The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The 2020 Celebrity Election Will Be Far Crazier than 2016

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah is apparently considering running in 2020. As Matt Stoller notes, she isn’t a joke: Unlike Trump, she is extraordinarily competent, widely loved and owed favors by at least a plurality of important famous people in the US, including many of the best selling authors.

People have not come to terms with all the consequences of Trump’s election. Every truly popular celebrity in the US has to be looking at Trump’s victory and thinking “I’m smarter, more handsome, and more loved than he was; I can win.”

Bernie Sanders? Kamala Harris? (Insert politician here)?

None of them have more star power and fundraising ability than someone like Oprah. (And remember Oprah does run a company and does it competently.) And many of these people are good on TV. Like, well, really, really insanely good. You expect them to lose a TV debate against some politician?

Then we add in the billionaires, like Facebook CEO Zuckerberg. What other billionaire is now thinking, “Screw buying politicians, they can’t be trusted. I’ll just run myself?” Zuckerberg, of course, is not charismatic, but that much money buys a lot and Facebook itself is insanely influential and even if he “removes himself,” well, I bet Facebook’s algos will somehow work in his favor.

2020 isn’t going to be a normal election. It is going to be far crazier than 2020.

And heck, if I had a vote, I’d vote for Oprah (or Clooney) before most Democratic politicians, especially if they say “universal healthcare, fuck the bankers, and no wars” like they mean it.

I suspect many Americans would too.

Remember, Trump won, in the end, because enough people were sick of regular politicians to take a flyer on him. A celebrity with more charisma and brains is entirely viable and will be considered seriously.

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Manufacturing Violent People


  1. And heck, if I had a vote, I’d vote for Oprah (or Clooney) before most Democratic politicians, especially if they say “universal healthcare, fuck the bankers and no wars” like they mean it.

    And how will we know they mean it?

  2. Mark Gisleson

    Winfrey is a good person but she is not a hard person. At the POTUS level, all the important decisions are hard. No forgiveness for letting yourself get suckered by an author, and we need less, not more, Cabinet cronyism.

    We need to stop conflating celebrity with charisma, high profiles with actual leadership, and access to a mic with having an authentic voice.

  3. Ian Welsh

    Maybe you’ve been electing too many “hard persons” aka. assholes, and should elect some people who aren’t ok with doing so much evil.

  4. Willy

    Would we accept Deepak Chopra, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Phil as Secretary of State, Education, and Chief of Staff? For sure they’d be better than the Trump family singers and all their swamp henchmen, but after a dose of POTUS Oprah the pendulum might just swing back again. Not sure what mud would possibly stick to her though. She doesn’t look very Muslim to me.

  5. Willy

    Maya’s passed, my bad. Gayle’s next up.

  6. realitychecker

    OT: Has anybody ever seen Michael Wolff and Dr. Evil in the same place at the same time? 🙂

    To the post:

    Celebs rule.

    “Kim Kardashian 2020! Kato Kaelin for Veep! The K’s are OK!”

    That ticket/slogan would send Oprah home weeping, in all sad likelihood.

    All hail the rise of the alliterati. (The long-awaited Third Partiers.)

    In all seriousness, I might vote for skinny Oprah, but I don’t think I could support fat Oprah. Think of the children!

  7. Willy

    By now the only question that should matter: Is she a neoliberal?

    I don’t care about any token gift packages I’d find under my mailbox. Can she be co-opted by neoliberal economists? We’ve tried hope and change, we’ve tried the con artist. Are we now going to try somebody who’s just going to try and coach the citizenry to just get/be better already?

  8. BlizzardOfOz

    If you read down the comments in Stoller’s tweet, you’ll see him basically admit that she is a joke — another Obama, Biden, Hillary. His high praise for her is the paragon of Havel’s greengrocer.

  9. alyosha

    Oprah’s de/merits notwithstanding, your point is well taken that from here on out it will be celebrities running for office. It’s the logical conclusion of creating an aristocracy in the US, particularly in the age of mass media. Trump opened the way. Personally I’d vote for Oprah.

  10. Ian Welsh

    All the serious people thought Trump was a joke.

    Maybe stop making the same mistake over and over again.

  11. highrpm

    hollyworld west. hollyworld east. celebrity confers authority. what a f*ing sick joke.

  12. she’s not a white dude
    she’s liberal
    she’s flirted with running
    she’s a voice for women
    she’s famous
    Oh, and she’s not Trump.

    EYup, that certainly sounds like a winning campaign strategy.

    Remind again if you would please what the word is for doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results, faith, or insanity?

    We have to stop doing what we are doing. It isn’t working.

  13. The Stephen Miller Band

    If she’s elected she should paint the White House purple.

    In fact, her campaign slogan should be The Color Purple. She can run ads showing animated clips where Donald Trump & various members of his administration and the GOP are whipping Oprah as she picks cotton in a field in rural Georgia and she rises up and smashes them and then deports their asses to Russia to this theme music. This alone would ensure her win.

    Also Sprach Sarathustra

    Trump wouldn’t allow it. He would launch a nuclear attack against Oprah and The World because Roy Cohn taught him you have to be brutal and have sex with men but just don’t admit it. Roy Cohn was Trump’s mentor, afterall. Roy, who died of AIDS, lives on in Trump.

    Nah. Trump & Oprah are good friends. They’re all good friends despite the feigning indignation. Billionaires stick together against The Little People.

  14. robotpliers

    2016 was a horrible election, but was oddly liberating once Trump won because maybe people would start to finally see what was happening, they would learn, and things would actually start to change. A 2020 campaign by Oprah Winfrey, especially a successful one, is almost too painful to think about. It would signal that people did learn, only they learned that rather than vote and act for necessary reforms (or even revolution) to safeguard the republic, they should vote for a competing billionaire celebrity.

    The neo-aristocracy (h/t Stirling Newberry) will be run by mediagenic celebrities, either billionaires or backed by billionaires, and supported by adoring fans. The prospect that Trump was the beginning of a new trend a not the final dark comedic act of a dying order is chilling.

  15. BlizzardOfOz

    The rage-addled left just can’t bring itself to see what happened in the election. If Trump had run Jeb Bush’s campaign, would he have won? No, of course not. He ran as a populist, emphasizing issues that people care deeply about, but that no candidate of either party would touch — especially immigration, but also offshoring.

    So, can Oprah do something similar? Somehow I doubt that the host of a daytime talk show for women has much to say to the country at large. It will be interesting and surely hilarious to see whom the Dems end up running.

  16. realitychecker

    If you are stuck in a fixed and corrupt duopoly party corporatocracy, anything that disturbs the perceived order is a good thing for regular people.

    Even if it does nothing more than shock people into thinking outside their regular boxes.

    Something has to make the first crack in the status quo edifice. We have already shown that none of us, nor any of our supposed saviors, could do it.

    Instead of hating the guy who shook up the Establishment, smart folks ought to be trying to find the best way to exploit the changes.

  17. If Trump had run Jeb Bush’s campaign, would he have won? No, of course not.

    What would Trump running a Jeb! campaign have looked like? “Please clap!”?

    He ran as a populist, emphasizing issues that people care deeply about, but that no candidate of either party would touch — especially immigration, but also offshoring.

    That’s just the thing. Trump mentioned those things and yet was full of shit. Trump pulled a con Henry Gondorff would have been jealous of.

  18. BlizzardOfOz

    That’s just the thing. Trump mentioned those things and yet was full of shit. Trump pulled a con Henry Gondorff would have been jealous of.

    I think this is highly dubious, but I’ll let it pass to avoid derailing yet another thread. In any case, those issues are so popular that every politician always had to give lip service to them, but Trump was able to convince voters he would actually act.

    How would that formula translate to Oprah? Maybe she adopts enough of Bernie’s platform, but, where Bernie couldn’t, she also corrals the black vote (for obvious reasons). Can she get enough of the white vote in the general, though? Obama won the white vote as the post-racial reconciliation candidate — good luck selling that one again.

  19. Mongo

    …And heck, if I had a vote, I’d vote for Oprah (or Clooney) before most Democratic politicians, especially if they say “universal healthcare, fuck the bankers and no wars” like they mean it.

    I suspect many Americans would too.

    Remember, Trump won, in the end, because enough people were sick of regular politicians to take a flyer on him. A celebrity with more charisma and brains is entirely viable and will be considered seriously.

    And, this is a good thing? Please god; let there be some amount of tongue-in-cheek criticism of the gullibility of America’s electorate in this post? I’m assuming there is…

  20. Fred

    I’d go with Lindsey Vonn: good looking, hates Trump, and, given Trump’s got the country going downhill fast, she knows how to win in such a situation.

    WRT running celebrities: Dems (on average) are less likely to go for that; Dems are more likely to value the CV vs the number of talk show appearances. Though Al Franken WAS on SNL…….

  21. Carey

    ‘robotpliers’: thanks for your post, which I think will prove to be prescient.

    I will not be surprised if Oprah™ will be strongly encouraged to run by
    the neolib-con establishment, precisely to keep Sanders and his message
    from getting any more traction.

  22. BlizzardOfOz

    “can she get enough white votes” – lmao, asked and answered.

  23. Charlie

    Re: Oprah,

    Isn’t there that thing about the cattle futures? I’m sure that will be brought up. Our whole upper class is corrupt, as if we can only ask, “Next con artist please?”

  24. realitychecker

    The two klepto-parties created the vacuum on important issues, that Trump was able to move into and exploit politically.

    Tye fault for that lies NOT WITH TRUMP, but rather with the duopoly parties AND the people whom were stupid enough to keep supporting them when it was so clear they were dedicated to selling us out to the corporatocracy.

    Jesus, people, get a fucking grip already. You were up to your necks in shit before Trump ever came along.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  25. realitychecker

    Edit: The fault; people who were.

    Someday an edit function?

  26. MojaveWolf

    Based on their past statements, why would you think Oprah or (especially!!!) Clooney would be any different/better than Booker/Gillibrand/Harris/Biden?

    As a couple of people said in my timeline earlier today, Oprah was all about promoting “blame poor people for not thinking positively enough” garbage like “The Secret”.

