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Trump Couldn’t Buy Coverage Like This

2017 March 13
by Ian Welsh

All the semi-scandals don’t add up to one cover like this.

As for Trump’s program, I am so far largely unimpressed, not as a matter of ideological opposition, but of pragmatics. His health care plan is bad, and will hurt people who voted for him in ways they will notice: increased cost, less health care, and more suffering and death. It’s not the sort of chintzing which can be waved off.

So far he has no solid stimulus proposal (and such as the one he had was, it wasn’t very good). He  hasn’t acted on free trade, beyond cancelling the TPP, which wasn’t in effect anyway. His proposed cuts to the non-military budget will have a negative trickle down and will not be good for the economy. Bannon’s okay with that, he has an ideological desire to destroy the post-WWII state, but Trump needs his people to feel good.

The one perhaps clever thing Trump has done is his asked for a 54 billion dollar increase to the military budget. Jobs created this way will tend to go to Trump supporters and communities. If you’re dedicated to slashing the rest of the bureaucracy, this is an excellent offset.

Well, it could be, depending on how many jobs it produces. The dollars/job correlation on defense funding is pretty lousy, and if I were Trump/Bannon I’d be leaning hard on the Pentagon to spend this in ways which will actually produce jobs, whether directly in the military, outsourced, or manufacturing.

Much remains undetermined, but so far Trump’s made only one potentially smart economic move. Let’s wait and see, within a couple months we should have a fuller picture and thus a better idea of his likely fate.


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48 Responses
  1. Pelham permalink
    March 13, 2017

    Not only Trump but the entire Republican Party is in a political bind over healthcare. On the one hand, they can’t endanger the core of their voters, mainly older Americans. On the other, any plan that doesn’t simply obliterate government’s presence in healthcare fails to appease another, ideologically blinkered part of the GOP base.

    The solution? Lower the Medicare eligibility age to 55 and then screw everyone else with tiny vouchers for overpriced private insurance. This imperfectly but largely satisfies both Republican factions. And, since most people don’t use much healthcare until their 50s, it might actually serve a large portion of the populace better than they’re being served now. This could be further enhanced — as both Trump and GOP Rep. Darrell Issa have suggested — by giving Medicare full negotiating powers with the drug companies.

    Of course, any adjustment in Medicare eligibility opens the door to further adjustments, with the obvious solution being Medicare for all. So that could be a big ideological hangup. Still, it may be less of an obstacle than simply hanging all those medically needy 50- and 60-somethings out to twist slowly in the wind.

  2. March 13, 2017

    Let’s wait and see, within a couple months we should have a fuller picture and thus a better idea of his likely fate.

    This is the part of your analysis of which I have the most doubt.

  3. Brian permalink
    March 13, 2017

    My guess is Trump and the GOP Congress will manage to get some kind of upper income tax cut, a bit more defense spending, and the usual deregulation and non-enforcement of labor and environmental laws etc.

    In other words, standard fare for a Republican administration, just meaner, dumber, and even more dysfunctional than usual given their lack of governmental experience and general incompetence. I imagine these policies will work about as well as they have in the past in terms of making people’s lives better.

    The real question is whether it all matters in 2020. Both Republican and Democratic voters have been voting for politicians who hurt them for decades. He talked a good game during the campaign but Trump doesn’t seem to be a break from this pattern. (Kind of like Obama in that regard.)

    I suspect for most of his voters the fact that he’s throwing brown people out of the country is more important than whether or not he takes away their Medicaid or creates jobs in their communities. They may still vote for him again even if his policies make them poorer if they get a big enough psychological boost from being able to kick down on brown people and liberals and feel like “Real America” (i.e. them) is “winning” again by reasserting their social dominance.

    I guess we’ll see how it all plays out.

  4. Peter permalink
    March 13, 2017

    I wonder where people get the idea that a significant number of Trump voters are on the dole or needed the ACA. The Trump voter demographic data I’ve seen shows skilled working class and professionals earning $50K+ per year and most of these people get their health insurance through their employer as do most other people.

    Trump voters are probably happy to see another campaign promise fulfilled with Obamacare headed to the shredder and they will probably give little thought to its replacement so long as it isn’t loaded with uncontrollable subsidy costs, coercion or taxes like the ACA time bomb.

