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The Art of No Deal 
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
ant wrote:
To her credit Coulter (not a Coulter reader) has withdrawn total support for Trump's pie-in-the-sky campaign promise about wall funding.

Sounds like we both avoid Coulter, but you're wrong about the wall funding. She still believes Mexico will pay for the wall, saying the US could extract funds from the money immigrants send back to Mexico, enough to pay for the whole thing in 10 years. And she still believes the wall is a top national priority. Although she has not wavered on that, even writing a book blessing Trump at the time of his inauguration, Coulter is flop-flipping away from him. She sees him now as an terribly weak negotiator who cannot get the wall built and paid for by Mexico. Based on that, Bill Maher asked her "So you see Trump as a lying con man. What was your first clue?" She began her reply with "I'm a stupid girl, OK?"



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
ant wrote:
To her credit Coulter (not a Coulter reader) has withdrawn total support for Trump's pie-in-the-sky campaign promise about wall funding.
Such quixotic campaign promises are pretty common for both sides of the political spectrum.

Lefties are less likely to withdraw support from their chosen spokespersons even in the face of utter stupidity. We are seeing that now with Ocasio-Cortez.
It's likely due to the fact that lefties are much more wrapped up in self righteousness and gross over-simplifications.



The epitome of oversimplification and self righteousness is Donnie and the Trumpettes' belief that a border wall will have a significant impact on illegal immigration and the drug trade.

Wait... Wait.. I might be wrong on this.

The epitome of over-simplification and self-righteousness is the religious right's belief that overturning Roe v. Wade will have a positive impact on the abortion issue.

No... No...

The epitome of over-simplification and self-righteousness is the belief that Trump's tax cuts were for the benefit of the middle-class.
I'm gonna go with that one.


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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
LanDroid wrote:
ant wrote:
To her credit Coulter (not a Coulter reader) has withdrawn total support for Trump's pie-in-the-sky campaign promise about wall funding.

Sounds like we both avoid Coulter, but you're wrong about the wall funding. She still believes Mexico will pay for the wall, saying the US could extract funds from the money immigrants send back to Mexico, enough to pay for the whole thing in 10 years. And she still believes the wall is a top national priority. Although she has not wavered on that, even writing a book blessing Trump at the time of his inauguration, Coulter is flop-flipping away from him. She sees him now as an terribly weak negotiator who cannot get the wall built and paid for by Mexico. Based on that, Bill Maher asked her "So you see Trump as a lying con man. What was your first clue?" She began her reply with "I'm a stupid girl, OK?"



I think in sum you're right; anyone who believed Mexico would pay for the wall had to have been brain dead at the time.
I'm not certain if Coulter ever believed they would either. As a celebrity political pundit though, I'm fairly certain she went along with it eagerly to rally the base. It wouldn't be unheard of if she did. Stratagem - period.

Is she stupid? That depends on what your definition of what "stupid" is. She may not hold the same political views as you do, but that doesn't make her stupid.
She's a law school grad from Michigan, went to Cornell, graduating cum laude.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
LanDroid wrote:
Sounds like we both avoid Coulter, but you're wrong about the wall funding. She still believes Mexico will pay for the wall, saying the US could extract funds from the money immigrants send back to Mexico, enough to pay for the whole thing in 10 years.


That's called remittances and it won't work. It was Trump's original plan to get Mexico to pay for the wall. When it was mentioned to Obama in an interview, he said, "Good luck with that." Shortly after the election, Trump never brought it up again.



Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:56 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DWill wrote:
Did it work for Trump? He got very bad political mileage from his shutdown. Such a tactic could be seen as a poison pill in the future.


Huh? Not if we give into him. If we let him build one inch of new fencing or wall, he won. He got what he wanted and by election time, the public will have forgotten all about it. He just looks like a tough negotiator who gets what he wants and that is exactly how we must not let him portray himself and we do that by not giving him a thing. Not a thing.

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Seems extreme to me.


Giving into Trump is extreme. It would tell me that they have no ideas of their own in which case who needs them in power?

Quote:
Politicians make promises both before they're elected and during office. GWH Bush--"Read my lips!"; Barack Obama--"You can keep your doctor." Sometimes the unkept promises mean defeat at next election, as was true for Bush, and I hope will be true for Trump--though he has a raft of disqualifiers instead of just one.


Trump lies so much that the public is immune to it. Things that would have tanked a previous presidency are forgotten three days later when some other outrageous thing happens. Remember all the hullabaloo over separating families at the border? Now we found the regime lied and have separated thousands more families than they publicly admitted to. Where's the hullabaloo now? Washed aside amidst new insanity of a new series of tweets. There has never been a president that has lied as much as Trump and suffered so little consequences for it. We just accept it now and that's a dangerous trend. That's one thing I'll give Coulter credit for, she's holding his feet to the fire about keeping his wall promise. We should be doing the same thing regarding his lies over the family separation issue but nobody cares anymore. That was last week's old news.

Quote:

Giving in sucks to a degree. But he'd be getting a tiny part of what he wanted. He's still losing in my book, so I'm not worried about it.


But you should worry about because Donald Trump is untrustworthy. Master dealmaker? At one point, the dems gave him his $5.7 billion along with a deal for DACA. He said okay and then Stephen Miller started whining no DACA. Instead Trump saying, "Shut up, Stephen, I'll handle this" he GIVES IN to Miller and kills the deal he had just okayed. Then Mike Pence, negotiating FOR TRUMP, goes to Congress and says, "How about $2.7 billion instead?" And then Trump turns around and kills that too! Then, he tells Congress to give him certain things in the new budget bill--which had NOTHING about funding for his wall in it--and get it to his desk and he will sign it. Both dems and pubs were very happy to hear that so they put a bill together, send it to Trump's desk. Ann Coulter starts crying that there's no wall funding in it and Trump will be dragged through the mud if he signs it. Instead of saying, "Shut up, Ann, I'm the president not you" he GIVES IN to Coulter and kills the bill he had just asked for. He threw McConnell and Thune under the bus over the Syria thing in December. WHO CAN TRUST THIS GUY???? We have repeatedly given this turd what he's asked for and he has then turned it down each and every time. NO MORE!!! I say, the dems tell the pubs that they must appoint someone--McConnell apparently--to deal in Trump's stead, someone who will keep his word, someone who won't waffle as soon as an underling starts whining, and they'll deal with that person as long as he isn't taking orders from Trump.