    Yes, I think she probably means well and is probably a nice person. I’m not sure HRC doesn’t mean well, too, all her policies in office notwithstanding.

    Yeah, she apparently gave a great speech last night that I missed. I don’t really care. Obama gave a LOT of great speeches. I need to see some evidence she’d actually do a decent job. Haven’t seen this yet.

    Most likely, you’d get a slightly more woman-friendly (which isn’t nothing, I just except her actual policies to be ONLY slightly, therefore of minimal reason to get excited about) Obama 2.0. She might (probably) feel more actual compassion for poor people than he did, but then I think Bill Clinton did too, and all his most helpful instincts got rolled (and completely vanished?) pronto, and she has less experience/knowledge than he did going in.

    As someone who in the far past briefly worked for/with pols, I’m not against outsiders or celebs running AT ALL, but I’m not supporting people for giving feel-good speeches. Hell, Trump gave some “help the working class” speeches. Speeches mean nothing unless you have some good reason to believe they will translate into at least meaningful ATTEMPTS at action.

    Not getting the enthusiasm here AT ALL.

  27. Willy

    Oprah wants racial death camps. That settles that.

    In other news, the only rational reason why Trump slammed Bannon while simultaneously slamming the book as “full of lies”, when anybody else would’ve hot-lined Bannon to come up with a mutually beneficial plan, was that Trump wanted to eliminate Bannon but retain his followers (Bannon did after all, call for higher taxes on the rich). All the other reasons are irrational.

    You pick: con artist or dotard. Hopefully more people won’t want either again. And they’ll better know how to spot them, and demand better.

    I’m voting for the nebbish who gets dragged in front of the cameras, terrified. But in his/her spidey outfit they’re completely badass. Or maybe with just a keyboard.

  28. Lindy

    Oprah? Oh my goodness, no. Before she started shilling for Obama I would have thought it was a pretty good idea, but I couldn’t even watch her again after that. On the road with the Obamas in the South, speaking in fake, exaggerated southern accents in front of black crowds. Disgusting.

    Of course there are a few articles regarding Oprah at Black Agenda Report. This is an interview of the author of a book on Oprah. “The Age of Oprah: Cultural Icon for the Neoliberal Era”

    One of the good things about Trump’s celebrity was that he’d been around celebrities for decades. Had been on tv and in movies, before he had his own tv show. He wasn’t star struck or trying to be the cool guy hanging out with stars, like Obama. Having constant parties for his Hollywood pals and music moguls. Wanting to be one of them, singing or dancing or whatever nonsense at the podium.

    Oprah would be a lot like Obama, it appears. Except that like Trump she already has hobnobbed with celebrities, and has been an actor. That’s about the extent to which I want to think about it at all, lol. I have a even lower opinion of celebrities now than when they were fawning all over Obama in office. So many continue to act like he did great liberal things.

    While I did not or would not vote for Trump, I am certainly not apoplectic about him being president. I see how so many of the outraged statements about him actually also applied to Obama, and the screamers about Trump don’t even see that irony, at all. It makes for some good entertainment. There are at least a few laughs to be had in this sad situation.

  29. MojaveWolf

    Going to second Carey in saying “Go you!” to robot pliers.

    And agreed w/RC & anyone else pointing out the vacuum created by our kleptrocratic leadership in both parties, who alas seem to be determined to allow only the vacuous to fill it.

    Somehow, “replace the boring and failed status quo with an entertaining figurehead who will continue the failed policies of their predecessors” is just not inspiring, I don’t care how well they speak.

    Give us substance, please, and meaningful change for the better, or at least, a determination to fight for meaningful change for the better and the willingness to fight until you either win or go down swinging.

  30. Willy

    It’s not the speeches that mislead. It’s the environment these “leaders” physically create. You’ll get more tomatoes by tossing out tomato seeds in Tennessee, than you would giving beautiful speeches to carefully cultivated plants in Antarctica.

  31. realitychecker

    @ Lindy

    “While I did not or would not vote for Trump, I am certainly not apoplectic about him being president. I see how so many of the outraged statements about him actually also applied to Obama, and the screamers about Trump don’t even see that irony, at all. It makes for some good entertainment. There are at least a few laughs to be had in this sad situation.”

    At times like this, one must wring all possible mirth out of the endless absurdities presented.

    Good on you. 🙂

  32. Webstir

    Is she a member of, or does she support the policies of the ?

    That’s the question political candidates in the U.S. must be pressed to answer.

  33. It will be her verses Sanders

  34. Peter

    The snowflakes are crashing back to earth after their long flying monkey like failed siege of Trump Tower. Beaten and desperate, someone decided what they needed was a somewhat commie Voodoo Queen Oprah to replace the two-time loser Red Queen.

  35. Dan Lynch

    “She is extraordinarily competent.”
    I question that.
    Do not equate wealth with competence. Not even rags-to-riches wealth like Oprah’s. Most wealth is just luck, often combined with a lack of moral scruples.
    At best Oprah is competent at making money in a capitalist system. What does that have to do with government? Herbert Hoover was “competent” at many jobs — but not at being president. Ulysses Grant was a failure at almost everything he did in life — except being a military leader.
    I don’t follow Oprah and have no opinion on her other than I distrust and despise all rich people. Would she be better than Trump? That should not be difficult. But generally outsiders don’t do well in office because you have to work with the establishment to get anything done. LBJ was a highly flawed person, but he got shit done because he knew how to work with the establishment.
    But Ian is correct that 2020 could be crazy.

  36. realitychecker

    @ Peter

    As long as there are no penises involved, we might be able to economize on safe spaces lol.

    The neo-liberal girl-fight between Oprah and Kamala would be most entertaining to watch. But I’m not sure Oprah can make the weight cut.

    Sanders will get frozen out again, as the Dems adopt a “No penises ever!” platform plank.

    I plan to get my breasts enlarged. That’s as far as I’ll go. 🙂

  37. Al

    Man, I wish she or any other candidate were Democratic Socialists. That would be wonderful.

  38. paintedjaguar

    In regard to Oprah’s involvement in governance, here’s all you really need to know: she’s been a big supporter of “The Secret”, a pernicious example of Prosperity Gospel / positive thinking psychobabble / literal magical thinking, which promotes the “Law of Attraction” as a guide to living. One shudders to think of the “experts” she might surround herself with.

    That some are unaware of this fact about her is a sad testament to the power of Public Relations. The perennial popularity of such ideas says a lot about the defects of education and the degraded collective intelligence of the (American) general public. Worst of all, the resultant attitudes seep over into the thinking of people who would never admit to actually believing in such stuff.

    I’ll also concur with questioning the dubious proposition that managing to get stinking rich under winner-take-all capitalism implies high competence.

  39. Hugh

    After a long line of male Presidents who were empty suits beginning with Ronald Reagan are we ready for our first female empty suit President? That’s the Oprah Winfrey question. Only in our completely corrupt political system with its bankrupt media and super-entitled ruling classes would a short vacuous, feel good speech at an awards ceremony for a bunch of celebrity airheads be discussed “seriously” and hyped as the start of a Draft Oprah movement.

    The middle class is dying and mostly dead. The bottom 80% of the population is flailing, and so they go back and forth between Democrats and Republicans. They get sick of the Clinton years and elect Bush who promptly betrays them. They get sick of the Bush years and elect Obama who immediately betrays them. They get sick of the Obama years and elect Trump who again immediately betrays them. Does anyone know Oprah’s position on any problem? or any specific remedy for it? Me either. And don’t talk to me about Trump. How well has that worked out? About the sum total that we know about Oprah Winfrey is that she backs Establishment Democrats, may be liberal, but not progressive, and was friends with Barack Obama. So what we could expect from her is a feel goodier betrayal along Obama’s hopey-changey lines.

    Still it would be irresponsible not to speculate on what an Oprah Cabinet would look like. I think Reese Witherspoon would have a lock on the DOJ and Attorney General after her Legally Blond movies. Tia Leoni would be a natural for Secretary of State. She already plays one on TV. Otherwise, George Clooney. For Secretary of Defense, it’s a toss up between Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington. Similarly, Dr. Oz or Dr. Phil at Health and Human Services (HHS), and Chip or Joanna Gaines at Housing and Urban Development (HUD). There’s nothing in our country that a little ship lap couldn’t fix. Homeland Security, Clare Danes, natch. Matt Damon of Jason Bourne fame would be terrific at the CIA. Gayle King could be her Chief of Staff. Any of the actors from the Fast and Furious franchise would be great at the Department of Transportation. At EPA, anyone as long as they are vegan. NASA, Elon Musk. At Interior, I’m blanking, but there has to be some treehugger star somewhere who owns shares in Exxon. Maybe Oprah could create a Secretary of the Internet and make Zuckerberg the head of that. Lots of potential out there, lots of potential. And seriously what could go wrong?

  40. Tom W Harris

    And yet she’d be a damn sight better than Jagoff Joe Biden. Just sayin’…

  41. realitychecker

    Hugh, who do you think would be the Castration Czar?

    Clearly, testosterone has completely outlived its appeal lol.

    Fortunately, male sex robots are on the way. I hear they can even make them look like me. 🙂

    A moment of seriousness: Trump has disappointed me to the extent he has favored the rich over those who voted for populist governance. I always assumed he might do that, but felt if he did he would move us closer to the kind of anger that could spark real change.

    But he has been great for pushing back against runaway political correctness, and also very good for getting people to think more deeply about immigration issues.

    And his death match with the media is long overdue, and very necessary. The media has been a tool of relentless corporate oppression and propaganda since the Fairness Doctrine went away in 1984. Even in the late 1980’s, my friends and I had concluded that nobody but the broadcast media could effectively fact-check all the lying politicians. They never stepped up to that, became corporate possessions instead, and just kept getting less reliable as the years went by. Now, we are lucky to have Trump taking them down so effectively, IMO. If he loses this fight, we all lose.

    We are in for a lot more chaos and uncertainty, because all the players have territory and prerogatives to defend. And none will give up any of what they have without a fight.

    The best we can hope for is to see maximum damage to the status quo, IMO.

