Back From Vacation Open Thread

Once again, sorry to just cut out on everyone – but, once again, long-planned vacation…and, once again, didn’t bring the laptop with me. Anyways…

There are two kinds of barbarism – the kind where a people simply hasn’t risen far in civilization, and the kind where people reject civilization. It is the latter form of barbarism which is always most threatening to civilization. You see, a people who haven’t risen to civilization are hardly a threat to civilized people – think spears vs machine guns. On the other hand, those who have got a bit of civilization’s ability but who reject the civilization can take down a civilization. Remember, a good number of the barbarian generals who overthrew Roman power were former generals in the Roman army.

There are lots of ways to reject civilization but the most insidious is to reject any notion of keeping one’s word: of being honest. That is what threatens us – and Hillary is, currently, the leading contender for Barbarian in Chief. She does not tell the truth – from what I can tell, she’s incapable of telling the truth even when a short blast of just telling the truth would work to her advantage (for instance, had she just come clean about Benghazi it would have been a three day blow up…and then a nothing, given the short attention span of the people). Hillary cannot be trusted; not by anyone. To be sure, given the nature of things, she will in general advance leftwing causes in office, but even a leftist should understand that if push comes to shove, she’ll betray them as rapidly as she’ll betray anyone else.

Yes, Trump has a problem with the truth – but I don’t detect in him the complete rejection of truth I see in Hillary. And, right now, the election is Hillary’s to lose – so, she should be our main concern.

Meanwhile, a lot of GOPers and/or Conservatives are leaving off the ever more bogus #NeverTrump and getting ready for #ImWithHer. I honestly don’t understand this, at all. I understand not wanting to vote for Trump. I understand writing in someone, voting Third Party or not voting for President, at all…but to do things which might help Hillary to victory is a complete rejection of anything a Republican and/or a Conservative is supposed to stand for. And I call BS on those who are saying that Trump is so bad that Hillary is a better alternative – that is a flat out, bald-faced lie. Trump has said words which are questionable – Hillary has advanced policies which cost lives, as well as engaged in serial corruption not just to enrich herself, but to subvert the very rule of law in the United States.

Wage growth under Obama? You didn’t really believe there was, did you?

Obama legacy: an Islamist Turkey.

For all Trump’s troubles, down-ballot still looking ok for the GOP. No real surprise – after all, Nixon won in ’72 in a crushing blowout and yet the GOP gained nothing down-ballot.

49 thoughts on “Back From Vacation Open Thread

  1. Retired Spook August 11, 2016 / 8:19 am

    Meanwhile, a lot of GOPers and/or Conservatives are leaving off the ever more bogus #NeverTrump and getting ready for #ImWithHer.

    They’d better hope that Trump doesn’t win, because he’s not the kind of guy to forget such disloyalty.

    For all Trump’s troubles, down-ballot still looking ok for the GOP.

    You’re right — that isn’t a huge surprise. I remember a poll from a few years back to the effect that a good percentage of Americans view divided government as the ultimate check and balance. Of course that didn’t take into account a president like Obama who simply goes around, over and through Congress and essentially ignores the law. I do think, though, that a GOP congress would be more successful stopping a President Hillary’s (throws up in throat) more egregious transgressions.

  2. Amazona August 11, 2016 / 9:54 am

    “…had she just come clean about Benghazi it would have been a three day blow up..”

    I’m not so sure about that. If the only problem was that the embassy was underprotected, then yes. Even if it was just that the embassy had requested more protection and been ignored, maybe yes. Even if it was just that the embassy had requested more protection and been denied, maybe yes. But there are other things which may be, probably are, related. One is the question of what Stevens was doing there anyway, and being part of interfering in the civil war of another country would be more than “..a three day blow up..” Factor in the fact that the guns being sent to support one side in this other nation’s civil war were actually making it into the arsenal of anti-American terrorists, and the problem gets bigger. If Stevens was there as part of an effort to cover up this illegal act by the United States, via its State Department, AKA Hillary Clinton, that makes it even worse. Add to that the fact that air cover WAS available, close enough to do some good, and there was a refusal to send it—not a failure to send it but a refusal—-and the truth would have been a very very big deal.

    Those other factors take it from a mere bureaucratic slip-up, a failure in internal communication or some other excuse, well into territory where the Secretary of State was involving the United States in a very big mess, and allowing people to die to try to cover it up. In that case, she played it fairly well, doing the typical Clinton act of Deny Deny Deny Blame Questions on Partisan Enemies, knowing that a lot of Democrats will buy into this BS just as they always have.

    Those acts by a Secretary of State ought to disqualify her from becoming Commander in Chief—-and still would, if the story could just get out in a concise and coherent form. God bless Trey Gowdy for trying so hard to connect all the dots, while under constant covering fire from the Left and having to deal with the obstructionism of Hillary and her cohorts.

    A smart move would be to tie in those questions about Stevens and the actions of the government leading up to his death with the email situation, showing why the private server was set up—to hide communications about shenanigans such as what we were really up to in Benghazi.

    Hide it from the American people, anyway, Not so much from the Russians, NoKo, China, all of Europe, and basically any nation that felt like employing a mid-level hacker to snoop around in State Department matters.

    • M. Noonan August 11, 2016 / 2:40 pm

      Oh, there was of course a lot to Benghazi…but had Hillary just admitted she messed up, took responsibility for it and not done idiocy like blaming a video, it just wouldn’t have amounted to much, long term. By lying flat out, she just kept it alive…

      • Amazona August 11, 2016 / 4:46 pm

        I just don’t think she could have gotten away with admitting to screwing up only part of the Benghazi mess without being questioned on the rest. There were too many questions, and the answers to those questions would have, if answered honestly, been so damaging to her and to Obama she could not have overcome it.

        As I said, she might have been able to skate on failing to provide adequate security. She might have been able to shift blame for calling off support, whether from other military or agency people in the area or air support out of Italy, onto various unnamed military authorities. But there is no way she could have dealt with the arms shipments to Syria, or the takeover of those weapons by A-Q and/or other terrorist groups, and especially for sending in Stevens in an effort at a cover-up. That was all traceable back to State, it was all either illegal or very shady or both.

        The leaving of our people to die was just the tip of the iceberg, and she couldn’t have written just that part off as bad judgment or a mistake or “messing up” without the rest of the whole mess being in play as well. I agree that the attention span of the average American voter is so short it still would have faded to some extent, but it would not have been dead, and would just have needed the jolt of campaign electricity to bring it back to life in all its old glory.

  3. Amazona August 11, 2016 / 10:26 am

    It seems to me that a good article is one where you know what the author is trying to say, whether you agree or not. The linked Ace of Spades article is so incoherent I really didn’t know what the author wanted to say.

    The latter part makes sense, and I agree, There is no way that anyone who backed Hillary will ever, EVER, be able to claim conservative credentials or even Republican credentials. I agree that even if you don’t want Trump to be president, the best thing to do is step back and let him trip himself into defeat, without having your bloody fingerprints all over the event, much less hanging a banner that brags, as the article says, “I DID THIS !!”

    But it is hard to pay any attention to anything this guy says, after a beginning in which he seems to be saying (1) it is the dreaded “ESTABLISHMENT” that is angling for Trump’s defeat, and (2) that what he calls the Establishment’s “..super-successful and popular policy mix of unchastened neocon foreign adventurism, favors for corporate cronies, and official, explicit Open Borders policy…” is the same thing as conservatism.

    He’s not very coherent in any of this, but this is what he said:

    “The Establishment’s plan is very simple. They’ve pretty much announced it. Bret Stephens, for example, does not hide the fact that his plan is to help Hillary into the presidency with a “blow out” against Trump. Then, he figures, the rebellious Untermenschen of the Lumpenproletariat will come grovelling to the Establishment for its super-successful and popular policy mix of unchastened neocon foreign adventurism, favors for corporate cronies, and official, explicit Open Borders policy.