    I shouldn’t have to join the ‘Keep the Government Out of my Medicare’ demonstrators because of the delusions of the Medicare for All people spreading too far. Without massive tax increases that nostrum would drive the system into insolvency within about thirty days.

  5. Ian Welsh permalink*
    March 13, 2017

    I got the economic effects of Obama right in February of 2009. Trump’s just slower off the mark. And while I thought Obama would lose because of his economic idiocy, I got the fact that fucking up the economy would cost Democrats big time, and that it would lead to a right wing populist president after Obama right.

    So I’m not quite sure why you doubt. My track record on economic prediction is pretty good, not perfect, but I rarely get the trends wrong, just the timing.

  6. Ian Welsh permalink*
    March 13, 2017

    Marginal Trump voters, the people who switched, include a fair number of working and lower middle class people in the Rust Belt who actually won from Obamacare compared to Trumpcare, and who will notice the difference. Trump didn’t win by much in terms of popular vote margins in a number of key states, and his coalition expects results, which they should.

    Trump made a very specific promise: that TrumpCare would be better than ObamaCare. As proposed it simply is not. People will not be fooled on this, because it will effect them directly, they will know, especially since even if they slide by it will hit people they know.

    This is stupid. Trump should have done something like what Pelham suggested or found a way to do something better.

    Frankly, if he’d done Medicare for all, he’d stand a good chance of cementing a 30 year Republican minority, but he’s not that sort of maverick.

  7. March 13, 2017

    So I’m not quite sure why you doubt. My track record on economic prediction is pretty good, not perfect, but I rarely get the trends wrong, just the timing.

    I don’t doubt the economics, just the politics. I’m as yet unconvinced that Trump failing to deliver economically will change his electoral fate in 2020. That doesn’t mean I think he will win or lose in 2020, merely that whether he wins or loses in 2020 won’t have much to do with the sorts of issues in this post. We’ll see, four years left for him to propose single payer or something…

  8. S Brennan permalink
    March 13, 2017

    Pelham;

    Insurance rate spike at 50yo, Medicare needs to drop to 50 [I am past both]. If the government made it mandatory to buy into a USG catastrophic plan that kicks in at a deductible that’s 20% of annual income and maintained Medicaid we’d be 94% solved. I haven’t a clue on how to handle uninsurable chronic illness and we’d have to support that in a broad based tax.

  9. Ian Welsh permalink*
    March 13, 2017

    Mandos,

    it had a devastating political effect on Democrats when Obama fucked up. Lost the House, the Senate, governorships and State houses. Absolute disaster.

    Yes, you think it was all identity politics.

  10. Mallam permalink
    March 13, 2017

    Peter still in denial I see. Kentucky and Arkansas saw the largest drop in uninsured in the United States. Both of these states went for Trump overwhelmingly. The reason for the drops is the Medicaid expansion. West Virginia, a very rural and poor state, has a significant percent of the population on disability and/or Medicaid (also saw a significant drop in uninsured because of he Medicaid expansion). There’s a reason Tom Cotton (!!!), a far right wing Republican from Arkansas, is pooh poohing the health care bill. Same with Capito of WV. I think Rand Paul in other ways — gets to keep his right wing cred of being against “Obamacare” while also ensuring any replacement that fails to repeal it completely fails. Of course, I don’t expect Trump to lose any of these states in 2020 even when they’re worse off. He might even increase his vote share.

  11. March 13, 2017

    Yes, you think it was all identity politics.

    Not quite. I think it was a combination of a change in local economic conditions for the worse in many areas and identity politics. The economic conditions create the desire for a political shake-up, the identity politics creates the form of the political shake-up. In this case, the affected sectors of the white American public used Trumpian identity politics to express their economic discontent.

    The question here is to whom they will attribute the failure if Trump does not deliver the goods. The history so far (see Wisconsin, Kansas, etc) is that they will for a long time adopt a ego-defensive posture towards the object of identification, ie, Trump. His failures will be combined with his social unacceptability to the “liberal establishment” into a narrative that features the establishment, the Cossacks/Kossacks, doing something that the Czar doesn’t like, but the Czar is surrounded by traitors. Sure, it has a lot of similarity to Obama. The difference is, the identity politics here is more poisonous.

