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The Art of No Deal 
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 Re: The Art of No Deal
Wish I could remember which pundit wrote this, but consider that it's 2020 and we have the following situations.
  • The Mueller investigation had some huge revelations, but they did not quite reach the level of high crimes and misdemeanors plus the Democrats did not have sufficient votes in the legislative branch. Although there may be some legal manuevers against Trump, no impeachment proceedings or resignation.
  • The economy continues to chug along well, we avoided major trade wars and a recession.
  • Trump manages NOT to start a war with China, North Korea, Iran, or anyone else. Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan cool off slightly.

Yes he could win. It must be considered. Trump has been underestimated at every step. I hope this is wrong, but prepare yourselves for the long haul.



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Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:15 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Harry Marks wrote:
DB Roy wrote:
I think at this point, Trump needs to seriously consider resigning. I think once the Russian collusion thing starts, they will lean on Trump's children and they'll tell him "Resign or we will prosecute them." I think, at that point, he'll resign. The wheels are seriously coming off here. Really, with Weisselberg on their side now, it's really over for Trump.
That's an astute observation about his kids. But a deal like that can't come from the prosecutors: holding his kids hostage?


I'm not going to argue this because legalities involved are far beyond what I'm sure either one of us really knows about. Suffice it to say, they will make clear to him that they are open to his resignation if he chooses that route.

Quote:
Political poison.


For whom??? The justice dept are not politicians, are not affiliated with any political party and the head of that dept is a Trump appointee. Political poison for whom?

Quote:
It has to be Trump's idea.


I think they know what they are doing. There's no point to arguing with me about it since I am not a legal expert. There's already talk of resignation so it is likely going to be the way this thing ends. How they get there is up to them. Don't shrug it off just because I'm not a legal expert. Back when the Russian thing first came to light, Huffington Post printed an article about how Trump's presidency would end and it ended with a group of democrats and republicans in Congress going to the White House and telling him he had to resign for the good of the country. And pretty sure that is how it will go.

Quote:
And he would have to admit to some wrongdoing and make some commitments, like maybe promising no deals with foreigners, as part of the deal.


Again, these are legal matters of which I'm not versed. I don't know what the requirements are but they do. They will dot every "i" and cross every "t."

Quote:
All the prosecutors can do is pursue the law. They can threaten to prosecute him for state crimes, such as tax evasion (which we can be 95% sure he is guilty of without anyone even saying it), but no state official is going to cut a deal "in exchange for resignation from the Presidency." Rather some go-between would have to broker it.


Once again, however they choose to execute this thing is up to them. My belief is that they will lean on his children to get a resignation because that will be the best outcome for all involved and leaning on his kids is probably the only way this stupid pigheaded idiot will ever resign. If he doesn't take that deal then he will be impeached and his kids will still go to jail. So what other choice does he have?

Quote:
Yeah but that's exactly the point. It was all politics, and the Republicans actually came off looking pretty dumb.


I agree but this is CLEARLY not all politics. They are some serious charges here.

Quote:
Even if the Dems take both houses, which I seriously doubt will happen, they won't have the votes to convict and would need a lot more stuff than this to make it worth the political cost. Let's face it, Trump was guilty his first week in office, with the emoluments clause, but impeachment is a political decision and the Red State voters are in no mood to hold him accountable for his misdeeds.


Hmm, I thought I explained already that they are going to go for resignation not impeachment. See, if Trump says, "Go ahead impeach me! This Congress will never vote for it!" They will prosecute his children. If he offers to resign then everything goes away. So even if he is impeached and acquitted or not impeached at all, his children are in prison. That's his choice. By that time, his regime in the White House will be such a disaster that he may as well resign so do it before it's too late. Trump can resign now and make it look like a moral victory. If he drags the country through impeachment proceedings, most of the people will never forgive him for that. If he gets off--all the worse for him. Or if congress votes not to impeach, that won't be acceptable to the people. That's a mockery of the Office. That's not draining the swamp, that's being the king of it. I can only imagine what his marriage will look like by that time. Melania would likely file for divorce and take Barron to Europe claiming all of it was too much for him.

Quote:
I suspect that #MeToo and the hurricane and fire seasons will cost them even more. Florida is turning blue quickly, and even Texas may go for a Democrat.


I said earlier than the dems would not likely take either house in 2018 but I'm not so sure now. I think they will take the senate. They could take the house but that's probably hoping for too much. They will make big gains in the house though.

Quote:
We can be fairly confident that he didn't expect to win the election in the first place. But I think he might hang on in the vain belief (vain in both senses) that the trade war with China will pay off. It's the one thing he stood for that has any respectability politically. And of course China is not about to give up with their nemesis on the ropes. So we have a game of chicken, with the stakes being the Chinese economy and the follow-on effects around the world if they go into a deep crisis. This is the one scenario in which his trade war really could turn into a repeat of the 2008 crash.


But that's why I'm sure they will lean on Trump's kids. It's probably the only way.



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Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:20 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
. . . My belief is that they will lean on his children to get a resignation because that will be the best outcome for all involved and leaning on his kids is probably the only way this stupid pigheaded idiot will ever resign. If he doesn't take that deal then he will be impeached and his kids will still go to jail. So what other choice does he have?

I have a poor track record trying to predict anything related to Trump. He sort of exists in a world of his own, with its own rules and such. He is probably baffled by the circus atmosphere of his administration, that the media will questions the things he says, such as the size of the inauguration crowd.