  42. Lindy

    @realitychecker Endless absurdities, indeed. And they’re not limited to politics. It seems like every aspect of American life anymore has become full of crazy.

    @Dan Lynch I’m with you on despising the rich. Judging by our new neighbors they’re from hell, and more cuckoo bananas than you’ll find in any insane asylum. Don’t care about anybody else. And feel they are a separate and superior species, above humans. Psychopathic doesn’t seem to cover it, or psychotic either. There’s no logical description for the kind of chaos they inflict.

    The house across the street was bought by a couple with too much money a few years ago and it’s been under reconstruction for over a year and a half. Starting every morning at 6:30 am 7 days a week, until the last few months when they get the occasional weekend off. Hammering, sawing, throwing garbage into large metal bins from the rooftops, so many kinds of noise. Early morning radios playing. The dogs that they bring to work barking and running everywhere they please.

    They’ve used our front yard to pile the (unusually heavy) snowfall from their long, circular driveway. Their worker’s trucks use our driveway as their 3rd one to turn their vehicles around. So does the woman at the new house. Sometimes multiple times a day. There can be 12-14 cars and trucks parked along the street at any time, as well as their driveway. People working on “the house.” A rent-a-can right across the road, that people stop their cars to use, and even people walking by use. Cutting down and sawing up trees. Endless cement mixers, dump trucks, backhoes coming back over and over again, digging yet a deeper hole to China (for unknown reasons), flatbed trucks hauling lumber or insulation, service trucks for audio visual equipment, heating, commercial refrigeration, plumbing. electrical and various other services. Constantly over the last year and a half. It’s the most insane thing I’ve ever seen.

    The last 6 months they’ve got construction fires burning in a barrel almost daily. No matter how much wind. Right next to what appears to be a monstrous new garage for their hummer, BMW, and other vehicles. Totally illegal, and sometimes scary big. My neighbor called the fire department once. They didn’t come. A lot of laws not being enforced over there. They’re rich enough to buy off a lot of people. But, if they burn down the house, they’ll build another. Whatever. Even with the three different layers of expensive wood veneers on the front of the house they put up before she was satisfied with the color.

    Having the municipality drill a new water main for their house under our front lawn. Oh, yeah. That was the pinnacle. It would all be a little funnier in its ludicrousness except that I’ve been caring for my mother with Alzheimer’s for many years, and any *little* thing can upset her, not to mention massive loud drilling, the house shaking and her front lawn being torn up several days in a row. She’s been worse after my dad died almost two years ago. I’ve had to tell her thousands (literally, thousands) of times that dad was dead. Which pains me every time I have to say it. They could have hardly picked a better time to stress us the hell out, pretty much every day on what was a quiet, dead end street for 50 years.

    And no, the woman (who is a nurse) doesn’t care. Her husband (who is a doctor) probably cares even less. He barely shows up around there. She’s there all the time giving orders to her legions of workers, who probably are thrilled at the money tree they’ve found. My elderly neighbor’s daughter talked to the new neighbor after one of her trucks knocked down her mother’s mailbox. She was putting it back up and saw the woman outside. Told her the whole list of endless crap we’d been putting up with, and that she’s a lawyer. Didn’t change a thing.


    Well, when Oprah was backing Obama she said that she wasn’t partisan. That she’d voted for Republicans as often as Democrats. So I guess that she decided to back Obama, a self-proclaimed Democrat because of…his sterling character? His impressive list of accomplishments? His many years of unheralded political service? No? What could it have been, then?

    As for Black Lives Matter, she’s spoken against it. Not interested in anti-establishment movements of the downtrodden, or how many cops get away with killing black people for any reason, or no reason. It’s of no personal concern.

  43. Ché Pasa

    The very idea of Presidential Candidate (let alone President) Oprah sure triggers the commentariat hothead rightists like nothing else. Hoo boy. And what would they do if she ran and won? What would they do? Take to the streets wearing white penis hats? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

    I’ve never been in favor of show business personalities holding public office for the two realms of show business and government are as incompatible as oil and water. Some of their characteristics overlap, but in the end, placing a show business personality in high office is disastrous. Let them mock and snipe all they want from the sidelines, the stage, the screen or wherever they can draw an audience, but don’t put them on the throne or anywhere particularly near it.

    Oprah though is not just a show business personality, she’s a genuine billionaire, an industry unto herself, and she’s probably worth more than the addled show business personality in office now. And she’s… erm… a black female, the ultimate trigger in US society and politics. You think the con-man in office is “shaking things up”? Put her on the throne, and the shaking up will never end.

    But my sense is this trial balloon is a shot across the bow as a warning to the rest of the plutocracy. There’s more than one faction among the exploiting class, and they don’t all depend on gangster muscle to get them and keep them where they are. The women are rising and they’re furious. Oprah’s speech at the GGs was intended for them as validation and as a warrior cry: “Time’s Up!”

    That becomes a campaign slogan — well before 2020. Oprah isn’t the only one who can carry it. In fact, she’s one of many.

    Throughout this really wretched period we’ve been enduring, I’ve wondered “are there no good billionaires? None at all?” Now’s their chance to show their cards. Maybe they’re all scum and the guillotine is too good for them. But maybe not. Oprah at least has cracked open the door.

    We’ll see.

    And no,, I have no illusions at all about Herself’s own Goodness…

  44. realitychecker

    @ Che Pasa

    Maybe stifle yourself until you can explain why all the high profile Weinstein accusers were not invited to the Golden Globes.

    Asia Argento, Rose McGowan, Rosanna Arquette, Mira Sorvino, Annabelle Sciorra.

    All persona non grata so these phony Hollywood cows can virtue-signal to the world without distractions.

    Yeah, Che, just your speed.

  45. The Stephen Miller Band

    Daniel Ellsberg these people are not. Who are “these people?” Celebrities, that’s who. Ellsberg, like me, sacrificed his career and thus his status & stature within the System to Principle. Something very few are willing to do these days if ever they were.

    Oprah doesn’t make the cut despite her feigning indignation. Like any opportunist, she’s exploiting the moment but she was silent when it really counted.

    Oprah’s Jewish Fat Rapist Pig Version Of Stedman

    Come On, Oprah, Come Back To My Room With Me And I’ll Teach You The Talmud

  46. The Stephen Miller Band

    The best we can hope for is to see maximum damage to the status quo, IMO.

    You and a long line of cowardly fascists waiting in the wings for collapse and a power vacuum so they can begin their raping & pillaging & genociding.

    Understand the threat fascists like this punk represent and consider it in your plans if you have any. They must be dealt with first, not last, because otherwise they will do as they’ve always done and exploit the power vacuum you create and usurp power. It’s a pattern that always repeats because it’s never considered yet it’s always there.

  47. The United States is such a “hustler’s paradise”
    …yet if someone like me tries to get whatever he wants by any kind of unsavory means they “throw the book at me” as if I was some kind of a “sole threat to” the moral fibers of this country, when it has none.

  48. realitychecker

    @ Stevie

    “Oprah’s Jewish Fat Rapist Pig Version Of Stedman

    Come On, Oprah, Come Back To My Room With Me And I’ll Teach You The Talmud”

    This is who you are, you demented freak.

    Go ahead, tell us all how we can get to be just like you.

    You need to be in a straitjacket, you are just an insane waste of skin. And you always have been, since you first washed up here.

  49. John Zimmerman

    To all those saying NO NO NO to Oprah: who else? And who can win? I love Bernie, but he would be 79 entering office, big liability. Among those who might be running, who would be better? I bet if you took a poll today, she would be light years ahead. I too want to see what her stance is on the issues, but rejecting her out of hand is pretty stupid, as she could be the strongest candidate out there against Trump.

  50. Willy

    Is this a lesson in the Socratic method?

  51. Sid Finster

    The problem is not that our presidents do evil because they are too hard, it’s that they are not hard enough to stand up to those who wish them to do evil.

    Instead, they take the easy way out. Exhibit A: Obama, Barack. Exhibit B: Trump, Donald.

    What I fear in a President Oprah is not that she is a Bad Person, but that she will be even more lost than Trump, even more dependent upon existing institutions and power structures to do anything, find out anything, or to make sense of anything.

    It’s like putting Chance Gardiner in the Oval Office.

  52. Sid Finster

    I would add, few fixed ideas of her own on policy or governance, and therefore amenable to “instruction” from the existing players.

    Again, just like Chance Gardiner.

  53. Willy

    It’s like putting Chance Gardiner in the Oval Office.

    Except, it’d be a version of Chance that a great many people enjoy listening to. And only a few of those might be willing to think: “Wait a minute… Did she just rationalize bad things to herself, then publicly speak of them in a pleasing way?”

    Is there a Teddy Roosevelt expert in the house?

  54. realitychecker

    If Socrates had known you, Willy, he would have drunk at least ten cups of hemlock.

    Lazy minds can’t be enlightened via the Socratic method.

    Socrates did not spoon-feed; he expected people to put their minds to work.

    You wouldn’t understand . . .

  55. Tom W Harris

    Oprah’s Jewish Fat Rapist Pig Version Of Stedman

    Come On, Oprah, Come Back To My Room With Me And I’ll Teach You The Talmud

    Richard Spencer, is that you?

  56. Willy

    realitychecker isn’t much more than a troll. Outside of occasionally needling it for my own amusement, I’ve lost interest in anything it has to say.

  57. The Stephen Miller Band

    Wow, so many rapist apologists. RC & Tom W Harris are the latest. It really is true — America is a Rape Culture. So much so, the rapist apologists call you a racist when you irreverently call out the rapists. Unbelievable!! Except it’s not.

  58. The Stephen Miller Band

    I’ve lost interest in anything it has to say.

    I hear ya. All the Zionist ever says is, “hey, see that cop over there? Go shoot him. See Donald Trump over there? Go shoot him. It’s the only way to stop them.”

  59. The Stephen Miller Band

    The NeoCons LOVE Oprah.

    Bill “realitychecker” Kristol — #ImWithHer

  60. Tom W Harris

    “Wow, so many rapist apologists. RC & Tom W Harris are the latest”

    Hey genius, I didn’t defend a rapist, I slammed you for spewing Nazi filth.