  12. March 13, 2017

    I mean, the question is, why *Trump* and not some other form of populist, if the economy were the determining factor *this* time around? The answer to that will tell you something about how Trump’s possible economic failure may go down.

    The other thing is that the identity politics dimension *colours how one views* the economic failures, how one reacts to it, etc. I hope that goes without saying, really.

  13. Tomonthebeach permalink
    March 13, 2017

    The military plus-up will create jobs – high tech jobs.

    We have not run Navy ships on coal since WWI so the zombie profession of digging coal is unlikely to be re-animated. As usual, much of the $54B, should it actually be appropriated, will likely disappear into the economic black hole we call cost-overruns.

    BTW, it takes years; not months, to build a Navy ship. A mere destroyer, like the USS Zumwalt will run about $4Billion – each (wild estimate). A laughable aspect of the “New Navy” is that the Zumie’s guns cost $800K/round to fire. That is more expensive than most of its combat targets.

  14. StewartM permalink
    March 13, 2017

    @Peter

    I wonder where people get the idea that a significant number of Trump voters are on the dole or needed the ACA.

    Come to Appalachia, Trump country here, and you’ll see where people “get the idea”.

  15. Hugh permalink
    March 13, 2017

    Trump got elected on the promise that he would make the lives of those in the middle and working classes better. You have only to look at his Cabinet and agency picks to see this isn’t true. Now with his first big policy initiative, replacing Obamacare, the CBO has just finished shredding it. You need to know that the Congressional Budget Office is very Establishment and that its current head was named to that position by Congressional Republicans in 2015. So it says a lot that a Republican appointee basically incinerated a Republican healthcare plan. Even under the best of conditions for a positive review, they were told the numbers do not add up and that not only will it not be Better than Obamacare. It will be far worse. Trump and company tried to pre-empt what they knew was going to be a negative CBO scoring, but even they did not know it would be as bad as it has turned out to be. So the politics on this are going to be really bad. But more importantly with those swing voters who got Trump and a lot of other Republicans elected, this is going to make their lives materially worse, a lot worse. And this is just the start. Trump hasn’t even been in office two months and this isn’t even his first clusterf*ck, just the biggest, and it is far from over.

    We are also seeing the pattern of his Presidency forming. February had a good jobs report, but this had to do with the weather and virtually nothing to do with Trump. This did not stop him from taking credit for it. At the same time, he discounts the CBO report which is negative and which has a lot to do with him. Now all Presidents do this to some extent, but Trump has taken it to a completely different level.

    And then there are all the self-inflicted wounds. So we have Spicer trying to sell the line that when Trump tweets about Obama wiretapping him, he is not talking about wiretapping. And we have Kellyanne Conway trying to deflect the issue by saying bizarrely and completely irrelevantly that people’s microwaves are talking to them. Except for the jokes, a lot of these gaffes are not going to have any impact on Trump voters. They’re still looking for what are going to be those illusory positive benefits Trump promised them. A lot of this they simply won’t pay attention to, for now. But unless something drastic changes with Trump, and Trump’s White House, neither at all likely, this is going to start trickling down to them and with the lack of tangible results is going to kill Trump’s Presidency and endanger Republican majorities in the Congress, with worthless, shiftless Democrats their and Trump’s only hope.

  16. Herman permalink
    March 13, 2017

    @Hugh,

    Yeah if the Democrats were smart they would stop focusing so much on the identity politics angle and just hammer Trump and the Republicans on their terrible economic policies. There is more than enough meat there.

    Unfortunately I think the Democrats are waiting and hoping for things to really go down the toilet so they can sweep in riding a wave of anti-incumbent sentiment as happened in 2006 and 2008. They don’t really want to put forward a strong, class-based narrative to combat Trump and the GOP. Instead, they would rather use a kind of lazy man’s Fabian strategy, hoping that anti-incumbent sentiment and demographic change will do the work for them

  17. Duder permalink
    March 13, 2017

    The democrats are counting on getting elected back into power based purely on republics screwing up. They will offer no substantive reforms. It worked for them under Bush. But my feeling is that voters are done with the dog and pony show.

  18. Some Guy permalink
    March 13, 2017

    “Yeah if the Democrats were smart they would stop focusing so much on the identity politics angle and just hammer Trump and the Republicans on their terrible economic policies.”