DB Roy wrote:
I don't agree with you, DB, on the D's motives. I don't think they'd toy with deserving immigrants' hopes like that.


It's out of their hands. They TRIED to get DACA included in that deal and that's what killed it.

Quote:
Trump wants the wall, but he happens to be feckless as far as achieving his goals, and the deal offered did offer him uncertain political advantage since the victory on the wall would be canceled by the concession on immigration.


Oh. So we'll just give him what he wants. NO!! He gets nothing.

Quote:
Would you say Trump is competent or incompetent in general? I go for the latter, so therefore these failures aren't that much of a puzzlement.


Yeah and?

DB Roy wrote:
If it comes to a shutdown happening because the Democrats refuse to see go up a meter of slats or pedestrian fencing or whatever, then yes, I don't think the public will understand why that is worth causing pain & suffering to so many govt. workers and others. What if there had been an in-air collision because of a lack of air-traffic controllers? There must be some compromise for the sake of the country. The point shouldn't be to exact every bit of political retribution the moment might allow.


I've already explained this: you don't give a president everything he wants out of fear that he'll shut down the govt and you'll get blamed for it. That's cowardice! It's time for the dems to stand their ground. I'm not against them giving money for border security--although I think it's a total bullshit topic--but any money he receives cannot be used for a wall. And he gets no more than $1.5 billion. We already offered him his $5.7 billion and he pissed it away. You don't get that again. Take it when it's offered. THAT is dealmaking.



Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:54 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Remarks Nancy Pelosi has made lately make me think you might need to follow through on voting for Trump. I hope not and might be wrong, but in the manner of political wrangling and face-saving, it seems as though already Pelosi has blurred her line in the sand. For example, she said, ""But let's talk about where a serious structure might be necessary, where fencing will do, or mowing the grass so people can't be smuggled through the grass." She also voiced support of whatever agreement the bipartisan group of appropriators comes up with. She is certain that won't include any wall funding, but how can she be so sure? She might be slowly carving out a little room for a small concession on wall/barrier/fencing funding.
Roll Call wrote:
“There’s not going to be any wall money in the legislation,” she said.

Pelosi, however, left a small door open to expanding the fencing that currently exists along portions of the southern border.

“There’s 600 miles of something — 300 miles of them are Normandy fences,” she said. “If the president wants to call that a wall, he can call it a wall.”

The conferees can discuss whether there are places where additional Normandy fencing or other enhanced fencing is needed, Pelosi said.

“It’s all about two things — cost-benefit analysis, what’s the best way and what do you get for your dollar to protect the border,” she said. “And it’s also about — and this will be coming up if [Trump] takes some extraordinary action — the opportunity cost of the money.”

“If the money can be used better for technology then let’s see what’s the best [solution],” Pelosi added. “And by the way, when some of these fences were built, the technology was not what it is today.”

She's definitely right on the last statement. But what if cost-benefit analysis showed that in a few cases new physical structures would be best? Pelosi hasn't been without her own mistakes in these negotiations. She should not have said the wall is immoral. The wall, and other walls around the world, aren't immoral. If the wall is immoral, she should be urging its removal, but clearly she's not.

I'm not in favor of the Dems giving Trump over 5 billion for new wall. That is too substantial an amount and it's likely to be a waste in general. With our budget deficits, growing under the supposedly fiscally responsible Republicans, we can't afford it. It is legitimate to hold Trump to his pledge to make Mexico pay for the wall. If he gets practically nothing compared to what he asked for, we will have held him to it.

But since Trump is now fully determined to be faithful to his base, he probably won't accept any small concessions offered by the Dems. He will declare an emergency and get nowhere with it. He'll be able to claim that he did all he could get his wall, as he prepares for his re-election.

Edit: In exchange for full DACA and TPS protections, with a path to citizenship, I would go along with giving Trump 5 billion to spend on his wall.



Last edited by DWill on Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
I never said I would vote for Trump. I said would vote for Trump before I voted for them. If they give Trump one centimeter of new fencing, I won't vote for the dems. If Trump is the only other candidate then I'll vote for him. But there will be other candidates. Trump may not even be allowed to run in which case the fence thing is a non-issue. In the end, I'm going to give Pelosi the benefit of the doubt and trust that she knows what she's doing and, in the end, isn't going to give Trump anything for a new fence. I think she might be dangling that stuff in front of him to see if he'll grab at it. But Trump doesn't keep his word so I don't believe she will give him anything. They won't offer him anything that he'll accept but let him tell them what he wants post-compromise and then give it to him so he can then shoot it down. He can't compromise--he just can't and they know that.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
So it turns out we have a 'national emergency' after all, with double the number of asylum seekers and border-cross-sneakers from last year. Of course, no sensible person thinks a wall will stop all that, but it might be enough to hold up in court as a justification for Dear Leader's panicky declaration. Sigh. If only a person could believe that his panic was really about invading immigrants rather than about right wing immig-rants.

I hate it when using facts as guidelines turns out to be overly optimistic.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
So imagine if the republicans called for an investigation into Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Imagine that they hire Ken Starr to head that investigation. Then imagine after his investigation is complete that Starr has to turn in his report to the attorney-general, Janet Reno, and Reno simply writes a couple of pages on it saying no wrongdoing was found and gives it to the public and then files away the report and we're never allowed to see it. Would do you think would be the republican reaction? Would they shrug and say, "Oh, well" and go back to whatever it was they were doing? Or would they scream foul until their throats bled? If Reno's little summary said no evidence of obstructing justice on Clinton's part, would the Republicans buy that? You know damned well they would not. And for good reason.