Did Don Jr. lie to the FBI? It seems to me that he admitted to meeting with the Russians for the express purpose of getting dirt on Hillary. He didn't see anything wrong with it. He even posted his emails on twitter.

My other thought is that charging Trump Jr. would not be great way to get to Trump. It wouldn't go over well with Trump's base. And, if anything, Trump would want to remain President so he could pardon Trump Jr. and others.

The way to Trump is through tax fraud and perhaps money laundering. After Cohen, Mueller is now looking hard at the finances of the Trump Organization, granting immunity to its chief financial officer. It seems almost a given that Trump has a lot of shady dealings in his past. Follow the money. That's how they're going to get Trump.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/24/us/p ... trump.html


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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
geo wrote:
I have a poor track record trying to predict anything related to Trump. He sort of exists in a world of his own, with its own rules and such. He is probably baffled by the circus atmosphere of his administration, that the media will questions the things he says, such as the size of the inauguration crowd.


Okay, so Trump is in his own little world. I agree.

Quote:
Did Don Jr. lie to the FBI? It seems to me that he admitted to meeting with the Russians for the express purpose of getting dirt on Hillary. He didn't see anything wrong with it. He even posted his emails on twitter.


He PROVIDED the info that there was a meeting in Trump Tower. The public never would have known except he provided the very info. One reporter even remarked, "He gave is the information I've spent a year trying to dig up." I think he knew it would come out and that the public should hear it from him first.

Quote:
My other thought is that charging Trump Jr. would not be great way to get to Trump.


LOL!! He broke the law! Are they going to let him go because it's not a great way to get to Trump?? It doesn't matter. He broke the law and he's going to be charged. He admitted it when he revealed that email chain. If a cop pulls you over and asks if you have any drugs and you say, "No, just a couple of little, tiny crack rocks." He's going to bust you. Why? Because that's illegal. And if your dad is the chief of police, it doesn't matter! You broke the law and you did it with your own big mouth.

Quote:
It wouldn't go over well with Trump's base.


Okaaaaay....and I give a shit about Trump's base why???

Quote:
And, if anything, Trump would want to remain President so he could pardon Trump Jr. and others.


First off, the deal they'll offer is to resign and everything goes away so they won't go to jail or even to trial. But the use of presidential pardon costs a tremendous amount of political capital not only for Trump but for his party. That will backfire spectacularly and may force impeachment. It's a blatant misuse of presidential power. As that Huffington article said, it will be a contingent of congressional dems and repubs going to the WH and telling Trump, "You MUST resign, sir." They'll never let him use that presidential pardon power.

Quote:
The way to Trump is through tax fraud and perhaps money laundering.


Well, that's coming.

Quote:
After Cohen, Mueller is now looking hard at the finances of the Trump Organization, granting immunity to its chief financial officer. It seems almost a given that Trump has a lot of shady dealings in his past. Follow the money. That's how they're going to get Trump.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/24/us/p ... trump.html


That's exactly what I've been saying. I already said that since they have Allen Weisselberg, its done. This guy knows every deal Trump has made since the 80s. Trump is finished. I only brought up this other stuff because Landroid seems to think Trump is going to get out of this thing fine and run again in 2020 and probably win. I'm saying there is no chance that that is going to happen. Mueller has him 7 ways to a Sunday. It's over now. Even as far as the Russian collusion, they are not likely going to prove Trump colluded. They are going to prove he obstructed justice. That's all they need to prove. And Giuliani, Trump's own lawyer, said that the cover story that the meeting in Trump Tower was about adoption came from Trump. Whether Trump had prior knowledge of the meeting or not, that's instructing people to lie to cover breaking the law and that's obstruction of justice. Firing Comey to kill the investigation--which he admitted to Lester Holt on TV--is obstruction of justice. They don't need to prove collusion and I don't think they will bother unless the proof fell right into their laps. They are going to strip everybody around Trump away from him so that they can't protect him and then move in on him. That certainly seems to look like what they are doing.

And let's not forget that the majority of Americans are plenty pissed about separating kids from their parents at the border. What Trump actually proved with immigrants is that we need them because certain industries in this country will go under without them because no Americans will do that work.

I think Americans have had enough of the Donald Trump experience.



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Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:20 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
I hope you're right Mr. Roy, just trying to steel myself for other possibilities*. Was thinking earlier today "this will be Shakespearean."


*Underestimation:
- Trump will never run, he only jokes about it.
- He's running, but it's a total joke.
- He won the nomination, but Trump cannot win, everyone sees he is a joke.
- On day of election: Trump cannot win, the joke is over.
- Trump won, but he will rise to the occasion and become Presidential.
- Trump cannot be Presidential, he is corrupt and will not serve out his first term.
- OMG....



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
That's an astute observation about his kids. But a deal like that can't come from the prosecutors: holding his kids hostage?
I'm not going to argue this because legalities involved are far beyond what I'm sure either one of us really knows about. Suffice it to say, they will make clear to him that they are open to his resignation if he chooses that route.
Your point is well taken, for sure for my shallowness of knowledge. I am just making guesses based on political gut instincts. "I was going to fight these false and political charges but they threatened my kids with jail time if I didn't resign," is sufficient political cover to pardon the kids.

DB Roy wrote:
Quote:
Political poison.

For whom??? The justice dept are not politicians, are not affiliated with any political party and the head of that dept is a Trump appointee. Political poison for whom?
Political poison for anyone thinking that a resignation by Trump is a solution to Trumpism. Handled wrong, that kind of threat to hold his kids hostage could easily deepen the divisions and make administration of justice even more difficult.

