Author Topic: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)  (Read 88824 times)

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Offline mariomike

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #925 on: July 15, 2017, 21:58:26 »
Since the Dems refuse to accept the outcome of the election, one of the consequences is their actions keep coming to the surface for everyone to see.

"Trump repeatedly refused to say that he would accept the result of the election."
"I will look at it at the time." "What I'm saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense,"
https://www.google.ca/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=asdqWZ_0NIGR8Qeg8KywCA&gws_rd=ssl#q=+%22look+at+it+at+the+time%22+%22keep+you+in+suspense%22&spf=1500170090438

“I would like to promise and pledge, to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election — if I win,”
https://www.google.ca/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=yMRqWcbAD4yR8Qfd95PYDg&gws_rd=ssl#q=I+would+like+to+promise+and+pledge,+to+all+of+my+voters+and+supporters+and+to+all+of+the+people+of+the+United+States,+that+I+will+totally+accept+the+results+of+this+great+and+historic+presidential+election+%E2%80%94+if+I+win&spf=1500169415796

This 129 page thread is open for discussion of the 2016 US election,   
https://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=108210.2825

This  thread is for discussion of US politics in 2017.

« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 22:51:53 by mariomike »
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #926 on: July 16, 2017, 00:31:49 »
Actions, however, speak far louder than words.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline mariomike

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« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 12:09:05 by mariomike »
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #928 on: July 16, 2017, 12:11:04 »
Pres Trump has stepped in it of course. When the MSM devotes the majority of its newscasts/print to relentlessly denigrating  him, not even PM Trudeau could possibly get a decent approval rating.
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Offline Loachman

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #929 on: July 16, 2017, 12:26:52 »
They are reflected in approval ratings,

The approval ratings are brought to you by the same people who produced all of the polls and predictions that he would never win the Republican nomination, and had almost no chance of winning the Presidency.

The vast bulk of the lamestream media is little more than a Democrat propaganda arm.

Offline jmt18325

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #930 on: July 16, 2017, 12:39:24 »
Pres Trump has stepped in it of course. When the MSM devotes the majority of its newscasts/print to relentlessly denigrating  him, not even PM Trudeau could possibly get a decent approval rating.

He denigrates himself.  The 'MSM' just report it.

Offline QV

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #931 on: July 16, 2017, 14:18:17 »
It is obvious to enough people the bulk of MSM are alarmingly bias.  Everyday this is demonstrated.  It is undemocratic and everyone should be seriously concerned. 




Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #932 on: July 16, 2017, 14:26:07 »
What has democracy got to do with selling newspapers? It is a business. Period.

Media companies will print what sells ads. The "truth" or "defending democracy" has never been the primary consideration.



Offline QV

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #933 on: July 16, 2017, 14:39:35 »
Freedom of the press is protected in the constitution.  Therefore it shouldn't favour anyone person/party/government etc.  A free and unbiased press is essential to a western democracy.

The alternative is propaganda.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 15:08:03 by QV »

Offline Loachman

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #934 on: July 16, 2017, 15:53:07 »
I watch a few online sources for decent coverage and interpretation, and much greater detail than one will find in any MSM coverage.

The Still Report https://www.youtube.com/user/bstill3/videos is very reliable. "Bill Still is a former newspaper editor and publisher. He has written for USA Today, The Saturday Evening Post, the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, OMNI magazine, and has also produced the syndicated radio program, Health News. He has written 22 books and two documentary videos and is the host of his wildly popular daily YouTube Channel the "Still Report", the quintessential report on the economy and Washington." He has a plain, no-frills style and, on the rare occasion where he gets something wrong, comes out and says so and why. He is a Republican and Donald Trump supporter, and was extremely accurate with commentary and predictions during the recent US election. He has large network of contacts and sources built up over many years of journalism.

Mark Steyn https://www.steynonline.com/

HA Goodman https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDB5XReUyyqt-FTNdkzFN-A/videos is a "progressive", supported Jill Stein and subsequently Bernie Sanders in the last US election, still believes that Bernie Sanders could have beaten Donald Trump, states regularly that Clinton was unelectable and says why, and points out the errors of both and details the Clinton crimes.

