Post by bigdog Post by email@example.com Post by Steve M. Galbraith Post by bigdog Post by Steve M. Galbraith Post by firstname.lastname@example.org Post by John McAdams
David E. from Memphis: are you following this? Seems Mainframe (the
leftist here) believes in a lot of conspiracies.
If Mainframe were a congressman, senator, a member of the president's
cabinet, or an adviser to the president, it would be more disturbing.
Those are the ones who either buy into Trump's wild conspiracy beliefs or,
at a minimum, remain silent. In any case, I hardly consider mainframe a
typical representative of the left.
There's a reason Trump is having so much trouble with the "deep state"
(although most of the leaks seem to be coming directly out of his own
communication department). These are the people who remain in the
government machinery from one president to the next regardless of party
affiliation. Every president has to deal with the "deep state". This is
nothing new. They've seen president's come and go but they see something
uniquely troubling about THIS particular president - and they're not
afraid to let the world know what is happening. I would say it's almost a
patriotic thing to do because they put themselves at great risk because
they feel exposing what is going on is worth the legal risks for
In any case, I do not consider the political back-and-forths in this
discussion group to be a data point in a much larger debate.
10 Ways to Know If You're a Dictator
1. You're a narcissist who likes putting his name and face on buildings.
2. You appoint family members to positions of power. CHECK!
3. Your rallies are scary. CHECK! ("I'd like to punch him in the face!")
4. You hate the press. You characterize them as "the enemy of the people".
5. You want to hold missile parades. NOT YET - but Trump desperately wants
one and the House Republicans have agreed to fund it.
6. You use your office for your own financial gain. CHECK!
7. You align with dictators and strongmen. CHECK!
8. You claim that minorities are the cause of the country's problems.
9. You lie freely. CHECK!
10. You dress in a military costume. NOT YET.
When we see Donald Trump regaled in a military uniform, complete with
medals and epaulettes on his shoulder, that's when it will be complete. "I
always wanted to get the Purple Heart," Trump once said to a Lieutenant
Colonel who had actually earned his Purple Heart. What a dumbass thing to
say to a veteran.
Now, admittedly, I'm saying this somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but I think
Trump is one uniform short of being the most disturbing president we've
had in modern history. If not that, at least the most embarrassing.
Don't many - if not most - Democratic members of Congress believe that
Trump conspired with Putin to steal/alter the election?
Isn't that conspiracy belief?
Now, it may be true that he did although it's been over a year and I've
seen no credible evidence for it.
Trump IS an embarrassment, a disgrace, and a man completely unsuited for
the presidency (and just about any other job). But that doesn't excuse the
hysteria and conspiracy mongering by his opponents. It's possible to keep
several ideas in our head at the same time; to wit, he's disgraceful and
his opponents have, somehow, been reckless and irresponsible in their
criticism of him.
It doesn't matter what Trump says or does, the networks, MSNBC, CNN, and
the liberal newspapers ask themselves how they can put a negative spin on
the story. Not once will they present anything Trump does in a positive
light. I've completely tuned these people out. They've taken sides. When
they are so blatantly biased, why would I trust them to fairly report the
news? It would be like putting your faith in a referee who had bet on one
of the teams.
True. Bob Woodward made a little noted comment a few months ago about how
too many reporters are allowing their emotions to affect their reporting.
They obviously detest Trump and allow that to influence their reporting.
They don't even try. It's absurd that CNN has someone like Jeffrey Toobin
on to report on legal matters. Sure, he's not a straight reporter; he's an
analyst but his bias is shocking.
But none of this excuses Trump's reckless statements and ugliness.
It's certainly true that networks spend what seems like an inordinate
amount of time covering Trump and his policies. But, can't you see that he
brings much of it upon himself with, as you say, "reckless statements and
ugliness"? How can the press ignore the behavior of a President of the
United States when it is so over-the-top, the likes of which we haven't
seen in our lifetime?
What I want to see is balance. There is none in any of the networks or the
cable news channels. They all have an agenda and will not report anything
that doesn't advance their agendas. Why aren't they reporting about
economy which is going gangbusters. Lowest unemployment in two decades and
forecast GDP growth of 4%. Because that would be favorable to Trump and
they have no interest in doing that. Fox does the same thing but they are
the only major news source with a conservative slant. The rest of them are
propaganda machines for the DNC.
I'll admit that CNN is definitely left-leaning, but they are, by far, the
most balanced of the major cable news networks. And that largely explains
why their viewership is slowly defecting as people go to their corners.
Those corners are FoxNews (for the right) and MSNBC (for the left).
Think of the basic format of prime time CNN programming. It's usually
somebody like Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper or Don Lemon, sitting in the
middle of a split screen, sandwiched by pundits with diametrically
different views (i.e. pro-Trump and anti-Trump) debating whatever is the
topic-of-the-day - going back-and-forth where the host mostly moderates
and plays the role of referee. Sure, the host has obvious opinions, but
the guests do most of the talking.