But here we are at 2019, where a president's team of grifters were accused of colluding with Russia and it definitely seemed to have happened with that president's knowledge and approval. It has put our national security, our electoral process and our democracy at grave risk and yet Robert Mueller's report has not been released and it looks like it will never be released--certainly not before Trump leaves office. IF we do see it, the Republicans will make sure it is so heavily redacted that there will be no point in reading it.

The reaction has been utterly baffling. News source after news source keep saying that Mueller's investigation found that Trump's team did not collude. They found no such thing. They said they found NO EVIDENCE of collusion. Those are two very different conclusions! STOP SAYING THIS ERRONEOUS SHIT!! As far as obstruction, Mueller made no conclusion leaving it to Barr to draw his own and since he's a Trump lackey, golly-gee, I wonder what he concluded.

I find this incredible--literally incredible. There was a meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian agent whom Trump's people were led to believe had dirt on Hillary Clinton. Don Jr was there, Manafort was there and Jared Kushner was there. Right there--THAT is illegal. They made up a cover story--and it came from Donald Trump himself demonstrating that he knew about the meeting--that the meeting was about Russian adoption. Don Jr then releases an email chain PROVING the meeting was about getting dirt on Clinton. Then they say the agent had nothing to give them anyway so no crime was committed but that's not what the law says. This was the 2nd time Kushner was caught cavorting with the Russians, the first was when he was caught up in a lie about having no Russian contacts. How could he not get charged? The email chain verifying the collusion took place was released by Don Jr himself.

Then there's Trump going on national television and telling Lester Holt that he fired Comey in an attempt to stop the Russian investigation. But, gee, we can't find any evidence of obstruction!!!

Did Trump collude? Yes. Or explain why so many of his people lied about having no Russian contacts. People lost jobs and some went on trial and onto jail for lying about it but there was no collusion! Why was Trump trying to kill the investigation if he had nothing to hide? Hell, it ended his friendship with Jeff Sessions! Sessions was supposed to fuck up the investigation and when he instead recused himself for lying about having no Russian contacts, Trump was furious with him and couldn't let it go. He lamented over and over again that Sessions would never have gotten that appointment if Trump knew he would recuse himself. It stuck in Trump's crawl so bad that he finally fired him--yes, FIRED him!

The media have largely missed the point about the Mueller report: it did not exonerate Trump, according to Barr. That right there is damning but the internet is full of these "Now Everything Changes for the President" stories that make me want to gag. George Conway stated that if if the report says it can't exonerate Trump then there has to be damning stuff in it. That would also explain why Barr and Mitch McConnell are trying to bury it. The media are destroying the public's interest in the report. By talking as though Trump has done nothing wrong, if the report is released and it has damning info in it, the public will be too weary of it to care. Thanks media. Trump might turn out to be right about one thing: you ARE the enemy of the people!! And all you fucking republicans shut the fuck up about the "liberal" media. There's your fucking media letting your god off the hook over a 4-page summary written by a shameless a Trump lackey who admits the report does not exonerate Trump. Shut your fucking mouths, republicans!

Now, that said, it's not the end of the world. There are still investigations on-going especially the Southern District of New York. Trump can't fire anybody there and he can't pardon anyone they might indict. But what worries me is that even in best case scenarios, I'm not sure the democrats are up to the job of going after Trump. No, let me rephrase that: They are NOT up to the job. The democrats pride themselves on being non-obstructionist and of never selling out their principles. And it's true--democrats ARE non-obstructionist and they will do not sell out their principles--and that is the very problem.

You see, the republicans are total obstructionists. The way the refused to even consider an Obama nominee on the Supreme Court and allowed a seat to go vacant longer than any previous point in US history is proof. It flew in the face of protocol and it flew in the face of the Constitution. What did the dems do? Nothing. Obama left office, and an absolute perfect embodiment of the best traits of the republican party took office in the bloated, disgusting shape of Donald Trump who cheated his way into office and gave control of SCOTUS to the GOP. While dems were sticking to their principles, the republicans happily shed any pretense of having principles (however meager it already was) and got their way. So while we are going high, while they go low, they are also stacking the Supreme Court with the type of people that think like them--total fucking idiots and psychopaths who don't care about anybody or anything unless that person threatens their power grab and then they'll ruin him or her and get away with it because we refuse to go low and respond to their childish stupidity. But their childish stupidity is netting them the big fish so how stupid are democrats for letting them get away with it over and over again when they could easily stop them?

Because the the democrats have no unity. Not only do they fight and bicker endlessly when they need to show unity, they will abandon a nominee that wasn't from their faction. That's WHY Trump is president. So many dems stayed home because poor Bernie was bumped off a rigged ticket by that foul bitch Hillary Clinton so I'm taking my marbles and I'm going home and I'll never play with you again! Nice way to hold tight to your principles. Meanwhile the republicans bicker but they find enough common ground that they will stand behind a nominee they hate with every fiber of their being because--well--who the hell wants to lose??

Republicans want to win no matter they have to do to get it including cheating, they have no morals other than the phony Christian ones they were raised on by inbred hicks for parents. Dems, on the other hand, over-value means and lose sight of the ends. They want to do things that really net them nothing and which they can't accomplish without bipartisan cooperation which you would think they should know by now they aren't going to get. Even the dumbest dem in Congress is far more intelligent than the most intelligent republican on his brightest day but, as a group, they are left in the dust because they fight with each other so much that they turn from policy unable to come up with one because one of their core values--cooperation across the aisle--they can't even show to one another. Instead they cling to an amazingly absurd idea that when govt is run correctly, i.e. based on their democratic principles, the goals will reach themselves. The means will take care of the ends. Does that work? No, it does not. I don't even need to provide an example. They ARE their own example.