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-W_DvNZoIW1433DrLBQHUQ/videos. Scott Adams talks about Presidential approval https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ft1FV58D0Y. Dilbert Creator Scott Adams on Predicting Trump Winning in a Landslide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-sBO6OppAc.

Tipping Point With Liz Wheeler on OAN https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMfKNuYXBc9bxb0fg2cGTBg/videos has some good material and commentary, but presentation (while scenic) can be overhyped and I've picked out a few inaccuracies.

Mark Dice https://www.youtube.com/user/MarkDice/videos is entertaining and enjoys skewering liberals and left-leaning media.

Steven Crowder https://www.youtube.com/user/StevenCrowder/videos is also very entertaining but also puts a lot of effort into some very good investigations, such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lq4WBOkFNtE

Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity of Fox News on various Youtube channels.

I will occasionally look at some other pro-Republican/pro-Donald Trump sites, but most have more fluff and/or hype than solid content or are too whacko/conspiracy-theory-oriented.

I will still occasionally look at left-leaning sites just as I read loads of Soviet propaganda during the Cold War in order to understand my opponent, but both could/can only be taken in small doses and are normally wrong. There is some unintentional humour on those sites, however.

The MSM in the US are far more biased than the MSM here. Democrat shortcomings, mistakes, and crimes are glossed-over, ignored, or covered-up, yet they blow every minor Republican/Donald Trump error out of proportion, leap on every blatant falsehood such as the shabby "dossier" that claimed that Donald Trump hired hookers to urinate on a bed in a hotel in Russia in which the Obamas supposedly slept, invent BS, deliberately misrepresent and deceive, and are consistently wrong. CNN's audience has shrunk considerably.

Offline FJAG

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #935 on: July 16, 2017, 16:14:14 »
Freedom of the press is protected in the constitution.  Therefore it shouldn't favour anyone person/party/government etc.  A free and unbiased press is essential to a western democracy.

The alternative is propaganda.

Freedom means freedom regardless of whether it favours someone or even if it is propaganda.

I can't think of a time in US history (going right back to the revolution) where the press wasn't biased in favour of one side or cause in matters of political reporting. It's always been a matter of degrees.

The point is that we must assume that we are getting biased views and therefore read widely and make our own opinions based on the internal logic that is present or missing in the various reports. The trouble is that most people come with preconceptions and gravitate only to the viewpoints that they favour. This is why I force myself to read Fox as much as I read CNN as well as BBC, Spiegel and other foreign reports on North American events.

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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #936 on: July 16, 2017, 18:36:56 »
The 2016 election is still relevant to politics in 2017.  Everything underhanded tactic that was used in 2016 (or earlier) will, if not punished sufficiently, be repeated in future.
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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #937 on: July 16, 2017, 21:01:38 »
The approval ratings are brought to you by the same people who produced all of the polls and predictions that he would never win the Republican nomination, and had almost no chance of winning the Presidency.
And yet, if it helps the narrative ...  ;D

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Offline Loachman

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #938 on: July 16, 2017, 23:42:42 »
I just realized that I'd left Bombard's Body Language https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXG8i4PE6-mxh52nFKwMkcg/videos out. Mandy does not always understand the background to the clips that she analyzes or recognize all of the characters, as she accepts requests from her subscribers, but makes some interesting observations. One would have to view a few of her older videos to understand some of her techniques and terminology, as she does not explain them as much anymore. She's roasted the Sun King on several occasions - she doesn't like him much.

Offline Loachman

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #939 on: July 17, 2017, 07:48:19 »
Scott Adams laughs to tears at DNC panicking about Kid Rock running for the Senate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l47GcfA-gDA

Offline Journeyman

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #940 on: July 17, 2017, 08:51:47 »
The point is that we must assume that we are getting biased views and therefore read widely and make our own opinions based on the internal logic that is present or missing in the various reports.

The trouble is that most people come with preconceptions and gravitate only to the viewpoints that they favour.

No, I think the trouble lay in such people then coming here (both pro-right and pro-left) to repeat their same unsubstantiated 'my side is flawlessly awesome' dogma, while childishly -- and often illiterately -- name-calling any  opposition, over.... and over..... and over again -- turning every politics and politically-tinged thread here into the same mindless (and therefore of little value, beyond individual posters' intellectual masturbation) Tokyo Rose / Jihadi John garbage.   "A lie told often enough becomes the truth" playing out before us.