DB Roy wrote:
Quote:
It has to be Trump's idea.

I think they know what they are doing. There's no point to arguing with me about it since I am not a legal expert.
Yes I'm sure you're right that they will handle it professionally. I do enjoy trying to scope it out, and your post was the first time I saw anyone point out the obvious leverage provided by the family criminality. So I am just thinking "out loud" so to speak. Still an interesting business to think about.

DB Roy wrote:
Back when the Russian thing first came to light, Huffington Post printed an article about how Trump's presidency would end and it ended with a group of democrats and republicans in Congress going to the White House and telling him he had to resign for the good of the country. And pretty sure that is how it will go.
That makes sense. And a group like that probably could broker a deal with prosecutors, including state level prosecutors.

These are the sorts of crimes I expect will furnish the cliff for him to either turn around (i.e. resign) or drive off of.

https://www.newsweek.com/jared-kushner- ... ing-771166


DB Roy wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
Yeah but that's exactly the point. It was all politics, and the Republicans actually came off looking pretty dumb.
I agree but this is CLEARLY not all politics. They are some serious charges here.
Well, technically Bill Clinton was up for perjury, which is obstruction of justice and pretty serious. Politically, lying about sex with Monica qualified more as stupid than as assault on the justice system, but it was not a lightweight crime.

DB Roy wrote:
If he drags the country through impeachment proceedings, most of the people will never forgive him for that. If he gets off--all the worse for him. Or if congress votes not to impeach, that won't be acceptable to the people. That's a mockery of the Office. That's not draining the swamp, that's being the king of it.
Well, 50 to 55 percent of America already will never forgive Trump for what he has done to America's institutions. The question is what damage will happen to the Republican party if they don't do something about him, and right now the tea leaves are still saying "not much." Of course the discussion is exactly where it was when Nixon had 40% support and the Republicans in Congress were saying, "there is no smoking gun." And then a few months later there was a smoking gun. It's pretty likely with all the insiders turning on him that similar stuff will come out on Trump.

DB Roy wrote:
I said earlier than the dems would not likely take either house in 2018 but I'm not so sure now. I think they will take the senate. They could take the house but that's probably hoping for too much. They will make big gains in the house though.

The conventional wisdom is that taking the house will be easier, due to the number of Red State Democrats being challenged effectively in the Senate. Five Thirty-Eight gives the Dems a 5 in 7 chance of taking the House.

However, checking the poll sites I see that the Dems start the campaign season with a decent chance of winning the Senate also. They need to win 6 of the 7 toss-up races or beat Cruz in Texas in place of one of those 6. But they are behind in Tennessee and Indiana and maybe North Dakota. I haven't seen a poll for Arizona yet, and Missouri seems to be dead even. Even if they get the toss-ups where they are ahead, Nevada and Florida prominently, the chances are they will fall short overall.

As usual these days, turnout is the big deciding factor, and turnout tends to favor Republicans in off-year elections, but it also tends to favor the party out of power when there is considerable dissatisfaction. There is plenty of dissatisfaction with the party in power this year, but not really in Tennessee, Indiana, North Dakota, Missouri and Arizona. In fact, the Republicans are trying to get the "hold your nose" supporters to turn out by threatening that the Democrats will do what the Republicans did in the 90s, if they take a Congressional majority.

In my opinion, the Dems could successfully run on holding honest Congressional hearings, which is not going to happen without them holding the majority. Climate, public lands, schools policies, consumer lending protection, health care, deficits, trade policy, even tax policy, are ripe for some good hearings. The Republicans have been charging ahead with foolhardy rewards to their donors, and setting themselves up for disaster.



Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:31 am
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
*Underestimation:
- Trump will never run, he only jokes about it.
- He's running, but it's a total joke.
- He won the nomination, but Trump cannot win, everyone sees he is a joke.
- On day of election: Trump cannot win, the joke is over.
- Trump won, but he will rise to the occasion and become Presidential.
- Trump cannot be Presidential, he is corrupt and will not serve out his first term.
- OMG....

Well, there you go, folks. We're underestimating him so therefore he wins again. Stay home. Don't come to the polls. It's all part of his brilliant plan. There is nothing we can do to win. Trump is too smart. It's over. Good night.



Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:48 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
-
Quote:
Trump cannot be Presidential, he is corrupt and will not serve out his first term.
- OMG....
[/quote]


OMG! We have our first corrupt president in office!



Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:11 am
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
We've had corrupt presidents before and they got charged and/or their reputations were ruined. Andrew Johnson impeached, Grant and the Whiskey Ring scandal, Reagan and Iran-Contra, Harding and Teapot Dome, Nixon and Watergate, Clinton and Lewinsky. Why should Trump be any different since he's as corrupt as they come? Why is he deserving of protection?



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
There is some question whether Trump had a reputation to ruin. This is a man who decided long ago to play up his adulterous affair rather than suffer the drip-drip of denial being contradicted in public.

Richard "I am not a crook" Nixon was ousted in part because it was recognized that leaving him in would damage the system (and the Republican party - those were the good old days when the mainstream listened to Walter Cronkite and there was no Sean Hannity alternative.) We now have a party dominated by the same cultural segment who proudly denied the vote to African-Americans and declared "segregation forever", and by their apologists who are recognized to be serving their donor base, which passes for respectable in American politics.