    Here’s Stephens admitting The Plan, which is hardly necessary anyway, as it was always pretty obvious:

    “This is the reason I’ve consistently argued that the only hope for a conservative restoration is a blowout Hillary Clinton victory, held in check by a Republican majority in Congress.”

    It’s gibberish.

    First, Trump IS the Establishment, no matter how he has turned his coat to lure the gullible into his camp. This big turd-throwing temper tantrum of his is not to “take on” the “Establishment elites” or however he is framing it. He is just carrying on his attacks on people who got crossways with him, and trying to define his vindictiveness as the moral high ground and more populist anti-politician bluster.

    Second, a “conservative restoration” would most certainly NOT involve the “..super-successful and popular policy mix of unchastened neocon foreign adventurism, favors for corporate cronies, and official, explicit Open Borders policy…” he pulled out of his tighty whities.

    And by the way, the conservatives I know agree that while a Clinton presidency would help bring about a stronger conservative movement the price would be far too high to make it a good trade-off.

    • M. Noonan August 11, 2016 / 2:39 pm

      Ace did go a bit wild with that, but I linked it because it does, in my view, distill a growing anger and frustration out there with the #NeverTrump people. I pointed out on Twitter that if you’re really convinced that Trump is a sure-loser, then you need do nothing…just write in whomever you want (or vote Third Party) and keep your counsel. On November 9th, off you go explaining why Trump lost and offering a way forward for both disappointed Trumpsters and #NeverTrump people, alike. What they are doing is trying to rub Trumpster’s noses in it…and it will backfire, I think.

      • Amazona August 11, 2016 / 4:08 pm

        I do a little grumping about Trump here and with a couple of friends, but now that he is our nominee I have backed off on most of my criticism, saving it for the GOP, and I have made it very clear I will vote for him, as well as laying out the problems with Hillary. I think openly going against Trump is stupid, and openly endorsing Hillary so far beyond stupid there are no words for it.

      • Amazona August 11, 2016 / 4:10 pm

        The time for rubbing Trumpster noses in their mess is if he loses, as this election was ours to win if we had just been smart. Hell, halfway smart would have done it.

  4. Retired Spook August 11, 2016 / 2:26 pm


    You’ve often talked about defunding the Left, but after watching this interview with the president of the Capital Research Center, it would appear we have our work cut out for us. I knew, both from personal research as well as things you’ve posted that a great deal of the Left’s funding comes from government. It goes waaaaaaaay beyond that. One of the most insidious tactics they use, particularly, but not limited to environmental non-profits, is to sue a government agency (ie. the EPA) for failure to vigorously enforce environmental regulations, and then the EPA (or whatever agency) settles out of court with our tax dollars and “promises” to do better in the future.

    • M. Noonan August 11, 2016 / 2:37 pm

      Yep – that and 1,000 other methods of securing taxpayer funds for leftwing pressure groups. It is a high hill to climb, but we must figure out a way to do it – we can’t win as long as we’re essentially funding the people who want to destroy us.

  5. casper3031 August 12, 2016 / 8:11 am

    “Hillary is, currently, the leading contender for Barbarian in Chief. She does not tell the truth – from what I can tell, she’s incapable of telling the truth”

    Yet she tells the truth far more often than Trump.

    As for Republicans supporting Hillary, maybe they have looked past all of the Right wing propaganda and figured out the she isn’t the horrible person it makes her out to be. Here is a question for you. If Hillary is real so terrible why aren’t we seeing Democrats switching to Trump? All of the switching seems to be moving the other direction.
    I predict that the closer we get to the election the more popular Hillary will become and the less popular Trump will become. I also predict that Democrats retake the Senate as Trump drags the rest of the ticket down with him.

    • Amazona August 12, 2016 / 10:01 am

      Casper is such a good little poster boy for the Clueless Left. Take his whine that Trump lies more than Hillary, and his link to a site that “proves” it.

      As usual, the superficial claims, which in this case I can’t dignify with the term “data”, are false. Its “Pants On Fire” category is not only quite selective, it lumps every statement that is not true into the same category. So, for example, if Person A is trying to impress a girl and says he owns the Ferrari he is borrowing, Person B tells a retiree his investment has a guaranteed rate of return of 10% when in fact there is no investment vehicle, and Person C says he did not commit those murders, Politifact would consider all three lies to be equal. Ego, money and death are all the same on the Politifact scale.

      This allows Politifact to claim that Trump blurting out opinions which can’t be supported by fact carries the same weight as, for example, one big lie by Hillary about Benghazi that is simply repeated over and over again. This, in turn, allows the simple-minded and easily (and willingly) led to use Politifact to support their Identity Politics positions.

      Thinking people can tell the difference between Ted Cruz “never denied” his father was photographed with Lee Harvey Oswald. “ and “We know who was responsible for the death of your son and I promise you he will be brought to justice”. The first was a simple mistake, not knowing that Cruz had in fact made that statement, and the second was a calculated lie told in an effort to shift attention away from her responsibility for the deaths onto an innocent man who had nothing to do with them. Both were wrong, but they are not morally or ethically in the same ball park.

      To Politifact, and therefore to Casper, it is a numbers game. One thing that is not true equals another thing that is not true, therefore they have the same value in determining honesty. What is funny is how the Left, usually mired in relativity, suddenly becomes absolute when it comes to something like this, where relativity DOES matter. There are social lies (” I love your mother’s cooking, no of course those pants don’t make you look fat”) there are ego lies (“I have never had plastic surgery, I just look like this”) there are business lies (“This car gets more MPG than the sticker indicates”) there are panicky spur-of-the-moment lies (“No, I didn’t see that red light”) and then there are cold, calculating lies intended to cover up or avoid consequences for vile deeds. If you are in the tank for Hillary you are going to look for ways to conflate her kinds of lies, which are in the latter category, with any of those in the other categories, so you can have some meaningless numbers to fall back on.

      And then there is the kind of dishonesty that is not, in and of itself, an actual “lie” but is deceptive and intended to hide misdeeds. This is what Hillary did when she set up her private server. She had had experience with FOIA demands, and she didn’t like it, so when she anticipated using her Secretary of State position to line her own pockets, to sell influence to the highest bidder, she knew she would have to find a way to keep her communications out of FOIA jurisdiction. So she set up a private server. Of course, when she got caught she then went into a whole litany of lies, one building on another, to try to explain this away. To a Casper, if he considers any of this a lie at all, it is really just one lie–that setting up the server was just a silly mistake.

      He can fall back on the word “lie” to avoid addressing what was in fact a premeditated plan to use government power for personal gain, a plan put into action many many times, and the effort to hide this all by keeping it out of government servers. He can, if necessary, lump the entire long-term pattern of corruption into one “lie” about why she set up the server, and dismiss it in his own mind.

      To a Casper, the whole Benghazi thing is really just one lie, and he’s still not sure she is lying about that. To keep his nose up Hillary’s knickers, he has to ignore the inherent dishonesty of the entire State Department involvement in providing arms to people in a civil war in another country, what was either incompetence or a plan that let those arms end up in the hands of Al Queda, the effort to cover all this up by sending Chris Stevens in to try to recover at least some of those weapons and engage in a cover-up of those nefarious activities, the decision to allow him and others to die rather than risk having the whole thing made public by sending in aid to help them, and then the final lies about what happened and why.

      No, if Cappy believes Hillary lied at all about Benghazi, it was just one lie. Nothing to see here, folks, just keep moving, just another Vast Right Wing Conspiracy at work.

    • Amazona August 12, 2016 / 10:14 am

      “As for Republicans supporting Hillary, maybe they have looked past all of the Right wing propaganda and figured out the she isn’t the horrible person it makes her out to be.”

