credit card number.’ My response to everyone has been, ‘Let’s just slow down and see what happens.’ ”

“I don’t know, man, it’s a free country,” McCain said of a possible Romney campaign in 2016. “I thought there was no education in the second kick of a mule. . . . I respect his judgment, he’s a strong leader.”
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on January 13, 2015, 21:35:05
I'm rather sad Paul Ryan has essentially said no to a 2016 run. Young, articulate and certainly representing a new generation of politicians, rather than a retread (the idea of a Jeb vs Hillary "Family Feud" episode is horrifying to contemplate).
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on January 15, 2015, 20:45:10
I see this ending in one of two ways:

1) Mitt quietly fades back into the smokey back rooms after a long discussion with GOP politicheskoe byuro about why he won't win a general election this time around

2) Mitt goes into the GOP clown show and runs maybe a moderately distant second to a "Fresh" "New" nominee.


Mitt Romney backlash intensifies
Conservatives argue he has too much baggage and the GOP needs a fresh face.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/mitt-romney-backlash-2016-elections-114275.html?hp=t1_r

Quote
A Republican backlash against Mitt Romney that had been simmering for days boiled over on Wednesday as conservatives across the GOP spectrum panned the prospect of another presidential bid by the former Massachusetts governor and two-time loser on the national stage.

Leading the anti-Romney charge was the voice of the GOP establishment wing, the Wall Street Journal editorial page. “The question the former Massachusetts Governor will have to answer,” the newspaper wrote, “is why he would be a better candidate than he was in 2012. … The answer is not obvious.”

The Journal’s owner, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, piled on: “He had his chance, he mishandled it, you know? I thought Romney was a terrible candidate.”

And in a Wednesday evening interview with POLITICO, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who’s considering a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, said that the reemergence of Romney could offset the Republicans’ advantage if their Democratic opponent is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“I think the best way to counter something from the past is with something new,” Walker said.

On it went from there.

The critical reception marked the latest stage of post-2012 conservative sentiment toward Romney. In the immediate aftermath of his loss, he was the feckless, wooden candidate who blew a prime opportunity to snatch the White House from an unpopular Democratic incumbent. Next came the “maybe he wasn’t so bad, after all” phase, when Romney seemed vindicated by President Barack Obama’s recurring second-term missteps. That lasted through most of 2014.

Now it’s reality-check time. The faded memories of Romney’s 2012 shortcomings are snapping back into focus as he drifts, with apparent seriousness, toward yet another run for the White House. The harshly negative reaction presents an early test of Romney’s resolve, against what’s certain to be a more formidable field than he encountered last time.

An opinion piece titled “The problem with Romney nostalgia,” by the conservative writer Jonah Goldberg, was typical of the backlash.

“The problem is that ‘Romney for president’ is now an art-house film thinking it’s a blockbuster franchise and that there’s a huge market for another sequel,” Goldberg wrote. “There’s not.”

Former Oklahoma governor Frank Keating told The New York Times, “People say he is a very fine man, but he had his chance.”

Even Sarah Palin took a shot.

“We need new energy,” the former vice presidential nominee told “Inside Edition.” “We need new blood. We need new ideas.”

Romney’s allies insist that conservative pundits and GOP voters see the 2016 field differently.

“Mitt happens to lead all the polls, so clearly there is a good deal of affection and loyalty to him among rank-and-file Republicans,” Eric Fehrnstrom, a longtime Romney aide and associate, wrote in an email Wednesday night.

They also point to the other failed presidential candidates eyeing another run: former Sen. Rick Santorum, outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry, ex- Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Clinton.

Republican political history is littered with examples of candidates who have run at least once before going on to win the nomination. Veterans of those campaigns say that there are benefits to having run before, including an already-existing donor network, high name recognition and firsthand knowledge of the stresses of a presidential campaign.

Some Romney backers feel that the former candidate has been vindicated on many of the issues on which he ran in his last campaign, including foreign policy. They say he would be better-prepared and “different” this time around.

“Our economy is still not as strong as it could be, long-term growth is in doubt, workers have gone a long time without pay raises and can’t save for a kid’s college or their own retirement, and around the world there’s deep concern that as America’s leadership has unraveled, hostile forces have filled the vacuum,” Fehrnstrom said earlier this week. “Mitt Romney spoke to these issues in the last campaign, he was right on many of them, and I expect if he runs again they will form the core of another campaign for president.”

Sen. Rand Paul, the libertarian-leaning Kentucky Republican, has already sought to exploit the old-vs.-new fault line that Romney’s re-emergence threw into sharp relief.

“I think he could have been a good leader of the country,” Paul said in an interview with POLITICO. “But I think many people are going to say, ‘He’s had his chance.’”
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on January 25, 2015, 22:37:25
A retread and Dubya's younger brother...

Anyone wanna guess whether it'll be a Romney-Jeb Bush ticket or a Jeb Bush-Romney ticket?

NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/22/us/politics/romney-and-jeb-bush-to-meet-raising-speculation-on-presidential-race.html?emc=edit_na_20150121)

Quote
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 11:15 PM EST

Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush to Meet, Raising Speculation on Presidential Race

Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are scheduled to meet privately in Utah this week, raising the possibility that the two former governors will find a way to avoid competing presidential campaigns that would split the Republican establishment next year, two prominent party members said Wednesday night.

The meeting was planned before Mr. Romney’s surprise announcement two weeks ago to donors in New York that he was considering a third run at the White House.

Mr. Bush initiated the meeting, according to one of the party members familiar with the planning.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: dapaterson on January 25, 2015, 22:41:59
Oddly enough, this story has't seen much mainstream media traction.  Perhaps the Democrats are saving it...

GOP Fundraiser Michael Centanni Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography (http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/GOP-Fundraiser-Michael-Centanni-Pleads-Guilty-to-Child-Pornography-287555231.html)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on January 26, 2015, 19:51:19
A retread and Dubya's younger brother...

Anyone wanna guess whether it'll be a Romney-Jeb Bush ticket or a Jeb Bush-Romney ticket?

NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/22/us/politics/romney-and-jeb-bush-to-meet-raising-speculation-on-presidential-race.html?emc=edit_na_20150121)

I wanna see a Palin - Cruz ticket. Can you say all your right wing dreams come true. No more IRS, No more Taxes, No more newspapers or Magazines, Canada will be annexed, Everyone without a job will now be put to work building more pipelines, No more worries.  ;D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on February 01, 2015, 20:57:25
Guess he doesn't want to be known as a retread...

Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mitt-romney-bows-out-of-gop-presidential-race-over-potential-for-political-injury/2015/01/30/7c677dee-a8a3-11e4-a7c2-03d37af98440_story.html)

Quote
Mitt Romney bows out of GOP presidential race over potential for political injury

Mitt Romney’s exploration of a third presidential campaign ended Friday after three tumultuous weeks of deliberations that led him to conclude that, while he might emerge with the Republican nomination again in 2016, he might be so badly wounded in the process that he would have trouble defeating Hillary Rodham Clinton in a general election.

Romney’s sudden decision to declare his interest had been prompted by his concerns over rival Jeb Bush’s aggressive moves to poach from his 2012 coalition, according to intimates. It was fueled further by a mountain of polling data commissioned earlier for one of his donors — suggesting Romney was in the strongest position of any Republican.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on February 01, 2015, 23:52:52
I see this ending in one of two ways:

1) Mitt quietly fades back into the smokey back rooms after a long discussion with GOP politicheskoe byuro about why he won't win a general election this time around

2) Mitt goes into the GOP clown show and runs maybe a moderately distant second to a "Fresh" "New" nominee.

Seems that Mitt took the first option, and perhaps may have been the best for both him and the party.

Not necessarily the best outcome for Jeb Bush however, as he will now be fully in the crosshairs of the far right, rather than having Romney drawing away some of the fire.

And it's somewhat telling how bad the split in the GOP is, when a hard conservative like Bush is being criticized by the right as being too soft because of his stance on immigration and Common Core.

But if he does make it through the clown show, he will have a big issue to address in the general election.

Jeb ‘Put Me Through Hell’

Michael Schiavo knows as well as anyone what Jeb Bush can do with executive power. He thinks you ought to know too.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/jeb-bush-terri-schiavo-114730.html#.VM7yC0uRtM8

Quote
—Sitting recently on his brick back patio here, Michael Schiavo called Jeb Bush a vindictive, untrustworthy coward.
For years, the self-described “average Joe” felt harassed, targeted and tormented by the most important person in the state.
“It was a living hell,” he said, “and I blame him.”

Michael Schiavo was the husband of Terri Schiavo, the brain-dead woman from the Tampa Bay area who ended up at the center of one of the most contentious, drawn-out conflicts in the history of America’s culture wars. The fight over her death lasted almost a decade. It started as a private legal back-and-forth between her husband and her parents. Before it ended, it moved from circuit courts to district courts to state courts to federal courts, to the U.S. Supreme Court, from the state legislature in Tallahassee to Congress in Washington. The president got involved. So did the pope.

But it never would have become what it became if not for the dogged intervention of the governor of Florida at the time, the second son of the 41st president, the younger brother of the 43rd, the man who sits near the top of the extended early list of likely 2016 Republican presidential candidates. On sustained, concentrated display, seen in thousands of pages of court records and hundreds of emails he sent, was Jeb the converted Catholic, Jeb the pro-life conservative, Jeb the hands-on workaholic, Jeb the all-hours emailer—confident, competitive, powerful, obstinate Jeb. Longtime watchers of John Ellis Bush say what he did throughout the Terri Schiavo case demonstrates how he would operate in the Oval Office. They say it’s the Jebbest thing Jeb’s ever done.

The case showed he “will pursue whatever he thinks is right, virtually forever,” said Aubrey Jewett, a political science professor at the University of Central Florida. “It’s a theme of Jeb’s governorship: He really pushed executive power to the limits.”

“If you want to understand Jeb Bush, he’s guided by principle over convenience,” said Dennis Baxley, a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives during Bush’s governorship and still. “He may be wrong about something, but he knows what he believes.”
And what he believed in this case, and what he did, said Miami's Dan Gelber, a Democratic member of the state House during Bush’s governorship, “probably was more defining than I suspect Jeb would like.”

For Michael Schiavo, though, the importance of the episode—Bush’s involvement from 2003 to 2005, and what it might mean now for his almost certain candidacy—is even more viscerally obvious.

Jeb Bush speaks to reporters during a news conference about Terri Schiavo on March 18, 2005. | AP Photo
“He should be ashamed,” he said. “And I think people really need to know what type of person he is. To bring as much pain as he did, to me and my family, that should be an issue.”

More at link.

Essentially Bush overstepped his authority under Florida's Constitution, and attempted to overrule court decisions at all levels which allowed the removal of Terry Schiavo's feeding tubes.

Would Bush do something similar as president? It's possible, but Gubernatorial prerogatives are different from those of President, and it would be difficult for him to ignore advice from his staff and councils. Especially when it could effect chances of reelection.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on February 03, 2015, 21:31:36
A new favourite emerges from key GOP circles:

Glenn Beck blog (http://www.glennbeck.com/2015/02/03/scott-walker-is-the-runaway-frontrunner-in-drudge-report-poll-for-gop-nominee/)

Quote
Scott Walker is the runaway frontrunner in Drudge Report poll for GOP nominee

The campaign for 2016 has started to heat up, with many politicians starting to make moves signifying their interest or disinterest in taking the GOP nomination. Lots of focus over the past few weeks has been on Jeb Bush, but is that who conservatives really want to see in office? According to a new poll by The Drudge Report, the answer would be a resounding “NO”.

Instead, the clear frontrunner is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with 46% of the vote.

Who else is in the lead?

2. Ted Cruz 13%

3. Rand Paul 12%

4. Ben Carson 9%

(...SNIPPED)


Though at least one source disagrees:

Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml)

Quote
Rand Paul Leads the GOP Pack for 2016 -- And Not By a Little

A new Zogby Analytics poll of likely Republican primary voters in 2016 shows Rand Paul starting to build a lead over better known – and more establishment – GOP figures. The poll of 282 likely and eligible voters in GOP presidential primaries was conducted June 27-29 and has a margin-of-sampling error of +/-6 percentage points.

In the poll, the junior Senator from Kentucky polls 20%, followed by “Establishment” candidates New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with 13% each. In fourth place is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with 8%, then Florida Senator Marco Rubio 7%, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindahl 4%, and New Mexico Governor Suzanna Martinez, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley all with 1% each.

This is the first time a GOP candidate has reached 20% in a crowded field and the first time a Zogby poll has shown someone emerging a bit from the pack. Obviously it is too early to predict outcomes or draw lasting conclusion but here are some points to consider:

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on February 03, 2015, 22:50:27
Apparently the GOP talking point du jour is Vaccinations - We Love 'em!

GOP 2016ers: We love vaccines!
As Rand Paul causes a stir, his potential presidential rivals praise vaccinations.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/republicans-2016-vaccines-114890.html?hp=t1_r

Quote
A slew of Republicans eyeing the White House rushed to praise the virtues of vaccination on Tuesday — distancing themselves from Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who had appeared to question their safety as health officials across the country move to contain an outbreak of measles.

It was yet another case where Paul, an ophthalmologist by training who insisted Tuesday that he’d been misunderstood, has found himself isolated on a subject within the likely GOP presidential field. But it also showed that vaccines, like a number of other scientific issues, could prove a delicate topic for Republicans who must cater to a conservative base that is suspicious of anything that smacks of a government demand.

A review of statements this week by 11 potential GOP 2016ers, including several issued directly to POLITICO, found that only one — retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson — has gone so far as to say certain vaccines should be required regardless of individual liberties. Others — such as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — expressed their personal support for vaccinations through spokesmen, but didn’t say anything about mandating them.

And some, like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, praised vaccines but deferred to the states on setting the rules. “Now, most states also include an exception clause for good faith, religious convictions,” Cruz said. “And that’s an appropriate judgment for a state to make at a public health level.”

The measles outbreak is believed to be fueled in large part by a growing number of parents, many in liberal-leaning communities, who have opted against vaccinating their children. In an interview on Sunday, President Barack Obama said the science surrounding vaccines was “indisputable” and urged parents to get their children properly vaccinated.

Soon afterward, Republicans began to weigh in, and some stumbled.

Asked Monday in England about the matter, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie noted that his kids had been vaccinated but added, “I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well. So that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”

Christie’s answer prompted a backlash, and his office quickly issued a statement saying, “with a disease like measles, there is no question kids should be vaccinated. At the same time, different states require different degrees of vaccination, which is why he was calling for balance in which ones government should mandate.”

The New Jersey governor’s calls for “balance” drew criticism from those who noted that last fall he had forced a nurse who had returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa into a quarantine, despite the advice of public health officials who said she posed no risk. The nurse herself blasted Christie again on Tuesday over vaccines.

Paul, meanwhile, came out strongly in favor of parental choice in media appearances Monday, saying that while he was not anti-vaccine, he had clashed with doctors on when to administer them to his children. He also said that had had “heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines,” and that “for the most part vaccines should be voluntary.”

By Tuesday, Paul was insisting his comments on vaccines had been misconstrued: “I did not say vaccines caused disorders, just that they were temporally related — I did not allege causation,” he said, though he did not say if he believed any vaccines should be required.

Paul, claimed Monday that vaccines can cause 'profound mental disorders.' Paul, in an often contentious interview with CNBC, argued that parents should have a choice whether to vaccinate their children. 'I've heard of many tragic cases of walking talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines,' Paul said.

The libertarian-leaning senator has taken several positions that have put him at odds with most of the emerging GOP field in recent months. For instance, he has been supportive of the Obama administration’s decision move towards normalization of relations with Cuba. He also has gone further than most in arguing for decriminalization of pot and has supported exhausting diplomatic options for dealing with Iran and its nuclear program.

Paul's initial comments on vaccinations led Carson, a favorite of the tea party, to express disbelief. | Getty
His initial comments on vaccinations led Carson, a favorite of the tea party, to express disbelief on Fox News Radio “I think he was misunderstood,” Carson said of Paul. “… He wouldn’t, I can’t imagine, advocate that people who are living amongst others in our society would simply allow disease to spread because they have a philosophical disagreement.”

But Carson’s own earlier statement that “we should not allow [disease] to return by foregoing safe immunization programs, for philosophical, religious or other reasons when we have the means to eradicate them,” has been the strongest repudiation yet of the idea that people should be able to opt out of government-mandated vaccinations. Even Obama declined to outright say vaccines should be mandatory.

For the most part on Tuesday, others in the GOP rushed to issue statements that praised vaccines and strongly urged parents not to opt against them.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he would not send his children to a school that did not require vaccination and condemned anti-vaccination “fear-mongering.” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told reporters on Capitol Hill that “absolutely, all children in America should be vaccinated”

In a statement, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry touted his record raising the rate of vaccination in the state. (In 2011, as he ran for the Republican presidential nomination, Perry disavowed a state program he oversaw that angered conservatives by requiring children to receive HPV vaccination. A Perry spokesman did not respond to questions about the circumstances in which vaccination ought to be mandatory.)

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, endorsed the right of states to empower schools to keep out children who have not been vaccinated but said the federal government should not mandate vaccination. She also added that not all vaccinations should be required. “There’s a big difference between an immunization for measles and HPV,” she noted.

In a statement, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence encouraged families to vaccinate their children and cited state law that requires vaccination. Representatives for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on March 05, 2015, 11:42:58
This more or less confirms my suspicions that revalations about Benghazi, the use of "private" email accounts to conduct government business, foreign donations to the Clinton foundation during her tenure as SecState, lack of visible accomplishments as SecState etc. etc. is simply not going to stop or even slow down the Clinton Machine. (Some of Bill's contacts and conduct durig this time period are also rather questionable, and of course looking at things like their speaking fees makes them come across as grasping, venal people)

http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2015/03/04/clinton-political-machine/?print=1

Quote
Tammany Hall Redux: The Clinton Political Machine
Posted By Ed Driscoll On March 4, 2015 @ 2:27 pm In Liberal Fascism,The Making of the President | 3 Comments

“I would argue, the Clinton operation counts as a machine — not just as a metaphor or allegory, but as a bona fide, contemporary update of the old 19th-century operation,” Jay Cost writes at the Weekly Standard:
 
A lot of people were wondering what public business she was conducting on a private account. What I wanted to know was: what private business did she not want to conduct on a public account? If given three guesses, I’d say: politics, politics, politics.
 
There’s a historical parallel here with the Cameron Machine of Pennsylvania, which formed in the 1870s and lasted, in one form or another, until the 1920s. Simon Cameron was Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of War, but was basically fired in 1862 for facilitating graft. Yet he was a political maestro who had grown wealthy by trading on his governmental stature, and he was able to buy his way back into politics. In 1867, he defeated popular wartime governor Andrew Curtin for a Senate seat. This was back when senators were chosen by state legislatures, so Cameron won by persuading or buying off members of the Pennsylvania house and senate. He eventually became a powerhouse during the Ulysses Grant Administration — with control over Pennsylvania patronage, veto authority over executive officers, and a huge, loyal following (the Cincinnati Times estimated at one point that hundreds of people in Washington owed their position to him). He even prevailed upon Grant to name his son, J. Donald, secretary of war, even though Don had no experience to speak of.
 
Much of this is reminiscent of the Clintons — the initial fall from grace, the careful management of political contacts, the accumulation of wealth via political channels, the carefully run political shop, and especially the nepotism. And also, the cheesy scandals that embarrassed Simon Cameron but never brought him down. Cameron was caught up in a scandal trying to defraud the Winnebago tribe, and later on the House censured him for bilking the War Department — but it barely ever slowed him down. Sound familiar?
 
So, ultimately the question is: how is a machine liked this stopped? Unfortunately, the only thing that brought down Cameron, Inc. was the Great Depression. It survived the outlawing of the spoils system, the direct election of senators, and even the entirety of the progressive movement against the machines. It even survived the Camerons themselves. That is how powerful it was.
 
But a machine is only as strong as its component parts, which brings us to our exit quote: “If your lying liar pants on fire source worked with me at a federal agency as you and they contend, did you ask them to provide even a single email exchange with my using that account?”
 
It’s likely not a good idea at all for someone affiliated with the Clintons to reference pants; it’s poor salesmanship, to paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca.
 
Update: A video reminder that Clinton Inc. is a multinational machine:
 
Article printed from Ed Driscoll: http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2015/03/04/clinton-political-machine/
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on March 15, 2015, 23:05:11
Americans are looking at the state of the world, and this might make the "narrative" far less attractive for putative candidate HR Clinton. After all, she was the Secretary of State for much of the period in question, and so issues like Russia, China and ISIS can and should be laid at her feet:

http://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/war-gains-popular-support-patents-and-other-matters/

Quote
War Gains Popular Support; Patents; and other matters.
  By Jerry Pournelle | Mar 11, 2015 - 10:20 pm | Updated: March 11, 2015 - 10:20 pm | View
FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
Chaos Manor View, Wednesday, March 11, 2015

National-Security Worries Rise as a Test for 2016

By a stunning 62%-30%, Americans now support sending U.S. troops to fight Islamic State.

By

William A. Galston

March 10, 2015 7:11 p.m. ET

Events overseas are upending long-settled expectations about the 2016 presidential campaign.

In the two years after Barack Obama’s re-election, both political parties assumed that the 2016 election would hinge almost exclusively on the economy. As unemployment gradually subsided as a public issue, other economic concerns—such as stagnant wages, low labor-force-participation rates and declining social mobility—came to the fore. Potential presidential candidates in both parties jostled for field position as champions of opportunity for the middle class.

These issues will still be pivotal next year. But the Islamic State militants’ rise, the Russian threat to the peace of Europe and the Iranian challenge to stability in the Middle East have sparked increasing public worries about America’s security. Defense and foreign policy will not be as dominant in 2016 as they were in 2004, but they will be far more important than in 2008 and 2012.

The accumulating evidence from high-quality public-opinion research is hard to ignore. A Quinnipiac University survey released March 4 found that terrorism now trails only the economy as a top public priority: 67% of the American people regard Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, as a “major threat” to U.S. security. The public is not satisfied with the Obama administration’s response to this threat. Only 39% approve of the president’s handling of terrorism (down from 52% a year ago), while 54% disapprove. When it comes to ISIS, the public’s view is even more negative, with only 35% approving.

These sentiments translate into support for much more assertive policies. The Quinnipiac survey found that by a stunning 62% to 30%, the American people now support sending U.S. ground forces to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Those in favor include majorities of Democrats and independents as well as Republicans, women as well as men, and young adults as well as seniors. This result underscores a late-February CBS poll, which found 57% of Americans favoring the use of ground forces, up 18 percentage points since last September.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/bill-galston-national-security-worries-rise-as-a-test-for-2016-1426029096

ISIS has declared war on the United States, and for that matter on much of the civilized word including both Shiite and Sunni Muslim States; they are literally an enemy of all except the lands they control. I opposed going into Iraq: Saddam was a brutal tyrant and sons were worse, but they were no threat to the United States on a global scale. Mostly it was a territorial dispute in Arabia, and not our vital interest; and even if it were, once regime change was effected, we should have been done. Democracy in the Middle East is no American goal, and likely to lead to enmity.

ISIS – The Caliphate – is another matter. Just now a division of US troops with the aid of the Warthog force could abolish the Caliphate in a year. We build a base in Kurdish “Iraq”, where we would have an acceptable status of forces agreement. And we liberate Kurdish Iraq and turn it over to the Kurds; then we ask Baghdad if they want a status of forces agreement now. If they insist on their previous nonsense, we continue the war, but operate out of what in effect will be Kurdistan. The Caliphate must go; it would take about a year, and cost a lot less than the previous war. We might even make a profit.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on March 17, 2015, 12:10:03
Although maybe not as much in play during a national election, lots of local elections may ride on this issue. It could become national as well if there is a call for the Federal Government to "do something" about the estimated $2-4 trillion in unfunded pension and benefit liabilities for "Blue State" government employees.

The hard alternatives don't even end with the outcomes this articel talks about. Current and future pensioners might be forced to take massive "haircuts" as the pension funds run out of money and city and State governments need to declare bankruptcy (like Detroit or innumerable Califirnia cities, pensioners maybe only getting 40 cents on the dollar, if they are lucky), or worse yet, end up with nothing at all as the funds go bankrupt.

And before *we* start getting puffed up about how well we are doing, Canada has a $500 billion + unfunded liability of its own for Federal pensions owed to civil servants, the RCMP and the CF, and there is no clear understanding of if or how much of a similar situation exists for the various provinces and municipalities:

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/03/17/a-nasty-end-to-the-blue-model/

Quote
A Nasty End to the Blue Model

The pension crisis has become a major threat to public safety. The WSJ profiles serious trouble brewing in Memphis, where state efforts to manage the pension problem has prompted police officers and firefighters to skip work—or quit altogether. Memphis has decided to phase out defined benefit plans and move to a 401k system, and employees aren’t happy:
 
Memphis is particularly notable because workers have moved beyond rhetoric and into action. More than 250 police and firefighters have quit and new recruits are proving difficult to attract, after Memphis opted to end its traditional defined-benefit pension and cycle a portion of retirement benefits for many current employees next year into a 401(k)-style account […]
 
Longtime workers have often been spared from some of the most drastic cuts as government officials took the easier path of cutting benefits for workers yet to be hired or suspending retiree cost-of-living bumps. But state and local governments that face pressure to act more aggressively are increasingly shifting more responsibility to current employees.
 
If large chunks of a city’s police force and firefighters quit and replacements can’t be found, that’s very bad news for the city’s residents. Especially in deeply indebted, poorer cities, potential consequences include slower responses to fires, and, with fewer cops on the street, more crime. Some signs indicate that the pension crisis could get worse and if it does we’re likely to see more cities follow Memphis’ lead in spreading cuts to cops and firefighters. That would be a particularly nasty way for the pension crisis to end: a more sustainable budget but seriously imperiled public safety.
 
Here we have a case of the blue model’s chickens coming home to roost. In the choice between financial collapse and underpopulated police and firefighter corps, there is no attractive option. But irresponsible pension systems have forced this dilemma on cities. One way or another, residents are in for a rough ride.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on March 22, 2015, 12:23:19
How can he run since he was born in Canada?   ???  Even if he gave up his Canadian citizenship, the US Constitution only allows natural-born citizens to run.

Associated Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/ap-source-texas-republican-sen-ted-cruz-launch-133422967.html)

Quote
AP Source: Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz to launch presidential campaign on Monday
The Canadian Press

By Steve Peoples, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will announce Monday his plans to run for president, becoming the first high-profile Republican formally to enter the 2016 presidential contest.

Cruz has hinted openly at his intentions to seek the White House for months, and his intention to jump into the race was confirmed by a strategist for the first-term Republican senator, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity so as not to preclude the formal announcement.

While Cruz is the first Republican to declare his candidacy, he is sure to be followed by several big names in the GOP, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and two Senate colleagues, Kentucky's Rand Paul and Florida's Marco Rubio.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Schindler's Lift on March 22, 2015, 12:33:47
The constitution states: "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

Natural born citizen. That's it. Natural born is not defined in the constitution and is legally treated as those entitled to US citizenship at birth. Cruz was born to American parents while they were working in Canada. He was entitled to US citizenship the moment he was born. It doesn't matter that he wasn't physically born in the US.  Its the same way in which John McCain could run for President and could have held that office IF he was successful in the election even though he was born in Panama. 
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on March 22, 2015, 12:48:50
The constitution states: "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

Natural born citizen. That's it. Natural born is not defined in the constitution and is legally treated as those entitled to US citizenship at birth. Cruz was born to American parents while they were working in Canada. He was entitled to US citizenship the moment he was born. It doesn't matter that he wasn't physically born in the US.  Its the same way in which John McCain could run for President and could have held that office IF he was successful in the election even though he was born in Panama.

The McCain example is a little fuzzy, in that he was born on a US Military facility in the Canal Zone which was under US control at the time. Although it was never really questioned, McCain was generally given a pass the whole issue because of the circumstances of where the birth took place. The fact that his parents were American citizens made any argument against validity of a birth in a US facility, in US controlled territory moot.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: dapaterson on March 22, 2015, 12:54:08
Odd that a Kenyan father is reason to be suspicious of one, but a Cuban father isn't reason to be suspicious of another...
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Schindler's Lift on March 22, 2015, 13:17:57
The McCain example is a little fuzzy, in that he was born on a US Military facility in the Canal Zone which was under US control at the time. Although it was never really questioned, McCain was generally given a pass the whole issue because of the circumstances of where the birth took place. The fact that his parents were American citizens made any argument against validity of a birth in a US facility, in US controlled territory moot.

Actually in 1936, the year McCain was born, the Panama Canal Zone and its related military facilities were not regarded as United States territory.  It wasn't legally changed to US territory until a year later.  As a result some Courts considered him to be a born a US citizen owing to the change in status of the Canal Zone the next year however other Courts held he was born Panamanian.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: stealthylizard on March 22, 2015, 15:12:08
Congress passed a non-binding resolution recognizing McCain as a natural-born citizen.  This was already afforded to him, as people born in the zone were retroactively granted the status, but it was to remove any doubt as to what kind of citizen he was so that it wouldn't be an issue in his presidential run.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on March 22, 2015, 16:26:37
Odd that a Kenyan father is reason to be suspicious of one, but a Cuban father isn't reason to be suspicious of another...

You're not supposed to point these things out. ;D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on March 24, 2015, 11:36:00
Transcript of the speech Ted Cruz gave to announce his candidacy. I see he is staking out some pretty clear positions and is positioned to capture much of the support of the TEA Party movement. Of course, Senator Cruz will be facing a fairly strong slate in the primaries (much of the conservative side of the Republican Party is quite enamoured of Governor Walker, for example), so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. (reading some of the comments is quite instructive, especially as you get a preview of the Democrat/MSM/Academia counter narrative).

US politics being what it is, Cruz could be using this to play for a large role in any future administration and raise his profile enormously in the Senate:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/transcript-ted-cruzs-speech-at-liberty-university/2015/03/23/41c4011a-d168-11e4-a62f-ee745911a4ff_story.html

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: milnews.ca on March 24, 2015, 12:51:04
Odd that a Kenyan father is reason to be suspicious of one, but a Cuban father and not born in the U.S. isn't reason to be suspicious of another...
FTFY  ;)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: dapaterson on March 24, 2015, 13:03:46
FTFY

Of course, since he was still Canadian when they were born, his daughters are Canadian as well. And if he rejects the idea of kids getting citizenship from their parents when they are born abroad, he's got a bit of a problem...
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on March 24, 2015, 14:04:54
(reading some of the comments is quite instructive, especially as you get a preview of the Democrat/MSM/Academia counter narrative).

Of course, since he was still Canadian when they were born, his daughters are Canadian as well. And if he rejects the idea of kids getting citizenship from their parents when they are born abroad, he's got a bit of a problem...


Quote from: dapaterson on March 22, 2015, 12:54:08
Quote
Odd that a Kenyan father is reason to be suspicious of one, but a Cuban father and not born in the U.S. isn't reason to be suspicious of another...

FTFY 

Didn't take too long to get off the "X". But the ammount of commentary here pales in comparison to the almost absurd level of attack already underway in the US. My particular favorite was "Ted Cruz just laid out the most anti-woman agenda yet," (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/think-progress-claims-ted-cruz-is-anti-woman-because-he-supports-a-flat-tax/article/2561911"), which was published so fast I could believe that it was written months ago with some "fill in the blanks" spots for whoever announced first.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: jollyjacktar on March 24, 2015, 15:27:01
Meh!  I'll enjoy his impression of a lawn dart when it comes.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on March 24, 2015, 20:18:55
Finally, another sign of the coming spring. Nationals home opener was announced yesterday, and they play the NY Mets on April 6th.
(Oh, and the Republican clown show started.) ;D

It was interesting that Cruz made his announcement at Liberty University. Running to the extreme right, and pandering to the Evangelical vote. Who could have predicted that? ::) Even if he took the all Evangelical vote, they only make up 36% of the Republican base. And year after year the polls show that the center is turned off by those who pander to the Christian Right.

Cruz has a money problem though, starting way behind the undeclared field and needs to raise beaucoup de bucks going into Iowa. He then needs to pull off nothing less than victory in in Iowa to ensure that his campaign will be able to continue on.

There is a strong school of though that Cruz is declaring so he can stay relevant and will try and push the campaign narrative as far as he can before inevitably bowing out. Positioning himself for greater influence, or even a leadership position in the party? Maybe. Last thing that he wants to happen though is to be declared irrelevant, and end up as an also ran. He's pretty much lost the support of the GOP Leadership.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Jed on March 24, 2015, 20:30:27
Finally, another sign of the coming spring. Nationals home opener was announced yesterday, and they play the NY Mets on April 6th.
(Oh, and the Republican clown show started.) ;D

It was interesting that Cruz made his announcement at Liberty University. Running to the extreme right, and pandering to the Evangelical vote. Who could have predicted that? ::) Even if he took the all Evangelical vote, they only make up 36% of the Republican base. And year after year the polls show that the center is turned off by those who pander to the Christian Right.

Cruz has a money problem though, starting way behind the undeclared field and needs to raise beaucoup de bucks going into Iowa. He then needs to pull off nothing less than victory in in Iowa to ensure that his campaign will be able to continue on.

There is a strong school of though that Cruz is declaring so he can stay relevant and will try and push the campaign narrative as far as he can before inevitably bowing out. Positioning himself for greater influence, or even a leadership position in the party? Maybe. Last thing that he wants to happen though is to be declared irrelevant, and end up as an also ran. He's pretty much lost the support of the GOP Leadership.

It's interesting that you call this the Republican Clown Show.   I ask you what is worse the Republican clown show where one candidate declares his intentions, one who had the cajones to voice his opinion against unmitigated stupidity of both Democratic and Republican parties or the ongoing corruption and obfuscation of the primary candidate of the Democratic party?
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on March 24, 2015, 22:36:57
It's interesting that you call this the Republican Clown Show.   I ask you what is worse the Republican clown show where one candidate declares his intentions, one who had the cajones to voice his opinion against unmitigated stupidity of both Democratic and Republican parties or the ongoing corruption and obfuscation of the primary candidate of the Democratic party?

What I am calling the Republican Clown show is the 9 or 10 fringe candidates that will eventually throw their hats into the ring, and force the party to run so far to the right that they are now skirting the left end of the spectrum. All this results in the one or two main stream party candidates to pander to the right in order to get through the primary, only to make a move back to the center for the general. The GOP as it has over the past two presidential cycles will eat it's own. Perhaps this year will be different, but I suspect not.

Yesterday I heard the former Chair of the RNC suggest that the GOP should nominate a candidate from the right and not the mainstream. This will force them to finally come to a reckoning with the current schism within the party, and I have to agree. They got their knickers all in a knot after they had their asses handed to them in 2012 when the election was theirs to loose. They did the autopsy and pledged to make the party more electable across the spectrum, but have done nothing to show that was the case. They drew the wrong message from the results of the 2014 mid-terms. It was less a thumbs up to the GOP than it was a thumbs down on the administration and congress in general in a gerrymandered electoral map that all but assured the status quo. Lets not forget that Dem voter turnout is typically down in the midterms, which is their burden to deal with. You get the government you deserve.

As for the Dems, they have a bigger problem than the GOP clown show. Clinton should not be the presumptive nominee. But there really is no one who can challenge, that should be throwing their hats into that circus ring. Personally I think Clinton if elected will be a more divisive figure than Obama has been, and congress will be less productive than it is now, if that is even possible. Unfortunately there is no real viable challenger to ward off a coronation. Elizabeth Warren won't challenge, and she would be much more effective as part of the Senate Leadership. There is some thought that there is a pseudo or shadow primary by the way Warren is making speeches and commentary forcing Clinton to respond. But that will be the extent of her involvement in the Democratic nomination process.

Not sure if I answered your question Jed, but just to clarify, I don't really have a high opinion of either side at the moment. And unfortunately, living so close to the Beltway, I am going to have to continue listening to the BS for the next 18 months. :facepalm:
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Jed on March 25, 2015, 01:57:07
From my isolated position up here in Canada I see this much the same as you Cupper. I may be wrong but I think the will of US people will pick a good one at the end of it all because they are heartily sick of of the piss poor performance they have seen over the past dozen or so years.  For the sake of North America I hope I am correct.  ;)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on March 25, 2015, 19:47:22
From my isolated position up here in Canada I see this much the same as you Cupper. I may be wrong but I think the will of US people will pick a good one at the end of it all because they are heartily sick of of the piss poor performance they have seen over the past dozen or so years.  For the sake of North America I hope I am correct.  ;)

You and me both. :nod:
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on March 25, 2015, 20:20:09
It's always the seemingly innocent, innocuous questions that can trip you up.

After 9/11, True Patriot Ted Cruz Sacrificed His Love of Rock Music for America and the Republican Party

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/03/ted-cruz-sacrificed-rock-music-after-911.html

Quote
In an interview with CBS This Morning, Ted Cruz divulged that he used to love classic rock, but switched over to country because of 9/11. “My music taste changed on 9/11,” the presidential candidate said. “I actually intellectually find this very curious, but on 9/11, I didn’t like how rock music responded,” he said. “And country music, collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me.” The inevitably boring interview question of what music a politician listens to has, in this case, yielded a fascinating and revealing answer.

Of course, the thing about classic rock is that it mostly didn’t respond to 9/11 at all, since most of it was written in the decades beforehand. To the extent that it did respond, it was in keeping with the patriotic spirit of the moment. Many of the biggest classic rock stars participated in “America: A Tribute to Heroes” ten days after the attacks. As the name of the event implies, the event was not exactly a Chomsky-esque exercise in attributing the attacks to blowback caused by imperial overstretch. The single biggest classic rock star, Paul McCartney, wrote a song the next day, “Freedom,” the proceeds of which he donated to families of the victims and the NYPD.

It is true, however, that, in general, rock stars did not reach the jingoist heights of their country brethren. The rockers were mourning victims and celebrating freedom; country stars were demanding blood. That was a real partisan cultural divide. That divide overlaid a related cultural trend during the Bush years, during which the Republican Party defined itself as the representative of “real America,” as represented by pickup trucks, NASCAR, small towns, country music, and the most rigidly nationalistic forms of patriotism. It is easy to forget now just how important (and frequently ridiculous) heartland cultural authenticity, and corresponding disdain for decadent urban intellectual elites, was to Republican Party identification at the time.

And here is where Cruz’s musical conversion reveals something interesting about his character. Raised by a militant conservative for a career in political activism, Cruz initially channeled his ambitions through formal education, which bred an intense intellectual snobbery. People who knew him recall Cruz asking them about their IQ and refusing to study in grad school with anybody who didn’t attend Harvard, Yale, or Princeton (a cutoff that only a Princeton grad would define).

At some point in his career, this snobbery became not only unnecessary but a hindrance to advancement. In George W. Bush’s Republican Party, populist authenticity, not Ivy league credentialism, was the cherished social currency. That Cruz was both willing and able to reorder his musical preferences to conform to the party line in the cultural struggle is an incredible testament to his personal willpower.

As often happens with Cruz, his professed fanaticism raises the question of whether he actually believes what he claims. Has the good senator actually stopped listening to the classic rock he spent decades enjoying? If so, does he ever feel tempted to listen to his old favorites, or has he internalized the party line so thoroughly that the mere sound of “The Wall” or “Beggar’s Banquet” and its decadent cosmopolitan liberalism now sickens him?

Alternatively, if Cruz is making this up — if he maintains a private stash of pre-9/11 classic rock that he indulges only when alone or in the presence of his most trusted confidantes — it would be, in a way, even more impressive. It would be attractive to imagine Cruz as the mirror-image equivalent of Cold War–era Soviet citizens locked furtively in his apartment, listening to taped-over bootleg Beatles cassettes, hoping no loyal party members overhear. Keep on rockin’ in the free world, Senator Cruz.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on March 27, 2015, 12:11:12
What I am calling the Republican Clown show is the 9 or 10 fringe candidates that will eventually throw their hats into the ring, and force the party to run so far to the right that they are now skirting the left end of the spectrum. All this results in the one or two main stream party candidates to pander to the right in order to get through the primary, only to make a move back to the center for the general. The GOP as it has over the past two presidential cycles will eat it's own. Perhaps this year will be different, but I suspect not.

You never know who is actually going to be "the one" for quite some time, and of course this is a form of marketplace where ideas can be shopped around and the ones which resonate the most among the "customer base" will eventually be chosen.

And of course, there is always the hope that the other candidates may self destruct and leave "your" candidate the last one standing. I recall a political party here in Canada which had several outstanding leadership candidates with well reasoned, internally consistent policy platforms who were eventually defeated by a candidate who had (and indeed has) no policy ideas at all....
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on April 02, 2015, 14:46:17
Thoughts, cupper? Isn't she a former US Army helo pilot who was wounded in combat in Iraq?

CBS News (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tammy-duckworth-is-running-for-senate/)

Quote
Tammy Duckworth is running for Senate

Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois announced Monday that she's challenging Sen. Mark Kirk, one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for re-election in 2016. She is the first Democrat to officially enter the Senate race.

In an online video, the two-term congresswoman shares her biography with Illinois voters, highlighting some of the economic hardships her family went through during her childhood. She financed her way through college with "loans, Pell grants and lots of waitressing," Duckworth says.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on April 02, 2015, 21:10:24
Thoughts, cupper? Isn't she a former US Army helo pilot who was wounded in combat in Iraq?

CBS News (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tammy-duckworth-is-running-for-senate/)

She's the one. From what I have seen of her time in Congress she would make a very good Senator.

In her first term in the House she returned over $100K left over from her annual $1.2M office budget, rather than spend needlessly. (Policy is to use it or lose it, no carry over to the next year). She only hired staff when needed as the workload expanded. She sponsored the No Budget, No Pay bill to ensure that Congress passed a budget every year rather than go through the theatrics of shutdown threats and kicking the can down the road. She even returned $10K of her own salary that covered the period from the sequester that resulted in the furlough of Federal employees.

Here is an interesting interview from Stars and Strips discussing the incident in Iraq that resulted in the downing of her Blackhawk.

http://www.stripes.com/news/the-pedals-were-gone-and-so-were-my-legs-1.34578

Personally I think it's time for fresh younger (relatively speaking) bodies in Congress. A lot of the old guard are not standing for reelection, the public reason being the desire to spend time with the family. I think it has more to do with the BS we've seen for the past 12 or so years (longer if you want to look for it in the Clinton years), and senior members getting fed up with the lack of cooperation, and intransigence of the newer inexperienced members.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on April 06, 2015, 20:17:03
Deeper in the background, this is the "fundamental change in America" that many people want. The writer is correct, however. There are far more people opposed, and once they are organized, they will play by the new rules the "elites" have created:

http://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2015/04/05/liberals-may-regret-their-new-rules-n1980933/page/full

Quote
Liberals May Regret Their New Rules
Kurt Schlichter | Apr 05, 2015
Kurt Schlichter
 
That photo is me about ten years ago, standing in the ruins of a land where people rejected the rule of law in favor of the rule of force. I think a lot about my year-long deployment to Kosovo these days. I think a lot about people today who, for short term political points, cavalierly disregard the rules, laws and norms that made America what it is. I think a lot about how liberals, especially those who boo God, should pray to Him that those rules, laws and norms are restored.

I am most certainly not smiling – I am squinting in the winter sun, having doffed my ever-present Ray-Bans. Behind me is – well, was – a village along the Ibar River in northern Kosovo. In the 1990s, it was full of Serbs and gypsies (The new, politically correct term is “Roma”). Back then, after the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Kosovo was a province of Serbia. Without rehashing the centuries of ancient animosities and grievances, the Orthodox Serbs found themselves unrestrained by the political consensus that Josip Tito had enforced and began an escalating series of petty and not-so-petty oppressions against the Kosovar Albanians. The “K-Albs” are about 10% Christian but mostly moderate Muslims (we called them “party Muslims,” and our troops used to love to go on patrol through K-Alb towns during the spring when the gorgeous Albanian women were in full effect). They were a minority in Serbia as a whole, but a majority in the province of Kosovo.

Now, there’s no understanding Balkan hatreds – don’t even try. But basically, the tensions really kicked in after Slobodan Milosevic came to the battlefield at Kosovo Polje in 1989 on the 500th anniversary of the Muslim Ottoman Turks annihilating the cream of Serbian nobility. Thereafter, the campaign of exclusion and harassment against the K-Albs by Serbs ratcheted up. Where they had lived together in peace before, now the Serbs – unrestrained by laws, rules or norms – became increasingly despotic.

Eventually, the Serbs tried to drive out the despised minority K-Albs. NATO intervened and saved the Albanians, who promptly came back and drove the Serbs out. The Roma, perceived as allies of the Serbs, fled too. That village behind me wasn’t blown up by explosives. That damage was done by people, with picks and shovels and bare hands.

Which brings us to America in 2015. It’s becoming a nation where an elite that is certain of its power and its moral rightness is waging a cultural war on a despised minority. Except it’s not actually a minority – it only seems that way because it is marginalized by the coastal elitist liberals who run the mainstream media.

Today in America, we have a liberal president refuses to recognize the majority sent to Congress as a reaction to his progressive failures, and who uses extra-Constitutional means like executive orders to stifle the voice of his opponents. We have a liberal establishment on a secular jihad against people who dare place their conscience ahead of progressive dogma. And we have two different sets of laws, one for the little people and one for liberals like Lois Lerner, Al Sharpton and Hillary Clinton, who can blatantly commit federal crimes and walk away scot free and smirking.

Today in America, a despised minority that is really no minority is the target of an establishment that considers this minority unworthy of respect, unworthy of rights, and unworthy of having a say in the direction of this country. It’s an establishment that has one law for itself, and another for its enemies. It’s an establishment that inflicts an ever-increasing series of petty humiliations on its opponents and considers this all hilarious.

That’s a recipe for disaster. You cannot expect to change the status quo for yourself and then expect those you victimize not to play by the new rules you have created. You cannot expect to be able to discard the rule of law in favor of the rule of force and have those you target not respond in kind.

Liberals ask how a baker can believe that making a cake for a same sex wedding violates his conscience, but they don’t think about how the standard they are setting is that the government now gets to determine the validity of individual beliefs. Do they want us passing judgment on them?

Liberals imagine that their president can simply take whatever actions he pleases – including ones he previously admitted were unconstitutional – and that the next Republican president won’t do the same. Except then it will be to negate their cherished policies.

Liberals praise Harry Reid for lying about Mitt Romney and for ensuring the GOP’s voice can’t be heard on Capitol Hill, but they don’t think about what happens to them when they are out of power in an environment where slander is the norm and where minorities have no say. Conservatives have principles, but human nature is a powerful thing, and human nature favors payback.

The revolt has begun, peacefully. In 2010, and again in 2014, the Silent Majority returned and sent an unmistakable message to the liberal elite. When Bill Clinton got that message in 1994, he recognized that opposition and worked with it. But under Obama, the liberal elite acts to ignore and delegitimize the opposition. 2014 was not a tantrum; it was a warning, and the liberals are betting that they can bluff and bluster their way through it.

When you block all normal means of dissent, whether by ignoring the political will of you opponents or using the media to mock and abuse them, you build up the pressure. In 30+ years as an active conservative, I’ve never heard people so angry, so frustrated, so fed up. These emotions are supposed to be dissipated by normal political processes. But liberals are bottling them up. And they will blow. It’s only a matter of how.

Liberals need to understand the reality that rarely penetrates their bubble. Non-liberal Americans (it’s more than just conservatives who are under the liberal establishment’s heel) are the majority of this country. They hold power in many states and regions in unprecedented majorities. And these attacks focus on what they hold dearest – their religion, their families and their freedom.

What is the end game, liberals? Do you expect these people you despise to just take it? Do you think they’ll just shrug their shoulders and say, “Well, I guess we better comply?” Do you even know any real Americans? Do you think you’ll somehow be able to force them into obedience – for what is government power but force – after someone finally says “Enough?”

In my book Conservative Insurgency, I offer a scenario set in the late 2010s where the Texas governor refuses to allow Hillary Clinton to enforce an unconstitutional handgun ban within his state. It devolves into a brief, bloody spasm of violence, after which a sobered country walks back from the precipice and returns to resolving conflicts through the Constitution (albeit, with some lingering damage to our political and social norms). But there is no guarantee that things might not spin out of control the other way. And then liberals would be well advised to ask themselves who will be willing to fight and die to preserve their power and policies. In contrast, there are an awful lot of people willing to fight and die for their religion and our Constitution.

And let’s be blunt – these are the people with most of the guns and the training to use them. That’s the reality of the rule of force. I’ve seen it – it’s there behind me in that photo.

Now, this will no doubt draw the lie that I am somehow advocating violence. The current liberal habit of shamelessly lying about their opponents makes civil debate impossible. Similarly, the mockery of non-liberals before stacked audiences of trained seals a la Jon Stewart is part and parcel of the same strategy of delegitimizing any opposition. Closing down the option of discussion leaves their opponents with only the option of action. So far, the action has only been in funding campaigns for oppressed pizzerias and in the voting booth – though they’ve trying to nullify that too.

I’m not advocating violence – I am warning liberals that they are setting the conditions for violence.

And that better worry them, for the coastal elites are uniquely unsuited to a world where force rules instead of law. The Serbs were, at least, a warrior people. The soft boys and girls who brought us helicopter parenting, “trigger warnings” and coffee cups with diversity slogans are not.

I know the endgame of discarding the rule of law for short-term advantage because I stood in its ruins. Liberals think this free society just sort of happened, that they can poke and tear at its fabric and things will just go on as before. But they won’t. So at the end of the day, if you want a society governed by the rule of force, you better pray that you’re on the side with the guns and those who know how to use them.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on April 10, 2015, 11:41:07
T6, Cupper, Rifleman62...perhaps Hillary can stop denying it now that she wanted Bill's former office the whole time...

Reuters (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/hillary-clinton-expected-announce-presidential-run-soon-weekend-002047543.html)

Quote
Clinton to announce presidential bid on Sunday: Democratic official
Reuters – 1 hour 14 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton is expected on Sunday to announce, via video and social media, her intention to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, a party official told Reuters on Friday.
Following the announcement, the former secretary of state will travel to the key primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, said the source, who is close to Clinton.
"She's expected to make her intention to run known on Sunday," the source said.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on April 10, 2015, 19:25:55
 :facepalm:

Glad I am home in Canada.

Damn. I have to go back for meetings next week.  :facepalm:
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Rifleman62 on April 10, 2015, 21:24:44
S.M.A.
Quote
T6, Cupper, Rifleman62...perhaps Hillary can stop denying it now that she wanted Bill's former office the whole time...

As long as I never hear from her: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Retired AF Guy on April 10, 2015, 21:32:09
:facepalm:

Glad I am home in Canada.

Damn. I have to go back for meetings next week.  :facepalm:

Watch your six!!
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on April 10, 2015, 22:57:05
S.M.A.
As long as I never hear from her: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

You were saying?  ;D

(http://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fbayardandholmes.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F03%2FMeme-Hillary-I-Did-Not-Have-Textual-Relations-With-That-Server-Lars-Larson.jpg&hash=ac62effe8c3b0d6d4cc8c7b3cea46298)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Rifleman62 on April 11, 2015, 09:57:50
Very good one S.M.A.

God or whomever help the USA and the World if she gets elected, or Obama, light, north, here.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on April 11, 2015, 10:36:56
S.M.A.
As long as I never hear from her: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

Now there is a visual that I will never get out of my head. :boke:
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on April 15, 2015, 22:38:52
The NRA may have stepped on it's own … umm … future.

Wayne LaPierre's "Demographically Symbolic" Dog Whistle

http://www.pagunblog.com/2015/04/13/wayne-lapierres-demographically-symbolic-dog-whistle/

Quote
It’s really not often you’ll find me agreeing with the Internet trolls at Media Matters, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Media Matters linked to a portion of Wayne’s Speech at the NRA Annual Meeting, which I must have missed when we skipped out to cover the MDA protest. Here’s video for the context:

http://mediamatters.org/video/2015/04/12/nras-wayne-lapierre-on-clinton-and-obama-eight/203250

Wayne was quoted saying, “eight years of one demographically symbolic president is enough,” in the context of Hillary Clinton following Barack Obama into the presidency. What the hell is that even supposed to mean? Why bother with the dog whistle? Just come out and say “We don’t need another affirmative action token President,” and be done with it, because isn’t that what was really said?

What speechwriter of Waynes’s thought it was a good idea to put that jab in there? How did Wayne, who presumably might have practiced the delivery once or twice, not realize how this is going to sound to blacks, hispanics, and women? Are Ben Carson or Bobby Jundal “demographically symbolic?” Or what about Marco Rubio,  Suzana Martinez, or Carly Fiorina, all of whom might throw their hat into the ring themselves, or be a sensible veep picks. It’s not just Republicans either. What about Democratic Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clark? At what point does one become merely “demographically symbolic?” I don’t understand the rules for this.

I am not coming at this from the same angle as Media Matters, because I don’t want to give NRA or Wayne a black eye; I want them to be more effective. I don’t believe this error is going to take down the NRA, and I don’t believe Wayne is a racist or sexist. His very capable executive assistant, who essentially runs his office, is a female minority. Whoever wrote or reviewed that speech made a very serious lapse in judgement. Before folks comment that I’m just tooling for the politically correct junta, and that there isn’t anything wrong with saying things that imply White Male Conservatives need to be in charge, there’s a bit of reality you need to understand.

One is that the issue has made tremedous progress among women. Each year there are more women and families on the NRA Annual Meeting show floor than the previous year. Bitter even brought out her brother’s whole family this year, since they live in the Nashville area. Where women go, families follow. It is very important to appeal to women, and dog whistling to white males is not how accomplish that.

Second, this issue has to reach out to blacks and hispanics, and win them over. You’ll hear criticism of NRA for not getting involved in the immigration issue. I agree they should not, because even if you stopped the flow of illegal immigrants completely, hispanics are still going to grow as a share of the voting public for the simple reason that they are having children at a greater rate compared to other demographics. You will not fix this problem with even perfect border control, only delay the inevitable.

NRA has no choice: it must reach out to women, blacks and hispanics if it wishes to secure the long term health of the Second Amendment. Polling among these groups show we have a base of understanding that we can use to get the conversation moving. Statements like Wayne’s not only don’t help us achieve our goals, but serve to reinforce the notion that NRA is an organization for White Male Conservatives. The implication is even stronger when Wayne makes that statement on a stage where the only people visible are other White Male Conservatives. NRA hasn’t had a female President since Sandy Froman left the stage eight years ago. Despite a huge influx of women into the issue, I don’t notice the nominating committe reaching out to try to attract more women on the Board.

If in ten to twenty years NRA is only an organization for White Male Conservatives, the NRA will become an irrelevant organization.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on April 20, 2015, 21:07:11
Not really sure how to take this. Seriously, is this necessary or even a good idea?

Cruz takes Second Amendment fight to military bases

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/ted-cruz-2016-second-amendment-gun-rights-117133.html?hp=b2_c1

Quote
LITCHFIELD, N.H.—Appealing to New Hampshire’s powerful gun culture, Sen. Ted Cruz said Sunday that he’s “pressing” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain to hold hearings on whether soldiers should be allowed to carry their own concealed firearms onto military bases.

“I am very concerned about that policy,” the Texas senator told 120 gun owners at a hunting club here, before taking a trip to a firing range for some target practice. “I think it’s very important to have a public discussion about why we’re denying our soldiers the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

Flanked by a flapping Gadsden flag on a crisp afternoon, he spent the better part of an hour-long town hall at the Londonderry Fish & Game Club touting his record on the Second Amendment. His wife, Heidi, stood behind him wearing a black cap that said “Armed & Fabulous.”

After three mass shootings at military installations in five years, including another at Ford Hood last year, pro-gun activists have argued that letting troops arm themselves on the job would give them a better ability to defend themselves.

Generals have argued that only military police officers should be able to carry weapons freely around base. Many in the chain of command believe more guns would only lead to more violence, especially among those who suffer from mental instability as a consequence of combat.

“I want to give an opportunity for the military leadership to lay out their views,” Cruz told a woman who asked him about the issue.

Cruz said he is not afraid to take on the brass. He touted his success at persuading every Republican and Democrat on the Armed Services Committee to support a bill that awarded Purple Hearts to every soldier wounded in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting. The government resisted giving out the medals on the grounds that it was not in combat.

“We did it over the active opposition of the Obama Pentagon,” he said.

Cruz, who entered the Senate in 2013, is making an aggressive effort to overcome the criticism that he lacks the accomplishments to justify running for president. Part of that is embracing the old Bill Buckley definition of conservatism (“a fellow who is standing athwart history, yelling stop”).

The senator took credit for helping block any new laws in the aftermath of the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. He said many in the Senate Republican conference believed tough new laws were inevitable after the horrific act.

“If y’all were sitting in the Senate Republican lunches, you’d have jumped out the window, because the sentiment there was that ‘this is a freight train, it can’t be stopped, get out of the way,’” Cruz recalled

He recalled partnering with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Utah Sen. Mike Lee to pledge a filibuster of any gun-related bill the Friday before a two-week recess.

“What we were trying to do was real simple: slow things down,” he said.

Cruz said background check laws might have passed had gun groups not mobilized to put pressure on wavering Republicans.

Gun rights are a big deal in the Live Free or Die state. Scott Brown’s support for an assault weapons ban and other gun laws, dating to
his time in Massachusetts, was the primary reason that he won less than 50 percent of the vote in the GOP Senate primary last September.

All the Republicans pledge support for gun rights, and many will try to one-up each other going into next February’s primary.