"Sad."


[Back to radio silence on the fatuous propaganda threads.  Enjoy  :salute:  ]

Offline Journeyman

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #941 on: July 17, 2017, 12:52:33 »
I try to keep this in mind when in Radio Chatter,
We have to remember to check if we are in RADIO CHATTER before we want to "seriously" comment on a less than "serious" thread.   

.....turning every politics and politically-tinged thread here into the same mindless (and therefore of little value, beyond individual posters' intellectual masturbation) Tokyo Rose / Jihadi John garbage.

In your leisure time, have a look through any number of topics within "Military Current Affairs & News," "International Defence and Security," "The Canadian Military," "VAC and other Soldiers' Benefits," "Canadian Politics"..... which are not  in Radio Chatter, yet meet the 'politically-tinged' term.

Sorry you failed to understand what I posted, but thank you for sharing the wisdom of George Wallace.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #942 on: July 18, 2017, 23:26:16 »
For reference,

US Election: 2016 
http://milnet.ca/forums/index.php/topic,108210.3200.html
129 pages,

If you need reminders to yourself where things are, just write them down.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

Omnia praesidia vestra capta sunt nobis.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

"Yet another in a long line of books about how libertarians are plotting to enslave you by devolving power to the individual and leaving you alone" - Warren Meyer, author of Coyote Blog

Offline MCG

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #943 on: July 19, 2017, 01:26:39 »
No, I think the trouble lay in such people then coming here (both pro-right and pro-left) to repeat their same unsubstantiated 'my side is flawlessly awesome' dogma, while childishly -- and often illiterately -- name-calling any  opposition, over.... and over..... and over again -- turning every politics and politically-tinged thread here into the same mindless (and therefore of little value, beyond individual posters' intellectual masturbation) Tokyo Rose / Jihadi John garbage.   "A lie told often enough becomes the truth" playing out before us.

"Sad."


[Back to radio silence on the fatuous propaganda threads.  Enjoy  :salute:  ]

Like in the picture attached?

Offline Lumber

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #944 on: July 19, 2017, 08:09:36 »
Like in the picture attached?

Amen. See my signature block.
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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #945 on: July 21, 2017, 12:17:53 »
Next!
Quote
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has quit, reportedly in protest at a shake-up of the communications team.

Mr Spicer stepped down because he was unhappy with President Donald Trump's appointment of a new communications director, reports the New York Times.

Combative Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci has been picked for the role that Mr Spicer partially filled ...
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Offline Remius

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #946 on: July 21, 2017, 12:42:48 »
Not really all that surprised.
Optio

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #947 on: July 26, 2017, 10:48:32 »
Quote
“This is certainly different. It’s certainly new,” Nunberg said. “But it’s what people want.”

Chaos? All the time?
[/b][/color]

I was talking earlier about Politico's "500" or Lally somebody or other's guest list.

I'm guessing that those people believe that "order" is possible, or even that "ordnung muss sein".

But for the average person there is precious little evidence of order in the universe.  Most people spend their lives reacting to events.  And some of the greatest chaos inducing events are those that are caused by Lally's 500 attempting to impose order.  Mickey did as well as they have done.



Perhaps they needed to be disabused of their sense of being able to control events and discover the world everyone else lives in.



http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/26/for-america-it-looks-like-chaos-for-trump-its-just-tuesday-215421

Quote
To America, It Looks Like Chaos. For Trump, It’s Just Tuesday.
The president makes a mess, then makes it worse. It’s what he’s always done.
By MICHAEL KRUSE July 26, 2017

It started Monday morning with Donald Trump calling his own attorney general “beleaguered.” It continued with an Air Force One flight to West Virginia and a rambling, partisan speech to thousands of hollering Boy Scouts. And it kept going with another manic jag of tweets on Tuesday, as the president took a second shaming swipe at Jeff Sessions, delegitimized the acting director of the FBI, urged senators to “step up to the plate” on getting rid of Obamacare and railed away in his exclamation-laced syntax about Democrats who are “obstructionists” and the “Witch Hunt” of the Russia investigation. Meanwhile, his new communications director was threatening to fire his entire staff for leaking as rumors swirled about Cabinet-level departures. Chaos bordering on crisis.