      Or, much more likely, they are so deeply mired in Identity Politics, in this case visceral hatred of Trump, they are willing to do whatever it takes to prove they were right about him by trying to make sure he loses.

      Think about it, Casper. (Pause here while we ponder the silliness of asking Casper to THINK about anything.) Why have these people only come out in favor of Hillary now that Trump is the candidate? If they truly think she is as wonderful as you do (and don’t forget, we have your actual words a couple of months ago saying you didn’t like her) then why are they still Republicans?

      OK, I realize this is veering off the Identity Politics path, but bear with me. As a party, the Democrats have one political philosophy and the Republicans, in theory anyway, have another. Different philosophies. Therefore, one would think that someone supporting Hillary would be a Democrat—that is, someone who shares her political philosophies. That is the way it should be—a political choice based on political beliefs regarding the best blueprint for governing the nation. So someone who shares those beliefs and agendas would be a Democrat.

      So how does someone who identifies with the political beliefs and agendas of the Republican Party end up supporting Hillary Clinton? I guess you have to look at what they say about her. And this is where it gets interesting. Because I have not seen a declaration of intent to vote for Hillary from a Republican that says, hints, indicates or implies agreement with her political philosophy, nor a belief that she is an honest person. All I have seen is repeated statements of a belief that her experience and temperament make her a better choice, ONLY WHEN COMPARED TO DONALD TRUMP.

      Because if these people actually think Hillary is not, as you say, “the horrible person” so many say she is, they would have been supporting her candidacy in her primaries, they would have been Hillaryites for a long time, and they wouldn’t have waited till it was a Trump/Clinton choice to make the decision we all have to make—which is the lesser of two evils. Their choice is based on antipathy toward Donald Trump. Mine is on political agenda.

      And here we are, full circle, back to Identity Politics.

    • M. Noonan August 12, 2016 / 11:42 pm

      Amazona answered well enough but I’ll add this:

      Leave off being so entirely invested in the Democrat Party. If there’s one thing 2016 has taught us on the right it is that no Party can be trusted.

      …Government (and especially representative Government) now actually exists to protect those very abuses which Government (and especially representative Government) was actually created to prevent […] Parliaments, petitions, elections, juries, all the things that were ever rightly or wrongly called free institutions, all rest on the idea that we cannot put our trust in princes, because we cannot put it (without some balance of dispute and examination) in any child of man. But the Party System, as it is by this time, is quite the most cunning instrument for preventing such criticism ever devised by human ingenuity. It silences a criticism, it stops all self-purging, it turns back all repentance, and freezes all hopeful anger, far more than the most brutal methods of the oldest tyrannies…Common human annoyance could be counted on to kick common human nuisances. Our method is much subtler. We set up one man and call him Liberty; we set up another man and call him Loyalty. If the first man becomes a tyrant, all who love Liberty must help him to tyrannise. If the second man betrays his country, all who love Loyalty must help him to betray his country. All other systems have left reform doubtful; this is the only system that has nearly succeeded in making it impossible.

      ~G.K. Chesterton: “Illustrated London News”, February 1, 1913.

      • Amazona August 13, 2016 / 9:46 am

        A political party is like any other organism, prone to entropy and decay if not well tended. I don’t see an alternative to political parties, as like minded people will congregate and then form coalitions and then form structures so they can speak with a louder voice.

        What a party can do, and should do, is impose process on actions, countering the tendency of some (read Conflict of Visions) to place their beliefs and hopes and therefore power in the hands of individuals seen as special enough to be so treated. When a party fails to do this, when instead it becomes a means to placing power in the hands of a few, it needs reform and restructuring, but it will always need oversight.

      • M. Noonan August 13, 2016 / 10:14 pm

        That is it, isn’t it? Oversight. You and I have discussed ways and means of making the GOP more responsible…I don’t think we’ve come to any hard and fast conclusions, but clearly mechanisms have to be put into place to ensure (a) a level playing field for all contenders, (b) that only tried-and-true GOPers have a shot at it, (c) that if we’re to have primaries, they have to be really binding or (d) if the delegates are to be free to vote their conscience then I figure we dispose with primaries.

      • Amazona August 13, 2016 / 11:51 pm

        I’ve been in communication with some people who hold GOP offices in a couple of states, and we are in agreement that the GOP primary system is a mess. You and I have talked about some of the problems, such as early states splitting votes among many potential candidates while states that vote late only have to choose between two or maybe three, so the totals are really pretty meaningless.

        Personally, I like the caucus system because it means the state votes are cast by people who are involved in the process. It forces candidates to have ground games, because it is important to have a candidate’s representative at the caucus, and it gives the voters a chance to ask questions and compare policies, etc.

        If we are going to have primaries, they have to be closed, so only Republicans can vote, and I think they should all be held on the same day, late in the process. Because this would mean each state would still be splitting votes among many potential candidates, I don’t think delegates should be bound to whoever “wins” a state, because someone can win only 20% with 80% of the voters adamantly against him or her, and it doesn’t make sense to bind the delegates of that state to that person. This would probably end up with many hopefuls going to the convention, but I’m not sure that is a bad thing. Basically the system, whether caucus or primary, has to be just a testing of the waters to get a feel for who the voters want, with the final decision left to the delegates. I do think we need some way to do that, to get a feel for the preferences of the party members, so just disposing of any kind of state-by-state selection process probably wouldn’t be a good idea.

        We talk about term limits for legislators, but we have a real problem with hidebound career politicians running our parties and defending their positions just as we do with legislators.

        I’ve been thinking a lot about changes I would like to see, and one of them is a mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court justices. Another is making it easier to sanction or discipline judges at every level of the court systems, to get a grip on judicial misconduct.

      • Retired Spook August 14, 2016 / 10:06 am

        If we are going to have primaries, they have to be closed, so only Republicans can vote, and I think they should all be held on the same day, late in the process.

        I could not agree more on the closed primary concept. Someone suggested a while back that we divide the country into 4 equal quandrants (I think it was 4), Quandrant 1 votes on the 1st Tuesday of (April, May or June), 2 on the second Tuesday, 3 on the 3rd Tuesday and 4 on the 4th Tuesday. The order rotates with each presidential election cycle. The later in the cycle, the easier it would be for candidates to campaign. I kind of like that set-up. But bottom line — anything would be better than what we have now.

        I don’t think delegates should be bound to whoever “wins” a state, because someone can win only 20% with 80% of the voters adamantly against him or her, and it doesn’t make sense to bind the delegates of that state to that person.

        I agree, although I don’t have a problem with winner take all if a candidate achieves, say 50% or better. Several states have such a provision now.

        If we’re ever going to be able to make government more responsive to the people, term limits for both legislators and judges is at the top of the list IMO.

        I’m also beginning to think that a constitutional amendment to make the Department of Justice an independent 4th division of government might not be a bad idea. The majority of states (43) currently have attorneys general who are elected by the people.

      • Amazona August 14, 2016 / 11:37 am

        Spook, I hadn’t thought of a division, such as the one you suggest. If I understand the idea, all primaries would be in the same month, divided among four weeks. I’m not sure why that would be a better idea than having all states vote on the same day, but there are things that would need to be covered. As I think of it, one of the problems would be the same problem we would have if we got rid of the Electoral College—-candidates would only campaign in the high-stakes states, the ones with the most delegates. Of course, that is what goes on now, as well.

        I think a key to making this work would be a complete revamp of the televised debate system, one set up where candidates can actually present their ideas instead of knowing they have to get a condensed, canned, version out in a minute and a half. Sometimes trying to make a system work better results in some kind of elaborate concoctions. For example, there could be a system in which, for a full day, each candidate is in a room where he is asked the same questions, at the same time, by the same moderator, and has no way of knowing what the other candidates are saying. This would provide the level playing field people say they want. We would have to have a TV station where people could go to watch the responses of the various candidates, and that would be problematic as in a perfect world you could choose which candidate to follow and which to use as a comparison and we are not there yet, in terms of interactive TV. But we are, on the internet.