Leaders from several gun groups, including Gun Rights Across America, the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition and the Women’s Defense League, gave Cruz a very positive reception.

The woman who introduced the senator noted the significance of Sunday being April 19, the day that the American Revolution began. “Civilian firearms ownership freed the colonies,” she said. “We want to keep it that way.”

When his microphone cut out, Cruz jokingly blamed Attorney General Eric Holder for cutting it off. Then he began to yell so that the crowd of 120 could hear.

During his visit to New Hampshire this week, Jeb Bush said he thinks the Senate should confirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general.
Cruz, for this part, heavily emphasized on both Saturday and Sunday that he’s “leading the fight” against her nomination.

“We understand that in a Republican primary everyone comes along and says they’re most conservative,” he said. “I’m confident you’re not going to see a Republican come to the state of New Hampshire and say, ‘You know what? I’m an establishment moderate who stands for nothing.’ They’re not going to admit that.”

Cruz went shooting after his speech, but reporters were not allowed to go with him to the firing range.

One of the most interesting moments from Cruz’s exchange with the activists came when he complained about how much of his time he spends fundraising.

“I’ve told my six-year-old daughter, ‘Running for office is real simple: you just surgically disconnect your shame sensor,’” he said.

“Because you spend every day asking people for money. You walk up and say, ‘How are you doing, sir? Can I have money? Great to see you, lovely shirt, please give me money.’ That’s what running for office is like.”

Cruz, the son of a Cuban refugee, said he puts up with the hassle because he thinks the future of the country is at stake.

“If we lose our freedom here,” he asked, “where do we go?”

And I question the drive for issuing Purple Hearts to members wounded in the Fort Hood Shootings over objections of the Military Brass. Unless I'm mistaken, is not the Purple Heart meant to be issued to members wounded in combat situations. Now I know that the actual qualifications can be stretched to some incredible limits (there is a family story of a distant cousin who served with the US Army in Vietnam who received a Purple Heart when he was cut while shaving when a grenade went off in the forward base he was at, but I take that story with a grain of salt).

Any of our US members want to chime in?
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on April 27, 2015, 22:35:23
Can't say I disagree on this one.

A Lame Duck From Day One
For 124 years, every Democratic president has taken office controlling both houses of Congress. Hillary Clinton isn’t likely to be so lucky.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/04/hillary-clinton-lame-duck-congress-117314.html?hp=m1#.VT7h4EuRtM8

Quote
If elected, Hillary Clinton would make history as the first woman to occupy the Oval Office. There is, however, another historical precedent she might set. If Clinton wins the presidency, and the Republicans retain the Senate and the House of Representatives, it will be the first time in the history of the Democratic party—going back 188 years—that a Democrat will be elected president with the opposition party controlling both chambers of congress.

Only three times in the history of the office has a newly-elected president been faced with the opposition party controlling both houses—Zachary Taylor in 1848, Richard Nixon in 1968 and George H. W. Bush in 1988. Of those three, Zachary Taylor, as a Whig, predates the modern two parties. Three vice-presidents found themselves facing unified opposition after becoming president through the line of succession: Millard Fillmore after Taylor's death; Gerald Ford after Nixon's resignation; and Andrew Johnson, as a Democrat on a unity ticket, after Lincoln's assassination. But none were subsequently elected in their own right.

Granted, for all the reasons Doug Sosnik lists, Democrats have a good chance of retaking the Senate. But, even if Democrats only lose the House, Clinton would start her presidency with less freedom to operate than any other modern-day Democratic Party president. Since Grover Cleveland's second administration in 1892, every elected Democratic president has taken office with both houses of Congress—an unbroken run of 124 years.

The dubious distinction Clinton faces has a broader dynamic behind it—we are in the era of divided government. From 1900 to 1968, government was divided for only fourteen years, or a mere 20 percent of the time. Over the last 46 years, however, government has been divided for 36 years—or a whopping 78 percent of the time. Nixon dealt with opposition control of both chambers for the entirety of his administration; Reagan for his last two years; George H. W. Bush for his whole term; Clinton for three quarters of his. George W. Bush almost faced Democratic control of both chambers at the beginning of his presidency. Both he and Obama lost control of both houses with two years left in office.

A scenario where Clinton wins the Presidency and the Republicans retain control of both houses of Congress is fairly plausible. The changing nature of incumbency means there is a very strong chance the Republicans will retain the House of Representatives. The last House election had a 95 percent incumbency rate, despite Congress' overall approval rating floundering in the mid-teens. Only a small percentage of House seats are competitive these days, partly due to gerrymandering and partly to a startling urban-rural divide, with the Democratic base increasingly concentrated in cities.

To reclaim the House, Democrats would need to win thirty seats. In historical terms, this is a huge number. Since 1950, gains that large have occurred six times during midterm elections, when partisan waves often appear, but only twice in presidential years. The most likely scenarios, at this point, are modest to substantial gains, with the Democrats falling short of the necessary thirty seats.

The dynamics of the Senate races in 2016 would initially seem to favor the Democrats, because only 10 Senate Democrat seats are up for re-election, whereas the Republicans have to defend 24. But the Democrats will still have a lot of work to do to overturn the current Republican 54-seat majority. The conventional wisdom is that the Democrats would have to carry all three likely toss-up races: Illinois, Wisconsin and Florida, and at least one of four “lean-Republican” states: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio and New Hampshire, whilst defending two vulnerable states of their own, Nevada and Colorado—in order just to get to fifty seats.

Candidate selection matters, and could tip the balance. After the disasters of Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell in 2010, and Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin in 2012, the Republicans have been far more disciplined, with a better field of Senate candidates in 2014, and they have a number of strong incumbents in 2016.

In Nevada, Harry Reid’s retirement gives Republicans an opportunity to go on offense. Popular Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval cruised to reelection in November with 70 percent of the vote; Republicans have been urging him to consider a Senate bid.
In Wisconsin, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has the ability to self-fund a campaign, is liked by the big-spending Koch brothers and may also benefit from the well-honed political machine of newly reelected Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

In Illinois, Republican Sen. Mark Kirk has worked hard to bolster his bipartisan credentials, backing immigration reform, gun control and environmental protections. His hard-fought battle to return from a debilitating stroke could also earn him sympathy from voters.
In Ohio, Republican Rob Portman is a fundraising powerhouse, has done little to stir controversy while in the Senate, and analysts on both sides acknowledge him as a strong candidate.

In New Hampshire, Democrats hoping to unseat Republican Kelly Ayotte think they have a strong candidate in popular Gov. Maggie Hassan; but Hassan may instead seek another term as governor. Even with Hassan in the race, Ayotte would have an even shot at winning, given the state’s narrow Democratic lean in presidential years.

Florida has trended Democratic in recent presidential cycles, but only by slight margins, so the race to fill a seat vacated by Marco Rubio would also be a potentially close one.

The extra dimension to all this is the extent to which Clinton's coat-tails can influence these tight races. But she is a polarizing candidate, looking to succeed a polarizing president, in a polarized electorate, in an era of divided government, where there hasn't been anything approaching an electoral college or popular vote landslide in a quarter of a century.

Whenever Clinton has run for office in the past (New York Senate and for the Democratic nomination) her national approval ratings have been sharply divided, a dynamic that threatens to trim Clinton’s impact down-ticket. Furthermore, many of the key Senate races are in states with traditionally high rates of vote-splitting: New Hampshire clocks in at 43.8 percent, Pennsylvania at 41.2 percent and at Nevada 36.8 percent. Therefore, it is likely that the “coat-tails effect” may give a boost to Democratic candidates in some races, but whether it turns out to be decisive is by no means a given.

Democratic presidential nominees are more often than not change candidates. Typically they represent the ascendancy of a new generation. The forty-three-year-old Kennedy offered youthful vigor, and proclaimed that “the torch has been passed to a new generation.” Jimmy Carter made a virtue of being an outsider. Bill Clinton offered a generational shift as the first baby-boomer in the White House. A similarly youthful Obama offered “Hope and Change” as well as a shift towards diversity.

Clinton of course offers a transformative candidacy as the first female president, but beneath this profound change element she is, in almost every other respect, the antithesis of the traditional Democratic presidential profile: She will be the oldest ever Democratic nominee, she has been a fixture on the national political scene for decades and she is a polarizing establishment figure.

Overall, therefore, the Republicans have a reasonable chance of holding on to their majorities in Congress—resulting in a unique election where Hillary Clinton makes history as the first Democratic President to win office with the Republicans controlling both Houses. Unless Democrats manage a blow-out, Clinton may address a largely hostile audience, including Republican majority leaders in the House and Senate, at her first state of the union address—the first time a newly-elected Democratic president has ever done so.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on May 05, 2015, 13:30:03
Another "presidentiable" or a future "also-ran" ?

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/04/politics/mike-huckabee-2016-presidential-announcement/)

Quote
Mike Huckabee running for another White House bid

(CNN)Mike Huckabee launched his second presidential bid here Tuesday, casting himself as a guy with small town roots who can relate to the economic and security concerns of average American families.

"So it seems perfectly fitting that it would be here that I announce that I am a candidate for president of the United States of America," Huckabee told a roaring crowd Tuesday in Hope, Arkansas.

Huckabee's pitch didn't come from his multimillion-dollar beachfront home or the anchor desk where he spent years as a Fox News host. Instead, he billed himself as the hometown boy from Hope.
(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on May 05, 2015, 18:37:55
The fear is coming to fruition unfortunately.

So far the candidates that have announced / will announce within the next few days are going to pull the GOP primaries so far to the right you can see Sarah Palin's neighbors across the water.

What would really make this next 18 months interesting is if true center of the spectrum independent candidate ran right down the middle. With Warren and Sanders pulling Queen Hill to the left, and the GOP clown show doing its typical run to the right, voters pissed off with both parties could well take that option and run with it in the general.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on May 06, 2015, 10:45:39
So far the candidates that have announced / will announce within the next few days are going to pull the GOP primaries so far to the right you can see Sarah Palin's neighbors across the water.

What's your opinions on Lindsey Graham or Ben Carson?

Foreign Policy (http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/05/05/lindsey-graham-al-most-knows-arabic/?utm_content=buffer77022&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer)

Lindsey Graham al-Most Knows Arabic[/b]

Quote

"Everything that starts with ‘al’ in the Middle East is bad news,” hawkish Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a probable presidential hopeful, told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee at a Boston dinner this week. “Al Qaeda, al-Nusra, al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula.”

The comment made no sense, the Internet was quick to point out, because “al” is an Arabic definite article analogous to the English word “the.” A number of English words with Arabic roots begin with “al”: albatross, alchemy, alcohol, alcove, alfalfa, algebra, algorithm, and others.


Quote
Knowledge of Arabic won’t necessarily score points with core Republican constituents in early primary states, whom Graham will have to win over if he wants to stand out from the growing group of contenders. Six Republicans have announced their candidacies, and at least seven more will probably join them. But as a leading hawk and an ardent supporter of Israel, Graham likely will need to rely on his outspoken foreign-policy positions to differentiate himself from other long-shot contenders, some of whom have relatively little credibility abroad.

Pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, all of whom announced their candidacies this week, have varying views on record.
They range from Huckabee’s erroneous comments on Pakistan and admission of ignorance on Iran in the run-up to his 2008 presidential campaign, to Carson’s recent endorsement of war crimes. (“If you’re gonna have rules for war, you should just have a rule that says no war,” he said. “Other than that, we have to win.”)

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Chris Pook on May 06, 2015, 11:28:59

So far the candidates that have announced / will announce within the next few days are going to pull the GOP primaries so far to the right you can see Sarah Palin's neighbors across the water.


Guess they`re not moving too far then.

(http://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fthumb%2F0%2F0e%2FBeringSt-close-VE.jpg%2F220px-BeringSt-close-VE.jpg&hash=2ec514cef5a20e95f869ee31163f41ba)
Satellite photo of the Bering Strait, with the Diomede Islands at center (Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diomede_Islands))

Quote
The islands are separated by an international border, which is also part of the International Date Line, approximately 2 km (1 mi) from each island, at 168°58'37"W. At their closest points, the two islands are about 3.8 km (2.4 mi) apart. The small habitation on Little Diomede Island is centered on the west side of the island at the village of Diomede.

The Big Diomede Island is considered the easternmost point of Russia.

The Diomede Islands are often mentioned as likely intermediate stops for the hypothetical bridge or tunnel (Bering Strait crossing) spanning the Bering Strait.[2]

During winter, an ice bridge usually spans the distance between these two islands; therefore during such times it is possible (although not legal) to walk between the United States and Russia.

Distance from Washington to Moscow: infinite
Distance from USA to Russia: Sarah is right.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on May 06, 2015, 14:07:25
What's your opinions on Lindsey Graham or Ben Carson?

Graham was a capable senator before the GOP shifted were dragged to the far right. Like so many other center right GOP members of Congress, he was forced to move further away from the center lest he be primaried. As a presidential candidate, I don't think he has the recognition outside the beltway, except as John McCain's illegitimate son. I don't think he is destined to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. But that's not to say he shouldn't stick around inside the Beltway. Like Elizabeth Warren on the Dem side I think his time and effort would be better spent sitting in the Senate. As long as they can move back to the days where bipartisan compromise was not a traitorous act.

Carson is just another on the list of also rans. His personal beliefs (unless his bat poop comments are just pandering) won't sell outside the religious / social conservatives. He's already had to backtrack on the homosexuality is a choice meme with the comments about straight prisoners choosing to be homosexual in prison. From some of the interviews I've seen, he can tend to be abrasive when pressed or challenged on issues that flow against the mainstream public.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on May 06, 2015, 14:09:48
Guess they`re not moving too far then.

(http://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fthumb%2F0%2F0e%2FBeringSt-close-VE.jpg%2F220px-BeringSt-close-VE.jpg&hash=2ec514cef5a20e95f869ee31163f41ba)
Satellite photo of the Bering Strait, with the Diomede Islands at center (Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diomede_Islands))

Distance from Washington to Moscow: infinite
Distance from USA to Russia: Sarah is right.

Nice,  ;)

What I was going for was that when you move to far in one direction on the political spectrum, you run the risk of coming full Mobius Strip.  ;D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on May 07, 2015, 19:29:20
Carson is just another on the list of also rans. His personal beliefs (unless his bat poop comments are just pandering) won't sell outside the religious / social conservatives. He's already had to backtrack on the homosexuality is a choice meme with the comments about straight prisoners choosing to be homosexual in prison. From some of the interviews I've seen, he can tend to be abrasive when pressed or challenged on issues that flow against the mainstream public.

And this is another reason why Ben Carson isn't going to go far out of the gate. His basic understanding of the US Constitution leaves a lot to be desired.

Ben Carson: Federal Government Doesn't Need To Recognize Gay Marriage SCOTUS Ruling

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/ben-carson-federal-government-doesnt-need-recognize-gay-marriage-scotus-ruling

Quote
Yesterday on Newsmax TV, Ben Carson said that the federal government does not need to recognize a Supreme Court decision on gay marriage because the president is only obligated to recognize laws passed by Congress, not judicial rulings.

“First of all, we have to understand how the Constitution works, the president is required to carry out the laws of the land, the laws of the land come from the legislative branch,” Carson said. “So if the legislative branch creates a law or changes a law, the executive branch has a responsibly to carry it out. It doesn’t say they have the responsibility to carry out a judicial law.”

He also added that members of the judiciary should have term limits in order to “adjust with the times.”

Carson, who announced his campaign for president on Monday, has previously floated the idea of impeaching judges who back marriage equality.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on May 15, 2015, 14:51:04
Marco Rubio throws his hat into the ring as well?

Politico (http://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/marco-rubio-2016-ready-president-foreign-policy-117910.html#ixzz3aEMLRF3c)

Quote
Marco Rubio: I’m ready to become commander in chief

By MICHAEL CROWLEY and KATIE GLUECK 5/13/15 3:43 PM EDT Updated 5/14/15 11:26 AM EDT
In a Wednesday foreign policy address, Marco Rubio staked a claim to being the Republican presidential field’s toughest — and most qualified — candidate on national security, capping a four-year effort to cultivate expertise in an area of top concern for GOP voters.
In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, Rubio alleged that President Barack Obama has flinched from a dangerous world and argued for “American strength [as] a means of preventing war, not promoting it.”

(...SNIPPED)



Foreign Policy (http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/05/15/marco-rubio-jack-kennedy-intervention-republican-presidential-candidate/?utm_content=bufferf0e43&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer)

Quote
Marco Rubio Is No Jack Kennedy – and We Don’t Need One, Either
Why America is better off without a “pay any price, bear any burden” president.


Marco Rubio, the Republican presidential hopeful from Florida, opened his remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) earlier this week by quoting from the last speech President John F. Kennedy gave before his assassination. Kennedy had insisted that by making America stronger he had advanced the cause of world peace. By contrast, Rubio observed, President Barack Obama had entered office believing that “America was too hard on our adversaries,” and that the world would benefit if “America took a step back.”

It was a deft bit of oratory. Kennedy, after all, was, like the 43-year-old Rubio, young, brash, optimistic — and a member of the U.S. Senate. Citing a Democrat allowed Rubio to imply to CFR, a nonpartisan body whose centrist internationalism constitutes a heresy for Republican ideologues, that he represents an older, bipartisan tradition. Republican presidential candidates don’t go to CFR to win votes, after all, but to acquire a sheen of elite legitimacy. The boyish Rubio knows he needs that.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on May 31, 2015, 17:50:03
If this is what the Democrats truly represent, then the next election is goig to be very ugly indeed:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/05/31/mattress-girl-and-pajama-boy/

Quote
MATTRESS GIRL AND PAJAMA BOY
by PETER ALBERICE31 May 201518

In the neighborhood where I lived growing up, many of the fathers were working class veterans who were supporters of Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman.

The Truman Democrats were part of the great wave of post-war Americans who worked hard, supported their families, and provided a better life for their children than the life they experienced during the Great Depression.

With the election of John Kennedy, one could argue that the Democratic Party believed that the United States was a great nation and a beacon of hope for the entire world. Under JFK, the economy grew to the benefit of all through across-the-board tax cuts. We as a nation took an unambiguous stance in understanding the threat of Communism and supported our allies in resisting that threat. We embarked on the space program which has yielded immense benefit to all of us with advances in manufacturing, computer science and medical technology.

Lyndon Johnson began the transformation of the Democratic Party of Harry Truman and John Kennedy. With the advent of the Great Society, LBJ created the dependency plantation that has undoubtedly created a multi-generational underclass. The result of this effort is the perpetual poverty that plagues many inner city neighborhoods and rural areas in our country. Jimmy Carter continued the decline by his lack of fortitude in understanding the ongoing threat of the Soviet Union and the rise of Islamic Fascism.

Bill Clinton was a successful president in many ways because he had to pivot after his first term and work with Congress in order to pass welfare reform and other pieces of legislation. He also benefited greatly from the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the window of relative peace the world experienced through most of the 1990s. Clinton, however, pushed for greater home ownership for under-qualified buyers, which ultimately led to the 2008 financial crisis. The rise of single-issue politics as opposed to the broader world view of Truman and Kennedy began to redefine the Democratic Party.

Barack Obama was elected in 2008 partly because the country wanted new ideas and felt it was time to elect a minority candidate as president. For the first two years of his administration, all of the progressive ideas that were a result of the emphasis on single issues rather than an integrated understanding of the dynamics of a capitalist economy and a constitutional form of government drove the Democratic Party agenda.

Under Obama, divisiveness and the politics of envy overrode the unity and a sense of purpose under JFK that the party once stood for. “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” has been replaced by “You didn’t build that.”

“My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man” has become “leading from behind.”

The Democratic Party will continue to champion divisiveness through single-issue political infighting, a failed progressive economic agenda, and an almost nonexistent foreign policy. The party that once stood with our allies abroad and supported robust economic growth has been replaced by whiny radical feminism and an overwrought sense of entitlement.

Mattress Girl and Pajama Boy are the new Democratic Party; Truman and Kennedy would be embarrassed.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: milnews.ca on June 10, 2015, 10:37:13
Now this (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/06/09/the-shark-from-jaws-is-polling-better-than-all-of-the-2016-candidates/?hpid=z6), from the "Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve" file ....
Quote
Think about all the things you look for in a presidential candidate: a solid economic plan. Maybe some foreign policy experience. And how about insatiable bloodlust and multiple rows of serrated teeth?

As it turns out, the shark from the Jaws movies has better favorability numbers than any politician included in the latest Washington Post-ABC News survey. Ditto for The Terminator. Same for Darth Vader ....
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cavalryman on June 10, 2015, 11:34:26
I'd vote for Darth Vader   :Jedi:
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on June 10, 2015, 20:27:49
I feel bad for Marco Rubio. He doesn't have any rating, positive or negative. Marco Who? ;D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on June 10, 2015, 23:09:22
Given the ever growing unreliability of polls and polling, I would not hold my breath until we see the actual vote count. This includes the primaries.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on June 12, 2015, 23:12:18
The Dems are suffering from primary syndrome just like the GOP did in 2012 and 2014, this over support for fast tracking free trade agreements.

http://www.democracyforamerica.com/blog/896-breaking-dfa-warns-dems-vote-fast-track-amp-we-will-search-for-opportunities-to-primary-you

Quote
Ahead of today's votes on the Medicare-cutting Trade Adjustment Assistance Legislation and Fast Track bill, Democracy for America wanted to lay out the stakes for those Democrats still contemplating voting for it.
 
Statement from Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America to members of Congress about today's votes:
 
"Ahead of today's votes we wanted to be very clear to Democratic members of Congress:  If you vote for either Medicare-cutting Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation or Fast Track Authority for the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership, we will not lift a finger or raise a penny to protect you when you're attacked in 2016, we will encourage our progressive allies to join us in leaving you to rot, and we will actively search for opportunities to primary you with a real Democrat.
 
"Those primaries could happen next year or they could happen in election cycles to come, but, make no mistake, today's vote to cut Medicare and fast track the destruction of American jobs will be remembered and will either haunt you or make you a hero." -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

 
Like many others, DFA's members  have literally been battling Fast Track for the TPP for years -- so this isn't a statement we make lightly...
 
I'll also note, since our founding in 2004, DFA's one million members have raised and contributed more than $32.7 million and made more than 10.1 million volunteer calls to help successfully elect 831 progressive candidates nationwide.

And Pelosi isn't helping the matter:

How Pelosi broke with Obama
Her final-hour move against the president’s trade agenda marks a low point in a relationship that produced his biggest achievements.


http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/how-pelosi-broke-with-obama-118961.html?hp=t1_r

Quote
It had come to this: Nancy Pelosi needed John Boehner to help save her party and her president from an ugly public meltdown.
By Friday morning, it was clear that a crucial piece of Barack Obama’s trade initiative was barreling toward defeat. Democrats were disjointed, dispirited, even angry in some cases. At the same time, they knew that they – not Republicans – would shoulder much of the blame for killing the president’s top legislative priority and for the ensuing spectacle of a party at war.

So just before noon, with debate already underway on the House floor, Pelosi picked up the phone and called Boehner to inform him that a must-pass component of the White House trade package was going to fail. It was the second such warning from Pelosi to Boehner in two days.

“Are you still going ahead?” Pelosi asked him, according to sources familiar with the call. “Are you going to pull the bill?”
No, he wasn’t, Boehner replied. This was his best chance to push fast-track trade authority across his unpredictable House floor, he told Pelosi.

Hours later, the House resoundingly defeated Trade Adjustment Assistance, a federal aid program to help workers who lose their jobs to free trade. The vote effectively scuttled Obama’s bid for fast-track trade authority – though Republicans may try to revive it in the coming days or weeks – because it was conditioned on approval of the jobs bill.

Pelosi was a minor player for much of Obama’s push to secure authority to clinch the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation pact that would be the largest free-trade deal in history. But as the vote neared, and major Democratic opposition bubbled to the surface, she was in a wrenching position: naturally inclined to deliver for a president she’s worked hand-in-glove with for years, but all-too-aware of the strong progressive winds within her caucus against a deal Democrats believe would jilt American workers.

Up until moments before Friday’s vote, Pelosi hadn’t told a soul how she was going to vote on TAA or Trade Promotion Authority, the fast-track trade law Obama was seeking.

And Hillary is taking flack for being non committal.

Progressives lash out at Clinton on trade
Despite racking up a win in the House on Friday, progressives condemn Hillary’s lack of leadership on the issue.


Quote
Liberals have a message for Hillary Clinton in the wake of Friday’s House vote on trade: Refusing to take a stand is worse than standing against us.

Anti-trade Democrats, including influential activists in early primary states, say that Clinton’s vague comments on the campaign trail about fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a measure put in grave danger on Friday by a revolt among House Democrats — signal her silent support for the ambitious free trade expansion. What’s worse, they say, is that her strategic silence renews suspicions about her authenticity.

“If you really want to be a leader, you really ought to say where you are on an issue,” said Ken Sagar, president of the Iowa AFL -CIO.
“It was a missed opportunity,” said New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, the progressive leader who has declined to endorse Clinton several times despite running her 2000 Senate campaign.

Even as organized labor and progressives prevailed on Friday with House Democrats holding firm against pressure from the White House to approve a measure needed to seal the larger trade deal, condemnation of Clinton was still swift and sharp

“No one’s surprised. No one. No one. No one,” said New Hampshire liberal activist and radio host Arnie Arnesen. “The fact that she took no position is exactly what we expected … If you’re running only to be safe, then how can you lead? How can you lead? I don’t see leadership. I see fear.”
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on June 26, 2015, 23:33:22
It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court decisions upholding Obamacare and making same sex marriage legal in all 50 states plays out over the next 16 months (really, 16 months  :facepalm: ).

The conservative base is now up in arms, and if the GOP can keep that fire stoked, it may well be enough to counter the Dem get out the vote.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Jed on June 27, 2015, 12:11:36
16 months of painfully watching a slow motion train wreck.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: tomahawk6 on June 28, 2015, 19:20:47
There will be strong incentives to get a Republican President and replace Boehner and McConnell.A Republican President then can begin work on putting his stamp on the Supreme Court.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on June 28, 2015, 19:57:46
It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court decisions upholding Obamacare and making same sex marriage legal in all 50 states plays out over the next 16 months (really, 16 months  :facepalm: ).

The conservative base is now up in arms, and if the GOP can keep that fire stoked, it may well be enough to counter the Dem get out the vote.

In a very important sense, these actions by the Supreme court essentially negate the idea of a Republican democracy in America. Evidently the plain language of legislation no longer matters, only what the SCOTUS decides it should mean. (the technical condition of people ruled over by the whims of others is "slaves").

While this has been an ongoing trend for many years (aided and abetted by a lazy Congress which writes sloppy legislation and allows the bureaucracy to do most of the work by creating regulations with the effect of laws), this won't be reversed even with a majority Republican Congress and President. Indeed, there may be an even worse impasse than the current gridlock (which is there by design, BTW, since the Founders were pretty clear they were against things being railroaded through the Congress, but rather wanted all ideas and opinions up for debate and reflection before action was taken), as the SCOTUS fights the Congress tooth and nail via court cases to strike down and redefine legislation in ways the Legislature never intended. If this sounds familiar, we just got there earlier via the "Charter".
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on August 01, 2015, 01:45:27
Trouble brewing for the perceived frontrunners of both sides:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0Q62RQ20150801)

Quote
Exclusive: Donald Trump's companies have sought visas to import at least 1,100 workers
Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:06pm EDT
US Presidential Candidate Donald Trump points as he stands outside his hotel

By Mica Rosenberg, Ryan McNeill, Megan Twohey and Michelle Conlin

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Donald Trump is staking his run for U.S. president in part on a vow to protect American jobs. But this month, one of his companies, the elite Mar-a-Lago Club resort in Florida, applied to import 70 foreign workers to serve as cooks, wait staff and cleaners.

A Reuters analysis of U.S. government data reveals that this is business as usual in the New York property magnate's empire.

Trump owns companies that have sought to import at least 1,100 foreign workers on temporary visas since 2000, according to U.S. Department of Labor data reviewed by Reuters. Most of the applications were approved, the data show.

(...SNIPPED)



Foreign Policy (http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/07/31/new-emails-from-clintons-private-server-contain-information-on-embassy-security-issues/?utm_content=buffer7d1dc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer)

Quote
New Emails From Clinton’s Private Server Contain Information on ‘Embassy Security Issues’

Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, maintains that she did not send classified materials using a personal email account and an Internet server kept at her home in Chappaqua, New York. But a new batch of correspondence, released by the State Department Friday afternoon, shows that she and her aides did share sensitive information — including potential vulnerabilities in American diplomatic facilities overseas — over her private network.

Some 41 messages, dated between March and December of 2009, have large portions that have been redacted and labeled “B1,” for the Freedom of Information Act exemption allowing the government to withhold or redact documents in the interests of national defense or foreign policy. Some of the emails are redundant, meaning there are multiple versions of the same message being sent back and forth. One message in particular, dated September 21, 2009, stands out, because it deals with the very topic at the center of the inquiry into Clinton’s emails: embassy security.

An email written by Daniel Smith, who served as executive secretary of state under Clinton, contains a large redacted section about “two embassy security issues.” Suspicion about Clinton’s personal email use surfaced as Republicans investigated the September 11, 2012, attack at a State Department outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Three other Americans also died.

(...SNIPPED)


Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on August 03, 2015, 20:37:21
Something amusing from last month: Hillary Clinton: " I did not have sexual relations with that president!"  ;D

Cleveland Sun (http://national.suntimes.com/national-world-news/7/72/1439202/bill-clinton-may-not-be-chelsea-clintons-biological-father/)

Quote
Report: Bill Clinton might not be Chelsea Clinton's biological dad

WRITTEN BY SCOTT SUTTON POSTED: 07/09/2015, 09:32AM
Chelsea Clinton has “secretly undergone a DNA test,” and it looks like former President Bill Clinton might not be her biological father.

That’s according to a National Enquirer report released Thursday, which says that Hillary’s former law partner Webb Hubble might be the father.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on August 06, 2015, 11:22:07
A poorly timed attempt to unseat Boehner?

Yahoo Finance (https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/gop-civil-war-quietly-exploded-192628132.html)

Quote
The GOP civil war has quietly exploded back into the open — and it could get nastier than ever
By Brett LoGiurato | Business Insider – Sun, 2 Aug, 2015 3:26 PM EDT

It marked perhaps the most bombastic challenge to House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) leadership, and another point at which long-simmering tensions within the Republican caucus have exploded out into the open.

Meadows introduced a resolution on Tuesday that aims to force Boehner from his post. The resolution will now be referred to a powerful House committee full of members loyal to Boehner, and has no chance of succeeding. But the message he had attempted to send was clear.

"The House of Representatives, to function effectively, in the service of all citizens of this country, requires the service of a Speaker who will endeavor to follow an orderly and inclusive process without imposing his or her will upon any Member thereof," Meadows wrote in the resolution.
When Republicans took back control of the Senate and gained a bigger majority in the House of Representatives last year, their leaders promised an era of more responsible governance. But as Congress lurches toward a jam-packed legislative schedule this fall, infighting in both the House of Representatives and the Senate threatens that vow.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 06, 2015, 13:13:17
A poorly timed attempt to unseat Boehner?

Yahoo Finance (https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/gop-civil-war-quietly-exploded-192628132.html)

His departure would be a game changer in the House.Couple that with ousting McConnell and maybe the GOP can redeem itself.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on August 06, 2015, 23:34:30
Trump was reportedly observed as "sharp" in tonight's GOP Primaries debate.

Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/08/06/sparks-fly-at-opening-gop-debate-as-trump-wont-pledge-no-independent-run/)

Quote
PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES

Christie, Paul clash over NSA as Trump becomes lightning rod

The prime-time Republican debate opened with sparks flying over Donald Trump’s refusal to rule out an independent run, seemingly opening the floodgates for the rest of the field to define their differences – with the debate catching fire in a heated exchange between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

Long-simmering tension between Christie and Paul exploded when Christie stood by his criticism of the senator for opposing NSA bulk collection of American phone data.

Paul said he’s “proud of standing for the Bill of Rights,” but Christie called his stance “completely ridiculous” – suggesting he wants to cherry-pick only some data.   

“When you’re sitting in the subcommittee just blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that,” Christie said.
(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on August 11, 2015, 00:36:28
 ;D Ha! The article writer described these two men as two "self-important" people sticking together.

Foreign Policy (https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/08/10/self-important-emirati-tycoon-endorses-self-important-u-s-tycoon-for-president-donald-trump/)


Quote
Billionaires Sticking Together: Emirati Tycoon Endorses U.S. Tycoon for President

(...article at link above)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on August 11, 2015, 11:04:29
"You're Fired!" (Trump to Obama next year?)  ;D

Canadian Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/sultan-slurs-donald-trump-explains-passion-putdowns-080031805.html)

Quote
The sultan of slurs: Donald Trump explains his passion for putdowns

By Alexander Panetta, The Canadian Press

WASHINGTON - Anyone professing shock over the symphony of personal slurs delivered by Donald Trump clearly wasn't paying attention to him before he became a presidential candidate.
For more than a quarter-century, he's chronicled in exhaustive detail his passion for put-downs. He's written, granted interviews and tweeted repeatedly about the value of vengeance.
He even titled an entire book chapter, ''Revenge.''
His current political rivals John McCain, Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, Carly Fiorina, and Fox News personality Megyn Kelly, will recognize the modus operandi spelled out in his pre-politics musings.

(...SNIPPED)


Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on August 11, 2015, 21:49:31
Trump may think he may be gaining, but his alienating of US veterans starting with McCain will bite him back at the actual election 2016 if he ever gets the GOP nomination. Veterans are one of the largest voter demographics that consistently vote Republican in the US.

CBC (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/donald-trumps-appeal-angry-republicans-090000647.html)

Quote
Donald Trump's appeal to 'angry' Republicans keeps hopes alive
CBC – 14 hours ago


Donald Trump seems to have a knack for insulting wide voter demographics — Mexican-Americans, veterans, women — at least according to his critics.

Despite frequently making headlines for these crass remarks, Trump continues to come out ahead of his 16 opponents in the race to secure the Republican U.S. presidential nomination.

The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, taken after last week's first candidates' debate and Trump's celebrated feud with a female television anchor, found him with essentially the same support, 24 per cent, double his closest rival, that he had going into the event.

"There's an old saying that nobody ever went broke underestimating the good taste of the American people," says Lewis Gould, author of The Republicans: A History of the Grand Old Party.
The politically incorrect, tell-it-like-it-is wannabe politician is an example of that, Gould says.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on August 12, 2015, 20:44:25
An interesting write up of Governor Scott Walker. He has a relatively solid record in office, and looking at how he handled the massive attacks brought against him by the Left suggests he isn't "boring" in any ususal sense of the word; perhaps quiet and methodical mighyt be a better description:

https://ricochet.com/scott-walker-and-a-return-to-normalcy/

Quote
Scott Walker and a ‘Return to Normalcy’
Jon Gabriel, Ed.
August 11, 2015 at 6:21 pm

Despite what The Donald and Jeb! and Carly said in last week’s debate, Scott Walker’s closing statement tackled an even larger elephant in the room: “I’m a guy with a wife, two kids, and a Harley. One article called me ‘aggressively normal.’” The Wisconsin Governor’s detractors aren’t as euphemistic. Let’s face it: Scott Walker is B-O-R-I-N-G.
 
He brags about the bargain rack at Kohl’s. He spends his Sunday mornings at church and his Sunday afternoons watching the Packers. He live-tweets his haircuts and getting the oil changed in his Saturn. His only unhealthy obsession seems to be an addiction to hot ham and rolls after church. (He really loves hot ham.)
 
In a news cycle filled with burning cities, beheaded Christians, and transgendered Kardashians, how does a dull Midwesterner stand out? He showed how Thursday night. To paraphrase a reporter talking about Barry Goldwater’s presidential strategy, “my God, Walker is running as Walker!”
 
This isn’t the first time a politician listed “aggressively normal” as a selling point. In 1920, America’s political climate was in even greater tumult than today’s. President Wilson had fundamentally transformed the federal government into an oppressive entity that regularly jailed detractors, instituted a then-unimaginable level of regulation, and created the first income tax. Our battered soldiers returned from the charnel houses of Europe to find an executive branch pushing for an even more robust internationalism. By the time the president was incapacitated by stroke (a fact hidden for months), most Americans had had enough.
 
In a field of flashy candidates, a dull Midwesterner caught the zeitgeist by calling for a “Return to Normalcy”:

“America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality.”
 
Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding’s promise of a boring four years delivered a landslide victory from an exhausted electorate. After dying in office he was replaced by our dullest president, Calvin Coolidge, who was succeeded by a third steady hand, Herbert Hoover.
 
In many ways Walker is the heir to Silent Cal; a leader focused on concrete results with minimal rhetoric and even less drama. He spent his time as a county executive and governor methodically rolling back the worst excesses of government as the world flailed around him. The unwashed progressives in Madison ranted and raved, but Walker remained the eye of the storm. Unions threatened his family, judges harassed his friends, and MSNBC’s Ed Schultz held a year-long St. Vitus’ dance, while the governor stretched in his church pew, dreaming about hot ham.
 
As an ideologue, I’m more attracted to conservatarian activism. If a candidate promised to cut government in half, I would think it was merely a good start. Forget balancing the budget, I want spending well below incoming revenues for the next decade. And if the next government shutdown doesn’t last a year, don’t bother. So, on paper, a “return to normalcy” shouldn’t be that appealing.
 
But Walker appeals to an exhaustion with politics in general. Like most small-government enthusiasts, I don’t want to think about Washington, D.C. every minute of every day. My ideal politician is someone I only hear about at election time and maybe in January when he submits his State of the Union address in writing. I would much rather focus my time on family, business, and art, than waste Christmas Eve watching C-SPAN’s live congressional feed. I long for the days when supermarket magazine racks featured celebrity weight loss tips instead of FLOTUS lecturing me about kale.
 
If we’re frustrated with politics now, we’ll be desperate for relief by November 2016. If Scott Walker is able to capitalize on that mood — starting with a definition of what “normal” even means anymore — the White House chef might need to stock up on hot ham and rolls.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on August 16, 2015, 19:28:41
Trump as commander-in-chief leading US troops back to Iraq?  (and into a protracted Syria land campaign)

Canadian Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/trump-says-mideast-nations-pay-us-support-send-131354485.html)

Quote
Trump says Mideast nations should pay for US support, would send ground troops to fight IS
The Canadian Press
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is outlining a foreign policy in which the United States would put ground troops in the fight against Islamic State militants and demand money from Middle East countries supported by the U.S.

In a wide-ranging interview that aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," the billionaire businessman and former reality TV star says he would consider shutting down the federal government over funding for Planned Parenthood. He says he isn't sure whether he has donated money to the organization in the past but adds that he would oppose providing federal funds if it continues providing abortion services.

Trump says he would ask nominees to the Supreme Court about their views on abortion and would take their views into consideration as he made a decision on whom to nominate. He says he opposes abortion except in case of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on August 16, 2015, 20:13:11
Trump is promoting Trump, as usual. What is interesting is that his unfiltered, un-PC ranting is so popular among American voters, but no one seems to have either picked up on that (voters are really interested and responsive to these views), nor have they figured out ways to incorporate some of the views into their own campaigns (in perhaps toned down or reworded formats).

I suspect the first person who can go "Trump" without actually being Trump and backing things up with some facts and figures will run away with the nomination.

Another interesting observation posted by Instapundit:

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/212601/

Quote
WHO ARE TRUMP’S SUPPORTERS? Not Who You Think. I think to some degree it depends on what you mean by “supporters.” Lots of people support Trump’s kicking sand in the faces of the media and GOP establishment who don’t actually support him for President.

UPDATE: It’s paywalled for some people, apparently, but I can get through fine. But here’s an excerpt for the gist, for those who can’t read the whole thing.
Today’s prototypical conservative base voters are infamously principled. Their views are hardened, their heels dug in. They are armed with all kinds of litmus tests and purity tests to make sure the “fake” conservatives are weeded out from the good ones, often to the chagrin of the party.

It shifts with time, but at the moment the ideological guillotine falls on issues like immigration (are you for a pathway?), abortion (are you for exceptions?), guns (are you for universal background checks?), education (do you support Common Core?) and climate change (do you think it’s real?). Departing from doctrine on just one of these can cast a foreboding shadow of skepticism upon an otherwise devout and disciplined conservative.

For Republican base voters, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush are unforgivably moderate. While to the rest of the country people like John McCain and Mitt Romney are sufficiently conservative if not “severely” conservative, to use Romney’s phrasing, to the hardened base voters the 2008 and 2012 presidential losses were proof that voting for the so-called electable candidate, instead of the principled one, leaves them with nothing to show for it. They got neither the satisfaction of voting their conscience — be it for Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum — nor the consolation of a less than conservative Republican in the White House.

The idea that in 2016 these voters would simply turn off their hard-wired orthodoxy and support a guy who has voted for Democrats, said “the economy does better under the Democrats,” refused to pledge to support the Republican nominee if it’s not him, openly defended Planned Parenthood, approved of exceptions to abortion bans, supported a single-payer health care system, backed an assault weapons ban and advocated a one-time 14.25 percent mega-tax on the wealthy to erase the national debt is, to put it in Trumpian language, really, really stupid.

Base voters will stick with candidates like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, who demonstrated their conservative bona fides by shutting down the government, filibustering the Patriot Act and pledging to repeal Obamacare. The more evangelically inclined will support Huckabee and Santorum, or maybe even Marco Rubio, who recently said he personally opposes any exceptions — rape, incest, health of the mother — for abortion.

So who is the Trump supporter, if not the conservative base? I’d argue it’s mostly disaffected moderates who no longer strictly identify with either party. They think the political system is rigged. They think politicians are corrupt. They want a total collapse of the ruling political class.

While Trump probably gets more support from the right, running as a Republican, he attracts from the left as well.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Old Sweat on August 16, 2015, 21:10:18
I was watching Fox News Sunday, and they played a clip showing Trump claiming he got his military advice watching "Meet the Press." I need confirmation before I embrace the theory that he is uninformed on matters of national security.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on August 16, 2015, 22:13:58
Well, on "Meet The Press" he said he gets it from the TV shows. So….

And with respect to Trumps current lead in the GOP polls, and Sanders on the Dems side the prevailing thought is that it is a reflection of how tired both bases are with the current state of national politics, and the lack of progress in anything meaningful with  respect to the real issues that the voters want addressed.

And it is also reflected in the better than expected standing of the so-called Washington outsiders such as Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. 
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on August 19, 2015, 01:07:31
Looks like it's gonna be a "Hold your nose and Vote" election. At least for the primaries.

Why No One Likes The 2016 Presidential Field

http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/08/18/432719996/why-no-one-likes-the-2016-presidential-field

Quote
The 2016 elections certainly aren't going to be a popularity contest.

In fact, the current crop of White House hopefuls is among the least liked by voters in recent history, with many starting out with very high negative ratings.

Usually such numbers spell doom for candidates, but it's a problem across the board for this field — and a marked change from previous presidential cycles.

"This is a time when people are unhappy with politicians and Washington, and people feel frustrated," said Iowa-based pollster J. Ann Selzer. "The mood of the nation is negative."

That was certainly borne out in last month's NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Hillary Clinton's numbers continued to be upside down, with a net negative rating of 11 points. It's a troublesome trend the Democratic front-runner has tried to shake, even airing new, softer biographical spots that talk about her mother's rough childhood.

But she's hardly alone. The candidate with the highest negatives by far is billionaire businessman Donald Trump — who is nonetheless currently leading in every GOP poll. He may have captured a quarter of the Republican electorate, but he remains off-putting for voters overall. He has a 30-point net negative rating, as just 26 percent of voters had a positive view of him while 56 percent held a negative view.


Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, still trying to shake his brother's shadow, is at a net negative 14 points. Also in the red are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose favorability took a hit amid the Bridgegate scandal, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who is beloved by the Tea Party but a polarizing figure otherwise.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee also start out with negative ratings too. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker nearly breaks even, but a plurality still doesn't have an opinion of him.

Among Republicans tested by the poll, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich had net positive ratings, but Kasich remains largely unknown.

It's Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, the insurgent Democratic candidate, who has the highest ratings among voters, with a 5-point net positive rating. It's not huge, but it speaks to the niche he's been able to tap into with his message. Sanders, like Kasich, is still relatively little known nationally.

General disapproval hasn't always been the case with presidential candidates. At the close of the 20th century, the economy was surging and the country was hopeful, and that was reflected in the upcoming elections. In September 1999, the comparable point in the presidential cycle of 2000, eventual winner George W. Bush had soaring approvals, as did another Republican hopeful, Red Cross President (and later North Carolina senator) Elizabeth Dole. Publishing executive Steve Forbes also had a net positive rating of 9 points.

Only then-Vice President Al Gore started off with a negative view, hampered by his time in the Clinton White House. But even Gore's deficit was minimal. His Democratic rival, former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley, had a high 20-point net positive rating. (It didn't help him much, as Gore wrapped up the nomination early in the primaries.)

The positive attitude of the public remained, for the most part, throughout the next decade. Remarkably, in the run-up to the 2008 elections, nearly every candidate began in positive territory, including Clinton. Even those seen more negatively at the beginning, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and then-Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, were within the margin of error.

Candidates who represented hope — primarily then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama — did the best in the poll. The eventual winner had a 17-point net positive rating, and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who spoke of uniting "two Americas," had a high positive rating as well. For Republicans, it was former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a symbol of perseverance after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, who was atop GOP ratings at this stage of the 2008 race.

But in 2011, something changed — the electorate became more polarized, the economy got worse and distrust of the government and Congress grew. Every candidate tested by NBC/Wall Street Journal in September 2011 had a negative rating, with Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann suffering the worst — even as she finished first in the Iowa Straw Poll. Bachmann would finish last in Iowa and drop out after.

Now in 2015, the country is even more polarized and Americans' regard for government is at an all-time low. According to Republican pollster David Winston, it's a symptom of how voters view politicians in general, not just these specific candidates.

"We've seen probably the longest extended negative attitude about the direction of the country that I can remember," Winston said.

Now, he says, the challenge is for candidates to not just lift their own ratings but to get people optimistic about the direction of the country.

"I think everyone is getting painted with that brush because the political discourse is so unsatisfactory," Winston said. "That's the challenge to the candidates on both sides — how do they turn this discourse into something that is actually meaningful for the electorate."

Selzer, the nonpartisan Iowa-based pollster, said the rise of social media is partly to blame for the growing negative shift.

"There are just far more outlets for people to learn far more and often, with a negative tone to it," she said. "The civility that used to accompany news coverage of presidential candidates is now in competition with other approaches."

But, Selzer said, that doesn't mean that voters won't eventually pick one of these candidates, even if they suffer from sustained negative ratings.

"People are able to hold what seem like incongruous thoughts and dislike them and still vote for them," she argued. "They'd rather have a Republican they hate than a Democrat they despise, and vice versa."
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on August 19, 2015, 01:27:01
The GOP meme du jour is birthright citizenship.

3 Things You Should Know About Birthright Citizenship

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/08/18/432707866/3-things-you-should-know-about-birthright-citizenship

Quote
Every few years, the common law concept of jus soli — or birthright citizenship — comes back into the news.

This time, it was thrust onto the stage by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who just unveiled an immigration plan. One of his proposals is to stop automatically giving citizenship to most people born on U.S. soil. Rival GOP candidate Scott Walker issued a similar call.

The concept of jus soli has a storied history in the United States that dates to the late 1800s.

Here are three things that will bring you up to speed on the issue:

1. It's in the Constitution

The issue of citizenship was brought into focus by a Supreme Court ruling in 1857 that essentially declared that blacks — even the daughters and sons of freed slaves — were not U.S. citizens.

In 1868, the U.S. ratified the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The first sentence reads: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

That language made it clear the Supreme Court's ruling in the Dred Scott case was overturned and that black Americans would enjoy U.S. citizenship.

2. It still left some big, open questions

As we've explained in the past, there's one key clause in that sentence from the 14th Amendment — "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" — that left wiggle room for interpretation.

As a Congressional Research Service report from 2010 puts it, what that clause means has been the subject of great debate. Did it mean that the children born to Chinese immigrants — who were once under law not permitted to become naturalized citizens — conferred birthright citizenship? Did it include Native Americans born on sovereign reservations?

All those questions were eventually settled in the 1898 Supreme Court case United States v. Wong Kim Ark.

Essentially, the court said the common law concept of jus soli should be applied to the 14th Amendment. Congressional Research Service explains:

"The Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment affirmed the traditional jus soli rule, including the exceptions of children born to foreign diplomats, to hostile occupying forces or on foreign public ships, and added a new exception of children of Indians owing direct allegiance to their tribes. It further held that the 'Fourteenth Amendment ... has conferred no authority upon Congress to restrict the effect of birth, declared by the Constitution to constitute a sufficient and complete right to citizenship' and that it is 'throughout affirmative and declaratory, intended to allay doubts and settle controversies which had arisen, and not to impose any new restrictions upon citizenship."
In other words, the 14th Amendment excludes children born to diplomats or hostile occupying forces and those born on foreign public ships.

Those are some very narrow restrictions that most legal scholars agree do not exclude the children of illegal immigrants from receiving automatic citizenship. To be clear, it means that current jurisprudence indicates the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants are given citizenship by the 14th Amendment.

As for Native Americans, the court ruled that the amendment did not confer birthright citizenship to those born on reservations, because they are not technically subject to U.S. jurisdiction. As Congressional Research Service reports, the Nationality Act of 1940 "finally and unambiguously declared all Native Americans born in the United States to be U.S. citizens."

3. Birthright citizenship is a New World philosophy

As University of California, San Diego sociologist John Skrentny told NPR in 2010, the U.S. is an anomaly in the world when it comes to this issue.

Most of the rest of the world, for example, gives people citizenship based on a concept known as jus sanguinis, literally "by right of blood."

"The idea there is that the nation, the people are bonded together through ancestry," Skrentny said. "The other notion of nationhood is generally understood as a civic notion of nationhood. And this is the idea that folks are bonded together by where they are, by locality and by the ideas that they might share. And that's what we have in the United States. There are folks who say that, you know, to be an American is to embrace an idea."

It is, Skrentny added, a philosophy that works well for countries made up of immigrants, such as the U.S. and Canada.

In 2012, the Law Library of Congress took a comprehensive look at France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the U.K. and found that none of those countries automatically give citizenship to children born to undocumented immigrant parents.

The Center for Immigration Studies, which tends to favor more restrictive immigration policies in the U.S., took a worldwide look at the issue in 2010 and found that "only 30 of the world's 194 countries grant automatic citizenship to children born to illegal aliens."

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Lumber on August 19, 2015, 15:10:06
CNN/ORC Poll: Donald Trump now competitive in general election

http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/19/politics/2016-poll-hillary-clinton-joe-biden-bernie-sanders/index.html

'Murica!

 :facepalm:
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on August 19, 2015, 15:51:51
CNN/ORC Poll: Donald Trump now competitive in general election

http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/19/politics/2016-poll-hillary-clinton-joe-biden-bernie-sanders/index.html

'Murica!

 :facepalm:

Before you facepalm, remember to ask why so many voters are apparently turning to Trump :

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/212601/

Quote
So who is the Trump supporter, if not the conservative base? I’d argue it’s mostly disaffected moderates who no longer strictly identify with either party. They think the political system is rigged. They think politicians are corrupt. They want a total collapse of the ruling political class.

What are the alternatives? The Democtrat front runner has apparently committed felony level security breaches as Secretary of State (and her activities involving interventions on the behalf of doners to the Clinton Foundation while acting as Secretary of State probably don't pass the sniff test as well), while their next most popular candidate is a 73 year old Socialist who's new ideas were already old when the New Deal was enacted.

The Republicans are still sorting through a huge field of declared candidates, most of whom are not really differentiated from the others, nor are (at this point) presenting a compelling message.

All the parties are avoiding issues that galvinized the Occupy movement on the left and the TEA Party movement on the right (and whatever you think of either movement, they still represent a large and vocal constituency), as well as trying to deep six any sort of substantive debate on the Immigration issue, despite the issue being front and center among a large majority of voters.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Lumber on August 19, 2015, 15:58:29
Quote
They want a total collapse of the ruling political class.

Or maybe (alternatively or in addition to) they are tired and exhausted with politics and just want to see a good show.

I am rather enjoying the show. :D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on August 19, 2015, 22:59:50
Another view of Trump. This may end up being a bit like the interpretation of Oskar Schindler in the movie version of Shindler's list: a project or idea which took a life of its own (in the movie, it seems Schindler was initially schmoozing with Nazi officials for a get rich quick scheme of his own, which eventually gave rise to the events for which he became justly famous. Donald Trump may have started his Presidential Campaign as a means of self promotion, but as more and more people are really listening to what he as to say....)

http://voxday.blogspot.ca/2015/08/scott-adams-predicts-president-trump.html

Quote
Scott Adams predicts President Trump

And also Vice-President Cuban, which would be nearly as amusing:

If you’re keeping score, in the past month Trump has *****-slapped the entire Republican Party, redefined our expectations of politics, focused the national discussion on immigration, proposed the only new idea for handling ISIS, and taken functional control of FOX News. And I don’t think he put much effort into it. Imagine what he could do if he gave up golf.

As far as I can tell, Trump’s “crazy talk” is always in the correct direction for a skilled persuader. When Trump sets an “anchor” in your mind, it is never random. And it seems to work every time.

Now that Trump owns FOX, and I see how well his anchor trick works with the public, I’m going to predict he will be our next president. I think he will move to the center on social issues (already happening) and win against Clinton in a tight election.

I also saw some Internet chatter about the idea of picking Mark Cuban as Vice Presidential running mate. If that happens, Republicans win. And I think they like to win. There is no way Trump picks some desiccated Governor from an important state as his running mate. I think Cuban is a realistic possibility.

He's certainly demonstrated himself to be a master of rhetoric. Whether that is sufficient to bring the Republican Party establishment to heel, I do not know. Regardless, one can certainly learn a lot from the man; he is like a walking, talking exemplar of Aristotle's Rhetoric brought to life.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Rifleman62 on August 20, 2015, 12:12:45
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/08/20/deceptions-hillary-clinton.html

The deceptions of Hillary Clinton

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano Published August 20, 2015

While the scandal surrounding the emails sent and received by Hillary Clinton during her time as U.S. secretary of state continues to grow, Clinton has resorted to laughing it off. This past weekend she told an audience of Iowa Democrats that she loves her Snapchat account because the messages automatically disappear. Not everyone is laughing.

Clinton admits deleting 30,000 government emails from her time in office. She claims they were personal, and that because they were also on a personal server, she was free to destroy them. Yet, federal law defines emails used during the course of one’s work for the federal government as the property of the federal government.

She could have designated which of the government’s emails were personal and then asked the government to send them to her and delete them from government servers. Instead she did the reverse. She decided which of her emails were governmental and sent them on to the State Department. Under federal law, that is not a determination she may lawfully make.

Yet, the 55,000 emails she sent to the feds were printed emails. By doing so, she stole from the government the metadata it owns, which accompanies all digital emails but is missing on the paper copies, and she denied the government the opportunity to trace those emails.

When asked why she chose to divert government emails through her own server, Clinton stated she believed it would enable her to carry just one mobile device for both personal and governmental emails. She later admitted she carried four such devices.

Then the scandal got more serious, as Clinton’s lawyers revealed that after she deleted the 30,000 emails, and printed the 55,000 she surrendered to the feds, she had the server that carried and stored them professionally wiped clean.

She had already denied routing classified materials through her server: “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. … did not send classified material.”

Then, the inspector general of the State Department and the inspector general of the intelligence community, each independent of the other, found four classified emails from among a random sample of 40.

Then the State Department inspector general concluded that one of the four was in fact top secret. Since it discussed satellite imagery of a foreign country and since it revealed intercepts of communications among foreign agents, it received additional legal protections that were intended to assure that it was only discussed in a secure location and never shared with a foreign government, not even an ally.

When Clinton was confronted with these facts, she changed her explanation from “I did not send classified material” to “I never sent or never received any email marked classified.” Not only is she continually changing her story, but she is being deceptive again. Emails are not “marked classified.” They are marked “top secret” or “secret” or “confidential.” Her explanations remind one of her husband’s word-splitting playbook.

Last weekend the State Department located 305 of her undeleted emails that likely are in the top secret or secret or classified categories.

What should be the consequence of her behavior with the nation’s most sensitive secrets?

If Clinton is indicted for failure to secure classified information, she will no doubt argue that if one of the above markings was not on the email, she did not know it was top secret. If she does make that incredible argument -- how could satellite photos of a foreign country together with communications intercepts of foreign agents possibly not be top secret? -- she will be confronted with a judicial instruction to the jury trying her.

The judge will tell the jury that the secretary of state is presumed to know what is top secret and what is not. The only way she could rebut that presumption is to take the witness stand in her own defense and attempt to persuade the jury that she was so busy, she didn’t notice the nature of the secrets with which she was dealing.

Not only would such an argument be incredible coming from a person of her intellect and government experience, but it begs the question. That’s because by using only her own server, she knowingly diverted all classified emails sent to her away from the government’s secure venue. That’s the crime.

Will she be indicted?

Consider this. In the past month, the Department of Justice indicted a young sailor who took a selfie in front of a sonar screen on a nuclear submarine and emailed the selfie to his girlfriend. It also indicted a Marine who sent an urgent warning to his superiors on his Gmail account about a dangerous Afghani spy who eventually killed three fellow Marines inside an American encampment. The emailing Marine was indicted for failure to secure classified materials. Gen. David Petraeus stored top-secret materials in an unlocked desk drawer in the study of his secured and guarded Virginia home and was indicted for the same crimes. And a former CIA agent was just sentenced to three years in prison for destroying one top-secret email.