This is how Trump ran his business, and it’s how he ran his campaign. For six months now, it’s how he’s run his White House. But within the whirl of these past two nonstop, dizzying days, it has reached blinking-red-light levels. To people who have been around him, and those who still are, from Trump Tower to the West Wing, this can be unnerving. To people across the country and the world, it can feel dismaying or disorienting or just plain insane.

For Trump, though, it feels like … the start to another week.

“This is Donald,” former Trump Organization Vice President Louise Sunshine told me Tuesday. “This is his style.”

“He’s operating just like he always has,” former Trump Shuttle President Bruce Nobles said in an interview.

“The prince of chaos,” said Trump biographer Gwenda Blair.

The spawn of Norman Vincent Peale and Roy Cohn, Trump has stomped through life armed with the obstinate, self-centered tenets of optimistic thinking and the sneering, deep-seated lessons of attack, attack, attack. He creates chaos, and then he responds to that chaos, withstanding it, even embracing it, feeding on it—and then he outlasts the outrage, emerging not only alive but emboldened.

“Hey, look, I had a cold spell from 1990 to ’91,” Trump said almost a quarter-century ago to a reporter from New York magazine, referring to the breakup of his marriage to the mother of his first three children, his affair with a busty, B-movie actress and the reckless spending and negligent management of his company that left him nearly a billion dollars in debt—all of which was covered breathlessly by the press. “I was beat up in business and in my personal life. But you learn that you’re either the toughest, meanest piece of crap in the world, or you just crawl into a corner, put your finger in your mouth, and say, ‘I want to go home.’ You never know until you’re under pressure how you’re gonna react.”

This crisis was formative, and Trump survived because of family money, permissive banks that were tied to him as much as he was tied to them, the Houdini-esque work of a lender-mandated financial rescue artist and far more than his fair share of chutzpah. The close scrape with personal bankruptcy and business ruin didn’t chasten Trump. It did the opposite. “The fact that he got through it,” former Trump Organization Vice President Barbara Res said, “made him believe he could accomplish anything, conquer anything.”

His path from The Art of the Deal to The Art of the Comeback to "The Apprentice" consisted of a media-stoked stew of self-promotion and provocation. WrestleMania antics and celebrity feuds were fuel. And he talked when he could about running for president. It was always a bluff. Until, of course, it wasn’t.

His campaign was a rolling crisis. Beset by backstabbing and infighting, careening from one five-alarm fire to the next, Trump’s unprecedented presidential bid seemed perpetually on the edge of political viability. And he won.

“Chaos creates drama, and drama gets ink,” former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg told me Tuesday. “This is a new kind of presidency. He’s followed the tabloid model, and it got him to where he is, and it’s the model that will be followed until it doesn’t work. And it has worked. He’s sitting in the Oval Office.”

On Monday, at the fairly standard hour of 6:40 a.m., he kickstarted a particularly agitated sequence of tweets by labeling Washington not a “Swamp” but a “Sewer” and yelling “Fake News!” He insisted there’s “Zero evidence” of his or his campaign’s collusion with Russian officials. Then he called Sessions, the first senator to endorse him and for a long period during the campaign his most credible surrogate, “beleaguered.” Then he called a member of Congress “Sleazy.” Then he poked Republicans about their “last chance” to “Repeal & Replace.” Then he boarded the presidential plane to go talk to the Boy Scouts.

In Glen Jean, West Virginia, at the National Scout Jamboree, at a gathering of “the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training,” Trump pledged to the crowd of an estimated 40,000, mostly boys between 12 and 18 years old, that he wouldn’t talk about policy fights or political disagreements. “Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?” he said. He did. The president talked about Tuesday’s health care vote and called Obamacare “this horrible thing that’s really hurting us” and found ways to criticize Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and told the amped-up teens stale stories about his big win of 2016. “USA!” they chanted back.