        So Vinnie Voter could go to the web site of Candidate A, click on his response to questions on tax reform, and then do the same for other candidates. This would not replace campaigning, but it would give a baseline, so in a rally someone could ask Candidate A why he believes his plan is better than that of Candidates B and H. It might get away, at least a little, from contentless bombast that is little more than the political version of a carnival barker, and get the focus on the things that matter. If you, as a candidate, have had half an hour or 45 minutes to lay out and explain your position on tax reform, you are pretty much stuck with that plan, and it will have to be compared to those of the other candidates on merit rather than on who can get the most people jumping up and down at a rally. If your plan is mostly hot air and vague platitudes, it will not stand up well when compared to a carefully presented, coherent plan presented by someone else, and a serious voter could replay each video segment as often as he wanted, to compare and decide.

        We all agree that we need to get big money out of politics, and this would be a way to do that at least to some extent. as well as leveling the playing field—if you are a great candidate without a lot of name recognition and therefore donor contributions, you still have your chance to lay out your positions, in exactly the same format your opponents have, and you have exactly the same internet coverage so people can see what you have to say. If people still want to see head-to-head confrontations, debates could still be scheduled, though the ones we have had have been little more than symbolic debates, with no opportunity to expand on ideas, no exchange of ideas, and way too much interference from agenda-minded “moderators”.

  6. Cluster August 12, 2016 / 9:03 am

    This election is not a traditional Republican vs Democrat election. This is an election between Americanism and Globalism. Between the Clerisy and the proletariat. I am as disgusted with NeverTrumpers as I am with Democrats and consider all of them to be complicit in the dismantling of this country. The 50 GOP “security experts” who recently expressed their concern about a Trump Presidency are the very people who have their fingerprints all over the current foreign policy chaos we are living through. Many of the tea party conservatives who convinced us that they needed both chambers of Congress to stop Obama, have done nothing to stop Obama, and in fact Paul Ryan’s first act as Speaker was to pass Obama’s agenda without even an argument. The GOP conservatives in Washington have aided and abetted the progressive agenda at every opportunity and that is why we see the upper brass of the GOP lining up behind Hillary, including the Koch Bros. The GOP is currently being transformed from a posturing, ineffective, faux purist party to a pragmatic, common sense American party and the current fallout is inevitable. I hope the GOP is rebuilt by the likes of Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giulani, Trey Gowdy, etc., and that we lose the mealy mouth, politically correct John McCain’s, Susan Collin’s, Mitch McConnell’s, etc. That transformation is long overdue, and the following article in American Thinker echoes my sentiments, particularly this excerpt directed at the NeverTrumpers:

    “Of course who wins the election is more important than your precious conscience or how you feel about voting. Your country matters more than you do. Has America become so weak and self-absorbed that people no longer understand what it means to say, “It’s not all about you, honey”?”

    This election has nothing to do with R vs D. This election has everything to do with reclaiming this great country from the global ambitions of the political elite who hope to dilute our traditions, culture, and strength through their open border and wealth redistribution policies. The incompetence, corruption, pay for play criminal conduct, and selfish ambitions of Hillary Clinton are on full display and if she were to win, we will most certainly lose this once great Republic. For the future of America, Trump must win.

    And in response to Casper, you are right that many rich GOP’ers are lining up behind Hillary including Koch Bros. and other well connected, rich Republicans and you can have them. We also see many Democrats lining up behind Trump including cole miners, union workers, policeman and other blue collar democrats. And I will gladly welcome them.

    • Retired Spook August 12, 2016 / 9:46 am

      And in response to Casper, you are right that many rich GOP’ers are lining up behind Hillary including Koch Bros.

      That has to be driving the Left nuts.

    • Amazona August 12, 2016 / 10:35 am

      “in fact Paul Ryan’s first act as Speaker was to pass Obama’s agenda without even an argument” Well, no, he didn’t. He made it very clear that this was a Boehner bill, not his, and laid out the parliamentary reasons why, according to the rules of the Senate, it had to continue on through. He voted for it with clearly stated reservations and the next day came back with dozens of proposed amendments to deal with the things he found wrong with it.

      Since then he has stood firm and not been cowed by the howling of the “conservatives” who don’t understand the processes in the Senate.

      “I hope the GOP is rebuilt by the likes of Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giulani, Trey Gowdy, etc.”

      Well, I can agree with the Trey Gowdy reference. I have seen Newt turn into a babbling sycophant, and seen him and Guiliani and others base major decisions on wishful thinking—“I sure hope Trump means what he says, because if he does he is our guy”.

      Those who don’t like Trump are concerned because his appeal, so far, has been both pandering to certain demographics by doing a 180 on many of his long-held positions and his dependence on issues instead of governance. And there is the verified, documented, recorded daily problem of his inability to keep his damned mouth shut instead of blurting out inane and utterly stupid things. I’ve been saying for a long time that I fear a Trump presidency much much less than I fear a Trump candidacy, because as a candidate he is a train wreck.

      I personally have moved from NeverTrump to StuckWithTrump, and I agree that at this stage going against him is stupid. It is worse than stupid, it is suicidal. Yes, an overhaul of the GOP is long overdue, but it was attempted during the primary process and at the convention and was shut down by populist mobs and, yes, the GOP Establishment which rigged the convention to make sure Trump got the nod.

      Do not be fooled by Trump’s claim that he is going up against the Establishment. He is their guy, they are his guys, and this has been set up since their original guy, Jeb, fell at the starting gate. There were a couple of people in the early days who could have actually sparked that overhaul, and they were targeted and smothered. Kasich and Rubio held the pillows to make sure the true conservative, Cruz, got his chances smothered, playing support for the Establishment and Trump, and the GOP shut down dissent at the convention. For all his populist pandering, Trump IS the political elite, the poster boy of crony capitalism, the globalist. At least he has been his whole life. I now hope the starry-eyed fairy dust unicorn seeking believers in his conversion are right, because that’s all we have right now. You say “For the future of America, Trump must win.” Yes, but not because he is Donald Trump. It is because he is not Hillary Clinton.

      The nomination of Donald Trump marks the end of the GOP as it has become, and the official merging with the Democrat Party. Now all that is left is an insurgency within the party, and from what I hear this is going to happen. But if it succeeds, it will take the Gingriches and Guilianis down with the McConnells and the McCains.

      • Cluster August 12, 2016 / 11:18 am

        Cruz lost because he doesn’t have the numbers, and he doesn’t have the numbers because true conservatives have abdicated their civil responsibilities over the last few decades. Conservatives have sat on the sidelines while progressives systematically took over education, entertainment, and the media, and now those conservatives are throwing tantrums and calling Trump supporters names in a juvenile fit of rage (see: Jonah Goldberg). I will also remind everyone that these Trump supports are your average everyday tax paying hard working small business owners, union members, coal miners, tradesman, etc. who are under no false illusions nor mesmerized by the cult of personality. These supporters are the ones who voted for Tea party conservatives in the hopes of bringing about change, only to be disappointed once again, and of whom clearly see the systematic destruction of this country at the hands of Washington DC cocktail party circuit. If constitutional conservatives hope to regain majorities again, they had better start at the ground floor and immerse themselves in education where they can begin to teach those values, because as it is now, we have a couple of generations of ignorant, indoctrinated, over emotional voters who fall hook line and sinker for the empty promises of identity politics.

      • Amazona August 12, 2016 / 1:20 pm

        When all primary votes were divided among many contenders, Cruz was close to or beating Trump, and the division was basically Trump/Not Trump. That is, Trump got his 35% or so and Not Trump got the rest. If the GOP had not rigged the convention, and allowed the Not Trump majority to have a voice and a vote, Cruz (or someone else) would have had the numbers.