What will happen if the FBI recommends that Clinton be indicted and the White House stonewalls? Will FBI Director Jim Comey threaten to resign as he threatened to do when President George W. Bush wanted him to deviate from accepted professional standards? Will Clinton get a pass? Will the public accept that?

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Lumber on August 20, 2015, 12:28:16
Dear god... did I just enjoy reading something published by Fox News???
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on August 20, 2015, 21:01:59
Dear god... did I just enjoy reading something published by Fox News???

No, it just feels that way.

It's like eating Chinese food.

You feel full and satisfied now, but in an hour you will feel empty and looking for something more substantial. >:D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on August 20, 2015, 21:06:39
How Google intends to take over the world, or How I learned to love Donald Trump and support the Communist PArty of the United States.

How Google Could Rig the 2016 Election

Google has the ability to drive millions of votes to a candidate with no one the wiser.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/how-google-could-rig-the-2016-election-121548.html?hp=m2#.VdZovEuRtC0

Quote
America’s next president could be eased into office not just by TV ads or speeches, but by Google’s secret decisions, and no one—except for me and perhaps a few other obscure researchers—would know how this was accomplished.

Research I have been directing in recent years suggests that Google, Inc., has amassed far more power to control elections—indeed, to control a wide variety of opinions and beliefs—than any company in history has ever had. Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more—up to 80 percent in some demographic groups—with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated, according to experiments I conducted recently with Ronald E. Robertson.

Given that many elections are won by small margins, this gives Google the power, right now, to flip upwards of 25 percent of the national elections worldwide. In the United States, half of our presidential elections have been won by margins under 7.6 percent, and the 2012 election was won by a margin of only 3.9 percent—well within Google’s control.

There are at least three very real scenarios whereby Google—perhaps even without its leaders’ knowledge—could shape or even decide the election next year. Whether or not Google executives see it this way, the employees who constantly adjust the search giant’s algorithms are manipulating people every minute of every day. The adjustments they make increasingly influence our thinking—including, it turns out, our voting preferences.

What we call in our research the Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME) turns out to be one of the largest behavioral effects ever discovered. Our comprehensive new study, just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), includes the results of five experiments we conducted with more than 4,500 participants in two countries. Because SEME is virtually invisible as a form of social influence, because the effect is so large and because there are currently no specific regulations anywhere in the world that would prevent Google from using and abusing this technique, we believe SEME is a serious threat to the democratic system of government.

According to Google Trends, at this writing Donald Trump is currently trouncing all other candidates in search activity in 47 of 50 states. Could this activity push him higher in search rankings, and could higher rankings in turn bring him more support? Most definitely—depending, that is, on how Google employees choose to adjust numeric weightings in the search algorithm. Google acknowledges adjusting the algorithm 600 times a year, but the process is secret, so what effect Mr. Trump’s success will have on how he shows up in Google searches is presumably out of his hands.

Our new research leaves little doubt about whether Google has the ability to control voters. In laboratory and online experiments conducted in the United States, we were able to boost the proportion of people who favored any candidate by between 37 and 63 percent after just one search session. The impact of viewing biased rankings repeatedly over a period of weeks or months would undoubtedly be larger.

In our basic experiment, participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups in which search rankings favored either Candidate A, Candidate B or neither candidate. Participants were given brief descriptions of each candidate and then asked how much they liked and trusted each candidate and whom they would vote for. Then they were allowed up to 15 minutes to conduct online research on the candidates using a Google-like search engine we created called Kadoodle.

Each group had access to the same 30 search results—all real search results linking to real web pages from a past election. Only the ordering of the results differed in the three groups. People could click freely on any result or shift between any of five different results pages, just as one can on Google’s search engine.

When our participants were done searching, we asked them those questions again, and, voilà: On all measures, opinions shifted in the direction of the candidate who was favored in the rankings. Trust, liking and voting preferences all shifted predictably.

More alarmingly, we also demonstrated this shift with real voters during an actual electoral campaign—in an experiment conducted with more than 2,000 eligible, undecided voters throughout India during the 2014 Lok Sabha election there—the largest democratic election in history, with more than 800 million eligible voters and 480 million votes ultimately cast. Even here, with real voters who were highly familiar with the candidates and who were being bombarded with campaign rhetoric every day, we showed that search rankings could boost the proportion of people favoring any candidate by more than 20 percent—more than 60 percent in some demographic groups.

Given how powerful this effect is, it’s possible that Google decided the winner of the Indian election.  Google’s own daily data on election-related search activity (subsequently removed from the Internet, but not before my colleagues and I downloaded the pages) showed that Narendra Modi, the ultimate winner, outscored his rivals in search activity by more than 25 percent for sixty-one consecutive days before the final votes were cast. That high volume of search activity could easily have been generated by higher search rankings for Modi.

Google’s official comment on SEME research is always the same: “Providing relevant answers has been the cornerstone of Google’s approach to search from the very beginning. It would undermine the people’s trust in our results and company if we were to change course.”

Could any comment be more meaningless? How does providing “relevant answers” to election-related questions rule out the possibility of favoring one candidate over another in search rankings? Google’s statement seems far short of a blanket denial that it ever puts its finger on the scales.

There are three credible scenarios under which Google could easily be flipping elections worldwide as you read this:
First, there is the Western Union Scenario: Google’s executives decide which candidate is best for us—and for the company, of course—and they fiddle with search rankings accordingly. There is precedent in the United States for this kind of backroom king-making. Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th president of the United States, was put into office in part because of strong support by Western Union. In the late 1800s, Western Union had a monopoly on communications in America, and just before the election of 1876, the company did its best to assure that only positive news stories about Hayes appeared in newspapers nationwide. It also shared all the telegrams sent by his opponent’s campaign staff with Hayes’s staff. Perhaps the most effective way to wield political influence in today’s high-tech world is to donate money to a candidate and then to use technology to make sure he or she wins. The technology guarantees the win, and the donation guarantees allegiance, which Google has certainly tapped in recent years with the Obama administration.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Retired AF Guy on August 20, 2015, 21:34:31
No, it just feels that way.

It's like eating Chinese food.

You feel full and satisfied now, but in an hour you will feel empty and looking for something more substantial. >:D

Kind of like the old saying about eating Chinese food in a German restaurant; two hours later you're hungry for power. 
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on August 26, 2015, 15:38:31
McDonald's branches in China probably aren't as bad as KFCs in China, which don't serve gravy, but instead have corn and egg tarts/ "Dan-ta" on the side:

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/25/politics/donald-trump-china-hamburger-mcdonalds/)


Quote
Donald Trump: No state dinner -- only Big Mac -- for China's president

By Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Updated 7:43 AM ET, Tue August 25, 2015

Washington (CNN)If Donald Trump is president and the leader of the world's second-largest economy comes to Washington, he can expect little more than a Big Mac from McDonald's -- O.K., make that a double.

Trump vowed Monday not to throw Chinese President Xi Jinping a lavish state dinner as the Chinese leader will enjoy in September when he visits the U.S. for meetings with President Barack Obama, a little over a year after Jinping hosted Obama in China.

"I'd get him a McDonald's hamburger and I'd say we gotta get down to work, because you can't continue to devalue (the Chinese currency)," Trump said Monday night on Fox News. "I would give him a very, yeah, but I would give him a double, probably a double size Big Mac."


(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on August 30, 2015, 13:06:00
While China is a serious foreign policy topic, all the potential GOP candidates are making weirder and weirder sound bytes on the subject (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDrfE9I8_hs):

Unlike what Trump said last week, there would be no Big Macs for Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping if Scott Walker is the U.S. president. hehehe.

Shanghaiist (http://shanghaiist.com/2015/08/30/walker_wants_chinese_leaders_taken_to_woodshed.php)

Quote
Presidential hopeful Scott Walker says Chinese leaders should be taken to the woodshed, not White House

In a race for the Republican nomination for president that is rapidly turning into a contest of who can say the meanest things about China, presidential hopeful Scott Walker from Wisconsin had the latest quip on Friday saying that Chinese leaders should be "taken to the woodshed" rather than the White House.
Earlier this week, Walker joined other Republican voices in calling for President Barack Obama to cancel an official state dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping over concerns about China's militarization of the South China Sea and cyberhacking.
Of course, Walker himself lobbied to meet personally with Xi back in 2013, appeared on Chinese state-run television in 2012 and has set up ventures to promote trade between his state and China.

(...SNIPPED)


Meanwhile, it seems there was a precedent for mass deportations (of thousands) from the US after all:

Canadian Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/donald-trumps-deportation-call-birthright-repeal-similar-1930s-125926642.html)

Quote
Donald Trump's deportation call, birthright repeal similar to 1930s' mass removal of Mexicans
The Canadian Press

By Russell Contreras
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call for the mass deportation of millions of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally as well as their American-born children bears similarities to a large-scale removal that many Mexican-American families faced 85 years ago.
During the 1930s Great Depression, counties and cities in the American Southwest and Midwest forced Mexican immigrants and their families to leave the U.S. over concerns they were taking jobs away from whites despite their legal right to stay.
The result: Around 500,000 to 1 million Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans were pushed out of United States during the so-called 1930s' repatriation.

(...SNIPPED)

Meanwhile, Scott Walker calls for a northern wall on the US border with Canada:

Canadian Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/wisconsin-governor-calls-building-northern-wall-along-canadian-141608786.html)

Quote
Wisconsin governor calls building northern wall along Canadian border a legitimate issue
The Canadian Press
By Kevin Freking
Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during a meet and greet with local residents, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, in Harlan, Iowa. Walker wowed Republicans at the Iowa Freedom Summit
WASHINGTON - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is putting a new twist on the topic of securing the border, a staple among the GOP candidates running for president, by pointing north.
Walker said in an interview that aired Sunday that building a wall along the country's norther border with Canada is a legitimate issue that merits further review.
Republican candidates for president have often taken a get-tough approach on deterring illegal immigration, but they usually focus on the border with Mexico. Walker was asked Sunday morning on NBC's "Meet the Press" whether he wanted to build a wall on the northern border, too. Walker said some people in New Hampshire have asked the campaign about the topic.


(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on August 30, 2015, 14:57:09
Meanwhile, Scott Walker calls for a northern wall on the US border with Canada:

Canadian Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/wisconsin-governor-calls-building-northern-wall-along-canadian-141608786.html)

Walker is a lightweight's lightweight

It's not like all of us Canadians are building catapults and sling shots to get across the border.   https://youtu.be/EdD0A9XIk6U

Last I checked, all the disgruntled 'mericans were planning to move north because of the pro gay rights, anti-capitalim creeping socialist attitudes, anti-gun, anti-pro life, anti-freedom, atheistic dope smoking degenerates that are taking over the country.

Welcome to Canada folks! Enjoy your new life.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: dapaterson on August 30, 2015, 15:38:37
Meanwhile, Scott Walker calls for a northern wall on the US border with Canada:

Canadian Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/wisconsin-governor-calls-building-northern-wall-along-canadian-141608786.html)

Well, that would have kept Ted Cruz out...
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: George Wallace on August 30, 2015, 16:50:33

It's not like all of us Canadians are building catapults and sling shots to get across the border.   https://youtu.be/EdD0A9XIk6U

Last I checked, all the disgruntled 'mericans were planning to move north because of the pro gay rights, anti-capitalim creeping socialist attitudes, anti-gun, anti-pro life, anti-freedom, atheistic dope smoking degenerates that are taking over the country.

Welcome to Canada folks! Enjoy your new life.

You got it all wrong.  It is like the Communists who built the Wall.  It isn't to keep people out; it is to keep people in.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on August 30, 2015, 17:23:21
You got it all wrong.  It is like the Communists who built the Wall.  It isn't to keep people out; it is to keep people in.

OK, if you put it that way, where do I sign up to start laying bricks? ;D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: milnews.ca on August 30, 2015, 17:32:45
Well, that would have kept Ted Cruz out...
As well as (maybe) a lot of smuggled guns (http://bit.ly/f8eAlo) ....  >:D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 30, 2015, 18:34:28
Its a dumb idea by a Governor that I like.Unfortunately for him and most of the field Trump has tapped into the feelings of many Americans.If Trump opts for a third party run he will give the election to a democrat.It happened before with Ross Perot.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on August 30, 2015, 19:35:50
How Google intends to take over the world, or How I learned to love Donald Trump and support the Communist PArty of the United States.

How Google Could Rig the 2016 Election

Google has the ability to drive millions of votes to a candidate with no one the wiser.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/how-google-could-rig-the-2016-election-121548.html?hp=m2#.VdZovEuRtC0

This isn't exactly new, Facebook has also done studies of how they can manipulate their users, and in that case the CEO is a prominent and very open supporter of the Democrats. Wikipedia is also well known for the propensity of their volunteer editors to constantly rewrite articles and ban people from doing updates or changes, particularly in anything which involves culture, politics and so on (to get a feel for how manipulative they really are and how far they are prepared to go, read this: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/30/wikipedia-climate-fiddler-william-connolley-is-in-the-news-again/).

Social media and the Internet are huge PSYOPS playing fields for the Progressives (most normal people have jobs and lives so cannot obsessively monitor Wikipedia pages and edit out inconvenient facts).
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on August 31, 2015, 22:00:11
And sure enough, Walker's idea is ridiculed in the Twittersphere/Blogosphere:

CBC (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/canada-u-border-wall-idea-210631774.html)

Quote
Canada-U.S. border wall idea ridiculed on social media
CBC – 3 hours ago

Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin a Republican contender for the president's job, has been ridiculed online since raising the idea of building a mammoth security wall along the Canada-U.S. border.
Walker entertained the idea during an interview on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, where he called the wall a "legitimate issue."

It's rare to see the Canadian border being discussed during a presidential campaign, as candidates more often talk about the southern border. Walker's fellow presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has called for a "real wall" to be put up between the U.S. and Mexico. And he plans to get the Mexican government to pay for it.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on August 31, 2015, 23:05:24
As if this campaign wasn't bad enough, we now have do deal with morons declaring their candidacy for 2020. When will this madness stop?

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: tomahawk6 on September 01, 2015, 00:07:44
As if this campaign wasn't bad enough, we now have do deal with morons declaring their candidacy for 2020. When will this madness stop?

Its called democracy cupper.Sometimes it aint pretty,but it beats the alternative. :camo:
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cavalryman on September 01, 2015, 00:22:24
Its called democracy cupper.Sometimes it aint pretty,but it beats the alternative. :camo:
You mean the dynastic Clinton/Bush struggles?  ;D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on September 01, 2015, 00:32:57
Its called democracy cupper.Sometimes it aint pretty,but it beats the alternative. :camo:

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: E.R. Campbell on September 01, 2015, 06:57:40
I just saw this on the web:

          (https://image-store.slidesharecdn.com/2e0b058e-25cf-4e7c-8123-b5deec76431b-medium.jpeg)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on September 01, 2015, 20:53:08
I just saw this on the web:

          (https://image-store.slidesharecdn.com/2e0b058e-25cf-4e7c-8123-b5deec76431b-medium.jpeg)

 :rofl:

You know, this explains a lot about what happened during Bill's time as President. :o
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on September 02, 2015, 19:38:05
Meanwhile Trump says he will change the name back (http://fortune.com/2015/09/01/trump-denali-name-mckinley/)...

BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34105298)

Quote
Mount McKinley's Alaska name Denali is restored by Obama


After decades of controversy, the name of Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, has been changed back to its original native Alaskan, Denali.
The 20,237ft (6,168m) peak was named by a gold prospector in 1896 after he heard that William McKinley had been nominated to become the US president.
US President Barack Obama announced the change ahead of a three-day visit to Alaska to highlight climate change.
But Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has denounced the move.
The new name Denali translates as High One or Great One and is used widely by locals.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on September 09, 2015, 16:59:53
And more of why Trump and Bernie Sanders are so popular:



Quote
NOT YET, BUT OBAMA IS TRYING: Victor Davis Hanson, “Is the West Dead Yet?”
 

Immigration is a one-way Western street. Those who, in the abstract, damn the West — as much as elite Westerners themselves do — want very much to live inside it. The loudest anti-Western voices in the Middle East are usually housed in Western universities, not in Gaza. Jorge Ramos is a fierce critic of supposed American cruelty to illegal immigrants — so much so that he fled Mexico for America, became a citizen (how is that possible, given American bias against immigrants?), landed a multimillion-dollar salary working for the non-Latino-owned Spanish-language network Univision, and then put his kids in private school to shield them from hoi polloi of the sort he champions each evening. Now that’s the power of the West. . . .
 
But as in mid-fifth-century Athens and late-republican Rome, there are signs that the West is eroding — and fast. The common Western malady is age-old and cyclical. . . . In the case of modern America, Britain, and Europe, the sheer material bounty spawned by free-market capitalism and legally protected private property, combined with the freedom of the individual, creates a sort of ennui. Boredom is the logical result of that lethal mix of affluence and leisure. .  . .
 
Take the ongoing mass exoduses from the Third World into Europe and the United States. . . .But note that no elite Westerner wants to face the cause of the malady: namely, that the failure in the Third World to adopt Western ideas of consensual government, equality between the sexes, free-market capitalism, individual liberty, and transparent meritocracy logically leads to mayhem and poverty. . . .
 
But it is worse than that: Western elites deny their own exceptionalism, and deny any reason for their own privilege other than the easy private guilt of citing the Holy Trinity of “race/class/gender.” . . .
 
The first casualty in a bored and would-be-revolutionary society is legality. And certainly in the West the law — whose sanctity built Western civilization — has become a joke. New Confederate-style nullificationists in San Francisco demand that federal immigration statutes not apply to their sanctuary city, even as they insist that a minor clerk in Kentucky be jailed for nullifying a Supreme Court edict allowing gay marriage. Kim Davis should indeed be jailed for obstructing a federal mandate, but only after the neo-Confederate nullificationist mayor, Board of Supervisors, and sheriff of San Francisco. . . .
 
What the West worries about is not poverty, but disparity: No one argues that the rioters at Ferguson did not have smartphones, expensive sneakers, hot water in their homes, air conditioning, and plenty to eat — it’s just that they did not have as many or as sophisticated appurtenances as someone else. Michael Brown was not undernourished or in need of the cigars he lifted. . . .
 
Virtually every American must palpably sense the country’s rapid decline since President Obama assumed office. It’s not just economic stagnation; it’s a moral, religious, cultural and legal free fall that turns the stomach. That’s why the 2016 presidential election isn’t so much about needing an “experienced” politician (i.e., someone who cares more about being a member of the D.C. club than listening to Americans living outside D.C.), or even the candidates’ positions on particular issues.
 
It’s about a desperate, visceral longing for someone who believes that America is the greatest force for good on earth, that it occupies a special position of power that in large part determines the stability and prosperity of the globe, and that its own goodness and quest for fairness should not be used against it by those who plot to destroy it from within.
 
As we free fall from the Obama era of weakness and indecision, Americans’ top priority seems to be avoiding career politicians whose well-rehearsed, mellifluous, politically correct words instinctively smack of arrogance, weakness, guilt, insincerity or paternalism. D.C. has turned into the Capitol city portrayed in the Hunger Games–corrupt, privileged, arrogant, condescending, manipulative, shallow, materialistic, weak, and utterly ignorant of the needs of those who live beyond its borders.
 
The political class has forgotten who is actually “boss” in our constitutional republic– We the People outside of D.C.  The boss is now interviewing presidential candidates to ascertain who understands this basic principle, and accepts that the job description entails being the leader of ordinary (not merely elite) Americans, and a staunch defender of American interests.
 
The political elites in this country are apoplectic that their “insider” candidates are doing so poorly. The rest of the country is enjoying the fact that they have choices other than candidates who espouse the same old interchangeable, predictable, politically correct B.S.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on September 12, 2015, 12:59:37
Some food for thought for the US GOP debates next Wednesday:

Diplomat (http://thediplomat.com/2015/09/gop-debates-china-as-foil/)

Quote
GOP Debates: China As Foil
Will China-bashing or cool-headed candidates prevail
?


By Mercy A. Kuo and Angelica O. Tang
September 10, 2015

(...SNIPPED)

GOP candidates have plenty of fodder to fire away at China – the impact of China’s recent stock market rout on global markets, aggressive island-building in the South China Sea, relentless cyberattacks into U.S. government data systems, ongoing human rights infringements, among many other issues.

We offer three measures of messaging for addressing China issues throughout the campaign season:

Cooler heads prevail. Pragmatism will prevail over politicization of China policy. U.S. leadership in Asia and toward China is best exercised with fortitude and principles. As former U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Platt advised in our Rebalance Insight conversation, “The Chinese have become accustomed over the years to China bashing and harsh rhetoric during U.S. presidential campaigns…That said, Beijing will be listening carefully. Candidates who articulate an informed, practical approach to U.S. engagement in Asia, stick up for their principles and their old friends (including Chinese), and espouse peaceful engagement across the region will earn respect in Asia and votes at home.”

Strategically global, tactically local. Skillful candidates will demonstrate strategic thinking  with tactical understanding of U.S. leadership in Asia vis-à-vis China. Contenders would be well-served to explain the benefits of bilateral cross-border investments and job creation in the context of intensified global economic competition. A default rhetorical device is to attribute weak U.S. economic performance to Chinese machinations as a zero-sum game. This approach may appeal to local constituencies, but oversimplifies structural challenges in both countries’ economies and an increasingly interdependent global economy. Concurrently, China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea warrants a strategic security approach that has local effectiveness with regional allies. Donald Trump’s China-chiding is a case study in how his brand of hyperbole garners vacuous hilarity. Scott Walker’s serial flip-flopping on multiple issues, including China – calling on President Barack Obama to show backbone and cancel the U.S.-China summit, while embracing Chinese trade opportunities for the state of Wisconsin – erodes the credibility of his candidacy. Having vaulted into next week’s first-tier debate line-up, Carly Fiorina has ratcheted up national security rhetoric to sustain a viable candidacy with calls for a more aggressive U.S. approach toward China. As Ben Carson’s poll position rises, his prosaic warning against overconfidence and ineptitude driving U.S. decline and fueling China’s rise lacks a bipartisan policy plan. Taking a swipe at the Obama administration’s excessive spending, Chris Christie has used the China card to reinforce his straight-talking-tough-guy persona amid sinking polls. Though Marco Rubio has eloquently laid out his pillars of U.S. foreign policy, time will tell if his strident stance on China’s human rights record is political theater or true moral resolve. In fundraising with U.S. expats in China and Hong Kong this week, Jeb Bush’s outreach to the American business community in Asia is expected to “elevate his stature in the region,” while his linkage between “anchor babies” and “Asian people” stoked the ire of Asian American communities at home.

Address the audience(s). Multiple audiences are in play at the debates – the American electorate, campaign supporters, donors, pundits, U.S. allies and their publics – Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, among others – opinion influencers, and rivals. Tailored messaging that resonates will convey presidential grit with a blend of wit and wisdom. While showmanship and gamesmanship will be on full display, winning candidates may opt to channel their inner Ronald Reagan with content and conviction in explaining why respected U.S. leadership in Asia and resolutely strengthening U.S.-China relations go hand-in-hand.

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on September 12, 2015, 15:43:48
And more of why Trump and Bernie Sanders are so popular:

This article is a bit of a laugh. Trump and Sanders are so popular because Americans are starting to realize the "system" as it exists is not working for them. The Clintons, Obama, and all of the rest of the current candidates on both sides of the aisle have been bought and paid for, and they won't really change much going forward. Trump would continue the same neo-liberal approach to the economy, but he throws in some good old-fashioned xenophobia and fascism.

Don't forget it was Bill Clinton's Democrats who completely dismantled the welfare system and removed the divide between investment and personal banking which led to the 2008 crash in the first place. There are no progressives here outside of Bernie Sanders, who is not as far left as Trump is to the right. We're seeing the classic move to the opposite ends of the spectrum that occurs when capitalism finds itself in crisis. Sanders may be able to save it if he follows the Roosevelt example and addresses the gross inequality that a main cause of the current social unrest. If he's not successful, whoever is elected will continue the deregulation and "death by a thousand cuts" approach to public services, exposing more and more Americans to the effects of the market. Then we'll get a real revolution on our hands, and it will probably be far-right in nature if the past is any indicator. Trump is extremely dangerous, and if  it's not him, it will be a future leader who will plunge the US into real fascism. I'm surprised we're here already, but 14 years of war have accelerated things a lot.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: SeaKingTacco on September 12, 2015, 15:52:39
Kilo-

I don't agree with much of what you post, but in this case, I think you are reasonably close to the mark.

The only point I would differ on is how much "danger" to the "system" that Trump would actually represent, if he won.  While I doubt he could be bought (who could buy a guy worth 5 billion?), how much change (good change or bad) can one man in the White House reasonably effect? Did Obama actually "change" anything of consequence?   :dunno:
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on September 12, 2015, 16:25:38
That's the billion dollar question.

I agree that Obama didn't change anything of consequence, and it's hard to tell if he even wanted to. In my opinion, it's corporate power in politics that is the central problem and the main threat to democracy and Obama is just as susceptible to it as Bush was.

Judging by the fierce resistance from Republicans against anything from Obama that resembled regulation of the corporate sector, no Republican candidate is interested in changing the system either, except in the opposite direction. So greater deregulation, and a rapid decrease in government footprint (except for the military and the security/intelligence apparatus of course). Trump has said he would do all of these things too. This of course benefits the corporate sector, and as the Democrats are either lame or bought off too there wouldn't really be any obstacles to this.

The danger with Trump lies in how he would justify this to Americans, and how he would use fear and xenophobia to draw attention away from the real problems. He's already ran a campaign based on these ideas, and it's getting ugly. Conservative Americans are justifiably angry about how things are going, but it's no secret that they're largely angry at the wrong thing. Where are these "liberals" they're mad at? The "socialists?" Socialists (outside of Sanders, though he is a democratic socialist, a different beast altogether) have exactly zero power in the US.

If you look at past crises in capitalism (1929 for example), the left was in a much stronger position. Organized labour was prevalent and in many places quite militant. There were radical political movements, both socialist and communist. These were of course balanced out by fascist movements on the far right.  This is why Roosevelt "saved" capitalism by swinging balance from capital back towards labour. That lasted until roughly the 70s, and since then capital has been clawing back the gains the poor and the middle class made.

So now, the Democrats (and the Liberals in Canada) have been pursuing the same fiscal policies as the right for quite some time with the predictable result that there isn't really a credible left in either country. Sure that's all that social window dressing, but none of that really addresses the structural economic issues that are really the cause of social unrest in the US. In short, with the current political situation and the power that corporate money has in politics, Trump (or ANY of the other Republican candidates) could do quite a bit of damage indeed. If Bernie won, we could see a drastic slow down of the slide into fascism or perhaps even a reversal, but making it stick would require real reforms. I can't imagine any Republican Senators or Congresspeople allowing that. The nonsense over Obama and accusations of treason, and suggestions of impeachment, the incredibly racist comments from some legislators and the appeal to far elements of the Tea Party all suggest to me that Sanders would be impeached or even assassinated before he could achieve anything meaningful.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on September 12, 2015, 17:13:40
Maybe you should try reading [color=black"The Forgotten Man"[/color] (http://www.amazon.com/The-Forgotten-Man-History-Depression/dp/0060936428) before you assign blame for a "crisis in Capitalism". After all, the first post war depression was swiftly overcome by simply doing nothing and the Roaring 20's commenced, brought to an end by repeated fiddling by the Federal Reserve triggering the 1929 crash, followed by the "New Deal" extending and deepening the Depression to such an extent that the worst year was 1938, almost a decade after the Crash.

It was a "crisis of Regulation" that caused these problems, much like the 2008 meltdown can be traced back to the Community Reinvestment Act and various shenanigans involving "Fannie May" and "Freddy Mac". And of course ham handed government intervention has kept the real unemployment rate (not the manipulated BLS released rates) at 10% since 2008, with much of the burden falling on the young and minorities, despite the massive "stimulus" and QE that has been going for almost 8 years now.

People like Trump don't have the answers, but then again neither do professional politicians. The voting public supports Trump because they are angry at being fed platitudes and obvious untruths. How or even if he is going to do what he says is almost beside the point now, people are hearing what they want to hear from a public figure and responding accordingly.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on September 12, 2015, 18:27:30
Maybe you should try reading [color=black"The Forgotten Man"[/color] (http://www.amazon.com/The-Forgotten-Man-History-Depression/dp/0060936428) before you assign blame for a "crisis in Capitalism". After all, the first post war depression was swiftly overcome by simply doing nothing and the Roaring 20's commenced, brought to an end by repeated fiddling by the Federal Reserve triggering the 1929 crash, followed by the "New Deal" extending and deepening the Depression to such an extent that the worst year was 1938, almost a decade after the Crash.

It was a "crisis of Regulation" that caused these problems, much like the 2008 meltdown can be traced back to the Community Reinvestment Act and various shenanigans involving "Fannie May" and "Freddy Mac". And of course ham handed government intervention has kept the real unemployment rate (not the manipulated BLS released rates) at 10% since 2008, with much of the burden falling on the young and minorities, despite the massive "stimulus" and QE that has been going for almost 8 years now.

People like Trump don't have the answers, but then again neither do professional politicians. The voting public supports Trump because they are angry at being fed platitudes and obvious untruths. How or even if he is going to do what he says is almost beside the point now, people are hearing what they want to hear from a public figure and responding accordingly.

None of  your points are borne out by reality unfortunately. A "crisis in regulation?" Is this what you think caused the 1929 crash? Or the 2008 crash? This is not a serious argument. The 2008 crash can directly be attributed to the repeal of Glass-Steagall Act just as the 1929 Crash is attributed to instability and over exposure stemming from over-speculating. The book you're referencing is by a libertarian author who also happens to chair the "Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation." It follows that she wouldn't accept the role of the New Deal measures in the recovery, as well as diffusing dissent from the Left.

You blaming Fannie May and Freddie Mac just underlines the simple truth that government was indeed legislating on behalf of Wall Street. Wall Street then used its considerable influence to secure the bail out packages. These represent the largest upward transfer of wealth in history. In effect, instead of "New Deal" type legislation focused on the poor and middle class, the government practiced corporate welfare on a massive scale in hopes of encouraging a return to growth. Well, since then Americans have seen little of the wealth being put back in the economy, and growth is still slow or non-existent as far as they're concerned. Hence the unrest. So we can agree that government intervention since 2008 has not been a good thing, but that's only because the intervention has been to bail out the banks. The CAUSE of the 2008 recession is undeniably a lack of regulation. This has been well-documented.

More broadly, deregulation has been taking place across many sectors in the US for decades now. The role of government is shrinking rapidly, just as conservatives would like to see. To suggest that our current problems are due to the presence of regulations is to reveal a crucial lack of understanding of what has been occurring since the 1970s. Conservative economic policy has won, the NDP and Liberals in Canada now agree that only business can drive growth, just as the Democrats and the Republicans agree. We've been heading toward that libertarian paradise for sometime now.

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on September 12, 2015, 23:54:48
I have to disagree on several points with what you have said Kilo. First, Thuc is correct in stating that the 2008 economic collapse was due to a crisis of regulation. This has been analyzed 17 ways from Sunday and all of the economic and financial experts agree on that point. As to how it was dealt with during and after the collapse and how that gets prevented in the future is where the differences fall.

In my opinion you have two distinct issues that are currently playing out right now that allow the populist messages from both Trump and Sanders to resonate with the unwashed electorate.

First is the complete contempt for the lack of effort by Congress to do anything other score points for one side or the other. Focusing on defeating the opposition, rather than working together to get the things done that need attention. People are tired of a do nothing congress. Both Dems and GOP share the blame in this, and the people seem to be willing to finally do a wholesale cleansing, rather than just sit and ***** about it.

Second is the extreme amounts of money that are dumped into the election cycle since the floodgates were opened up. When it takes over $2 Billion (and rising each cycle) to run a campaign on each side, it is getting obscene. Sitting Congressional members now spend more than half their time raising money. Your job starting on day 1 after your election is not making legislation, doing committee work or addressing the issues of your constituency. Your job on day 1 is to get reelected. And you can't get reelected without raising money. The people know this, and they are tired of seeing obscene sums going to pols for reelection. And this is why the perception that the system and the people in it are corrupt, and beholden to the big money interests.

As for your comment about parties running to the extremes of the spectrum as being "capitalism in crisis", I have to disagree strongly. As things have gotten more and more polarized with each cycle since Clinton's second term, both sides now have to run primary campaigns towards the opposite ends of the spectrum which appeal to their respective "bases", and then campaign in the general election pivoting back towards the center to appeal to the rest of the electorate. This has become more pronounced each cycle, but has been more visible with the GOP in the last couple of presidential cycles than it has with the Dems. You need to win the primary in order to get to the general, and you aren't going to win a primary by playing to the middle (especially in the GOP). I've watched it from the sidelines before moving south in 2001, and having been in the thick of it since, it's only getting worse.

People want a change. They are tired of the BS. That is why the so called political outsiders are making an impact this time around. And I use the term so called since some of those outsiders aren't as outside as they may be perceived (Saunders and Fiorina are two examples). But they aren't part of the party establishment or DC insiders, so they appeal to the people who are fed up with the status quo.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on September 13, 2015, 00:35:46
And Trump keeps going and going and going.

Reuters (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/trump-insurgency-lands-washington-dc-rally-illustrates-anger-211144329.html)

Quote
The Trump insurgency lands in Washington: DC rally illustrates anger within GOP
The Canadian PressBy Alexander Panetta, The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press – Wed, 9 Sep, 2015

WASHINGTON - From his spot in a camping chair on the lawn of Capitol Hill, Blair Owens stares at the famous domed building that produces so much of his frustration.
"I'm not angry," the retired mechanic and Vietnam veteran said Wednesday, seated near the U.S. Congress.
"I'm mad as hell."
He's mad at the liberals he accuses of bloating government and weakening national security, and he's mad at what he sees as their Republican enablers.
Up on a stage nearby, two politicians channel his rage. They're both presidential candidates, and darlings of the mighty anti-establishment movement now upending the Republican primary race.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on September 13, 2015, 10:25:42
More on the long term changes which are driving the current "insurgencies" by Trump and Sanders. While this may be appropriate for the "Grand Strategy for a Divided America" thread, the uncontrolled increases in spending and the political and social changes which are driven by the "entitlement" culture have reached a point where any net benefits have been totally swamped by fiscal bankruptcy (literal in the case of many US cities), regulatory burdens and political deadlock.

WRM and the American Thinker have also commented extensively about the collapse of the "Blue model" of governance; what this election cycle is really about is casting for a change which reflects the new demographic, economic and social realities, since many of the old political structures and institutions no longer do:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/09/from-madisonian-constitutionalism-to-wilsonian-statism.php

Quote
FROM MADISONIAN CONSTITUTIONALISM TO WILSONIAN STATISM?

That is how Dan Mitchell describes America’s fiscal evolution, as chronicled in a new report by the Joint Economic Committee. I will have to delve into the report before long, but for now let’s stay with Mitchell’s analysis:

Given my affinity for budget data, I was excited to learn that the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) just released “An Economic History of Federal Spending and Debt.”

This new publication is filled with fiscal information starting in the late 1700s.

To give you an indication, check out this chart which, in one fell swoop, provides more than 200 years of data on spending, revenue, and debt, along with information on major wars and economic dislocations.

Click to enlarge:

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 2.05.06 PM

You could study that one for a while. Dan offers this simpler chart, which shows federal spending as a percentage of GDP:

Federal-Spending-GDP-1790-2014

It is obvious that federal spending since WWII represents a sharp break with our prior history. Mitchell comments:

it symbolizes a very unfortunate change in the attitude about the proper role of the federal government.

A progressive philosophical shift in federal spending began under President Woodrow Wilson. …George Will—writing on Wilson’s underlying philosophy—succinctly contrasted Wilson with James Madison by noting, “Wilsonian government, meaning (in Wilson’s words) government with ‘unstinted power,’ is hostile to Madison’s Constitution, which, Madison said, obliges government ‘to control itself.’”

In other words, the left decided that government was a force for progress rather than a threat to liberty, so they wanted to undermine the Constitution’s limits on the federal government.

And once the Supreme Court acquiesced to this perversion of the Constitution’s clear intent, any limits of federal power were swept away (evinced most recently by John Roberts’ tortured Obamacare decision).

I can’t argue with that. But I would note a couple of additional points. First, the growth of federal spending has consisted mostly of expansion in entitlements, which now represent around half of the federal budget. Does taxing the young to support the old–not a traditional federal government function, to say the least–give the government the same control over the economy, or threaten our freedoms, to the same extent as other forms of government spending (e.g., funding the EPA and the IRS)? Unconstrained entitlement spending may essentially bankrupt the federal government one day, so I don’t mean to underestimate its importance. But are all forms of government spending equally “Wilsonian”?

Second, the explosion in federal spending has taken place alongside a similar expansion of state and local spending. I happened to obtain data last week on historic spending by my home state of Minnesota. The numbers are actual totals, not inflation-adjusted and not stated as a percentage of GDP. Still, the raw numbers are astonishing.

In 1960, the State of Minnesota spent $509 million. At the time, it probably sounded like a lot of money. By 2015, the state’s spending had exploded to $35.9 billion–more than 70 times the 1960 level. Just since 2000, the state’s spending has doubled. And this is without Social Security and Medicare driving the numbers.

Together, these trends have largely turned the United States into a nation of check-cashers. Small wonder that is seems harder, these days, to get people upset about big government. But government spending always carries a price tag, as the Joint Economic Committee’s report notes:

While more spending and a bigger federal government can mean more federal jobs, these jobs come at the expense of private sector resources, meaning fewer private sector jobs and lost economic opportunities. …there is an inverse relationship between federal spending and private payroll employment.

Whether concern about foregone growth can compete with the tangible reality of a government check–at least until the money runs out–remains to be seen.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on September 13, 2015, 12:54:49
I have to disagree on several points with what you have said Kilo. First, Thuc is correct in stating that the 2008 economic collapse was due to a crisis of regulation. This has been analyzed 17 ways from Sunday and all of the economic and financial experts agree on that point. As to how it was dealt with during and after the collapse and how that gets prevented in the future is where the differences fall.

In my opinion you have two distinct issues that are currently playing out right now that allow the populist messages from both Trump and Sanders to resonate with the unwashed electorate.

First is the complete contempt for the lack of effort by Congress to do anything other score points for one side or the other. Focusing on defeating the opposition, rather than working together to get the things done that need attention. People are tired of a do nothing congress. Both Dems and GOP share the blame in this, and the people seem to be willing to finally do a wholesale cleansing, rather than just sit and ***** about it.

Second is the extreme amounts of money that are dumped into the election cycle since the floodgates were opened up. When it takes over $2 Billion (and rising each cycle) to run a campaign on each side, it is getting obscene. Sitting Congressional members now spend more than half their time raising money. Your job starting on day 1 after your election is not making legislation, doing committee work or addressing the issues of your constituency. Your job on day 1 is to get reelected. And you can't get reelected without raising money. The people know this, and they are tired of seeing obscene sums going to pols for reelection. And this is why the perception that the system and the people in it are corrupt, and beholden to the big money interests.

As for your comment about parties running to the extremes of the spectrum as being "capitalism in crisis", I have to disagree strongly. As things have gotten more and more polarized with each cycle since Clinton's second term, both sides now have to run primary campaigns towards the opposite ends of the spectrum which appeal to their respective "bases", and then campaign in the general election pivoting back towards the center to appeal to the rest of the electorate. This has become more pronounced each cycle, but has been more visible with the GOP in the last couple of presidential cycles than it has with the Dems. You need to win the primary in order to get to the general, and you aren't going to win a primary by playing to the middle (especially in the GOP). I've watched it from the sidelines before moving south in 2001, and having been in the thick of it since, it's only getting worse.

People want a change. They are tired of the BS. That is why the so called political outsiders are making an impact this time around. And I use the term so called since some of those outsiders aren't as outside as they may be perceived (Saunders and Fiorina are two examples). But they aren't part of the party establishment or DC insiders, so they appeal to the people who are fed up with the status quo.

So you're saying the 2008 crash was due to TOO MUCH regulation?
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on September 13, 2015, 13:21:05
So you're saying the 2008 crash was due to TOO MUCH regulation?

No.  ::)

If you have been paying attention to any of the discussions during and since the 2008 collapse, you would know that it was a failure of the regulatory bodies to address the underlying issues. It was the blurring of the relationship between the regulatory bodies and the financial institutions that allowed the financial instruments that brought down the economy to be created. Financial deregulation  combined with misguided Fed policies created an environment ripe for a lending free for all with little or no oversight.

As I said, what is in dispute is the way it was handled during and after the crisis, and how effective the measure taken really were.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on September 13, 2015, 13:32:05
No.  ::)

If you have been paying attention to any of the discussions during and since the 2008 collapse, you would know that it was a failure of the regulatory bodies to address the underlying issues. It was the blurring of the relationship between the regulatory bodies and the financial institutions that allowed the financial instruments that brought down the economy to be created. Financial deregulation  combined with misguided Fed policies created an environment ripe for a lending free for all with little or no oversight.

As I said, what is in dispute is the way it was handled during and after the crisis, and how effective the measure taken really were.

....that's exactly what I have been saying. I mentioned the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the fact that legislative bodies are acting on behalf of Wall Street.  Read my posts again, we are in agreement. The crisis of capitalism that I am referring to stems from these developments. The system is no longer working for the majority, the balance of power has swung sharply towards capital.

I think you're getting confused by the language Thucydides used, specifically "crisis of regulation."  He is suggesting that regulation IS the problem and that's what led to the 2008 crash.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on September 13, 2015, 14:34:46
Yes, but what you aren't  picking up (and perhaps I'm not expressing it well) is that the bigger problem was not so much deregulation in and of itself, but rather a failure on the part of the regulating bodies to enforce the regulations that remained in place or were brought in to replace those that were repealed.

Regardless, the rise of the populist movements we are currently seeing on both sides of the ballot are more so due to an overall dissatisfaction with the current political environment of obstructionism and internal disruption within the 2 party system.

On the part of the GOP, it is a problem of having too many choices, with the Dems too few. As we mover closer to the start of the primaries and caucuses in 2016, we will see a winnowing of the GOP clown show to more realistic candidates with support coalescing around a more realistic group of candidates. I don't believe Trump will be able to sustain his position as frontrunner once this starts to happen.

Now on the Dem's side it is a different story. Clinton has baggage that even a full contingent of Sherpas couldn't deal with. Sanders appeals to the further left base elements. The remainder of the field (O'Mally, Chaffee and Webb) just don't have the national name recognition to get past the starting gate (which is too bad for Webb, as I think he would be a candidate that would be more appealing for the middle who get left out of the equation by both sides). If Biden does decide to get into the race, it may be more a result of Clinton's liability and her failure to move beyond that than anything else. And if that does happen, you may well see support of the more centrist elements move away from Sanders to Biden. Will it be enough to knock Clinton off the ballot? That's harder to call.   
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on September 15, 2015, 19:41:26
Seems there could be rumblings going on behind the scenes to entice Romney to come in as a late entry candidate to counter the Trump populism. However I don't think that it would work. The same problems he had last time would still be there, execpt maybe having a better prepared campaign staff.

Can Romney Save Us From Trump?
Why GOP poohbahs are seriously thinking about asking Mitt back into the race.


http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/09/mitt-romney-enter-race-save-gop-from-trump-213145

Quote
In a tastefully furnished conference room somewhere in the nation’s capital, leaders of the GOP establishment are popping antacids and shaking their heads. Donald Trump is the face of their party now — and there’s no stopping him.

In the latest CNN poll, his lead has grown, due to increased support among two groups they assumed would grow to hate him: Republican women and college graduates. Every candidate challenging The Donald has seen his numbers drop. Ben Carson may be next over his rather dubious decision to attack Trump on illegal immigration — the issue that propelled Trump to first place in the first place.

If only there were someone out there who could appeal to establishment voters, but also engender support from the rank and file. An outsider who has never worked in Washington. Someone with some “high energy,” without the need for caffeine.
Bet they all wish they’d been a little nicer to Mitt Romney now.

When the former Republican nominee first mused about entering the 2016 race, way back in January, he received a harsher welcome than the Apple Pencil. Nasty editorials. Anonymous quotes. Condemnation from pundits who used to champion him. Dismissive comments from donors.

Now these same Romney bashers would be the first to climb to the top of the tallest building on K Street and light up the Bat Signal for him. Or to use another analogy, Obi-Wan Ke-Romney, you’re their only hope.

Fortunately for them, there are vague stirrings in the Force that the former GOP nominee may again be toying with the idea of a late entry, even though a former aide (not Romney himself) recently denied it.

Romney’s certainly done just enough to keep himself in the headlines. Opposing the Iran deal, releasing adorable photos with his grandkids, tut-tutting over Republican candidates when they’ve crossed the line in their attacks, even filming a promo for Stephen Colbert’s new late night talk show.

Does any of this mean he’s running? Nope. But it does mean he is keeping a sliver of an option open. And might entertain entreaties from the GOP establishment — if it asks him really nicely.

And why shouldn’t he consider it? Right now, he’s the political equivalent of J.K. Rowling — a very rich person with nothing better to do but offer random musings as his days in the sun pass further and further behind him. (Rowling’s latest she-must-be-bored-out-of-her-mind observation — we’ve been mispronouncing Voldemort all along).

Could Mitt shake up the race? And, more importantly in their eyes, could he be the one to stop Donald Trump? The answers are yes, and maybe — if only he did the following:

1 Make them want you. Romney needs to pose as the reluctant candidate who only reluctantly would consider jumping into the race for king and country (and party). He needs people to come to him, to write op-eds asking him to run. In other words, to do what George W. Bush did successfully in 2000 and his brother tried — and failed — to do this year.

2 Avoid his advisers. We know what happens when Romney runs for president — he pulls together about two dozen “experts,” listens to dull PowerPoint presentations, and paralysis ensues. These guys cost him a fortune, while making a fortune, and guided him to a loss he could have avoided. They’re the types of guys (and gals) who first put the notorious 47 percent notion — the percentage of voters who’d never give him their support and therefore he could ignore — into his head in the first place. Romney won’t win with them. He doesn’t need them. More importantly, he doesn’t want to look like he needs them.

3 Laugh off his past. Romney spent much time in his past two presidential runs explaining his various policy reversals. Forget about them. You think Trump cares if he changes his position on something from one day to the next? He just moves on. Grownups can change their minds about things — if some journalists don’t like it, tough. Stick to one mantra: This election is about the future.

4 Trumpet (no pun intended) his own business record. Romney is a successful businessman and multimillionaire who, unlike Trump, seemed to spend much of his campaign trying to apologize for it. Romney should be proud of his record as a job creator and winner. He could even find a way to mimic my favorite Trumpism to date: “I’ll win so much, you’ll get bored with winning.” I, for one, would like to see that.

5 Be the guy in the documentary. 2016 is shaping up as the imperfection election — where guys with wild eyes, unorthodox hairstyles and impolitic remarks propel to the top of the heap simply because they do not look or act like the politicians who’ve disappointed everyone for so long. Romney is finished the minute he seems like Mitt Rombot — the type of spun candidate like Hillary Clinton who recently had aides declare to The New York Times that she will henceforth be funny and likable. Peasants, you may be amused by her now.

Not since the days of “Small Wonder” has anyone appeared as robotic and scripted on TV as Clinton — with the exception of Romney in 2012. The irony is that’s really not who he is at all. The Netflix documentary, “Mitt,” released after his loss to President Barack Obama revealed a witty, winning, self-deprecating man. A guy not afraid to make fun of himself and make mistakes. Which shouldn’t be too hard. Because that’s who he is in essence — a decent guy.

6 For goodness sake, pick a fight. Here’s the fundamental disconnect between Republicans and the voters: The GOP leadership is not fighting Obamacare. It is not stopping the Iran deal. It does not appear to be fighting at all. Trump is a fighter. That’s what people in the party want. Romney needs to show he’s a fighter too. Romney should take something he believes in — ideally something controversial and unorthodox — and fight like the dickens for that position. Without apology or retreat.

Just not with Trump. Anything but that.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on September 15, 2015, 19:50:43
This is the one thing that would ensure a huge GOP loss in 2016, regardless of the Dem's pick. And it looks like they are having a tough time avoiding it.

Government shutdown: How close are we?
A leading budget wonk explains just how bad it looks.


http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/09/are-we-on-the-verge-of-another-government-shutdown-000228

Quote
Congress has just 15 days left in September to reach a budget agreement and the stakes are high: Without a deal, the government will shut down for the second time in three years. The flashpoint this time could be Planned Parenthood: Republicans want to use the budget negotiations to defund the group after videos released this summer allegedly showed the organization illegally profiting from the sale of fetal tissue. Democrats have said they will not accept any budget that defunds Planned Parenthood.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the Planned Parenthood funding protest an “exercise in futility” in an interview with POLITICO, a sign he will not let the issue cause a shutdown. Whether House GOP leaders will take the same position as McConnell is unclear. The Senate and House have just 11 and 6 work days respectively before the end of September—little time to reach a budget deal and barely enough time to hash out a continuing resolution that lets the government limp along for another few weeks or months.

How do these last-minute negotiations affect government agencies? And is there a better way for lawmakers to reach a budget deal? To answer these questions, The Agenda’s Danny Vinik sat down with renowned budget expert Stan Collender, who formerly worked for both the House and Senate Budget Committees, writes frequently on budget issues for Forbes and is on Twitter as @TheBudgetGuy. He’s currently executive vice president and national director for financial communications at Qorvis MSLGROUP.

Collender isn’t optimistic: he’s not sure how Congress avoids yet another shutdown, and says it’s hard for agencies to function effectively when facing a potential shutdown: “It's just not a good way to run a railroad, let alone a country.” And he pointed out a pretty big irony: The minute Congress shuts the government down, it actually hands vast power to President Obama, who gets to decide what keeps working and what doesn’t.

Danny Vinik: What’s the current state of the budget showdown?

Stan Collender: Technically, it's a big mess. Congress and the president are supposed to agree on 12 appropriations bills for every year. The new fiscal year starts in October 1, and none have been agreed to. In fact, none are even close to being agreed to. What Congress has got to do in the next three weeks or so is come up with an agreement on total federal spending—that's defense and domestic—that they haven't been able to do for the last nine months.

DV: What about a three-month extension via continuing resolution?

SC: The extra three months doesn't help at all. Everyone's hoping that something will happen in the meantime, a foreign policy issue, an economic situation, something that will change the calculus so that it becomes easier for people to move from their established positions. But in an election year, especially when you've got 17 Republican candidates running around the country trying very hard to appeal to the same group of very conservative voters, it's hard to see how the situation is going to get anything better. It's more likely to get much, much worse as time goes along.

DV: What are you looking for as signals for how this plays out?

SC: What I'm looking for is something that would indicate somebody is moving from an established position, someone who is influential. If John Boehner, for example, did what he's done once in the past where he basically said, "Look, I don't care what you guys want, we're going forward with this particular activity, extending Social Security, doing a variety of things like that." That would be significant.

DV: Take us behind the scenes. How do these negotiations play out in a more granular sense?

SC: This is a very political as opposed to a substantive debate. The staff won't get involved until the members of Congress they represent, and senators, actually sit down and figure out what they want to do from a political standpoint. Once that's decided, the other decisions are relatively easy. There will be a couple of final negotiations on really in-the-weeds numbers and those types of things, but this is really a question where the Republican leadership in both houses has to figure out what its members want to do, and before that nothing else matters… in an institution like Congress that is so staff-driven, this is a process that's not staff-driven at all. This is member-to-member, this is high-level politics, this is as closes to arm wrestling as you can possibly get.

DV: How much do these last-minute negotiations hurt the actual agencies?

SC: The operations of the agencies are the least important consideration for most members of Congress. They're looking at the overall politics of the big decision because the average person at home doesn't know about how an agency runs or what it does or how it affects them, and for some members, an agency that isn't running well is an excuse to cut it next time, so they don't really care. But yeah, it's this indecision that we force on agencies makes it very difficult for them to do good jobs.

I heard today—I'm not going to tell you who from—but I heard today from a budget officer of a major agency who said they've already been preparing for a shutdown for three weeks, all right, going through what the motions are, which functions would stay, which ones wouldn't stay, which employees would have to go home.       

DV: Let’s talk about a potential shutdown. So, each person has to go home and do whatever that’s not work related.

SC: Let me stop you for a second. The president has enormous discretion in a shutdown to determine who is, quote, essential and not essential. Now, someone essential may be a security guard. That you can see. But think about this: For the National Zoo, you need somebody there to receive the feed—the food, the meat, for the lions. And then, you need someone to feed the lions. So, they get to find this essential. In the last shutdown, the president took enormous liberties and defined the Department of Defense as almost as whole as essential, but the president could, if he wanted, go in the opposite direction. The air traffic control system gets funded by an appropriation. So, the president could say, "Sorry, no appropriation, no air traffic control system. Shut down the air traffic control. Shut down all flight." Which would probably put the economy into a tailspin within seconds. It would mean no one could go to honeymoons. Packages wouldn’t get delivered on Federal Express or UPS or anything else like that. It would be really bad. Now, that would be an extreme example. But the shutdown, there is no manual to how to do it. It's really up to the president to decide who works and who doesn't.

DV: That gives the president a lot of power.

SC: It does, and what happened with the shutdown during Clinton's years is that the definition of who is essential kept changing over days as, one, for technical reasons, they found out that zookeepers were needed, but other reasons because, for political reasons, some programs they wanted to start back up again, like veterans' benefits.

DV: Does giving the president such power worry Republicans?

SC: I don't think it actually worries Republicans…From what I can tell, for a lot of Republicans, particularly Tea Party Republicans, a government shutdown is the equivalent of a campaign event. It helps them get reelected.

DV: What are ways we can change the system so that we don't get into this repetitive process of last-minute deadline deals?

SC: There are thousands of ways we could fix this, all right? The truth is they don't want to. There's always talk, for example, about making a continuing resolution automatic. That is, if Congress and the president don't agree to a new continuing resolution or existing appropriations, then it's last year's level plus or minus something, 5 percent, 2 percent, minus 3. It sounds like a great idea. The problem is you can't agree on whether it's always last year or last year plus inflation or last year minus inflation. In other words, whatever rule you come up with favors somebody.

The real solution here is to get members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate, Congress and White House, to get everybody together and just agree that they're going to compromise. When I first got to Washington, which is now almost 40 years ago, that's what you did. You came to Washington to do something. Now, you come to Washington to get reelected.

So, again, I can come up with 30, 50, 100 ways of fixing the budget process, but none of them are ever going to get adopted. There's got to be a change in culture, here. It's become so poisonous, and [since] compromise is now considered collaborating with the enemy, most members of Congress won't do it for fear that they will be called a collaborator.

DV: That sounds pretty depressing.

SC: Oh, yeah. There's nothing positive about this. It's why you see so many retirements from Congress these days.               

DV: Who are the key players you're watching?

SC: John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Barack Obama, just three. … And ultimately, it's not going to be congressional Democrats. It's going to be the White House, Barack Obama, who decides whether to compromise with Republicans.

DV: I you were to bet on what's going to happen, where would you put your money?

SC: The answer is I don't know. I mean, I really don't know. For one of the few times in my career, I can see a shutdown. I just don't see how they can avoid it, and I don't see how they stop it once it starts. Once it starts, I suspect that the political pressure will get intense after about two weeks, that members of Congress who thought it was a good idea will say, "Okay, we've won what we're going to win and now we better stop the shutdown." But given that compromise is a four-letter word in Washington these days, I'm not even sure how long it's going to take before that pain starts to be felt.

This Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on September 16, 2015, 15:58:30
Not sure a shutdown would be all bad news, many people took this in stride and many more people were angered at the blatant "Washington monument" ploy the Administration resorted to in order to inconveinence the taxpaying public (and directed the blame correctly). As an election level "event", it would certainly provide focus on the out of control spending and provide an outlet for alternative ideas and candidates (Trump and Sanders are essentially one issue candidates right now; although there is no reason to suppose they could not pivot to new themes that would be disrupive to their "core" message and constituency).

And a twofer; a look at the causes of the 2008 crash. Regulatory failure (in the form of the CRA, which essentially provided penalties for bankers who used traditional and well tested metrics to determine eligibility for mortgages, and the use of "Fanny and Freddie" to incentivise bankers into going against traditional mortgage metrics) is the primary cause, markets adjusted to the distorted signals and incventives that were created by malregulation and of course the end was inevitable (there were articles predicting the crash as far back as 2006, so this is no surprise):

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-09-14/turns-out-the-housing-crisis-wasn-t-all-about-subprime

Quote
Turns Out the Housing Crisis Wasn't All About Subprime
Sept 14, 2015 4:53 PM EDT
 By Megan McArdle

When we talk about the past decade's housing crisis, it's natural to talk about subprime loans. Subprime loans give us a convenient, conventional story: predatory lenders charging people unconscionable interest rates, forcing innocent people into foreclosure and the rest of us into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

There is only one small problem with this story, which is that lots of prime borrowers defaulted too. In fact, according to a new paper by Fernando Ferreira and Joseph Gyourko, subprime loans accounted for only a bare majority of defaults at the beginning of the housing crisis. Between the third quarter of 2006 and the third quarter of 2012, twice as many prime borrowers lost their homes as subprime borrowers.

This is not a phenomenon that can be simply explained by liar loans, predatory lenders, or any other narrative that neatly loads all the blame onto a few greedy and heedless lenders, or a somewhat larger number of hubristic and speculative borrowers. Subprime loans certainly caused a lot of problems, but they did not cause all the problems by any means. They could not have driven us into crisis if the rest of us had not so eagerly gone along.