    Just in case you didn’t already know.

  61. highrpm

    since when is someone who acknowledges the zionist camp a nazi? antisemite? only joos are antisemites. for their mistreatment of true semites, the palestinians. for god’s sake, lets get our terms right. and i aint a nazi, bro.

  62. Linda Merrill

    @realitychecker You made me consider for a moment: If we were actually to start identifying physical parts of the body as campaign slogans, then it is also high time to incorporate the full transgender agenda into political analysis, I believe, and all it might mean to do so. We all know by now it would go way beyond self gender identification.

    Perhaps start with the basic: All politicians lie. And go from there.
    But I know of one candidate already doing this, and anyone with the most casual eye can see it is simply another lie and a joke by them placed on the voter/viewer, perhaps soon with no recourse but to accept it if laws continue to pass requiring respect for an individual’s self gender identification. Imagine how that could play out in political arena. Pols could then lie all they want in that case and critical analysis would be out-lawed, worse than our present fake news.

  63. different clue

    It would be interesting if Oprah AND Bernie ran as Democrats through all the primaries. Bernie could provide an ongoing yardstick against which to measure Oprah’s statements and agenda . . . if she were to offer one.

  64. wendy davis

    this post and the resultant comment thread would rank among the most surrealistic and funny i’ve ever read recently, bless your collective pea-pickin’ hearts.

    but at least oprah tweets-a-lot, and isn’t (as far as i can tell) on the list of lifetime sinecures at the council of foreign relations, as are ‘look out sudan’ clooney, don cheadle, warren beatty, anna deavre smith, quite the red carpet walk, no? maybe once her disney movie comes out she’ll be awarded that dubious distinction?

    i like the penis hat resistance, and hugh’s cabinet. tree huggers for interior? gads, the nation is full of those billionaires topping the non-profit industrial complex. thanks, all.

  65. jomaka

    You are out of your fucking mind Ian. You may have done permanent damage to your credibility.

  66. Willy

    I already posted that jomaka. I also think Ian was partly kidding.

    In other news… I assume Trump is going to the World Economic Forum with all its power players, to discuss how to help working Americans? I also assume Bannon won’t be going along, because he’s just too damned sloppy.

  67. Hugh

    Chance Gardiner is the original empty suit, the blank slate that we can write anything on to we want. In one way, Oprah would be a perfect fit for the Democrats. The Democrats stand for nothing beyond a few generalities. And that is about the extent of what we know about Oprah.

    What I don’t get is the normalization of the empty suit. It is like the normalization of supply side economics in all its iterations. It never worked, but it dominates the conversation.

  68. jomaka

    Ian, were you kidding?

  69. Mel

    “To all those saying NO NO NO to Oprah: who else?”

    Well, it’s 6 years until the heavy campaigning has to start. Time to be looking, yes?
    Heavens, the Clintonites wanted a Democrat Party coronation, now everybody wants one? Right away?

  70. MojaveWolf

    I hope Ian is kidding. I mean, since when did “she won’t be any worse than the last 4 (errr, make that 6, at least, tho the previous two haven’t got mentioned much) people who all led us down the path to poverty & pointless war & onrushing biosphere destruction” become a reason to sound optimistic about someone running for president?

    Tulsi/Nina (or Nina/Tulsi) (or either alone) w0uld actually give us people who’ve shown a willingness to stand up to our current political system and ignore threats to their own future while doing so. They have actual knowledge of policy. They are used to standing up to and sparring with the people they would have to stand up to and fight against.

    (likewise Tim Canova, Bernie, Raul Grijalva, Lucy Flores, etc, even Elizabeth Warren, for all her flaws, none of whom is perfect but all of whom have thus far given us more to evidence of their chops than Oprah, who also isn’t perfect and seems to have fewer virtues and more flaws than any of the above)(heck, even Peter O’Malley, who was excellent in the debates tho if he ever gets any real traction will have to overcome his Baltimore detractors–I honestly don’t know enough to know how accurate said detractors were, or how different the present situation would be, but again, excellent in the debates last go round)

  71. MojaveWolf

    If you must back a celebrity, how bout Tom Morello?

    (more commonly known as lead singer/songwriter of Rage Against The Machine)

    (you know, “It has to start somewhere/it has to start sometime/what better place than here/what better time than now”)

    or if you want to watch Hillbot heads explode, even tho I differ with her on numerous issues, I do at least greatly respect the courage of Susan Sarandon (and again, the joy of watching Hillbot heads explode)

  72. realitychecker

    troll troll troll troll troll troll troll troll troll troll troll troll troll troll troll troll troll troll troll troll

    That’s all that wee Willy Wanker’s got.

    How fitting to find him allied with the Nazi filth that has infiltrated this place.

    And Willy, I told you to keep your hands off your penis while you type about me.

    The brain damage must be affecting your memory. Don’t worry, I’ll keep reminding you. 🙂

  73. Willy

    I think Ian has long since given up on playing on his comments threads (reason: see above).

    Always a penis.

    My apologies all. realitycheckers two favorite interlocutors here are: Peter and Willy. Go figure.

  74. Willy

    @ normalization

    Somehow, we have to make clear and obvious behavioral evidence mean more to average people. And I don’t think most people visiting here are average. I mean, how many times does it take to figure out that Trump had conned the working man? He himself said he could shoot anybody. How many would it take? You know he’ll go to Davos and do a Mar a Lago “I’m gonna make you all richer…” and his working class supporters would just ignore it and think he’s being awesome. I watch Remini’s Scientology series for clues.

  75. Tom W Harris

    In his intro to Oprah’s candidacy, Ian notes that

    As Matt Stoller notes, she isn’t a joke

    Which is not to say he thinks she’d be a good president. Further down the thread (link is at Ian’s post above), Stoller notes:

    I’m not saying Oprah would be a good President or even a good candidate. My metric for judgment is well-known. It’s “do you have a track record of taking on concentrated financial power?” Oprah doesn’t have this. I’m just noting that she’s no ordinary celebrity. She’s amazing.

    When commenter chuvak asks:

    Do you think Oprah will be anything more than a Joe Biden, Obama, or Hillary Clinton? Essentially a status quo candidate who will make mild reforms at best while still facilitating the consolidation of capital. These aren’t the candidates we need right now.

    Stoller replies:

    I suspect that is exactly who Oprah is (though I’m not sure). Remember, Biden, Clinton, and Obama are beloved by Democratic voters.

    As an aside, unlike many here, chuvak doesn’t take himself too seriously. He describes himself as

    just a regular guy trying to change the world by complaining about it on the internet

  76. MojaveWolf

    Re: the general meme that Trump “conned” the working class, all of whom are still “conned”:

    One reason (some of) the working class still back Trump (and really, a lot of hopefuls have probably given up on him now) is because the mainstream Dems continue to offer nothing new (see: Oprah, who is not, so far as I can tell, going to offer anything new except a nicer face on the same policies that have been killing them for a long time; i.e. people who voted for Obama and are still waiting–or rather, have given up waiting–for the “change” to fulfill the now long gone “hope” are, no matter how unhappy w/Trump, unlikely to vote for someone who is going to be only marginally better, tho Oprah at least probably has the sense not to call them all names) except more frequent and pointed insults (“it’s all your fault for not backing who WE wanted who would have been GREAT just like everything before was FINE until YOUR RACISM AND MISOGYNY ruined everything!” — for people whose vote had nothing to do with these things and who did not think things before were fine at all, yelling at them is only going to lead to results for the most easily browbeated and manipulated; the rest will either ignore you completely or take a second look to see if they can find something about Trump they do like, after all).

    For other people, the whole SJW nature of the modern mainstream left is a giant turn-off, and Trump at least hates that (again, please don’t make blanket assumptions that all sjw haters vote Trump; my best online friend is a Hillary voter who hates the whole SJW garbage despite being a member of three of their preferred fragile target victim groups and defends a lot of Trump voters, but would never consider voting for him herself under any circumstances), so you got some votes just as an “F-U” to people they don’t like even from those not considered scum of the earth by the dem establishment.

    And then you have people who listen to and believe right wing talk radio. I occasionally listen to it, just as I occasionally listen to MSNBC and mainstream media. IF you believe right wing talk radio, the economy is booming like never since the glory days of Reagan and if it hasn’t gotten to you yet, it soon will. This is combined with enough actual true and factual examples of left wing hypocrisy/lying (which is why OUR SIDE SHOULD QUIT DOING THIS EVEN WHEN THEY THINK IT OFFERS SHORT TERM BENEFITS) that it gives their more ludicrous claims credibility by association. Given that the mainstream and left media also frequently have howlers and misleading stuff, and plenty of “smart” and “qualified” people uncritically accept everything they here there, I’m not as inclined to glare at people for believing Hannity as I used to. People pick sources to trust, rather than looking at everything and researching and analyzing, and if they pick the wrong sources for the wrong things they are going to have innaccurate info.

    On the positive side, the almost-destruction of the political class in 2016 followed people more and more believing their eyes rather than the reporting, so there’s reason to think this will continue, and Trump being so damn godawful hopefully will not stampede people into mindlessly voting for whoever the establishment types choose to market to them next go round.

    Oh, and further even tho I’ve said this before a thousand times, and so have Different Clue and several others: the vote wasn’t entirely a “con”–people voted because he didn’t cheat to win his primary and they didn’t want to validate that, because they feared HRC would start a war with Russia (at least a 5050 shot there) and/or invade more middle eastern countries (near 100% certainty?) and Trump seemed less likely to do this, and because there was at least a hope he would void the TPP and an absolute 100% certainty that she would sign it ASAP without meaningful changes. On all these things, he’s absolutely delivered thus far. Granted, he’s been worse than she would’ve been in every other way, and worse than I expected, but those are pretty big things, and at least with him, you have people yelling that he’s throwing gasoline on the fire of climate change, rather than the same people applauding her for throwing a dixie cup of water on it. (no, I didn’t vote for him, tho I realize it sounds like it. Bernie/Tulsi write in here, and would again)

    And finally, it made SENSE to take a flyer, as Ian pointed out, on the possibility of change even if it was more likely to be for worse than better, when voting status quo assured that things would not get better. These dumb, conned Trump voters mostly actually had decent reasons, from their point of view. One way to win them over would be to not constantly assume they are idiots and everyone on the left is relatively brilliant. /end rant

  77. realitychecker

    ” Willy permalink
    December 23, 2017

    But you’ve obviously visited a lot of gay porn sites.”