So why do they do it? Because to talk about achieving the ends without worrying about the means is inherently unethical to them. The problem is, the republicans, the party of uneducated, mentally defective psychopaths couldn't give rats ass, penis or balls about what's unethical. Like Trump, who is a perfect reflection of them, what's right is what helps you win--period. If you tell republican you are principled and would rather lose to them than cheat, he or she will laugh in your face. Why? Because they HATE you!!!! That's why! Get it???

They despise your principled stance and they subvert it every chance they get. They know you're too divided amongst yourselves to mount a proper defense so they make it a point to keep you on the defensive--you're terrible at it.

The other things republicans do that gets the average American idiot (and the average American IS a total freakin moron) listening to them is that the republicans listen to them. They bow to their base. It's so easy even Trump can do it. But not the dems. They have a very diverse base so they feel it's better not to listen to any of them and just rely on the governmental machinery they've put in place to make things work out for everybody so no one group is favored over another. That's how a democracy works! How's that working out for you, dems? To have a democracy, everybody has to believe in that system and participate. Everybody, that is, except for the republicans. They don't want to play, they want to wreck the game. Hence, there is no democracy so the ideas of the democratic party can't work.

So what do the dems do to fix it? NOTHING!! In their minds, there's nothing that can be done about it because to do so is to go outside their principled, little system, their machinery. So they just do what they feel is the right thing to do and if it goes to shit, hey, they did their best, no one can take that away from them. It's not their fault the republicans are assholes who despise America (and they are too, make no mistake about that). The republicans deliberately broke the machinery but the democrats revere that machinery so much, they are not going to do anything to fix it much less bypass it. But that kind of thinking allows the republicans to get what they want in spite of the best efforts of the democrats to do what is right. A moral victory isn't worth the energy it takes to say "moral victory."

So now the street soldiers of the republican party aka the alt-right aka Nazis have learned to praise the machinery while they break every rule in the book and the dems are at a loss of how to deal with it. They simply request that Donald Trump stop winking at white power but he won't and he pays no price for it. His followers are without exception Nazis and his opponents don't know how to deal with Nazis because they are loathe to "stoop to their level." So once again, the dems take the high road, they republicans go low and get what they want even though they get reviled for it (they don't care). And the dems get the moral victory.

Tired of winning yet?



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
So imagine if the republicans called for an investigation into Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Imagine that they hire Ken Starr to head that investigation. Then imagine after his investigation is complete that Starr has to turn in his report to the attorney-general, Janet Reno, and Reno simply writes a couple of pages on it saying no wrongdoing was found and gives it to the public and then files away the report and we're never allowed to see it. Would do you think would be the republican reaction? Would they shrug and say, "Oh, well" and go back to whatever it was they were doing? Or would they scream foul until their throats bled? If Reno's little summary said no evidence of obstructing justice on Clinton's part, would the Republicans buy that? You know damned well they would not. And for good reason.
We already have a pretty good indication on the subject. When Robert Fiske didn't find any provable dirt with the Whitewater investigation, the panel in charge of Special Investigator went for a more avid prosecutor, Kenneth Starr. He caught a break with the Lewinsky affair, and Clinton's miscalculation of just denying it, but that came out partly because he had doggedly pursued conspiracy theories and blind alleys long enough that it just fell in his lap.

DB Roy wrote:
But here we are at 2019, where a president's team of grifters were accused of colluding with Russia and it definitely seemed to have happened with that president's knowledge and approval. It has put our national security, our electoral process and our democracy at grave risk and yet Robert Mueller's report has not been released and it looks like it will never be released--certainly not before Trump leaves office. IF we do see it, the Republicans will make sure it is so heavily redacted that there will be no point in reading it.
It looks like Nadler and Schiff will insist on getting info on what was redacted and some secure way of looking at it. Claims of executive privilege will at least be probed. I wouldn't say we can have a lot of confidence, but it seems unlikely that they can get away with hiding any clear evidence of blatant wrong-doing. The big Republican fear is probably of a glaring screw-up by Dear Leader that is as politically damaging as the Lewinsky affair turned out to be. So that's also the reason that committee chairmen will be scrubbing hard to make sure the legitimacy of redactions is verified.

DB Roy wrote:
The reaction has been utterly baffling. News source after news source keep saying that Mueller's investigation found that Trump's team did not collude. They found no such thing. They said they found NO EVIDENCE of collusion. Those are two very different conclusions! STOP SAYING THIS ERRONEOUS SHIT!! As far as obstruction, Mueller made no conclusion leaving it to Barr to draw his own and since he's a Trump lackey, golly-gee, I wonder what he concluded.
I see your point here, but there probably remains such a murky picture that Barr will get away with his claim that "there was no underlying crime." I think Dear Leader's strongest defense is the one he would never use, which is that he is too incompetent to pull off a real cloak-and-dagger relationship. I mean really, would there have been evidence of Manafort sharing polling data with the Russians if they were really trying to do a coordinated strategy with Trump being run by the Kremlin? Would the creepy meeting about "adoptions" have happened, with Manafort and Trump Jr? I am still willing to entertain the possibility that those were just an effective smokescreen set up by a very clever Putin, but you would need to show me some pretty convincing evidence.

DB Roy wrote:
I find this incredible--literally incredible. There was a meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian agent whom Trump's people were led to believe had dirt on Hillary Clinton. Don Jr was there, Manafort was there and Jared Kushner was there. Right there--THAT is illegal. They made up a cover story--and it came from Donald Trump himself demonstrating that he knew about the meeting--that the meeting was about Russian adoption. Don Jr then releases an email chain PROVING the meeting was about getting dirt on Clinton. Then they say the agent had nothing to give them anyway so no crime was committed but that's not what the law says. This was the 2nd time Kushner was caught cavorting with the Russians, the first was when he was caught up in a lie about having no Russian contacts. How could he not get charged? The email chain verifying the collusion took place was released by Don Jr himself.
Are you sure it was illegal? It was clearly wrong, and very stupid, for putting party ahead of country, but illegal? I have not been hearing that and it seems to me I've been hearing the opposite.