        Rubio and Kasich were spoilers, dogs in the manger. You know that old story—-the dog can’t eat the hay, but he guards the manger so the cows can’t eat it either. Neither of them had a chance, neither liked Trump, but they hated Cruz even more—Personality Politics at its ugliest. And this is why I consider them complicit in what is looking more and more like a Dem victory in November.

        Trump’s “wins” were in states where Democrats could vote, and we all know how dedicated Dems are to getting the best possible candidate on the Republican ballot, and later after Cruz stopped campaigning.

        I do not agree that a “cult of personality” did not account for much of Trump’s appeal. There were millions who simply thought he was wonderful, and exactly like Hillaryites dismissed every negative that came up about him. That is pretty much the definition of a cult of personality. People are constantly explaining his appeal, and when they do they put it in much more intelligent and objective terms than the supporters themselves have. When you look at the reasons Trump supporters themselves have given for supporting him, you see this.

        I know smart people who defend Trump, saying things like “But we DO have to get a grip on illegal immigration and we DO have to build a wall or fence or something”. Well, duh, yeah. They focus on the superficial idea that Trump is for this, completely ignoring basic facts. (1) Other candidates have much the same positions (2) His proposal was simply unrealistic and impossible. When you factor in the reality that he was not only NOT the only person in favor of strong immigration reform and deporting undesirable aliens but that the very things that got peoples’ blood stirring were the melodramatic and wholly unreasonable and impossible “solutions” he presented, the only thing left to explain the fervor of their adulation IS a “cult of personality”.

        It is the explanations given by Trumpbots themselves, and their behavior, that spark the name calling. Have you ever read the “comments” after many blog posts on other sites? The Trump people comments are so vicious and vile and dependent on hatred, they are what contribute to the disdain felt for so many of his followers. You can be an “..everyday tax paying hard working small business owner, union member, coal miner, tradesman…” and still be subject to Personality Politics, and be absolutely horrible hate driven people. Trump appealed to these people in two ways: He let them believe they were standing up for principles, and he fed their craving for political mud wrestling. Most of this has died down now, but I clearly remember people cheering Trump on because they wanted to see someone else willing to roll around in the muck with Hillary.

        Take his big stance on deporting all illegals and building a YUUUUGE wall. How many Trumpbots asked the most obvious questions about deporting 12 million people, give or take a million or so?

        How can this be done? Forcibly? By whom? The military can’t legally do law enforcement, so who will get millions of people onto transport to get them out of the country? What transport? Why do we assume they have a place to go? Other nations have to be willing to accept them—-will they? And so on. To objective people who simply want to solve the problem, these are obvious questions. Failing to ask them but cheering on the person who made the promise is proof of a personality cult in which the person is everything.

        I simply do not have respect for the original Trumpbots because I paid a lot of attention to what they said about their choice, and I found them to be in two basic camps: The simple minded looking for simple answers, and the nasty, looking for a political cage match and validation of their hatreds. Since then I have seen a lot of pragmatists who support a Trump campaign while not supporting him as a person, because he represents a choice between Maybe Bad and Absolutely Horrible. I absolutely disagree with your statement that conservatives are now throwing “….tantrums and calling Trump supporters names in a juvenile fit of rage..” Those conservatives fought like hell to get a true conservative on the ticket, and their outrage is far far FAR from “..a juvenile fit of rage..” It is a reaction to the betrayal of alleged conservatives who tossed aside their pretense of commitment to constitutional government in favor of a populist who thinks “the government should pay for everything” and based his whole campaign on what HE would do, not on leadership of a constitutional legislative body that would make important changes. It is outrage at seeing their own party manipulate a process to make sure the one challenge to their power would be stopped, giving us Trump instead. It is disgust for people who buy into a mean spirited and vicious lie summed up in the bumper sticker phrase of “Lyin’ Ted” and throwing the nation into another Clinton administration because two words are all they need to convince them.

        And yes, there is disgust for the man who depends on this kind of demagoguery to win support.

        I heard a statement in an audio book I was listening to the other day, and stopped to put it on my voice recorder. It says: “If you can make people believe they are thinking, they will love you. If you make them think, they will hate you.” It struck me because it was the basic difference between Trump and Cruz.

        However, aside from your effort to make Trump supporters sound more analytical than I think they are, I agree with you. I agree that “… true conservatives have abdicated their civil responsibilities over the last few decades. Conservatives have sat on the sidelines while progressives systematically took over education, entertainment, and the media,…” and that “If constitutional conservatives hope to regain majorities again, they had better start at the ground floor and immerse themselves in education where they can begin to teach those values, because as it is now, we have a couple of generations of ignorant, indoctrinated, over emotional voters who fall hook line and sinker for the empty promises of identity politics.” Well said and completely true.

      • Cluster August 12, 2016 / 2:58 pm

        I will admit that the “juvenile fit of rage” comment was possibly over the top, but not too far from the truth. I don’t think these NeverTrumpers really understand the seething disdain Americans have for the current DC political self serving politicians and their minions in the media, and conservative pundits like Goldberg are upset that GOP voters are not heeding their advice anymore. As I said, the numbers just aren’t there to elect a constitutional conservative and not just in the primary but certainly in the general. Now had the tea party Congress members advanced the conservative agenda in even small increments over the last couple of years, this election might be a lot different. But they didn’t. And now they are upset that Americans are choosing another alternative.

        Re: the border, yes we can build a wall, in fact about 20% of it is already built and this has been another empty promise made by politicians of both parties over the years. I remember the 1994 SOTU speech by Clinton who also spoke for the urgent need of border security, of course that is when Democrats were actually still Americans. In re: to deportation, again yes we can do this over time, and common sense Americans understand that process and do not buy in to the literal interpretation expressed by Trump as many others with an agenda do.

        Re: getting in the mud. When you fight with pigs you have to be in the mud, a venue of which Romney was unwilling to go to hence his defeat. At this point, I am almost willing to take up arms against Democrats to defeat them so getting a little mud on me is the least of my concerns. Our current problems are so profound that they will not be resolved by simply electing a constitutional conservative. We are no longer just in a boxing match with our opponents. We are in a full throated, bare fisted brawl and we had better be prepared to fight. I know I am.

      • Amazona August 12, 2016 / 6:34 pm

        I don’t think Cruz lost because of lack of support for constitutional governance. I think it was partly because of media influence, giving Trump about $2 billion in free publicity and acting as if he was the only one who cared about the issues he kept hollering about and partly because Cruz was not prepared for the juvenile schoolyard bully-boy nastiness of Trump. There is really no way to combat that kind of constant barrage of insanity, as it has nothing to do with facts so facts won’t do anything to defend against it, and when you have someone whose eyes light up at the approach of that kind of gutter brawl you either fall back on your own experience and lack of integrity and get down in the muck with him or you step away. Cruz is not that kind of fighter. He fights with ideas, and words, and coherence, and knowledge, not with the kind of belligerent viciousness that Trump revels in.

        The average American voter, today, in a snapshot of now, is not ready to make a decision based on a choice of constitutional governance vs Leftist tyranny. Someone as articulate and clear thinking as Cruz could have laid out that choice in ways these people could understand. It’s not that complicated.

        As for the TEA Party, it started off good but some of the chapters, anyway, ended up attracting a freak show of loony-tunes who had no idea what was at stake. And the movement was too naive and too unaware of how to make a movement effective. So the TEA Party people ended up with people like Akins and Sharron Angle, nice enough people with good intentions who had absolutely no clue about how to campaign and less about how to govern. You are right in that we the people seemed to think that once we got some people elected our job was over. Lesson learned. Now we know, at least some of us know, that we have to stay on it, stay informed, stay in touch with our people in Washington and keep reminding them that they were not elected to morph into DC beltway boys. and girls.