    Remember this, Willy? That’s who you are, a brain-damaged homophobe who proudly stalks me in a sexually obsessive way. And repeatedly declares that he will never stop.

    That’s why I treat you like something to be scraped off the bottom of my shoe.

    What exactly is your problem with gay porn sites? Enlighten us. But keep your hand off your damn penis while you do so.

  78. realitychecker

    @ MW

    Wolf, you are a good and thoughtful person, and I appreciate you.

    I would just say, breaking the grip of the status quo players is not a small thing; rather, it is a very big, a very necessary thing that we have proven incapable of doing for ourselves.

    It weakens the bad guys, the usual suspects. That’s good, but still just a first step. Still, without Trump doing that first step for us, there will be no subsequent steps taken.

    I’m grateful that someone is doing something to weaken the bad guys.

    I know the folks who endlessly attack me here will never do anything to weaken the bad guys. So I’m grateful to anyone who does.

    It’s a complex world, and there are no magic buttons. But it’s easy to spot the folks who will never do anything to improve the situation for regular folks. They are too busy displaying their own massive dysfunction.

  79. Ché Pasa

    Let’s just forget for the moment all the tens of thousands who have died in the Trump Regime’s prosecution of and expansion of the Imperium’s many, many wars of aggression; let’s forget for the moment all the many cities currently under siege or destroyed, all the millions more refugees from the carnage. Let’s forget all the troop increases in the various war theatres. Let’s ignore all the threats of nuclear annihilation emanating from the current White House regime. Let’s forget it all and much much more because Clinton would have been so much worse — or if she wasn’t, we would be so much more miserable.

    Look, Trump is a con-man and a gangster, all well understood — or it should have been — before the election. He’s abusive, chaotic and violent. All this was known or should have been. He’s been a notorious public figure for decades, longer than Hillary. He was elected by a minority of voters in a system that rewards his kind more than most people would like.

    Hillary was obviously not as good a con-artist. Her gangster cred is… poor.

    Meanwhile there’s Oprah. A black female billionaire who has promoted more than one con-artist and/or gangster on her shows and in her many enterprises. She’s a marketeer and a very slick performer, make of it what you will.

    She is likely the first of a plethora of competitor billionaires and show business personalities to test the electoral waters for 2020 and beyond. We’ll soon forget there ever were any presidents who weren’t show business personalities of enormous wealth.

    They’ll be the only ones who will qualify for the role.

  80. different clue


    I would like to believe that you are sincerely concerned about the problem of powerful rapists in high places of cultural influence. Therefor, I eagerly await your describing Bill Cosby in exactly the same sorts of ethno-racial terms in which you describe Harvey Weinstein.

  81. The Stephen Miller Band

    different clue, no, I won’t do that that because Blacks are not a monolithic “people” just as Whites are not a monolithic “people” just as Asians are not a monolithic “people.” That is the point of my Harvey Weinstein comments. There are no races. Jews are not a race. They are not a monolithic “people”. But, Jews insist on being referred to as Jews and prefer to describe themselves as a monolithic “people” when it suits their purposes and when it doesn’t and someone, anyone, refers to them as a monolithic “people”, they cry “racist!!!”.

    If you take umbrage with me referring to Harvey Weinstein as Jewish, good, you understand my point. The Jews are NOT GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE. They are not a PEOPLE. They are Cult Members just as surely as The Branch Davidians are Cult Members and Mormons are Cult Members and Scientologists are Cult Members and Roman Catholics are Cult Members and Evangelical Christians are Cult Members.

    Since the Jews consider themselves a distinct race of people, GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE, apart and distinct from us mere Gentiles which I don’t even identify as but they identify me as such, then so long as they have this racially superior mentality, they must answer for Harvey Weinstein and any Jew who engages in evil acts. They can’t have it both ways. If they want to continue to consider themselves distinct and exclusive and superior, to the point they have a vocabulary of all manner of racist names and distinctions for non-Jews (Shiksa, for example) who are worthy of them, then they, so long as they want to remain a they and refuse to assimilate, must accept the onus of public scrutiny when “one of their own,” as a representative of them as a “people”, engages in evil acts.


    Those who identify as Jewish belong to a Cult and that Cult, for varied reasons, has been adroit at gaining control of various institutions in The West and controlling, to a significant degree, the behavior and narrative and affect of the various institutions.

    For example, it is not a lie that Jews control the media in The West. They are represented in numbers, and those numbers include command & control positions, that far exceed their representation in the general population and yet many Jews have been outspoken advocates for Affirmative Action. It’s a contradiction to be for Affirmative Action and yet be represented in various institutions, finance & the media for example, in numbers far exceeding their representation in the general population.

    I know, I know, you’re going to say me saying Jews control The Media in The West is a racist myth. No, it is not and it’s not racist to point it out PRECISELY BECAUSE JEWS IDENTIFY AS AN EXCLUSIVE PEOPLE whereas Gentiles (as Jews are wont to describe non-Jews), Whites & Blacks in particular in this case, do not.

    Do Jews Dominate in American Media? And So What If We Do?

    I should point out that I have worked with many gentile editors and writers, and I have never been aware of any employment discrimination against them (though I may not be the best source). In fact, at Spy, the three top editors were all non-Jews and when I used the epithet WASP it was removed from my copy. But that is the exception. Generally it’s been Jews Jews Jews. When I hear NPR do a piece with its top political team and both are Jews…when a Jewish friend calls me and gossips about lunches with two top news execs at major publications who are both Jewish and who I’ve known for 20 years… when a Jewish editor friend tells me that Si Newhouse would be disturbed if Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter– who has done such courageous work against the Iraq war– did anything to expose the Israel lobby… and when I say that my income has been derived overwhelmingly from Jewish-owned publications for years—this is simply the ordinary culture of the magazine business as I know it.

    I have some ideas why Jews have predominated, but that’s not the purpose of this posting. Last year Senator Russ Feingold, buttonholed on CSPAN about why so many speakers on air were Jewish, said, “Well, we’re good at talking…” That’ll do for now.

    The real issue is, Does it matter? Most of my life I felt it didn’t. It’s just the way it is, at this point in history. It will change (as Clyde Haberman pointed out at that Yivo event). Jews are the latest flavor of the establishment. In his landmark book, The Jewish Century, Slezkine reports that Jews were the majority of journalists in Berlin and Vienna and Prague, too, in the late 1800s, if I remember correctly.

    Now I think it does matter, for two reasons. Elitist establishment culture, and Israel. As to
    elitism, I worry when any affluent group has power and little sense of what the common man is experiencing. I feel the same discomfort with my prestige-oriented “caste” that E. Digby Baltzell did with his calcified caste, the WASPs–when he called for an end to discrimination against Jews in the early ’60s. The values of my cohort sometimes seem narrow: globalism, prosperity, professionalism. In Israel the values are a lot broader. None of my cohort has served in the military, myself included. A lot of our fathers did; but I bet none of our kids do. Military service is for losers–or for Israelis.

    So we are way overrepresented in the chattering classes, and way underrepresented in the battering classes. Not a great recipe for leadership, especially in wartime.

    Then there’s Israel. Support for Israel is an element of Jewish religious practice and more important, part of the Jewish cultural experience. Even if you’re a secular Jewish professional who prides himself on his objectivity, there is a ton of cultural pressure on you to support Israel or at least not to betray Israel. We are talking about a religion, after all, and the pressures faced by Jews who are critical of Israel are not that different from what Muslim women who want greater freedom undergo psychically or by evangelical Christians who want to support gay rights. It is worth noting that great Jewish heretics on the Israel question suffer anger or even ostracism inside their own families. Henry Siegman talked about this on Charlie Rose once, I recall–that even close family were not speaking to him over Israel. And I have seen this for myself on numerous occasions. There is not a lot of bandwidth on this issue. Conversations about Israel even inside the liberal Jewish community are emotionally loaded, and result in people not speaking to one another. I lost this blog at a mainstream publication because the editor was Jewish and conservative on Israel and so was the new owner, and the publisher had worked for AIPAC. And all of them would likely call themselves liberal Democrats.

    As former CNN correspondent Linda Scherzer has said, “We, as Jews, must understand that we come with a certain bias …We believe in the Israeli narrative of history. We support the values that we as Americans, Westerners, and Jews espouse. Thus, we see news
    reporting through our own prism.”

    More at link.

  82. The Stephen Miller Band

    . Still, without Trump doing that first step for us, there will be no subsequent steps taken.

    I’m grateful that someone is doing something to weaken the bad guys.

    Please just shut up with this nonsense. You are an imposter and are playing games. You know Trump is doing no such thing and yet you say he is. You are therefore a liar and a provocateur.

    Trump is planning on scarfing down some Happy Meals in Davos with the “bad guys.” What a GREAT first step. I can’t wait to see when he starts running. I envision a world of contemporary plantations and a world population, after the fabricated Tribulation, of approximately 500 million people, 80% of which are slaves.

    Trump has completely shed his feigned Populism and is now going full-on Plutocracy. His fallout with Bannon is reflective & symbolic of that.

    Davos In, Bannon Out

  83. The Stephen Miller Band

    Davos is a Litmus Test and Oprah fits as well as Trump does. As far as I’m concerned, they’re all Skinheads bowling. In Switzerland of all places. Enjoy your Riiiiccccoooollllaaa, you Fat Cat Pricks.

    Davos — Bowling For Rich Skinheads

  84. realitychecker

    TSMB, get help. Before someone is forced to get you involuntarily committed.

    And stop trying to be a mind-reader, about me or anyone else. You show zero talent in that area.

    You are just a disgusting low-life individual.

    You and Willy should just get a room, and spare the rest of us having to contemplate your distressingly corrosive innards.