DB Roy wrote:
Then there's Trump going on national television and telling Lester Holt that he fired Comey in an attempt to stop the Russian investigation. But, gee, we can't find any evidence of obstruction!!!
I suspect what will come out in the report is that Mueller couldn't establish corrupt intent partly because nobody takes Dear Leader's statements at face value. If you had a reliable way of knowing that his statement to Holt was not just a variation on his usual blustering ways, wanting people to believe he had gotten rid of Comey to stop the Russia investigation even if it was just personal discomfort with people who did not kowtow to him, it would be an easier pin. But he is so erratic and irrational that the simplest and most obvious conclusion is likely not to hold water under examination.

DB Roy wrote:
Did Trump collude? Yes. Or explain why so many of his people lied about having no Russian contacts. People lost jobs and some went on trial and onto jail for lying about it but there was no collusion! Why was Trump trying to kill the investigation if he had nothing to hide? Hell, it ended his friendship with Jeff Sessions! Sessions was supposed to fuck up the investigation and when he instead recused himself for lying about having no Russian contacts, Trump was furious with him and couldn't let it go. He lamented over and over again that Sessions would never have gotten that appointment if Trump knew he would recuse himself. It stuck in Trump's crawl so bad that he finally fired him--yes, FIRED him!
It is pretty clear that Trump was courting Putin for deals in Russia, right through the campaign. I think it is highly likely that's why he picked Manafort to manage his 's campaign, and fairly likely that there was money laundering which we will eventually hear the details of, probably through family. But I want to play Devil's Advocate a bit here. Is it so unreasonable that Flynn might have been carrying on one of his several games of skimming a bit of cash from a bit of advocacy, and in fact was not dealing with Kislyak at Trump's instigation? And that Dear Leader wanted it squelched just on account of the embarrassment factor, and the likelihood that his lying about the hotel deal in Moscow would come out? Is it so unlikely that Manafort's ties to Russia were useful precisely because he was used to hiding shady dealings and the hotel deal was Trump's main objective in the campaign? And that Manafort was let go in August of 2018 because something, maybe the New York meeting about "dirt," actually got Trump thinking about how it would look when the Wikileaks files came through and he had visible ties to the Russians? And that his resentment of Sessions was just his usual preoccupation with servility and "wartime consigliores" working for him? I mean his father had actually employed Roy Cohn! Trump had worked with one of the scummiest and most ruthless sickos in American history.

DB Roy wrote:
You see, the republicans are total obstructionists. The way they refused to even consider an Obama nominee on the Supreme Court and allowed a seat to go vacant longer than any previous point in US history is proof. It flew in the face of protocol and it flew in the face of the Constitution. What did the dems do? Nothing. Obama left office, and an absolute perfect embodiment of the best traits of the republican party took office in the bloated, disgusting shape of Donald Trump who cheated his way into office and gave control of SCOTUS to the GOP. While dems were sticking to their principles, the republicans happily shed any pretense of having principles (however meager it already was) and got their way. So while we are going high, while they go low, they are also stacking the Supreme Court with the type of people that think like them--total fucking idiots and psychopaths who don't care about anybody or anything unless that person threatens their power grab and then they'll ruin him or her and get away with it because we refuse to go low and respond to their childish stupidity. But their childish stupidity is netting them the big fish so how stupid are democrats for letting them get away with it over and over again when they could easily stop them?
It's not clear to me that the Dems were in a position to do anything about the obstructionism. McConnell knew very well that what goes around would come around, but I think he believed the Republican majority in the Senate was secure. 2018 did not show that to be totally stupid, but it probably cast more doubt on it than he expected. Let's be honest, the Dems have done a few end runs around the norms before that, and McConnell's escalation was following the pattern but probably overreach. I don't think he realizes how truly untenable the right wing position is in the modern states. He is playing a strong hand for advantage, but doesn't recognize that the more he has to play obstructionist the more undemocratic he looks. I still think the Dem's "long game" approach was probably wise. Certainly it paid off in 2018. Don't be too shocked if they take the Senate in 2020, despite a still-healthy economy.

DB Roy wrote:
Because the the democrats have no unity. Not only do they fight and bicker endlessly when they need to show unity, they will abandon a nominee that wasn't from their faction. That's WHY Trump is president. So many dems stayed home because poor Bernie was bumped off a rigged ticket by that foul bitch Hillary Clinton so I'm taking my marbles and I'm going home and I'll never play with you again! Nice way to hold tight to your principles. Meanwhile the republicans bicker but they find enough common ground that they will stand behind a nominee they hate with every fiber of their being because--well--who the hell wants to lose??
I'm not so sure it was Dems staying home. The swing votes in the Blue Wall states seem to have had as much to do with anger over imports and the damage done as with former Obama voters staying home out of pique. I think she lost the independent vote where it should not have been taken for granted.

DB Roy wrote:
Republicans want to win no matter they have to do to get it including cheating, they have no morals other than the phony Christian ones they were raised on by inbred hicks for parents. Dems, on the other hand, over-value means and lose sight of the ends.
I don't know about that either. Obamacare is still the biggest advance for economic fairness in 30 years. Whoever is the Democratic nominee many of Elizabeth Warren's very sensible policies will be put in place, and it's really, really clear by now which party cares about actual lives of people.

DB Roy wrote:
Even the dumbest dem in Congress is far more intelligent than the most intelligent republican on his brightest day but, as a group, they are left in the dust because they fight with each other so much that they turn from policy unable to come up with one because one of their core values--cooperation across the aisle--they can't even show to one another.
The circular firing squad problem is real, going back at least to Ted Kennedy's refusal to be gracious in losing to Jimmy Carter, a sitting president, in 1980.