In great contrast is MSNBC prime time programming, which usually has
Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell and Brian Williams going on, at length,
as to their personal opinions or they have a like-minded guest with whom
they bounce things off one another in an echo chamber.
FoxNews does the exact same thing with their prime time programming. In
fact, it's mostly Fox Entertainment - not news. It's Tucker Carlson, Sean
Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Jeanine Pirro doing pretty much the same thing
MSNBC does. The host mostly gives opinionated rants on whatever topic best
suits their political view - or, their guest is a similarly like-minded
person who they bounce similar ideas off of. They're just in a reciprocal
echo chamber. The Greg Gutfeld Show is pure silliness and has no
equivalent on CNN. It's comedic news. I often find it funny and witty, but
I don't delude myself that I'm getting up to speed on the news. I'm being
entertained. Of all the prime time hosts, Tucker Carlson is one of the few
who routinely takes on people of different views, but he usually picks
some no-name weakling, or some lefty-wacko to beat up on. I usually don't
even recognize some of his guests. They are seldom a reputable or
articulate representative of the opposing view.
Post by bigdog Post by email@example.com
Sure, you can always find outrageous statements made by other presidents
but, with Trump, it's nearly a daily occurrence. He's so wrong about so
many things, and he says them in such an arrogant and self-serving way,
that the media would be remiss not to point it out. An when it IS pointed
out, the comeback always seems to be, "We have record low unemployment" -
He needs to point that out because the liberal media is trying to keep
that a secret. Yes I cringe about some of the things he tweets but he got
elected against long odds by doing that so why should he change. I care
more about what he does than what he says. Neil Gorsuch alone is a good
enough reason for me to be glad he won and the tax cut has jump started
the economy. Neither of those would have happened had Hillary been
Getting elected on "long odds" doesn't say anything about his behavior or
policies. In fact, the only "poll" he won was the actual election - the
only poll that ultimately mattered. In the final days, something caused
the tide to turn. We can argue about all the multi-faceted factors that
caused that to happen, but there's a REASON that Trump was behind in every
poll leading up to the election and ultimately lost the popular vote. It
was an interesting political anomaly that will probably be debated for
You can thank Mitch McConnell for Neil Gorsuch - by putting a freeze on
confirmation hearings upon the death of Antonin Acalia and refusing to
allow a replacement as mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Any Republican
elected to the presidency was going to result in a right-leaning
replacement on the Supreme Court. It could have been Ted Cruz, Marco
Rubio, Jeb Bush, or whomever ... it just happened to be Donald Trump. So,
we certainly didn't need Trump to get Neil Gorsuch. We just needed a
Even if I identified as a member of the Republican Party or, at a minimum,
I was inclined to embrace most of the classically conservative views, I'm
not so sure I would think a justice like Neil Gorsuch would be WORTH
having a president like Donald Trump. Besides, Gorsuch has already had
some liberal rulings. Justices will often surprise those who appointed
them once they get to the bench because they are no longer beholden to the
administration that appointed them (by design!). For instance, Gorsuch
ruled WITH the liberal justices and AGAINST a Trump policy on an important
Post by bigdog Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
as if his unpresidential and childish behavior is what is actually CAUSING
the economic cycle to continue on the upward trajectory that it was
already on when he took office. [The economic criticism of Obama was that,
during his watch, our nation experienced it's slowest recovery in its
history. Yet, almost everybody will agree that Obama inherited an economic
situation that was only rivaled by the Great Depression.
Well if we want to play that game we can point out that Bush41 handed over
to Clinton an economy that was already in recovery and the economic
downturn began before Clinton turned it over to Bush43. The roaring
economy under Clinton was driven largely buy the tech bubble and that
bubble burst 10 months before Bush43 took office.
There is sloth-like momentum with our economic. Unless there is some kind
of Black Swan event, it hardly ever does something suddenly.
I would agree with your assessment that a new president mostly inherits
what he has been handed from the previous president. So, to some extent,
yes, Clinton inherited what Bush41 handed him. But the effect is much more
pronounced when the previous president was a 2-term president because his
policies have had more time to actually start manifesting themselves in
some way. Bush41 was a 1-term president.
Trump hasn't been president long enough to give him as much credit for the
economy as he is giving himself. I think he's still in the "momentum
phase" of the previous administration. That's not to say that Trump has
had zero impact on the economy. In fact, I think the sharp upturn of the
stock market (almost immediately) upon his election was mostly
psychological in ANTICIPATION of what Trump MIGHT do that would benefit
businesses. But it certainly wasn't for what he had done. How could it?
And remember, the stock market is not "the economy". We've had troubled
economic times in the past where the stock market, inexplicably, continued
to do quite well. There are a lot of Trump supporters who could care less
about the stock market. They don't have 401Ks. They don't buy individual
stocks. The don't investment portfolios. They only care whether they can
pay next week's electric bill and whether getting their abscessed tooth
fixed will cost them more than $50.