  85. rangoon78

    Remember Oprah’s pushing the “the Iraqi people want us to liberate them“ BS
    Buying the War: How Big Media Failed Us –
    Video is nstructive- how she shut down the woman who questioned this.
    She let her charisma to push Obama over the top. She is a very scary commodity IMHO

  86. rangoon78

    “Lent” her charisma.

  87. rangoon78

    I would have said; “Oprah is appealing precisely because her stories hide the role of political, economic, and social structures. In doing so, they make the American Dream seem attainable. If we just fix ourselves, we can achieve our goals.The way Oprah tells us to get through it all and realize our dreams is always to adapt ourselves to the changing world, not to change the world we live in. We demand little or nothing from the system, from the collective apparatus of powerful people and institutions. We only make demands of ourselves.
    We are the perfect, depoliticized, complacent neoliberal subjects.”

  88. Willy


    I agree entirely that Hillary cheated to win the primary. I also observed that Trump won the electoral with far less in the way of funding than neoliberal Hillary did. I am no Bannon fan, but Trump has obviously and intentionally discarded that version of the populist and now appears to be beholden to the neocon/lib kleptocratic establishment. Shouldn’t we be learning/teaching others how to not be conned by his kind?

    In a rare admission from a successful corporate manager who I saw as sociopathic, I was told that most basic in predicting another’s future behavior, is to know “the cloth they are cut from”. Few stray from their own basic nature. In 2016 I knew that Trump had NPD issues, and from personal experience I know that integrity is not an NPD quality. They will always tactically favor the situation from which they believe they’ll gain the most personal benefit. Strategic ability is almost nonexistent with them. I am uncertain about Hillary or Obama. They’re not nearly as obvious as Trump.

    Outside of calling desperate swing voters “conned”, I am also uncertain about how people who know our issues can persuade them to learn how to ‘see’ the integrity behind all the campaign promises.

    Hard core believers of course, might need specialists in curing Dunning–Kruger. I don’t want to believe what Ian has suggested, that they’ll all just die that way.

  89. different clue


    oooOOOOoooo . . . did I hit a nerve?

    I wrote two sentences and got back at least a hundred. That’s a real return on investment.

    So, okay. You won’t describe the rapist Bill Cosby with the same kind of language as you will describe the rapist Harvey Weinstein. So it is not rape you have an issue with. It is Jews. Rape is just a handy hook.

    And that’s okay. Everybody has an issue with something, and everybody is searching for a handy hook for their issue. And you have yours.

  90. BlizzardOfOz

    I wrote two sentences and got back at least a hundred. That’s a real return on investment.

    dc, looks like my instinct about you was right buddy. You’re a troll who trolls trolls. Like, the Dexter of trolls.

  91. Tom W Harris

    dc’s no troll, he just has a working sense of smell.

    Someone get a mop, a pail, and a can of air freshener. There’s a KKKillah stench in here .

  92. Timothy Reynolds

    There is literally no chance that a black corporate feminist will win the rust belt, and thus, there is no chance that she can win the Presidency.

    I’m not sure how far up their own asses Democrats live at this point, but this must be patently obvious to anyone not living in crazy diamond land. Bernie Sanders could win. Warren could even win. But after Obama’s constant race-baiting against anyone who criticized him economically, there is literally no chance whatsoever that that those communities are going to vote for a black candidate until the current crop of people is dead. Obama shat the bed on that one.

  93. highrpm

    gee, a cut&paste from mondoweiss means the having an joo issue? a troll indeed!

  94. Hugh

    Trying to bring the conversation somewhat back on topic, our politics should be more about A) having a clear vision for what kind of a country we want and B) an equally clear program about how to get us there. If you know where you are going and how you intend to get there, personalities become unimportant. You don’t need a “name” at the top of the ticket. In fact, you don’t need one anywhere along the line. The only questions a candidate needs to answer affirmatively are: are you with the program and are you willing to leave your blood on the floor for it?

    Oprah (Biden, etc) is just another distraction, another indication of the bankruptcy of our political system. She takes away from that nuts and bolts conversation we should be having about how and for whom our society should function.

  95. Tom W Harris

    Quite true. And the Oprah buzz is a very strong sign that the Democrats will not do anything for everyday people. They’d rather die with neo-liberalism than live with a New Deal II.

  96. realitychecker

    It is just as important to get rid of/punish our liars on the left as it is to get rid of the liars on the right.

    Otherwise, we will always be dealing with the equivalent of a punchbowl that someone dropped some turds into.

    There can be no rational governance of a country where everybody is always ‘sure’ that the other side is lying.

    Leaders who lie to the people are the root of the problems we see. The real puzzler is, why do we never manage to punish any of them for their lies? How else to get rid of them?

    They absolutely rely on the People’s general inability to do basic reality checks.

  97. different clue


    You are, in a sense, correct. But only in a sense. If I am ever being a troll, I am being a HIGHer troll for a HIGHer purpose. Not just for fun. Not just for the LULZ . . . if I got that word right.

  98. NR


    “Obama’s constant race-baiting against anyone who criticized him economically,”

    Can you give some examples of this?

  99. Willy

    There are plenty of Snopes and Polifact posts about who lies more and who lies less. The same for the veracity of news networks, political ideas, etc… If these things were important to most, there would be far less angsty argument. But I don’t think we’re in such a place today.

  100. realitychecker

    Hopeless morons will always be with us, telling us not to worry about the lying that is destroying us.

    Unteachable idiots. And the supply will never run out, it appears.

    Just like the supply of ‘psychopaths’ that have been my stalker’s constant companions in life (according to him lol).

  101. Willy

    Hopeless morons will always be with us, telling us not to worry about the lying that is destroying us.

    Re-read what I wrote, fool.

    I was agreeing with your previous comment. I said that I care about the lying. I said that too many others do not, and this is a problem that needs to be solved. The reasons why many others think this way have already been explained by our blog owner.

  102. realitychecker

    Maybe you should learn to write with more clarity, instead of your usual apocryphal mutterings.

    You rarely state your meaning directly. The better to avoid rebuttal? Or simply evidence of brain damage?

    Who knows? Who cares, at this point?

    You have gleefully defined yourself, on many occasions, as having a specific mission to stalk and harass me, flinging “feces” at every opportunity. YOUR OWN WORDS!!!!!

    Everyone here knows what you have been doing.

    Obnoxious and relentless dickness has consequences. Enjoy them. 🙂

  103. V. Arnold

    Wow, this thread has gone into the shredder; good luck with that.

  104. realitychecker

    Always good to get critical input from the World Capital Of Sex Tourism.

  105. Willy

    The closest we have to an accessible, credible source for realitychecking, are the fact checking websites. Yet I highly doubt that the Fox News Network is in any danger of being replaced by a Politifact Network. People want their tribal dogma. Simply barking at them to quit accepting lies doesn’t work.

  106. realitychecker

    Willy, I’m going to be serious with you for just one moment, OK?

    It is not about which ‘side’ lies more.

    It goes much deeper than that.

    Consider the role of ‘”puffing” in the contract area, a very basic (I would say probably the most basic) level of our society. We have decided, as a matter of basic policy, that it is OK to lie to close a deal.

    From there, we have created no bulwark to prevent the spreading of lies and dishonesty through all other areas of our lives.

    The corrosive effects of this are deadly to any rational society As we now witness daily.

    I am arguing that until we assert a societal repugnance for all lying to get an advantage, and I think that severe punishment can be the only effective deterrent, we have no chance for establishing the kind of society that we all seem to agree would be better for all the decent people.

    I would hope we could at least agree on this basic point. Your relentless past efforts at mockery have seemed designed to obscure that basic point.

  107. BlizzardOfOz

    Even “fact checking” requires a basic level of honesty, which just doesn’t exist in mass media. Honesty is hard, and they’re not even trying to be honest. As James Taranto says, fact checking is opinion journalism masquerading as objectivity. Just take a look at some of these clownish low-effort “fact checks”. This is also why I just laugh at the media shibboleth that Trump lies a lot — what they really mean is that he says stuff that deviates from Uniparty dogma.

  108. Willy

    Ok, seriously then:

    Jimmy Kimmel just ‘celebrated’ our elected president’s 2000th lie. Should Trump be punished for setting such a bad example for the citizens, and even the world, or should Kimmel?

  109. Willy

    I said this to metamars when he was arguing against AGW. If we cannot trust the scientists, then who can we trust? I understand the concept of batting averages. Shouldn’t most everybody? Just as no pro player can make it to base every time, no pro specialist is going to be right all the time. But when there is no institution that is trusted to be right most of the time, and nobody trusts any ‘impartial’ institution to accurately compare other institutions batting averages based on past results, then I’d think the lying culture will continue.

    Is there another answer?

  110. realitychecker

    Willy, I am always adamant about the rules applying equally to everybody.

    You don’t seem to have any understanding of where I am coming from, I am much more aligned with the left than with the right, but I can’t ignore the fact that my side has steadily become more like what we always decried in the other side.

    Anyone who only wants to punish the liars on the OTHER SIDE is part of the problem, IMO, but that is exactly what we keep seeing, over and over.

    If I had the power, I would definitely be an equal opportunity punisher.

    But we will never get better if we keep insisting that only the other side needs a reality check.

    But I would note that Blizzards comment above captures the present reality.

  111. BlizzardOfOz

    You can scroll through instances where Politfact claims to have caught Trump out in a lie. If you read the reasoning behind the ratings, it’s mostly a bunch of Talmudic parsing of language which is more dishonest that what they’re claiming to debunk.

    Here’s one rated “false, wrong on both counts”:

    “We essentially repealed Obamacare because we got rid of the individual mandate … and that was a primary source of funding of Obamacare.”

    Does this look “false” to you? Time will tell on the first part — but I remember clearly that the Dems were saying the individual mandate was essential to the law. If it wasn’t, then why would they include such a toxic measure? Pure malice?

    For the second part, Politfact looks at the total amount in fines collected, which, they observe, is a small percentage of the total government cost of Obamacare. In other words, they completely ignore the vastly larger amount of money flowing to insurers from people who were forced by the mandate to buy their product. Again: Talmudic sophistry.