        The biggest failure of the TEA Party, and of conservatives in general, is the focus on national politics. In a true constitutional government the power is at the state and local levels, and we tend to want to change the top and hope the changes will trickle down, when what we need to do and what we can do more easily is put more emphasis on our state and local legislators.

      • Amazona August 12, 2016 / 7:05 pm

        Sure we can build a wall. That is not the point. The point is that Trump used his wall as a rallying cry, and no, I do not agree that his most ardent followers took this as a general idea. They thought he meant a big honkin’ wall, they wanted a big honkin’ wall, and what’s more they thought Mexico would pay for it. These are not subtle people. They don’t do nuance.

        We could easily do pretty much what the USSR did on its border with Finland, and build two very tall fences with a no-man’s land in between, topped with razor wire, with raked land mined with pressure sensors in wide strips on both sides of the fences. The border was patrolled by armed men in Jeeps, with trained dogs, and the chances of getting across the first strip of land, over the first fence, across the no man’s land and over the second fence before being caught were slim to none. The pressure sensors sent alarms and trucks were on the scene within a minute. We could do it. We could electrify those fences, not enough to kill but certainly enough to make contact very very unpleasant, and to deter ladders and other scaling equipment. But we can’t, realistically, because of the shrill opposition from the Left, which would call electrified fences brutal and inhumane, who would fight the razor wire at the top for the same reasons, and so on.

        Have you been in an area where they do seismic testing to decide where to drill for oil? They take out special trucks I call Thumper Trucks, and they send shock waves into the ground and read the seismic waves they create. I am pretty sure we could use that technology to find and even collapse tunnels, just go along the border where tunnels are feasible and do regular testing. Again, the bleeding hearts would find this objectionable, cruel, inhumane, etc. They for sure wouldn’t like my idea of flooding discovered tunnels with millions of gallons of water under high pressure, shooting out the other end like a geyser, before collapsing the tunnels.

        We’ve always been able to do that kind of thing. We just lack the will. Not the will to do the work, but the will to stand up to the Left.

        “When you fight with pigs you have to be in the mud,” I do not agree. I do think that the prospect of beating the snot out of Hillary has energized a lot of people, but I think that going after her in the ways Trump does will end up making him look bad and give her a chance to look like a put-upon victim. I think the same mental/emotional thing that makes these people want to see a gutter brawl is the same thing that makes people stand on their chairs at WWE matches and make UFC fighting so profitable, I went to see the UFC championships on pay per view in a big bar in Las Vegas in March, and I saw that in person—the more brutal, the more blood on the mat, the more frantic the crowd became. I looked around and thought two things: These are not my people, and These are Trump people.

        I think you have to be ruthless, but you have to mix that with being smarter. I yearned for debates between Cruz and Clinton. I wanted to see him dismantle her with surgical precision, I wanted him to use his amazing memory for facts and details, and his encyclopedic knowledge of history and government, and his highly honed skill at condensing ideas into compelling arguments, against Hillary’s BS efforts. That is where Cruz shines—-in legal arguments, and in one-on-one debates where he is not outshouted, where he can make his points and go for the jugular in a civilized but deadly manner. A simple brawl between two pigs in a mudhole only sends the message our choice is between two pigs in a mudhole. We had a chance to be better, and now all we can do is try to come across as not quite as bad. Trump is too emotional, too volatile, too easily goaded, too easily distracted, and too incoherent to do much but hurl insults and snot nuggets, and in that kind of contest Hillary will win because she has the discipline to goad him into raving lunacy and then stand back and look calm and presidential while he falls apart. Trump’s memory is too vague, and he fills in the blanks by just making stuff up, which leads to people thinking he is stupid/lying. And he focuses on the mundane and trivial, while passing on the more complex and also more important. He is a bumper sticker candidate, and we need a trial lawyer candidate.

      • Cluster August 12, 2016 / 8:04 pm

        Well I too voted for Cruz in the primary (because Rubio was no longer an option), and would loved to have seen him debate Hillary but that is just not the reality. You may very well be right that Trump’s bully antics and loud boorish behavior riled up many people and tipped the scales his way, but that again is just the reality. I live in a sea of Trump supporters, from nearly my entire family to my business partner and his family, to many many many of my clients, etc., and these are not unhinged people. Granted this is anecdotal but their desire for Trump has little to do with Trump and a hell of a lot more to do with blowing up the ruling elite and incestuous, corrupted cesspool of Washington. As a conservative, I would hope that GOPers would harness this new energy and surround Trump with disciplined conservatives who can help steer the ship in the right direction. There are 80 million Americans of voting age who have never even bothered to drive themselves to the polls in last few election cycles. I think that dynamic changes this year.

      • Amazona August 12, 2016 / 8:35 pm

        ” ….their desire for Trump has little to do with Trump and a hell of a lot more to do with blowing up the ruling elite and incestuous, corrupted cesspool of Washington. “

        I do understand this, I really do. I feel the same way. I just wanted this cesspool systematically dismantled and not just blown up. I am just afraid that much the same thing will happen that happened with the TEA Parties, that something will shake things up and then it will be dropped and fade away, and nothing will really change. And I am frustrated that people see Trump as the antidote to a problem he has participated in, supported and benefited from for several decades.

        But now that we are stuck with him, I want him to succeed. I want him to STFU and stick to a script, be intelligent instead of just smart, play the game coolly and with some precision instead of being a human bulldozer. I want focus, not verbal shrapnel. That is another thing that frustrates me—-surely these people could see that alongside the things they like about Trump are so many flaws, so many of what can prove to be fatal flaws, that what we needed was Trump to stir things up and then someone else to come in and work the campaign. He’s been an undisciplined, narcissistic loudmouth since Day One, and now the people who put him in this position are freaking out because he is acting like an undisciplined narcissistic loudmouth. Duh.

        Wishful thinking is not a plan. The wishful thinkers said “He really has changed and he means THIS even when he didn’t really mean THAT.” Or they said “Sure, he’s a loose cannon now, but this is just the primary—he’ll settle down and be a focused and intelligent candidate once he gets the nomination”. And so on. I understand hope, but it should be tempered with reality.

        “As a conservative, I would hope that GOPers would harness this new energy and surround Trump with disciplined conservatives who can help steer the ship in the right direction.” As do I. But you need to understand, no one is going to steer TRUMP because Donald Trump is the deadly combination of narcissism and Oppositional Personality Disorder, amplified by being rich enough to get away with it for his whole life. He is the kind of person who, if he were to say for example that people from warm nations, who have developed dark skin to adapt to the increased sunlight, are also lazy because their climate is so forgiving they have not had to develop technology to survive, or work very hard, his narcissism would mean he would believe with his whole heart that what he said is true because he has a very good brain, and his oppositional personality disorder would make him double down on this, the more his people try to steer him away from saying things like that. Because of who he is and what he is and how his various pathologies interact, the more offended people become the more he will work on proving that he is right and they are wrong, and the more his people try to get him to shut up on the subject the more he will say and the louder he will say it.

        The same GOP that shoved Trump down our throats is not going to use this new energy to get people focused on moving toward a more conservative government. The reason they pushed Trump is because that is not what he represents. He represents the things that let the Establishment manipulate people—issues and Identity. The only way anything is going to change is to (1) get him elected, and (2) rein him in with Congressional pressure while at the same time mounting what will be basically a revolt within the GOP to get rid of the very people who pushed him on us in the first place. The “ship” needs a mutiny, not a new navigator.

      • Amazona August 12, 2016 / 8:38 pm

        How would all these Trump supporters you know feel and react if a decision were to be made to dump Trump, if he continues to accelerate his Death Spiral over the next few weeks, and replace him with someone else? Are they capable of understanding the need to bring in a new QB when the team is losing, or are they too invested in Trump as a person to accept someone else? You might ask them.