By contrast with Nixon, the current guy was nominated, and then elected, by a party that knew full well he was a con-man and found his thuggishness appealing. If the people of the U.S. feel that low taxes and no rule of law is preferable to higher taxes and rule of law, then they will get what they are voting for.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Quote:
There is some question whether Trump had a reputation to ruin. This is a man who decided long ago to play up his adulterous affair rather than suffer the drip-drip of denial being contradicted in public.


We all have such short memories, particularly when it cums to "our guy."
It's relatively recent history when Bill Clinton was running around the White House tripping over his member and splattering his adulterous juices all over the skirts of interns.

"It depends what the definition of IS is"

"I did not have sex with that woman"


Remember those two tidbits of blatant dishonesty?

Let's not all pretend corruption and adultery are shockingly new developments in the Oval Office.

Also, prior to entering the political arena full time, Trump was actually admired by the majority of Americans for his capitalistic achievements.
He was actually idolized as someone living the American dream.
Now suddenly he's a morally bankrupt conniving, adulterous, Russian loving devil.
I tell you, Americans can shift their moral gears in a blink of an eye.



Last edited by ant on Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
I see Ant can't answer my question but that's nothing new.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
I've been think about how Trump could be allowed to become a presidential candidate. I am perfectly astounded that someone could lie brazenly, could mock a disabled person, could fight with a goldstar family, badmouth a military man for being captured and tortured by an enemy, talk about grabbing women by their genitalia, mock women for their looks and so on and so forth and he STILL became the republican party's nominee. Forget him being president because that was a mistake and a freak of nature. But after all the terrible things he said after announcing his candidacy, the republican party still thought it was okay to advance him to the nomination.

It boggles my mind how people refused to support Hillary Clinton because, they said, she is a liar and a crook. Yet they support a man who can't tell the truth and breaks the law anytime he thinks it will help him to do so. I look back and I see it started with the media. I think the media have dumbed us down. And it doesn't matter if it's conservative media or liberal media because those are false labels. Somewhere along the line, media started churning out news for idiots and appealing to the lowest common denominator. Conservative and liberal media are nothing but sensationalism, pap. With the internet becoming the primary form of medium from which people get their news (and I'm guilty of this), I think it acts as a catalyst for the downward spiral.

Ever peruse the MSN news site? It's horrible. It's just bullshit for the most part. Full of idiotic crap that passes for news. I've learned to stop falling for "click-bait" which is 90% of MSN news. I never click on anything listed as "sponsored." It's a garbage story you have to scroll through pages upon pages upon useless pages of advertisements to get to the end which was not worth all the scrolling it took to get there. And they have these stupid fucking stories that reuse the same headline over and over again. "Aunt Bee blurts why The Andy Griffith Show ended!" Never mind that "Aunt Bee" didn't blurt out a damned thing since she has been dead since 1989! Then the same headline runs again a few days later only now it's Vivian Vance suddenly blurts out why I love Lucy ended. She died 10 years before Aunt Bee! Then there are the moronic click-bait stories such as "See which celebrities whose grandmothers were lesbian porn star refugees from Czarist Russia." They'll show a photo of Natalie Portman or someone like that. Wow, you didn't know Natalie's grandmother was a Russian lesbian porn star! So you want to read about that, right? Wrong! After scrolling through 60 pages of bullshit, there will be no story of Natalie Portman's dike Russky grandmother. They only put her photo on it to make you want to read the stupid article. I actually fell for one those "You wouldn't believe what [insert celebrity name here] looks like now!" And the photo they use for the lead-in is a celebrity who does not appear in the article. I blame myself for giving a shit what any celebrity from yesteryear looks like now. But those ads aren't enough, see? Then there are the video stories that look interesting but they are so loaded with adverts, you can't make it through a 2 minute story without being subjected to three of them and you can't skip them. Now you may say to get some ad block software but there are two problems with this: 1) I'm at work on break and the IT dept doesn't want you downloading that kind of stuff on their computers and 2) the story which looked so tantalizing turned out to be a boring, incomplete mish-mash of pointless shit.

News presents no context and without context truth goes out the window which makes someone like Trump rock hard. After walking through this menagerie of bullshit, you might get the feeling that you are keeping yourself informed but you are not! You are keeping yourself entertained. News is now entertainment. It's not news you need to know, it's news you want to keep you from getting bored. So this makes it easy for Donald Trump to lie again and again. First the media gave him huge amounts of free publicity because he brought in ratings and his blatant lies were debated instead of shot down. When he said that thousands of Arab-Americans were cheering on rooftops in New Jersey while the Twin Towers burned, people believed him. The public debated this when they should have known it was bullshit. It this happened, where are videos of this event? Maybe there are none, right? Wrong. Trump claimed he saw it on the news on TV. People scoured the news stations' archives trying to find this footage but to no avail. Trump and his supporters claimed it was deleted or hidden away because of "bias." Common sense, if this really happened, it would have been YUGE news!! There would be no way to hide this story. It would have been national, if not international, headlines. It wouldn’t have been shown on some minor local news station that only Donald Trump watched. That alone, shoots down the story. His claim deserved no more attention than that.

It's like how we deal with flat-earthers. We come up with all these proofs to demonstrate that the world is a sphere. Seriously? Is that what it's come to? It's 2018 and we still have to prove the world is a globe. Yet we keep giving these morons media space to spew their bullshit. Why? For the copy. The copy generates views and views equal money. The flat-earthers aren’t worth any more space than it takes to say, “You are full of shit. Shut up and go away.” But we do the same with Donald Trump and for exactly the same reason—he’s good for ratings and ratings means money.