By Tuesday morning, he was back on Twitter, blasting the FBI boss and Sessions, too, for his “VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes” and “leakers.” He also praised John McCain for being a “Brave” “American hero” after disparaging him for being captured in Vietnam not once but twice before. (Trump never apologized.)

This is not the way it’s supposed to work, or at least not how it has. “I have not seen any indication of a normal appreciation of the functioning of government coming from the president,” former Senate attorney and Watergate prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste told POLITICO on Tuesday. But while members of Congress scrambled to respond, their assessments of the president’s latest behavior ranging from confusion to condemnation to twisted justification to tepid defense, the people who have watched Trump for a lot longer simply shook their heads.

“Typical Donald,” Sunshine said.

“I’m not surprised by anything I’m seeing,” said Nobles, the former Trump Shuttle boss. “He’s always liked chaos.”

“He’s spent his life creating and surrounding himself with chaos,” Res said, “so that he can be the one person who can emerge in charge. The winner. The guy on the top. It’s a way of slaying his enemies.”

“If you’ve ever been on a construction site, they’re always chaotic,” Billy Procida, another former Trump Organization vice president, told me Tuesday. “And he’s good at construction.”

But he’s no longer on a construction site. He’s the most powerful person in the world.

“This is certainly different. It’s certainly new,” Nunberg said. “But it’s what people want.”


Chaos? All the time?

“Entertainment,” Nunberg said. “Entertainment.”
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #948 on: July 27, 2017, 10:01:44 »
Ouch!
Quote
Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, on Thursday said it shouldn't be too difficult to smoke out the source of leaks out of the West Wing, as new communications director Anthony Scaramucci and others try to crack down on anonymously sourced stories.

"I will just tell you that leakers are easier to figure out than they may think. This West Wing is a very small place," Conway said on "Fox and Friends." "And I'll say, for me, I'm the jerk who hired a chief of staff, right? Because I thought we were supposed to work on policy, not free press or comms assistance, because we're not here to curate our images."

Conway admonished anyone who leaks information from the White House, and noted a difference between leaking and "using the press to shiv each other in the ribs."

"We are not here to read about ourselves," Conway said, "We are here for the forgotten men and forgotten women." ...
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: U.S. Politics 2017 (split fm US Election: 2016)
« Reply #949 on: July 28, 2017, 13:29:53 »
While this article specifically speaks of American politics and how political economy was the overwhelming factor in electing Donald J Trump to the Presidency (and ignoring this cost and continues to cost the Democrats), it should be noted that these are the same factors driving the political discontent throughout the West, and before we think Canadians are somehow above this, remember the diminishing standards of living and opportunities that *we* face here as well. The primary difference is the clever politician who seizes on this can't sell it as Trump Lite:

(Part 1)
https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/trump-dynasty-luttwak/?utm_content=buffer270f1&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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Why the Trump dynasty will last sixteen years
EDWARD N. LUTTWAK
Could a Trump dynasty in the White House survive for three more elections?

In Washington DC, post-electoral stress disorder has generated a hysteria still amply manifest after eight months: the “Russian candidate” impeachment campaign implies that any contact with any Russian by anyone with any connection to Donald Trump was ipso facto treasonous. The quality press is doing its valiant best to pursue this story, but it is a bit much to claim “collusion” – a secret conspiracy – given that, during the election campaign, Trump very publicly called on the Russians to hack and leak Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. And it did not seem especially surprising when the latest target, Donald Trump Jr, promptly released all his emails to and from the Russians to confirm that he did indeed try to help his dad by finding dirt on the other guy. As for the other impeachment track underway, triggered by the ex-FBI director James Comey’s accusation of attempted obstruction of justice, Comey’s failure to accuse Trump until he was himself fired will make it easier for the Republicans who control the House to dismiss an otherwise plausible accusation as a naive error.