        Aside from the risk of losing millions of Trumpbots, the advantages would be immense. There would be the undermining of the entire Clinton Campaign and the wasting of the millions of dollars they have invested in their anti-Trump research and ads. There would be the removal of the impetus of so many Dems to vote for Hillary even though they hate her, because they hate and/or fear Trump more. It would pull the rug out from under those who are claiming to be Republicans but supporting Hillary because of their hatred of Trump. It would be a strategic genius plan, if it were not for the fanatical devotion of the Trumpsters.

      • Cluster August 12, 2016 / 10:05 pm

        That would depend entirely on who that person was to lead the movement. All of those people I mentioned were also very strong Romney supporters, and most if not all of them also shake their head at Trump’s behavior. I too am frustrated with his behavior and grasp of the issues, but he is a rookie at politics and as you said, he is use to doing it his own way. I think he has learned a lot and is finally getting a little better. The man is not stupid. Anyone who runs an organization as vast as the Trump organization has the ability to process a lot of information, get the most out of the people around him, be decisive and mindful of the bottom line. I like the idea of having someone like that in the WH and was hoping Romney would be that person but that didn’t happen either. The RCP average has Trump down now 6.3% to Clinton in spite of all of Trump’s unforced errors, a media onslaught, and millions of dollars in negative ads (Trump has spent almost nothing on advertising), and still only down by 6%. My hope is that he improves quickly and performs well at the debates, if that happens he will win. If not, America will literally be unrecognizable in 4 years and by losing the SC and federal judges the fundamental transformation of this country could be permanent.

      • Amazona August 13, 2016 / 9:32 am

        Well, the “movement” would not be headed by whoever is chosen to run. The “movement” is being put together by a lot of people who wanted our voices heard in Cleveland, not by any of the other candidates.

        The whole screech about Trump “winning” the nomination was based on the fact that he had more votes than any other single candidate, completely ignoring the fact that he still only got about 40 of the votes overall, and only got above about 30 after everyone else stepped away from the gutter. So, if any of these people are reasonable, a replacement candidate should be the one who was closest to him and that would be Cruz.

        Cruz is by far the best candidate, both as president and as someone who can take Hillary out. He has what it takes to take her on in debates as well as explain her crimes to the American public. My concern is that the Cruz well has been too deeply poisoned by the vile “Lyin’ Ted” campaign of Trump—a campaign that, by its very dishonesty and viciousness, formed a lot of my perception of Trump. Too many of the blind, deaf, dumb but fiercely partisan Trumpbots needed nothing more than that vicious, dishonest, and unprincipled bumper sticker smear to develop a white-hot hatred of Cruz.

        Given that, I would like to see a Walker/Martinez ticket. Walker is competent and qualified, is pretty much bomb-proof after the concerted efforts of the Left over so many years to unseat him at any cost, and best of all for this time and political climate he is the Not-Trump: Mild mannered, easy going, non threatening, sane, rational, and a successful governor. Walker on the ticket would eliminate a lot of the “I have to vote for Hillary although I can’t stand her” contingent that is energized by an anti-Trump hatred and/or fear. Martinez is a nice, attractive, middle aged Latina who is also a successful governor and a true conservative.

        As for Trump’s much-vaunted “success” in business, and how this supposedly proves that he is smart, his success has been quite erratic, marked by many spectacular failures, and those efforts that did not fail have been wildly exaggerated as well as tainted by strong whiffs of fraud and shady if not downright illegal activity. People keep working backward from what they see as great success to a conclusion that this means he is very smart, but they always ignore the other side of the scale that is piled high with expensive examples of very very poor judgment and bad management.

        In a perfect world, Trump would step down—-he could do what some of his people said he was thinking of doing during the primary cycle and say he had a health issue—and enthusiastically throw his support to a replacement. I don’t think he is man enough to do that.

      • Cluster August 13, 2016 / 11:21 am

        People that denigrate Trump’s business success crack me up. Has he failed? Of course he has. Nobody is successful at everything they do. Has he done anything illegal? You seem to think so, but has he ever been indicted, convicted, or imprisoned? I would think that as big of target as Trump is, surely some astute defender of justice would find something on him and take him to court – and win. Is he racist? Trump has been a high profile public businessman for decades and he has never been accused of being a racist until he got into politics. Does he have poor judgement and is he a bad manager? Oh I don’t know, but he plays with his own money and considering the vastness of his organization, I would say that he has made more good decisions than bad. Unless and until someone can prove that they have never failed at any business endeavor and always made good decisions in the process of building a multi million dollar company, I don’t think anyone really has the moral high ground to critique his performance.

        Re: the Walker/Martinez ticket- while that may mollify some of the conservative base, that ticket is a sure loser. Guaranteed. And I am not interested in losing anymore. While I like Walker a lot, he folded his tent early and proved that he just doesn’t have the stomach to fight and don’t blame Trump, the Democrats and their activist media partners are far worse than Trump. I have fallen in line with the GOP every election cycle with the exception of Bob Dole in 1996. I have voted for Reagan (twice), Bush I, Bush II (twice), McCain, and Romney and had to hold my nose four out of those seven elections. I have voted at the state level for McCain, Flake, Kyle, etc. I have supported Tea Party members, contributed to Heritage, the RNC, etc., etc., etc. and what has all that resulted in? $20 trillion dollar debt, a higher cost of living, a deteriorating healthcare system, a bloated and ineffective federal government, a porous border, and a world in chaos, so I am just not interested anymore in who George Will, Jonah Goldberg, and Rich Lowery think I should vote for. My dream ticket would have been Rubio and Condi Rice, but I choose to deal with the current reality and not what might have been.

      • M. Noonan August 13, 2016 / 10:22 pm

        Trump has clearly sailed close to the legal line a lot in his career – whether or not he’s strayed over it is an open question, but as he’s been massively in the public eye and never had charges brought (nor, as in Hillary’s case, been allowed to skate on clearly criminal activities), I’d have to assume that whatever sharp practice he’s engaged in, he’s kept it to this side of the law…but that doesn’t mean he’s always done the right thing, of course.

        I’ve been watching Trump for a while, now – you might recall the rumors that he’d get into the 2012 contest (I did write up a bit about that back then). I can’t fully read the guy – I haven’t been able to separate what is pure bluster and what is at the core of his self. I’m always highly suspicious of people who make a lot of money because to make a lot of money, one usually has to be grasping and rather stupid…on the other hand, Trump could very well have made a lot more money (and hired the talent necessary to make sure he made a lot more money) and he hasn’t. Bad businessman, or just someone who figures he’s got enough and doesn’t need any more? Not sure. Clearly, he’s no Christian in any theologically sound sense of the word – on the other hand, I’ve heard more than one story of his reaching out, without massive publicity, to help people in a jam. Maybe over the course of a life of lavish living and being a glory hog, he’s changing as he ages? It can happen – take a look at Marlene Dietrich who apparently spent a long life in licentious living but at the end of it all seems to have wound up a devout Catholic. People do change. Maybe Trump has/is? Only time will really tell.

      • Amazona August 13, 2016 / 4:08 pm

        “…he plays with his own money…”

        Except when he doesn’t. Try running that theory past any of the people who paid upfront for condos based on their belief in the sales pitch by Trump and lost everything when the alleged projects never even broke ground, They didn’t get their money back. Try it out on the poor saps who bought into the Trump glitz and glitter image and paid many many thousands of dollars to be a part of the bogus Trump “University” and got screwed. Trump continued to advertise it as a “university” even after repeated warnings from the government, his advertising was fraudulent in other areas, he barely skated on being charged with criminal charges and is involved in two civil suits for fraud. He has been investigated many times for various shady activities, including his documented business dealings with the Mob. The old “no indictments” is not compelling when Hillary uses it, so I am surprised to see you using it as an excuse for Trump.