It’s a vicious, sad cycle. Donald Trump hates the media but he gets ALL his information from watching TV news. As I said, the news has no context and without context, you cannot discern truth. This suits Trump and his followers who hate the truth unless it supports what they have to say which it virtually never does. Trump is a TV junkie. When he’s not on it, he’s watching it. Trump is a perfect example of what you become when you learn nothing except what you watch on a handful of channels on TV. If all you ever see of Muslims is news footage of car bombs, American flag-burning, Muslims in the US going on a shooting spree and so on but you don’t personally know the Muslims in your area who own businesses, work hard, raise families, pay taxes, run for office, etc., then you have a very stunted view of what a Muslim is. Donald Trump has just such a view. A great many non-Muslim Americans have such a view and they love it when Trump voices their view out loud to the whole world. They’ll forgive anything and everything he does and says as long as he keeps voicing their ignorance to the world.

TV has made fools of us all and plays into hands of some schlup like Trump. TV offers us the simple solution: if I don’t like what I’m watching, I can just turn the channel or turn the TV off—done! That’s what a lot of liberals advise and they see this as the level-headed, smart approach. “Don’t watch that idiot,” they say, “just turn him off. He feeds on people watching him.” The problem with that idea is a lot like when you flush your big, smelly turds down the toilet. It’s gone and now everything is good but it ignores the fact that those turds have just gone into a sewer system which sluice it into a river. It doesn’t go away, it’s just being hidden from your sight. Turning Trump off and not paying him any attention may be exactly what he deserves but it is NOT HAPPENING! YOU may not be watching but millions upon millions upon millions are and everything that Trump is and what he represents just continues to grow around you while you sleep contentedly in your little insulated media-free bubble. People say, “We underestimated Trump!” You did that by tuning him out while millions more were tuning him in. Ignoring TV doesn’t make TV go away. Ignoring Trump won’t make him go away either.

Like it or not, if you want change, you have to get down into the mud and fight tooth-and-nail. This is hard for a lot of liberals who have never had to do a menial job in their lives but it’s what it takes. Whatever you’re unwilling to do because it’s too icky, your opposition will gladly do and they will beat you at your game each and every time. “Well, at least I keep my integrity!” they say. Sorry but your integrity isn’t keeping Trump and millions more sure to follow him into politics from destroying our democracy. That takes action, it takes pushback, it takes getting all icky.

It’s TOO LATE now to turn Trump off. I wrote earlier that during the campaign Bush or Cruz should have socked Trump in the face and knocked him out for insulting their wives but Trump walked all over them and wiped his ass with them and all they could do was turn to the moderators and whine, “This ain’t fair!!!” They grew up never having to fight for anything and so now as adults they have no idea how to fight. When your opponent gets down in the mud and starts slinging mudpies at you, you look stupid just standing there and taking it. You have to jump in, beat him to a pulp and dunk his face in that mud and hold it there until he gurgles and starts spazzing. But Trump revealed the other candidates to be girly-men—even Carly Fiorina, especially Carly Fiorina. They showed themselves incapable of fighting for what they believed in, incapable of standing up to the bully. I learned a long time ago from personal experience that when a bully thrusts his chin out at you, taps it with his finger and says, “Go ahead, punk, give me your best shot! Show everybody how tough you are,” he’s only doing that because he thinks you’re too chickenshit to hit him. So hit him!! Smash that jaw! HIT HIM, GODDAMN YOU, HIT HIM!!! But they stood there too scared to make a move because they’ve never had to do that before in their pampered little lives and Trump the bully knew it and his supporters laughed and high-fived.

This is what happens when your political system is a fake, phony, pointless reality show sham. Trump didn’t demean this institution, he merely revealed what it was. He was the kid who refused to acknowledge the emperor’s new clothes and instead blurted out laughing, “Hey, stupid, your crank is hanging out!!” He revealed how broken it is in often perverse ways. When his followers said they didn’t want any establishment candidates, Trump showed them that no matter what they wanted, it’s a billionaires’ club and he stocked his cabinet almost exclusively with billionaires with no experience in the posts he was appointing them to. Didn’t bother his followers a bit. Trump proved no guy with a middleclass background and an interest in politics can walk into the arena and take his place at one of the podiums onstage without getting tackled, shit-stomped, dragged to the door and thrown out. Without money and lots of it, you cannot go up on that stage or even hang around backstage. You can sit in the audience and cheer for the one you’ve chosen for whatever reasons you can make up (any reason you make up is wrong). But have to realize that the object of the billionaire contest you’re watching is for the contestants to come up with the fanciest way to enrich themselves by disenfranchising you and getting you to clap enthusiastically.

If the electoral process wasn’t such a fucking ridiculous, pointless spectacle then explain how Trump was allowed to get into it in the first place. Clearly, there is no vetting process beyond how much money you have. Could Trump have gotten into that circus if he had no money? No, he could not. Beyond that, you get into the ring and you preen like a model. It’s like wrestling. Grab the mike and taunt your opponent, tell him how you’re going to crush him and to get his little pansy ass out of town before you go and hunt him down. Tear off your shirt, flex your muscles. “You want a piece of me, come and get it!” This is what Trump did and none of them dared to go and get it. He wins.