    They are plenty smart, they just agree with the Republicans on the economics, so they have no interest in hammering their own preferred economic policies. As Duder says, they (still) believe that identity politics and republican screwups and a million late night comedy burns are the road back to power without needing to sacrifice their economic goals.

    As for Trump, he wouldn’t even make a good pet. You may still have your jury out Ian, but the man is in his 70’s. Septuagenarian leopards don’t change their spots and he is a showman and a con-man but he is nothing more and never will be. I want to believe that he is willing to actually go to war on Washington, but I just don’t think there is any there there. His legacy looks most likely to be as a ghost story: eat your vegetables and vote for neoliberals who will make your life hell or else the populist Trump boogeyman will come and get you.

    The only plus I see is that the mainstream media that would normally glory in telling such a tale forever more is fast (not fast enough, but still pretty damn fast) disappearing below the waves.

  19. Hugh permalink
    March 14, 2017

    Some Guy, yes, Trump is fortunate in his enemies.

  20. realitychecker permalink
    March 14, 2017

    A minor point, but still important to prevent disorientation: Trump is an outsider to the Club, so never attach any special significance to seeing that any Establishment actor or institution comes out against him. That would be their nature, and totally to be expected.

    I know, I know, sometimes we need a program to keep the various actors and their interests straight in our minds.

  21. brian permalink
    March 14, 2017

    People on the right are hoping this healthcare plan is just a chess game to get Ryan to fall on his own sword, since this is basically his health care plan, and to remove Ryan from leadership.

  22. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    March 14, 2017

    Trump is a foil for a lot of people. He’s a foil for Putin, first & foremost, but he’s also a convenient foil for finagling politicians who will grab his coattails when it serves their purpose and use him as a scapegoat when it serves their purpose.

    To a certain extent, I believe Trump knows this and even uses himself as a foil every now and then just for the hell of it. In this Kabuki Theater we call Politics, it’s all about Smoke & Mirrors & Props & Foils as a matter of sleight of hand.

    Every year, the Kabuki gets more intricate & complex and consequently more absurd. It hardly seems worth it any longer. It would be easier to just play it straight, but these forked-toungued lizards and snakes know nothing but crooked.

    Visualization is important in bringing you back to center and reestablishing a sane perspective. It helps you to never lose sight. Don’t get sucked into the Theater of the Absurd. Keep your eye on the Gorilla.

    Best Friends Forever

  23. The Stephen Milelr Band permalink
    March 14, 2017

    Sometimes it’s fun & invigorating & inspiring to get nostalgic, and considering the ever-quickening news cycle, nearly two years prior is now considered nostalgic whereas ten years prior is downright ancient — you may as well be referring to the Egyptian pharaohs and the pyramids.

    Here’s some nostalgia that should make you laugh and maybe even cry depending on your perspective. Everyone was fooled, even Trump. Or were they? Putin wasn’t. In CNN’s special last night, they have him on tape saying he expected Trump to win. Hmmmm, maybe Putin should spend more time in Vegas, or, come to think of it, why should he bother since he already owns the House and the House always wins.

    Some days, and today is one of those days, I truly think Black Magic was at play and in play. Typical, conventional political analysis doesn’t explain Trump as POTUS despite political commentators trying to fit Trump’s circle into their square.

    I found the following while pondering Trump as a Foil — something I’ve been pondering for several moons now. It made me laugh out loud. Look how far we’ve come!! Anything, and I mean ANYTHING, is now possible. All you have to do is think of it and share it and it will come. Donald Trump as POTUS proves this now cemented maxim.

    Donald Trump: Plant? Foil? Something’s not right!

  24. shargash permalink
    March 14, 2017

    @Mandos

    The other thing is that the identity politics dimension *colours how one views* the economic failures, how one reacts to it, etc. I hope that goes without saying, really.

    I think it runs in the other direction mostly: how one is doing economically colors one’s views of other identities. That’s really how the elite have been able to use identity politics to split the working class. Once the working class begins to suffer, the anger can be re-directed at “the other.”

  25. shargash permalink
    March 14, 2017

    @shargash

    Bah! Mistyped the blockquote closing tag. Sorry about that. The first paragraph only should be the blockquote.