        But that is not my point. I am just tired of people working backwards from something to create a conclusion. It is like poor befuddled starry-eyed adoring Newt gushing, about Trump, that he obviously likes immigration, which is proved by the fact that he married Melania. No, Newt, all it proves is that he likes compliant big-haired big-breasted women.

        I am not saying Trump is stupid, though his particular kind of intelligence is not the kind I think we need in the White House. But it is just silly to keep saying that his immense success is proof that he is smart. No, it is not. It might be if he had achieved as much success as he claims, it might be if he had not balanced that success with so many failures, and it would be if so much of his success had not been based on cutting so many ethical and perhaps legal corners. The successes he has had do indicate a certain kind of intelligence, but admiration for that should be balanced with acknowledgment of its limitations, both intellectual and ethical. Knowing how to game the system, how to bribe officials to get what you want, being willing to work with the Mob in what looks an awful lot like a money laundering deal to get Mob help in building a building, how to bully people into deciding it is not worth fighting with you any more, all point to a certain kind of crude intellect or cunning, but this is not the usual kind of intelligence people talk about when they talk about being smart.

        And he is still better than Hillary, and I am still going to vote for him. Unless the GOP realizes they are running out of rope and decides to cut their losses and try to find someone else.

        BTW, recognizing when the cards are stacked against you and you don’t have enough money to keep playing is not a sign of weakness. No one who stood up the way Walker did, under that kind of pressure, and just kept doing his job, can be considered to be weak. Walker recognized the dangers of splitting the primary votes among so many, and did the ethical thing. I admire Walker for stepping down when he did, and I despise Rubio for staying in just to spite Cruz. Rubio is weak, a pretty face who tries to play with both sides and never gets anything done. His caving in when George Zimmerman was under fire was weak and spineless. His staying in the primary race proved him to be a small, petty man. Condi never indicated an interest in wanting to run, and in fact at the end of the Bush years said she didn’t, so throwing out her name is just whistling into the wind. So much for being grounded in “reality”.

      • Amazona August 13, 2016 / 4:21 pm

        “…until someone can prove that they have never failed at any business endeavor and always made good decisions in the process of building a multi million dollar company, I don’t think anyone really has the moral high ground to critique his performance….”

        MORAL high ground? What does that have to do with it? I’m talking about objective evaluation of business performance, and that only because of the swooning over the allegedly spectacular business history of Trump. I am just pointing out that he has made some serious mistakes, which I think have to be factored in before using his business career as proof of his wonderfulness.

        But since this has bothered you, I will go on and point out that his business failings have been, as far as I can tell, based on some of the defects that have concerned me about his candidacy. There is the ego factor, the belief that just because HE thinks something is wonderful it is by definition wonderful. He failed at Trump Vodka, for example, because his conviction that everyone shares his own worship of his name proved to be false. Trump Steaks failed for the same reason, plus putting out a mediocre product. Trump University failed because it was a scam from the get-go, illegally represented as a university, falsely advertised, and described by a federal investigator as “a classic Ponzi scheme”. His bankruptcies were usually because he over-promised and under-delivered, and made bad decisions because his ego was in charge—-in other words, because he was reckless and went way too far into debt. I don’t know why his proposed condo schemes in Florida and Costa Rica never broke ground, even after people had paid up front for condos, but he never repaid those people, so it doesn’t look very ethical. So it’s not the kind of business failures we see when the economy tanks, or an air force base closes and the businesses that depended on it go under. No, his failures were due to things that are important to know about a man who may be president—-hyper-inflated ego leading to reckless decisions, accompanied by distinctly flexible morality.

        It’s not just that he failed—as you pointed out, many businesses do fail. It is WHY they failed that we should have examined, back when he was being touted as such a great businessman ready to bring his vast expertise to the Oval Office.

      • Amazona August 13, 2016 / 7:53 pm

        Has he done anything illegal? You seem to think so, but has he ever been indicted, convicted, or imprisoned?

        By this standard, Hillary is innocent of any illegal activities.

        Yet you said, on August 12 at 9:18, “The Democrats have become a crime family and are as dangerous to this country as any outside threat..” referring to both Hillary and her party, yet there have been no indictments, no convictions, no imprisonment.

        Cluster, I agree that Trump is, at this precise moment in time, the best chance for the nation to survive. I am not arguing against voting for him. It’s just that I am doing it with eyes wide open, fully aware of the reality of the man and the problems associated with him. I don’t need to scramble to try to find excuses or defenses for him, and it is that scrambling that I object to.

        And I see those who adore him and refuse to admit to his defects as no better than Hillaryites, just with a different letter on their lapels, and all the excuses for choosing him over the alternatives fail to impress me. He offered no solution that someone else had not offered, or at least tried to offer over his incessant interruptions and media assistance to constantly give him the floor, so I see support for him as raw Identity Politics no matter how many people offer how many “reasons” why they found him preferable to true conservatives.

        Just admit he is a terrible person but is still better than Hillary, and hope we can get through the next four years.

      • Amazona August 14, 2016 / 5:42 pm

        “… Trump could very well have made a lot more money (and hired the talent necessary to make sure he made a lot more money) and he hasn’t. Bad businessman, or just someone who figures he’s got enough and doesn’t need any more? Not sure. “

        Not sure? He tried to make more money, and failed. It’s all right there in the record, fully documented. If he just figured he had enough, he wouldn’t have continued to try to get more. He would have been more like Bill Gates, letting his existing businesses build his wealth and trying to find good ways to use it. As for the uncertainty about whether or not his failures were due to being a bad businessman, you are good at research, There are abundant stories about efforts of people to discourage him from going deeper into debt, starting odd and questionable businesses such as Trump Vodka, etc. Counting on people being so smitten by your name alone that they will buy whatever you try to sell them is not good business. As the people hired to sell expensive Trump “University” programs were told, they were not there to sell a product but to sell a feeling.

        It’s the same tactic he has used in his campaign.

        He believed that people would think they could impress others by serving Trump Steaks and Trump Vodka, selling not a superior product but a “feeling” of being somehow part of the Trump Magic merely by having the name on a bottle or a box of meat. That sounds like a pretty poor marketing strategy, and it turned out to be pretty bad.

        And then there were the bankruptcies—not the tactics of a guy who figures he is rich enough, definitely indications of overreach and bad business judgment.

      • Retired Spook August 12, 2016 / 12:35 pm

        Actually, in a sort of round-about way they are.

      • Cluster August 12, 2016 / 3:19 pm

        It also needs to be made known that the number of billionaires around the world and in this country has increased over the last few years, while average American wages are in decline. How many years now have Democrats and been “fighting for the poor and the middle class”?? How’s that worked out.

        There is also a chance that Hillary’s campaign could completely implode due to the inside corruption of CGI. Of the 33,000 missing emails, 44 have been found and released and they are damning. I can only imagine what is still out there.

      • Amazona August 12, 2016 / 1:27 pm

        But Spook, to a mind like Casper’s, unless the Koch brothers are sporting Hillary bumper stickers they are not supporting her.

        BTW, your link doesn’t work…………

      • Retired Spook August 12, 2016 / 1:33 pm

        BTW, your link doesn’t work…………


      • Amazona August 12, 2016 / 7:11 pm

        As we all know that there could be multiple videos from multiple sources of Hillary feeding puppies and kitties and baby seals into a wood chipper, without losing more than a few Dem votes, I doubt that anything like this would deter those fanatical Identity Politics lemmings.


    • Cluster August 14, 2016 / 5:30 pm

      Wow. I am kind of at a loss for words.

      • Amazona August 14, 2016 / 9:37 pm

        I know. It would have been rejected as a movie script just a few years ago, even for a futuristic movie about a dystopian America, and here it is right now in our schools.

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