    For fact checking to be a viable enterprise, its practitioners would need to be scrupulously honest. They are the exact opposite — in fact, they seem to be qualitatively less honest than the average politician.

  112. The Stephen Miller Band

    This is also why I just laugh at the media shibboleth that Trump lies a lot — what they really mean is that he says stuff that deviates from Uniparty dogma.

    No TROLL, what it means is THEY LIE TOO so therefore THEY HAVE NO LEG TO STAND ON. He who casts the first stone and all that biblical jazz. It doesn’t mean that Trump doesn’t lie, it means they are not the ones who get to point it out even thought they do anyway because they have no shame.

    You’re a Left/Right Political Duopoly Moron. Perhaps a Purposeful Stooge & Provocateur. Why are you even here? Oh, that’s right, to push The Party Line. Of course.

    One of the reasons I read Ian is because he has intelligently transcended The Party Line and I think that’s why you are strategically here trolling away — because you want to bring everyone back to it, whether it be Left or Right, and undo Ian’s intent.

    It’s a dangerous thing indeed if enough people become enlightened and realize neither party in The Political Duopoly represents their interests, but instead the interests of The Rich, and therefore their vote, currently at least, is worthless or in fact worth Less Than Zero because it serves to legitimate an otherwise illegitimate farce.

  113. The Stephen Miller Band

    Okay, have it your way. Trump doesn’t lie. I’m game.

    Lock Him Up!!

    The Incredibly Aware & Stable Genius

  114. The Stephen Miller Band

    But I would note that Blizzards comment above captures the present reality.

    Of course you do. I predicted you would before you did. Trolls agree with fellow Trolls. Hence you agree with BoC. Surprise Surprise!!

    The TROLL’S comment is truth mixed with lies. The implication is that Trump is not a liar because the liars have said so and since liars lie, them calling Trump a liar is a lie. Great illogic. I’m not buying it. I prefer logic instead.

    Both sides are the same side and they ALL lie. Therefore, Trump is a liar and so too are RC and BoC and by their own admission, they should be dealt with harshly.

  115. realitychecker

    @ TSMB

    Well, then, I guess by your logic we must conclude that you are also a liar.

    And here I thought you were just mentally ill lol.

    Maybe you are both?

  116. wendy davis

    ‘Reflections in a Golden Globe’, William Kaufman, counterpunch

    “Swathing themselves in obscenely expensive designer black is a close to an insurrectionary gesture as the rich, beautiful, and erratically talented entertainment elites will ever allow themselves—other than chanting “I’m with her” while stumping for the corrupt war criminal of their choice who at least has the good taste to seem merely callously robotic rather than overtly boorish.”

    “I harbor enough guilt just from being Jewish; I don’t need three hours of hectoring from Oprah and Babs—the royalty of neoliberal aristocracy—and the rest of the black-clad, bejeweled, private-jet “activists.” When the fatuous billionaire Oprah—who leapfrogged to world renown and obscene riches by sadistically parading the desperation and emotional dysfunctions of the underclass on her TV show—was heralded with a reverence normally reserved for saints and deities, and then had the chutzpah to equate herself with Rosa Parks, I finally felt the gag reflex kicking in. The amount these people spend annually on cosmetic surgery alone could finance a debt-free college education for the entire high school population of Los Angeles.”

    but hey, if O runs, she and two other uber-wealthy stars could run as a coalition presidency. say…stephen colbert and samantha bee?

  117. Hugh

    What’s the point of fact checking a malevolent senile old fool like Trump? Even if he happens to say something factually correct, he will likely contradict it in minutes to hours. The fact we should be concentrating on is that our ship of state is being presided over by a malevolent senile old fool.

  118. Willy

    Willy, I am always adamant about the rules applying equally to everybody….

    Agree. But BOO says that fact checking sites are inadequate, they even “seem to be qualitatively less honest than the average politician”. So my point stands.

    If we have no trusted sources of objectivity, our culture will suffer as a result. It will be that much harder to contain lies. I remain open to any answers to this problem.

  119. realitychecker

    BOO is correct that even the fact-checking sites seem to favor one side or another.

    The day Reagan revoked the Fairness Doctrine, we were doomed to wind up where we are.

    I don’t know any way to fix it now except to make liars feel bad consequences for their lies.

    Bad consequences are the ultimate motivator for better behavior.

    It’s clear to me that we cannot have a decent society if we cannot ever trust one another.

    Good faith is the key ingredient for everything good. IMO.

    But we can’t even seem to achieve that here, how much harder out in the real world?

  120. Trump: “We essentially repealed Obamacare because we got rid of the individual mandate … and that was a primary source of funding of Obamacare.”

    BlizzardofOz: “Does this look false’ to you?

    Obamacare is alive and well. About 9 million people have already signed up and it is expected that about 12 million people will ultimately enroll in the program. Some states, who manage their own Obamacare programs, have later enrollment deadlines than the Federal government under Trump. Total enrollment in Obamacare for 2018 is expected to be similar to total enrollment in Obamacare for 2017. So yes, it does seem pretty ridiculous to claim that Obamacare has been ‘repealed’ under these circumstances.

  121. realitychecker

    @ ultra

    You might have a bit more patience on this. How do you think Obamacare will look in a couple of years without the mandate?

  122. Willy

    But we can’t even seem to achieve that here, how much harder out in the real world?

    Punishment without clear explanation doesn’t work. It creates hostility. It’s hard to persuade hostile people.

    When I look at history, the better civilizations built institutions of integrity, which the citizens rely on to help maintain their civil society. Science, academia, moral religions, representative democratic government, law enforcement, health care, all the various checks and balances against destructive abuses of power.

    When these things crumble, people will grasp at anything to survive in a dog eat dog world, including lying.

    Who is destroying these institutions today?

  123. realitychecker

    If we need a revolution to change the system, let’s have one. But nobody wants to even discuss that in any serious way.

    But in the meantime, let’s remember that the people who are in line to be punished are ALREADY violent in the case of violent crimes. Punishment didn’t make THEM violent. They already had their violent nature when the committed the crimes they get punished for.

    We learn to change our behavior via BOTH positive and negative consequences. That’s just basic psychology.

    You can’t get good results with just one kind of consequences. Sorry.

  124. realitychecker

    Let me just add, we have laws to control the bad people. The good people will, in theory, never act in a way that requires punishment. Even without laws.

    But the bad people, lacking an internal ethical/moral structure that would reliably steer them toward good behavior, require unpleasant consequences to make them stop their anti-social behavior. They hardly ever wake up and say, “Gee, I’ll just be a good person from now on.”

    NO, they respond to fear of bad consequences. If not solely to bad consequences, then certainly mostly, and certainly most quickly, to bad consequences. Any psychologist, or even animal trainers, will tell you that some bad consequence is required and most effective to extinguish bad behavior.

    See if you can get your kid, or your dog, to touch a hot stove again after they have been badly burned by touching one. Get back to us with your results.

    But immediacy of the bad consequence is the most critical factor. Without that, results diminish.

    This is basic, yet the left exerts so much energy trying to deny it.

  125. MojaveWolf

    @RC – Thanks as always for the kind words. I see your point on “even someone like Trump if it means breaking the corporate choice stranglehold on the presidency”; and there are people I follow on Twitter who have similar takes (@jaredbeck, @eleebeck –both lawyers like yourself–Walter Bragman) and in part I agree, but not entirely. Or, actually, as far as I’ve said it so far, I do agree, but y’all seem to take it a bit further and actually view Trump as somewhat of a force for good or who is in the “ally” camp. (correct me if I’m wrong; if so, all this doesn’t apply to you)

    My issues w/this view are fourfold (this is not an attack; I’ve repeatedly defended this view from attackers because despite my issues, it usually makes more sense to me than the reasons people have for attacking the people who hold it, which usually amount to “omg you are responsible for Trump / Trump is bad / voting Hillary would have stopped Trump and you didn’t vote for Hillary / that makes you bad / please die”‘; obviously I think these people are wrongheaded, to put it kindly):

    1. Trump is not doing most of the good things his voters hoped for; and while he has avoided the worst neocon/neolib/Dick Cheny approved moves that I believe HRC or any of the establishment Republicans would have done (TPP/full out war in Syria or Ukraine or anywhere else), it’s not like he’s been anti-corporate, and he’s still been absolutely horrid across the board, much worse than most of the others would have been in most other ways, and combined w/his general tendency to act like, well, the person that he is, he has in many people’s minds actually strengthened the case for neocon/neolibs as opposed to taking a chance on an outsider (I’m not defending that view; I think it’s a stupid view, but there’s a LOT of people who have it, and Trump has done his share to contribute to this)

    2. Assuming y’all are more right and I’m more wrong and he *has* significantly weakened the stranglehold of the corporate powerbrokers on things, I don’t think that is or was ever his purpose, so to that extent he’s an accidental help, and a very odious accidental help at that; giving him credit for this is sort of like giving serial killer #2 credit for breaking in your house and, thinking he’d found the homeowner, attacking serial killer #1 before serial killer 1 could shoot you in the head. I mean, yeah, yay, one bad guy down; that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear or that serial killer 2 is on your side or that it would be a good idea to befriend him.