For all its vacuity, however, the hysteria is certainly understandable, because President Trump has defied all expectations by actually trying to do what he promised that he would try to do. But another reason is that the major cause of last November’s electoral outcome has remained mostly unexplored, even un­discovered. That is not due to intellectual laziness, but rather reflects the refusal of almost all commentators to contend with the political economy that determined the outcome of the election. Long-term processes of income redistribution from working people to everyone else, non-working welfare recipients as well as the very rich, had been evident for at least two decades. (I explored the phenomenon in my book The Endangered American Dream, 1993.) Those changes called for a painful party realignment (which would have cost the Democrats their ample Wall Street funding) that never happened – not even when Bernie Sanders arrived to be its instrument. The Democratic Party officials and leading lights of the media elite who helped to deny the nomination to Sanders, and thus very likely the White House, understandably have a guilty conscience, because they truly did everything possible to stop him, including ever so discreet anti-Semitic messaging very precisely aimed at black voters wavering in their pre-ordained fealty to Hillary Clinton.

As it was, of course, the victory of the Democratic establishment merely ensured the victory of the only Sanders counterpart on the Repub­lican side with whom Sanders differed sharply on almost everything – except for the only thing that really mattered to both: the urgent need to mobilize government policies to increase American jobs and wages, in firm opposition to all the competing international and planetary priorities continuously proffered by elite Americans and their core institutions, along with Pope Francis and other leading figures.

In the dramatic crescendo of the 2016 elections that gave Trump to the United States and the world, very possibly for sixteen years (the President’s re-election committee is already hard at work, while his daughter Ivanka Trump is duly apprenticed in the White House that, according to my sources, she means to occupy as America’s first female President), none of the countless campaign reporters and commentators is on record as having noticed the car “affordability” statistics distributed in June 2016 via www.thecarconnection.com. Derived from very reliable Federal Reserve data, they depicted the awful predicament of almost half of all American households. Had journalists studied the numbers and pondered even briefly their implications, they could have determined a priori that only two candidates could win the Presidential election – Sanders and Trump – because none of the others even recognized that there was problem if median American households had been impoverished to the point that they could no longer afford a new car. This itself was remarkable because four wheels and an engine might as well be grafted to Homo americanus, who rarely lives within walking distance of his or her job, or even a proper food shop, who rarely has access to useful public transport, and for whom a recalcitrant ignition or anything else that prevents driving often means the loss of a day’s earnings, as well as possibly crippling repair costs. But even that greatly understates the role of automobiles in the lives of the many Americans who do not have private jets and do not live in New York City or San Francisco, for whom a car provides not only truly essential transport, but also the intensely reassuring sense of freedom depicted in countless writings and films, which reflect the hard realities of labour-mobility imperatives even more than the romance of the open road.

Instead of recognizing that the political implications of the income redistribution of globalized capitalism made Sanders and Trump the only two valid candidates, the leading commentators did the very opposite: they asserted in tones of unassailable certainty that both men were irremediably unelectable. That was, admittedly, a perfectly reasonable conclusion, given that neither happened to have a party to support them, which was then still considered the presumed prerequisite of electoral victories. And it was also true enough that Sanders could not hope for party support because of the professional contempt of with-it Democratic officials for the ageing socialist, who stubbornly failed to recognize the absolute centrality of identity politics in the third millennium, and who therefore persisted in talking of rich and poor, instead of African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Aleuts, Asian-Americans, LGBT Americans, even white ones, if quietly.

That rejection was perfectly matched by the class contempt of respectable Republicans for the ageing Don Juan with his hopelessly vulgar blue-collar tastes, in everything from his hairstyle to his food. Anne Toulouse recognizes as much in her resolutely non-negative Dans la Tête de Donald Trump, whose own authentically feminine sensibility is openly on display when she writes, “arrive le Donald comme un bison dans la prairie, comme un taureau dans le rodéo, comme le shérif dans un western”. Instead of dutifully pretending to enjoy the hot dog that is the unavoidable price of campaigning at state fairs, while actually longing for arugula, endives and quinoa salads, candidate Trump positively relished his frequent stops at Domino’s, KFC and McDonald’s, where he went for Big Macs with a large order of french fries. That was an offence almost up there with crotch-grabbing for foodie Republicans such as the widely cited David Frum, who persistently argued that it was better to have a very imperfect Clinton in the White House than an impossibly vulgar Trump. That was a view shared by almost all office-holders in past Republican administrations, whose loud “never Trump” proclamations now rigorously exclude them from the posts they were longing for during President Obama’s eight years, resulting in the strange spectacle of empty quasi-ministerial offices all over Washington.