  26. EmilianoZ permalink
    March 14, 2017

    Trump is shrewd. Most of changes in Medicaid will take effect only in 2020, that is, after he’s been reelected.

  27. James Wheeler permalink
    March 14, 2017

    Interesting comments.

    In note that you kept out the building of the wall, the crackdown on illegal immigration and the restrictions of travelling from high risk mainly Muslim countries.

    You may not agree with these policies but many Trump voters voted for Trump because of these issues and there is no doubt that an end to illegal migration will help legal low skilled Americans. Not mentioning these issues was a mistake, as these are hot topics for Trump’s electoral base, and gives a much more balanced view on his performance to date.

    Agree regarding free trade and Obamacare, but it is early days, as you say and there is a battle going on within the White House between populist nationalists and establishment Republicans over key areas of policy and it isn’t clear yet who will win. Should the populists, led by Bannon win, expect to see stronger action on free trade later on this year.

    As for healthcare, there are deep divisions within the Republican party and I suspect that this plan will not be the end of the story.

  28. different clue permalink
    March 14, 2017

    @James Wheeler,

    I am not part of Trump’s base. I am part of Trump’s fringe.

    I was considering Clinton until she promised that “when” elected, she would make her husband the Economic Recovery Czar. I could have tolerated the thought of Mister Bill as First Golfer. But her promise to put him in charge of the “economic recovery” all over again, brought back memories of NAFTA, WTO Membership, MFN for China, etc. That made the thought of a President Clinton very distasteful to me.

    And yet . . . if one of the Official Republicans had won the nomination, I would still have voted for Clinton. Because the Official Republicans are all Clintonites on Trade and Regime Change and Cold War 2.0 with Russia. Pence, for example, is just a Clinton Sandwich with some Evangelical Gravy on it.

    When Trump won the nomination, I was set free to vote for Not Clinton. When the DNC and Podesta emails were revealed in all their vile filth glory, it became apparent just how deceitfully and dishonestly the DNC and the Clintonites throughout the Party conspired to prevent Sanders from having a fair chance at the nomination. When Clinton called yet again for a “no fly zone” over Syria, her committment to World War Three against Russia became clear. So I voted for Trump to stop the Clintons before they kill again. And Clinton’s firm commitment to Trade Treason Agreements also.

    The things you cite Trumps base as supporting are just part of the unavoidable collateral damage I knew I was voting for when I voted for Trump to stop the Clintons before they kill again. If we can get the Clinton dynasty banished from politics as firmly as it looks like the Bush dynasty has been banished from politics, we can work on countering the Trump damage.
    If the Clintonites and their ilk are allowed to remain in politics, polluting the Democratic Party and polluting the future, then it will all have been for nothing.

  29. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    March 15, 2017

    There was a very valuable lesson to be learned the other night per CNN’s special about Putin and him being the most powerful man in the world. Just as was the case with Hitler, there were multiple opportunities prior to Putin consolidating power to prevent him from ever ascending. Take, for example, the scene where the KGB headquarters in East Germany was surrounded by a mob intent on delivering revenge from all the years of pent up rage. Putin and his scumbag murderous torturing colleagues, pretend Communists as they have now shown and never a friend of the Little People, was busy burning documents in the furnace in the basement and then when things got really dire he went outside to confront the roiling mob.

    He miraculously talked them down and they turned around and went home. Let that be a lesson to one and all. Turning around and going home is allowing a murderous potentate to rise and consolidate power. The CNN special informed that this one event more than any other significantly shaped who Putin is today.

    I’d love to interview some of the people who were there that night and surrounded the KGB headquarters and ask them if they have regrets about turning around and going home. In five years the planet may be a cinder and it could well be because they turned around and went home because some cornered pipsqueak pretending to be a Communist convinced them they would all perish in a gun battle. When you catch a piggy by the toe, never, ever let him go.

    I get the sense America is already occupied and has been for awhile now. Watch the following Netflix series, Okkupert. Remember, your leaders, every single one of them, are traitors to the Little People. They have been selling you out for years regardless of the jersey they wear. It’s plausible America’s elite are capitulating to Putin’s Russia as we speak and a soft coup in D.C. has been underway for awhile now. All this theater is their dysfunctional way of selling it.