So what role did they play? I think we can tell a very plausible story that still assigns subprime loans a central role:

Once upon a time, there was a country with a housing market that started to rise. As the market started to rise, housing defaults started to fall. They fell not because people had gotten wiser about borrowing, or better at managing their money, but because borrowers in a rising housing market virtually never need to default; they can always simply sell the house, walking away with whatever equity is left over after paying off the mortgage.

Lenders loved this. "Splendid! If default has become less likely," the lenders said, "we do not need to worry so much about things like down payments or credit histories. Who cares if they can't pay the mortgage each month; if they get into trouble, they'll just sell the house and pay us."

Now, a housing market is sort of like a room with two doors. On the one side people are entering; on the other side of the room, people are exiting. The more people there are in the room, the more valuable your little patch of ground to stand on becomes. The effect of expanding subprime loans was to make the entrance door wider, allowing a lot of people in who had not previously been able to secure a spot inside. This made spots inside even more valuable, and drove defaults even lower, encouraging the bankers to make even riskier loans.

Unfortunately, there were only so many people in the waiting room who wanted to get in. Once they'd all passed through, two things happened: The number of people bidding for spots fell, and people started to notice that it was getting kind of crowded in there. Prices stopped rising inside. (the problem of malregulatory incentives)

Once that happened, the risk of those subprime loans became apparent. They'd always been bad credit risks, but that risk had been masked by the rising prices. Defaults started going up. The folks in the waiting room decided maybe they'd wait a little while to see how it settled out. Lenders didn't have money to make new risky loans. The subprime borrowers were the first to go, and the hardest hit. But without those subprime borrowers to fuel the bidding, prime borrowers suddenly found they'd overbid on their own slots. They had, in the dread banker's parlance, "negative equity."

In other words, had we not been making risky loans to so many new borrowers, the bubble would probably not have expanded as rapidly as it did. But the subprime borrowers were not the only people, or even the majority of people, bidding on homes. Most of the bidding was done by better credit risks, with perfectly conventional loans. The buyers and the banks simply underestimated the risk that the prices of these homes would fall. And when prices fell, prime borrowers caught in bad situations -- deteriorating neighborhoods or deteriorating finances -- had little alternative but to default. Which is why your risk of default is best predicted, not by the type of loan you got or how much you put down, but by whether you had negative equity.

So while initial down payments may not have done much to predict default in individual cases, we could argue that requiring 20 percent down would still have done a lot to prevent so many people in the market from going into default. The down payment is the biggest obstacle most people face to getting into a house. Closing the door to anyone who couldn't get that much cash together would have kept houses much more closely tied to incomes, meaning that the bubble simply could not have inflated as large as it did -- and therefore, would not have had the same catastrophic effects coming down. (The waiving of the down payment requirment and penalizing bankers who refused to go along was the effect of the CRA)

That doesn't mean that tightening up lending standards would have prevented the bubble. But it could have kept the bubble smaller, and the fallout less vicious.

Of course, it's easy to say this in hindsight. It was a lot harder to develop insight at the time. When prices had been in a long, gentle rise for decades, high down payments looked like expensive and unnecessary insurance against something that rarely happened. They looked like a barrier keeping historically disadvantaged groups, like minorities and immigrants, from accumulating wealth the way that prosperous native white families had. They looked like something that regulators and bankers had needed to require before they got so darn smart about managing credit risks, and credit markets.

Everyone, from buyers to regulators, had reams of data telling them this. Who are you going to believe: years and years of statistics, or some crabby dude muttering about the Great Depression? The Great Depression was so long ago that men wore hats and the Beatles were not even gleams in their fathers' eyes.

Bubbles are not fundamentally about evil people doing evil things. They are not even about stupid people doing stupid things. No, the problem with bubbles is worse: It's quite ordinary people, doing stupid things that a trick of the light has made appear very smart.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
 Megan McArdle at mmcardle3@bloomberg.net
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on September 16, 2015, 17:22:22
I disagree Thuc. I think it would be a bigger deal than you think, especially for the reason that they want to use to trigger the shutdown. Defunding Planned Parenthood is not the hill that they want to die on. Even McConnell knows it would not be a benefit to the party's chances next year. Especially when you take into consideration that the money allocated to Planned Parenthood would still go through regardless of a government shutdown.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on September 16, 2015, 21:55:50
Not entirely sure I buy this explanation of the premise that it wasn't all about the subprimes either. Reading through the article, she essentially refutes her own premise, if I am reading it right she is arguing that if the regulations that were in place were adhered to (i.e. use of a downpayment to provide some for amount of positive equity right from the get go), the subprimes would not have been in the market, and thus the collapse would not likely have happened. Which means that it was all about the subprimes.

I do agree with the original premise though, that it wasn't all strictly subprimes that caused the collapse. The fundamental problem was a lax regulatory environment on the institutional side of the house that allowed mortgage industry to become a substitute for the high risk / high reward investment markets for global wealth (The Giant Pool of Money as NPR's Planet Money has aptly named it).

When you have regulatory bodies being walked over by the institutions they were supposed to regulate, it doesn't make for effective oversight. When you have advisors of hedge funds advising on which assets to put into derivatives, who then turn around and advise their own clients to put money into credit default swaps to bet against the derivatives they were advising on, and no one gets hauled  up on conspiracy or fraud charges says a lot about what really happened.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on September 17, 2015, 12:23:46
Two assessments of last night's GOP debate: Trump still ahead, but relative newcomer Fiorina has gained momentum?

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/17/politics/republican-debate-winners-losers-donald-trump/index.html)

Quote
CNN's Republican debate: Winners and losers

By Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Updated 8:18 AM ET, Thu September 17, 2015

Washington (CNN)Three hours and 11 candidates later, here's our quick take on the winners and losers of CNN's Republican debate Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Winners:
Carly Fiorina

Fiorina insisted in the lead-up to the GOP debate that she belonged on the debate stage with the top-tier White House hopefuls.

She proved as much Wednesday night.

For the second debate in a row, Fiorina was once again the breakout star of the night, taking on Republican front-runner Donald Trump with finesse and capturing the crowd with polished, zinging answers and an impassioned charge against abortion.

Fiorina earned perhaps the biggest applause of the night as she skewered Planned Parenthood.

(...SNIPPED)

CBC (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/donald-trump-vs-republican-establishment-090000172.html)

Quote
Donald Trump vs. the Republican establishment. Not a fair fight
CBCCBC – Tue, 15 Sep, 2015

(...SNIPPED)

Parade of insults
Trump is a "cancer on conservatism," croaked Perry, who made a second run at the nomination before collapsing in surrender last week.
"We can make America great again," complained another hopeful, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. "But we will not do that by putting an unserious and unstable narcissist in the White House."
"Someone has to bring him down," gasped Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, himself a Tea Party hero until not too long ago, but now utterly eclipsed. "I'm not going to sit quietly by and let the disaster that is Donald Trump become the nominee."
But there seems to be nothing that Paul, or anyone else, can do. Trump feeds on name-calling like Dr. Doom in Marvel comics feeds on electricity. It makes him stronger.

(...SNIPPED)

Also, according to the article below, US foreign policy towards China and the rest of Asia were noticeably absent from last night's GOP debate:

Diplomat (http://thediplomat.com/2015/09/republican-debate-2-game-on-gloves-off/?utm_content=buffer6732e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer)

Quote
Republican Debate #2: Game On, Gloves Off
Behind the symbolism and showmanship, where was Asia?


By Mercy A. Kuo and Angelica O. Tang
September 17, 2015

By Mercy A. Kuo and Angelica O. Tang
September 17, 2015


(...SNIPPED)
China Specter. China poses a strategic challenge that nearly all candidates recognized in differing degrees. Scott Walker’s calling into question the White House’s rationale for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming state visit in light of China’s cyberattacks came across as political posturing rather than displaying a comprehensive understanding of U.S.-China relations. Rand Paul emphasized the importance of engaging directly and not being rash with China and Russia, and keeping lines of communication open. Jeb Bush affirmed the need to employ “offensive tactics” on issues as cybersecurity, but to use many tools in taking a strong stance toward China. Marco Rubio’s hawkish position on China accentuates his preference for a stronger U.S. global role.

Absence of Asia and U.S. Rebalance. Much-needed rigorous discussion on the future of U.S. policy in Asia, namely the U.S. rebalance, was eclipsed by immigration, the Islamic State, and radical Islamic terrorism. Whether the rebalance is to be renamed or repackaged, Republican candidates have yet to outline their respective approaches toward Asia – home to two-thirds of the world’s population and the world’s largest market of high net worth individuals (HNWIs). As an emerging area of market magnetism, innovation and growth, presidential candidates should define their framework for U.S. engagement with Asia.

(...END EXCERPT)


Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: tomahawk6 on September 17, 2015, 14:30:23
There will be another debate covering foreign policy.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on September 17, 2015, 16:48:21
Americans are generally fed up with the political establishment, and especially being told what they know to be untrue becasue it contradicts their own, ground level, observations. Immigration is obviously a key trigger among the American electorate, but Bernie Sanders is also tapping into the economic frustrations of the electorate as well. Republicans looking for an issue to displace Donald Trump might do well to think of this issue:

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/17/upshot/why-americans-still-think-the-economy-is-terrible.html?referrer=&_r=1

Quote
Why Americans Still Think the Economy Is Terrible
By NEIL IRWIN
September 16, 2015

If your entire understanding of the economy comes from headlines about the latest economic data, you would be forgiven for thinking these are the best of times. The unemployment rate is down to 5.1 percent, after all! (BLS adjusted figures anyway. Once you add back the people left off the unemployed figures and adjust for the labour participation rate the real munber is much closer to 10%)

If your entire understanding of the economy comes from what is going on in financial markets, you would be forgiven for thinking the same. The stock market, its recent dip notwithstanding, is still not far from all-time highs!

That’s what makes the latest annual data on incomes, released by the Census Bureau on Wednesday morning, an important corrective.

The median American household in 2014 had a lower income, in inflation-adjusted terms, than it did in 2013. The $53,657 the household in the middle of the income distribution earned last year was down 1.5 percent from the year before, though the census said that shift was not statistically significant.

But even if that drop is a statistical blip and you assume that middle-class incomes were really flat, flat isn’t anything to celebrate in the current environment. The 2014 real median income number is 6.5 percent below its 2007, pre-crisis level. It is 7.2 percent below the number in 1999.

A middle-income American family, in other words, makes substantially less money in inflation-adjusted terms than it did 15 years ago. And there is no evidence that is reversing. Those families lost ground in 2014. And as we’ve reported previously, the data on wages in 2015 so far does not suggest there is a meaningful acceleration on the way.

A drop in the price of oil, though, has created a short-term drop in inflation numbers that may create a temporary bump in inflation-adjusted incomes for 2015 anyway.

The depressing data on middle-class wages is true across almost all groups based on race and age. (One exception is a 5.3 percent gain in median wages among Hispanics in 2014, though that is within the statistical margin of error and so may not be meaningful).

If you were to sum up the latest census numbers on incomes in the United States in 2014, it would be with these three words: “not statistically different.” The announcement includes the phrase six times in its discussion of incomes, and that fact sums up a lot.

Stagnant incomes were a problem in 2013. They remained so in 2014. The evidence we have so far suggests nothing about that is changing in 2015. That is the reality shaping the backdrop to the 2016 presidential campaign, the Federal Reserve’s interest rate debates and the dinnertime table conversations about the state of the economies in families across the United States.

The latest census numbers may not be surprising, in the sense that they affirm a trend that has been underway for 15 years and counting. But they are a timely reminder of what really ails the economy.

and

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/09/heritage-the-redistributive-state-the-allocation-of-government-benefits-services-and-taxes-in-the-un.html

Quote
Heritage: The Redistributive State — The Allocation Of Government Benefits, Services, And Taxes In The United States
By Paul Caron

Each year, families and individuals pay taxes to the government and receive back a wide variety of services and benefits. A fiscal deficit occurs when the benefits and services received by one household or a group of households exceed the taxes paid. When such a deficit occurs, other households must pay, through taxes, for the services and benefits of the group in deficit. Thus, government functions as a redistributive mechanism for transferring resources between groups in society.
 
This paper examines fiscal balance in the United States by income class. It estimates the distribution of the full array of government benefits and services including cash and near cash benefits, means-tested aid, education services, and general social services. It also estimates the distribution of all direct and indirect taxes used to finance government expenditure.
 
The distribution of benefits, services, and taxes is examined among conventional Census income quintiles of households for the year 2004. Of particular concern is the fiscal balance within each quintile. A quintile is in fiscal deficit if the sum of benefits and services received by households within the quintile exceeds the sum of taxes paid. A quintile is in fiscal surplus if the taxes paid exceed the cost of benefits and services received.
 
The analysis finds that the lowest three income quintiles are in fiscal deficit, while the two highest income quintiles are in surplus. Overall, there was a transfer of roughly $1 trillion in economic resources from the top 40 percent of households to the bottom 60 percent. This sum represents about 9.5 percent of total national income in 2004.

Notice top 40%; not top 1%. The 40% is, of course, the middle class; the same group who have seen a 6% drop in income since 2007 (and which Administration and party has been in power since 2008 to "fix" the problem?).

Fertile ground for those who choose to cultivate it.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on September 18, 2015, 17:50:48
Wow, a big change, but notice another non professional politician has jumped ahead:

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2015/09/17/post-debate-poll-fiorina-surges-to-1st-place-tied-with-trump/

Quote
A post-debate poll conducted by Gravis Marketing for One America News Network (OAN) shows Carly Fiorina jumping to first place at 22%, tied with Donald Trump. In their previous poll, Fiorina ranked 7th with 2.7% of the vote.
 
The poll, taken immediately after Wednesday night’s GOP debate at the Ronald Reagan Library, has Marco Rubio rising to third place with 15 percent:

Rounding out the top five are Dr. Ben Carson at 12 percent followed by Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush tied at 6 percent. Bush drops nearly half his early September support of 11.4 percent to a post-debate 6 percent.
 
Fiorina also had the highest showing with GOP national voters having a 78 percent more favorable opinion of the candidate post-debate. The less favorable percent came in at 13 percent with 10 percent unchanged. Thirty-three percent of GOP voters polled believed that Fiorina won the debate, the highest of any GOP Candidate. Trump came in second with 21 percent.
 
According to Robert Herring, Sr., CEO of One America News Network, “One America News’ national post-debate poll shows it’s all Fiorina coming out of the second debate. It shows that some of the lesser known candidates have tremendous upside as voters across the nation become more familiar with them. Senator Rubio also had a strong showing on Wednesday picking up 3 points since our previous national poll in early September.
 
Last night’s biggest loser appears to be Senator Rand Paul, with 32% of respondents saying he lost the debate. Trump came in second on that question, with 17% saying he was the loser:
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on September 21, 2015, 19:39:10
One GOP nominee hopeful is still fixated on Obama possibly being a Muslim, while another drops out.

BBC (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34308716)

Quote
US Republican hopeful Ben Carson: No Muslims as president
1 hour ago
From the section US & Canada

Ben Carson: "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation"

US Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson says he does not believe a Muslim should become president.

"I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that," he told NBC's Meet The Press.
The retired neurosurgeon has been running high in the polls.

It follows widespread condemnation of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump's failure to correct a supporter who said President Barack Obama was a Muslim.

(...SNIPPED)

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/21/politics/scott-walker-drops-out-2016-election/)

Quote
Scott Walker drops out of 2016 presidential race
By Eric Bradner, John King, Dana Bash and Jeff Zele

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: jollyjacktar on September 21, 2015, 19:53:52
So, no wall then?
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Rifleman62 on September 21, 2015, 19:54:28
S.M.A.
Quote
One GOP nominee hopeful is still fixated on Obama possibly being a Muslim, while another drops out.

Nothing of the sort. Dr. Carson was stating that says Islam is not consistent with US constitution.

‘I would not advocate we put a Muslim in charge of this nation’. Obama is not even mentioned.

Read past the headlines and first paragraph.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on September 21, 2015, 21:33:22
S.M.A.
Nothing of the sort. Dr. Carson was stating that says Islam is not consistent with US constitution.

‘I would not advocate we put a Muslim in charge of this nation’. Obama is not even mentioned.

Read past the headlines and first paragraph.

He still botched it though, seeing as he has completely ignored the establishment clause.  :facepalm:
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Rifleman62 on September 22, 2015, 01:08:37
Heard several Vets who are upset at the remarks as they knew or commanded Muslim US Army/Marines who were KIA. One remarked at the number buried in Arlington.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: milnews.ca on September 22, 2015, 08:06:42
Nothing of the sort. Dr. Carson was stating that says Islam is not consistent with US constitution.

‘I would not advocate we put a Muslim in charge of this nation’. Obama is not even mentioned.
Indeed, he was asked if Islam is consistent with the Constitution when me made the remark (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/pope-francis-visits-america/ben-carson-constitution-muslim-president-n431146), so Obama wasn't mentioned. 

Like Harper's "old-vs-new-stock" Canadian quote, though, it's one of those "lightning rod" quotes whose interpretation is in the ear of the beholder - lovers say, "nothing to see here," while haters say, "hey, it's another back-door Obama bash".
Heard several Vets who are upset at the remarks as they knew or commanded Muslim US Army/Marines who were KIA. One remarked at the number buried in Arlington.
Good points, and not surprising he'd have heard from them pretty quickly.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: E.R. Campbell on September 22, 2015, 08:58:29
Is this ...

                   (https://image-store.slidesharecdn.com/26254fb9-f4b7-465c-8e9b-6cd9b563b5a2-original.jpeg)

                                                      ... the real state of the Clinton campaign?
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on September 27, 2015, 21:16:28
Speaking of Clinton, she weighs in again on US policy towards Canada:

Canadian Press/Associated Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/clinton-announced-another-canada-policy-week-could-affect-113011555.html)

Quote
Clinton announced another Canada policy this week, could affect millions: Pharma
By Alexander Panetta, The Canadian Press
Sat, 26 Sep, 2015

WASHINGTON - Lost in the noise of her headline-grabbing coming-out against the Keystone XL pipeline, Hillary Clinton announced another Canada-U.S. policy this week that could affect millions of people.

She called for legalizing prescription-pill imports from Canada, becoming the second Democratic presidential candidate to adopt the position and effectively making it party policy in the 2016 election.

Millions of Americans who struggle with high drug prices have purchased cheaper medicine abroad since online pharmacies first opened two decades ago, with Canada pioneering that grey-market industry.
The issue has resurfaced politically as U.S. drug prices experience their biggest jump in years. One company was forced to back down last week amid news that a life-saving medicine had increased overnight from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on September 27, 2015, 21:53:20
So…. She's calling for importation of drugs which quite possibly have been manufactured in the US and imported into Canada, only to be reimported back into the US at a cheaper price.

Nope, can't see how this could be a bad move for either US consumers or Canadians. None at all.  :facepalm:

When are these I D 10 T errors going to realize that the problem is with US manufacturers setting prices in the US to make up for the lower prices in other countries, added to unrealistic attempts to recoup development costs, and the need to meet shareholder demands for a premium return on investment.

All this is going to achieve is a drain on Canadian drug markets, causing shortages for Canadian consumers, without addressing the real problem, as was exhibited this week when some 30 something hedge fund managing douche bag figured he could jack up the price of a drug that has been on the market for 60 plus years and had no patent protection remaining, low volume and a must have for a small group of individuals in a captive market.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: ModlrMike on September 28, 2015, 08:13:29
A few other significant flaws:

- Canadian pharmacies are required to only fill prescriptions from licensed providers, and US MDs do not count as such;
- it is a violation of College law for a Canadian MD to sign off on a prescription where they haven't seen the patient or taken a hand in their care.
- provincial Colleges of Pharmacists are making it much harder for internet pharmacies to operate from Canada.

These three restrictions will make it harder for any American who wants to access Canadian pharmaceuticals. So the US can allow the importation all it wants, it's up to us to allow the exportation.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on October 09, 2015, 14:21:43
Who will replace McCarthy?

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/leaders/2015/10/08/mccarthy-withdrawal-raises-wall-street-fears-government-shutdown/73609528/)

Quote
McCarthy Withdrawal Raises Wall Street Fears of Government Shutdown
By Andrew Clevenger 6:23 p.m. EDT October 8, 2015

WASHINGTON — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s sudden withdrawal Thursday from the race for speaker rekindled Wall Street’s worries about a possible government shutdown.

Speaker of the House John Boehner’s announcement that he would step down at the end of October paved the way for a short term continuing resolution, or CR, that keeps the government funded through Dec. 11. As the second ranking House Republican, McCarthy, R-Calif., seemed poised to replace Boehner as speaker.

McCarthy’s announcement on Thursday scuttled any hopes of a smooth transition, and focused attention on two upcoming fiscal deadline: Nov. 4, when the government will reach the debt ceiling, and Dec. 11, when authorization for operational funding expires.

(...SINPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on October 09, 2015, 19:30:21
Who will replace McCarthy?

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/leaders/2015/10/08/mccarthy-withdrawal-raises-wall-street-fears-government-shutdown/73609528/)

John Boehner will replace himself.

Issue is that 218 threshold. There isn't anyone (who ins't insane and is willing to stand for the position) who is going to garner enough votes from the Republican side to get to 218.

Paul Ryan's name is being bounced around and claims are being made that he could be acceptable to enough, but 1) he says he isn't interested, and 2) may not be willing to give the hardcore freedom caucus the assurances they are looking for that their needs will be provided for.

I think that what's really going to happen is that Boehner will keep putting the vote off until the finally come to an acceptable candidate, and that may drag on long enough that he may just decide to stay. The one caveat to that is that there isn't another more serious reason for Boenhe's decision to step down such as personal or family health concerns.

Whoever does take over has some serious fights ahead regarding the debt ceiling, budget, and trying to keep the party from shooting itself in the foot and blowing the upcoming election up.


More on the Ryan situation:

Freedom Caucus lies in wait for Paul Ryan
The group isn't sold on Ryan yet and is sticking by Rep. Webster's long-shot bid — for now.


http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/paul-ryan-house-freedom-caucus-214627

Quote
After leaving the House Republican Conference in a state of suspended upheaval, the rebellious group of conservative lawmakers that helped oust one speaker then short-circuited his would-be successor is intentionally laying low and deciding how to respond if Rep. Paul Ryan decides to run for speaker.

The short answer on Ryan so far from members of the House Freedom Caucus is that they’re not quite sold. So, the roughly 40 caucus members are standing by their endorsement of Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida for speaker — for now.
Story Continued Below

“We've endorsed Webster, and we plan on sticking with him through the House floor. If someone else gets in, we'll have to have a discussion as a group, but we've endorsed Webster,” said Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.).

That’s because many conservatives disagree with the former vice presidential nominee's position on immigration and his role in the bipartisan Ryan-Murray budget deal.

House Freedom Caucus members continue to insist the decision on the next speaker is less about the person than how the House operates under a future regime. They want floor votes on more of their legislative proposals — even if they’re destined to fail— and less punishment for members who buck leadership.

From their perspective, the latest speaker election is yet another example of how Republican leaders aren’t playing fair. When McCarthy announced he wouldn’t run for speaker, Speaker John Boehner abruptly ended the meeting even though Webster and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz were still contenders — yet another perceived slight to conservatives, members said.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, one of the founding members of the Freedom Caucus, argued that if Webster had been the one to bow out, the elections would have continued.

“I do think it’s a perfect example of the perception being that rules don’t apply the same way to everybody,” Mulvaney said. “If Daniel Webster had dropped out before that meeting, you could be dammed sure that election would have gone on.”
He added, “That’s not right. The rules have to be the same for everybody.”

During a closed-door meeting this week, Freedom Caucus leaders urged the 40-member group not to get distracted by the flurry of candidates who may enter the speaker’s race since Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy unexpectedly dropped out.

None of the most prominent members of the group, including its chairman, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, are preparing a run. They recognize there isn’t enough support to elect a hard-line member of the Republican Conference and that their best bet to influence the outcome is stopping a candidate they disapprove of from getting 218 votes on the House floor.

And, right now, it’s not clear they would rally behind Ryan.

Ryan’s office has repeatedly said he is not running for speaker, but the former vice presidential candidate is under intense pressure from Republican leaders to step forward, given that he is widely believed to be the only lawmaker who could comfortably amass 218 votes.

But conservatives strongly disagree with Ryan’s position on immigration and his role in crafting the bipartisan 2013 Ryan-Murray budget deal. He’s been criticized by the far right for being a staunch proponent of immigration reform and his work with Democrats to find a compromise to address the growing number of illegal immigrants living in the U.S.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) called the situation “fluid.” He said Freedom Caucus members were staying focused on their crusade to get any speaker candidate to promise to overhaul how the House operates. They want proportional representation on the influential Steering and Policy Committee and greater say for committee members on who the conference elects as chairman of House panels.
The committee passed on backing McCarthy when the California Republican was still vying for speaker. Members said that was because McCarthy hadn’t yet convinced the Freedom Caucus he would follow through on promises to change House procedures.
“For us, we want a conference that empowers the rank and file ... this is a fluid situation,” Meadows said. “Nobody anticipated that we’d be where we are right now. I think the best thing to say is that we are behind [Webster] right now.”

The push from conservatives to return to regular order hasn’t eased since McCarthy bowed out from the race. They insist Ryan would be required to make the same pledges on empowering committees and ending punishments that any other candidate would.
And Webster said on Friday that he wouldn’t exit the race even if Ryan joins the fray.

“I want to show the Congress that this is the way we should be running our Congress,” Webster said on CNN. “We need to have a member, bottom-up process. All these things that are now being talked about as reform is something I started off with. Until there is a commitment to do that I’m going to stay in the race.”
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on October 09, 2015, 20:37:57
Why no one in their right mind wants the job.

5 reasons nobody wants to be House speaker
Why only a fool, hero, caretaker (or some combination of all) would want the job Boehner dearly hopes to vacate by month’s end, but can’t.


http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/speaker-five-reasons-to-not-run-214587

Quote
Friends don’t let friends run for Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s abrupt and shocking (well, not that shocking) withdrawal from the race to succeed John Boehner has raised an existential question the ochre Ohioan himself always asked rebellious members: Who the hell would want this job?

We have our answer. Nobody with the slightest sense of political self-preservation or the scantest hope of having a future. McCarthy (looking ten years older than he did a week ago) used English words to explain his ‘later-for-you statement (“If we're going to unite and be strong, we need a new face to do that") but had he answered in song, it would have been “zip-a-dee-doo-dah!” Stunned members were said to be openly weeping in the cloakroom, but nary one of the tear-soaked super-majority was rushing to raise his hands shouting “Pick Me! Pick me!”

When asked if he was interested in the gig, Rep. Mac Thornberry, conservative from Texas cattle country, told reporters on the Hill, "I'd rather be a vegetarian.”

This is because the overstuffed 247-member House majority (brilliantly secured in perpetuity by Bush-era electoral gerrymandering) is, like New York in the 1970s or the Washington Nationals right now, essentially ungovernable.

Here are five reasons why only a fool, hero, caretaker (or some combination of all) would want the job Boehner dearly hopes to vacate by month’s end, but can’t.

1. Ted Cruz is running for president.

It’s been jokingly said that the Texas tea party god, who often crossed the rotunda to whip up ultra-conservatives against Boehner’s budget deals, is “Speaker Cruz.” He’s lashed Boehner as a sell-out and cheered the 2013 government shutdown, and even with his nemesis gone, Cruz is going to continue to barbecue the GOP “establishment” – i.e. anybody who has a job that requires them to compromise with the White House. And that’s basically the job description.

Moreover, bashing Congress is the mouth-breathing of political discourse, anyone can do it, and often does. At present, the overall Congressional approval rating is about 16 percent – and that’s pretty good, considering it touched high single digits in recent years. Donald Trump, who had no particular beef with McCarthy but is on good terms with Cruz, offered a don’t-let-the-door-hit-you tweet because, you know, why not? “Great, Kevin McCarthy drops out of SPEAKER race. We need a really smart and really tough person to take over this very important job!” he wrote before suggesting his daughter Ivanka take the job.

Presumably, he loves her too much to have been serious.

2. The “catastrophic” 2013 government shutdown didn’t scare the tea party.

Boehner, who had a Midwestern plastic salesman’s love for a folksy maxim, was fond of saying that the tea party wing of his party would recede once they had “touched the stove” – by shutting down the government.

Nope. Cruz delivered his celebrated semi-filibuster against Obamacare, and his members scuttled attempts to cut a stopgap deal with the White House. After a 16-day shutdown, the two sides agreed to a short-term funding deal – with polls showing 8 in 10 Americans blamed Republicans for the disruption, with tea party support tanking nationally.

Democrats predicted the GOP would pay a steep price for their recklessness in the 2014 elections. Not only were the wrong, they were historically wrong: Midterms are, by their nature, base elections, so fired-up anti-Obama Republicans romped, picking up nine Senate seats and the majority. They added 13 new members in the allegedly disgraced House, achieving a commanding majority the likes of which hadn’t been seen since Hoover’s day. Instead of touching the stove – they tossed it at Boehner’s head. When Phillip Bump of the Washington Post analyzed the post-shutdown polling, he concluded “if there is a repeat of the government shutdown, how it affects 2016 -- if at all -- is probably impossible to predict.”

3. If you have any chance of winning, you're automatically the “establishment.”

McCarthy is safely in the red zone of any standard definition of “conservative” but to his party’s right wing, he might as well have been King Boehner II. The tea party, fresh off deposing the last speaker, was leery of anybody who followed the pre-ordained lines of succession – despite McCarthy’s reputation as glad-handing bridge builder willing to hear out their complaints. When Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz hopped in the race, he didn’t cite policy objections with McCarthy – or even any specific ideological breach -- but McCarthy’s connection to the prior regime. “You don’t just give an automatic promotion to the existing leadership team; that doesn’t signal change,” he told FOX News after his announcement. “I think they want a fresh face and a fresh new person who’s actually there at the leadership table in the speaker’s role.”

McCarthy didn’t do much to help his cause. His unfathomably ill-advised declaration that the House Benghazi committee existed for the purpose of degrading Hillary Clinton’s “poll” numbers might have been enough to kill his candidacy anyway. But other numbers actually doomed him. The ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus backed little-known Florida Rep. Daniel Webster; Combined with Chaffetz’s handful of backers, that put McCarthy below the 218 votes he needed to get the big job – and the laid-back Bakersfield native was disinclined to bargain for his future with a group of hard-core rebels who would have likely demanded major concessions to back someone they regarded as soft.

4. Paul Ryan doesn't want to be speaker -- yet.

The disciplined House Ways and Means chairman is regarded as his party's brains and conscience but he's not quite ready to be its sacrificial leadership lamb. Plus he delivered a passionate pep talk on behalf of his fallen friend McCarthy. The former 2012 vice-presidential candidate isn't much more conservative that McCarthy, but he's arguably the one Republican with the national stature to overcome the reflexive insurrection from the right. So far, no good. "While I am grateful for the encouragement I've received, I will not be a candidate," the Wisconsin Republican said in a statement on Thursday.

Why not? A Ryan pal offered this explanation to me: "Because he's not a f---ing moron." Translation: Ryan has a real future. No speaker has ever been elected president (Since James Polk in the 1840s, anyway) — and no speaker dragged into ugly budget crises by his strife-stricken party is ever, ever going to be.

That said, Ryan - a devout Catholic with an abiding sense of obligation to his party - would be hard-pressed to turn down the job if, say, 240 House members begged him on bended knee. Until Thursday it seemed unlikely, but my colleague Anna Palmer says Ryan has cancelled a couple of fundraisers over the next few days, so stay tuned.

5. Your best friend will be Nancy Pelosi.

The last speaker to really run the place is still a force to be reckoned with, and even with her shrunken cadre of 177 members – the minority leader is in control. Most (if not all) of Pelosi’s people stick with her on any critical vote, especially budget roll-calls, and Boehner has increasingly relied on her to ram through measures his right wing won’t support. That’s proven to be a useful partnership for all involved (Tea party members, ever worried about primary challengers on their right, get to say they fought the good fight but were betrayed).

But there’s a devastating long-term political cost to working closely with Pelosi on these deals – a reviled doyenne of San Francisco liberalism: Conservative activists and the Levin-Hannity-Rush-Coulter talk radio powerhouses will hammer you for being a Republican in Name Only… just like John Boehner.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: jollyjacktar on October 10, 2015, 15:17:09
Jeb Bush poses with a green screen and becomes an instant meme.

Jeb really memes it (http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/jeb-bush-photoshop-green-screen-reddit-1.3264886)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on October 12, 2015, 17:18:27
Anyone want to prepare a tally sheet on how many gaffes Biden might say tomorrow?

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/11/politics/cnn-democratic-debate-podium-order/)

Quote
CNN releases Democratic debate podium order

By Eugene Scott, CNN
Updated 1:31 PM ET, Mon October 12, 2015

Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton will be center stage on Tuesday night for the Democratic presidential candidates' first debate, according to the podium order released by CNN, which is hosting the event.

The position of the five candidates on the stage at the CNN Facebook Democratic Debate in Las Vegas is based on polls since Aug. 1 and was announced on CNN's "State of the Union."

On either side of Clinton, the highest-polling candidate, are Bernie Sanders (to Clinton's right) and Martin O'Malley (to her left). Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee, the fourth- and fifth-placing candidates, bookend the stage.

Should Vice President Biden decide to enter the race and take part in the debate, there would be a podium placed on the stage for him as well.


(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on October 12, 2015, 18:30:36
Anyone want to prepare a tally sheet on how many gaffes Biden might say tomorrow?

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/11/politics/cnn-democratic-debate-podium-order/)

Actually Biden does well in the prepared questions competition. It's his informal wear competition that needs improvement. And forget the swimsuit competition.

Remember this is the man that went up against some pretty stiff opposition in the 2008 VP debates and held his own against a well prepared and polished Sarah Palin. (yeah, even I couldn't keep a straight face while typing that)

Seriously though, IF Biden shows up, he does well in the debate format.

One interesting comment I heard over the weekend, if he were to get in the race, his best option for pulling it all off is to state that he would only come in for one term, to focus on getting the gridlock on Congress and DC resolved and moving the political side of the country back to a functioning entity.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on October 14, 2015, 22:30:21
....that's exactly what I have been saying. I mentioned the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the fact that legislative bodies are acting on behalf of Wall Street.  Read my posts again, we are in agreement. The crisis of capitalism that I am referring to stems from these developments. The system is no longer working for the majority, the balance of power has swung sharply towards capital.

I think you're getting confused by the language Thucydides used, specifically "crisis of regulation."  He is suggesting that regulation IS the problem and that's what led to the 2008 crash.

A little more on how there is debate as to whether the repeal of Glass-Steagall was responsible for the collapse, or if it would have prevented the collapse if it was left in place. Again. it reiterates the "crisis of regulation" in that regulating the banks wasn't the problem, it was relation and enforcement when applied to the securities industry.

Fact Check: Did Glass-Steagall Cause The 2008 Financial Crisis?

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/14/448685233/fact-check-did-glass-steagall-cause-the-2008-financial-crisis

Quote
Taking on Wall Street makes for good politics in the Democratic Party. And several of the candidates at Tuesday night's debate had tough words about big banks. That was particularly true of former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Although he didn't say so directly, O'Malley suggested several times that consolidation in the banking business was a big factor in the 2008 financial crash and that the U.S. economy remains vulnerable because of it.

His solution: Bring back Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law that barred commercial banks from engaging in investment banking that was scaled back in the Clinton administration. We decided to look at O'Malley's claim about the risks of bank consolidation.

The Claim:

"[T]he big banks — I mean, once we repealed Glass-Steagall back in the late 1999s, the big banks, the six of them, went from controlling, what, the equivalent of 15 percent of our GDP to now 65 percent of our GDP."

The Big Question:

How much bigger have the largest banks gotten, what did Glass-Steagall have to do with it and, most important, did the scaling back of Glass-Steagall lead to the 2008 financial collapse?

The Broader Context:

Despite what O'Malley and many other people believe, Glass-Steagall was not technically repealed in 1999, but it was effectively neutered. Legislation was passed that year that allowed bank holding companies to engage in previously forbidden commercial activities, such as insurance and investment banking.

The change in the law opened the floodgates for giant mergers, such as the $33 billion deal between J.P. Morgan and Chase Manhattan in September of 2000. During the darkest days of the financial crisis, Bank of America acquired two troubled financial companies — Countrywide Financial Services and Merrill Lynch, deals that wouldn't have been possible before 1999.

The Long Answer:

The biggest banks are a lot bigger than they once were, mostly because of mergers and acquisitions. What's not in dispute is that changes to Glass-Steagall allowed the biggest banks to grow bigger, which has raised new concerns about risks to the financial system.

At issue is the "too big to fail" problem: Will the federal government once again be forced to come to the aid of federally insured megabanks that have taken outsize risks with their money?

Since 2008, regulatory changes in the U.S. and abroad have supposedly mitigated that danger. The Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill contains complicated provisions that would allow regulators to step in and take over failing banks, if necessary.

But there's plenty of skepticism that the changes have gone far enough.

Some critics, such as Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, have long seen the changes to Glass-Steagall as a major factor in the 2008 crash. By bringing "investment and commercial banks together, the investment bank culture came out on top," Stiglitz wrote in 2009. "There was a demand for the kind of high returns that could be obtained only through high leverage and big risk-taking."

But others, like former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, have said the focus on Glass-Steagall is misguided. They argue other factors were more important in causing the 2008 crisis, such as bad mortgage underwriting, poor work by the ratings agencies and a securitization market gone crazy. All of that would have happened no matter the size of the big banks.

In fact, some of the financial institutions that fared the worst, such as Bear Stearns, AIG, Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual, weren't part of large bank holding companies at all.

"I have often posed the following question to critics who claim that repealing Glass-Steagall was a major cause of the financial crisis: What bad practices would have been prevented if Glass-Steagall was still on the books?" wrote former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alan Blinder. "I've yet to hear a good answer."

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona teamed up to sponsor a bill that would bring back Glass-Steagall-type restrictions.

It was never allowed to come up for a vote.

The Short Answer:

The 1999 changes to Glass-Steagall led to much bigger banks, but that was, at best, just one factor in the 2008 financial crisis.

Sources:

Hearing before the Joint Economic Committee, "Financial Regulatory Reform: Protecting Taxpayers and the Economy," Nov 19, 2009

Stiglitz, Joseph, "Capitalist Fools," Vanity Fair, January 2009

Blinder, Alan, "It's Broke, Let's Fix It: Rethinking Financial Regulation," Prepared for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Oct. 23, 2009

Sens. Warren, McCain, Cantwell and King, "We Need to Rein In 'Too Big To Fail' Banks," U.S. Senate documents, July 17, 2014

Phone interview with Karen Shaw Petrou, Federal Financial Analytics
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on October 16, 2015, 10:00:45
Sadly, this messaging works just as well in Canada:
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on October 16, 2015, 19:50:13
One assessment on the debate from last Tuesday:

Diplomat (http://thediplomat.com/2015/10/first-democratic-presidential-debate-parsing-policy-projecting-persona/)

Quote
First Democratic Presidential Debate: Parsing Policy, Projecting Persona
Robust exchange on domestic issues, U.S. foreign policy vision absent.

By Mercy A. Kuo and Angelica O. Tang
October 15, 2015

Parsing policy positions dominated the kick-off debate of the U.S. democratic presidential candidates in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first of six presidential debates officially sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee introduced underdog candidates – Lincoln Chafee, Martin O’Malley and Jim Webb – on the national stage. Though the three gave respectable performances, their presence mainly served to sharpen the dynamics between presumptive frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s most consequential rival based on current poll standings. If Vice President Joe Biden were to enter the race, his candidacy could invigorate the democratic pool with a high-profile, heavyweight contender to Clinton in terms of electability. As a footnote, Lawrence Lessig did not qualify for the debate based on the 1 percent polling threshold.

Going into the debate, candidates had to project presidential persona and define their progressive agenda positions on climate change, income inequality, illegal immigration, jobs, guns, middle class wages, race, college affordability, the Patriot Act, Edward Snowden, and regulating Wall Street. This first round was heavy on domestic policy, and light on foreign policy strategies, with substantive discussion on Asia virtually absent. Although Clinton and Webb touted their national security experience, and the others responded to questions on Russia, Syria, Iran and Libya, none articulated a compelling U.S. foreign policy vision. All democratic candidates would be well-served in future debate rounds to elaborate on their respective foreign policy approaches, and particularly what the U.S. rebalance to Asia would look like under their leadership.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on October 19, 2015, 14:17:01
Just the tip of the iceberg when one takes into the account all the foreign contributions to both parties?

Shanghaiist (http://shanghaiist.com/2015/10/19/hk_tycoon_gives_jeb_bush_500000_dollars.php)

Quote
Husband of Hong Kong cosmetics tycoon bankrolls Jeb Bush super PAC to the tune of $500,000

Documents disclosed by Jeb Bush supporting super PAC Right to Rise in August have made public the fact that the presidential candidate received a total of $500,000 in contributions from the husband of a prominent Hong Kong cosmetics mogul.

Cheng Ming Ming, 68, is the founder of a successful beauty-school and skin-care company. Photographs of her with Bill Clinton, Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan line the halls of the company's Hong Kong headquarters. She appears to have very nice skin.

Earlier this week, Reuters revealed that Cheng Ming Ming's husband Chen Shu Te, 82, was on the list of donors to Right to Rise.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on October 21, 2015, 22:23:28
Joe Biden has made a decision. He has shown he's smart enough not to get in this race.

I believe that Biden would be the President this country needs, but would never elect. I say that because what needs to be done is break through the partisan divide that has created the legislative gridlock and kept the US from progressing as many form both ends of the spectrum feel it should be doing, but choose to blame each other for that failure.

Here is Biden's words from today:

Quote
As the family and I have worked through the -- the grieving process, I've said all along what I've said time and again to others: that it may very well be that that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president. That it might close.

I've concluded it has closed. I know from previous experience that there's no timetable for this process. The process doesn't respect or much care about things like filing deadlines or debates and primaries and caucuses.

But I also know that I could do this if the -- I couldn't do this if the family wasn't ready. The good news is the family has reached that point, but as I've said many times, my family has suffered loss, and -- and I -- I hope there would come a time -- and I've said this to many other families -- that, sooner rather than later, when -- when you think of your loved one, it brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes.

Well, that's where the Bidens are today. Thank god. Beau -- Beau is our inspiration.

Unfortunately, I believe we're out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination. But while I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent.

I intend to speak out clearly and forcefully, to influence as much as I can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation. And this is what I believe.

I believe that President Obama has led this nation from crisis to recovery, and we're now on the cusp of resurgence. I'm proud to have played a part in that. This party, our nation, will be making a tragic mistake if we walk away or attempt to undo the Obama legacy.

The American people have worked too hard, and we have have come too far for that. Democrats should not only defend this record and protect this record. They should run on the record.

We have a lot of work to get done over to the next 15 months, and there is a lot of -- the president -- there's a lot that the president will -- will have to get done, but let me be clear that we'll be building on a really solid foundation.

But it all starts with giving the middle-class a fighting chance. I know that you in the press love to call me "Middle-Class Joe," and I know in Washington that's not really meant a compliment; it means you're not that sophisticated, but it is about the middle class. It isn't just a matter of fairness or economic growth, it's a matter of social stability for this nation. We cannot sustain the current levels of inequality that exist in this country.

I believe the huge sums of unlimited and often secret money pouring into our politics is a fundamental threat to our Democracy, and I really believe that. I think it's a fundamental threat, because the middle class will never have a fighting chance in this country as long as just several hundred families, the wealthiest families, control the process. It's just that simple. And I believe that we have to level the playing field for the American people. And that's going to take access to education and opportunity to work.

We need to commit. We are fighting for 14 years -- we need to commit to 16 years of free public education for all of our children. We all know that 12 years of public education is not enough. As a nation, let's make the same commitment to a college education today that we made to a high school education 100 years ago.

Children and child care is the one biggest barrier for working families. We need as the president proposed a triple child care tax credit. That alone will lead to dramatic increase in the number of women able to be in the workforce, and will raise our economic standards.

There are many equitable ways to pay for this. I often hear, well, how do you pay for this? There are many equitable ways to pay for this. We can pay for all of this with one simple step, by limiting the deductions in the tax code to 28 percent of income. Wealthy folks will end up paying a little bit more, but it's my guess -- and I mean this sincerely -- it's my guess they'll be happy to help build a stronger economy and a better educated America. I believe we need to lead more by the power of our example, as the president has, than merely by the example of our power.

We have learned some very hard lessons from more than a decade of large scale, open-ended military invasions. We have to accept the fact that we can't solve all of the world's problems. We can't solve many of them alone.

The argument that we just have to do something when bad people do bad things isn't good enough. It's not a good enough reason for American intervention and to put our sons and daughters' lives on the line, put them at risk.

I believe that we have to end the divisive partisan politics that is ripping this country apart. And I think we can. It's mean spirited, it's petty, and it's gone on for much too long. I don't believe, like some do, that it's naive to talk to Republicans. I don't think we should look at Republicans as our enemies. They are our opposition. They're not our enemies. And for the sake of the country, we have to work together.

As the president has said many times, compromise is not a dirty word. But look at it this way folks, how does this country function without consensus? How can we move forward without being able to arrive at consensus? Four more years of this kind of pitched battle may be more than this country can take. We have to change it. We have to change it.


And I believe that we need a moon shot in this country to cure cancer. It's personal. But I know we can do this. The president and I have already been working hard on increasing funding for research and development, because there are so many breakthroughs just on the horizon in science and medicine, the things that are just about to happen. And we can make them real with an absolute national commitment to end cancer, as we know it today.

And I'm going to spend the next 15 months in this office pushing as hard as I can to accomplish this, because I know there are Democrats and Republicans on the Hill who share our passion, our passion to silence this deadly disease.

If I could be anything, I would have wanted to have been the president that ended cancer, because it's possible.

I also believe we need to keep moving forward in the arc of this nation toward justice: the rights of the LGBT community, immigration reform, equal pay for women and protecting their safety from violence, rooting out institutional racism.

At their core, every one of these things -- every one of these things is about the same thing. It's about equality, it's about fairness, it's about respect. As my dad used to say, it's about affording every single person dignity. It's not complicated.

Every single one of the issues is about dignity. And the ugly forces of hate and division -- they won't let up, but they do not represent the American people. They do not represent the heart of this country. They represent a small fraction of the political elite, and the next president is going to have to take it on.

Most of all I believe there's unlimited possibilities for this country. I don't know how many of the White House staff and personnel have heard me say repeatedly that we are so much better positioned than any country the world.

We are so -- I've been doing this for a long time. When I got elected as a 29-year-old kid, I was called "the optimist". I am more optimistic about the possibilities -- the incredibly possibilities -- to leap forward than I have been any time in my career.

And I believe to my core that there is no country on the face of the Earth better positioned to lead the world in the 21st century than the United States of America.

Washington, though, has to begin to function again. Instead of being the problem, it has to become part of the solution again. We have to be one America again. And at our core, I've always believed that what sets America apart from every other nation is that we -- ordinary Americans -- believe in possibilities. Unlimited possibilities.

The possibilities for a kid growing up in a poor inner-city neighborhood or the -- a Spanish-speaking home, or a kid from Mayfield in Delaware, Willow Grove in Pennsylvania like Jill and I, to be able to be anything we wanted to be, to do anything -- anything -- that we want.

That's what we were both taught, that's what the president was taught. It was real. That's what I grew up believing. And you know, it's always been true in this country, and if we ever lose that, we've lost something very special. We'll have lost the very soul of this country.

When I was growing up, my parents, in tough times, looked at me and would say to me and my brothers and sister, "honey, it's gonna be OK." And they meant it. They meant it. It was gonna be OK.

But some of you cover me, I say, go back to your old neighborhoods. Talk to your contemporaries who aren't as successful as you've been. There are too many people in America -- there are too many parents who don't believe they can look their kid in the eye and say with certitude, "honey, it's gonna be OK."

That's what we need to change. It's not complicated. That will be the true measure of our success, and we'll not have met it until every parent out there can look at their kid in tough times and say, "honey, it's gonna be OK," and mean it.

That's our responsibility. And I believe it's totally within our power. The nation has done it before in difficult times.

I have had the very great good fortune and privilege of being in public service most of my adult life -- since I've been 25 years old. And through personal triumphs and tragedies, my entire family -- son Beau, my son Hunter, my daughter Ashley, Jill -- our whole family -- and this sounds corny, but we found purpose in public life.

We found purpose in public life. So we intend -- the whole family, not just me -- we intend to spend the next 15 months fighting for what we've always cared about -- what my family's always cared about -- with every ounce of our being, and working alongside the president and members of Congress and our future nominee, I am absolutely certain that we fully are capable of accomplishing extraordinary things. We can do this.

And when we do, America won't just win the future, we will own the finish line.

Thank you for all being so gracious to Jill and me, for the last six or eight months, and for our whole career for that matter. But I am telling you, we can do so much more. I am looking forward to continuing to work with this man to get it done. Thank you very much. Thank you all very much.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on October 22, 2015, 19:48:20
A twofer: Why the Republicans are having a hard time harnessing the awesome powers of Big Data, and a it of cartoon snark for you to enjoy as well:

http://thewilderness.me/how-to-build-a-digital-elephant/

Quote
How to Build a Digital Elephant: The GOP’s Biggest Obstacle in 2016
The Wilderness | Issue 61 | 10 . 21 . 2015 |

Last week saw the Democrats, the purported party of Youth and Diversity, turn their first primary debate into a joyless slog that quickly devolved into a pitiless deathmarch to see which aging, pasty-faced candidate could stay awake past their bedtime the longest. It took less than five minutes for the Democratic candidates to start yelling at, and about, everyone watching. As VOXDOTCOM noted, the Democratic party is in ashes on a state and national level outside of the presidency, and they have no candidates in the post-Obama era worth offering so hey: Lincoln Chafee will have to do! The best they are offering is a 74-year-old socialist (who, a week after the debate ended, is probably still on stage screaming about communitarian economics in a darkened auditorium) and a 70-year-old oligarch with the lowest likability ratings of any presidential candidate in modern history…who also just happens to be the target of a FBI investigation for gross mishandling of classified information.

And yet, in the end none of it may matter.

The gaffes. The staged media events. The bursts of random cackling that repel voters like garlic repels vampires. The scandalous indifference to, and insolence toward, federal law. All of it may very well be utterly inconsequential in the final analysis because more and more these days it’s data and analytics that decide elections. And numbers don’t care about likability or traditional electability. The 2016 election, more than 2012 or 2008 before it, will be an election decided on data and outreach, and as of right now the GOP and its candidates are woefully underequipped and underprepared. Some of this is completely beyond their control at this early point in the primaries. But some of it is not; it is very much under their control, and the current structure of GOP campaign operations suggest that the candidates are simply choosing not to emphasize it.

Here is a simple fact: right now, the GOP is on the road to defeat, set to be overwhelmed by a superior digital voter microtargeting operation on the other side, and hamstrung by a refusal to focus on the future of predictive analytics and Big Data application technology. These are the things which translate through e-mail and online contacts, into both donations and (even more importantly) boots on the ground in the thick of a general election campaign: door-to-door mobilization. Everything else — the theater, the social media back-and-forths, the SNL appearances and Sunday morning show interviews — is almost meaningless. The 2016 pool of potential GOP nominees represents the deepest reserve of young Presidential-level talent the Republican Party has had in ages, and none of it may matter because while the engineers and developers on the Democratic side aren’t necessarily personally invested in Hillary or Bernie, they do believe in the greater Cause. And, more to the point, these are the sorts of people who simply enjoy solving equations and problems.

GOP candidates are facing a mammoth two-pronged problem: 1) the failure of will and lack of funds to field large data-driven get-out-the-vote operations, and; 2) Hillary Clinton’s well funded allies in Silicon Valley, specifically Eric Schmidt and Google. On top of that, this is a party whose candidates look like they are playing catch-up in the areas of digital operations and field mobilization.

To give you an idea of how far behind the Republican Party is in the digital age of voter-targeting, realize this: the GOP didn’t even create a position for a Chief Technology Officer until after the 2012 election, when they looked to former Facebook senior engineer Andrew Barkett, who moved on to work on digital ops for the Jeb! Bush campaign. It took a disaster as large as Mitt Romney’s ORCA operation, an analytical Titanic, to wake the Republicans from of a pre-digital opioid slumber that saw their rival campaign operation carry Obama to consecutive victories on the backs of 20/30-something developers who were busily coding, farming data, and analyzing and applying the results behind the scenes. (Team Chicago had about 200 digital staffers to Romney’s 50.) The GOP undertook a sort of digital boot camp after the failures of 2008 and 2012 that certainly helped in 2014. But how well that translates over to 2016 is still a shaky unknown — midterm cycles are not at all like the massive pressure of Presidential election cycles — and as far as individual campaigns are concerned, the outlook isn’t good.

“There’s a whole bunch of people in politics who say a lot of words, all the buzzwords that we talked about, and they say, ‘I want more analytics.’ None of them have any idea what any of those things mean,” Barkett stated on a panel discussion earlier this year. “They have no idea what the difference is between building an infrastructure of servers that know how to send e-mails to having an e-mail list or the difference between the records in the voter file and the analytics that you do in addition to those,”

This isn’t to say that as a party, the GOP hasn’t made enormous strides in online voter targeting. They have. But how well that translates over to candidates preparing for a brutal primary and general election is anyone’s guess. On top of that,  the GOP simply just doesn’t have the allies in the technology industry that the Clinton machine, via the Obama campaign, has.


 This is why forward-thinking campaigns that embrace technology, such as Marco Rubio’s, are so important to the new era of digital politics. Every campaign should be scouring the earth for the new Peter Brand from Moneyball. High and low, in and out of politics, everywhere and anywhere. But because the Republican party itself is still littered with pre-Obama, pre-analytics consultant fossils who think direct-mail expenditures and TV ads are worth burning millions of dollars on, new talent is hard to find and even harder to convince to take a likely pay-cut. (Nobody with talent is going to take a pay-cut to be told “no, we’re overlooking your Big Data web microtargeting outreach idea to send out a bunch of postcard-mailers instead. It’s what we’ve always done.”) And for everything the Rubio campaign is doing right in embracing Silicon Valley’s talent and technology, he also embraced Romney’s former ORCA leadership team (who have shown no signs of learning from their cetacean-sized failure in November 2012), and he is still struggling to gain ground and cash in a crowded primary field dominated by a regressive AM radio entertainment wing still gladly turning their microphones over to a mealymouthed shiteating harlequin named Donald Trump — who at this point, has zero digital ground-operation beyond telling his Twitter followers to spam-vote the Drudge online poll.

Trump may have his billions, but he has thus far shown zero interest in spending it on the sort of campaign infrastructure that matters for winning national elections, especially as regards digital outreach and targeting small donors and voters.

Last week, as candidates released their FEC filing data for the 3rd quarter of 2015, burn rates for GOP frontrunners were alarmingly high as it related to money spent on their GOTV and digital targeting operations. Ben Carson, for example, spent upwards of $10 million on advertising mainly through traditional ad buys and old-school mailers. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, spent a mere $450,000 on online ad buys and parlayed it into a stunning $11 million of donations. As Jeb! Bush continues to slide in polls, he has ended up slashing campaign salaries while still paying out a moderate amount on big data operations.

Meanwhile, the highest paid staffer of the Hillary Clinton campaign is her director of analytics.

One side is taking this all very seriously. One side, by all appearances, continues not to.

GOP campaigns are burning through millions of donor dollars on the same old traditional media in primaries, and the story that many of them will tell you is that they are hoping to use more tech-savvy targeted analytics later on in the general election once they get there. But as we have seen before from the Romney disaster, by then it will perhaps be too late. Patrick Ruffini of Echelon Insights (and whose Medium is an invaluable tool for understanding these topics more) had an excellent breakdown at Politico on the problems of an analytically conservative party continuously attempting to play catch-up. Ruffini writes:

“This divide is mirrored on the digital side of the campaign. Rather than hoarding money early, Democrats have invested in seven-figure email list-building programs to lay the foundation for eight- and nine-figure digital fundraising returns down the road. Clinton and Sanders are very different candidates, but the strategies they have pursued in this regard are strikingly similar. In the second quarter, each had paid online advertising firms $1.2 million, exclusive of money paid for staff or to maintain their digital infrastructure. These ads are designed to do one thing: get as many people as possible to give over their email address to the campaign, so they can later be targeted for fundraising appeals.”

The Sanders campaign, for example, is using targeted emails lists to reach individual voters and volunteers, and building out an organic movement. GOP candidates are relying on the big ad buys, the sort of impersonal arms-length outreach which may reach eyeballs of voters sitting in front of their TV, but doesn’t motivate people to donate or volunteer to knock on doors.

In short, just as the GOP itself is relying on an outdated and hostile media for its debate-hosting and moderation (instead of turning to online formats to reach non-traditional voters) GOP campaigns are pouring millions upon millions of wasted dollars into outdated, traditional advertising buys such as regional TV ads and posterboard mailers. The other challenge facing GOP candidates is simple: competition. More candidates means more (and more scattered) donors, and a primary race that devolves into a parody of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, with a dozen or so goofballs stumbling over each other for dollars and stretching their field operations to over-max capacity (hello, Scott Walker). There is only so much money to go around for so many candidates.
Cave_119
 

Which brings us to the most terrifying aspect of all of this: Eric Schmidt’s The Groundwork.