But this consensus was nullified by the insubstantial nature of the Republican Party, which is only a nominal entity, not an actual top-down organization, consisting as it does of amorphous clusters of adherents and office-holders in each county and state. Hence even the near-unanimity of prominent Republicans on Trump’s non-electability, notably including the two previous Republican candidates, John McCain and Mitt Romney, had no perceptible influence on the outcomes of the State primaries. Bemused observers (and that is all that P. J. O’Rourke’s How the Hell Did This Happen? has to offer, intermittently and feebly: humorous bem­usement) first witnessed the considerable success of Ben Carson, a black neuro­surgeon who had never before campaigned for anything, and whose especial popularity among conservatives exposed the prejudice of all those who continue to presume that conservative white Republicans must be racist.

Then came the very rapid decline of the nomination candidates most qualified for the presidency ex officio, because of their prior executive experience as state governors: the respected centrist John Kasich of Ohio; Jeb Bush of Florida, both affable and competent as well as reassuringly (for some) dynastic; the energetic Chris Christie of New Jersey; the Bible-belt favourite Mike Huckabee of Arkansas; the highly respectable Jim Gilmore of Virginia; the extremely effective Rick Perry of Texas; the hero of the anti-union Right Scott Walker of Wisconsin; the very able Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, who might attract other non-whites; and George Pataki of New York, whose own executive experience as the State governor ranged from the supervision of the New York City subways to the discretionary command of considerable army, air force and naval national guard forces, in addition to all the usual administrative categories. Even the least of these candidates was altogether better prepared for the White House than Trump – and it did not matter a bit, because he had the political economy of the race just right (as did Sanders) while none of the governors was ready to steal his lines.

Next came the sequential defeat of two sitting senators, including Marco Rubio, not only good-looking and eloquent, but also the most obviously intelligent politician in the race on either side. None of these qualities could overcome Trump’s inelegant repertoire of complaints, threats and insult, because Rubio too failed to contend with the political economy of the 2016 election.

That left Trump as the only man standing, who simply could not be denied the nomination that was widely expected to bring down Republican candidates all over the country, along with himself. As it was, Trump’s march to victory also helped to elect Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, and two more Republican governors (raising their number to thirty-three, a record unmatched since 1922). The near-unanimity of the commentariat in forecasting the disastrous impact of candidate Trump on all other Republican candidacies in the House, Senate and in gubernatorial elections, chiefly because of his presumed inability to attract female voters, is one more colossal intellectual failure that remains unredeemed – and is entirely unexplained in Susan Bordo’s The Destruction of Hillary Clinton. Bordo, a professional feminist who teaches gender and women’s studies at the University of Kentucky, blames Clinton’s defeat entirely on misogyny, along with the electoral vote system, without recognizing the contrary implication of the victories of many other female candidates in the same election season.

Like many others, Bordo makes altogether too much of Clinton’s victory in the popular vote, without recognizing that the Trump campaign’s disciplined focus on winning the state-by-state electoral votes, the only ones that counted in the election, would have been redirected to win the popular vote if that had been the system. There were certainly many votes to be gained by campaigning in upstate California and New York, downstate Illinois and in the many other places where Trump was and is very popular, but given the system, his campaign wasted no efforts on those states.

It was the great misfortune of the Democrats that they did have a veritable organization in their Democratic National Committee, a top-down structure with a normal chain of command, which in the 2016 campaign was headed by the extremely determined Clinton loyalist Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and later by Donna Brazile, whose own especially intense loyalty reportedly compelled her to pass leaked television debate questions to her heroine, who duly came out with perfectly worded, instantaneous answers when the occasion arrived, while Sanders had to rely on his wits. Wasserman Schultz and then Brazile with their disciplined DNC teams devoted all the attention and all the money to Clinton, thereby disfavouring Sanders in spite of his remarkable primary victories, after altogether freezing out the candidacies of the former governors Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee and of the former senator James Webb – all of them theoretically equal claimants on DNC resources, along with Bernie Sanders, until nomination day.