We'll see how these tariffs, triggering an obvious trade war, will play
out for the average Trump supporter. Already Trump has sabotaged the
Affordable Care Act, hoping to make it untenable by holding those who rely
upon it as hostages to coerce Congress (the Democrats) to "repeal &
replace" Obamacare. Disproportionately, Trump supporters are medical
victims of this political standoff.
Post by bigdog Post by email@example.com
It was called the
Great Recession. And it was! Yet, the economy continued to recover. As I
said before, that criticism is like saying, "That was the shortest home
run ever hit in this ballpark. Nobody has EVER hit a shorter home run than
Under Obama we were told 2% GDP growth was the new norm. It is now
forecast to be 4% and the tax cut was a big factor in that. Companies
started putting their cash to work because of lower corporate tax cuts and
workers saw bonuses and raises.
And it's all because of Trump?
I work in the airline industry. It was a disaster after 9/11. Rampant
layoffs ... bankruptcies ... double bankruptcies ... lower wages ...
downsizing. We were told that there has been a paradigm shift in the
industry. It would never come back to the way it was. We'd simply have to
get used to the new norm. And, that seemed perfectly logical to me - and
Who could have predicted the wildly profitable comeback of the airline
industry? Quarter after quarter, most airlines have been experiencing
record profits. Wages have dramatically gone up. Record hiring. The
industry has reinvented itself and has found creative ways to generate
revenue and deal with fluctuating fuel prices.
Post by bigdog Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
Trump is the one that keeps the media riveted to him - as if he's applying
the Hollywood dictum, "In show business, any news is good news. As long as
they're talking about it you - whether bad or good - at least you're
And there's the not-so-insignificant matter about the possibility that the
Special Counsel could actually come up with something quite horrifying
with regards to Trump's (or his campaign's) dealings with a hostile
I'll believe it when I see it. So far all he has done is indict peripheral
players for things completely unrelated to the Trump campaign.
Paul Manafort was "unrelated to the Trump campaign"? He was the campaign
The numerous "peripheral matters" are telling us something, however: There
are some very dishonest people in the Trump world and they all seem to
have some kind of connection with Russia.
Most of these "peripheral matters" are things that the Mueller
investigation has stumbled across (and simply can't ignore) while pursuing
the larger matter as to whether anybody involved with the Trump campaign
coordinated with a hostile foreign nation in an effort to gain access to
the Oval Office.
Indictments and convictions are, by law, public matters. Where the Special
Counsel is on the larger matter of collusion or obstruction is a complete
unknown ... because IT'S NOT COMPLETED!
C'mon, you have to admit, at a minimum, the president seems awfully
defensive and apoplectic on this issue - strangely so. It's not the calm
demeanor one would expect of a person who has nothing to hide and nothing
It's worth investigating whether there was any coordination with Russia
within the Trump camp considering the already proven attempts of Russia to
influence American voters with an unprecedented social media campaign that
seemed particularly well-timed and indicated a very granular understanding
of the sentiments of the American electorate ... not to mention their
offering "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. Don Jr. says he never discussed that
Trump Tower meeting with his father. Do you believe that?
Post by bigdog Post by email@example.com
That remains to be seen. Apologists for Trump keep saying,
"There hasn't been a shred of evidence of collusion" as if they've already
read the final report from the Special Counsel. How can a Special Counsel,
investigating a sitting president, not be a HUGE news story that dominates
the news cycle, especially when there are constantly new developments?
If you wanted to assume Mueller has the goods on Trump, you are free to do
so. To me it seems like an investigation in search of a crime. My guess is
he won't show his cards until after the midterms because he's not holding
much of a hand.
I don't know if Mueller has the "goods" on Trump. I do know that it's
worth investigating, however - because the Trump administration has an odd
lack of curiosity concerning (or acknowledgement) in the Russia's attempt
to create chaos and influence American sentiment.
What may very well happen is that there WAS collusion and Trump,
personally, had nothing to do with it. Maybe it was just Don Jr, Jared
Kushner, Paul Manfort, Roger Stone, or ... who knows who? That would be
worth finding out.
The bottom line for me is this: I just don't see how anybody who thinks a
tax cut, or a tougher immigration policy, or protecting gun rights, or a
Pro-Life worldview (pick your issue!) is WORTH having a president like
We seem to be bigger buddies with the North Korean leader than with the
Prime Minister of friggin' Canada! Trump is an idiot! He's all
narcissistic bluster and, to me, that is such a toxic characteristic of a
U.S. president that what little gains he might be able to achieve will be
far overshadowed by the diminishing of the respect the United States has
experienced from the rest of the world (our friggin' allies!). Trump calls
it "being tough". Pfft!