The conservative everyman loved it and completely ate up what Trump was offering. It sounded so good when you didn’t think about it, which is how a Trump-supporter operates in an election year and navigates through life. He said if a car company dares to move operations to Mexico, they’ll be looking at a stiff tariff. Sounds good, but it means that car is going to cost the American consumer more. But the American manufacturers will do great, right? Wrong. The American carmakers don’t make anything in the US. They merely assemble it here. They buy all the parts overseas and which fall under Trump’s tariffs and if the American consumer isn’t willing to spend more for it, that product falls by the wayside and so do jobs. Virtually any industry that relies on metal and/or electronics is going to feel this pinch. Trump says we have to stick it out, it will be rough at first but when phase II kicks in, it will be a lot better. Trouble is, nobody what phase II is or when it begins and phase II isn’t going to mean a lot to me if phase I costs me my job.

But where was the media when this was happening? When Trump yacked about his “beautiful” healthcare plan that was going to cover everybody, why didn’t the media demand to see this plan and if Trump doesn’t hand it over, whack his balls off? Because the last thing they wanted was for Trump to drop out. Oh, no! There go our ratings!!! One would think with the election of Trump, the media would recognize the role they played (he couldn’t have gotten in without them), and vowed to start doing things right. HA!! Not a chance. It’s too late to turn back what they’ve started. So where does it end?



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
ant wrote:
We all have such short memories, particularly when it cums to "our guy."
It's relatively recent history when Bill Clinton was running around the White House tripping over his member and splattering his adulterous juices all over the skirts of interns.
My memory of the years of the Clinton impeachment crusade were of moral anguish. Not only did the rumors about him seem to be playing out as true, contrary to my expectations based simply on the "vast rightwing conspiracy" to smear the Clintons (remember Vince Foster? remember the attempts to "flip" Susan McDougal? It is now clear why the Republicans claim ordinary law enforcement is "a political witch hunt" - they should know). But then he lied under oath. Among Bill Clinton's gifts was a gift for self-sabotage.

On the other hand, he was quite literally the most economically savvy president since Lincoln. Watching him in 2012 at the Democratic Convention, part of me was wishing he (and Hillary, frankly) would just go away, and part of me was mesmerized at how well he could pitch an economic idea, and feeling intense regret that such a great communicator could be so tarnished. And I must say I agreed with Larry King, that "lying about sex" was not nearly as bad as Nixon's obstruction of justice. But I decided mid-way through the impeachment process that if, for any reason, Clinton was up for election for anything, I would vote against him. It's one thing to leave an effective president in office despite the serious crime of perjury, but it's another to vote for someone who is a crook.

I was seriously afraid he would jeopardize Al Gore's chances, and I think in hindsight that happened. If Clinton had just resigned, Gore would have had a better chance.

ant wrote:
Let's not all pretend corruption and adultery are shockingly new developments in the Oval Office.
Right. But the two are hardly equivalent. Corruption undermines the liberty of all of us. Since nearly the beginning of his campaign I have been distressed that his party did not repudiate Trump for his brazen attacks on the rule of law. This included incitement to violence against protesters at his rallies, praise for Vladimir Putin, who has his critics and opponents assassinated on a regular basis, and a proposal to re-write libel laws to make it illegal to write negative things about him. His refusal to abide by the verdict of the election should have caused him to lose, aside from all other considerations. Who the Hell thinks winning the election is more important than deciding our elections by vote?

ant wrote:
Now suddenly he's a morally bankrupt conniving, adulterous, Russian loving devil.
I tell you, Americans can shift their moral gears in a blink of an eye.

Not so sudden, really. The more we got to know about him, the more most of us were repulsed.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
I've been think about how Trump could be allowed to become a presidential candidate. I am perfectly astounded that someone could lie brazenly, could mock a disabled person, could fight with a goldstar family, badmouth a military man for being captured and tortured by an enemy, talk about grabbing women by their genitalia, mock women for their looks and so on and so forth and he STILL became the republican party's nominee. Forget him being president because that was a mistake and a freak of nature. But after all the terrible things he said after announcing his candidacy, the republican party still thought it was okay to advance him to the nomination.

I hope some others respond, because I think this is a very interesting post. But I want to give my take. First, let me say I was and remain astounded as well. I really thought we were better than that. But 45 has brought a lot of hidden nastiness out of the shadows, and I have seen on social media how there really is a large part of the population that remains virulently white nationalist (even while denying it), equates a social safety net with "us" having our money used for "them", (all the while claiming to be Christian, which evidently mainly means "on the other side from Muslims" to many of them), and is happy to jump on the conspiracy wagon as a way of expressing solidarity over "our way of life."

Just as a note for the record, the "Access Hollywood" tape was released well after the convention.

DB Roy wrote:
I think the media have dumbed us down. And it doesn't matter if it's conservative media or liberal media because those are false labels. Somewhere along the line, media started churning out news for idiots and appealing to the lowest common denominator.
Well, that's not entirely true, but there is a lot of truth in it. My memory of this trend started with "happy talk" on nighttime news stations, but real news has never been a ratings hit, and the gradual erosion of the classified ad revenue base for daily newspapers has meant more and more news organizations went to entertainment as a desperate flight from bankruptcy.

Of course there are things everyone can do, beginning with support for public broadcasting, for genuine news coverage like the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal offer, and for the local press who are the only ones that are going to bear the cost of investigating local government and politics.

But really, it begins with caring about what happens. The average person doesn't want to care, because life is difficult enough without carrying the world on your shoulders. And there is no longer a narrative to galvanize the working class, because for two or three shining decades, the working class in the U.S. and Europe actually had pretty good lives. So a claim that "the capitalists have to be overthrown or labor will never get a fair shake" sounded hollow, and people all over the world deserted the socialist narrative. Interestingly, the capitalist urge to dominate has sneaked back into a remarkable degree of power on a stealth basis. But if someone really makes them swallow populism to keep their grip, they will find another alternative. So far 45 shows no sign of that.