    If I was elected POTUS, my first order of business would be to deport every Russian back to their homeland where they belong and that they love so much, and I’d start with the wealthy oligarch pricks who have bought up Southeast Florida — Donald Trump’s neighbors. Then, I’d draw a line in the sand with Vlad and if he crossed it, we all go boom. You have to be prepared to die if you truly want to live free. It’s the only thing this pipsqueak diminutive bully understands. So long as there is an opportunity to make money and become even more fabulously wealthy, The Rich are not prepared to die. They will, and perhaps already have, fork over the pesky business of governance to foreign interests so long as they are guaranteed to be ridiculously wealthy & powerful oligarchs in the new regime in return.

    This is why we must Deport The Rich immediately if it isn’t already too late. Send them gift-wrapped to Putin and let’s see if they’re the good friends they pretend to be, afterall.

    Okkupert

  30. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    March 15, 2017

    Yes, of course, I know it’s just a show, but so too is Donald Trump just a show — The Apprentice. And he and his show ( a traveling circus) are now POTUS, so you don’t get to marginalize & dismiss outisde-the-box thought exercises by saying “it’s just a show.” It’s all a show now and in this brave new world, fiction and non-fiction have merged and there is no longer any discernible demarcation and delineation between the two.

  31. March 15, 2017

    Situation Normal: All F-ck Up. Next time vote in the primaries.

  32. shargash permalink
    March 15, 2017

    There was a very valuable lesson to be learned the other night per CNN’s special about Putin

    Indeed there was: don’t watch American agitprop.

  33. Some Guy permalink
    March 15, 2017

    “There was a very valuable lesson to be learned the other night per CNN’s special about Putin and him being the most powerful man in the world. Just as was the case with Hitler, there were multiple opportunities prior to Putin consolidating power to prevent him from ever ascending”

    Exactly. If you look up a chart of Russian life expectancy over time, you can see that it was in freefall during the 90’s when everything was going according to plan. But then, the opportunities to keep Putin from power were missed and he took power and, sure enough, Russian life expectancy bottomed out and then rose sharply. Millions of Russians could and should be dead but are alive today thanks to our failure to prevent Putin from taking power.

    But not to worry, the Stephen Miller Band is on the case making sure we don’t make a mistake like that again.

  34. Tom W Harris permalink
    March 15, 2017

    HeyThe Stephen Miller Band, how much does Hillary pay you to write this BS?

  35. S Brennan permalink
    March 15, 2017

    The only people reading Mr. Offtopik aka “The Stephen Miller Band” are the clueless, perhaps here for the first time, the guy chases them away, which, pathetically, is probably his job description. I ignore Mr. Offtopik’s posts, but if you can’t do so entirely, just remember, Mr. Offtopik patrols one of the smallest blogs…and cruel as it may sound, you should take a moment out of your busy day to laugh at his self-inflicted humiliation.

  36. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    March 15, 2017

    If you look up a chart of Russian life expectancy over time, you can see that it was in freefall during the 90’s when everything was going according to plan.

    Using Trump’s logic and approach, you are reporting Fake News & Fake Statistics.

    Let’s assume it’s not fake though, and it’s actually true. It doesn’t hold if you’re a Russian journalist who speaks truth to power. That ilk has a very limited life expectancy and should be forewarned to avoid lonely, dark stairwells.

    Also, you shouldn’t expect to live long if you’re an opposition leader in Russia, or I should say if you WERE an opposition leader in Russia since they’re now an extinct species. I’m surprised Nemtsov lived as long as he did. Considering his perilous & suicidal career choice, he was well past his prime, and yet by Western standards he still had a lot of life left in him.

    You’re correct, Western Oligarchs were aiding & abetting budding Russian Oligarchs in the theft of Russian resources and Putin took umbrage with the looting. Not because it was looting, but because it wasn’t looting under his control. Now the looting is under his control and all is well for him and the Donald Trumps of the world.

    I say we Deport The Rich to Russia ( but freeze their assets which are really our assets first) where they can live long lives considering Russia’s impressive life expectancy. America can finally be for and by the Little People and Russia can finally be for and by the Global Oligarchy. Let’s see who wins when we rearrange it that way.

    What do you say? Deal? Or are you afraid you and your’s will lose, because you will?