Little is known about the Google Alphabet CEO’s start-up operation, except that it is partly funded by Schmidt himself and includes several key members of the successful Obama “Cave,” the engineers who developed superior voter-targeting application platforms in 2012.  The Groundwork’s website is a single landing page with a mysterious logo that, I kid you not, resembles the Illuminati symbol. It was created before Clinton’s official launch, with one singular goal in mind: elect Hillary. QZ.com ran a profile and the information shared should be a wake up call to GOP base and the candidates bickering over how to Make America Great Again:

“…sources say the Groundwork was created to minimize the technological gap that occurs between presidential campaign cycles while pushing forward the Big Data infrastructure that lies at the heart of modern presidential politics. There is also another gap in play: The shrinking distance between Google and the Democratic Party. Former Google executive Stephanie Hannon is the Clinton campaign’s chief technology officer, and a host of ex-Googlers are currently employed as high-ranking technical staff at the Obama White House. Schmidt, for his part, is one of the most powerful donors in the Democratic Party—and his influence does not stem only from his wealth, estimated by Forbes at more than $10 billion. At a time when private-sector money is flowing largely unchecked into US politics, Schmidt’s funding of the Groundwork suggests that 2016’s most valuable resource may not be donors capable of making eight-figure donations to Super PACs, but rather supporters who know how to convince talented engineers to forsake (at least for awhile) the riches of Silicon Valley for the rough-and-tumble pressure cooker of a presidential campaign.”

On top of this, the DNC has been granted access to Organizing For Action’s coveted donor list, including all e-mail addresses. This is what is transpiring in the back rooms of the DNC and the Clinton campaign machine, while conservative candidates relitigate the Holocaust as a gun-control issue, argue about George W. Bush’s responsibility for 9/11, and generally dance the age-old jig of internecine primary warfare to nitrous oxide giggles of a network media all too happy to ensure that the clown car rolls on. While GOP campaigns struggle for oxygen, money and voters, Schmidt has already laid down a 50-state digital infrastructure and is using the best young minds he can find to target and develop it.

Make no mistake: the Republican Party is once again playing with two strikes against it.

The engineers and developers creating these platforms for Schmidt may be ideologically like-minded, but they aren’t necessarily driven by their desire to influence the national conversation as it relates to social issues or foreign policy. They simply see a problem that needs solving, and they know that if they’re the ones to solve it they can write their own post-election ticket anywhere they want. Let’s be clear: when Eric Schmidt of all people approaches you with an opportunity, you absolutely are not going to start mumbling to him about “political differences.” As far as Silicon Valley culture is concerned, you’ve just been given an Offer You Can’t Refuse. Could anybody? These young minds don’t care about e-mail scandals or leaked classified intelligence. They don’t care about debate performances or poll numbers. They don’t care what MSNBC or CNN hosts are saying. They are simply data-driven, analytical minds obsessed with solving the problem put in front of them. Unfortunately for Republicans, the problem presented to them in this case is how to elect Hillary Clinton (or maybe Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden, depending on how things shake out) as President of the United States of America.

If this outlook seems grim,  it is.

But it’s not entirely hopeless. On top of the digital strides the RNC has made with apps and e-mail targeting, a familiar ally is attempting to take the party and the candidates even further in hopes of competing with Schmidt and Google: Charles and David Koch. Koch industries poured money into a data research firm called i360, which was started by Michael Palmer, John McCain’s former chief technical strategist. Past clients included Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst and Larry Hogan. (The latter two won decisive 2014 victories in races where the Democrats had started off favored; in Hogan’s case, pretty much nobody outside his friends and family thought he would win the Maryland governor’s race until he shockingly clobbered Martin O’Malley’s handpicked successor on election night.) In Colorado, i360 assisted in targeting voters using social media analytics, credit bureau reporting data, former addresses and television watching habits. That data, once compiled, analyzed, and intelligently used, helped Cory Gardner defeat Senator Mark Uterus in what turned out to be a very close race.

Data-mining made all the difference.

The problem with applying successful GOTV analytics is the GOP’s tendency to sit on them instead of working to develop them further. Where RNC data platforms were in 2014 for midterm elections, OFA and the DNC were already in 2012 for a national election. And you can bet they’ve moved forward since then. The RNC itself has a new digital team and a new platform, Republic VX, and is hoping to grow and expand on i360’s success, but as the RNC’s new Chief Technology Officer Azarias Reda told Bloomberg earlier this year, “we can’t solve every problem campaigns have.” There is a recent record of success on the Right but it has to translate over to national campaigns and campaigns have to put emphasis, and more importantly money into these operations. This all has to happen while Hillary Clinton enjoys a comfortable primary lead and the company of tech-billionaires and developers that are culturally predisposed not to view young tech-savvy GOP candidates as options.

The “candidate” may still be the mighty seed from which all other branches grow, but Barack Obama’s election (and, more importantly, re-election) showed that the candidate and their message do not matter as much as the infrastructure surrounding them. Outdated tactics from past presidential elections will not work. The GOP candidate could be targeting voters, engaging with biased debate moderators, or dressing up in giant squirrel costumes — none of it will matter. As long as they are playing catch-up, they’ll be losing. The results will be the same.

And the GOP will be left with the grim task of having to dispose of the carcass of another giant fail whale.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on October 27, 2015, 14:35:27
Thoughts, cupper? Rifleman?

Time (http://time.com/4087545/donald-trump-burqas/)

Quote
Trump’s Foreign Policy Doesn’t Include Fighting Over Burqas

    Daniel White @danielatlarge

Oct. 26, 2015
The billionaire wants to build a "military so strong, so powerful, so everything," but won't use them to dispute women wearing head coverings

Donald Trump told a room full of New Hampshire voters that America should not stand up to countries that require women to cover their faces with burqas.

“Why are we fighting that?” the often-boisterous Republican presidential candidate asked the crowd, and added the country should “let them” wear what they want instead of entering into combat over the head coverings.

Trump also said women might prefer wearing burqas because it eliminates the need for makeup, according to the Boston Globe.


(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on October 27, 2015, 18:23:43
Thoughts, cupper? Rifleman?

Time (http://time.com/4087545/donald-trump-burqas/)

It will be 'uge.

See, this is why we need more of the Canadian political elite to start getting policy guidance from the cable news channels. Forget the think tanks, forget the wonks. If you need experts, watch the cable news shows. That's what Trump does, that's what all the politicos should do.

Unencumbered by the thought process.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on October 27, 2015, 19:15:23
More of the real reason for Trump, Carson and the rest (and Bernie Sanders on the Democrat side): the actual political establishment has become so insulated from the electorate they actually have no idea of what the electorate actually wants (or are so insulated from the effects of their actions they have no idea how these policies play out in the real world). Cupper may have been sarcastic, but cable news commentators and call in radio shows are somewhat closer to the electorate, and bloggers and new media closer still. If there are community newspapers and local television and radio stations out in the hinterland, they probably provide a more nuanced and immediate perspective than the large networks  do:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/10/26/3-sentences-that-explain-just-how-clueless-establishment-republicans-are-about-2016/

Quote
The Fix
3 sentences that explain just how clueless establishment Republicans are about 2016
By Chris Cillizza October 26 
 
The dirty little secret in Republican politics these days is that the longtime pillars of the party — politicians and ex-politicians, major donors and the consultant class — are further removed from the views of the GOP base than at any time in modern memory. They simply do not understand what the heck is happening within and to their party.

John Sununu, a former New Hampshire governor and longtime GOP hand, is one of the few who is willing to admit just how clueless he is about, among other things, the rise of Donald Trump and Ben Carson. Here's what Sununu told the New York Times's Jonathan Martin:

I have no feeling for the electorate anymore. It is not responding the way it used to. Their priorities are so different that if I tried to analyze it I’d be making it up.

Sununu is far from alone in GOP  ranks. Think about how most establishment Republicans saw this race playing out: Jeb Bush gets in, raises a ton of money and blows everyone else out of the water. By this point in the year, most of the consultant class would have predicted that Bush would be solidly in first place in most of the early states and simply polishing his policy résumé for the general-election fight to come.

But the truth that Martin exposes via Sununu is that the old ways of doing things in the Republican Party have changed significantly since even George W. Bush was elected in 2000 — running, it's worth noting, essentially the same campaign his younger brother is right now. Strategies — get big (in terms of organization), tout electability and inevitability, keep yourself close enough to the center that you can be viable in a general election — that once were fail-safe just don't work in this electoral environment where the dominant sentiment of voters is anger about everything.

For months and months and months, establishment types have counseled patience. Trump (and others) would go up and would come down, Jeb would be steady. That worked right up until Jeb raised $7 million less than Carson over the past three months and had to cut staff to stay afloat. And, oh yeah, Bush (and almost every other "establishment" candidate) is in single digits in polls in every early state that matters.

It's not just at the presidential level either. Remember how Kevin McCarthy was going to be speaker of the House? Sure, there might be some opposition — especially from the tea party-aligned Freedom Caucus — but he had plenty of votes to handle it. Except that he didn't.

We are through the looking glass. The revolution is on. And most of the old guard — Sununu being a notable exception — keeps waiting for things to return to "normal." Maybe they will. Maybe Bush or, more likely, Marco Rubio will wind up as the Republican nominee next year. But, if the recent past is prologue, there is a very real possibility that the way things have always been is not the way they will be in 2016 and someone like, yes, Carson or Trump (or maybe Ted Cruz) could win the GOP nod.

Sometimes you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on October 27, 2015, 22:28:53
More of the real reason for Trump, Carson and the rest (and Bernie Sanders on the Democrat side): the actual political establishment has become so insulated from the electorate they actually have no idea of what the electorate actually wants (or are so insulated from the effects of their actions they have no idea how these policies play out in the real world). Cupper may have been sarcastic, but cable news commentators and call in radio shows are somewhat closer to the electorate, and bloggers and new media closer still. If there are community newspapers and local television and radio stations out in the hinterland, they probably provide a more nuanced and immediate perspective than the large networks  do:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/10/26/3-sentences-that-explain-just-how-clueless-establishment-republicans-are-about-2016/

I respect Chris Cillzza's opinions and analysis, particularly his center of the spectrum viewpoint.

However, the GOP race last time was never solid until March or April, and many predicted that Romney wasn't gong to make it since he could never get above the 35% threshold. The front runner changed with each caucus or primary, starting with Bachman in the Iowa Caucuses, the Cain, then Gingritch, and so on until we were left with Santorum and Romney.

The difference this time around is the race started a 18 months early. We've been watching Trump lead for months, and now Carson. The outsiders seem to have gamed it out, and the so-called establishment candidates sucking air. But this time 4 years ago we were  just starting to see who was getting in and who wasn't.

I think you will see an establishment candidate finally take over in the March session of the primaries. As the more center oriented / moderate GOP voters figure they have no real chance going with the extreme end of the spectrum, or someone who only really seems to be in it for an ego boost.

As they say - a week in politics is a lifetime. 
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on October 28, 2015, 16:02:19
Carson is now the frontrunner to Trump's dismay. Meanwhile, Fiorina, Bush and the other so-called "presidentiables" have their poll numbers stuck in the single digits:

Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/27/us-usa-election-poll-idUSKCN0SL1T620151027)
Quote
Politics | Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:21pm EDT
Related: Politics
Ben Carson pulls ahead of Donald Trump in national poll
WASHINGTON | By Ginger Gibson

Ben Carson has placed first in a recent national Republican presidential primary poll, pushing Donald Trump into second place for the first time since June.

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, received 26 percent of the support in the New York Times/ CBS News poll released on Tuesday morning.

Trump placed second with 22 percent of the support of those surveyed, trailing by less than the 6 percentage-point margin of error. The poll of 575 Republican primary voters was conducted Oct. 21 through 25.

The Republican candidates will meet on the debate stage on Wednesday night, providing a third opportunity for them to differentiate themselves.

The national poll comes after three conducted in Iowa, the first state to vote in the primary process, showed Trump trailing Carson for the first time.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on October 28, 2015, 16:22:58
While people are (and should be) genuinely concerned with the state of things in the United States, there is still a big difference between America and the rest of the world. If the GOP were to start stressing the advantages of America (and indeed stressing the differential between Republican States and their European counterparts) they could change the narrative to something much more positive and upifting. (One can dream):

https://mises.org/blog/if-sweden-and-germany-became-us-states-they-would-be-among-poorest-states

Quote
Mises Wire
If Sweden and Germany Became US States, They Would be Among the Poorest States
October 26, 2015•Ryan McMaken

The battle over the assumed success of European socialism continues. Many European countries like Sweden have gained a reputation as being very wealthy in spite of their highly regulated and taxed economies. From there, many assume that the rest of Europe is more or less similar, even if slightly poorer. But if we look more closely at the data, a very different picture emerges, and we find that the median household in the US is better off (income-wise) than the median household in all but three European countries.

Worse than Mississippi?

Last year, a debate erupted over how Britain would compare to individual US states. In the UK Spectator, Fraser Nelson explained "Why Britain is poorer than any US state, other than Mississippi." A week later, TIME shot back with an article titled "No, Britain Is Not Poorer than Alabama." The author of the TIME article, Dan Stewart, explained that, yes, Britain is poorer than many US states, but certainly not all of them. (See below to confirm that the UK is, in fact, poorer than every state.)

The main fault of the Spectator article, its critics alleged, was that it relied primarily on GDP and GDP per capita to make the comparisons. The critics at TIME (and other publications) correctly pointed out that if one is going to draw broad conclusions about poverty among various countries, GDP numbers are arguably not the best metric. For one, GDP per capita can be skewed upward by a small number of ultra-rich persons. After all, it is just GDP divided by the total population. That gives us no idea of how the median household is doing is those areas. Also, it's best to avoid averages and stick with median values if we're looking to avoid numbers that can be pulled up by some wealthy outliers.

This same criticism was applied to a 2007 study by Swedish economists Fredrik Bergström and Robert Gidehag (and an article by Mark J Perry) who had asserted that according to their calculations, Sweden was poorer than most US states.

The Bergstrom and Gidehag study was no back-of-the-envelope analysis, but given that they did rely largely on GDP per capita data, I thought it might be helpful to use data that relies on median income data instead, so as to better account for inequalities in income and to get a better picture of what the median resident's purchasing power. Click for full size:

The nationwide median income for the US is in red. To the left of the red column are other OECD countries, and to the right of the red bar are individual US states. These national-level comparisons take into account taxes, and include social benefits (e.g., "welfare" and state-subsidized health care) as income. Purchasing power is adjusted to take differences in the cost of living in different countries into account.

Since Sweden is held up as a sort of promised land by American socialists, let's compare it first. We find that, if it were to join the US as a state, Sweden would be poorer than all but 12 states, with a median income of $27,167.

Median residents in states like Colorado ($35,830), Massachusetts ($37,626), Virginia ($39,291), Washington ($36,343), and Utah ($36,036) have considerably higher incomes than Sweden.

With the exception of Luxembourg ($38,502), Norway ($35,528), and Switzerland ($35,083), all countries shown would fail to rank as high-income states were they to become part of the United States. In fact, most would fare worse than Mississippi, the poorest state.

For example, Mississippi has a higher median income ($23,017) than 18 countries measured here. The Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom all have median income levels below $23,000 and are thus below every single US state. Not surprisingly, the poorest OECD members (Chile, Mexico, and Turkey) have median incomes far below Mississippi.

Germany, Europe's economic powerhouse, has a median income ($25,528) level below all but 9 US states. Finland ranks with Germany in this regard ($25,730), and France's median income ($24,233) is lower than both Germany and Finland. Denmark fares better and has a median income ($27,304) below all but  13 US states.

On the other hand, were Australia ($29,875), Austria ($28,735), and Canada (28,288) to join the US, they would be regarded as "middle-income states" with incomes similar to the US median of $30,616.

We Should Adjust for Purchasing-Power Differences Among States

But, I'm really being too conservative with the US numbers here. I'm comparing OECD countries to US states based on a single nation-wide purchasing power number for the US. We've already accounted for cost of living at the national level (using PPP data), but the US is so much larger than all  other countries compared here, we really need to consider the regional cost of living in the United States. Were we to calculate real incomes based on the cost of living in each state, we'd find that real purchasing power is even higher in many of the lower-income states than we see above.

Using the BEA's regional price parity index, we can take now account for the different cost of living in different states, and the new graph looks like this:
 
We now see that there's less variation in the median income levels among the US states. That makes sense because many states with low median incomes also have a very low cost of living. At the same time, many states with high median incomes have a very high cost of living.

Now that we've accounted for the low cost of living in Mississippi, we find that Mississippi ($26,517) is no longer the state with the lowest median income in real terms. New York ($26,152) is now the state with the lowest median income due to its very high cost of living.

This has had the effect of giving us a more realistic view of the purchasing power of the median household in US states. It is also more helpful in comparing individual states to OECD members, many of which have much higher costs of living than places like the American south and midwest.  Now that we recognize how inexpensive it is to live in places like Tennessee, Florida, and Kentucky, we find that residents in those states now have higher median incomes than Sweden (a place that's 30% more expensive than the US) and most other OECD countries measured.

Once purchasing power among the US states is taken into account, we find that Sweden's median income ($27,167) is higher than only six states: Arkansas ($26,804), Louisiana ($25,643), Mississippi ($26,517), New Mexico ($26,762), New York ($26,152) and North Carolina ($26,819).

We find something similar when we look at Germany, but in Germany's case, every single US state shows a higher median income than Germany. Germany's median income is $25,528. Things look even worse for the United Kingdom which has a median income of $21,033, compared to $26,517 in Mississippi.

Meanwhile, Colorado ($35,059) has a median income nearly identical to Switzerland ($35,083), and ten states (Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and Washington State) show higher median incomes than Switzerland. Luxembourg ($38,502), on the other hand, shows a median income higher than every state except New Hampshire ($39,034).

None of this analysis should really surprise us. According to the OECD's own numbers (which take into account taxes and social benefits, the US has higher median disposable income than all but three OECD countries. Sweden ranks below the US in this regard, as does Finland and Denmark.

The fact that the median level in the US is above most OECD countries thus makes it no surprise that most of these countries then rank below most US states. The US states that have income level above the median US level will, not surprisingly, outpace many OECD countries by a considerable margin.

Methods and Data

I began with the OECD's "median disposable income" metric. This is a metric developed by the OECD to compare among all member states. The measure takes into account taxes and social benefits provided.

Then, we must adjust the numbers for  purchasing power parity using the World Bank's index. At that point, we can see how the US compared to other members using dollars across all countries. I provided an analysis at the national level here.

But, in order to compare to individual US states, we have to come up with a way to make US states comparable. The OECD does not measure individual US states, so I had to use the Census Bureau's measure of median income for a place to start (2012-2013 2-year average medians). The Census numbers are much higher than the OECD numbers for a variety of reasons. In fact, the OECD income number of the US is only 59 percent of the Census number.

So, to roughly adjust state income levels for OECD methods, I cut down state level income levels to 59 percent of their Census total. This brought the median income level in Illinois, for example, down from approximately $54,000 (Census value) to $32,000 (to estimate OECD value). Similarly, one could also adjust for OECD methods by taking the OECD median income for the US ($30,616) and then adjusting to fit each individual state's median income  in relationship to the nationwide median. For example, since Wyoming (according to the Census) has a median income that is 109% of the national median income, we simply set Wyoming's median income at ~ $33,600 which is 109% of the OECD median income value of $30,616.

When adjusting for cost of living in US states, I then adjusted each state using the regional price parity numbers provided by the Bureau of Economic Affairs. Naturally, median income numbers for individual states are already in US dollars.

Is median income a good metric for poverty comparisons? Maybe, but in any case it's what OECD and UNICEF use. Typically, the "poverty rate" is calculated as either 50% or 60% of the national median income. So, apparently, the UN and OECD do think it's a relevant figure, and if poverty rates are going to be invoked as reasons for new public policy, then median incomes must be analyzed.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on October 29, 2015, 14:10:34
A good summary on the previous GOP debate:

Diplomat (http://thediplomat.com/2015/10/republican-round-3-survival-of-the-fittest/?utm_content=buffer75da3&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer)

Quote
Republican Round #3: Survival of the Fittest

Candidates focus on US economy and fight for their political future.

By Mercy A. Kuo and Angelica O. Tang
October 29, 2015

(...SNIPPED)

We break down candidates’ debate performances in three categories:

High Stakes
. Sharing center stage Donald Trump and Ben Carson sought to show which “outsider” could seize the inside lane. Trump lacked detailed policy plans. His predictable braggadocio undercut any attempts to rationalize how he would grow the economy without reforming Social Security and Medicare. In using his closing remarks to rant about the debate format, Trump reinforced his brutish style. Ben Carson’s reflective composure held steady in the absence of a standout performance, but may have benefitted from Trump’s tiresome tirades. Jeb Bush faced the fight of his political life. His underwhelming delivery and scripted retorts probably did not help resuscitate his flagging poll position. Going into this round, Marco Rubio, Bush’s chief rival, had to punch above his weight to make a clear break from the pack. A few memorable moments – countering Jeb Bush’s admonition to resign from the Senate, calling out the mainstream media as the Democrats’ Super PAC, and taking a stand against anything bad for his mother – met with uproarious audience applause and likely spiked Rubio’s standing. Ted Cruz’s description of the Democratic debate as one between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks and characterizing the media as untrustworthy was a reminder that he cannot be underestimated to tap into fiery conservative conviction.

Flank Stakes. Fighting from the flanks, John Kasich, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, and Rand Paul scored high on content and conviction but mediocre on delivery. Kasich appeared uptight. Despite Huckabee’s compelling closing remarks, he had to fight to be heard. Fiorina held her own but did not deliver the much-needed grand-slam performance she gave in the second debate. Chris Christie’s straight-shooter style was much sharper, particularly with his jab at the moderator’s rudeness even by New Jersey standards. But a respectable performance may not be enough for long-term traction. Though less combative this round, Rand Paul lacked inspiration.

Secondary Stakes. In the undercard category, with the exception of Bobby Jindal, the others – George Pataki, Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham – all took swipes at China on pollution, cyberattacks and manufacturing jobs. But in explaining that economic security is related to national security, Graham’s hand gestures of a clenched fist and open hand in dealing with China and declaring that as commander-in-chief “the crap stops here” was a reminder of China’s presence at the debate.


Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on October 30, 2015, 14:11:51
Maybe if the Republicans stand together and work a bit harder on these issues, then the election (and American politics) will be changed quite dramatically:

http://pjmedia.com/michaelwalsh/2015/10/30/the-medias-potemkin-village-starts-to-topple/?singlepage=true

Quote
The Media’s Potemkin Village Starts to Topple
But whining about liberal bias means nothing if you don't back it up with some action of your own.
by Michael Walsh
October 30, 2015 - 8:40 am

Wednesday night’s CNBC Republican debate turned out to be a tussle between the three left-leaning “moderators” and the candidates on the main stage, most of whom can safely be described as center-right. And finally — thanks largely to the huge ratings bonanza that is Donald Trump — the American people got a chance to see the true, ugly, partisan, smug, self-righteous face of what we used to call journalism, but now is simply political advocacy employing computers and television cameras under the shield of the First Amendment.
 
Ted Cruz punched the hardest when he went straight after the moderators: “This is not a cage match,” he snarled. But of course it was a cage match and never was intended to be anything else. The entire Leftist media operation cannot imagine it being anything but; for them, a group of Republicans needs to be confronted, challenged and if possible humiliated, while a group of Democrats needs to be cosseted and caressed. It’s not that it’s a deliberate plot, mind you, but rather is the result of a world view that states there is now only one side to a story, and that is the Left side. And all right-thinking people agree.

It may difficult for conservatives, who often smell a conspiracy where there is none, to accept this. Surely the lockstep, if not to say the actual socialist goosestep, of the Left can only be the result of a malevolent plot to crush conservatism. Now, crush conservatism they most certainly want to do, but for decades they’ve gotten away with it because — and this is important, so pay attention — there has been no effective opposition within the ranks of reporters and editors. Conservatives have simply taken themselves out of the game, and largely through attrition.
 
As a result, the journalists at the national level are rarely exposed to any kind of contrarian or oppositional thinking when it counts — in the story conferences.  Most civilians have no idea what these are or how, outside of the movies, they actually function, but during my 25-year stint in the mainstream media — including sixteen years at Time Magazine at the end of its glory days, they were places to present story ideas, get criticism on the spot from editors and colleagues, and hash out the days top news qua news.
 
But for lack of any pushback, the “progressive” mindset (cultivated at the university level and reinforced by the old-school ties that operate to a degree among top journalists that would amaze you), the Big Seven — the three nets, Time and Newsweek, plus the New York Times and the Washington Post — that set the agenda for the rest of the country was pretty much the epicenter of the famous “bubble” we hear so much about.  It’s also worth noting that, even today, most of the senior figures and marquee writers in the media establishment not only know each other, they socialize, live in many of the same neighborhoods, work within blocks of each other, have summer houses in the same place, sleep together, and occasionally even marry each other. It’s an incestuous as you feared.
 
But not a conspiracy. Rather think of the MSM as a small Scandinavian village, so far untouched by “diversity.” Since everybody knows each other, and follows the same rules, life is calm and good. It’s only the outsiders — those conservatives — who disrupt the natural harmony. Like foreign bodies, they must be mobilized against and expelled by the progressive immune system.  To quote a famous Leftist, Benito Mussolini, the founding father of Fascism, “everything within the State, nothing outside the State.”
 
Now here’s the thing…
 
“Mr. Trump: When did you stop beating your wife?”
 
There aren’t that many of them. The Leftist MSM may seem like a monolith, but mostly it’s a collection of rueful men and women who wish they were doing the things they’re assigned to cover, instead of actually covering them. Like groupies, they derive satisfaction and self-worth from orbiting the heavenly bodies they watch, and around whom they revolve. As I wrote on Twitter last night:
 
Dirty lil secret of MSM is that most would really rather be doing what the folks they cover do, Serious jealousy and fanboydom at work here.
 
What the candidates did the other night to the MSM should not be underestimated. At last, it was not just a lone Newt Gingrich bashing the ideological inanity of his interlocutors, but a number of them, including Cruz and Rubio. By presenting a relatively united front against the clear animosity emanating from the three CNBC hosts, the candidates were able to keep the focus off the stupid questions (“are you a comic book version of a campaign?) and onto the biases of the moderators themselves.
 
Which is why the morning-after headlines were not so much about who “won” but how CNBC — and by extension the entire MSM — disgraced itself. Bashing the media may not be a policy platform, but it’s nourishment and sustenance to a long-suffering conservative constituency which doesn’t much care whom or what is being bashed so long as somebody or something is being bashed. They’re tired of being punching bags, and especially tired of getting smacked around by folks like Reince Priebus (who approved the CNBC debacle), who are ostensibly on their side.
 
And which is also why the cracks around the foundations of MSM hegemony are a bigger story than most realize. The Soviet Union looked monolithic until a few brave Hungarians (who hated the Russians anyway) opened the floodgates to the West in 1989 and in so doing brought down both the Berlin Wall and the U.S.S.R. The MSM’s cultural hegemony will last precisely as long as it takes to even the odds — not solely, it should be noted, by creating alternative venues of news and analysis (Fox News, PJ Media, Breitbart, et al.) but by flooding the outlets of the MSM with journalists who do not wear their ideological biases on their sleeves but who can still provide skillful professional pushback to help shape the overall narrative.
 
In other words, you can’t win if you don’t play. Despite the fervent hopes of some on the Right, the New York Times (to which I’ve contributed) and the Washington Post are not going anywhere any time soon. Despite films like Truth, Hollywood will not suddenly collapse under the ideological baggage of some (not all) of its producers, writers, directors, studio execs and stars. These institutions haven’t lasted this long without having something going for them, and that is, at root, a demand for non-ideological excellence.
 
So it’s not easy to break in to places like these; it takes talent, hard work, luck and what used to be called sticktoitiveness. Whining about liberal bias means nothing if you don’t back it up with some action of your own. The MSM is shaky right now, no question. So put your shoulder to the wheel and knock it over. If you can.

 
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on October 30, 2015, 21:32:32
And a look at how the debates winnowed out the Republican contenders. Once again, we see the "Establishment", clueless and cocconed from the effects of their own policies, facing a revolt from the "unwashed masses". Why do you think that people like Trump have som much support?:

http://voxday.blogspot.ca/2015/10/the-republican-final-four.html

Quote
The Republican Final Four Three

According to the Weekly Standard, anyhow:
Tonight’s debate showed that the GOP field is smaller than it looks. Technically, there are still fourteen people running, but the winnowing is far along. We probably have a final six and possibly a final four.

The three winners of the night were pretty obvious: Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump.

Rubio ended Jeb Bush’s campaign with the kind of body shot that buckles your knees. That’s on Bush, who never should have come after Rubio in that spot for a host of strategic and tactical reasons. But what should scare Hillary Clinton is how effortless Rubio is even with throwaway lines, like “I’m against anything that’s bad for my mother.” Most people have no idea how fearsome raw political talent can be. Clinton does know because she’s seen it up close. She sleeps next to it for a contractually-obligated 18 nights per year.

Cruz was tough and canny—no surprise there. He went the full-Gingrich in his assault on CNBC’s ridiculous moderators. He did a better job explaining Social Security reform than Chris Christie, even (which is no mean feat). And managed to look downright personable compared with John Harwood, whose incompetence was matched only by his unpleasantness. If you’re a conservative voter looking for someone who is going to fight for your values, Cruz must have looked awfully attractive.

Then there was Trump. Over the last few weeks, Trump has gotten better on the stump. Well, don’t look now, but he’s getting better at debates, too. Trump was reasonably disciplined. He kept his agro to a medium-high level. And his situational awareness is getting keener, too. Note how he backed John Kasich into such a bad corner on Lehmann Brothers that he protested, “I was a banker, and I was proud of it!” When that’s your answer, you’ve lost the exchange. Even at a Republican debate.

And Trump had a hammer close: “Our country doesn’t win anymore. We used to win. We don’t anymore.” I remain convinced that this line (along with his hardliner on immigration) is the core of Trump’s appeal. But he didn’t just restate this theme in his closing argument. He used it to: (1) beat up CNBC; and (2) argue that his man-handling of these media twits is an example of what he’ll do as president. It was brilliant political theater.

Those were your winners.

Carson is irrelevant. He's just the usual Republican Maybe-This-Will-Get-Me-Out-Of-Racism-Free card, the role previously played by Alan Keyes and Hermann Cain. He's also anti-gun, so he's a non-starter.

Cruz and Rubio are competing for the same Establishment dollar as well as the Unicorn vote, also known as the Hispanic Natural Republican. Cruz is tougher than Rubio and he also looks less like an overweight frat brother, so I think he knocks Rubio aside without too much trouble.

The real question is Establishment vs Grass Roots rebellion. And there, the verdict is far from in. And not that anyone here didn't doubt that Jeb Bush was already cooked, but his epic fail raises some genuine questions about the idea that he is the smarter brother.

It’s hard to see how Jeb Bush recovers from his self-inflected wound at Wednesday’s CNBC Republican debate in Boulder when he went after Marco Rubio just after the young senator had hit one out of the park.  Rubio was defending himself from an editorial in the Sun Sentinel calling on Marco to stop “ripping off” the public and quit the Senate because of his poor attendance record.  Rubio responded that John Kerry and Barack Obama had been even more truant from the Senate while running for president and the paper had not only ignored that, but given these men their endorsement.  It was an example of  liberal media bias at its most obvious.  The crowd erupted in its first ovation of the night.  Advantage Rubio.

Clueless, Bush jumped in as if nothing had happened, taking the paper’s side and schoolmarmishly doubling down on Marco.  He got his head handed to him by Rubio (politely) and the audience.
Bush should just quit now. He's an embarrassment.

Now, if it comes to a Cruz vs Trump final, I think the Establishment will back Cruz simply because he's got more experience. On the other hand, a Cruz vs Trump final puts both men on the ticket.

I think we'll see the field seriously contract after the 10 November debate. By Thanksgiving, we should be down to 5-7 candidates, and the preference cascades will start to become clearer. One thing we can be sure of...whoever the nominee is, he was not the first choice of at least 75% of the Republicans. The key to winning will be presenting a comfortable third or fourth choice.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on October 31, 2015, 16:05:00
Rubio and Jeb Bush actually thought that past Chinese/Taiwan Guomindang leader Chiang Kai Shek was a "mystical warrior". WTF?

Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-17-year-story-behind-marco-rubios-cutdown-of-jeb-bush/2015/10/30/8edbf65c-7f13-11e5-beba-927fd8634498_story.html)


Quote
(...SNIPPED)

By 2005, the two men were close enough that when Rubio gave an emotional speech after winning the race to be Florida’s House speaker, Bush made a show of his mentorship. Bush honored Rubio with a gift: a sword, which he said belonged to a great “conservative warrior” named Chang.

“Chang is somebody who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society,” Bush told a crowd so large that a plane had to be chartered to ferry well-wishers from Miami to Tallahassee. “Chang, this mystical warrior, has never let me down.”

This gesture was even stranger than it sounds. It appears that “Chang” was not a real person but something from a Bush family in-joke about Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek (“Unleash Chiang!”).
Now, Jeb — whose ­father was once the U.S. envoy to Beijing — had garbled the story into something about a mystical warrior with a sword.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on November 11, 2015, 19:13:33
Canadian Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/trudeau-style-gender-equal-cabinet-pledge-u-no-160122528.html)

Quote
A Trudeau-style gender-equal cabinet pledge for the U.S.? No thanks, says Trump
The Canadian Press
By Alexander Panetta

WASHINGTON - Critics of Justin Trudeau's guarantee of a gender-equal cabinet have found a famous ally south of the border: Donald Trump.

The billionaire politician was asked Wednesday in an interview about imitating the new Canadian prime minister's half-male, half-female cabinet — and he said no.

An MSNBC interviewer brought up Trudeau's stated rationale for the move — "because it's 2015" — and she asked the Republican nomination contender whether he'd follow suit.

Trump replied that he has many, many women working for his companies. Perhaps even more than 50 per cent, he said. But he said he'd make cabinet appointments based exclusively on merit, not quotas.

(...SNIPPED)


Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on November 12, 2015, 21:40:43
Quote
A Trudeau-style gender-equal cabinet pledge for the U.S.? No thanks, says Trump
The Canadian Press
By Alexander Panetta

WASHINGTON - Critics of Justin Trudeau's guarantee of a gender-equal cabinet have found a famous ally south of the border: Donald Trump.

The billionaire politician was asked Wednesday in an interview about imitating the new Canadian prime minister's half-male, half-female cabinet — and he said no.

An MSNBC interviewer brought up Trudeau's stated rationale for the move — "because it's 2015" — and she asked the Republican nomination contender whether he'd follow suit.

Trump replied that he has many, many women working for his companies. Perhaps even more than 50 per cent, he said. But he said he'd make cabinet appointments based exclusively on merit, not quotas.

I would love to see the first summit meeting between a presumptive President Trump and the Young Dauphin. Of course given the Young Dauphin won't even face Sun Media reporters, you have to ask what could possibly go wrong at the summit.....
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on November 12, 2015, 23:33:08
Canadian Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/trudeau-style-gender-equal-cabinet-pledge-u-no-160122528.html)

This seems like an oddly reasonable position for Donald Trump... for the record, I hate the "because it's 2015" response. What is implied is that, because we have reached 2015 we have entered some magic vortex of equity, despite what statistics about male/female wage gaps and systemic racism in the US (and Canada) say. It's also odd that the cabinet is forced equality based on quota's... so I guess Mr. Trudeau's version of 2015 is that equality can be created through quota's and not through ability? (equality of outcomes vs equality of opportunity). I prefer Mr. Trumps approach (I think I'm going to be ill for saying that...) and look forward to the day when we can appoint a cabinet based on Mr. Trudeau's implied "it's 2015" statement and not based on quota's, which are the opposite of progress
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on November 13, 2015, 00:32:58
To Trump: Thank you Mr. Obvious! You're FIRED!    ;D

Shanghaiist (http://shanghaiist.com/2015/11/12/donald_trump_v_china.php)

Quote
On his first day in office, Donald Trump vows to declare China as a currency manipulator

Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump has been bombarding the American media and public with angry remarks voicing his displeasure with China, a country that he also happens to love dearly. Yesterday, the presidential hopeful took it up a notch and declared that his first move upon assuming office would be to force Chinese officials to mend their cruel currency manipulating ways.

This hardline stance comes from Trump’s recent trade paper on China which postures to restore American power in the relationship between the two countries. “With Donald J. Trump as president, China will be on notice that America is back in the global leadership business and that their days of currency manipulation and cheating are over," he writes.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on November 13, 2015, 11:07:16
I hope Trump realizes that unlike his business undertakings, he can't get personally rich on the back of the USA, declare the country bankrupt and then start another one again under a different name  ;D.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on November 13, 2015, 12:38:57
This seems like an oddly reasonable position for Donald Trump... for the record, I hate the "because it's 2015" response. What is implied is that, because we have reached 2015 we have entered some magic vortex of equity, despite what statistics about male/female wage gaps and systemic racism in the US (and Canada) say. It's also odd that the cabinet is forced equality based on quota's... so I guess Mr. Trudeau's version of 2015 is that equality can be created through quota's and not through ability? (equality of outcomes vs equality of opportunity). I prefer Mr. Trumps approach (I think I'm going to be ill for saying that...) and look forward to the day when we can appoint a cabinet based on Mr. Trudeau's implied "it's 2015" statement and not based on quota's, which are the opposite of progress

What the Young Dauphin's advisors have done with the "equality by quota's" thing is "virtue signalling": i.e. doing something to announce support for an assumed virtuous position. Whether the act actually accomplishes anything (or is even counterproductive) is beside the point, you have signalled that you are "doing something" towards the virtuous goal. In the early 2000's, the Mayor and city council of Toronto banned firearms ranges and took steps to harass legal gun owners to show they were "doing something" about the rising wave of gun violence. The fact that gun violence simply kept increasing despite these "signals" was conveniently overlooked by the media and political class, the only thing which actually ended the wave of violence was an international police operation which took down the Shower Posse in Jamaica, the United States and Canada.

The non answer "because it's 2015" is a deliberate attempt to end questioning and debate about the subject, and prevent the sort of close examination of the real causes and effects of the Virtue signalling action and activities. Anyone who tries to bring this up in the future will essentially be told to shut up "because its 2015"
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on November 18, 2015, 23:16:48
Technically, isn't the current administration already doing this?

Reuters (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/video/babys-body-found-connecticut-river-132831327.html)

Quote
Trump: "I would bomb the hell out of ISIS"

1 hour 10 minutes ago, Reuters Videos
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says if he becomes president, Syrian refugees are going back and that he would "bomb the hell out of ISIS." Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on November 18, 2015, 23:38:00
Technically, isn't the current administration already doing this?

Reuters (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/video/babys-body-found-connecticut-river-132831327.html)

See this is the problem. The Administration and the GOP wannabes just don't know what the solution is.

They should be bombing them TO HELL, not be bombing hell out of them. Seriously? Come on!. Let's get with the program people.
;D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on November 19, 2015, 15:03:51
The Syrian refugee issue also reaches the US presidential candidates' debates.

Apparently the official figure is 10,000, though there is apparent confusion...

Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/11/18/repeat-after-me-obama-is-not-admitting-100000-200000-or-250000-syrian-refugees/)

Quote
Repeat after me: Obama is not admitting 100,000, 200,000 or 250,000 Syrian refugees
By Glenn Kessler November 18

“If we’re going to be bringing 200,000 people over here from that region — if I were one of the leaders of the global jihadist movement and I didn’t infiltrate that group of people with my people, that would be almost malpractice.”

— Ben Carson, Nov. 13, 2015

“I am angry that President Obama unilaterally decides that we’ll accept up to 100,000 Syrian refugees while his administration admits we cannot determine their ties to terrorism.”

— Former Hewlett Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina, Nov. 14

“Our president wants to take in 250,000 from Syria. I mean, think of it. 250,000 people. And we all have heart. And we all want people taken care of and all of that. But with the problems our country has, to take in 250,000 people — some of whom are going to have problems, big problems.”

— businessman Donald Trump, Nov. 14

“When the president says things like, you know, through an executive order, ‘I’m going to bring 100,000 people in here from Syria,’ Congress needs to say ‘you do that and we’re going to defund everything including your breakfast.’ “

— Carson, quoted in a SuperPac ad released Nov. 17

Sometimes fact checks have an impact, sometimes unfortunately they don’t.

In October, Donald Trump earned Four Pinocchios for repeatedly making the outlandish claim that President Obama was planning to admit 200,000 refugees from war-torn Syria.

Rather than drop the figure, Trump has boosted it to 250,000. And other candidates have followed his lead with exaggerated figures, just not quite as high. Ben Carson claimed 200,000 from the Middle East “region” and 100,000 from Syria;  Fiorina said 100,000 from Syria.

In a tweet, Trump even evoked the image of a flood of Syrian refugees “now pouring into” the United States:

    Refugees from Syria are now pouring into our great country. Who knows who they are – some could be ISIS. Is our president insane?

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2015

(We initially thought Sen. Rand Paul might qualify for scrutiny as well, since he told reporters in Florida on Nov. 14 that “I would not admit 200,000 people from Syria.” But a check of the audio found that he was responding to a question from an uninformed reporter who flatly stated that the administration had agreed to admit 200,000 from Syria.)

In fact, the planned number of Syrian refugees thus far is 10,000. How can people running for president — even if they are all political novices — continue to get this so wrong?

The Facts

As we have explained before, the only thing close to a 200,000 figure is an announcement in September by Secretary of State John Kerry that the United States was prepared to boost the number of total refugees accepted from around the world in fiscal 2016, from 70,000 to 85,000. Then, in 2017, Kerry said that 100,000 would be accepted.

That adds up to 185,000 over two years. But this would be the total number of refugees, not the number of refugees from Syria.

By law, the president every fiscal year sets the maximum number of refugees the United States can accept in a year. (Note to Carson: This is not done by executive order; it is a legal requirement.) Over the past decade, the annual limit has been between 70,000 and 80,000, according to the Congressional Research Service. (In fiscal 2013, about 30 percent came from the Middle East, mostly from Iraq.) So, 100,000 from around the world in 2017 would be a big jump, assuming Obama goes through with the pledge to authorize that level. But nothing is set in stone.

As for Syria, Obama has only directed the United States to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next year. That’s certainly an increase — fewer than 2,200 Syrians have been admitted to the United States since the uprising began in March 2011, according to State Department officials — but it’s hardly the flood that Trump worries about. (Indeed, it’s only a drop in the bucket of some 4 million Syrian refugees.) In theory, if Obama lifted the ceiling to 100,000 in 2017 and then filled the gap entirely with Syrians, that would be 25,000 more–but that’s still far less then 100,000.

Note: Some readers have pointed to this tweet by Obama as evidence for the “100,000” figure. Note the phrase “and other refugees.” We certainly hope the candidates are not basing their assertions on a tweet.

    We're also increasing the number of Syrian and other refugees we admit to the U.S. to 100,000 per year for the next two years.

    — President Obama (@POTUS) September 28, 2015

Of those admitted to the United States from Syria so far, about half have been children and a quarter are adults over  60. There are slightly more men than women, but only 2 percent of those admitted are single males of combat age, officials said.

Representatives for Trump, Carson and Fiorina did not respond to queries.


Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on November 21, 2015, 12:11:06
During WW2, were nationals from Axis countries in North America supposed to register before the attack on Pearl Harbor? Just curious. Aside from the detainment camps of Japanese Americans during that war.

Canadian Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/republican-candidates-disavow-trumps-call-requiring-muslims-us-173728411.html)

Quote
Trump's presidential rivals decry his call for registering US Muslims; 'abhorrent,' says Bush
The Canadian Press
By Julie Pace And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Republican presidential rivals rushed Friday to condemn Donald Trump's support for a government database to track Muslims in the United States, drawing a sharp distinction with the Republican front-runner on a proposal also deemed unconstitutional by legal experts.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called the prospect of a registry "abhorrent." Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said the idea was "unnecessary" and not something Americans would support. And Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has largely avoided criticizing Trump throughout the 2016 campaign, said, "I'm not a fan of government registries of American citizens."

"The First Amendment protects religious liberty, and I've spent the past several decades defending the religious liberty of every American," Cruz told reporters in Sioux City, Iowa.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: recceguy on November 21, 2015, 12:37:36
The Syrian refugee issue also reaches the US presidential candidates' debates.

Apparently the official figure is 10,000, though there is apparent confusion...

Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/11/18/repeat-after-me-obama-is-not-admitting-100000-200000-or-250000-syrian-refugees/)

Given that Obama hasn't told anyone, including the governors, what the plan is, or how it's going to be carried out, confusion is understandable.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: George Wallace on November 21, 2015, 13:57:49
During WW2, were nationals from Axis countries in North America supposed to register before the attack on Pearl Harbor? Just curious. Aside from the detainment camps of Japanese Americans during that war.

Canadian Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/republican-candidates-disavow-trumps-call-requiring-muslims-us-173728411.html)

Now we just have to wait for all the "Talking Heads" from the CAIR, Black Panthers, NAN, NAACP, etc. and the biggest one of all, Al Sharpton to hit the airwaves.  This ridiculous statement by Trump is another of his ploys to get people talking, and not necessarily in a good way.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 01, 2015, 13:48:24
Explaining the how and why of Donald Trump. I suspect that in the beginning, running for President was some sort of self promotion ploy by Donald Trump, but as his words resonated with the voting public and he kept rising in the polls, the race took on a life of its own. Donald is now riding a tiger, and there is no next stop to get off....

This is also an interesting look at how the media echo chamber has evolved, and also goes some way to explaining why the media seems so clueless in covering Trump (as well as people like Dr Carson and Carly Fiorina).

http://pressthink.org/2015/11/i-will-try-to-explain-why-the-trump-candidacy-has-been-so-confounding-to-our-political-press/

Quote
So I will try to explain why the Trump candidacy has been so confounding to our political press.
Nov. 29

Those “laws of political gravity?” They were never really laws.
 
From a week ago on Twitter:
 

Not quite, Ben.
 
I was not a fan of the way the political press used its gatekeeping powers when they were more robust. I felt that political journalism had lost its way. Still do. But I never called for, or looked forward to a system in which journalists and journalism ceased to matter. A public service press is one way we can hold power to account. It helps prevent lying from being raised to a universal principle in politics. That is important work. We need to figure out how it can continue.
 
Now to Ben Smith’s point — media gatekeepers don’t have that kind of muscle any more — add these observations:
 
Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post:
 

There was almost always a line that wasn’t crossed in years past, a sort of even-partisans-can-agree-on-this standard. Now, in large part because of Donald Trump’s candidacy, that line has been smudged out of existence. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s famous quote that “you are entitled to your own opinion … but you are not entitled to your own facts” is no longer operative in this campaign.
 
Howard Kurtz, Fox News:


The media refs are really savaging him after a couple of misstatements and missteps, even as they struggle to understand why he pays no penalty when they blow the whistle. What they don’t quite grasp is that their attacks only make him stronger. This is not to let him off the hook for mistakes, just to recognize that Trump has completely rewritten the rule book, infuriating those who thought they enforced the rules.
 
Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone:
 

Until recently, the narrative of stories like this has been predictable. If a candidate said something nuts, or seemingly not true, an army of humorless journalists quickly dug up all the facts, and the candidate ultimately was either vindicated, apologized, or suffered terrible agonies… That dynamic has broken down this election season. Politicians are quickly learning that they can say just about anything and get away with it. Along with vindication, apology and suffering, there now exists a fourth way forward for the politician spewing whoppers: Blame the backlash on media bias and walk away a hero.
 
NBC reporter Katy Tur (Via Greg Sargent.)
 

I spoke to a lot of his supporters who are waiting to come into this rally. And I asked them what they think of Donald Trump and whether or not they’re bothered by his inaccurate statements and whether they think they matter. And not a single one of them said that they thought it mattered. They said they like him because they think he’s going to be a strong leader, and they think he’s going to bring the change to Washington that they want. In fact, they blame the liberal media, as they say, on perpetrating lies against Donald Trump. They repeatedly asked, why don’t you ask this about Hillary Clinton, why don’t you ask this about President Obama? So there’s definitely a party line feeling among his supporters, that it is us-versus-them. And unfortunately, the media is very much the ‘them’ in this situation.

How should we interpret all this? Let me try my hand.

1. “The laws of political gravity” were never laws.
 
To an extent unrealized before this year, the role of the press in presidential campaigns relied on shared assumptions within the political class and election industry about what the rules were and what the penalty would be for violating them. This was the basis for familiar rituals like “the gaffe,” which in turn relied on assumptions about how a third party, the voters, would react once they found out about the violation. These assumptions were rarely tested because the risk seemed too high, and because risk-averse professionals — strategists, they’re called — were in charge of the campaigns.

The whole system rested on shared beliefs about what would happen if candidates went beyond the system as it stood cycle to cycle. Those beliefs have now collapsed because Trump “tested” and violated most of them— and he is still leading in the polls. (Rob Ford in Canada was there before Trump.) There has been a cascading effect as conventions that depended on one another give way. The political press is pretty stunned by these developments. It keeps asking: when will the “laws of political gravity” be restored? Or have they simply vanished?
 
“The question now is whether Candidate Trump is immune from the laws of political gravity or soon will be isolated and regarded as an object of scorn or curiosity rather than of presidential seriousness,” wrote the Washington Post’s Dan Balz back in July. (Other uses of that phrase here, here and here.) But what the press describes as “laws” were never really that. They were at best conventions among the political class, in which I include most Washington journalists— though they would not include themselves.
 
2. Isomorphism for the win!
 
“Institutional isomorphism,” a phrase only an academic could love, is the title of a famous paper in sociology (DiMaggio and Powell, 1983) that sought to explain why different institutions in the same field tend to resemble each other, even as they struggle to compete and to “win.” The authors observe that “organizations tend to model themselves after similar organizations that they perceive to be more legitimate or successful.” It’s not a coincidence. There are structural forces at work that appear again and again across vastly different industries and fields.
 
For example, if a firm is competing for talent it will want to offer the same kind of stage for talent to display itself. Meanwhile, the talent knows that if it cannot mesh well with competing firms it has no leverage over its current one. When Jeff Zeleny, a political reporter for ABC News, moved to CNN this year (to do the same thing he did at ABC) he did not have to assimilate a new view of politics or a different definition of the journalist’s role. Isomorphism had already taken care of that. No one thinks this the least bit remarkable.
 
Similarly, when in 2009 CNN created ‘State of the Union’ to compete with the likes of ‘Meet the Press’ and ‘Face the Nation,’ it simply copied those shows in almost every detail. Again, no one thinks that’s weird. It’s just what you do in TV news.


Highly structured organizational fields [presidential campaigns would qualify as one, but so would large news organizations] provide a context in which individual efforts to deal rationally with uncertainty and constraint often lead in the aggregate to homogeneity in structure, culture and output.
 
In other words, the more they try to compete at one level the more similar they become at all the others. (True for universities too.) But notice: Trump is not an institution. He is really his own campaign manager, spokesman and chief strategist, which means that the chief strategist of the Trump campaign — Trump — doesn’t care if he ever gets hired by another campaign. Poof! There goes one of the little structural forces that tend toward isomorphism. Multiply by 100 and you have pundits asking: have the laws of political gravity been repealed?
 
3. Weak sense of purpose.
 
DiMaggio and Powell note that isomorphism is especially likely in institutions with ambiguous or unclear goals. That describes the teams of reporters, editors and producers who create most of the campaign coverage we see.
 
In May of this year I attended a two-day conference in Chicago for journalists covering the 2016 campaign. Among the panelists were established stars like Chuck Todd of NBC and Mark Halperin of Bloomberg, along with the chairs and communications directors of the two major parties. In the audience were young journalists assigned to election coverage from news organizations around the country. One of the striking things about the event (for me) was the complete vacuum of discussion around the ultimate aims of campaign coverage. No one even thought to ask: what are we trying to accomplish here? What’s the goal of our coverage in 2016? Everyone already knew the answer: We’re here to cover the campaign! To find great stories that readers will love! To be savvy analysts of what’s likely to happen. There’s a circularity to these answers that doesn’t register among the people working inside the circle.

Why does this matter? First, because it leads to a homogeneity in coverage that isn’t chosen but automatic. Second, another way to ask about ultimate goals is to put the question in a more threatening form: what’s your agenda in covering the campaign? To that question the political journalists at NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, PBS, NPR, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, Time magazine would all return the same non-answer. No agenda, just solid coverage. “We report, you decide.” (Fox News.) “The Only Side We Choose is Yours.” (CNN.)
 
In founding FNC, Roger Ailes understood the isomorphic factor and decided to ape the conventions of TV news, while shifting the product to appeal to an under-served market and thereby become a force in Republican politics. One of the conventions he aped is to keep silent on questions of purpose. Into that vacuum flow accusations of bias, which is fine with Ailes. (“I’ll tell you what your agenda is!”) That flow has now become a raging torrent, eroding trust, coarsening dialogue, re-inforcing bad habits like false balance, and acting as a wedge issue in the media sphere.
 
4.) Strong sense of purpose.
 
For a good contrast with punting on questions of purpose I offer you Univision and its lead anchor Jorge Ramos, who knows what he’s for and which public he represents.
 

“The Republican Party has been complaining lately about how some Latino journalists, including me, only ask them about immigration,” he said. “That is correct, but what Republicans don’t understand is that for us, the immigration issue is the most pressing symbolically and emotionally, and the stance a politician takes on this defines whether he is with us or against us.”
 
Ramos, who is one of the most trusted public figures among American Latinos, according to polls, has been an outspoken supporter of federal legislation that would pave a path to citizenship for those living in the country illegally.
 
He has pressed candidates from both parties on the issue. In the 2012 campaign, he hammered President Obama, who had promised but failed to deliver an immigration bill during his first term. More recently, he has criticized Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, who as a senator from Florida helped write an immigration reform bill but dropped support for it after it drew conservative anger
 
“Both parties now view him with trepidation,” said the New York Times in January. The example of Ramos shows that knowing what you’re for doesn’t have to mean joining the team or taking a party line. It’s possible to maintain your independence, win trust with your audience, and gain a clear sense of purpose when you’re out on the campaign trail. But you have to break with the pack.
 
And as I have written before there is a difference — a crucial difference — between doing politics and doing journalism:
 

If your job is to make the case, win the negotiations, decide what the community should do, or maintain morale, that is one kind of work. If your job is to tell people what’s going on, and equip them to participate without illusions, that is a very different kind of work. To put it a little more sharply, power-seeking and truth-seeking are different behaviors, and this is what creates the distinction between politics and journalism. The work of the journalist cannot be done without a commitment to the act of reporting, which means gathering information, talking to people who know, trying to verify and clarify what actually happened and to portray the range of views as they emerge from events.
 
A primary commitment to reporting therefore distinguishes the work of the journalist. Declining to express a view does not. Refusing to vote does not. Pretending to be ideology-free or “objective” on everything does not. Getting attacked from both sides? Nope.

Of course, everyone can’t be Jorge Ramos or take up the Latinos-in-America cause. That works for Univision and its English-language brand, Fusion. What would work for the mainstream media, as it is still called in the U.S.? Well, I don’t know. I tried to answer that question in 2010, and I think there may be some value in the approach I described there.
 
Probably the best thing that the major news organizations could do at this point is differentiate: that is, go right at the isomorphism. Try different approaches to untangling the mobius strip of Trump coverage, in which he attacks the news media, dominates its coverage, withstands its “checking” powers, astonishes its pundits, and feeds off the furor that all this creates. One thing I know. Tossing around terms like “post-truth” and then moving briskly on to other news — such as you see here — is not the sign of a serious press.

After Matter: Notes, Reactions & Links
 
Disclosure: As reported by the Huffington Post, in 2016 my students and I will be collaborating with Fusion.net on different ways to do election journalism.

“It’s difficult for journalists to successfully call politicians on their incorrect or misleading claims in the absence of political opponents who are doing the same.” Political scientist David A. Hopkins responds to this post.

From Jonathan Stray, It’s not you: political journalism really is broken:
 

“Think for a minute what you could do about ____ that isn’t reading political news, then think if the political news you are reading helps you do that.”

Donald Trump May Not Be a Fascist, But He is Leading Us Merrily Down That Path by David Neiwert is a careful and detailed examination by a writer who knows what he’s talking about.

Ben Smith (now editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed, formerly a political reporter) responds:
 

Well, I’m not sure what I said in this post that is contingent on Trump doing well, Ben.
 
PressThink, four years ago:


The lines are usually attributed to Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “You’re entitled to your own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts.”
 
But suppose there arose on the political scene a practical caucus for the opposite view. We are entitled to our own facts, and we will show you what we think of your attempt to “check” us. If that happened, would the press know what to do?

“Here’s what those of us trapped inside the gilded New York-Washington brain cage miss: Trump may not be telling the truth, but he’s sure as hell telling their truth. This allows him to shatter most conventions of presidential campaigning, especially the notion that you have to run a positive campaign (or at least outsource your vitriol to surrogates) in order to win.” —Glenn Thrush, Politico. (My italics.) #
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on December 03, 2015, 15:40:08
Donald Trump again:

Reuters via Yahoo News (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/trump-calls-targeting-islamic-state-fighters-families-194020290.html)

Quote
Trump calls for targeting Islamic State fighters' families
Reuters – 20 hours ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said on Wednesday his plan for combating Islamic State militants involves targeting not just the group's fighters but also their families.

"When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families," Trump said on Fox News. "They care about their lives, don't kid yourselves."

Trump said if he were president, he would try to avoid civilian deaths in going after the militant group, but he said the Obama administration was "fighting a very politically correct war."

Christoph Wilcke of Human Rights Watch said in response to Trump's comments that military forces legally can only target combatants. "The family members of fighters are civilians and cannot be targeted," he said in an email.