DB Roy wrote:
News presents no context and without context truth goes out the window which makes someone like Trump rock hard. After walking through this menagerie of bullshit, you might get the feeling that you are keeping yourself informed but you are not! You are keeping yourself entertained. News is now entertainment. It's not news you need to know, it's news you want to keep you from getting bored.

My contacts who are pro-Trump Tea Party types are astonishingly ignorant of context. If Hannity or Limbaugh say something is socialism, then it must be so. Krugman has said in a couple of recent columns that Millennials are no longer turned off by the label, mostly because for their whole life they've been told that any policy which actually shows concern for real people and their needs was a kind of socialism. So for them it is natural to ask the next question, which is "What, exactly, is the problem with helping people?"

DB Roy wrote:
The copy generates views and views equal money.
we do the same with Donald Trump and for exactly the same reason—he’s good for ratings and ratings means money.
There has been some real soul-searching among the responsible media about this. But they are kind of in a bind. It's hard not to cover the National Enquirer candidate when he keeps winning. The lack of novelty has already reached the point where 45 can tweet really stupid stuff and it barely rates a mention in a small story on the broader subject. It's just not news anymore that the President of the United States is a provocative ignoramus.

DB Roy wrote:
Trump is a perfect example of what you become when you learn nothing except what you watch on a handful of channels on TV. If all you ever see of Muslims is news footage of car bombs, American flag-burning, Muslims in the US going on a shooting spree and so on but you don’t personally know the Muslims in your area who own businesses, work hard, raise families, pay taxes, run for office, etc., then you have a very stunted view of what a Muslim is. Donald Trump has just such a view. A great many non-Muslim Americans have such a view and they love it when Trump voices their view out loud to the whole world. They’ll forgive anything and everything he does and says as long as he keeps voicing their ignorance to the world.
Edsall's reporting at the NY Times about research on the subject claims that people in the most whitebread areas, with the fewest foreigners, were the most likely to react with fear and hostility to 45's bizarre rants. And of course that's natural, since as you say, when you know some Muslims you know they are not terrorists because of their religion and often make the best neighbors (right up there with Mormons).
DB Roy wrote:
YOU may not be watching but millions upon millions upon millions are and everything that Trump is and what he represents just continues to grow around you while you sleep contentedly in your little insulated media-free bubble. People say, “We underestimated Trump!” You did that by tuning him out while millions more were tuning him in. Ignoring TV doesn’t make TV go away. Ignoring Trump won’t make him go away either.
The U.S. has just been through its second-worst decade, economically, in more than a hundred years. We have a tendency to treat the economy as something like the weather, that you can't do anything about. (Are you with me on the irony, here?) But we know, with a very high degree of confidence, that we could have drastically shortened the recession with fiscal policy, and that the Republican wave of 2010, prompted by ACA, aka health care for those with pre-existing conditions (are you with me on the irony, here?) led instead to policy that prolonged and worsened the recession.

Instead of fixing the problem, a large share of the public reacted to terrible economic times through the Fox News lens: Be afraid! Be very afraid! The government is coming for your job! We know from the only decade that was even worse, the 30s, that high joblessness whips up anxiety and anger and the search for scapegoats to point fingers at. Things that normally would wash right over the diet supplement crowd instead begin to look sinister or seriously dangerous.

DB Roy wrote:
Like it or not, if you want change, you have to get down into the mud and fight tooth-and-nail. This is hard for a lot of liberals who have never had to do a menial job in their lives but it’s what it takes. Whatever you’re unwilling to do because it’s too icky, your opposition will gladly do and they will beat you at your game each and every time. “Well, at least I keep my integrity!” they say.
Here's where I part company with you. It isn't about ickiness, or even about integrity. It's about understanding the importance of the big picture. The more you "fight back" against people who see policy as a fight, the more you confirm their view. The Donald won by the barest of margins: only 46 percent of the popular vote (losing the popular vote by almost 3 million of 136 million votes cast) and with the swing of fewer than 100,000 of those votes (i.e. less than 0.1% of the votes cast) would have lost Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, to lose the electoral vote as well.

He has cost the Evangelical movement and the Republican Party their claim to any moral standing (though, granted, that doesn't seem to matter to around 40 % of the American public right now). Even if we have to endure 10 years of "rule by the past" the damage will be undone eventually. If, however, we go down the road of Nicaragua (or Singapore?), opting for violent rule by a party of ideologues in the name of The People, the damage becomes much harder to undo. And of course what would be a more likely outcome, as shown by Thailand, Egypt, Pakistan, and Uganda, is a military takeover in response to fear of left-wing populism, or as shown by Russia, Poland, the Philippines, Turkey, Chile and Brazil, is successful right-wing authoritarianism driven by the fears that are escalated by "making it a fight". If your fundamental view about the world is that cooperation brings benefits to all, then the important thing is to demonstrate that that works, not to fight any narcissist who comes down the pike claiming that it doesn't.

DB Roy wrote:
It’s TOO LATE now to turn Trump off.
Maybe so, but it matters even more that it is too late to change the things his followers were all worked up about. Slavery and segregation lost. Gay marriage is accepted by the American public. A large majority of Americans does not believe that a woman pregnant by rape should be denied access to abortion. Women get educated at higher rates than men. Freedom of religion is in the constitution. Global temperatures just keep rising, and the ice caps just keep melting. In the very unlikely event that 45 gets re-elected, I promise you it will be extremely obvious by 2022 (probably by another economic crash) that his policies are catastrophically bad. Everything he touches turns to lead.