  37. Hugh permalink
    March 15, 2017

    It is disheartening, but then it is perhaps meant to be, that if Ian writes a post about climate change, he attracts climate change deniers, and if he writes a post on Trump, both the diehard Trump and Clinton supporters show up. It doesn’t seem to matter that voting for either Trump or Clinton, just as with voting for any Democrat or Republican, was a sucker’s choice. All you ended up doing was validating a corrupt political system bent on screwing you over. The rest is noise. Meanwhile progressives, or whatever they want to call themselves, remain in disarray and I can’t help thinking that is where they really want to be: refusing to organize, or stay on message, or even come up with a coherent message.

  38. Willy permalink
    March 15, 2017

    Collect a list of priorities, then have everybody rank their top 5 in descending order of importance.

  39. Some Guy permalink
    March 15, 2017

    “The only people reading Mr. Offtopik aka “The Stephen Miller Band” are the clueless, perhaps here for the first time, the guy chases them away, which, pathetically, is probably his job description. I ignore Mr. Offtopik’s posts, but if you can’t do so entirely, just remember, Mr. Offtopik patrols one of the smallest blogs…and cruel as it may sound, you should take a moment out of your busy day to laugh at his self-inflicted humiliation.”

    You make a fair point, but it does still feel like a bit of a slight to our host that his blog was assigned such a low ranking, incompetent committee member.

  40. Arthur permalink
    March 15, 2017

    Just saw that Trump laid a wreath at the grave of Andy Jackson. Somewhere Mr. Jackson is smiling. Now there is a big scumbag than him in the White House. Never thought that would happen.

  41. realitychecker permalink
    March 15, 2017

    @ Hugh

    Console yourself, amigo. The Democratic Party must be completely destroyed so that it can be replaced with something that actually represents the regular people.

    As long as it continues to exist, it will continue to siphon away the political will and support that rightly belongs only to a party that is actually, in fact and practice, going to represent the interests of the People.

    Allowing the Dem Party to break itself against the rock that is Trump, as it seems to be actively doing, is probably the only way we can get there.

  42. Willy permalink
    March 15, 2017

    Such talk. Why was the other party so afraid of their tea partiers?

  43. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    March 16, 2017

    and if he writes a post on Trump, both the diehard Trump and Clinton supporters show up.

    Who are the diehard Clinton supporters who have shown up? I don’t see any. If you think I’m one, you’re nuts. If you want an example of diehard Clinton supporters, I suggest you review the following blog. Talk about singing to the choir. It’s enough to make you want to puke. It’s as grotesque as former McCarthyite Conservatives cozying up to Putin and licking his asshole.

    http://nomadicpolitics.blogspot.com

    Speaking of humiliation, as Colonel Kurtz famously said, “the irony…..the irony.” Donald Trump is a complete and irrevocable humiliation. He not only humiliates himself every second on the minute and minute on the hour, but he also humiliates America on the world stage.

    The Clintons and Obama are liars and cheaters, crooks really, just like Trump, but they have the sophistication to not drop their pants and shit all over themselves and everyone else on an hourly and daily basis.

    Trump is an embarrassment. A humiliating embarrassment. Truth be known but seldom is, serendipitously this is the only good thing about Trump. He is undeniable proof that the Emperor that is America has no clothes. The Clintons & Obama obscured America’s nakedness with fig leaves. Trump said, “fuck that, I’m going ALL NUDE.”

    realitychecker is right, Trump can be useful in that he can unwittingly help smash the Binary Political Bind, the two sides of the same coin, that usurps and strangles progress and prevents us from evolving (not revolving). However, this won’t happen in a vacuum and will in fact create a power vacuum — one Putin’s Russia & China will be all too happy to quickly fill. In the process of encouraging and facilitating evolutionary change in America, we must be hyper-vigilant to ensure we don’t inadvertently carry Putin’s, and Dugin’s, water for them.

    I am critical of all tyrants and all tyranny in all its manifest forms. That’s one of many principles I happily & proudly live by, therefore, I’m being consistent when I excoriate and oppose not only The Clintons and Obama, but also Putin and Donald Trump. They’re all cut from the same tyrannical cloth and hence all of them equally deserve our opprobrium, resistance and opposition. If you feel otherwise, I would submit you are a deceit and you’re really not interested in progress.