Moreover, the Clintonites could even intervene to change the outcome of the primaries because of the remarkably undemocratic Democratic practice of unelected super-delegacies, 712 actual and former party officials amounting to some 15 per cent of total convention votes, alongside 4,051 properly elected delegates. The Republicans had no “super-delegates”, nor any other device to dilute the power of the great unwashed in the selection of their candidate.

In theory, the super-delegates could have gone either way, but Sanders was lucky to get 44.5 of those votes as compared to Clinton’s 570.4, because going against Clinton meant losing access to the river of money flowing from the many-headed Clinton money fountain, the enormously well-funded campaign proper, the Clinton Foundation with its vast array of generous funders, the for-profit Teneo advisory company, and the super-PACs established by Clinton sympathizers, who would cut off anyone who supported Sanders. It was a river of Amazonian proportions: in the final reckoning, filed at the end of January 2017, the Clinton campaign had spent some $1.4 billion (as compared to Trump’s $948 million), and required yet more tribute from exasperated donors because only a measly $323,300 remained in hand to pay the millions in left-over bills (Trump still had $7.6 million with all bills paid).

The likes of Wasserman Schultz and Brazile remained entirely unswayed by the mounting accumulation of poll data that projected the relative electoral superiority of Sanders over Trump: politics is their profession in a perfectly Weberian sense, and a Bernie-led party would depend on trade union and individual contributions, without access to the big money that demands loyalty to ever-intensifying globalization, as well as to any donor-specific lobbying needs. In spite of the much-celebrated success of his innovative online fundraising, Sanders topped out at $240 million, not even a fifth of the Clinton total that paid the ample fees of a great many field operatives, pollsters and publicists, as well as entire teams of “strategists”, including Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s closest companion by far (Bill did not even come near).

That gathering of lean and hungry Clint­onians is the world mercilessly exposed in Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s doomed campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. Meticulously researched and strenuously un­biased, it is the most useful book published so far on the 2016 Presidential election as a whole, as well as the Clinton campaign specifically. It certainly convinced me that Clinton did not understand in what country she was running for election: not one populated by black women (they dominated her convention), environmental activists, patriotic Muslims, vegans, committed free-traders and social engineers, but chiefly a country of car owners and bitterly frustrated would-be new car owners, a far better categorization than Clinton’s own “deplorables”.

That is why the car affordability numbers revealed in June 2016 were so vastly significant in determining the outcome of the elections. Going by metropolitan areas, they extracted maximum affordable car prices from median incomes. The latter ranged from the stellar $87,210 of San Jose in the opulence of California’s Silicon Valley, all the way down to the $24,701 of deindustrialized Cleveland, Ohio, numbers that in turn yielded maximum affordable price limits of $32,855 in San Jose, and $7,558 in Cleveland – not actually the lowest number, which was Detroit’s $6,174, owing to high average insurance costs in that crime-afflicted city (at $1,131.40 per annum, as compared to Cleveland’s $659.47).

What made these seemingly obscure numbers nothing less than momentous was that the cheapest new car on sale in the United States in 2016 was the Nissan Versa sedan at $12,825, twice the level that average households could afford in Detroit or Cleveland, and more than average households could afford in cities ranging from Philadelphia, Orlando, Milwaukee, Memphis, Providence, New Orleans, Miami and Buffalo, as well as, a fortiori, in a very great number of smaller localities across the United States, even in high-income states such as California and Oregon, as well much more commonly in the lower-income Southern and rust-belt states.

The mass exclusion of Americans from new car ownership is the result of two converging phenomena, only one of which was recognized by Hillary Clinton, though scarcely emphasized in her identity-focused campaign: wage stag­nation. Sanders and Trump did not hesitate to blame that relative impoverishment on the exposure of the least agile of Americans to international competition, with the resulting de-industrialization that translated millions of Americans from $20-to-40-an-hour factory jobs to miserably paid service jobs. Beholden to the sanctity of free trade, the Clinton crowd even more than the candidate herself blamed the lethargy of the TV-watching, beer-drinking, gun-owning, church-going, and cigarette-smoking “deplorables”, who unaccountably failed to avail themselves of the wonderful opportunity to leave boring assembly-line jobs or downright dangerous coal-face or oil drilling jobs to become fashion designers, foreign-exchange traders, software engineers, or even political campaign operatives.
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Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.