Trump's comments about the families of Islamic State fighters came a day after Lebanon released the ex-wife of the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and other jailed Islamists in an exchange

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on December 03, 2015, 21:37:44
Yep. That's the solution right there.  ::)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: tomahawk6 on December 04, 2015, 09:18:21
Wasnt that a British colonial policy as well when dealing with rebels ? Go after the families.Israel destroys the homes of terrorists.Same principle.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Jed on December 04, 2015, 11:44:27
Wasnt that a British colonial policy as well when dealing with rebels ? Go after the families.Israel destroys the homes of terrorists.Same principle.

Apparently, Israel has the only policy that appears to be functioning. Now that's a harsh truth.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on December 08, 2015, 02:03:44
More Trump sound bytes:

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/07/politics/donald-trump-muslim-ban-immigration/)

Quote
Trump: Ban all Muslim travel to U.S.

By Jeremy Diamond, CNN

Updated 8:58 PM ET, Mon December 7, 2015 | Video Source: CNN

 (CNN)Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump called Monday for barring all Muslims from entering the United States.

"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," a campaign press release said.

Trump, who has previously called for surveillance against mosques and said he was open to establishing a database for all Muslims living in the U.S., made his latest controversial call in a news release. His message comes in the wake of a deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, by suspected ISIS sympathizers and the day after President Barack Obama asked the country not to "turn against one another" out of fear.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on December 08, 2015, 09:21:12
How is he going to figure out who is Muslim ???

Oh! Silly me, he is going to have them sow and wear a yellow moon Crescent symbol on their breast pocket, obviously.

The worse thing here is that such speech panders to a small but vocal and growing segment of the American population, some times referred to as Dominionists and Reconstructionists, who are as radical in their interpretation of the bible as the "radical" Islamists. They seek (and see it as their mission in life) to take control in Washington  and install there a Christian theocracy that would live and govern by the Ten Commandments and the rules of the Old testament.

If you don't believe me, just google "American Taliban".

Typical of their position would be statements like the following, from one Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, an organization that intimidates abortion providers in the US ("intimidate" in this context often means to threaten them with death, and actually attempt to carry out these murders, forcing the personnel from these clinics to live their life with constant body guards or police protection):

"Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism. Our goal must be simple. We must have a Christian nation built on God's law, on the Ten Commandments. No Apologies."

Ref: http://adultthought.ucsd.edu/Culture_War/The_American_Taliban.html

I don't believe these people will ever achieve power in the US, and if they ever did, a "Christian nation based on the Ten Commandments" is so contrary to the secular Constitution of the United States that it would degenerate into another civil war. But it is unacceptable in my view for anyone who pretends to the presidency of the United States to pander in any way to such a view of the nation.   
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 08, 2015, 09:36:21
Pandering to potential voters is ALL these people do. The eliminationist rhetoric of the Left is equally offensive to many people as the sort of stuff Trump puts out, for the same reasons and with the same results.

And of course we have similar examples here in Canada, and the NAtional Socialist parites in Europe are on the rise, using much the same rhetoric against the "migrants" to whip up voter fervor.

So this is neither unusual or unexpected, and there should be no expectation that this will change anytime soon.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Pencil Tech on December 08, 2015, 11:18:05
How is he going to figure out who is Muslim ???

Oh! Silly me, he is going to have them sow and wear a yellow moon Crescent symbol on their breast pocket, obviously.

The worse thing here is that such speech panders to a small but vocal and growing segment of the American population, some times referred to as Dominionists and Reconstructionists, who are as radical in their interpretation of the bible as the "radical" Islamists. They seek (and see it as their mission in life) to take control in Washington  and install there a Christian theocracy that would live and govern by the Ten Commandments and the rules of the Old testament.

If you don't believe me, just google "American Taliban".

Typical of their position would be statements like the following, from one Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, an organization that intimidates abortion providers in the US ("intimidate" in this context often means to threaten them with death, and actually attempt to carry out these murders, forcing the personnel from these clinics to live their life with constant body guards or police protection):

"Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism. Our goal must be simple. We must have a Christian nation built on God's law, on the Ten Commandments. No Apologies."

Ref: http://adultthought.ucsd.edu/Culture_War/The_American_Taliban.html

I don't believe these people will ever achieve power in the US, and if they ever did, a "Christian nation based on the Ten Commandments" is so contrary to the secular Constitution of the United States that it would degenerate into another civil war. But it is unacceptable in my view for anyone who pretends to the presidency of the United States to pander in any way to such a view of the nation.

That was a great post OGBD. There were two significant cultural threads in the colonies that would become the USA 1) The Enlightenment, as typified by Franklin and Jefferson, i.e. a rationalist, deist, unorthodox and quite agnostic religious viewpoint; and 2) The ultra rigid Calvinist puritanism of the original New England settlers, exiled from England because of their religious extremism.
I find it infuriating when extreme rightwing American politicians and commentators invoke the "Founding Fathers" in support of their views. They evoke Franklin, Jefferson et al, when they are actually speaking with the voice of those "Pilgrim Fathers", the original American Taliban.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Lumber on December 08, 2015, 11:34:55
The worse thing here is that such speech panders to a small but vocal and growing segment of the American population, some times referred to as Dominionists and Reconstructionists, who are as radical in their interpretation of the bible as the "radical" Islamists.

What helps people like this to gain momentum and support is the ignorance of others:

Enjoy:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/bible-quran-disguise-dutch-pranksters-youtube-1.3354446
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 08, 2015, 12:45:04
More on Trump's MO. I'm surprised journalists haven't caught on to this earlier, given Trum's entire working career has been based on negotiating real estate deals, but then again, how doies that fit into the "narrative"?:

http://www.redstate.com/2015/12/07/this-is-a-brilliant-move-by-donald-trump/

Quote
This is a Brilliant Move by Donald Trump
By: Erick Erickson (Diary)  |  December 7th, 2015 at 06:43 PM  |  115

Donald Trump just trumped all the Republican candidates for President.
 
The day after the mom jeans wearing squat to pee President came out to assure us that tolerance, gun control, and climate change would save us from ISIS, Donald Trump demanded we bar any muslims from entering this country and bar any American citizen who is muslim from re-entering the United States.

Set aside the merits of what amounts to at least, in part, an unconstitutional position.
 
This is actually brilliant politics for the here and now. Immediately, every other Republican candidate except Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) rushed out to attack Donald Trump. He’s unhinged, hateful, etc. And the responses all amounted to “we must let muslims enter our country,” which sounds a whole lot like “we must allow all Mexicans in our country,” which everyone knows is blatantly untrue on both counts.
 
We do not have to do it, but the other candidates, unable to nuance their spittle, went all in with “no religious tests” and “yes we must do this because it is who we are.”
 
So, to put it another way, the day after the President failed to reassure a scared public following the second worst terrorist attack since 9/11 on domestic soil, Donald Trump not only got himself to the right of all the other candidates, but also got every single one of them save for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to align themselves with Barack Obama.
 
Hate Donald Trump all you want, be offended by his proposal all you want, but it is really brilliant politics for Trump right now in the Republican primary and the reactions from the other candidates prove it. All the people attacking Trump on his immigration proposals now attacking him on this have done themselves no favors within the primary process.
 
Have none of these people read Art of the Deal? This is an opening, bombastic salvo to set the terms of negotiations and the other candidates except Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) just decided to negotiation in Barack Obama’s position. And it comes at a time some polls are suggesting Trump is starting to fade in places like Iowa.

Again, ignore the merits and constitutionality — the politics of this work to his advantage.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: milnews.ca on December 08, 2015, 12:53:32
How is he going to figure out who is Muslim ???

Oh! Silly me, he is going to have them sow and wear a yellow moon Crescent symbol on their breast pocket, obviously.

The worse thing here is that such speech panders to a small but vocal and growing segment of the American population, some times referred to as Dominionists and Reconstructionists, who are as radical in their interpretation of the bible as the "radical" Islamists. They seek (and see it as their mission in life) to take control in Washington  and install there a Christian theocracy that would live and govern by the Ten Commandments and the rules of the Old testament.

If you don't believe me, just google "American Taliban".

Typical of their position would be statements like the following, from one Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, an organization that intimidates abortion providers in the US ("intimidate" in this context often means to threaten them with death, and actually attempt to carry out these murders, forcing the personnel from these clinics to live their life with constant body guards or police protection):

"Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism. Our goal must be simple. We must have a Christian nation built on God's law, on the Ten Commandments. No Apologies."

Ref: http://adultthought.ucsd.edu/Culture_War/The_American_Taliban.html

I don't believe these people will ever achieve power in the US, and if they ever did, a "Christian nation based on the Ten Commandments" is so contrary to the secular Constitution of the United States that it would degenerate into another civil war. But it is unacceptable in my view for anyone who pretends to the presidency of the United States to pander in any way to such a view of the nation.
Sounds like some firm measures are in order ....  >:D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on December 08, 2015, 19:00:35
The backlash in Vancouver over Trump's not so PC comments:

CBC (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/donald-trump-tower-vancouver-ban-twitter-1.3355241)

Quote
Donald Trump's anti-Muslim stance triggers Vancouver tower backlash
Republican presidential candidate called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims" entering the U.S.

e growing to remove Donald Trump's name from a Vancouver tower following the Republican presidential candidate's call for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."

After Trump made the remarks on Monday, former Vancouver city planner Brent Toderian tweeted that the developers building the Trump Tower in Vancouver should remove his name from the building.

"I seriously suggest that Vancouverites call on @TrumpVancouver to remove his name," Toderian said on Twitter.

That call was then echoed by Vancouver city councillor Kerry Jang on Tuesday, who says the city can't do anything to stop the building from bearing Trump's name, but he has written to the developer asking them to part ways with Trump.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on December 08, 2015, 21:25:14
Interesting premise I heard last night in regards to Trump's latest episode.

Could Trump have launched his latest doozie in deliberate effort to tank his run, since nothing else he has done to this point has resulted in a negative outcome?

Did Trump get into the race as a lark to stir the pot and drum up publicity, with no real thought that this could possibly succeed in gaining the nomination, let alone the White House? Only to find that the electorate (the GOP side of the ledger at least) are in a mood to put anyone other than the mainstream Washington insiders in power? And now that there is a more than fleeting chance that he could well win the nomination is he doing what ever he can to try and tank his campaign?

The cynic in me says that he just isn't that smart.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: jollyjacktar on December 08, 2015, 22:58:43
I think there's no way he wouldn't want the job.  He has an insatiable appetite for an ego.  The beast needs lots of feeding and maintenance.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Old Sweat on December 08, 2015, 23:13:56
I think there's no way he wouldn't want the job.  He has an insatiable appetite for an ego.  The beast needs lots of feeding and maintenance.

Unlikely, but he could also say, "I walked away from a sure shot at becoming the most powerful man in the world because it didn't have enough challenges for ME!"
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: tomahawk6 on December 09, 2015, 14:24:36
President carter during the Iran crisis banned Iranians entry into the US.The President has the power to bar any class of people entry into the country.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1182#

(f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President
 Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: milnews.ca on December 09, 2015, 14:48:53
President carter during the Iran crisis banned Iranians entry into the US.The President has the power to bar any class of people entry into the country.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1182#

(f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President
 Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.
A good reminder - thanks for sharing this.

That said, WAY easier to confirm what country someone's from than what religion they believe ....  As one generall-left-of-centre commentator/comedian said, if Trump is serious about registering every Muslim in the U.S., he'd have to keep all the illegal Mexicans to do all the work required  >:D
Unlikely, but he could also say, "I walked away from a sure shot at becoming the most powerful man in the world because it didn't have enough challenges for ME!"
That presumes a certain level of self-awareness ....
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on December 09, 2015, 18:18:29
Putting things in historical context:

Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/12/08/muslims-are-to-trump-as-the-chinese-were-to-president-arthur-in-1882/)

Quote
Muslims are to Trump as the Chinese were to President Arthur in 1882

The “Chinaman” was a familiar figure to many Americans in the mid-1800s. His likeness was unmistakable: slit eyes, a perpetual grimace, traditional loose-fitting garb and a long, snake-like ponytail tightly tied to an otherwise bald head.

He looked like an unsavory character — and most importantly, an alien one.

The first major arrival of Chinese immigrants to the United States occurred during the California Gold Rush of the late 1840s, and with them emerged a strong current of anti-Chinese sentiment. From the very beginnings of their presence in the country, Chinese people were regarded as dangerous foreigners who took jobs and opportunities away from hardworking Americans.

Under those circumstances, it was almost inevitable that a political movement would arise in the name of eliminating a group widely regarded as a social and economic ill. The 1870s saw the formation of the Workingmen’s Party of California, whose motto was simply and succinctly “The Chinese Must Go!”

Within a decade, its campaign succeeded, contributing to President Chester Arthur’s 1882 signing of the Chinese Exclusion Act: the first federal law to exclude a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the country.

The Chinese Exclusion Act is also the closest cousin to what Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump proposed Monday when he called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Jed on December 09, 2015, 18:53:47
Putting things in historical context:

Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/12/08/muslims-are-to-trump-as-the-chinese-were-to-president-arthur-in-1882/)

Interesting.  It didn't work very well did it? (Thank God)   [:)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 09, 2015, 23:27:04
Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) on why Trum has so much appeal. The warning is also very clear for others, weak, ineffectual and dishonest politicians and the political class give rise to someone or something which does not appear to be weak, ineffectual and dishonest. We see this in the steady growth of nativist and national socialist parties in Europe in response to the Eurocrats and the machinations of European politicians , and one can only wonder how much longer our own political class will be spared from a "Trump" or "Le Pen" (one does not have to look too far to find examples of "weak, ineffectual or dishonest" politicians at all levels of Canadian government). Seen this way, the Ford brothers are not quite so remarkable. Who will follow in their footsteps?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/12/09/glenn-reynolds-liberals-have-chosen-donald-their-destructor/76996298/

Quote
Glenn Reynolds: Liberals have chosen The Donald as their 'Destructor'
Glenn Harlan Reynolds 10:23 a.m. EST December 9, 2015
Weak and ineffectual leadership created the vacuum Trump is filling.

“Choose the form of the Destructor,” says the demon in Ghostbusters. Bill Murray, et al., got the giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Our political and media elites, on the other hand, got Donald Trump.

Everyone is aghast at Trump’s latest plan, to suspend all immigration by Muslims. But it’s no coincidence that Trump’s announcement came less than a day after a limp, toneless speech by President Barack Obama on terrorism, one that left Americans feeling much less safe.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, then-president George W. Bush made clear that Muslims weren’t our enemy: Radical Islamists were. Because Bush took steps against those radical Islamists that made people feel safer, there was no significant anti-Muslim backlash, though all the bien-pensant types thought it certain that those rubes in flyover country would get violent.

Obama, on the other hand, responded to an attack by Islamic State-linked Muslims with a mixture of pablum and an effort at distraction by talking about gun bans for people on the no-fly list. (Even lefty publications like the LA Times and Slate thought that idea dumb). Before that attack took place, Obama was already polling terribly on terror: According to a CNN/ORC poll taken between 11/27 and 12/1, only 33% of Americans approved of Obama’s handling of ISIL; 64% disapproved. I doubt that Obama’s ratings will improve when the post-San Bernardino polls come in.

And Obama’s public statements have seemed weak and mired in PC, even as many Americans grow increasingly worried about Islamic terrorism.  As Josh Kraushaar wrote in National Journal, “Demo­crats are at risk of polit­ic­ally mar­gin­al­iz­ing them­selves on na­tion­al se­cur­ity in the run-up to the 2016 pres­id­en­tial elec­tion, ca­ter­ing to a base that seems dis­con­nec­ted from the grow­ing anxi­ety that the pub­lic feels over the threat from Is­lam­ic ter­ror­ism. ... The signs of a pres­id­ent in deni­al over the threat of ter­ror­ism keep pil­ing up.”

Enter Donald Trump. People who are unhappy with the things Trump is saying need to understand that he’s only getting so much traction because he’s filling a void. If the responsible people would talk about these issues, and take action, Trump wouldn’t take up so much space.

And there’s a lesson for our ruling class there: Calling Trump a fascist is a bit much (fascism, as Tom Wolfe once reported, is forever descending upon the United States, but somehow it always lands on Europe), but movements like fascism and communism get their start because the mechanisms of liberal democracy seem weak and ineffectual and dishonest. If you don’t want Trump — or, perhaps, some post-Trump figure who really is a fascist — to dominate things, you need to stop being weak and ineffectual and dishonest.

Right now, after years of Obama hope-and-change, a majority of Americans (56%) think Islam is incompatible with American values. That’s true even for 43% of Democrats.

In that sort of environment, where people feel unsafe and where the powers-that-be seem to be, well, weak and ineffectual and dishonest, the appeal of someone who doesn’t seem weak and ineffectual grows stronger.

You can see this in France, where the long-marginalized “far right” National Front is now winning elections all over. It’s doing so well because the French people, after not one but two Islamist mass shootings in Paris, feel that their government is not serious about protecting them, and their way of life, from their enemies.

Likewise, it’s a bit hard to take people seriously about Trump’s threat to civil liberties when President Obama was just endorsing an unconstitutional gun ban, when his attorney general was threatening to prosecute people for anti-Muslim speech (a threat later walked back, thankfully) and when universities and political leaders around the country are making clear their belief that free speech is obsolete.

Hearing that Yale professor Erika Christakis won't be teaching at Yale because of the abuse she received over a respectful but non-PC email, former DNC chair Howard Dean tweeted: “Free speech is good. Respecting others is better.” To his credit, CNN’s Jake Tapper responded: “Of course only one of them is enshrined in the Constitution.”

But Twitter humorist IowaHawk had the last word: ”With the exception of POTUS, the Atty General, both leading presidential candidates, the media, and universities, Americans love free speech.”

If you wish to hold fascism, or even just Trumpism, at bay, then we need elites who are trustworthy, who can be counted on to protect the country, and who respect the Constitution even when it gets in the way of doing something they want to do. By failing to live up to these standards, they have chosen their "Destructor." Let’s hope that they haven’t chosen ours, as well.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor, is the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself, and a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors.

In addition to its own editorials, USA TODAY publishes diverse opinions from outside writers, including our Board of Contributors.To read more columns like this, go to the Opinion front page.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on December 11, 2015, 19:19:55
Muhammad Ali weighs in on Trump:

Yahoo News (https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/boxing-legend-muhammad-ali-responds-donald-trumps-call-005724516--box.html)


Quote
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali responds to Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering US
The Canadian Press
By The Associated Press 10 December, 2015 12:02 AM

WASHINGTON - Boxing legend Muhammad Ali on Wednesday criticized Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, calling on Muslims "to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda."

Ali, one of the most famous Muslims in the world, issued a statement saying, "True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion."

He added, "I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people's views on what Islam really is."

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on December 12, 2015, 00:49:52
4 Reasons Trump's Supporters Aren't Going Anywhere — And Why The GOP's Worried

http://www.npr.org/2015/12/11/459274277/4-reasons-trumps-supporters-arent-going-anywhere-and-why-the-gops-worried

Quote
Editor's Note: Some readers might find some of the language below offensive.

This post was updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

Donald Trump has made his most outrageous statement yet in a string of beyond-the-pale utterances.

His plan to temporarily stop all Muslims from coming to the U.S. was condemned across party lines as being xenophobic, un-American and detrimental to U.S. national security. But, just like every other outrageous thing Trump has said or done, his poll numbers went up and his supporters have cleaved even more passionately to his candidacy.

Here are four reasons why:

1. Trump supporters don't trust the establishment. At All.

To them, the establishment is everyone they think is patronizing or condescending to them. They hate the Republican establishment. They think the mainstream media sees them as bigots when, in their view, all they want to do is feel safe and see America restored to its former greatness.

In a focus group assembled by Republican pollster Frank Luntz on Wednesday night in Alexandria, Va., 29 current and former Trump supporters said they thought a temporary halt in Muslims coming to the U.S. was a common-sense response to terrorism. They repeatedly dismissed or explained away all of the attacks on Trump and all of the "offensive" things Trump has said. They said:

-"He's not a politician."
-"He's not poll tested or handled."
-"He says what's on his mind, and sometimes that's not politically correct."
-"He's just being funny or outrageous to command the spotlight."
-"He's smart like a fox."

These Trump supporters are devoted to him and deeply invested in his candidacy. They seem to view every attack on him as a diss to them. The focus group put together by Luntz was almost completely white, a reflection of Trump's base, but it included nine women, and all of the participants had some college or higher education. They worked in fields including government, education, law, sales and realty — a little different from the stereotype ascribed to his supporters as downwardly mobile or non-college educated.

2. He's self-funding.

This is both a reason Trump supporters like him and a practical asset for his campaign. Trump isn't going anywhere, because he can afford to stay in the race as long as he wants. And he's spent less than $250,000 on advertising —compared with $33 million by Jeb Bush's campaign and superPAC. Trump's supporters love that.

At Wednesday night's focus group, participants said:

-"He can't be bought."
-"He's not a special interest."
-"He doesn't owe anybody anything."

3. They believe what he says.

Trump supporters are predisposed to believe him and not the mainstream media, which has no credibility with these voters. Large numbers of people in Luntz's focus group said they believed Trump's claim that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the destruction of the Twin Towers in the Sept. 11 attacks.

They also largely agree with Trump that President Obama was not born in America, and many questioned whether he's Christian.

GOP leaders know Trump is a stain on their party; the only question is whether it's washable or indelible.
The animus toward Obama was intense — and ugly.

One focus group participant said, "I wouldn't urinate on him if he was on fire."

Another said, "I would not only not piss on him if he was on fire — I'd throw gas on him."

4. Trump supporters are not ordinary Republicans.

It's hard to overstate how deeply alienated Trump supporters are from mainstream politics. They are viscerally anti-establishment. They feel the political system is broken. Since the recent terrorist attacks, they're even more anxious about the country. Several people Wednesday night said President Obama "cannot keep us safe."

They see Trump as a strong leader who knows how to get things done. They view the Republican leadership's attacks on Trump's proposal to ban Muslims as insulting and ineffective.

"If they couldn't defend themselves against Barack Obama," said one man of the Republican-controlled Congress, "how are they going to defend themselves against Donald Trump?"

These are Trump supporters first, Republicans second. When asked whether they'd support Trump if he ran as an independent third-party candidate, even if it meant paving the way for Hillary Clinton to be president, one man said, "Maybe it's time to blow the Republican Party up."

Why should the Republican Party worry?

Answer: all of the above.

This week, a large number of Republican leaders criticized Trump in a way they haven't done before. Many Republicans agreed with Democrats that Trump had crossed a line with his proposal for a temporary ban on Muslims.

But they also believe that Trump poses a danger to the GOP. They think a Trump nomination would be a nightmare for the party, and not just at the presidential level, but down the ballot, too.

In several polls taken since he rolled out his plan for a ban on Muslims coming to the U.S. (Fox, CBS/New York Times, Winthrop) Trump's numbers have gone up. As the Luntz focus group showed, straightforward attacks on Trump don't work. GOP leaders know Trump is a stain on their party; the only question is whether it's washable or indelible.

Congressional Republican leaders were firm in their denunciation of Trump's idea, but the reactions of the Republican candidates were mixed. Candidates polling in the single digits, like Jeb Bush or Lindsey Graham, condemned him; Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were more careful, saying they disagreed with Trump's proposal, but they wouldn't go so far as to say Trump was unfit to be president.

As a matter of fact, the candidate who's seen the most growth in his support is Cruz , who has now surpassed Trump in at least one Iowa poll. And he has been careful to avoid criticizing Trump. He's having some success positioning himself as the natural inheritor of Trump's support should Trump fade or falter. At the Luntz focus group, Cruz was the top pick for second choice.

Where is this heading? Straight to Vegas.

Next Tuesday night, the GOP candidates will debate in Las Vegas. They will probably be asked whether they still abide by the pledge they took to support the Republican nominee — even if it's Trump.

So far, only Cruz and Carson have reaffirmed their intention to vote for Trump, if he's the nominee. Bush has said he will vote for the Republican nominee, but continues to insist it won't be Trump. The debate will show whether Republican candidates are willing to accept what many Republicans privately say is toxic demagoguery in order to avoid alienating Trump's supporters.

And they have good reason for concern. One poll showed 68 percent of Trump's supporters say they'd stick with him if he ran as an independent candidate, a possibility Trump has begun floating again.

The Republican establishment thinks that's a surefire way to elect Hillary Clinton, but the Luntz focus group participants who said they'd support an independent Trump bid disagreed with that calculation.

They said if Trump ran as an independent, they were certain he would win.

And in other news, a recent study concluded that 1 in every 3 Trump supporters is just as dumb as the other two. [:D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: georgelunn on December 12, 2015, 09:19:35
Trump's modus operandi: Make outrageous and slanderous statements that would destroy the reputation of the Republicans. Next move? Cause Bernie Sanders of the Communist Party of USA win the presidential elections. I was not born yesterday especially if US signals intelligence decrypts of Russia are riddled with Trump's code name. :rage:
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: milnews.ca on December 12, 2015, 09:45:00
Cause Bernie Sanders of the Communist Party of USA win the presidential elections. I was not born yesterday especially if US signals intelligence decrypts of Russia are riddled with Trump's code name. :rage:
Thanks, and banned.

Milnet.ca Staff
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Chris Pook on December 12, 2015, 21:20:51
And we have a new Land Speed Record.....
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Dimsum on December 13, 2015, 16:28:08
Aww...I wanted to know Trump's code name...   :Tin-Foil-Hat:
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: mariomike on December 13, 2015, 16:34:35
Aww...I wanted to know Trump's code name...   :Tin-Foil-Hat:

Mogul.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/11/10/donald-trumps-secret-service-code-name-is-less-humble-more-mogul/
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Journeyman on December 13, 2015, 16:35:46
(http://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2F48d3F8Ll.jpg&hash=81a1fb10c9ed7b8070a99502387fee7c)

There's a bunch of these Calvin Donald & Hobbes out there.  They're eerily accurate.  :o
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: tomahawk6 on December 13, 2015, 20:03:58
In the spirit of the day here is Darth Trump  :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU_Jdts5rL0
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on December 14, 2015, 18:05:33
In the spirit of the day here is Darth Trump  :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU_Jdts5rL0

 :rofl:

Loved the militaristic and war bit.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on December 15, 2015, 16:46:33
The 5th GOP debate is tonight: 8:30 pm Eastern, 5:30 Pacific.

Vox.com (http://www.vox.com/2015/12/14/10035922/republican-debate-time-schedule)

Quote
Republican debate 2015: start time, schedule, and what to expect

Updated by Andrew Prokop on December 15, 2015, 1:10 p.m. ET @awprokop

Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty

The next Republican presidential debate is tonight, and CNN will begin airing coverage of it at 8:30 pm Eastern. However, CNN is being intentionally vague about when the debate itself will begin — it might start somewhat after a "pre-game show" of sorts, with actual debating probably beginning closer to 9 pm.

CNN's coverage of the earlier undercard debate, with candidates who aren't polling as well, will begin at 6 pm Eastern. Again, the network has not been clear about whether the debate itself will begin at that time. A free live stream will be available to all at CNN.com.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on December 15, 2015, 18:02:55
Trump is a problem, but he isn't THE problem. It's interesting to watch some of the more conservative members of this site distance themselves from what are clearly dangerous comments he's made. After all, are this positions really that much more radical than the other Republican candidates?  Are Ted Cruz's or Ben Carson's ideas really more sane?

Conservatives need to take responsibility for the precipice the US finds itself on. A movement that is consistently hostile to immigrants, to labour, to social services, to the very idea of government has only itself to blame for the anger of the vast majority of Americans who find themselves at or near the poverty line, or who are part of an increasingly non-existent middle class. That's before we get into the whole "American Taliban" aspect of things.

There is a thread on this site devoted to "Deconstructing Progressive Thought." Well, the opposite of progressive is the current field of Republican candidates. We haven't been "at risk" of a genuine progressive movement in North America since the 1960s, when we saw the the last real wave of democratization. We've been regressing ever since, and this is what we get. This is a failure of capitalism, of a system that is now an oligarchy rather than a democracy. Progressive policies aren't to blame for this. Americans are starting to realize the game is rigged, but unfortunately many are ill-equipped to understand the slow corporate motion coup d'etat that has been occurring for decades. Corporate money dominates politics, and the result is a reactionary anger against "the system."

But for many conservatives, Trump's bigoted, hateful language is exactly what they want to hear. They can back-pedal all they want on his specific comments, but really he's just taking the dog whistle politics we saw from Harper in our election and saying it openly. If you're a conservative in either country, you have to answer for this. In other words, what the $*@% did you think would happen?!
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 15, 2015, 18:49:08
Perhaps, Kilo, if you actually read what was being said you might recognize that you're looking exactly backwards.

Donald Trump's popularity represents (much like Marie Le Pen's popularity in Europe, or the Ford brother's in Toronto) a visceral reaction by the voters, citizens and taxpayers against what they see as a disconnected political elite, a political and economic crony capitalist system rigged against them and the "up your's" attitude of the so called elites who are systematically trying to pull the ladder up behind them to keep the rest of us trapped (taking away the expanded TFSA limits and taking steps which are effectively raising taxes on lower income Canadians are two immediately apparent issues here in Canada, but look up from "The Communist Manifesto" and out the window, you'll see lots of other examples around the world.

And in case you haven't looked at history lately, the "Progressivism" of the 1930's extended the Great Depression by at least 7 years, and all the progressive nostrums that have been implemented since 2008 haven't had much of a track record either. The end of Progressivism will happen for these simple reasons:

Things that can't go on forever, won't. Debt that can't be repaid, won't be. Promises that can't be kept, won't be.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on December 15, 2015, 19:38:34
Perhaps, Kilo, if you actually read what was being said you might recognize that you're looking exactly backwards.

Donald Trump's popularity represents (much like Marie Le Pen's popularity in Europe, or the Ford brother's in Toronto) a visceral reaction by the voters, citizens and taxpayers against what they see as a disconnected political elite, a political and economic crony capitalist system rigged against them and the "up your's" attitude of the so called elites who are systematically trying to pull the ladder up behind them to keep the rest of us trapped (taking away the expanded TFSA limits and taking steps which are effectively raising taxes on lower income Canadians are two immediately apparent issues here in Canada, but look up from "The Communist Manifesto" and out the window, you'll see lots of other examples around the world.

And in case you haven't looked at history lately, the "Progressivism" of the 1930's extended the Great Depression by at least 7 years, and all the progressive nostrums that have been implemented since 2008 haven't had much of a track record either. The end of Progressivism will happen for these simple reasons:

Things that can't go on forever, won't. Debt that can't be repaid, won't be. Promises that can't be kept, won't be.

So if I'm unpacking this correctly, we agree that this is a reaction against "a disconnected political elite, a political and economic crony capitalist system rigged against them and the "up your's" attitude of the so called elites who are systematically trying to pull the ladder up behind them to keep the rest of us trapped."

To address your point about taxes in Canada, the idea that low income Canadians are the primary demographic that use the TFSA is a joke, you have it precisely backwards. The TFSA is only really an advantage if you have a significant amount of money to save. Low income Canadians who are literally living cheque to cheque, hand to mouth do not have this.

However overall, it appears we agree on the source of the anger, and Trump's popularity. I would argue this reality is exactly due to the triumph of capital over labour, our system has become unbalanced in favour of the former. Given what we know about economic/political policy in the West since World War 2, I think you would be hard pressed to arrive at any conclusion outside of this. The policies that benefit the poor are the very policies that have been consistently rolled back.

I'm not sure what "progressive nostrums" you're referring to, but both the Democrats and the Republicans are clearly in the pocket of Wall Street. Similarly, the NDP recently swung to the right of the centre-right Liberals in order to convince Canadians that they were a safe party to vote for.

 Ironically, it's tough to label the ideology of the elites in both our countries. It's not really capitalism, because as we've seen, the same rules don't apply to everyone, and we're all for government intervention on behalf of the wealthy (see bailouts). But government intervention on behalf of the majority of the population? No we can't do that because it's socialism.

Which is why I'll reiterate that the ugliness we are seeing in US politics is a failure of capitalism. We've been moving rapidly on deregulation, privatization, the overalll liberalization of the economy since the 1970s. You know, free trade, all that good stuff that was supposed to help the American worker.  This is what conservatives have always called for. They have got what they wanted, and now we have a proto-fascist who might hold the highest office in the world's only "hyperpower."



Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Dimsum on December 15, 2015, 19:39:45
Apparently not to be outdone in the ludicrous department, here's Ben Carson:

Quote
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Ben Carson's plan to have the military and National Guard patrol the U.S.-Canada border is being called a ludicrous and unfeasible idea by Canadian border experts.

Carson's call for troops at the border is the sixth point in his "Seven Steps to a Safer America" plan unveiled Tuesday on his website.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/ben-carson-wants-u-s-troops-patrolling-canadian-border-1.3366179
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 15, 2015, 23:50:43
The only real difference between using US military assets on the Canada-US border and using them on the US-Mexican border is logistics: kurt border is much longer. Since there is already some deployment of US military assets on the Mexican border, the only thing "ludicrous" about this story is the (predictable) reaction of the CBC.

I suppose it is futile to suggest that we can be as condescending as we like but it makes no difference in the dynamics of the US election; American voters are primarily motivated by domestic economic considerations and their perceived security. If they don't feel that these issues are being addressed by their political class, then someone else will come along and start addressing the issue. The failure of progressive nostrums like multi trillion dollar "stimulus" packages and QE is readily apparent in the form of stagnant wages and depressed employment opportunities, and the wave of low level attacks by ISIS inspired Jihadis at home and abroad (regardless of the statistical likelihood of you being a victim) continue to prey on the fears of the American people, and watching the political class "pooh pooh" the notion or deny it is terrorism, while making plans to import more refugees from the Arab world is like fighting a fire with gasoline.

What is really surprising is how truly dense the political establishment is there. Trump is a symptom, not a cause, and whoever packages the message that appeals to the security and economic well being of Americans is going to do very well in the election.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: recceguy on December 16, 2015, 00:20:29
I like Trump. I'd love to see him win. There are checks and balances to keep him in line, if he got the job. It's refreshing to see someone talk plain with no namby pamby, mealy mouthed speech and lies that almost every politician is want to do. He says what people think.

It would certainly be an interesting four years.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: tomahawk6 on December 16, 2015, 09:34:36
On one border we have Mexicans trying to come north and on the other we have Americans trying to flee to Canada.We certainly dont have Canadians trying to escape to the US. ;D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Journeyman on December 16, 2015, 10:07:29
......and on the other we have Americans trying to flee to Canada.
Like Randy Quaid, seeking asylum from a cult supposedly called "Star Whackers"....who are 'killing off Hollywood.'  :stars:

(http://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Flive.drjays.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F10%2Frandy-quaid-immigration-and-refugee-board-montreal.jpg&hash=7d12db90cf498886ea0fa410b66b4fac)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on December 16, 2015, 10:26:35
I like Trump. I'd love to see him win. There are checks and balances to keep him in line, if he got the job. It's refreshing to see someone talk plain with no namby pamby, mealy mouthed speech and lies that almost every politician is want to do. He says what people think.

It would certainly be an interesting four years.

You're kidding right?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/11/23/donald-trump-is-constantly-lying/ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/11/23/donald-trump-is-constantly-lying/)

http://fortune.com/2015/11/26/trump-lies/ (http://fortune.com/2015/11/26/trump-lies/)

http://moneymorning.com/2015/12/09/these-donald-trump-lies-are-stunningly-wrong/ (http://moneymorning.com/2015/12/09/these-donald-trump-lies-are-stunningly-wrong/)

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/11/30/when-comes-trump-time-call-lying-for-what/7QhiIZRJlUxQMTtpSzLodO/story.html (https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/11/30/when-comes-trump-time-call-lying-for-what/7QhiIZRJlUxQMTtpSzLodO/story.html)


Trump isn't saying what anyone is thinking, he's saying what they are feeling. If you want to jettison logic and abandon reality because it feels good (or fits your preconceived view of the world), go right ahead. But don't pretend for a second that Trump is a just a "plain talkin' speakin' truth to power hero". He's the most cynical liar of them all.

And if you're seriously supporting a candidate who has called for Muslims to wear name tags...yes an interesting four years indeed.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on December 16, 2015, 11:12:21
It would certainly be an interesting four years.

You're assuming he would not get impeached after the first six months  ;D.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Journeyman on December 16, 2015, 13:06:09
Interesting opinion piece by Niall Ferguson
(a Scot who moved to Wales because he wanted to live in a place that had a better chance of beating England at rugby ;D ). He now teaches History at Harvard.

He ponders Trump's popularity

Donald Trump pounces on the ills of white America (http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/12/14/donald-trump-pounces-ills-white-america/uiV4zIxjGWeLpOywslcFTK/story.html)

Quote
The nearest thing to an answer I can find is in an astounding new paper by the Nobel laureate Angus Deaton and Anne Case, which exposes what can only be called an existential crisis of white America — to be precise, badly educated white America.

All over the Western world mortality rates are declining and lifespans are lengthening. But not in white America, and especially not among those white Americans whose education didn’t go beyond secondary school. For this group, the mortality rate from poisonings (mostly drug overdoses) rose more than fourfold between 1999 and 2013, from 14 to 58 per 100,000. Mortality from chronic liver diseases including cirrhosis rose by 50 percent.

The white underclass is not so much mad as hell as sick as hell. One in three white people aged 45-54 report chronic joint pain, one in five neck pain, and one in seven sciatica. Presumably, it’s the most miserable who drug or drink themselves into early graves. The rest just exit the workforce, opting for disability benefits. Small wonder labor force participation in America has declined so steeply, even as it has risen in other developed countries.

Small wonder Trump is polling so well. He is the sick people’s sick candidate. 

He concludes with:

Either sanity will prevail between now and the Republican National Convention, or Trump will be beaten by Hillary Clinton, much as Wendell Wilkie (another maverick businessman) was beaten by Roosevelt in 1940.

The lesson of real history is that candidates such as Trump are the Democrats’ best friends.

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 16, 2015, 17:38:22
Another examination of the Trump phenomena. I am going more and more to the idea that Trump, like Le Pen and the Ford Brothers, is accurately gauging and rebroadcasting the mood of the electorate who are fed up with the usual talk and action by the political class. If Trump is elected as president, I will look forward to some spectacular fireworks, but as this article points out, there are very few practical means to enact many of the ideas that Trump has promised to implement. (As for impeachment, the Congress has been lying supine for decades now, allowing "executive privilege" SCOTUS rulings and regulatory rule writing by the bureaucracy to carry out the very tasks which are assigned by the constitution to the Congress of the United States. The only really activist members belong to the TEA Party movement, who if anything would seem more inclined to go along with a Trump Administration than to oppose it).

http://www.knoxnews.com/opinion/columnists/frank-cagle/frank-cagle-trumps-foes-must-appeal-to-supporters-26f33c9e-7cf2-71ed-e053-0100007ffa88-362532971.html?d=mobile

Quote
Frank Cagle: Trump’s foes must appeal to supporters
 
If Donald Trump was a grocer he would throw chickens off the roof of his store, bury a stuntman in the parking lot and threaten to beat the crap out of panhandlers in front of his business.

Old-timers might remember these antics as a few of many from legendary millionaire grocer Cas Walker, a Knoxville city councilman and sometime mayor. The irascible Cas loved attention and had his own reality television show — on daily and featuring people like Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins and the Everly Brothers. He would say anything, usually crude, to attract attention, and people loved him for it. He was also a bully who used his show and his newspaper, the Watchdog, to attack anyone who opposed him. To this day there are people in Knoxville who are big fans and nostalgic for the days when he was a political force in East Tennessee.

Historian and author Bruce Wheeler has written about Walker standing athwart any sign of progress in Knoxville, a constant thorn to the establishment. Whether it was fluoride in the water or expensive sewer lines, Cas was "agin it."

What I don't understand about the Republican establishment these days is that they fail to recognize that Trump uses outrageous statements to garner attention, but he taps into issues of real concern to the American people. But if you want to stop Trump, don't attack him; appeal to the people who support him. Offer sensible solutions to problems he has identified, rather than his half-baked, unrealistic rhetoric.

For example, when the Syrian refugee controversy erupted Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz suggested that maybe we could take only Christian refugees from the Middle East. They were excoriated for the idea. President Barack Obama stood in the Oval Office and said America could not have a religious test for admission and it was un-American. He should know better.

The 1965 immigration reform act, which still governs, has specific criteria for the admission of refugees: people fleeing religious persecution. Who is facing more religious persecution than the Christians in Syria and other areas controlled by ISIS? Beheading, buried alive, machine gunned. Any country has the right to decide who can be admitted and who cannot. Until 1965 Third World immigration was prohibited. There are Christian relief agencies in the Middle East that could help vet refugees facing persecution and help them resettle here.

Did Bush double down, make the case and provide an alternative to Trump's bellicosity? No, he just attacked Trump's idea to stop Muslim immigration temporarily, instead of making the issue his own. Trump's plan? How would that work? Offer anybody getting on the plane a ham sandwich and bar anybody who didn't eat it? His half-baked idea is about as practical as his plan to have Mexico pay for the border wall.

I think a Trump presidency would be a disaster. While he talks a good game, he has no practical way to carry out his promises. Like Cas, he will say anything to grab attention, get a headline and get on television. But his success should be a warning to the political establishment. The American people are fed up with political correctness, and if you do not provide sensible solutions to the issues Trump has raised, don't be surprised when he stand on the podium as the GOP nominee.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on December 16, 2015, 17:45:58
Another examination of the Trump phenomena. I am going more and more to the idea that Trump, like Le Pen and the Ford Brothers, is accurately gauging and rebroadcasting the mood of the electorate who are fed up with the usual talk and action by the political class. If Trump is elected as president, I will look forward to some spectacular fireworks, but as this article points out, there are very few practical means to enact many of the ideas that Trump has promised to implement. (As for impeachment, the Congress has been lying supine for decades now, allowing "executive privilege" SCOTUS rulings and regulatory rule writing by the bureaucracy to carry out the very tasks which are assigned by the constitution to the Congress of the United States. The only really activist members belong to the TEA Party movement, who if anything would seem more inclined to go along with a Trump Administration than to oppose it).

http://www.knoxnews.com/opinion/columnists/frank-cagle/frank-cagle-trumps-foes-must-appeal-to-supporters-26f33c9e-7cf2-71ed-e053-0100007ffa88-362532971.html?d=mobile

Donald Trump has zero chance of being president. There is no way that California,  new york/new England,  Oregon,  Washington, or the majority of rust belt states vote him. He's a laughable talking head who spouts semi-literate garbage to appease idiots/racists. Any ink used to describe his presidential policies is a waste of the industrial process and any argument in favor of him is a waste of the intellectual process. I hope for conservatives everywhere he crawls back under his rock and they learn a valuable lesson.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 16, 2015, 17:51:49
The valuable lesson conservatives will learn is they need to understand and reach out to the voters, not ignore their concerns and build islands where they can ride out the effects of the policies the political class are implementing. Like I keep saying, people like Trump, Le Pen and the Ford brothers become prominent for a reason, and the reason is looking at the political class every morning when they wake up and go to the sink in the bathroom.....

On a lighter note (before the big premier on Friday):

https://pjmedia.com/blog/presidential-candidates-as-star-wars-characters/
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on December 16, 2015, 18:05:32
The valuable lesson conservatives will learn is they need to understand and reach out to the voters, not ignore their concerns and build islands where they can ride out the effects of the policies the political class are implementing. Like I keep saying, people like Trump, Le Pen and the Ford brothers become prominent for a reason, and the reason is looking at the political class every morning when they wake up and go to the sink in the bathroom.....

On a lighter note (before the big premier on Friday):

https://pjmedia.com/blog/presidential-candidates-as-star-wars-characters/

I don't think you're going far enough here. What exactly are the policies the "political class" is implementing? And what are the effects?
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on December 16, 2015, 19:04:49
The valuable lesson conservatives will learn is they need to understand and reach out to the voters, not ignore their concerns and build islands where they can ride out the effects of the policies the political class are implementing. Like I keep saying, people like Trump, Le Pen and the Ford brothers become prominent for a reason, and the reason is looking at the political class every morning when they wake up and go to the sink in the bathroom.....

On a lighter note (before the big premier on Friday):

https://pjmedia.com/blog/presidential-candidates-as-star-wars-characters/

The problem is that the people they reach out to feel marginalized because progress has put their racist/homophobic/uneducated views in the footlocker of history. For those people I since rely hope their concerns are left on an island.

Conservatives in the US and Canada need to focus on the policies that make sense, such as financial prudence and the emphasis on individual vs collective rights. Trump and his ilk emphasize the worst possible factors conservatives have to offer- xenophobia, racism, and fascination with pushing pointless agendas (gun rights,  abortion, gay marriage bsns, etc). Until they do that the US will remain blue snd Canada will remain red
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on December 16, 2015, 19:14:32
On one border we have Mexicans trying to come north and on the other we have Americans trying to flee to Canada.We certainly dont have Canadians trying to escape to the US. ;D

If there are, they are just the crazies that we are trying to get rid of.

Hey. Wait …..  Damn.  :not-again:

Never mind, nothing to see here.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on December 16, 2015, 19:20:50
Trump is like a glass eye. Looks good but doesn't work worth a damn.

Trump is using his experience as an entertainer to pander to whomever he feels would be likely to vote for him.

But there is nothing of substance in anything he actually says.

Which is why he won't get anywhere in the general election if he becomes the nominee.

The big worry for the GOP right now is having no clear candidate and ending up with a disputed convention with the expected floor fight.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on December 17, 2015, 11:46:28
If this catches on, it might be the show stopper for Trump. If there's one thing that the American people rally behind, it's the military. Not to mention the fact that in many ways it's one of the more liberal institutions in the US. Religion and ethnicity don't matter in combat, and there are a lot of Muslims serving in the military.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/12/16/pentagon-troops-it-s-us-or-trump.html (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/12/16/pentagon-troops-it-s-us-or-trump.html)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: George Wallace on December 17, 2015, 11:51:55
If this catches on, it might be the show stopper for Trump. If there's one thing that the American people rally behind, it's the military. Not to mention the fact that in many ways it's one of the more liberal institutions in the US. Religion and ethnicity don't matter in combat, and there are a lot of Muslims serving in the military.


Yes, there are a lot of Muslims serving in the military.  There are also a lot of loyal American Muslims in other Government Agencies and other levels of government and Public Service.  If you catch the full Trump speeches, he has made exceptions to them.  Of course the MSM snippets tend to leave those exceptions out of their reporting.  Sounds similar to what we just witnessed here in October.  Such is the bias and partisan activities of the MSM these days.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Loachman on December 17, 2015, 13:25:33
I like Trump. I'd love to see him win.

Me too.

I want to see him fire Trudeau.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on December 17, 2015, 14:24:00
Me too.

I want to see him fire Trudeau.

Yes.... racism, xenophobia,  and general stupidity have never been so fun!

If you want trudeau fired (ie- unelected) than these are the sort of mouth breathers that conservatives need to keep away from.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: recceguy on December 17, 2015, 14:45:11
Yes.... racism, xenophobia,  and general stupidity have never been so fun!

If you want trudeau fired (ie- unelected) than these are the sort of mouth breathers that conservatives need to keep away from.


Ahhhh, there it is. if you don't agree with me, you are racist and a xenophobe. Kinda like invoking Godwin into a discussion. ::)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: George Wallace on December 17, 2015, 14:48:33

Ahhhh, there it is. if you don't agree with me, you are racist and a xenophobe. Kinda like invoking Godwin into a discussion. ::)

Wait for it!
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: CountDC on December 17, 2015, 15:15:36
It is both scary and funny to think of Trump as president.

At least he is making it interesting rather than just being politically correct. 

Soooo - how do I escape to the states?  OUTCAN didn't work.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: recceguy on December 17, 2015, 15:22:09
It is both scary and funny to think of Trump as president.

At least he is making it interesting rather than just being politically correct. 

Soooo - how do I escape to the states?  OUTCAN didn't work.

Become a professional comedian. All the funny people in the US are Canadian ;D
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on December 17, 2015, 16:27:53

Ahhhh, there it is. if you don't agree with me, you are racist and a xenophobe. Kinda like invoking Godwin into a discussion. ::)

No, but have you listened to Trump? The man is an idiot. I vote conservative but am tired of mouth breathers like him saying stupid things about banning Muslim immigration, building a wall between Mexico and the US, and all of the other non sense he spouts.

They make conservatives look uneducated, which we all aren't and amplify all the worst aspects of conservatism without adding any value.

The counter argument you offer is getting old too. If Trump says xenophobic, racist, and generally stupid things than that makes him xenophobic,  racist, and stupid. If ypu have am argument to actually counter that he isn't than we can debate that.

The more people like Trump stay in the limelight the more you guarantee a democratic victory in the US and liberal victory in Canada.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on December 17, 2015, 17:53:59

Ahhhh, there it is. if you don't agree with me, you are racist and a xenophobe. Kinda like invoking Godwin into a discussion. ::)

Here's a gallery of racist quotes against blacks only for you to start your defense of him not being a racist. My favourite is that laziness is a trait in blacks. It really speaks to his understanding of racial dynamics and institutional racism.  Time to move to the US just to vote for this guy....

http://gawker.com/the-collected-quotes-of-donald-trump-on-the-blacks-1719961925
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: PuckChaser on December 17, 2015, 17:58:59
Only 1 of those quotes is racist. First one is highlighting the obviousness of affirmative action policies. "You're Fired" is racist? Come on.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on December 17, 2015, 18:24:57
Only 1 of those quotes is racist. First one is highlighting the obviousness of affirmative action policies. "You're Fired" is racist? Come on.

Debateable,  but how many blatantly racost things do you need to say yo be a racist? This doesn't even include his comments on Mexicans. 

I don't get the "you're fired" thing either...
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: CountDC on December 17, 2015, 19:05:15
No, but have you listened to Trump? The man is an idiot. I vote conservative but am tired of mouth breathers like him saying stupid things about banning Muslim immigration,

In the context of events in the world of today saying he would ban muslim immigration on its own is not racist as it has been portrayed.  Call it over reaction to a security concern if you want.  Now if he also includes removal of all muslims already in the country living a normal life like any other american then you have a case for racism. 

I agree with PuckChaser that there is only one of the quotes that is "racist against black" and note that is your term not the articles writers. 
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: PuckChaser on December 17, 2015, 19:07:38
He's an older guy without a filter. The appealing part about Donald Trump, and what I suspect is drawing a lot of support to him, is that he's not owned by anyone. No one is financing his campaign, he doesn't follow any special interest groups, he just wants (in his mind), what's best for America. He's finally a true anti-politician, who can finance his own campaign and rage against the political correctness that plagues politicians.

I don't agree with a lot of things he's saying, but its a different culture in the US. You need to read between the lines. His comments ref: Mexicans are just an extension of the frustration from illegal border crossings, and Obama policies allowing those illegal aliens to be forgiven for that crime. Same thing with the Muslims. He's expressing the frustration, and throwing wild ideas out there to try to stem the tide of Islamic extremist attacks. No one else is doing anything other than blaming guns, he's at least "brainstorming out loud" and trying to get the public to talk about it. He's not afraid of being called a racist, because that's how the Left likes to shut down debates. Look no further than CBC removing its comments on First Nations issues: Any dissent to question our policies is racist, therefore all comments were racist and needed to be shut down.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on December 17, 2015, 19:37:21
He's an older guy without a filter. The appealing part about Donald Trump, and what I suspect is drawing a lot of support to him, is that he's not owned by anyone. No one is financing his campaign, he doesn't follow any special interest groups, he just wants (in his mind), what's best for America. He's finally a true anti-politician, who can finance his own campaign and rage against the political correctness that plagues politicians.

I don't agree with a lot of things he's saying, but its a different culture in the US. You need to read between the lines. His comments ref: Mexicans are just an extension of the frustration from illegal border crossings, and Obama policies allowing those illegal aliens to be forgiven for that crime. Same thing with the Muslims. He's expressing the frustration, and throwing wild ideas out there to try to stem the tide of Islamic extremist attacks. No one else is doing anything other than blaming guns, he's at least "brainstorming out loud" and trying to get the public to talk about it. He's not afraid of being called a racist, because that's how the Left likes to shut down debates. Look no further than CBC removing its comments on First Nations issues: Any dissent to question our policies is racist, therefore all comments were racist and needed to be shut down.

I understand what you're saying about things like the CBC and agree. Questioning race politics is not in itself a bad thing.... I just believe that Trump calling Mexicans rapists and saying blacks are lazy is legitimately racist.

North America needs to continue to debate immigration laws, the war on terrorism, etc but it needs to be done in rational ways. Grouping all Muslims together, for example, when the Muslim world is massive and diversified, shows a lack of education/understanding and detracts from any argument that the person may have had. Shutting down honest debate, a la CBC, is just as bad.

I guess I just wish the right could find a well spoken person to express my beliefs of individual freedom, financial prudence, and a focus on equality of opportunity vice equality of outcome. Instead, "we" get the Trumps of the world. Shouldn't conservatives demand better? THAT'S my issue.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Jed on December 17, 2015, 19:55:16
I understand what you're saying about things like the CBC and agree. Questioning race politics is not in itself a bad thing.... I just believe that Trump calling Mexicans rapists and saying blacks are lazy is legitimately racist.

North America needs to continue to debate immigration laws, the war on terrorism, etc but it needs to be done in rational ways. Grouping all Muslims together, for example, when the Muslim world is massive and diversified, shows a lack of education/understanding and detracts from any argument that the person may have had. Shutting down honest debate, a la CBC, is just as bad.

I guess I just wish the right could find a well spoken person to express my beliefs of individual freedom, financial prudence, and a focus on equality of opportunity vice equality of outcome. Instead, "we" get the Trumps of the world. Shouldn't conservatives demand better? THAT'S my issue.

That is my issue as well.  Difficult to find these types of individuals when the Mainstream Media is stacked against you.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on December 17, 2015, 20:07:23
In the context of events in the world of today saying he would ban muslim immigration on its own is not racist as it has been portrayed.  Call it over reaction to a security concern if you want.  Now if he also includes removal of all muslims already in the country living a normal life like any other american then you have a case for racism. 

I agree with PuckChaser that there is only one of the quotes that is "racist against black" and note that is your term not the articles writers.

Trump is either racist himself, or cynically using these issues to draw support from the fringe right. And somehow you're defending the man while quoting Hendrix in your signature. Cognitive dissonance and the right go hand in hand like, well racism and the right.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on December 17, 2015, 20:24:09
Trump is either racist himself, or cynically using these issues to draw support from the fringe right. And somehow you're defending the man while quoting Hendrix in your signature. Cognitive dissonance and the right go hand in hand like, well racism and the right.

Donald Trump is a moron, full stop. Donald Trump represents the entire political right no more than Elizabeth May represents the entire left.

This comment shows all the narrow minded characteristics of Trump. Congratulations
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: GAP on December 17, 2015, 20:27:22
Gee....I don't know.....May comes close......
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on December 18, 2015, 17:48:46
Vancouverites just won't let the "Trump tower" controversy go...

Vancity Buzz (http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2015/12/vancouver-poll-trump-tower-name/)

Quote
60% of Vancouverites want to dump Trump from tower name
By
Jill Slattery
9:39 AM PST, Fri December 18, 2015

Canadians’ views on Donald Trump’s run for the Republican Presidential candidate are becoming a hot topic north of the 49th parallel, mostly due to two contentious towers in Vancouver and Toronto baring Trump’s name.

A recent poll by Angus Reid has found that over half of Canadians think these towers should lose the Trump branding, a sentiment largely spurred by the business-tycoon’s controversial proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

A statement issued by Trump on December 7 called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S. until the government can identify “what is going on” in relation to the “horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad”. While his comments were applauded by some for bringing politically incorrect issues into the forefront, many were appalled at Trump’s generalizations.

Included in that group are two-thirds (67%) of Canadians who disagree with Trump’s statement and agree his beliefs are “bad for society”, according to Angus Reid. Nearly half disagree “strongly”. Some 37% of people agree with Trump’s argument “because he’s bringing ‘politically incorrect’ topics into public discourse”.

In Vancouver, where the Trump Tower is within months of completion, a majority 60% believe his name should be removed from the skyline, including such heavy-hitters as Mayor Gregor Robertson and Premier Christy Clark. The Premier stayed somewhat mum on her opinion, but revealed that she didn’t think it was “good business” to have the Trump brand around.


But Robertson was much more bold on the issue.

In a letter addressed to president and CEO of Holborn Group, the developer of Vancouver’s Trump Tower,  Joo Kim Tiah, Mayor Robertson blasted Trump for his “hateful positions and commentary,” and says his brand has no place in Vancouver.

“As Mayor, I’m proud that Vancouver is known throughout the world for our steadfast commitment to diversity, equality, and freedom from discrimination and hatred. Vancouver is enriched by that diversity,and being a city where people can live and thrive regardless of their gender, sexuality, faith, or ethnicity,” reads the letter.

“In contrast, Donald Trump’s hateful positions and commentary remind us all of much darker times in our world’s past – and it is incumbent upon all of us to forcefully challenge hatred in all of the ways that it confronts us.”

Robertson’s sentiments echoed more than 50,000 signatures on a Change.org petition asking to dump the Trump branding.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 18, 2015, 18:52:50
I guess this will make you feel better then:

https://pjmedia.com/diaryofamadvoter/2015/12/16/trump-goes-full-fellini

Quote
The Donald Goes Full Fellini at the Venetian
 BY ROGER L SIMON DECEMBER 16, 2015

The familiar basso from a thousand Italian (and American) films boomed out across the painted cloudy sky and ersatz canals at Las Vegas' Venetian Tuesday night as the faithful streamed into yet another Republican debate at the hotel's theatre that looks built for a roadshow version of La Traviata.