DB Roy wrote:
Instead they cling to an amazingly absurd idea that when govt is run correctly, i.e. based on their democratic principles, the goals will reach themselves. The means will take care of the ends. Does that work? No, it does not. I don't even need to provide an example. They ARE their own example.
Look, if you are trying to sell policies on the basis of human principles, as opposed to whatever is being pushed for by donors or shouted for by crowds, then you take on the burden of legitimacy. The Republicans didn't have to sell their tax cut as legitimate - they could let it be a naked power play because they had the power to buy off the Evangelical vote with court appointments. Douthat at the Times has said explicitly that the alliance depends on Roe v. Wade being overturned, implying that if Kavanaugh doesn't come through for them, the social conservatives will no longer acquiesce to the policies of fomenting inequality.

DB Roy wrote:
They despise your principled stance and they subvert it every chance they get. They know you're too divided amongst yourselves to mount a proper defense so they make it a point to keep you on the defensive--you're terrible at it.
Again, I basically agree with you but you should keep in mind that the average Republican voter considers their party to be the party of principle. Why? Not because they would never do anything unethical, but that's just how politicians are. No, because they include lots of farmers willing to vote against government handouts to farmers and state governments willing to vote against federal handouts to finance Obamacare and patriots who actually understand that the flag must be respected and, well, you get the idea. The voters do have principles, and that's what the donor money plays off of. You and I might agree that those principles tend to be poorly thought out and punitive, but we are libtards.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
I have to laugh derisively whenever I hear some stupid conservative whining about how all these goddamn celebrities should shut their mouths about politics because nobody cares what they think. But they voted for Trump--a guy who openly and LOUDLY brags about being a celebrity and who can't shut up about politics he clearly doesn't begin to understand. But these same people will believe ANYTHING he tells them no matter how much he lies. In fact, they'll tell you straight-faced that he has never lied and has kept every promise he made. Really? Hmm, let's see:

    Trump's biggie promise was to build a wall at the southern border and make Mexico pay for it. Neither part of this promise has been kept.

    Trump promised to defund ALL sanctuary cities. To date, he has failed to defund a single one.

    Trump promised to kill Obamacare and just can't seem to make it stick because the GOP knows what will happen if they allow him to succeed. As much as they cried about wanting it, they know they can't have it and keep their jobs.

    Trump promised to destroy DACA and DAPA. He did destroy DAPA, which the democrats gave him, but DACA remains. Since this was a compromise and Trump views compromise as a loss, he loses.

    He promised to establish a commission on radical Islam saying it would be one of the first things he would do in office. He has never attempted it.

    Trump also promised to establish mandatory minimum sentencing for criminals trying to enter the country illegally. He has not thus far attempted to do this.

    He promised to end birthright citizenship. He seems to have stalled out on that one.

    He promised to defund Planned Parenthood "because I am pro-life." He must have been lying about being pro-life because he has not defunded Planned Parenthood.

    Trump promised to fund infrastructure overhaul to the tune of half-a-trillion dollars. We're still waiting for that one.

    He promised to deport criminal aliens and he has done it but the Obama Administration was already doing that. In fact, under Trump, arrests have increased but deportations have decreased.

    Trump promised to enact term limits "for all members of Congress." Consider that one a flat-out broken promise.

    He promised to impose the death penalty on cop-killers but has not.

    He promised appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton but has yet to do so. He trots this one out every now and again whenever the fake nooz media puts pressure upon his administration for their incompetency and criminality.

    Trump promises to impose a lifetime "complete" ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections. To put it kindly, this one is stalled.

Has he kept any promises?

Well, he promised to ask the NATO countries to chip in more money and, yes, he did request that of them. Most haven't really complied but he did ask them. He promised to stock SCOTUS with conservative judges and he has done that.

Really, that's about it.

Trump grouses that it's those damned demoncrats in Congress that have upended his agenda but many of his promises were broken when republicans ran the whole shebang. But, really, I don't give a damn if it was the democrats. I don't give a damn who it was. He made the promise, now he has to keep it. Just because a Trump-supporter will overlook any lie Trump tells him, he has no right to demand that you or I do the same. Once you promise me something, I will hold you to it. Your word is your bond. I don't care what happened that caused you to break your promise. A broken promise is a broken promise and I will exact whatever revenge it takes for me to achieve some degree of satisfaction for your cheating me. DON'T MAKE PROMISES YOU CAN'T KEEP!

But Trump's presidency is a cult of personality reminiscent of the old Roman Divus Julius cults where the emperor is the son of Jove and the savior of all humankind which Christians then stole and applied to their Jesus. Instead of holding him to a higher standard, they hold him to a lower one. He can lie, cheat, connive and obfuscate all he wants and he's allowed to BECAUSE he is god's representative on earth. Trump gets away with what any other politician would lose his base over--lying, corruption, obstruction of justice, etc.

Despite the conservative lie that they hate celebrities opining about politics, they can't stop electing them--Trump, Reagan, Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, Sonny Bono, Fred Grandy, Sean Duffy. The only big name celebrity democrat I can think of who actually won an election was Al Franken in a race so close, it took weeks to determine who the winner was and who was forced out of office by the democratic party over some flimsy accusations of sexual misconduct at the same time that Donald Trump was being vigorously defended by the republican party for the same and (far more numerous) offenses.

Don't let em bullshit you. Conservatives are FASCINATED by celebrityhood and VERY attracted to it. They will run a celebrity for office every chance they get and will more often that not win. I find this dangerous because they are so fascinated by celebrityhood that they can't seem to hold them responsible for their own behavior and seem afraid to realize that they may hold a difference of opinion with this celebrity so it's better not to think at all and just let the celebrity do what they want and cheer them on for it. Once you start thinking yourself--bam, that's where the trouble begins.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Well...I think this is it for Trump. I know I made that prediction before and I might have still been right. I don't know if he could have gotten elected even without the Coronavirus disaster but now that it has happened, I don't think most Americans are willing to give this guy another 4 years.