    I have to laugh at the MSM blathering on and on about Trump’s “wiretapping” tweets and Trump’s equally ridiculous responses to the distracting spectacle. The Dems and The Clintons are to blame. They set the precedent. It all started with Bill’s “it’s depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.” That has effectively been the Trump WH’s response to the tweets. It depends on the definition of “wiretapping.”

  44. Peter permalink
    March 16, 2017

    @Stevie

    It’s hard to follow all your opinions and blather but it seems to show what I call Artful Dodger behavior. You may claim to reject the Red Queen and others but seem to admire their slick newspeak over Trump’s straight talk. This and other peculiar statements seem to show a closet Clintonite, loyal to the liberal cult cause if not todays loser leaders.

    Your hyper-vigilant liberal interventionist hysteria about the China/ Russian threat and those useful idiots at home who might help them is noted and lists will be compiled. This will make a great platform for the New Party so the foreign aligned Water Carriers can be rounded up, one way or another. Your passive-aggressive warning approach may be more effective than the Clintonite Putin/Hitler/Trump meme but we should be prepared.

    If I remember correctly Trump’s tweets addressed illegal spying on his campaign and tower. It was only after the Clintonite media started deflecting the story that supposedly legal wiretapping was introduced and used to draw attention away from the real High Crimes.

    The latest statement from the WH that if the media insisted on using this word/description, wiretapping, that its definition must include all types of surveillance not just one type.

  45. realitychecker permalink
    March 16, 2017

    @ Peter

    “If I remember correctly Trump’s tweets addressed illegal spying on his campaign and tower. It was only after the Clintonite media started deflecting the story that supposedly legal wiretapping was introduced and used to draw attention away from the real High Crimes.”

    Yes, Peter, I was wondering when somebody else was going to pick up on that lol.

    The power of the gambit is that, once accepted, it means we only have to ask about “warrants issued,” and if there were none, then no “wiretapping” could have occurred.

    Nobody in the intelligence community that is on Obama/Hillary’s side would ever dream of engaging in any ILLEGAL surveillance, even with all those nifty tools available, amirite?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Tell me another.

  46. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    March 16, 2017

    Guys, or is it gals? I really don’t give a shit one way or another. I assume they’re all listening in on one another, so it’s no skin off my back. The whole kerfuffle is rather silly and a yuuuge distraction. I’m merely pointing out the hypocrisy of quite a few in the MSM belaboring Trump’s tweets about it and the absurdity of Trump tweeting about it to begin with. He was goaded into making those tweets by that pussy at Breitbart News, or in the least that was his source of inspiration for tweeting his distraction. He’s easily goaded/inspired in this regard and the MSM is easily goaded by his tweets. Not me.

    That being said, I will make this the last thing I say about the absurdity. Trump said what he said and he specifically said Obama tapped his phones. That wasn’t even in quotes. He said it and his WH is now trying to couch it in Clintonesque legalese. In my opinion, so whaty if he said it? What is anyone going to do about it if it’s a lie? Nothing, that’s what. He’s not going to retract it because he will never admit he’s lied about anything. It’s a waste of time and I think that was the purpose of it all. A strategy of tension. His numbskull base loves this about him so he’ll keep feeding them so long as they stay hungry for more.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/837994257566863360

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/837996746236182529

    In those two tweets, he says specifically without quotes that Obama was “tapping his phones.” He should say what he means and mean what he says. But I don’t expect him to and that’s why I don’t take him seriously because he’s really not serious and his words are tantamount to lies & deflections.

  47. realitychecker permalink
    March 16, 2017

    @ Steve

    Still, one can appreciate the irony of watching the media attack him because “all” he has to base his wiretap claims on is media reporting. So he must be crazy or lying lol.

  48. Peter permalink
    March 16, 2017

    @RC

    That minor detail about the NYT stories that explained how the Obama WH was distributing the product from the spying/investigation of the Trump team is an inconvenient fact. The Clintonites will ignore it anyway and now some are calling for an apology to the KU. Trump seems to be using this crime to slowly bring the pot to a boil and take control of the news cycle again.

    Glenn Greenwald has a new report out showing that some of the Clintonites still have functioning brains and are warning about the denial and delusions of grandeur suffered by the snowflakes. They have been whipped into a mouth breathing frenzy and are expecting results from the Putin/Trump show trial/investigation that won’t be produced.

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