As we all know, the Venetian's gondolas are phonies.  But what about the originals? La Serenissima may be among the most beautiful cities in the world but everything there seems to be done "for affect" as well. It's all a stage set.

As was the debate Tuesday night, because, for all the back and forth, the chills and semi-thrills, the Rubio-Cruz-Paul contretemps,  the desperate pleadings of Jeb Bush, the reminder by Chris Christie of what might have been if he hadn't kowtowed to Lord Obama, Carly Fiorina telling us again that she has met Putin, Frank Luntz and all his focus groups and all the thumb-sucking wise men and women in all the ships at sea and CNBC, as they say about a mile up the Strip from the Venetian at the Monte Carlo, "les jeux sont faits."

No more bets, ladies and gentlemen.  The game is over.  Donald Trump has won the nomination.

Everyone acknowledged as much, heads nodding around me in the press room, when, nearly at the end of the debate, Hugh Hewitt served up by far the most serious, in the sense of fateful, question of the night by asking Trump to answer finally whether he will support the Republican candidate under any circumstances.

The Donald smiled, stared straight into the camera with the practiced skill of a Cronkite or a Murrow, though more playful and, one reluctantly admits, winning, and acknowledged that, yes, he will.  He has been treated well by all concerned and even come to like and admire many of the candidates on the stage with him.  Murmurs of approval all around.

And then he administered the coup de television. Looking square into the lens at America he promised to beat Hillary Clinton in November.  And he did so in full recognition by all concerned, barring force majeure, he already was the nominee and everybody knew it.  He was taking a graceful bow.

Game, set, match, tournament and whatever they say in bocce.

The final statements, including and especially Donald's, were irrelevant.  Everyone was headed for the Spin Room - where it went Full Fellini.

Well, not at first.  For five or ten minutes there was the usual milling around with various porte paroles or spox, as they're called on Twitter and the NY Post, standing around under vertical signs for their candidates, answering questions for them.  These guys and gals seem to be chosen in the manner of replacement talk show hosts, so that they don't upstage their masters.  Enough said.

But finally the actual candidates started to straggle in.  It was then that it went Full Federico Fellini.  As in the maestro's La Dolce Vita, when there was a purported sighting of La Madonna, everyone, normal folk and paparazzi, started rushing to the far corner of the large room.

Cue Nino Rota --  The Donald had entered in the company of his wife Melania, indeed a vision out of Fellini. Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée, one of them.

People were practically falling over each other for a view, pushing cellphones skyward, jumping up and down craning their necks for a view. Was I at a Republican debate or the Cannes Film Festival?  This wasn't American politics anymore.  It was Roman politics.  Caesar's Palace come to the Venetian.

All hail, Caesar!  All hail, Trump! Was history moving forward, backwards, sideways -- it was hard to tell. But we were all on a boat going somewhere, a gondola, and The Donald was our gondolier.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 18, 2015, 19:21:37
Lets not forget the Democrats as well. The only thing that will make that race even better is if a Federal prosecutor finally gets around to writing the indictments for Hillary's crimes before the convention:

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/263733-team-sanders-we-will-go-to-court-if-dnc-holds-our-data

Quote
Sanders threatens to sue DNC
By Ben Kamisar

Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) campaign manager said it would take the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to federal court Friday afternoon if it does not lift the suspension to the campaign's voter database.

"If the Democratic National Committee holds our data hostage ... we will be in federal court this afternoon seeking relief," said Jeff Weaver, the campaign manager. He added that the party had an "inappropriate reaction" to reports that a Sanders campaign staffer accessed Hillary Clinton voter data.
 
The DNC suspended its access to the party's voter database, which includes the Sanders campaign's own data, after revelations that a campaign staffer obtained private data from rival Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
 
Weaver told reporters that the campaign alerted the DNC about this problem two months ago, when it believed that some of its data had been "lost to one of the other campaigns."
 
In an interview with CNN's "Wolf" immediately after the Sanders campaign's press conference, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz denied that Sanders's voter information had been compromised two months ago, as Weaver claimed.
 
She brushed off the threat of legal action. "The Sanders campaign doesn’t have anything other than bluster to put out there," she said on CNN.
 
"We are following the agreement that both parties entered into. ... I'm confident that this is the decision that they would expect from us and it’s the same decision that we would make if the shoe was on the other foot."
 
She said the party's investigation found that the Sanders campaign "not only viewed it, but they exported it and downloaded it." 
 
News of the suspension comes the day after Sanders landed endorsements from the Communications Workers of America union and from the progressive Democracy for America (DFA). It also comes just a day before the third Democratic debate, which Sanders's spokesman Michael Briggs slammed on Friday for being scheduled for a time when interest is likely to be low.
 
By suspending the Sanders campaign from access to its own database, the DNC was "actively attempting to undermine our campaign," Weaver said, accusing the party of tilting the scales for the Clinton campaign.
 
"Clearly in this case it looks like they are trying to help the Clinton campaign," he said.
 
“I don’t know the motivation of every single person at the DNC, but you look at the pattern of conduct,” Weaver continued. “We’ve obviously had concerns about the Saturday night debate schedule and its impact on the ability of campaigns to get their message out.
 
"We are taking on the establishment and I'm sure that there are people in the Democratic establishment not happy with the success that Sen. Sanders has had."
 
All three Democratic candidates have access to the DNC’s voter file. It acts as a two-way street, allowing candidates to rely on the party’s data to help target voters while also sharing campaign-specific data with the party. While the party is able to see the master file, candidates are not supposed to be able to access data obtained by their rivals.
 
Wasserman Schultz informed DNC members in an email obtained by The Hill earlier Friday that the Sanders campaign had access to “voter targeting data” from Clinton’s campaign for about 45 minutes, emphasizing that no financial, donor or volunteer data was exposed.
The letter, which was sent out to all reporters just as the Sanders press conference got under way, adds that the error did not lead to any public exposure of the data, only between the campaigns, and that the DNC’s vendor is investigating what went wrong and if anyone else had improperly accessed the data.

It also lays out the stipulations for Sanders to regain access to the voter file — “until the DNC is provided with a full accounting of whether or not this information was used and the way in which it was disposed.”

Clinton's camp has largely remained quiet throughout the controversy, releasing a short statement by spokesman Brian Fallon two hours after the Sanders press conference.

“We were informed that our proprietary data was breached by Sanders campaign staff in 25 searches by four different accounts and that this data was saved into the Sanders' campaign account," the two-sentence statement said. "We are asking that the Sanders campaign and the DNC work expeditiously to ensure that our data is not in the Sanders campaign's account and that the Sanders campaign only have access to their own data.”

Democracy for America, the major progressive group that endorsed Sanders on Thursday, panned the DNC’s decision in a statement.

"The Democratic National Committee's decision to attack the campaign that figured out the problem, rather than go after the vendor that made the mistake, is profoundly damaging to the party's Democratic process,” said Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America.

“DNC leaders should immediately reverse this disturbing decision before the committee does even more to bring its neutrality in the race for President into question."

Josh Uretsky, the fired Sanders staffer, told ABC News in an interview that his actions were not nefarious and that he had tried to investigate the failure while being sure to leave a record of his actions to prove his honest motives.

“The breach was in no way our fault. I saw it and attempted to investigate and attempted to do it in a transparent manner,” he told the network, adding that he does not believe the campaign took any data or tried to “gain anything out of it."

“We saw a security breach and we tried to assess it and understand it. … I knew full well that I was creating a record that the administrators could see.”

-- Jonathan Easley contributed
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Chris Pook on December 18, 2015, 21:19:28
Tammany Hall is starting to look like an exemplar of probity these days.

Bring back the honest ward heeler.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on December 21, 2015, 16:59:27
Yet more evidence that some Trump supporters are taking the wrong (or is it right?) message from him, and the media is barely covering it. You cannot be on the fence on this issue. If you support Trump, you're supporting the kind of bigotry that leads to threats like this.

http://usuncut.com/news/william-celli-trump-supporter-tried-to-kill-muslims-with-bombs/ (http://usuncut.com/news/william-celli-trump-supporter-tried-to-kill-muslims-with-bombs/)

Quote
NEWSMedia Silent as Trump Supporter Arrested Stockpiling Arsenal of Bombs to Kill MuslimsCarol Schaeffer | December 21, 2015
The media loves covering Trump. And they love covering terrorism. Why have they completely ignored this story?
Facebook
Twitter

It took three days for police to respond to a neighbor’s report about a bomb, which indicated that Richmond, California resident William Celli, 55, intended to harm the local Muslim community with a homemade explosive. The same day police received this tip, the New York Times released a report indicating that crimes against Muslims have tripled since the San Bernardino and Paris attacks.

Celli has frequently posted on his Facebook that he is a Trump supporter, claiming he will follow “this man to the end of the world.”

Police arrested Celli on December 20th and charged him with the possession of an explosive device and making criminal threats.


Mainstream media coverage has followed Donald Trump’s bombastic anti-Muslim rhetoric for weeks. Since the attacks on Paris and San Bernardino, the threat of Muslim extremism has been a ratings-boosting topic for many 24-hour news cycles. Yet the subject of white domestic terrorism and right-wing extremism is hardly considered part of the same problem.

Trump has been at the forefront of the 24-hour news cycle since his proposition to bar Muslims from entering the United States following the San Bernardino attack. Yet the All-Trump-All-The-Time mainstream media coverage failed to report that one of his supporters was planning a terrorist attack of their own.

If you go to Google News and search for “Trump supporter bomb,” this is currently the full coverage across the internet. Only a handful of alternative, albeit credible, news sources.

Photo of Google search results on Trump supporter with bombs - 5 articles total.
Google search results for this story show the mainstream media’s silence on the matter.

According to a tally from the New America Foundation, white right-wing extremists were the most dangerous terrorist groups in the United States. Despite the fact that more Americans have been killed by white supremacists than Muslim extremists since 9/11, “white terrorism” is still a disputed term.

According to a preliminary report released by a leading Muslim civil rights organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the number of violent incidents against American mosques in 2015 is the highest recorded since the institution began tracking such cases nearly six years ago.

“Of the total of 71 incidents to date in 2015, 29 occurred since the November 13 terror attacks in Paris.” said CAIR in a Facebook post, “Of those 29 incidents, 15 occurred prior to the December 3 San Bernardino killings and 14 took place after that attack.”

 
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on December 21, 2015, 21:22:11
I think that this mental case would have done it regardless of what Trump says to gain supporters. Social media and the internet has just made it easier for people to find like-minded individuals and information sources that support their points of view.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on December 22, 2015, 15:13:28
Should we have expected anything less from "the Donald"?

Agence-France-Presse (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/trump-hurls-deeply-personal-crude-insults-hillary-clinton-004424272.html)

Quote
Trump under fire for sexism after vulgar Clinton jibes
AFP
December 22, 2015

Washington (AFP) - Republican frontrunner Donald Trump found himself accused of sexism again Tuesday after he coined a vulgar new term of abuse while attacking rival Hillary Clinton.

Whipping up a raucous crowd of supporters in Michigan on Monday night, Trump's scorn for his democratic rival took a sexually graphic and personal turn.

Recalling the 2008 presidential race, in which Hillary lost out to Barack Obama in the battle for the Democratic nomination, Trump appeared to reach for a Yiddish term.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: recceguy on December 22, 2015, 18:30:03
She's been called a lot worse and she's never raised a stink, but this could well be her opponent so the politics are in play.

Just saying :dunno:
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on December 22, 2015, 18:42:05
She's been called a lot worse and she's never raised a stink, but this could well be her opponent so the politics are in play.

Just saying :dunno:

If he's the opponent get used to president Clinton. Trump has no chance at the presidency.... particularly if the poll in the article is true and more than half those polled are EMBARRASSED by him
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: recceguy on December 22, 2015, 19:16:59
If he's the opponent get used to president Clinton. Trump has no chance at the presidency.... particularly if the poll in the article is true and more than half those polled are EMBARRASSED by him

You should know by now that putting your faith in something like polls will often lead to surprise and disappointment. Never say never.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on December 22, 2015, 19:59:12
You should know by now that putting your faith in something like polls will often lead to surprise and disappointment. Never say never.

I agree and normally I don't put anything into polls this far out, but with Trump I will believe them. I think Trump being the Republican nominee results in a reagan-esque defeat in the autumn. Conservatives everywhere should be hoping/praying that he isn't the nominee. .. as a Canadian conservative I hope he isn't as I think the press he receives will put our CPC behind 4-8 years
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 22, 2015, 23:42:30
Rex Murphy lays it out in straightforward terms. I suspect Trump will do very well indeed because of the disgust by the voters of the political class. If he actually wins, then the real fun will start, since "politics is a means of distributing scarce resources" (according to organizational theory), while "governing is the art of the possible". Trump will be on the horns of a very interesting dilemma:

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/rex-murphy-dont-blame-trump-blame-america

Quote
Rex Murphy: Don’t blame Trump … blame America
Rex Murphy | July 24, 2015 | Last Updated: Jul 26 12:37 PM ET
More from Rex Murphy

The number one name in American politics today is Donald Trump. All that might derail him right now from his front-ranking position, and his takeover of American presidential politics, is a declaration that Krusty the Clown has a release agreement from The Simpsons and will throw his nose into the campaign.

His campaign is, by all wise people, deplored. Serious people weep in the public streets at the thought of it. Mature Americans are appalled by what it means for their country, and how the rest of the world must be looking on — awed and horrified — at how deep American politics has sunk. But all those who deplore it, and all those sobbing in public, might want to ask how the Trump inflammation came to be. Why he is getting the response he is. Post columnist Graeme Hamilton gave some answers a few days ago. I’d like to add a few more.

Related
Donald Trump predicts Hispanics would love him as president as GOP rivals openly exasperated
Donald Trump threatens to run as a third-party candidate if Republicans don’t treat him right

I agree Trump is ridiculous — but he is an illustration of a problem and not its cause. Trump is not the swamp: he is the creature emerging from it. For however ridiculous and appalling his candidacy may be, it is no worse and no more ridiculous and appalling than the whole pattern of American politics at this time.

Is his candidacy more lunatic than the idea of a third President Bush or a second President Clinton? More despairing than the idea of an America so bereft of political talent that two families supply the major pool?

Is he more manipulative than President “you can keep you doctor, you can keep you plan” Obama? Is he less venal or arrogant than Hillary “it’s my server and it’s my State Department” Clinton?

Is his candidacy less perplexing than parts of the Democratic party’s fixations? Is it less lunatic that the spectacle of a former governor, Martin O’Malley — one of the few Democrats wandering the no-man’s land of opposition to the Hillary machine — apologizing, more than once, for asserting out loud that “all lives matter”? The Democrats have drilled so deep into the factionalism and demagoguery of identity politics — sexual and ethnic — that any appeal to universalism, any echo of the greatest phrase in the Declaration of Independence — “all men are created equal” — is now toxic? Donald Trump may be annoying, but he has said or done nothing that equals the fatuousness of a system in which the claim that all lives matter is seen as a troubling deviancy?

Is Trump less serious than trigger warnings? Is he less repellent than false and theatrical rape hoaxes that have beleaguered American campuses from Duke to Columbia? Less repellent than the supine American college administrations who bend with every breeze of the progressive mindset, and who supplant legal due process with their safe spaces and “victim”-buttressing hearings on campus misconduct?

Is Trump less theatrical than a congresswoman who takes Emma Sulkowitz, who strolled around her campus with a mattress on her head (or in place of it) for a whole year as an “art project” following her highly dubious and most likely false accusation of rape, to the State of the Union? Is anything, so far, that Trump has said more obviously silly than the often seriously reported claim that American universities, the very Bethlehem cradles of progressive thought and practice, are hotbeds of a “rape culture?”

On the issue that threw him into the frontrunner position in the Republican race the question may be raised: are his over-the-top, crude statements on immigration more unsettling, more out there, than the actual realities of the system he’s condemning?

Whatever Trump has said on immigration is not more dismaying than the fact that the U.S. has for decades paid no respect to its own borders. A nation that does not respect its own territorial integrity, and protect the idea and status of citizenship as its first value, cannot expect others to respect it. It is not Trump who is the outrage. Rather it is the political class of both U.S. parties, which have for decades temporized, dodged, euphemized and evaded the question of the country’s sovereignty and the impact of illegal immigration on it.

Is anything Trump has said more staggering or depressing than the idea that in egalitarian America, a couple of small-time business owners can get fined $135,000 for not baking a cake? Where deviation from any of the “progressive dogmas” lights Internet fires and Twitter outrage flash mobs? More absurd than banning American soldiers the right to bear arms on their own bases and their home soil? More absurd than Fort Hood’s slaughter of 13 by a self-professed jihadi being labelled “workplace violence”?

Donald Trump and his campaign have a lot of catching up to do before he can be seen as more ridiculous, more frustrating, more crazy than the reality of American politics as it was before he entered it, and which itself both fostered and enabled a candidate such as he to become the force he now is.

My own view on Trump is fairly plain — he is a boor and a hyper-egotist, a shallow and avaricious blowhard, whose candidacy can almost stand as a rebuke to the idea of a democracy. But it is not Trump who should bear the responsibility for his success. It is the practice of politics itself and the political class (which includes, more and more, the news media) that has for so long abandoned honest representation of ideas, facing difficult issues with real language, which has so professionalized campaigns and elections that the sound of a human voice saying something it actually means is so rare.

It is the toxic atmosphere of political correctness that suffocates so many voices that enables a Trump, when he rants with full stream-of-consciousness abandon, to be seen as a plain speaker, authentic and different.

How sad a world it is when what even those of us outside America see the campaign for what should be regarded as the sublime office of the presidency of the greatest democracy in the world brought down to a spectacle not much more dignified than the Housewives of  Beverly Hills, and of less class than the clammy gropings of The Bachelorette.

National Post

And of course, anyone who thinks that Canada is immune is smoking something exceptionally strong indeed....Our own political establishment is pretty far down the same road that is driving American voters into the arms of people like Trump, and when it happens here, I'm sure the same crowd will be "shocked, just shocked" to discover the same reaction by the voters.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Bird_Gunner45 on December 23, 2015, 11:41:07
Rex Murphy lays it out in straightforward terms. I suspect Trump will do very well indeed because of the disgust by the voters of the political class. If he actually wins, then the real fun will start, since "politics is a means of distributing scarce resources" (according to organizational theory), while "governing is the art of the possible". Trump will be on the horns of a very interesting dilemma:

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/rex-murphy-dont-blame-trump-blame-america

And of course, anyone who thinks that Canada is immune is smoking something exceptionally strong indeed....Our own political establishment is pretty far down the same road that is driving American voters into the arms of people like Trump, and when it happens here, I'm sure the same crowd will be "shocked, just shocked" to discover the same reaction by the voters.

I understand the appeal, but will again disagree that Trump has any real chance of winning. He's a charicature: he says things solely for the reaction and has absolutely horrible ideas (unless you believe that he can actually make Mexico pay for a wall). Moreover, he's a clearly detestable person who goes out of his way to antagonize people. Like it or not, like ability is a requirement (read: harper).

Outside of that, conservatives ought to demand better than his ilk. Until "we" can find better candidates and stop defending garbage like Trump and trying to convince ourselves he's the best we can do than we will remain on the outside looking in. The problem then isn't the US (or Canada) it's conservatives. We're looking into Nietzches proverbial abyss and yelling irrationally into it.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on December 23, 2015, 15:40:23
Chris Hedges is probably not everyone's flavour of the month, but it's hard to disagree with his take on where we are going unless things change fast. What's particularly interesting is this take on liberals selling out the "white underclass." He understands that liberals in our current iteration of capitalism serve Wall Street just like conservatives, and that we need a movement that is actually progressive, a movement that will address the structural issues embedded in our current system and once again grant the "white underclass" and the poor in general a greater say in how things are run.

His analysis of ISIS and the nature of the threat of "terrorism" is also refreshing, given the garbage we see in the mainstream media about Muslims merely hating "freedom."

http://www.alternet.org/culture/chris-hedges-creeping-villainy-american-politics (http://www.alternet.org/culture/chris-hedges-creeping-villainy-american-politics)

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The threefold rise in hate crimes against Muslims since the Paris and San Bernardino attacks and the acceptance of hate speech as a legitimate form of political discourse signal the morbidity of our civil society. The body politic is coughing up blood. The daily amplification of this hate speech by a commercial media whose sole concern is ratings and advertising dollars rather than serving as a bulwark to protect society presages a descent into the protofascist nightmare of racism, indiscriminate violence against the marginalized, and a blind celebration of American chauvinism, militarism and bigotry.

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The mounting attacks on Muslims, which will become a contagion when there is another catastrophic terrorist attack, are only the beginning. There is a long list to be targeted, including undocumented workers, African-Americans, homosexuals, liberals, feminists, intellectuals and artists. We are entering a new dark age, an age of idiocy and blood. These hatreds, encoded in American DNA but understood as politically toxic by the liberal wing of the capitalist class, have been embraced by an enraged and disenfranchised white underclass. Our failure to curb this hate speech will haunt us. Once a civil society tolerates the intolerant, as Karl Popper wrote, “the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

The anti-Muslim virus begins slowly. Step by step the hate talk moves from insults, stereotyping and untruths to incendiary calls for vigilantes to attack women wearing the hijab, men wearing kufis, mosques, Islamic centers and schools, and Muslim-owned businesses. It makes sense to many in the white underclass—especially because they have been sold out by the liberals who preach tolerance—that the violent purging of a demonized group from U.S. society can cure the society’s malaise and restore safety and American “greatness.” But soon all marginalized groups will be at risk. Such a process is what happened in the Weimar Republic. It is what happened in Yugoslavia. It is what happened in Israel.

“What is dangerous about the creeping villainy is that it takes considerable imagination and considerable dialectical abilities to be able to detect it at the moment and see what it is,” the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wrote in his “Journals and Notebooks.” “Well, neither of these features [imagination and dialectical ability] are prominent in most people—and so the villainy creeps forward just a little bit each day, unnoticed.”

Glenn Beck’s best-selling book “It IsAbout Islam: Exposing the Truth About ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate” posits that a quarter of American Muslims, 300,000 to 500,000 in his estimate, believe that violence should be used to overthrow the state and annul the Constitution in order to replace our judicial system with Sharia law. He says Islam keeps followers living in “the stone age.” His rant against Muslims parallels his rants against undocumented workers. He once, for example, said there are only three reasons Mexicans come to the United States: “One, they’re terrorists; two, they’re escaping the law; or three, they’re hungry. They can’t make a living in their own dirtbag country.” This extremism, expressed by Beck and many others, is moving with terrifying speed to the center of American political debate. And the mainstream press, which prizes sensationalism over news and truth, has abrogated its role as an arbiter of fact and rational discourse to peddle spectacle and sensationalism.

Kierkegaard was as scathing about the press as he was about the public. He noted:

 

The daily press is the evil principle of the modern world, and time will only serve to disclose this fact with greater and greater clearness. The capacity of the newspaper for degeneration is sophistically without limit, since it can always sink lower and lower in its choice of readers. At last it will stir up all those dregs of humanity which no state or government can control.

The ideological war began in earnest immediately after the attacks of 9/11. Hatemongers and racists, before then primarily relegated to the margins of society, laid the foundations for the collapse of civil discourse. 

“The Muslims sat aside for the last 15 years and allowed a complete reframing of this issue by highly funded groups such as the extreme Christian right or people like Glenn Beck,” said the Islamic scholar Hamza Yusuf, whom I reached by phone in Berkeley, Calif. “Beck argues that the problem is Islam itself. But this is also true on programs such as the ‘700 Club.’ They attack Islam as a religion. They call it a demonic force. We have had 15 years of an incredible propaganda machine that has presented Muslims as a fifth column and Islam as an anti-Christian force, as the greatest threat to Western civilization. For too many people, Islam is now conflated with Nazism.”

Extremist groups, embodied by the Christian right and Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL), have distorted Christianity and Islam to sanctify their mutual hatreds and bloodlusts. These groups prey upon the legions of the disenfranchised, most of whom do not come out of religious households or religious communities, but who find in thin clichés and slogans a simplistic and self-aggrandizing worldview. New converts are catapulted from despair and hopelessness into a Manichean world of good and evil. They are told their rage and lust for violence are sanctified. They are authorized by demagogues and warlords to persecute and kill in the name of God. 

“Groups such as ISIS, especially in the West, draw from uneducated, disenfranchised, alienated and very often oppressed minority groups,” said Yusuf, who is the president and co-founder of Zaytuna College, in Berkeley. “When you see pictures of converts, you often see tattoos on their necks. Many have had run-ins with the law or have prison records. They have a lot of anger towards the society, much of it justified.”

The indiscriminate violence unleashed by the United States against Muslim communities in the Middle East has at the same time radicalized whole populations, which are bombed and otherwise terrorized daily.


“Obama talks about the hateful, vengeful ideology we are up against,” Yusuf said, “but he is not addressing the hate that hate produced. The current presentation of the conflict is irrational—as if Muslims hate us for our freedoms and our way of life. Undeniably, envy and resentment have their parts to play, but that is not the major factor. It is a small variable. The problem is the violence and brutalization that has occurred in the Muslim world. Pakistani children in areas under drone attacks hate sunny days because of the drones, which don’t function in cloudy weather. The only days they feel comfortable playing in northern Pakistan is on cloudy days because the drones can’t see them. This terror has consequences.”

Yusuf argues that the radical ideology of Islamic State, much like that of many in the Christian right, is far more a product of modernity than antiquity.

“ISIS promotes a hybridization of Salafi-Takfiri ideology with political Islamism, along with a smattering of Baathist brutality,” he said. “Old leaders in the Iraqi government joined the movement, similar to the way the old Marxist PLO transitioned into Hamas. In the 1980s and 1990s, with the Iranian revolution and the renaissance of Islam as a political response, people brought previous beliefs and experiences into these movements. They gave older modernist ideologies the veneer of Islam. ISIS adheres to more of a Marxist—the ends justify the means—ideology. It is anything but Islamic. In Islamic law there are strict rules of engagement. The Koran has several verses about treating prisoners well. ISIS is not a manifestation of anything Islamic. The essence of Islam is mercy and compassion.” [Definitions: Salafi. Takfiri. Baathist.]

The lust for brutality, Yusuf points out, is not limited to groups such as Islamic State. It is more than matched by numerous voices in the West. He cited the author Sam Harris’ call in his best-selling book “The End of Faith” for the West to consider carrying out a nuclear first strike on the Muslim world. Harris writes in his book:

Notions of martyrdom and jihad run roughshod over the logic that allowed the United States and the Soviet Union to pass half a century perched, more or less stably, on the brink of Armageddon. What will we do if an Islamist regime, which grows dewy-eyed at the mere mention of paradise, ever acquires long-range nuclear weaponry? If history is any guide, we will not be sure about where the offending warheads are or what their state of readiness is, and so we will be unable to rely on targeted, conventional weapons to destroy them. In such a situation, the only thing likely to ensure our survival may be a nuclear first strike of our own. Needless to say, this would be an unthinkable crime—as it would kill tens of millions of innocent civilians in a single day—but it may be the only course of action available to us, given what Islamists believe.

“There are a lot of uneducated people out there, and this tripe appears nutritious to them,” Yusuf said. “I did not see anyone up in arms about Harris’ statement. Yet they are constantly going on about the brutality of Muslims. Meanwhile, we [Americans] talk daily about carpet-bombing the Middle East and killing ISIS family members.”

If there is another major terrorist event on American soil, Yusuf said, the response will not be like the one that followed 9/11. “It won’t be flowers at the mosque. The response will be retaliatory. There will be a desire for revenge. I am not surprised we are where we are. I am surprised it took us this long to get here given the forces at work.”

The backlash against the settling of thousands of Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees, he said, also plays into the hands of Islamic State. ISIS condemns the West as unfit for Muslims. It holds up its self-proclaimed Caliphate as a sanctuary and refuge for Sunni Muslims. If Western nations accept large numbers of refugees—many fleeing ISIS-controlled territory—they shatter this belief. By turning refugees away they legitimate the bifurcation of the world into Muslim and non-Muslim.

“If you read Dabiq, ISIS’ journal in English, it constantly says that what it calls the ‘gray zone’ will be eliminated,” Yusuf said. “ISIS tells American Muslims and Western European Muslims that their mosques will be attacked, Muslim women will be assaulted, they will not feel safe in their homes. ISIS says make the hegira now before it is too late. The elimination of the gray zone is central to their strategy. Our living together is the thing that disgusts them most. They seek to destroy multicultural, multifaith civilizations, although that is what the Muslim world was in the past. Hence, [the ISIS] destruction of Melkite and Assyrian churches, which have existed for centuries and which were protected by Muslims. This destruction is one of the greatest crimes in the history of Islam. These religious communities, considered heretical or heterodox, were not safe in Orthodox and Catholic Europe, but were safe to flourish in the pluralistic societies Muslims created. The worst nightmare for ISIS, like the demagogues in the West, is that we reject their call to create a wedge between religious communities.”
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 23, 2015, 20:12:10
More on the war between the "establishment" Republicans and the voters. I agree that the idea that the Republicans should be Democrat-Lite is a non starter (remember how in Canada, the "me-too" PC party was in the political wilderness for decades, until the criminal behaviours and arrogance of the LPC finally reached a tipping point for most Canadians). Remember that Trump is the symptom, not the disease, and until the GOP establishment either cleans house or is replaced via TEA Party movement primary challenges, I suspect there will be little change in the short run. As Bernie Sanders shows, a similar dynamic is playing out in the Democrat party, although since it isn't part of the narrative the media is going to ignore it as long as possible:

https://ricochet.com/david-frum-and-the-great-republican-revolt/

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David Frum and “The Great Republican Revolt”
Jon Gabriel, Ed.C
December 22, 2015

The GOP plotted to restore the Bush dynasty, but instead triggered a class war. That’s the thesis of David Frum’s latest piece for The Atlantic, “The Great Republican Revolt,” which is really worth reading:

The angriest and most pessimistic people in America are the people we used to call Middle Americans. Middle-class and middle-aged; not rich and not poor; people who are irked when asked to press 1 for English, and who wonder how white male became an accusation rather than a description.

You can measure their pessimism in polls that ask about their expectations for their lives—and for those of their children. On both counts, whites without a college degree express the bleakest view. You can see the effects of their despair in the new statistics describing horrifying rates of suicide and substance-abuse fatality among this same group, in middle age.

White Middle Americans express heavy mistrust of every institution in American society: not only government, but corporations, unions, even the political party they typically vote for—the Republican Party of Romney, Ryan, and McConnell, which they despise as a sad crew of weaklings and sellouts. They are pissed off. And when Donald Trump came along, they were the people who told the pollsters, “That’s my guy.”

They aren’t necessarily superconservative. They often don’t think in ideological terms at all. But they do strongly feel that life in this country used to be better for people like them—and they want that older country back.

I don’t read a lot of Frum since I disagree with him so strongly on gun control and other left-leaning views, but he correctly identifies the divide between the donor class and the party rank-and-file. After discussing the long history of GOP compromises and sell-outs, he offers several alternatives to help the party heal the rift:

Double down on comprehensive immigration reform to hopefully win over Latino and Asian American voters.
Make a tactical concession on immigration enforcement to win back the party base.
Reform the entire GOP agenda. I’ll let Frum explain:

Admittedly, this may be the most uncongenial thought of them all, but party elites could try to open more ideological space for the economic interests of the middle class. Make peace with universal health-insurance coverage: Mend Obamacare rather than end it. Cut taxes less at the top, and use the money to deliver more benefits to working families in the middle. Devise immigration policy to support wages, not undercut them. Worry more about regulations that artificially transfer wealth upward, and less about regulations that constrain financial speculation. Take seriously issues such as the length of commutes, nursing-home costs, and the anticompetitive practices that inflate college tuition. Remember that Republican voters care more about aligning government with their values of work and family than they care about cutting the size of government as an end in itself.

My advice is for the GOP to combine options 2 and 3, but my “reform” is very different from the swing to the left noted above. Frum has long advocated accepting Obamacare and other progressive programs, much like Eisenhower made peace with the New Deal. If you want to turn the Republican internal cold war into a full-blown civil war, option 3 is excellent advice.

Instead, the party elite should do something far more radical: Admit that it completely failed on comprehensive immigration reform, repeatedly lied about it to the base, and apologize with contrite words and concrete action. This is not the grudging “tactical concession” offered by Frum, but a full repudiation of amnesty and anything that smacks of open borders.

I don’t think illegal immigration is the biggest issue facing the country and I live in Arizona of all places. But it has become a proxy for the chasm that divides the elite from everyone else. Until the GOP proves its honorable intentions on immigration, forget trying to persuade the base on anything else. Even with this about-face, it will take a few election cycles before Republican voters trust their party on the issue. Nevertheless, confession must precede forgiveness.

Then begins the reform of the party agenda. Contra Frum, it cannot be a list of Democratic-lite policies; DC Republicans’ slouch toward progressivism is the reason the base is so furious.

The party can “open more ideological space for the economic interests of the middle class” by ending the self-serving racket that is the DC/Wall Street/Chamber of Commerce power structure. End idiocies like the Ex-Im Bank which exist only to serve big business. Instead of worrying about the tax rates of the highest earners, eliminate loopholes and lobbyist-written rules that advantage the monied class. Cut through red tape that interferes with charities, non-profits, religious organizations, and small businesses. Stop trying to slow the growth of the government and shrink it outright.

A large part of the GOP base doesn’t want government to do a better job of taking care of them; They want to take care of themselves. If Washington stops meddling in the inconsequential, it can focus on those few things that only the federal government can do, such as protecting the country.

My recommendations are far less “congenial” than Frum’s, because the elites would have to place their fellow Americans’ welfare above their own vanity, power, and quarterly dividend statements. I’m not advocating a temporary pose to trick the yahoos, but a change in heart, mind, and direction. The party bosses must admit that much of the work they do in Washington is either useless or counter-productive.

Even worse, they need to admit that, at least on a few issues, the “yahoos” were right.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on December 23, 2015, 21:20:57
I can see Trump being the GOP nominee. For the same reason that most have stated, the backlash from the GOP electorate at the GOP establishment and their perceived lack of concern for their views.

This is an internal revolt that the GOP needs to go through in order to get it's house in order. And if Trump becomes the nominee, (although it will be a very contentious fight right up to the convention if he does win it) it may just be the wake-up call the party needs to actually do something to get back to being a viable right of center party.

Unfortunately if Trump does take the GOP nomination, the Dem alternative is just as poor a candidate, for different reasons. And I cam see the Dems going through the same hard times through the next 4 year cycle, although it will likely be less in the mainstream public view than we've seen over the last 4 years. 
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 27, 2015, 22:47:07
Makes you wonder just what sort of contortions the GOP establishment will have to undertake if Donald Trump really wins the nomination?

http://nypost.com/2015/12/26/elites-and-media-really-hate-donald-trumps-voters/

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Elites and media really hate Donald Trump’s voters
By Michael Walsh December 26, 2015 | 2:55pm

To hear the patronizing wise men of the Republican Party tell it, anyone who would vote for Donald Trump for president must be deranged. “Trumpkins,” they call them, mental midgets and xenophobic troglodytes who’ve crawled out from their survivalist caves in order to destroy the Beltway Establishment.

How their resentful attitude galls the crack cadres of campaign consultants who brought conservatives halfhearted standard-bearers like John McCain and Mitt Romney to do sham battle against Barack Obama in 2008 and ’12, then return to the safety of the US Senate and a beachfront mansion in La Jolla.

The peasants are revolting!

“[Trump] would be an “embarrassment” to half the country. That the “short-fingered vulgarian” — as the old Spy magazine famously dubbed him — is neither a real Republican nor a real conservative”

And all on behalf of a bloviating billionaire whose conservatism and party loyalty are suspect.

Now, after months of whistling past the graveyard of Trump’s seemingly inexorable rise and assuring themselves that his candidacy will collapse as voters come to their senses, a CNN poll released Wednesday showing Trump now lapping the field has the GOP establishment in full meltdown mode. The survey shows Trump with nearly 40% of the primary vote, trailed by Ted Cruz at 18%, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio tied at 10%, and the also-rans (including great GOP hope Jeb Bush) limping along far behind.

Their panic was best articulated last week in The Daily Beast by GOP consultant Rick Wilson, who wrote that Trump supporters “put the entire conservative movement at risk of being hijacked and destroyed by a bellowing billionaire with poor impulse control and a profoundly superficial understanding of the world . . . walking, talking comments sections of the fever swamp sites.”

Some might take that as a backhanded compliment. Can the GOP really be so out of touch with the legions of out-of-work Americans — many of whom don’t show up in the “official” unemployment rate because they’ve given up looking for work in the Obama economy? With the returning military vets frustrated with lawyer-driven, politically correct rules of engagement that have tied their hands in a fight against a mortal enemy? With those who, in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino massacres by Muslims, reasonably fear an influx of culturally alien “refugees” and “migrants” from the Middle East?

With those who fear for their own families’ futures and the future of the country as founded?

In other words, has the junior wing of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party, ably embodied by Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, forsaken even token opposition to the “progressive” ethos? Can it be true that everybody’s fondest wish for Campaign ’16 is the dynastic-restoration battle of Clinton vs. Bush?

Jeb Bush seems to think so, suggesting recently that he might rethink the pledge he signed vowing to support the eventual Republican nominee. To which The Donald characteristically responded: Who cares? “He is a low-energy person, and he does not represent strength, power and stamina, which are qualities our country desperately needs.”

Others have suggested, half in jest, that should Trump win the nomination, the GOP might have to go third party — against its own nominee.

Even lame-duck Obama has waded in, cheekily blaming “economic stresses” and flatlining wages for Trump’s groundswell. “Particularly, blue-collar men have had a lot of trouble in this new economy, where they are no longer getting the same bargain that they got when they were going to a factory and able to support their families on a single paycheck . . . Somebody like Mr. Trump is taking advantage of that.”

Remember when Obama apologized for saying that voters who disagreed with him “cling to guns or religion”? Yeah, guess he wasn’t really sorry.

Objections to Trump include that he has no clue that politics is, as the saying goes, the art of the possible. That his reality-show candidacy — as a recent Quinnipiac poll purportedly found — would be an “embarrassment” to half the country. That the “short-fingered vulgarian” — as the old Spy magazine famously dubbed him — is neither a real Republican nor a real conservative.

To which his supporters, to whom he is an anger-directed guided missile heading straight for Washington, retort: So what? The irrepressible Trump is already ignoring his rivals and gleefully taking the fight to the presumptive (if she doesn’t get indicted) Democrat nominee, noted prevaricator Hillary Clinton.

In the movie business, there’s something called the “cheer moment,” when the long-suffering hero finally decks his tormentor with a satisfying right cross. What the Beltway Republicans fail to understand is that their conservative base — which gave them stunning congressional victories in 2010 and 2014 and has nothing to show for it — has been longing for precisely that moment since Reagan crushed Mondale 49-1 in 1984.

The Trumpkins are sick of winning and having nothing to show for it, and their vengeance will be terrible. Maybe the Establishment should stop belittling them and listen instead.

And Instapundit comments:

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See also: past hatred of establishment GOP and DNC-MSM for libertarians, Tea Party voters, Perot voters, and any group whose goal is the most radical of all: for government to leave you the hell alone. I’m not at all sure that’s Trump’s goal for government, but then, as Glenn has noted, “Trump and Sanders are just symptoms. The real disease is in the ruling class that takes such important subjects out of political play, in its own interest. As Angelo Codevilla wrote in an influential essay in 2010, today’s ruling class is a monoculture that has little in common with the rest of the nation.”
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on December 28, 2015, 11:18:52
Trump may have poll numbers now, but will he have the voters when it really counts?

Trump’s fans are excited to rally — but they’re not sure they’ll show up to vote

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-fans-are-excited-to-rally--but-theyre-not-sure-theyll-show-up-to-vote/2015/12/26/3c29bbb6-a5c3-11e5-ad3f-991ce3374e23_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_vatrump-725pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

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DES MOINES — When Donald Trump held one of his boisterous rallies at the state fairgrounds this month, Bonnie and Randy Reynolds arrived two hours early to make sure they could snag seats. They bought “Make America Great Again” hats, put on campaign T-shirts and passed through a security checkpoint.

The West Des Moines couple, who have two grown children, had never been to a political event before. Bonnie works in a mailroom; Randy is a press operator. They don’t live paycheck to paycheck, but it would take just one small catastrophe to push them there.

“In the end, everything that he’s saying might not happen if he is elected — but I’m willing to give it a shot,” said Randy Reynolds, 49, who used to vote for Democrats but switched to Republicans a decade ago. “I will give him 100 percent. . . . It would be amazing if the majority of things that he said would actually happen. That would be amazing.”

So, obviously, the couple plan to caucus for Trump on Feb. 1?

“We’re going to see,” Reynolds said. “With kids and grandkids and all this, it’s kind of hectic. . . . We’ll look into it. If our time is available, then yeah, maybe we’ll do it. Maybe. We’ll have to see.”

Trump’s unexpected and sustained popularity has, at least in part, been fueled by his appeal to a voting bloc that seems to be emerging: blue-collar workers without college degrees who are slightly younger than the traditional Republican voter. Many say they haven’t cared about politics until now, as they flock to Trump rallies like groupies to a rock concert, read his books, buy his products, quote his jokes and follow his social-media accounts.

But is their devotion to Trump deep enough to vote?

For those who don’t regularly vote in primaries, doing so for the first time is a hurdle — especially in Iowa, which uses a caucus system that can intimidate first-timers.

In states with early primary contests, Trump’s staffers are trying to teach their supporters how to vote and get a commitment that they actually will. Before each rally here, Trump’s state co-chairs walk the crowd through how the caucuses work and urge them to attend. But they are also hoping word will spread through social media and in conversations after church, at the school bus stop, during coffee breaks and over holiday dinners.

Bonnie Reynolds, 47, said she didn’t know much about caucusing until her co-worker explained it to her and encouraged her to get involved. When the couple showed up at Trump’s rally on Dec. 11, a campaign volunteer asked them to sign a sheet committing to caucusing. Reynolds signed them up, although she’s not sure whether she will follow through.

In the past few weeks, Trump himself has started talking about the importance of voting in early states. At a rally in western Iowa in early December, Trump said there’s no excuse not to vote.
 
“You’ve got to get there,” he said. “Even if you’re not feeling good, if you’re feeling horrible, if you had a horrible fight with your wife or your husband. . . . If you caught your husband cheating the night before, you’ve got to go to the caucus.”

Trump’s campaign strategy is far from traditional, although his ground game in early voting states has followed a relatively standard playbook in some respects. Over the summer, he hired 10 staffers in Iowa, who traveled around the state in a Trump-branded bus to hand out T-shirts, bumper stickers and hats in exchange for contact information.

But just as Trump doesn’t spend money on pollsters or focus groups, the campaign has yet to purchase databases of potential voters, a key organizing tool used by most campaigns. Instead of buying such a tool from a private contractor, the campaign has compiled its own database using contact information from every rally attendee, either when they registered online or showed up at the door.

With just five weeks until the Iowa caucuses, other Republican candidates have started to flood the state with more staffers and volunteers. Trump’s campaign now has an Iowa staff of 15, who organize at least one large rally per week in addition to continuing to recruit “caucus leaders” who can be the voice of the campaign at caucus locations.

Trump’s Iowa team remains confident that his rally crowds will serendipitously translate into caucus support. Sam Clovis, Trump’s Iowa co-chair, pointed to a rally Trump held in Clay County in northwest Iowa in early December. Only 16,500 people live in the county, but 1,500 showed up at the rally in Spencer, and Clovis said he asked the crowd how many had never caucused before.

“Twenty percent of the hands went up,” Clovis said. “And I said: How many of you are going to caucus this time? Same 20 percent of hands went up, because he has done something. This is something that’s not reflected in the polls. It’s not reflected in any of the ways that you go out and count things.”

There are few gauges right now to measure which candidate might do better in Iowa among the most likely voters. Nationally, a Washington Post-ABC News poll released this month found that 38 percent of registered Republicans support Trump. Among those who said they are certain to vote, 41 percent said they would pick Trump.

Unlike a general election or traditional primary, only a small fraction of Iowans attend the caucuses. In 2012 and 2008, roughly 20 percent of registered Republicans caucused. In low-turnout elections like this, voters tend to be older people who vote regularly and are more likely to have a college degree — not necessarily the group Trump seems to have fired up.

It takes a higher level of commitment to caucus. In traditional primaries, voters have most of the day to show up at the polls. To caucus, Iowans have to be in line at their local precinct by 7 p.m. and will spend most of their evening there, listening to speeches and casting their vote.

Feb. 1 is a Monday night, likely to be cold, perhaps snowy or icy. The caucuses have to compete with the logistics of everyday life: evening work shifts, children who have after-school activities or need help with their homework, making dinner and preparing for the week ahead. And campaigns only have one shot at getting supporters through the door — there’s no early voting and a limited time to monitor who has yet to show up.

“This is a struggle for all of the candidates, because a caucus is different from voting. . . . A caucus is very inconvenient,” said Craig Robinson, a former Iowa GOP official who now runs the blog TheIowaRepublican.com. “It takes a commitment of time.”

But Robinson noted that it also takes a commitment of time to attend a Trump rally, and thousands of Iowans have already done that, while other campaigns struggle to attract a couple hundred. He attended a Trump rally in eastern Iowa this fall and was surprised to see so many fans show up already wearing campaign T-shirts, suggesting a level of planning that could translate into the willingness to caucus.

“There is a committed base of support that no doubt will caucus for him,” Robinson said.

At Trump’s rally in Des Moines on Dec. 11, a couple in their early 30s said they have no plans to caucus, even though they hope Trump will be president and wanted their two young sons to see the candidate speak. A 25-year-old graduate student said he would probably caucus for Trump, but he just moved to the state and has no idea how to do so. A group of high school students said they won’t be old enough to vote. A retiree who said he’s “not a political sort of guy” is still surveying his options.

Linda Stuver, 61, said Trump is her top pick, although she also likes Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. During the last election cycle, she went to a rally for Mitt Romney, her first political event. The Trump rally was her second.

“This is only my second time I’ve ever been to one of these — that’s how annoyed I am with what’s happening to our country,” said Stuver, who lives in Des Moines and says she raised four children by cleaning houses and working other low-level jobs. “I can’t even have Obama be on TV anymore — I have to shut it off, that’s how irritated I am. Us old folks have seen a lot, and what’s happening in our country is not right.”

Is she annoyed and irritated enough to caucus?

“I don’t know,” she said, shaking her head. “I never have.”

As Stuver waited for the rally to start, Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” blared and a Trump staffer with a clipboard stopped by the small section of bleachers where she was sitting.

“Is there anybody up here that’s 100 percent sure that you’re caucusing on February 1 for Trump?” the staffer asked, then waited, holding the clipboard over his head. “Anybody? No?”

With no takers, the staffer moved on to the next section of cheering fans eagerly awaiting Trump’s arrival.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: PuckChaser on December 28, 2015, 11:37:05
They said that about Obama voters too, and they showed up, twice.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on December 28, 2015, 14:17:59
Another potential spoiler arises:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/429025/jim-webb-independent-run-could-harm-democrats-gop

Quote
Jim Webb Attacks Hillary for Her Foreign-Policy Failures: First Step of His Third-Party Run?
by JOHN FUND December 27, 2015 7:08 PM @JOHNFUND

When Jim Webb, the former Virginia senator and Navy secretary, left the Democratic primary race in October, he hinted that he might mount an independent run for president. That looks more likely now that Webb has blasted his party’s front-runner for her “inept leadership” as secretary of state.

“Hillary Clinton should be called to account for her inept leadership that brought about the chaos in Libya, and the power vacuums that resulted in the rest of the region,” Webb wrote in a Facebook post Saturday. “While she held that office, the U.S. spent about $2 billion backing the Libyan uprising against Qaddafi. The uprising, which was part of the Arab Spring, led directly to Qaddafi being removed. . . . Now some 2,000 ISIS terrorists have established a foothold in Libya. Who is taking her to task for this?”

Political observers can be excused for shaking their heads at a Webb race as an independent. A mercurial candidate and poor fundraiser, he never garnered more than 1 percent support among Democrats before dropping out. But Webb knows that people underestimated the impact of Green-party candidate Ralph Nader on the 2000 race. Nader raised only $8 million and was ignored by major-network TV-news coverage. But he managed to win 2.7 percent of the national vote, clearing 5 percent in ten states. Democrats still blame his presence on Florida’s ballot for costing Al Gore Florida’s electoral votes and handing the presidency to George W. Bush.

It’s unclear whether Webb would hurt one major-party candidate more than the other. Conservatives laud his service as a decorated Vietnam War veteran and secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan. But while he was in the Senate, Webb was a reliable vote for Democratic initiatives, including Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial-regulation bill. An economic populist, he says that both parties are too close to Wall Street and are responsible for the drop in the median income of middle-class families – it’s fallen four percentage points since 2000.

Webb, who has written several history books, compared the U.S. to the declining Roman Empire in his 2008 book A Time to Fight:

The whole body of government, Emperor and Senate alike, turns its eyes away from the forces that are bankrolling its tenure while selling off the Empire for personal profit. The citizens, alternating between disgust, apathy, and fear, know that their way of life is unraveling before their eyes and see that their leaders are either powerless or disinclined to act.

Webb’s candidacy might appeal to two constituencies that provided key support for past independent races. His military background and his disgust for the Obama foreign policy that Hillary Clinton is obliged to defend could attract pro-military voters in both parties, like those who backed Ross Perot in the 1990s. His reputation as an incorruptible straight shooter might attract the kind of voters who fueled John Anderson’s 1980 independent run for president (which won 7 percent of the vote). Alienated voters see Hillary Clinton as an unethical shape-shifter, and many of the Republican candidates as feckless or extreme — these people would be another potential source of votes. In October, political analyst Michael Barone noted that in his 2006 Senate race in Virginia, “Webb ran strongest in high-education Northern Virginia and ran behind in most of rural Virginia.” In other words, he might appeal most to voters who are disgusted with the system but who disdain the slippery nature of Hillary Clinton or the bombast of Donald Trump.

But could Webb get on the ballot in enough states to make a difference? Craig Crawford, a former columnist who is a key Webb adviser, says that the logistics of promoting an independent candidate are much easier than when Nader ran in 2000. Social media and voter-targeting software give alternative candidates better access to target audiences.

Ballot access for an independent isn’t nearly as hard as it used to be, thanks to favorable court rulings in many states. Richard Winger, the editor of Ballot Access News, estimates that a total of 590,000 signatures would guarantee an independent a spot on every state ballot. “Paying top dollar to signature collectors and submitting twice the required amount of signatures as a cushion would cost only about $3 million nationwide,” he tells me. North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas have the toughest signature requirements and Webb might be forced to skip them. Georgia’s signature threshold is also high but may well be overturned as part of a pending federal court case challenging signature requirements.

We don’t yet know whether Webb will run as an independent. He played a game of cat and mouse with reporters before his presidential race, choosing to announce in early July of this year and then dropping out in October. Most states don’t require signatures for ballot access to be turned in until August, so Webb could delay any final decision for months.

But friends of his are more and more convinced that he is ready for one last mission (he turns 70 in February). “He is personally offended at Hillary Clinton’s e-mail-server scandal and poor choices as secretary of state,” a close friend of Webb’s tells me. “As for the Republicans, Donald Trump’s foreign-policy zigzags and the inexperience of the others appall him.” Jim Webb isn’t going to be president, but if the 2016 general election is as close as the current polls suggest, he could easily be a spoiler. In any event, his experience and gravitas would add to the political debate — that is, if the entertainment-obsessed media would deign to cover him.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/429025/jim-webb-independent-run-could-harm-democrats-gop
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on December 28, 2015, 20:11:43
And the Party might go Tony Saprano on New Hampshire if they give Trump a win.

In New Hampshire, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie Add Guilt Trips to Campaign Stops

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/24/us/politics/jeb-bush-chris-christie-new-hampshire-campaign.html?_r=1

Quote
PETERBOROUGH, N.H. — The two leading Republican candidates not named Donald J. Trump who most need a victory in the New Hampshire primary have wooed voters here by promoting their experience, their tough-mindedness and their seriousness.

Now, as Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Jeb Bush grasp for some way to dissuade the proud New Hampshire electorate from supporting Mr. Trump, they are turning to a new, blunter instrument: guilt.

“America is counting on you,” Mr. Christie said Sunday night in the century-old town hall here, his 40th question-and-answer session in the state. He repeated himself a few sentences later, in case the voters had missed the barely veiled warning.

“There’s 14 of us today,” Mr. Christie said of the Republican field. “You all will take us from 14 to four or five. And those four or five are the only ones Americans are going to have to choose from other than Hillary Rodham Clinton. You have enormous responsibility.”

On Monday night, speaking at the Christmas-bedecked American Legion hall in Alton, Mr. Bush picked up where Mr. Christie left off.

Jeb Bush, in Contoocook, N.H., on Saturday. "New Hampshire has a special place in our democracy,” he has told voters, while suggesting that if they were to select Donald J. Trump, that reputation would be tarnished. Credit Richard Perry/The New York Times
“New Hampshire has a special place in our democracy,” Mr. Bush said at his 27th town-hall-style meeting, alluding to its tradition of holding the first primaries, shortly after Iowa’s caucuses. “I, for one, will entrust the voters of New Hampshire to make this decision disproportionately more than any other place. I’m totally confident that you all will maintain your position as first in the nation, that you will be discerning about this.”

Drenching New Hampshire voters with praise has long been a staple of campaigns for the White House, with candidates holding up the image of civic-minded voters as paragons of democracy in hopes that some of it will pay off on Election Day.

But in an unusual campaign in which the leading candidate lacks either of the qualities New Hampshire voters are said to demand — a command of policy details and commitment to one-on-one campaigning — his rivals are repurposing their paeans to play on the vanity and insecurities of the New Hampshire political-industrial complex.

The don’t-screw-this-up pleadings to honor what many here see as their civic birthright reflect how anxious Mr. Bush and Mr. Christie are to find some way to bring down Mr. Trump, who leads his nearest competitor in New Hampshire by double digits in polls.

There is a dash of Tony Soprano — nice little primary franchise you got there, be a shame if something happened to it — and a heap of Jewish mother. Or, perhaps, Italian mother.

“Are you trying to imply that an Italian from New Jersey would use guilt?” Mr. Christie said with faux incredulity in an interview on Monday aboard his bus in Nashua. “I think what I’m saying to them is, it would be a shame for the country if New Hampshire makes the wrong choices. Guilt was a frequently used weapon of my mother. So some of it just comes out naturally.”

But Mr. Christie did not deny that he was in effect telling New Hampshire voters not to send their reputation for discriminating tastes in candidates down the drain.

“Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m saying,” he said, again invoking how much the “country is counting on them” and noting their “huge responsibility.”

Mr. Bush can be just as blunt. Asked Saturday in Exeter how he planned to beat Mr. Trump, he aimed straight at Granite State privilege.

“You’re the answer,” said Mr. Bush, the former Florida governor, to the attendees. “The question is will New Hampshire want to support a guy who might tarnish this extraordinary reputation that you have, which is first-in-nation status, where you make people walk through the hot coals each and every time they come, where you challenge people, where you help them learn how to get better at doing this.

“New Hampshire is an extraordinary part of this process and I don’t think Donald Trump’s going to survive New Hampshire to be honest with you, because I have too much confidence in you all.”

There are differences in the subtle shaming Mr. Bush and Mr. Christie employ. Mr. Bush is far more explicit about targeting Mr. Trump, while Mr. Christie, who would like to win some Trump voters, tends not to mention him directly. (“I’m not as judgmental about it as Jeb is,” Mr. Christie said.)

Some of the state’s political pillars speak just as assuredly of Mr. Trump’s inevitable fall. This is partly a verse in the same hymnal from which Mr. Bush and Mr. Christie are reading.

“They’re not going to throw away their vote,” predicted former Senator Judd Gregg, whose father was governor of New Hampshire and literally wrote the book on the state’s primary.

Dismissing the polls showing Mr. Trump leading, Mr. Gregg, a Bush supporter, even said, “I’m willing to bet on Trump not winning here.”

With renewed chatter from national party figures about whether Iowa and New Hampshire should be allowed to retain their first-to-vote privileges, the prospect of Mr. Trump’s winning here, and doing so without doing the sort of policy-heavy, on-the-ground campaigning the state prides itself on, is unnerving for leaders in both parties.

“There will be people who say, ‘See, that’s why New Hampshire shouldn’t have the first primary,’” said Terry Shumaker, a longtime Democratic leader in the state, of how critics would seize on a Trump win. “It will be used.”

In Peterborough, though, Mr. Christie said it did not have to come to that. He recalled a New Hampshire voter he had encountered who complained of being powerless over a turbulent election.

“I looked at him, I said, ‘Stop it, powerless,’ ” Mr. Christie recounted, all but spitting out any suggestion of impotence. “You’re a voter in New Hampshire. You’re among the most powerful people in the world right now.”
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on January 02, 2016, 00:56:59
Who are the Trump supporters?

http://althouse.blogspot.ca/2015/12/perhaps-above-all-else-data-shows-that.html

Quote
"Perhaps above all else, the data shows that Mr. Trump has broad support in the G.O.P., spanning all major demographic groups."

Nate Cohn reports in a piece — somewhat misleadingly titled "Donald Trump’s Strongest Supporters: A Certain Kind of Democrat" — based on interviews with 11,000  Republican-leaning respondents (done by Civis Analytics, a Democratic data firm).
[Trump] leads among Republican women and among people in well-educated and affluent areas. He even holds a nominal lead among Republican respondents that Civis estimated are Hispanic, based on their names and where they live.