Here it is, folks: the disaster all us Trump-haters warned was coming. Of course, nobody could have predicted it would be a virus but we know SOMETHING was going to happen. We were all thinking it would be something the dems would hit him with but that card seems to have been played and he got away with it. The republican party gathered the wagons around him and fought it all off.

It's very disheartening to know the American public isn't really bothered when a perfect asshole gets up on a stage and mocks a disabled person or pays off prostitutes he had affairs with or kills an investigation to protect himself or hires an attorney-general who will do anything the president orders him to do or separates families and locks the children in cages or insults a gold star family or a former-prisoner-of-war. We've learned the terrible truth that we don't care about any of that. We don't care that he unilaterally wages a trade war he was then losing after telling us all that they are easy to win, we don't care that he was destroying the farm industry which we can't survive without and we don't care if he abandons key Middle Eastern allies on a whim and leaves them hanging. We don't care if he insults NATO allies and kisses up to the worst despots currently in power. We don't care if he breaks promises that he ran on as the very centerpiece of his campaign. We don't care. Even when it is revealed that he colluded with the Russians and tried to recruit the Ukraine to spy on a political opponent for reelection purposes, we didn't care much.

The impeachment process also taught us that much of the Constitution is a sham. We now know for sure that there is no way to remove a shitty president from office no matter what a piece of unredeemable scum he might be. The writers of the Constitution always thought that the men (as opposed to women) who ran would always observe decorum and would have a enough respect for the office they occupied to go along with it. Trump said, Fuck you, you want me then come and get me. And nobody moved.

A friend of mine said a few weeks back that Trump WILL be reelected. How do you know, I asked. He said because the economy is too good. Nobody wants to upset the applecart. He may be a complete embarrassment and an asshole but as long as the economy is good and the stock market is strong, the public will overlook anything he does and give him another 4 years. And, yes, Trump never hesitates to point out how much the stock market has gained under him and how high employment is. Yes, he inherited that from Obama but as long as he didn't fuck it up, the public would trust him to keep watch over it.

WELL HOW ABOUT NOW, AMERICA?????????????? You gettin' the picture now, motherfuckers?????

And don't bother to tell me that it's as bad in other countries because that doesn't matter. I'll grant you that Trump could have taken every precaution in the book and we would still be where we are. But, in that case, you could say that he tried his best and it wasn't enough. Can't fault him for that. But we CAN fault him for that because he did NOT try hard enough. He didn't do anything at all when the first reports of the virus came floating in. He did nothing at all for at least two months. He was offered the German test kits and he refused them. Without them, we were reduced to a pitiful testing of 8 people in a day over the entire country!!! At one point, we got it up to 22 or something like that at a time when other countries were testing tens of thousands in a day. That's another reason why a vaccine is not on the way. You have to have a huge amount of test samples for an effective vaccine. Why? Because viral strains mutate as they pass from person to person. A few hundred test samples simply won't be enough to make an effective vaccine. We need testing kits before we can make a vaccine. And we don't have testing kits.

Then imagine the gall of Trump then trying to lure away German doctors to come to the US to make testing kits so that his family could own the process!! Even in the worst goddamn national disaster I've ever experienced in my lifetime, this asshole is trying to capitalize on it!!!

He also tried to make the virus all about him: it's a democratic hoax concocted to make him look bad. Imagine. Imagine that this is how a president reacts to a pandemic emergency. Well, you don't have to imagine it. It's happening. Then days after this brilliant announcement, he calls a national emergency. Then he says he never blew any of this off, he always took this pandemic seriously. I mean, really! Then he denies he fired Obama's pandemic team while he's on record as favoring it to pay for the bullshit tax cut he gave to the rich.

Now he wants to give every household a $1000. Gee, I remember a democratic candidate named Andrew Yang who proposed exactly that during the debates well before there was a pandemic. The republicans ridiculed it as socialism, unworkable and, of course, where are we going to get the money? I don't know, republicans, you tell us. Where ARE you going to get the money?

On the other hand, the wall is done. Not that Trump was ever going to really build it but it's a dead issue now. I don't know what Trump can run on now. No wall. The stock market has tumbled lower than it was when he took office and it's still tumbling with no end in sight. People are losing jobs now right and left.

Trump has revealed himself to be utterly ineffectual and completely incompetent. You would think that since the strong stock market was such a key part of his reasons for why he should be reelected that he would protect it with everything he had and he pissed it away with his utter indifference in about 3 days' time!! The market didn't tumble because of the virus; it tumbled because of his total disinterest in taking it seriously. Investors saw what was happening in China and Europe and saw the out-of-control locomotive hurtling at the US and Trump KNEW it was coming and DID NOT CARE! So they sold off their holdings and got out of there.

Then Trump, Mr. Dealmaker, Mr. Strong Leader, tells us: Oh, by the way, we're in a recession now. NO KIDDING!!!

So, I think I can safely predict Trump is out. And contrary to all the threats from right wing nutjobs about the violence that would endue if we wasn't reelected, I think the violence might just bust out at any minute by Americans who have had enough of this bullshit. When Trump is gone in November, they will all be happy to see him go. They won't admit it, of course, but who cares?

Of course, Trump blames Obama--who else? But even an idiot can see how ridiculous that is. Ask yourself if you think things would have gotten this bad under Obama--a guy who set up a pandemic office in the White House whose only job was to watch for and prepare us against pandemics long before they get to us. I hear his supporters insisting that this is blown out of proportion. Does it matter?? Does it fucking matter now? Why didn't Trump stop it instead of giving into it if that was the case? "We always have these epidemics. Look at SARS! Look at MERS!" I am and you know one big reason why those weren't nearly as bad as Corona? Because Trump wasn't president.