    Well, I should have said twofold. Either I forgot something while typing the first two points, or my next two are just particular parts of those highlighted. But going ahead because they are worth highlighting:

    3. He really is THAT personally awful. When talking to Trump supporters back during the 2016 primary season, one of the things I kept saying (to no avail, alas) “if you got stuck in an elevator with him for an hour, don’t you think it would be nearly impossible not to beat the hell out of him before the doors opened?” This is not just the “have a beer with them” in reverse; the guy is a spoiled monster that learned as a child he could walk all over whoever he wanted and do whatever he wanted to with no consequences, and unlike some other spoiled children, many of whom are very nice people despite this, he is the kind of scumbucket who uses this privilege to treat other people like garbage. I’ve known people like that; they are not who you want to be making decisions (a Trump/Cersei Lannister compare & contrast might be useful here; tho HRC by comparison would be Tywin; this really was the “no good option” election)

    4. While it’s nice he’s staying out of open warfare w/Russia or anyone else thus far, and nice that he hasn’t signed any version of the TPP thus far and might never do either of these things, which does put him way ahead of the alternatives, his policies really are THAT bad when it comes to lots of other things. Yes, the R establishment approach to climate change was to pretend the hosue wasn’t burning down and ignore it; the Dems approach to climate change was to acknowledge it was burning down and that people and animals were trapped inside, and to throw a dixie cup of water on it and ask for applause and money in return for doing effectively the same thing as the Republicans. Trump’s approach has been to look around for gasoline cans to throw on the burning house. At least it has the virtue of getting dems to oppose him, but other than that . . . and his approach to wildlife and the non-human part of the world in general seems to be “let’s kill as much as possible because my enemies won’t like it”. That also seems to be his approach to poor humans (granted the democrat approach of “mock poor whites for being poor and treat poor non-whites as pawns in our PR game” is not much better) and his approach to, well, everything. Not of the good.

  126. different clue

    About liar checking . . . and truer checking . . .

    How do we know what we know?
    How do we know we know what we know we know?
    How do we know that we know we know . . . what we know that we know we know?

    At the innermost level of the deepest ultimate . . . I am not sure.

    At the superficial level of the proximate operating truth, if I have spent years learning about something, and see what I think I have learned reflected in desired results and outcomes in the meatspace analog real world I live in, and if I want to see whether I can provisionally trust a source to give me actual factual information about something I DON’T know; I study them over time to see what they say about something I DO know about. If they get it right consistently over time about something(s) I DO know about, then I am prepared to give them the working benefit of the doubt when they talk with equal authoritude about something I know nothing about but which THEY say they DO know about.

    About fact-checking, one call tell a Big Lie with just the right arrangement of just the right cherry-picked facts. The cherry-picked facts in question can all be actually factual and oh-so-literally correct; but can be used to convey an exactly false meaning in the strategic absence of certain carefully undisclosed context-providing big-picture-completion other facts.

  127. MojaveWolf

    Briefly back to the Oprah basis of this post–since a LOT of people apparently ARE taking the Oprah candidacy seriously, I just want to say one more time: Booker, Biden, Harris, Gillibrand, Winfrey. If you didn’t want Hillary, there is no reason to want any of these. Yes, any of them could suddenly change. It’s possible. But until then, why in heck are any of the people who didn’t want Booker/Biden/Gillibrand/Harris/HRC wanting Oprah?????? Just say no!

  128. MojaveWolf

    In a world and thread of acrimony, there are a lot of comments saying stuff I like, including from people who don’t like each other. All this is worth repeating:

    @Hugh– This was a GREAT post: our politics should be more about A) having a clear vision for what kind of a country we want and B) an equally clear program about how to get us there. If you know where you are going and how you intend to get there, personalities become unimportant. You don’t need a “name” at the top of the ticket. In fact, you don’t need one anywhere along the line. The only questions a candidate needs to answer affirmatively are: are you with the program and are you willing to leave your blood on the floor for it?

    Oprah (Biden, etc) is just another distraction, another indication of the bankruptcy of our political system. She takes away from that nuts and bolts conversation we should be having about how and for whom our society should function.

    Tom W Harris permalink
    January 10, 2018

    Quite true. And the Oprah buzz is a very strong sign that the Democrats will not do anything for everyday people. They’d rather die with neo-liberalism than live with a New Deal II.

    January 10, 2018

    It is just as important to get rid of/punish our liars on the left as it is to get rid of the liars on the right. . .

    There can be no rational governance of a country where everybody is always ‘sure’ that the other side is lying.
    I am arguing that until we assert a societal repugnance for all lying to get an advantage . .. we have no chance for establishing the kind of society that we all seem to agree would be better for all the decent people.

    Blizz: Even “fact checking” requires a basic level of honesty, which just doesn’t exist in mass media. (this may be the only time we ever agree on anything, but there ya go.)

    & there were others but these will do for now.

  129. MojaveWolf

    @Willy (in your response to me):

    We’re basically on the same page here.

    As to reaching the Trump voters, at least the persuadable ones (and you can try even w/the hardcore Hannity fans; I have; you probably won’t get anywhere but they tend to be more polite and reasonable than the hardcore MSNBC fans when you disagree with them so actual conversation is possible), just talk to them like you would talk to anyone here. Discuss actual issues, not slogans, and don’t insult them. I’m not saying you do, but just as litmus test, don’t talk to them (or at them) the way you see most of the MSM discussing Tanya Harding (who also is getting a raw deal imo, and certainly was before the Kerrigan incident); that sort of sums up the whole problem of “why Dem elites have trouble connecting w/working class people who aren’t already on their side” in a nutshell; most working class voters of all ethnicities prefer at least the broad strokes of stated Dem policy to the GOP, and Bernie’s to the Dems. Assume they are not stupid and go from there.

  130. realitychecker

    @ MW

    You deserve all the kind words you get, Wolf. We’ve been around each other for a bunch of years, and your voice has ALWAYS been a thoughtful, good-hearted one worthy of respect and appreciation. I hope you are doing OK dealing with the recent change in your life. ((MW))

    BUT, you ARE wrong about my feelings for Trump. All your other observations are on point, IMO.

    I don’t expect a magic unicorn, never have, never will. We need big changes on MANY fronts, but Trump helps on only a few. Still, the other folks you mention offer nothing that I could support. And neither I, nor you, nor any that we were allied with at FDL, has managed to do anything to even start to break down the status quo.

    Trump proves an outsider can win, and deliberately makes the insanely pc crowd go crazy (a prerequisite for letting them hit bottom and re-think themselves lol). He is also right about recent immigration policy being nonsensical and even self-destructive. And the trade pacts being problematic. And the mainstream corporate media needing to be killed en masse (just kidding, a severe beating would be satisfactory lol.)

    These things open the door for massive changes in people’s belief systems, changes we desperately need to have happen. They are just a beginning though, a mere glimmer of hope for what might follow. Eventually, the People will have to shoulder the burdens to get the rest done.

    Sure, I hate what he has done for the rich and the corporations, but that was always his nature. And no different from what Obama did, or Hillary would have done, IMO. Let’s not forget that all the increased wealth in the last eight years was deliberately engineered to go to the top few percent, and Hillary promised more of the same.

    And sure, he’s a self-centered asshole. So is Hillary. So was Obama. So was W. So was Clinton. I wouldn’t let any of them into my home, nor would I want to be in theirs. So what? He’s doing some good in some areas I really care about. Nobody else is, or wants to. That’s the reality I’m being guided by right now.

    Mixed bag, admittedly, Still, who are we, as pathetically impotent as we have proven ourselves to be, to spurn the good parts?

    The best way to sum up my feelings toward Trump is that he is the enemy of my enemies, sometimes hurting them in ways I and you and nobody else on the left seems to be able to do at all.

    I’ll take what I can get, but I don’t expect miracles. We are in a war for the future of regular people world-wide, and that will be a long fight that we will lose if we don’t get our heads straight real soon. So, I will take what I can get. I’ll swallow some more of the inevitable bad in order to get some of the otherwise unattainable good.

    It’s a long-term process, still just beginning. And it’s also possible that we are already past the point of no return. No deus ex machina for us in any event, and if we can’t up our game, stop believing false things and achieve some consensus on what is true and right, no happy ending for us regular folks.

  131. realitychecker

    @ dc

    There are many ways to get closer to truth and further from falsity. People like me get a lot of training to do so, before we get to make decisions that affect our clients. Anybody can get such training, in school or even auto-didactically. It just takes reading and thinking, and being careful. And (relatively) unemotional. (As in, your search for truth might hurt the feelings of folks who benefit from avoiding the truth.)

    Don’t insist on absolute certainty, it’s never honestly attainable in a complex fact pattern, and most importantly, it’s not necessary to make good decisions about things. In most real life situations, good enough is good enough. For the rest, we have philosophy and meta-ethics to better guide us in the right general directions.

    This is what is most important, IMO. Reject falsity, and the people who promote it. Reject the cognitive dissonance that comes from living with obvious contradictions and hypocrisies. Respect basic logic. Be aware of the observable differences between what you wish, and what you see. These are learnable skills. It just takes time, effort, and dedication to acquire them. (Most never bother to try in any meaningful way.)

    Do that well, and you are closer to what is true. That’s the best approach I have been able to come up with, after a lifetime of dedication to the process, and reading a lot of other smart people’s thoughts.

    We used to call it “reality checking,” and we didn’t make fun of people who used the term, or feel threatened by them lol. 🙂

  132. different clue


    John L. King, historical economist/ economic historian and author of How To Profit From The Next Great Depression said . . . ” Him that is not surprised when the future comes, lives very close to the truth.”

    So there is another check-method. People who are “ready and prepared” for something when all around them are surprised, must have been living close enough to the truth to know in advance what to be ready for.

  133. realitychecker

    @ dc

    Maybe so, but how does that help you or me? Or him?

    I’ve been right about almost everything that was coming in America for the last few decades, few remember lol. I’ve made some truly amazing calls on the stock market, but my next trade could still be a loser.

    I focus on doing my own competent process, I don’t ever just accept the authority of others who may have been right in the past, because they could be making a big mistake now.

    If they share their reasoning, and I like it, then I mkikght adopt it as my own. Naked conclusions mean zilch to me.

    All the ‘great minds’ in history have been wrong about a lot of things. Question authority.

    I am baffled at how readily folks on the Internet and elsewhere will defer to any imagined authority.

  134. realitychecker

    Edit: might adopt

  135. realitychecker

    @ dc

    I might add, I don’t even accept myself as an ‘authority’: I constantly check and re-check my process and conclusions, periodically, and also when any new fact becomes available. It’s a constant, dynamic process. Just like living.

    When I find myself in error, as sometimes happens, I don’t hang on blindly and stubbornly, but rather quickly change my view as appropriate in light of the discovery. I’d much rather be accurate in the present than insist I was always accurate in the past. I really don’t understand all the people who seem unable/unwilling to do the same. I really don’t. But I constantly encounter them.

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