But Mr. Trump’s lead is not equal among all G.O.P. groups, or across all parts of the country. His support follows a clear geographic pattern. He fares best in a broad swath of the country stretching from the Gulf Coast, up the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, to upstate New York....

His geographic pattern of support is not just about demographics — educational attainment, for example. It is not necessarily the typical pattern for a populist, either. In fact, it’s almost the exact opposite of Ross Perot’s support in 1992, which was strongest in the West and New England, and weakest in the South and industrial North....

Much of this article strains to find racial material, dragging in evidence of the Google searches in various areas. Maybe you can tell where the racists are by where people search for racial epithets, and then maybe Trump supporters in the same area are the same people who did the searches. Cohn concedes that this evidence is weak, but it's not so weak that he doesn't bother with it.

What stands out to me after reading the whole article, however, is that Trump obviously has a lot of support among a wide range of people, including many that you wouldn't expect if you've been relying on mainstream media for information: women, well-educated people, Hispanics. There needs to be much more serious analysis of what is going on. American politics is outrunning the pundit class, which has lost a lot of ground tripped up on the delusion that this can't be serious.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on January 03, 2016, 16:19:11
A Vietnamese man suspected of supporting Al-Qaeda?

Associated Press (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/lawyer-terrorism-case-says-finding-unbiased-jurors-hard-010127081.html)

Quote
Lawyer in terrorism case says finding unbiased jurors will be hard because of Trump's comments

Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
The Canadian Press
December 30, 2015

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call for a ban on Muslim immigration into the United States will make it difficult to find unbiased jurors for the trial of a man accused of supporting al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the man's lawyer is arguing in court papers.

Minh Quang Pham is expected to go on trial in federal court in Manhattan in February. The Vietnamese man has pleaded not guilty to supporting al-Qaida.

But Pham's attorney is asking a judge to allow additional questioning of potential jurors, arguing that recent terrorist attacks in the U.S. and Paris and Trump's statements calling for a ban on Muslim immigration into the U.S. will make it difficult to find unbiased prospects

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 04, 2016, 12:06:09
Paul Krugman's latest on the what could have been had Romney won the last election, and what the potential implications of this election are:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/opinion/elections-have-consequences.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/opinion/elections-have-consequences.html)

Quote
..I’m a big geek... I was eagerly awaiting the I.R.S.’s tax tables for 2013... And what these tables show is that elections really do have consequences.
You might think that this is obvious. But on the left, in particular, there are some people who, disappointed by the limits of what President Obama has accomplished, minimize the differences between the parties. Whoever the next president is, they assert — or at least ... if it’s not Bernie Sanders — things will remain pretty much the same, with the wealthy continuing to dominate the scene. ...
But the truth is that Mr. Obama’s election ... had some real, quantifiable consequences. ...
If Mitt Romney had won, we can be sure that Republicans would have found a way to prevent these tax hikes. ...
Mr. Obama has effectively rolled back not just the Bush tax cuts but Ronald Reagan’s as well..., about $70 billion a year in revenue. This happens to be in the same ballpark as both food stamps and ... this year’s net outlays on Obamacare. So we’re not talking about something trivial.
Speaking of Obamacare, that’s another thing Republicans would surely have killed if 2012 had gone the other way. ... And the effect on health care has been huge...
Now, to be fair, some widely predicted consequences of Mr. Obama’s re-election — predicted by his opponents — didn’t happen. Gasoline prices didn’t soar. Stocks didn’t plunge. The economy didn’t collapse..., and the unemployment rate is a full point lower than the rate Mr. Romney promised to achieve by the end of 2016.
In other words, the 2012 election didn’t just allow progressives to achieve some important goals. It also gave them an opportunity to show that achieving these goals is feasible. No, asking the rich to pay somewhat more in taxes while helping the less fortunate won’t destroy the economy.
So now we’re heading for another presidential election. And once again the stakes are high. Whoever the Republicans nominate will be committed to destroying Obamacare and slashing taxes on the wealthy — in fact, the current G.O.P. tax-cut plans make the Bush cuts look puny. Whoever the Democrats nominate will, first and foremost, be committed to defending the achievements of the past seven years.
The bottom line is that presidential elections matter, a lot, even if the people on the ballot aren’t as fiery as you might like. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on January 04, 2016, 17:13:58
Trump and Jeb Bush air new political ads/ commercials.

Here's Trump's ad:

http://youtu.be/AEAJrT8PeOo

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 06, 2016, 12:49:47
An interview with Noam Chomsky about the current state of politics in the US. I understand he's not everyone's cup of tea, but what he says about the political spectrum is particularly interesting, and I think, spot on:

"The spectrum is broad but in an odd sense. The spectrum is basically centre to extreme right. Extreme right. Way off the spectrum. The Republican Party about 20 years ago basically abandoned any pretense of being a normal political party. In fact, the distinguished, respected conservative commentators, from the American Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank, like Norman Ornstein, described the Republican Party as a radical insurgency which has abandoned parliamentary politics. They just don’t want anything to happen. Their only policies are “don’t do anything” or bomb. That’s not a political party."

It's well worth reading the full interview:

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/noam-chomsky-electing-president-empire (http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/noam-chomsky-electing-president-empire)

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on January 06, 2016, 13:50:13
Reading speeches from Bernie Sanders or even Hillary Clinton certainly does not give me a sense of them being "centrists". The Democrat initiatives across Blue cities and states in everything from regulation to taxation to mandating minimum wages at $15/hr also are not "center", unless you are extremely off axis.

Refer to Pournlle's two axis theory of political alignment to map where everyone really is and you will be surprised:

http://www.baen.com/chapters/axes.htm for an explanation
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 06, 2016, 13:58:15
Reading speeches from Bernie Sanders or even Hillary Clinton certainly does not give me a sense of them being "centrists". The Democrat initiatives across Blue cities and states in everything from regulation to taxation to mandating minimum wages at $15/hr also are not "center", unless you are extremely off axis.

Refer to Pournlle's two axis theory of political alignment to map where everyone really is and you will be surprised:

http://www.baen.com/chapters/axes.htm for an explanation

Right but you have to consider what has happened historically. "Regulation and taxation" compared to what? Chomsky's main point is that the entire spectrum has shifted right, so by comparison to today's standards, a Republican like Eisenhower resembles something closer to Bernie Sanders (in some ways) than this modern equivalents.

How do you define $15/hour as not being a centrist policy? It's well documented that wages have stagnated in comparison to GDP growth and once inflation is taken into account the buying power of someone on minimum wage is greatly reduced compared to even 20 years ago.

Again, the Republicans we're seeing now are on the extreme right, so yes by comparison Clinton and the Dems seem to be progressive. But that's the point.

I agree that Sanders is not centrist, he represents the furthest left the Democrats have been since the 70s, but Clinton is right of center.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on January 06, 2016, 14:24:22
Setting wages by fiat rather than allowing the market to dictate is a leftist/socialist/progressive trope, and setting minimum wages far above the market rate is doing this on steroids. You should educate yourself on the effects of this; places which have started instituting the program are already experiencing reduced levels of hiring for entry level (minimum wage) jobs, and replacements like robotic burger flippers and electronic ordering kiosks are making an appearance in places like New York.

Regulatrion and taxation compared to the past. When a person trying to open a small business like a food truck is jumping through hoops of fire today (including getting a GPS tracker for the truck and filling out paperwork for a mutitude of separate bureucracies) or children are fined for opening a lemonade stand, or church groups are enjoined not ot serve food to the homeless (becasue they are lacking the proper permits), then I think you are looking at symptoms of a much larger problem. WRT past examples, Kennedy ignited the "Go Go 60's" with a massive tax cut. Name any Democrat today who is calling for tax cutrs or regulatory streamlining? (True, only the TEA Party movement is calling for this from outside the political establishment, inside the Beltway the GOP is content with the status quo).

If anything, the growth of government and bureuacracy represents centralization and a drift towards the left, following the formulation “Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato”.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 06, 2016, 14:34:34
Setting wages by fiat rather than allowing the market to dictate is a leftist/socialist/progressive trope, and setting minimum wages far above the market rate is doing this on steroids. You should educate yourself on the effects of this; places which have started instituting the program are already experiencing reduced levels of hiring for entry level (minimum wage) jobs, and replacements like robotic burger flippers and electronic ordering kiosks are making an appearance in places like New York.

Regulatrion and taxation compared to the past. When a person trying to open a small business like a food truck is jumping through hoops of fire today (including getting a GPS tracker for the truck and filling out paperwork for a mutitude of separate bureucracies) or children are fined for opening a lemonade stand, or church groups are enjoined not ot serve food to the homeless (becasue they are lacking the proper permits), then I think you are looking at symptoms of a much larger problem. WRT past examples, Kennedy ignited the "Go Go 60's" with a massive tax cut. Name any Democrat today who is calling for tax cutrs or regulatory streamlining? (True, only the TEA Party movement is calling for this from outside the political establishment, inside the Beltway the GOP is content with the status quo).

If anything, the growth of government and bureuacracy represents centralization and a drift towards the left, following the formulation “Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato”.

I don't need to educate myself. The language you're using (socialist trope) is ideological. It is a fact that workers wages have been stagnant since the 1970s, and further, it is a fact that a capitalist economy cannot survive without consumers to buy things. The more people that are living precariously the less robust our economy is.

You've listed some great anecdotes, but here's some data on wages versus productivity:

http://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/ (http://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/)

If you believe the market would correct for these things, why didn't it? The arguments you're making work in favour of corporate giants and the wealthy, no one else. Ironically though, as I mentioned above, our economy cannot keep growing with current levels of inequality. It's cannibalistic in nature. Without a middle class to consume value added items, we're left to rely on Wall Street, which is a basically a house of cards. So yes, raising the minimum wage to increase the buying power of those at the bottom of the ladder is essential for further growth. This is a capitalist idea believe it or not.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Rocky Mountains on January 06, 2016, 15:11:19
So yes, raising the minimum wage to increase the buying power of those at the bottom of the ladder is essential for further growth. This is a capitalist idea believe it or not.

Don't believe it.  What buying power do the unemployed have?  You should get a job working for Rachel Notley and enjoy all the wealth the communist government is creating in Alberta.  Not!
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on January 06, 2016, 15:21:53
Rocky Mountains: Grow up!  ;) You know damn well that Rachel Notley has nothing to do with the current Albertan economy woes (she hasn't been in charge long enough to have any effect one way or the other, for gawd's sake).

The very capitalist, free market for oil - in which the equally greedy Albertan capitalist Oil industry has no real say or power - however is the clear culprit: Hey! The world's consumers doesn't want your $90.00 a barrel oil, so take 37$ and shut up, or just close down. That's the real culprit and you know it.

And by the way, this idea that you need consumer with a reasonable amount of money in their pockets to buy your product is a very "left" idea: It came from a very "socialist" guy called Henry Ford. He is the one that came up with the idea that the assembly line workers of the world should have reasonable salaries so they can afford to buy the "cars for every one" he was mass-producing.

So, cut some slack to K-302.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on January 06, 2016, 21:00:41
The very capitalist, free market for oil - in which the equally greedy Albertan capitalist Oil industry has no real say or power - however is the clear culprit: Hey! The world's consumers doesn't want your $90.00 a barrel oil, so take 37$ and shut up, or just close down. That's the real culprit and you know it.

Canada Western Select was trading for $20 a barrel today BTW.

But it's the also same situation for the destruction of the US Coal Industry, not Obama's so called "War on Coal" but rather the huge drop in Natural Gas prices due to fracking technology improving access to gas and lowering the scost while increasing the supply. It became economic for plants to switch from coal fired equipment to more efficient and cleaner burning gas fired equipment.

And TransCanada has filed suit against the US Government for $15 Billion for damages when they killed the Keystone pipeline.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on January 06, 2016, 22:54:08
The capitalist idea is using the market to match supply of labour to demand for labour, and wages are set according to both demand and to productivity (Burger flippers are in high supply. Machinists get paid more because there are fewer of them and they add more value to a product). You refuse to look at the results of the policies of setting wages above market rates and also fail to see that the people taking the biggest hits are the small employers who with narrow operating margins who simply cannot pay workers that amount of money (there are multiple examples to look up on the net, restaurants are hard hit, but there was a memorable story about a book store owner who is essentially being forced to lay off his staff, despite being for the proposition. Reality has a way of doing that to you...). Since in a market ecosystem (or almost any system, according to power law scaling) there are far more small business than medium business, and far more medium business than large, you should be able to see where most of the damage is being done.

Indeed there is a school of thought that this is crony capitalism in action; large business with lobby power can afford to take a bit of a hit (shedding 10% of your employees is less stressful for a company with 1000 workers than for one with 10) in order to permanently hobble potential competitors. The other school of thought is by creating a permanently dependent underclass of unemployed, certain political factions can maintain a voter base by offering "free stuff" to the affected (since few people seem to be able to connect the dots between regulatory failure and their diminishing standards of living or unemployment, this con job has been wildly successful).

In more socialistic nations, where the process is farther advanced, the GDP/Capita is much lower (most European nations have GDP/Capita than all but the poorest US States) or the economy has totally unravelled (Venezuela is a good current example).
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 07, 2016, 12:38:41
The capitalist idea is using the market to match supply of labour to demand for labour, and wages are set according to both demand and to productivity (Burger flippers are in high supply. Machinists get paid more because there are fewer of them and they add more value to a product). You refuse to look at the results of the policies of setting wages above market rates and also fail to see that the people taking the biggest hits are the small employers who with narrow operating margins who simply cannot pay workers that amount of money (there are multiple examples to look up on the net, restaurants are hard hit, but there was a memorable story about a book store owner who is essentially being forced to lay off his staff, despite being for the proposition. Reality has a way of doing that to you...). Since in a market ecosystem (or almost any system, according to power law scaling) there are far more small business than medium business, and far more medium business than large, you should be able to see where most of the damage is being done.

Indeed there is a school of thought that this is crony capitalism in action; large business with lobby power can afford to take a bit of a hit (shedding 10% of your employees is less stressful for a company with 1000 workers than for one with 10) in order to permanently hobble potential competitors. The other school of thought is by creating a permanently dependent underclass of unemployed, certain political factions can maintain a voter base by offering "free stuff" to the affected (since few people seem to be able to connect the dots between regulatory failure and their diminishing standards of living or unemployment, this con job has been wildly successful).

In more socialistic nations, where the process is farther advanced, the GDP/Capita is much lower (most European nations have GDP/Capita than all but the poorest US States) or the economy has totally unravelled (Venezuela is a good current example).

2 points. I think we differ on what markets can do and what they can't do. I would argue that history has shown us that "free markets" simply aren't and the harmonious self-regulating market is a myth. Intervention is required to maintain balance. The inherent tendency in capitalism is to consolidate and monopolize. I agree that we need to protect small businesses, but their main problem is large corporations beating them on economies of scale. Your average mom and pop general store can't compete with Walmart. This is why we need intervention to even the playing field. Increasing wages will no doubt cause some short term pain for small businesses, but in the long run it's better for all of us if we don't have people requiring aid because they live hand to mouth.

Second, if you're suggesting that liberal politicians purposely create poverty in order to gain votes through social programs designed to address said poverty, this is simply way off base. Nor is "Regulatory failure" is not the cause of poverty. The cause of poverty is a shortage of stable employment and low wages. A certain level of unemployment is desirable to some interests, as it drives wages down. This is by design, and it has nothing to do with regulations failing OR succeeding.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on January 07, 2016, 16:13:02
 :facepalm:

Yahoo News (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/does-donald-trump-think-paris-145445390.html)

Quote
Does Donald Trump Think Paris Is In Germany?
[Yahoo News]

January 7, 2016

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump seemingly flunked geography if his latest Twitter gaffe is anything to go by.

The Republican candidate for America’s top job was reacting to the news that a man wearing a fake suicide belt was shot dead in Paris while running towards a police station.

But his rant seemed to mistake the capital of France was found in another country altogether.

He tweeted: “Man shot inside Paris police station. Just announced that terror threat is at highest level.

“Germany is a total mess - big crime. GET SMART!”


(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Old Sweat on January 07, 2016, 16:21:21
:facepalm:

Yahoo News (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/does-donald-trump-think-paris-145445390.html)

Could that be his "I can see Russia from my house" moment?*

* I know Ms Palin did not say that, but it stuck.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on January 07, 2016, 16:43:18
The "Big crime - GET SMART!" portion ain't much better.

Whether Germany or France, all the crime statistics are orders of magnitude lower than the USA's.

If that is your view, Mr. Trump, look in the mirror: America: Big crime - GET SMART!"
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: dapaterson on January 07, 2016, 16:46:56
Be nice to The Donald.  He just hasn't caught up on his reading, and didn't hear about what happened on 25 August 1944 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberation_of_Paris) yet.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 07, 2016, 17:24:57
What is being called a major speech from Bernie Sanders. He's channelling the anger a lot of American are feeling like Trump, but in a far more productive way in that he's actually addressing issues rather than relying on fear mongering and xenophobia.

Definitely worth a watch as the full speech is too long to post here:

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/video_bernie_sanders_inveighs_against_wall_street_in_major_address_20160106 (http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/video_bernie_sanders_inveighs_against_wall_street_in_major_address_20160106)

Quote
The American people are catching on. They understand that something is profoundly wrong when, in our country today, the top one-tenth of 1 percent own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent and when the 20 richest people own more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans – half of our population. They know that the system is rigged when the average person is working longer hours for lower wages, while 58 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent.

They also know that a handful of people on Wall Street have extraordinary power over the economic and political life of our country. As most people know, in the 1990s and later, the financial interests spent billions of dollars in lobbying and campaign contributions to force through Congress the deregulation of Wall Street, the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and the weakening of consumer protection laws in states.

They spent this money in order to get the government off their backs and to show the American people what they could do with that new-won freedom. Well, they sure showed the American people. In 2008, the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street nearly destroyed the U.S. and global economy.

Advertisement

 
Millions of Americans lost their jobs, their homes and their life savings.
While Wall Street received the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of the world with no strings attached, the American middle class continues to disappear, poverty is increasing and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider and wider. And Wall Street executives still receive huge compensation packages as if the financial crisis they created never happened.

Greed, fraud, dishonesty and arrogance, these are the words that best describe the reality of Wall Street today.

So, to those on Wall Street who may be listening today, let me be very clear. Greed is not good. In fact, the greed of Wall Street and corporate America is destroying the fabric of our nation. And, here is a New Year’s Resolution that I will keep if elected president. If you do not end your greed, we will end it for you.

We will no longer tolerate an economy and a political system that has been rigged by Wall Street to benefit the wealthiest Americans in this country at the expense of everyone else.

While President Obama deserves credit for improving this economy after the Wall Street crash, the reality is that a lot of unfinished business remains to be done.

Our goal must be to create a financial system and an economy that works for all Americans, not just a handful of billionaires

ENDING “TOO BIG TO FAIL”

That means we have got to end, once and for all, the scheme that is nothing more than a free insurance policy for Wall Street, the policy of “too big to fail.”

We need a banking system that is part of the productive economy – making loans at affordable rates to small- and medium-sized businesses so that we create decent-paying jobs. Wall Street cannot continue to be an island unto itself, gambling trillions in risky financial instruments, making huge profits and assured that, if their schemes fail, the taxpayers will be there to bail them out.

In 2008, the taxpayers of this country bailed out Wall Street because we were told they were “too big to fail.” Yet, today, 3 out of the 4 largest financial institutions (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo) are nearly 80 percent bigger than before we bailed them out. Incredibly, the six largest banks in this country issue more than two-thirds of all credit cards and more than 35 percent of all mortgages. They control more than 95 percent of all financial derivatives and hold more than 40 percent of all bank deposits. Their assets are equivalent to nearly 60 percent of our GDP. Enough is enough.

If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. When it comes to Wall Street reform that must be our bottom line. This is true not just from a risk perspective and the fear of another bailout. It is also true from the reality that a handful of huge financial institutions simply have too much economic and political power over this country.

If Teddy Roosevelt, the Republican trust-buster, were alive today, he would say “break ‘em up.” And he would be right.

And, here’s how I will accomplish that.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on January 07, 2016, 21:16:44
Interesting story on how SuperPAC's are not showing the effectiveness that they have had in the past, and the theory that big money influences the outcome is being thrown on it's head in this cycle, and Trump is the reason.

SuperPACs Are Not So Super In 2016

http://www.npr.org/2016/01/07/462211790/superpacs-are-not-so-super-in-2016

Quote
When this presidential campaign got underway last spring, the buzz was that a candidate would be propelled by passing off the heavy costs of TV advertising to a friendly superPAC. But now the opposite is true.

Donald Trump, leading the Republican field, has no superPAC. Some other superPACs are pouring cash into TV, but their candidates are stuck low in the polls.

Trump just recently started buying TV time, after months of depending on news coverage to promote his campaign.

Meanwhile, Jeb Bush's superPAC, Right To Rise USA, has spent $47.5 million on TV, according to NBC News and the media firm SMG/Delta. Bush has been stuck in the lower tiers of polls for months.

SMG/Delta and NBC News calculate that Right To Rise accounts for 97 percent of Bush's TV spending and more than one-third of TV spending by all presidential candidates in both parties.

SuperPACs are so super because they take unlimited contributions from wealthy donors, which the candidate's campaign cannot accept. That's why Democrat Bernie Sanders refuses to have one.

But John Feehery, a veteran Republican adviser, cited Right To Rise USA as an example of how superPACs sometimes are counterproductive.

Feehery said, "If you put all of your most creative thinkers at the superPAC — [longtime Bush family political strategist] Mike Murphy for example, is at the Bush superPAC — that has actually kept him out of the day-to-day decision-making of the campaign, which I do think has hurt the Bush campaign. They really do miss his creative thinking."

This is just the second presidential election since superPACs became legal. In 2012 they were attack dogs. Most notably, the Mitt Romney superPAC ripped into Newt Gingrich in the Republican primaries.

This cycle, superPACs have been doing positive messages about their own candidates. But the Republicans with the biggest outside spending — Christie and John Kasich, along with Bush — are barely breaking 10 percent in the polls.

SuperPACs also can keep candidates afloat when the campaign money runs low, although last year Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal discovered that couldn't go on indefinitely.

"It might help us understand why there are still so many people in the Republican primary," said Diana Dwyre, a political scientist at California State University, Chico.

She suggested that might be because superPAC donors aren't always in sync with the voters.

"I mean if they were picking horses at the track, they'd probably be more strategic about it than the way some of them are picking where to throw their dollars," she said.

And so, except for advertising, nobody's figured out what a superPAC can do that truly helps a presidential hopeful.

Jindal and Carly Fiorina had superPACs running their campaign events; the candidate was essentially a guest. Jindal dropped out in November. Fiorina is barely hanging on.

The most unlikely superPAC success of 2016 may turn out to be a Democratic group from 2013 and 2014. Long before Hillary Clinton launched her campaign, Ready For Hillary built an email list of nearly 4 million Clinton supporters. The Clinton campaign now has that list.

Democratic consultant Phil Singer said, "The Ready for Hillary operation created a significant amount of data, and might prove to be a classic model for how to use an outside group to propel a candidacy."

Dwyre said superPACs can do only so much. "If you're not a good candidate, if you don't have the other ingredients there, it's not going to matter whether you have a big superPAC behind you," she said.

But that's a factor unlikely to deter any White House hopeful from setting one up.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 09, 2016, 16:35:56
Yet more evidence that Trump supporters are just as racist and xenophobic as he is.

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/video_muslim_woman_abused_by_crowd_ejected_from_donald_trump_rally_20160109 (http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/video_muslim_woman_abused_by_crowd_ejected_from_donald_trump_rally_20160109)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on January 09, 2016, 18:06:19
Mark Styne on Donald Trump. (Imagine the team those two would make!) Instapundit has a few words as well. go to link and from there you can follow the other links. Donald Trump has a way of looking and seeming natural, and saying what is on people's minds, which is why he is doing so well compared to the scripted and carefully handled "professional" political class. Reagan had that quality as well:

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/223533

Quote
BROADWAY BABIES SAY IT’S MORNING IN AMERICA: Mark Steyn, who knows a thing or two about theater and stagecraft, reviews Donald Trump’s rally in Steyn’s backyard, the perilously blue (David Brooks dubbed it “latte town” 20 years ago) Burlington, Vermont:
 

Trump has no prompters. He walks out, pulls a couple of pieces of folded paper from his pocket, and then starts talking. Somewhere in there is the germ of a stump speech, but it would bore him to do the same poll-tested focus-grouped thing night after night, so he basically riffs on whatever’s on his mind. This can lead to some odd juxtapositions: One minute he’s talking about the Iran deal, the next he detours into how Macy’s stock is in the toilet since they dumped Trump ties. But in a strange way it all hangs together: It’s both a political speech, and a simultaneous running commentary on his own campaign.
 
It’s also hilarious. I’ve seen no end of really mediocre shows at the Flynn in the last quarter-century, and I would have to account this the best night’s entertainment I’ve had there with the exception of the great jazz singer Dianne Reeves a few years back. He’s way funnier than half the stand-up acts I’ve seen at the Juste pour rires comedy festival a couple of hours north in Montreal. And I can guarantee that he was funnier than any of the guys trying their hand at Trump Improv night at the Vermont Comedy Club a couple of blocks away. He has a natural comic timing.
 
Just to be non-partisan about this, the other day I was listening to Obama’s gun-control photo-op at the White House, and he thanked Gabby Giffords, by explaining that her husband Mark’s brother is an astronaut in outer space and he’d called just before Mark’s last meeting at the White House but, not wishing to disturb the President, Mark didn’t pick up. “Which made me feel kind of bad,” said the President. “That’s a long-distance call.” As I was driving along, I remember thinking how brilliantly Obama delivered that line. He’s not usually generous to others and he’s too thin-skinned to be self-deprecating with respect to himself, but, when he wants to get laughs, he knows how to do it. Trump’s is a different style: He’s looser, and more freewheeling. He’s not like Jeb – he doesn’t need writers, and scripted lines; he has a natural instinct for where the comedy lies. He has a zest for the comedy of life.
 
To be sure, some of the gags can be a little – what’s the word? – mean-spirited. The performance was interrupted by knots of protesters. “Throw ‘em out!” barked Trump, after the first chants broke out. The second time it happened, he watched one of the security guys carefully picking up the heckler’s coat. “Confiscate their coats,” deadpanned Trump. “It’s ten below zero outside.” Third time it happened, he extended his coat riff: “We’ll mail them back to them in a couple of weeks.” On MSNBC, they apparently had a discussion on how Trump could be so outrageous as to demand the confiscation of private property. But in showbusiness this is what is known as a “joke”. And in the theatre it lands: everyone’s laughing and having a ball.
 
Plus this:
 

The headline in Friday’s local paper read: “BURLINGTON TRUMPED”. That’s what his fans liked. In the liberal heart of a liberal state, the supporters streaming out of the Flynn Theatre, waving genially to the social-justice doofuses across the way, couldn’t recall a night like it. Not in Vermont. In New Hampshire, sure. In South Carolina. But not in Vermont. It felt good to be taking it to the other side’s turf. And they’d like a lot more of it between now and November.
 
As Kathy Shaidle writes in her link to Steyn’s article, “I’d add ‘read the whole thing’ but you won’t be able to stop anyhow…”
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: milnews.ca on January 09, 2016, 18:11:58
Yet more evidence that Trump supporters are just as racist and xenophobic nationalist and nativist as he is.
FTFY  ;D

Another couple of things running against Trump as president:  he doesn't like to travel stay away from home much (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-idUSKBN0UM17220160108), and aaaaaaaaaall those businesses that would have to be taken care of (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/what-would-a-trump-presidency-mean-for-his-business-empire/).  The latter's not entirely insurmountable, but the former doesn't look great on the hustings.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Thucydides on January 09, 2016, 18:12:46
And you know just who this program is pandering to and why it was enacted, despite (or even becasue of) the massive risks it poses to the banking industry and economy as a whole:

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/010716-788747-government-wants-to-lend-more-to-high-risk-immigrants.htm?p=full

Quote
Fannie Mae Rolls Out Easy Mortgage, Catering To High-Risk Immigrants
01/07/2016 06:52 PM ET
 
Signs of the times in 2007 may return along with easier Fannie Mae loans to higher-risk immigrants. View Enlarged Image
 
Subprime 2.0: The White House is rolling out a new low-income mortgage program that for the first time lets lenders qualify borrowers by counting income from nonborrowers living in the household. What could go wrong?
 
The HomeReady program is offered through Fannie Mae, which is now controlled by Obama's old Congressional Black Caucus pal Mel Watt. It replaces the bankrupted mortgage giant's notorious old subprime program, MyCommunityMortgage.
 
In case renaming the subprime product fails to fool anybody, the affordable-housing geniuses in the administration have re-termed "subprime," a dirty word since the mortgage bust, "alternative."
 
So HomeReady isn't a subprime mortgage program, you see, it's an "alternative" mortgage program.
 
But it might was well be called DefaultReady, because it is just as risky as the subprime junk Fannie was peddling on the eve of the crisis.
 
At least before the crisis, your income had to be your own. But now, as a renter, you can get a conventional home loan backed by Fannie by claiming other people's income. That's right: You can use your apartment roommate's paycheck to augment your qualifying income. Or your abuela.
 
You can even claim the earnings of people who are not occupants, such as your parents, under this program.
 
You don't have to bring much financial wherewithal to the table. You can even live in government-subsidized housing.
 
Just as long as you round up enough income-earners and pool finances to help meet the debt-to-income ratio of 43%.
 
You don't need good credit either. You can qualify with a FICO credit score as low as 620, which is subprime. And you can put as little as 3% down.
 
It's available for first-time homebuyers and repeat deadbeats. It will also expand to include refinancings.
 
It's all part of a government campaign to ease access to home loans for Hispanic immigrants who tend to live in groups and pool finances.
 
Fannie says that 1 in 4 Hispanic households share dwellings — and finances — with extended families. It says this is a large "underserved" market.
 
The program actually targets properties "in high-minority census tracts."
 
The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, a liberal trade group, is praising the move, arguing it will bring tens of thousands of Hispanic families into the home market who have been "skipped over" by stingy (meaning prudent and responsible) lenders.
 
"It's very encouraging," NAHREP Chief Executive Gary Acosta said. "It demonstrates that Fannie has done a lot of work on the issue of identifying ways to qualify more people."
 
Fannie and its regulators say, don't worry — this new program won't introduce any undue risk into the mortgage-finance system.
 
Gee, where have we heard that before?
 
Fact is, outside income is hard to verify and seldom stable. And low down payment and credit scores are the two most reliable indicators of default risk.
 
To assure such high-risk borrowers understand the importance of making their monthly mortgage payments, Fannie requires mortgage lenders to ask HomeReady applicants to take a four-hour online course on homeownership.
 
Well, there you go. Good as gold.
 
Most troubling, Wells Fargo and other big mortgage lenders have already signed on. More will soon follow as the program rolls out in a big way through Fannie's automated underwriting system later this year.
 
We've seen this movie before, and it does not end well. Like MyCommunityMortgage, HomeReady will simply expand into lower and lower income markets while slashing requirements and burning lending standards even more.
 
Eventually it will become a no-income, no-job, nothing-down giveaway.
 
That is, NINJA loans (but with pro-forma official documentation to satisfy the bogus Qualified Mortgage rule).
 
Here we go again. Full circle back to mortgage hell.


Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/010716-788747-government-wants-to-lend-more-to-high-risk-immigrants.htm#ixzz3wmtie9oE
 Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: recceguy on January 09, 2016, 18:13:26
Yet more evidence that Trump supporters are just as racist and xenophobic as he is.

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/video_muslim_woman_abused_by_crowd_ejected_from_donald_trump_rally_20160109 (http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/video_muslim_woman_abused_by_crowd_ejected_from_donald_trump_rally_20160109)

You've been told about and been put on warning before for pulling out that huge all encompassing 'racist and xenophobic' paint brush. There's only one step left on the warning ladder, so you might want to be careful with your wording from now on.

---Staff---
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 09, 2016, 20:31:13
You've been told about and been put on warning before for pulling out that huge all encompassing 'racist and xenophobic' paint brush. There's only one step left on the warning ladder, so you might want to be careful with your wording from now on.

---Staff---

He's made banning Muslims from immigrating into the US a central part of his campaign, he's suggested that he would introduce legislation to have them wear name tags, he's called Mexicans "rapists," and said a host of other openly racist things. This video shows supporters of his yelling racist insults to a Muslim woman who is being removed from one of this rallies.

If someone supports a candidate who has made racism such a big part of his campaign, I believe they are supporting racist ideas. I believe that it follows that they are also racist. You promote what you permit and all that. I'm not understanding how this revelatory or controversial.

What other wording should I use? This is a serious question I am asking. Are we discussing whether or not this policies/ideas are racist in the first place?  Is it possible for someone to support racist policies or ideas and NOT be racist themselves? Should we start with defining racism?  Again, not being facetious here at all. Racism and xenophobia are crucial issues in this election.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: thehare on January 09, 2016, 21:36:56
He's made banning Muslims from immigrating into the US a central part of his campaign, he's suggested that he would introduce legislation to have them wear name tags, he's called Mexicans "rapists," and said a host of other openly racist things. This video shows supporters of his yelling racist insults to a Muslim woman who is being removed from one of this rallies.

If someone supports a candidate who has made racism such a big part of his campaign, I believe they are supporting racist ideas. I believe that it follows that they are also racist. You promote what you permit and all that. I'm not understanding how this revelatory or controversial.

What other wording should I use? This is a serious question I am asking. Are we discussing whether or not this policies/ideas are racist in the first place?  Is it possible for someone to support racist policies or ideas and NOT be racist themselves? Should we start with defining racism?  Again, not being facetious here at all. Racism and xenophobia are crucial issues in this election.

While I think Trump is an ignoramus to the extreme, people can support him for reasons other than the ones you have stated. They can disagree with him on the more extreme positions, while agreeing with some of his others. Painting *all* of his supporters as racist is just lazy thinking.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: recceguy on January 10, 2016, 02:23:28
While I think Trump is an ignoramus to the extreme, people can support him for reasons other than the ones you have stated. They can disagree with him on the more extreme positions, while agreeing with some of his others. Painting *all* of his supporters as racist is just lazy thinking.

Which is kilo_302's forte and go to phrasing when he starts running out of relevant arguments. People hold their noses and vote for all kinds of candidates. Trump is no different.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: SeaKingTacco on January 10, 2016, 11:04:46
He's made banning Muslims from immigrating into the US a central part of his campaign, he's suggested that he would introduce legislation to have them wear name tags, he's called Mexicans "rapists," and said a host of other openly racist things. This video shows supporters of his yelling racist insults to a Muslim woman who is being removed from one of this rallies.

If someone supports a candidate who has made racism such a big part of his campaign, I believe they are supporting racist ideas. I believe that it follows that they are also racist. You promote what you permit and all that. I'm not understanding how this revelatory or controversial.

What other wording should I use? This is a serious question I am asking. Are we discussing whether or not this policies/ideas are racist in the first place?  Is it possible for someone to support racist policies or ideas and NOT be racist themselves? Should we start with defining racism?  Again, not being facetious here at all. Racism and xenophobia are crucial issues in this election.

So then, by that logic (being very clear that, since I am not an American, it is not really up to me who they pick as their next President), if you support the Clinton clan, you are okay with sexual assault? Just curious....
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 10, 2016, 11:06:31
Which is kilo_302's forte and go to phrasing when he starts running out of relevant arguments. People hold their noses and vote for all kinds of candidates. Trump is no different.

I think it's highly relevant that a front running Republican candidate for President wants Muslims to wear name tags. Godwin's Law doesn't even apply here, because Trump opened up that line of thinking himself. Requiring a specific religious or ethnic group to wear or carry identification confirming themselves as such directly mimics one the infamous Nuremberg Laws in Nazi Germany. If Trump's supporters have the temerity to be sensitive about being labeled a racist, they should think about the candidate they're supporting and his racist ideas.

Again, his major policies, the ones he's defined his campaign with, are racist. This is his strategy. Are there really that many people supporting him for his well-thought out and nuanced take on infrastructure? On the economy?

The onus is on his supporters to prove they're not racist, not on others to avoid using the word "racist" because it might offend somebody who just likes this "healthcare policy."  If this is painting with a "broad brush," I would suggest that banning Muslims from entering the US and having those already there wear name tags is the definition of using a broad brush.

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 10, 2016, 11:12:16
So then, by that logic (being very clear that, since I am not an American, it is not really up to me who they pick as their next President), if you support the Clinton clan, you are okay with sexual assault? Just curious....

I'm quite confident that "enabling sexual assault" isn't in Clinton's platform. And Hilary isn't Bill. There is a difference between what her husband did in his personal life decades ago, (as disgusting as it may be) and what she is doing politically. You know this, and I don't have the explain that.

She's an awful candidate for reasons that have to do with her and her policies alone. She doesn't need Bill's help.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: SeaKingTacco on January 10, 2016, 11:16:37
I'm quite confident that "enabling sexual assault" isn't in Clinton's platform. And Hilary isn't Bill. There is a difference between what her husband did in his personal life decades ago, (as disgusting as it may be) and what she is doing politically. You know this, and I don't have the explain that.

She's an awful candidate for reasons that have to do with her and her policies alone. She doesn't need Bill's help.

Actually, she went on national TV and all but called Monica Lewinski "trailer trash". You may not be old enough to remember it, but I do. That says something about her character.

Once again- not my election...
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 10, 2016, 11:22:31
Actually, she went on national TV and all but called Monica Lewinski "trailer trash". You may not be old enough to remember it, but I do. That says something about her character.

Once again- not my election...

That's something that probably isn't well known, it should be though. Like I said, I'm no supporter of hers either.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: SeaKingTacco on January 10, 2016, 11:25:24
That's something that probably isn't well known, it should be though. Like I said, I'm no supporter of hers either.

With even a cursory Google search, one could see Hillary's record of standing by and enabling her husband through decades of philandering and sexual misconduct. But you are not willing to call millions of her supporters "sexual assualtists" because she kind of (you think) has political views somewhat similar to your own. How very convenient for you...
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 10, 2016, 11:57:54
Sure. But you are not willing to call millions of her supports "sexual assualtists" because she kind of (you think) has political views somewhat similar to your own. How very convenient for you...

I wasn't aware Hillary Clinton and I shared much in common with regards to political views, but you're obviously trying to confuse two issues here so kudos for sticking to your ideological guns  ;)

Again (I explained above already), there's a clear difference between something "being central to her political platform" and "something she said," although I agree that one's actions in their personal life reflect on their character. Hillary's supporters aren't drawn to her because she's promoting rape/sexual assault, and I'm not certain she was ever in the business of promoting rape/sexual assault.  She's branded herself as a feminist candidate (laughable in my opinion), a progressive (also laughable) and the only hope of defeating the Republicans in 2018 (plausible). This is why people support her.

Trump on the other hand, has based his entire campaign on this xenophobic and racist statements/policies. These statements and policies are exactly what's getting him his polling numbers. It's his strategy. This takes to me back to my initial point that given this reality, it's appropriate to say that most if not all of Trump's supporters agree with him on some if not all of these policies on some level. If they do, they are also racist and/or xenophobic. He has their support precisely because of what he is saying, not in spite of it.



Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: SeaKingTacco on January 10, 2016, 12:10:34
The whole US 2016 election is a monkey show- stipulated.

Your premise seems to be (and I apologize in advance if I have this wrong): Hilary is at least somewhat ok because she, at least,  has the good manners to hide the fact that she and her husband have ridden into the ground all of the women that he has abused over the decades. And some of her politics you might find acceptable.

Trump, on the other hand, is a loud buffoon.

Do I have that about right?

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 10, 2016, 12:34:34
The whole US 2016 election is a monkey show- stipulated.

Your premise seems to be (and I apologize in advance if I have this wrong): Hilary is at least somewhat ok because she, at least,  has the good manners to hide the fact that she and her husband have ridden into the ground all of the women that he has abused over the decades. And some of her politics you might find acceptable.

Trump, on the other hand, is a loud buffoon.

Do I have that about right?


You do not. I don't think Hillary is "ok" at all. I think she's driven by ambition versus the desire to serve, I think she's an opportunist and I think she has the ability to be morally and ethically flexible when it suits her purposes. In other words, I think she's a pure politician.

These values are what drove her to support her husband (as well as loyalty no doubt), and in the course of that say some pretty awful things about Monica. I wasn't aware of the specifics, as I know more about her husband's policies and her platform. However, both of those things indicate she's no feminist, so the statements she made about Monica only reinforce a position I already held.

The articles I came across that were critical of Hillary in this regard were mostly from the Republican side of things, and the far left (as defined in the US by being left of the Democrats). I think it's certainly possible that many of her supporters are aware of what she has said and choose to ignore it. I think it's more likely they listen to her more than they listen to her detractors, and she is very skilled at delivering a message.

But this is exactly my point. I think serious supporters of Trump OR Hillary are reflecting the messages of those candidates. Now the messages might be untrue (Hillary is definitely no feminist nor is she a progressive and Trump might not actually be serious about pursuing a Muslim database), but there's no doubt of what the messages are, and that their supporters actually believe them.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: SeaKingTacco on January 10, 2016, 13:48:25
Kilo-

A fair and well reasoned assessment of the situation. Whether it is actually true- i dunno. Neither you nor I are Americans. I think it is difficult for Canadians to understand what drives US politics. We think we understand Americans, but I have a feeling that, unless you live there, nuances get lost on us.

Kind of like how Quebec Seperatists mystify Americans.

Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: thehare on January 10, 2016, 14:23:38

You do not. I don't think Hillary is "ok" at all. I think she's driven by ambition versus the desire to serve, I think she's an opportunist and I think she has the ability to be morally and ethically flexible when it suits her purposes. In other words, I think she's a pure politician.

These values are what drove her to support her husband (as well as loyalty no doubt), and in the course of that say some pretty awful things about Monica. I wasn't aware of the specifics, as I know more about her husband's policies and her platform. However, both of those things indicate she's no feminist, so the statements she made about Monica only reinforce a position I already held.

The articles I came across that were critical of Hillary in this regard were mostly from the Republican side of things, and the far left (as defined in the US by being left of the Democrats). I think it's certainly possible that many of her supporters are aware of what she has said and choose to ignore it. I think it's more likely they listen to her more than they listen to her detractors, and she is very skilled at delivering a message.

But this is exactly my point. I think serious supporters of Trump OR Hillary are reflecting the messages of those candidates. Now the messages might be untrue (Hillary is definitely no feminist nor is she a progressive and Trump might not actually be serious about pursuing a Muslim database), but there's no doubt of what the messages are, and that their supporters actually believe them.

And there you go with the broad generalizations again. He has more policies than the ones you listed, and while they are abhorrent, it is silly to claim that every single person that thinks he is the better choice (out of a fairly lack luster group) of the GOP candidates agrees with everything he says 100%.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Old Sweat on January 10, 2016, 14:27:19
I served in the United States for four years after having grown up ten miles from the border. Their system of government with its separation of powers and very different levels of responsibility between federal, state and local governments is quite dissimilar to ours. Add in a very active judiciary and media and a competitive national character where various individuals, interest groups, branches, organizations and activities tend to compete rather than cooperate and it is quite amazing that anything every gets accomplished. To complicate issues, people tend to mistrust authority, sometimes with good reason.

Given a population ten times the size of ours, it follows they will have at least ten times the numbers of odd balls and nut cases competing for space in a finite media cycle the same size as ours. Guess who gets the coverage, and it isn't the reasonable and balanced. Perhaps a major difference is a more stratified distribution of wealth, which is really not reflected by the per capita income in the different states. This distribution is affected by quite different costs of living in various regions so some one who would be poor in the urban northeast can live quite comfortably in large parts of Dixie and the desert southwest. Race is also a factor, but this is also regionally driven to a certain extent.

And I still don't understand it very well.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: dapaterson on January 10, 2016, 14:35:34
And I still don't understand it very well.

The older I get the more I realize how little I know.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: SeaKingTacco on January 10, 2016, 15:00:51
The older I get the more I realize how little I know.

QFTFT.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: S.M.A. on January 11, 2016, 00:00:36
It seems Trump would give Kim Jong Un an "A" for feeding his enemies, literally, to the dogs and executing them with AA guns:

Toronto Star (http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/01/09/donald-trump-says-kim-jong-un-deserves-credit-for-wiping-out-rivals.html)

Quote
Donald Trump says Kim Jong Un deserves ‘credit’ for wiping out rivals
”He goes in, he takes over, he’s the boss. It’s incredible,” Trump said in Iowa.


By: Daniel Dale Washington Bureau, Published on Sat Jan 09 2016

WASHINGTON—Donald Trump’s campaign can sound like a never-ending parade of insults.

Illegal immigrants from Mexico: “rapists.” Senator John McCain: “dummy.” Mixed martial arts champion Ronda Rousey: “Not a nice person.” Actor Samuel L. Jackson: “Not athletic.”

It is not all negativity, though. Trump will have you know that he really likes Tom Brady and Elton John. And there is another group of people he can’t stop complimenting: non-democratic world leaders.
(...SNIPPED)


Meanwhile, a Muslim woman conducts a protest at a Trump rally:

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/08/politics/donald-trump-muslim-woman-protesting-ejected/)

Quote
Silently protesting Muslim woman ejected from Trump rally

By Jeremy Diamond, CNN

Updated 4:51 PM ET, Sat January 9, 2016 | Video Source: CNN
Rock Hill, South Carolina (CNN)A Muslim woman wearing a hijab was escorted out of Donald Trump's campaign event on Friday by police after she stood up in silent protest during Trump's speech.

Rose Hamid, a 56-year-old flight attendant sitting in the stands directly behind Trump, stood up Friday during Trump's speech when the Republican front-runner suggested that Syrian refugees fleeing war in Syria were affiliated with ISIS.

Trump has previously called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S.
(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 11, 2016, 11:12:12
Interesting piece from Chris Hedges, where he underlines the idea that none of the current candidates are really equipped to address the real issues facing the US.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_great_forgetting_20160110 (http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_great_forgetting_20160110)

Quote
Presidential candidate Donald Trump may be boorish, narcissistic, stupid, racist and elitist, but he does not have Hillary Clinton’s carefully honed and chilling amoral artifice. It was she, and an ethically bankrupt liberal establishment, that created the fertile ground for Trump by fleecing the citizens on behalf of corporations and imposing the neoliberal project. If she is elected, Trump may disappear, but another Trump-like figure, probably even more frightening, will be vomited up from our cultural and political sewer.

Trump and Clinton, along with fellow candidate Bernie Sanders, refuse to admit what they know: Our most basic civil and political rights have been taken from us, the corporate oligarchy will remain entrenched in power no matter who wins the presidency, and elections are a carnival act. The downward spiral of lost jobs and declining incomes, of shredded civil liberties, of endless war, is unstoppable as long as we use the traditional mechanisms of reform, including elections, to try to cope with the existential threat we face. A vote for Clinton, in essence, is a vote for Trump or someone as bad as Trump. Right-wing populism, here and in Europe, is not the product of an individual but the disenfranchisement, rage and despair stemming from the damage caused by globalization. And until we wrest back control of our destiny by breaking corporate power, demagogues like Trump, and his repugnant doppelgangers in Europe, will proliferate.
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: cupper on January 11, 2016, 23:32:07
Although Trumps policies sound great, they are really only pandering to what his supporters want to hear, and not what needs to be done (or avoided). In fact they run in opposition to his campaign theme of "Making America Great Again".

Economists savage Trump's economic agenda
Raising tariffs and deporting millions of people will drive up prices and cause recession, experts assert.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/trump-economy-217496#.gdrtqoz:3mBM

Quote
Many economists say Donald Trump’s proposals — from big import tariffs to mass deportations — would hurt the very demographic that supports him in the greatest numbers: less educated voters struggling in a tepid U.S. economy.

If Trump policies actually went into effect, these economists say, prices for goods lower-income Americans depend on could soar and a depleted low-end labor force could trigger a major downturn.

Trump’s appeal rests in part on the sense that he will be a tougher negotiator with trading partners. But comparatively less attention has been given in debates and on the campaign trail to the actual substance of his economic proposals, opening a new line of attack for mainstream critics against his unconventional economic thinking.

“There is a good reason many people are upset and angry, because for many it’s been a very rough decade,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics and an adviser to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “But if Trump’s policies were enacted it would be some form of disaster for the economy. If you force 11 million undocumented immigrants to leave in a year, you would be looking at a depression. It would not help the people he is talking to, they would be the first to go down.”

The reasons for this are simple, economists say. The economy is close to reaching “full employment," adding another 292,000 jobs in December. The jobless rate remained at 5 percent.

If 11 million immigrants were rounded up and removed from the country, many of the jobs they do — including restaurant, hotel and low-end construction work — could go largely unfilled, economists say. That would create a large and immediate hit to gross domestic product growth and the effects would ripple out to companies that supply goods and services to all those businesses. There would also be 11 million fewer people consuming goods and services, further driving down economic activity.

And on trade, Trump has argued for imposing big tariffs on goods imported from Mexico, China and elsewhere. The problem with this, many economists say, is the tariffs would ultimately be paid by U.S. consumers in the form of higher prices and would not lead to any significant increase in U.S. manufacturing.

“It’s a common mistake that people who don’t really understand economics make that this would somehow be a tariff on exporters,” said Mark J. Perry, a professor at the University of Michigan at Flint and a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “It would be actually be a tax on American consumers. And more than half of U.S. imports come in as raw materials. And those cheap imports benefit American companies that hire American workers to finish the production process. Trump is really harkening back to the outdated mercantilist positions of hundreds of years ago.”

Trump is not without his defenders, even in the GOP establishment that he has spurned.

“I’ve spoken in defense of Donald’s tax policy and I will continue to defend it,” said conservative economist and Reagan administration official Larry Kudlow, who spoke just after talking to Trump at an event in New York on Friday. “The thing that’s so important in the tax policy is his corporate rate cut and easy repatriation of capital from abroad. These will add so much growth to the economy and the biggest beneficiaries will be middle income earners.”

Kudlow, however, like many other mainstream Republican economists, does not support Trump’s policies on immediate mass deportations or big trade tariffs. “I’m never going to support the deportations. And if you lower the corporate tax rate enough, capital is going to come back from China and you don’t need tariffs, which just hurt consumers.”

Other economists say while Trump has tapped into real problems — slack wages and general economic anxiety — his proposed solutions would not really help.

“It seems like economics is not really his highest priority. These are political stances,” said Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel Nicolaus. “At a time when U.S. exports are on the decline as a result of the strong dollar, adding the threat of tariffs is going to add another negative impact on U.S. exports.” Nations that face U.S. tariffs tend to respond with tariffs and other retaliatory moves of their own, setting off possible trade wars.

On immigration, Piegza said, Trump “is making some bold assumptions. He’s saying if you remove 11 million people from the labor force that's suddenly 11 million jobs for Americans. But you have to assume Americans would be willing to take those jobs.”
She added that even if some Americans do take those jobs — while presumably demanding higher pay — the cost of production and thus the cost of goods and services would rise, forcing consumers to pay more, eating up the wage gains.

Part of the problem with Trump, economists say, is the rhetoric that informs the real estate billionaire’s policies and thrills his supporters, is not based on economic reality.

“I saw a chart the other day, our real unemployment — because you have 90 million people that aren’t working,” Trump said last year. “Ninety-three million to be exact. If you start adding it up, our real unemployment rate is 42 percent.”

Trump appeared to be counting all Americans not in the work force. But that figure includes students, stay-at-home parents and retirees, among others. These people are not “unemployed,” they just don’t need or want to work and are not part of the labor force by choice. Even the broadest measure of unemployment, which takes into account the underemployed and those “marginally” attached to the labor force, is at 9.9 percent and falling, a figure not that far off of historic norms.

“He is just flat wrong about unemployment,” said Zandi. “Historically, even in the best of times and tightest of labor markers the underemployment rate is closer to 9 percent, and we will probably absorb that gap and be at full-employment by midyear.” The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment on his economic policies and statements.

Trump also late last year suggested the U.S. economy might be in a “bubble” that could burst at any time.

“Remember the word bubble? You heard it here first,” Trump said in Iowa in December. “We could be on a bubble and that bubble could crash and it’s not going to be a pretty picture,” said Trump. “The market has gone down big league the last couple of weeks. We could be in a big fat bubble and if that bubble crashes, it's a problem.”

Many economists say this is a misreading of the U.S. economy. Growth has been sluggish — moving forward at only around 2 percent — but there are very few signs that there are any bubbles with the possible exception of high-end commercial and residential real estate in certain markets, an area that Trump knows well.

“There is little chance that the U.S. economy is a bubble. Retail sales and manufacturing output have looked dismal for months, despite lower oil prices,” said Megan Greene, chief economist at Manulife. “Most analysts are revising their economic forecasts for the U.S. for 2015 and 2016 down — not up — to reflect poorer economic performance than expected. It is hard to see where the demand for a macroeconomic bubble in the U.S. might come from given generally low global aggregate demand.”

While economists mostly disagree with Trump’s assessment that the U.S. economy is in a bubble, some do suggest he could be right that U.S. stock prices, which got off to their worst start of the year ever, could fall even further as the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates this year and China’s markets continue to face turmoil as the country tries to shift toward a model based on domestic consumption rathe than production and exports.

“If fundamentals fail to improve fast enough and validate asset prices, global markets risk going through a disruptive downward adjustment process that, in turn, could threaten the world’s economic well-being,” said Mohamed A. El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz.

Democrats, meanwhile, see an opening to appeal to Trump voters by acknowledging the struggles they face while arguing that the billionaire’s policies would be ineffective in driving faster growth or addressing economic inequality.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spent much of her campaign talking about plans to invest more in infrastructure, boost some capital gains taxes and provide tax credits to companies that share profits more broadly with employees.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has made more direct appeals to Trump voters. “What I’m suggesting is that what Trump has done with some success has taken that anger, taken those fears — which are legitimate — and converted them into anger against Mexicans, anger against Muslims,” Sanders said on CBS last month. “For his working class and middle-class support, we can make the case that if we really want to address the issues that people are concerned about. We need policies that bring us together, that take on the greed of Wall Street the greed of corporate America and create a middle class that works for all of us rather than an economy that works just for a few.”

Democratic-leaning economists say Trump is most vulnerable to attacks that his tax plan would deliver massive benefits to the wealthiest Americans. According to the Tax Policy Center, Trump’s tax plan would reduce federal revenue by $9.5 trillion over the next decade. It would also provide an average $1.3 million tax cut for the top 0.1 percent of earners, the Tax Policy Center found. The Trump campaign has disputed these findings.

Polls consistently show that voters of all partisan stripes favor tax hikes rather than tax cuts on the rich. And that leaves Democrats salivating at the idea of taking on Trump this fall.

“He takes a very populist tone on taxes, but when you look at the plan it is very much weighted to cutting taxes at the very top,” said Heather Boushey, chief economist at the progressive Washington Center for Equitable Growth. “And this is by now a decades old story. If cutting taxes at the very top would really make America grow faster we should be growing a lot faster right now given how often we have done it.”

Boushey, however, did offer some sympathy for Trump’s efforts to address workers impacted by previous free trade deals.
“There is a lot of new research documenting how when you open U.S. trade, that can actually lead to negative outcomes for workers,” she said. “And that’s why this anger from Trump supporters is real even if you don't support his policy proposals.”
Title: Re: US Election: 2016
Post by: Kilo_302 on January 12, 2016, 11:12:33
A piece from Jacobin criticizing an essay from the Guardian that equated the Trump and Sanders campaigns as being two sides of the same coin:

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/01/bernie-sanders-trump-populism-marche-corbyn-politics/ (https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/01/bernie-sanders-trump-populism-marche-corbyn-politics/)

Quote
Regurgitating a familiar bit of anti-socialist agitprop, Marche brands Sanders’ supporters “cornfed hipsters,” observing that “[while] rich white people can afford to think about socialism, the poor can only afford their anger.” (That socialism has, at various points, had a considerable pull on portions of the American working class is something Marche conveniently omits.)

Dismissing Sanders’s calls for a “political revolution” in a few sentences, Marche casually concludes that the Vermont senator’s crusade to topple the proverbial casino of American capitalism is doomed to fail because he has personally observed several actual casinos while driving through Iowa. The piece then closes with a few paragraphs of forgettable pabulum and intellectual window-dressing.

What’s striking about Marche’s essay is how little genuine political content it contains. Relying largely on irrelevant anecdotes about the appearance of the two rallies, he almost entirely ignores the political programs they were organized to promote.


And the essay in question:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/10/white-man-pathology-bernie-sanders-donald-trump?CMP=fb_us (http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/10/white-man-pathology-bernie-sanders-donald-trump?CMP=fb_us)

Quote
The Bernie Sanders rally in Davenport was the precise opposite of the Donald Trump rally in Burlington and yet precisely the same in every detail. “Make America Great Again” was replaced by “Feel the Bern”. Hawkers sold pins, three for $10. They read “Bernie Sanders is my spirit animal” and “Cats for Bernie” and “I supported Bernie Sanders before it was cool.” Davenport, at least near the Adler Theater, is the same Brooklyn-outside-Brooklyn that has conquered every corner of the world that is not a strip mall. The tattoo artists of Davenport do not go hungry. The cornfed hipsters at the Sanders rally look like they have probably attended a party at which somebody played a bongo. They may even have attended a literary reading.


There were hype men as with Trump, too, although in this case they were twentyish women in glasses screaming “Feel the