DB Roy wrote:
They showed themselves incapable of fighting for what they believed in, incapable of standing up to the bully.
If it ever comes to taking up arms to preserve democracy, I expect I will make my pitiful contribution. But fighting against this fool? Not a chance. His worst enemy is himself. It is impossible for me to do more damage to him than he regularly does to himself.

And frankly, I think the antifa is in the same category. Nobody does more damage to the cause of human dignity and protection from government overreach, up to and including Rupert Murdoch.

DB Roy wrote:
This is what happens when your political system is a fake, phony, pointless reality show sham. Trump didn’t demean this institution, he merely revealed what it was. He was the kid who refused to acknowledge the emperor’s new clothes and instead blurted out laughing, “Hey, stupid, your crank is hanging out!!” He revealed how broken it is in often perverse ways.
Well, it might be good to figure out how to undo that. I was pretty impressed by the non-partisan movement to put an end to gerrymandering on statewide ballots. I think we could do the same with undoing a lot of the damage done by Citizens United.

I think you will see that when the Democrats take the House, they will be able to use the informational role of the legislative branch to put a lot of things back on track. Why turn to fighting when you can fight more effectively with information?

DB Roy wrote:
If the electoral process wasn’t such a fucking ridiculous, pointless spectacle then explain how Trump was allowed to get into it in the first place. Clearly, there is no vetting process beyond how much money you have. Could Trump have gotten into that circus if he had no money? No, he could not. Beyond that, you get into the ring and you preen like a model.
Well, I must say it is one of the weaknesses of democracy that it depends on intelligent choices by ordinary people to function properly. We know already that a substantial part of the U.S. simply rejected norms of equal treatment and rule of law, refusing to find for the facts in jury trials, for example, rather than accept racial justice. People can be pretty sick. But anything that doesn't have democracy as the backstop has even worse flaws because it invites the power-hungry to manipulate people by the same unscrupulous methods, with no recourse.

So far, the worst thing that 45 has done was to pack the Federal courts with right-wing ideologues. He has done a lot of bad things, but that was the Mike Pence wing of the party doing everything it could to perpetuate its power. But that kind of thing has happened before, and there is no reason to believe we can't outlast it this time.

DB Roy wrote:
The conservative everyman loved it and completely ate up what Trump was offering. It sounded so good when you didn’t think about it, which is how a Trump-supporter operates in an election year and navigates through life. He said if a car company dares to move operations to Mexico, they’ll be looking at a stiff tariff. Sounds good, but it means that car is going to cost the American consumer more. But the American manufacturers will do great, right? Wrong. The American carmakers don’t make anything in the US. They merely assemble it here. They buy all the parts overseas and which fall under Trump’s tariffs and if the American consumer isn’t willing to spend more for it, that product falls by the wayside and so do jobs. Virtually any industry that relies on metal and/or electronics is going to feel this pinch.
Free trade is quite a bit like global warming or monetary policy or nuclear power or fixing a deep recession: most people flat out don't understand even the main ideas, much less the ins and outs of doing the thing right. Damage to working people's incomes was partly done by opening to imports, and Mexico and China have played large roles in that. But technological change has done even more, and 45 can't roll back that tide. He will have a moment in the sun from supposedly "fixing" American trade, but he couldn't fix a flat tire. He is so ignorant he doesn't know what the levers are, much less how to use them to improve anybody's life. He will do his little reality TV show of claiming great victories, and he will continue to be despised by 55 percent of the public, and eventually the issue will come along that the swing-voting part of the public is not willing to give him a pass on.

DB Roy wrote:
Trump says we have to stick it out, it will be rough at first but when phase II kicks in, it will be a lot better. Trouble is, nobody what phase II is or when it begins and phase II isn’t going to mean a lot to me if phase I costs me my job.
You know, Reagan was about as dumb as 45. But there was a big difference, because Reagan, knowing his role was just to speak lines, let smart people actually make policy. (Not always, unfortunately, but enough so that things were run fairly effectively). Our current Dear Leader actually thinks he is smart, and should be making policy. He doesn't even have his whisperer, Steve Bannon, to tell him how to spin things. If it weren't for the tax cut, the courts and the economic recovery he inherited, he would be out on his ear by now.

There is no Phase II where things get better. If the Democrats don't win the House, there will be cuts to Medicare and Social Security, and the Republican Party will stack these against the poor and women, and claim to their base that they are moving against Socialism. In the meantime the economy will keep chugging along on momentum until it can't anymore, and the damage to working people will keep piling up.

DB Roy wrote:
When Trump yacked about his “beautiful” healthcare plan that was going to cover everybody, why didn’t the media demand to see this plan and if Trump doesn’t hand it over, whack his balls off?
The shift on healthcare was truly remarkable, with the swing part of the population finally getting it that without the ACA people with pre-existing conditions would be bankrupt again. To me what was most remarkable about it was that people didn't get that in the first place, in 2010, but I tend to think that grown-ups have had the equivalent of my economics class, which is of course not even close to being true.

Quite a few Democrats are running on the Republican Health Care failure. There is still a substantial part of the public who doesn't care - they want to go back to trusting prayer to keep them healthy, which is much cheaper than insurance and works just fine until you get cancer and lose your faith, and then the prayer plan people stop talking to you so they don't have to pull their heads out of the sand. I will be watching to see if it registers in the races for Senate in red states (Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana, Tennessee, and now even Arizona and Texas seem to be in play).



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