This is what happens when you elect a guy who doesn't want to hear national security briefings every day so he knows what's happening around the world. When a guy leads like that, you KNOW sooner or later something really bad was going to happen. And all Trump can say in his defense is, "Nobody knew how bad this was going to be." Oh, yes, they did, asshole. YOU missed the boat. Actually Trump didn't miss the boat. That implies that he cared enough to try and make it. He just stood there and watched the boat leave.

So, America, you deserve every bit of this. Every bit. We deserve no sympathy. You elected this dipshit and now you will reap your just reward.

So, go ahead, elect him again. You might as well. The worst that could happen under Trump just happened (and believe that at your own peril). Doesn't matter now.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
Well...I think this is it for Trump.

I do not believe it. I am done underestimating him and his supporters.

For example, take the following quarterly economic forecasts of GDP from JP Morgan.
Q1: -4%
Q2: -14%
Q3: +8%
Q4: +4%
Full year: -1.5% overall. <= Negative!
Unemployment rate goes to 6.25% midyear, 5.25% in Dec.

That looks mighty devastating right? But here's how it will play out below as Q3 GDP data comes out just before the election.
Q2: -14% <= I don't remember any of that, it's BS.
Q3: +8% <= Wow this is a totally unprecedented growth rate! Never happened before! Dems will create a depression! Vote Trump!



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
Well...I think this is it for Trump. He may be a complete embarrassment and an asshole but as long as the economy is good and the stock market is strong, the public will overlook anything he does and give him another 4 years. And, yes, Trump never hesitates to point out how much the stock market has gained under him and how high employment is. Yes, he inherited that from Obama but as long as he didn't fuck it up, the public would trust him to keep watch over it.

WELL HOW ABOUT NOW, AMERICA??????????????

Well, that certainly could bring him down, and his little dog Mitch, too. But I am not sure. The Trump side has two other things going for it.

First, it does not take a majority to re-elect him. We are all too familiar by now with the way Red State votes count more than Blue State votes, because people are more spread out over the land and so they get way more Senators for voters and somewhat more Electors in the Electoral College. He has proven he has a gift for alienating the center in pursuit of his base, but he has to alienate a whole lot of center to lose.

Second, by running on Virtue, the Dems naturally lose voters who care more about some single issue than they do about Virtue. Like guns? Vote Republican. Hate welfare? Vote Republican. Scared your religion will become illegal? Vote Republican. Want to stop sluts from getting away with abortion? Vote Republican. Like meat? Vote Republican. Like cars? Vote Republican. ETC. The problem is if you run as the party of Virtue, people have to agree with you right down the line on every controversial issue to get credit for being Virtuous. That's a big problem.

We have some pretty good interest group issues. Turns out people really don't think that pre-existing conditions should be the problem of the sick people and their family alone. Dems can even beat Trump on trade, a perfect populist issue, if they manage to be for a reasonable system rather than being for the Virtue of free trade. Immigration, same deal.
DB Roy wrote:
we CAN fault him for that because he did NOT try hard enough. He didn't do anything at all when the first reports of the virus came floating in. He did nothing at all for at least two months. He was offered the German test kits and he refused them. Without them, we were reduced to a pitiful testing of 8 people in a day over the entire country!!! At one point, we got it up to 22 or something like that at a time when other countries were testing tens of thousands in a day. That's another reason why a vaccine is not on the way. You have to have a huge amount of test samples for an effective vaccine.

Yep. He's a first class screw-up, all right. Bankrupted and all. I think this is an issue that can be used well, though I am not sure Biden is the guy to do it. But the whole Republican ideology, that "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" is a scary thing to hear, is just as much up for criticism. Unfortunately, it will take a crack-up as big as the stock market has had, to demonstrate the point. Otherwise there will always be Rush Limbaugh types who can get hindsight credit after the threat passes for having said what a "hysteria" and a "hoax" it was, and lots of people just care about hearing what they already think. They have to have it really shoved down their throat that they were wrong, wrong, wrong, with hospital ICU's turning away grandparents, etc., before the truth sinks in. And even then many of them won't own it.

DB Roy wrote:
Then imagine the gall of Trump then trying to lure away German doctors to come to the US to make testing kits so that his family could own the process!! Even in the worst goddamn national disaster I've ever experienced in my lifetime, this asshole is trying to capitalize on it!!!
So far he has been Teflon to his base on this sort of thing, and has tons of money to muddy the waters with "they are just as bad" whisper campaigns on targeted social media. But the tide could be turning. Fingers crossed.

DB Roy wrote:
Now he wants to give every household a $1000. Gee, I remember a democratic candidate named Andrew Yang who proposed exactly that during the debates well before there was a pandemic. The republicans ridiculed it as socialism, unworkable and, of course, where are we going to get the money? I don't know, republicans, you tell us. Where ARE you going to get the money?
Some smart person once said the world is a comedy to those who think, and a tragedy to those who feel. I go back and forth.

DB Roy wrote:
When Trump is gone in November, they will all be happy to see him go. They won't admit it, of course, but who cares?
Well said.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
LanDroid wrote:
take the following quarterly economic forecasts of GDP from JP Morgan.
Q1: -4%
Q2: -14%
Q3: +8%
Q4: +4%
Full year: -1.5% overall. <= Negative!
Unemployment rate goes to 6.25% midyear, 5.25% in Dec.

That looks mighty devastating right? But here's how it will play out below as Q3 GDP data comes out just before the election.
Q2: -14% <= I don't remember any of that, it's BS.
Q3: +8% <= Wow this is a totally unprecedented growth rate! Never happened before! Dems will create a depression! Vote Trump!

The quarter right before the 92 election had really good numbers. But they didn't come out in time for Bush's re-election campaign. "It's the economy, stupid" was enough to sneak the governor of Arkansas into the White House (with the help of a giant sucking sound from Ross Perot).

Those unemployment numbers, on top of a lot of people living on the edge already, are not bs. People are pretty scared.

It's hard to say how this will slice, but I think any notion of economic competence by Trump is completely out the window by now.



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