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#301202 - 05/13/17 02:30 PM How is Trump President?!
NW Ponderer Offline
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Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15185
The thread title is born of frustration... But also an intellectual dilemma/puzzle that has been keeping me up - literally - at night. There are "reasons" - the Comey letter, Russian interference, a flawed opponent - but those don't really explain the larger "why." They are symptoms. I think there is a deeper reason that is a combination of flawed process and ingrained psychology.

The process issue is stunningly complex. The Electoral college is part of it, as are party politics, the federal system, voting patterns, candidate selection, statistics and just plain math. The psychological dimensions are even more dizzying.

Humans are inherently "tribal". The evidence is all around us - and often on us. I'll bet you cannot go 30 seconds in any public activity without confronting it. Turn on the TV. You've already joined a tribe. Pick a channel, watch a commercial... All involve selection, often self-seeking, putting us in one clan or another. Take a walk outside. How soon do you encounter a team Jersey (maybe you're even wearing one on your walk), a logoed hat or a bumper sticker? They're all indicia of tribal associations.

Elections are a combination of two very complex systems - process and psychology. In this instance leading to an existential crisis.

At the risk of simplifying the universe to a bumper sticker, here's my take:

1. Candidates select themselves. Humans are notoriously poor at self-evaluation, exaggerating our merits and minimizing our flaws. Candidates are extreme in this regard.

2. They then select a "tribe" to represent. Even "Independents" have a tribal affiliation. We use lots of labels to sort these - conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat, establishment, outsider...

3. The electoral/campaign process is a process of accretion, not really selection. The candidate tries to get as many voters to stick to him as possible, like Katamari.

4. Because of the number of candidates, the "faster than the bear" phenomenon takes over ("you don't have to be faster than the bear..."). Trump only had 17-19% support, but that was more than the next guy...

5. Because of "Winner take all" delegate awards (a process flaw), Trump accumulated more delegates than his opponents, even though vastly more voters voted against him than for him. Similarly, Hillary Clinton won more delegates, although the voting math was more in her favor, too.

6. Despite voluminous evidence and analysis demonstrating his unsuitability for the job, Trump won the nomination over vociferous objections within his own tribe. The tribe then coalesced around his nomination even though many (if not most) knew he didn't represent their interests.

7. The final voting was also marred by the same process defects. Although tribal affiliations are nearly balanced, he prevailed because of winner take all elector distribution and the faster than the bear phenomenon. He didn't have the majority of votes (more voted against him than for him), and didn't even have the most votes. Yet, here we are.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#301203 - 05/13/17 03:50 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
rporter314 Offline
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Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 6026
Loc: Highlands, Tx
i haven't done a thorough analysis of your argument but something does strike me which you may want to consider .... while it is true life in general is fairly complex, humans for the most part simplify it .... likewise when one makes an argument, one should pay attention to William of Orange ... I think complex arguments best be left to proving Fermat's last theorem
_________________________
ignorance is the enemy
without equality there is no liberty

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#301208 - 05/14/17 12:03 AM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
pdx rick Offline
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Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 40136
Loc: Puget Sound, WA



Donald Trump is way out of his league as President.

Deciding such important matters such as whether Little John or Meatloaf lacked leadership, and then ultimately firing Gary Busey instead on Celebrity Apprentice, is not indicative of the type of stellar decision-making required to be President.

Celebrity Apprentice didn't set Trump up for success as President. No wonder we see Donald J Trump flailing like a fish out of water and failing so spectacularly.

You own this joke of a man that we have as President, Trump voters.
_________________________
Contrarian, extraordinaire



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#301211 - 05/14/17 07:13 AM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: pdx rick]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6607
Loc: North San Diego County
>low information voters

Surprise! There really IS such a thing as expertise, and some people are way way more competent than others. No matter what you think about your opinion being as valid as the next guy's, that may not be true.

Education and experience matter.

Next time you get confused about this, just think: You would not want a rotor-rooter guy doing your heart bypass surgery. No reason to think a game show host would make a good President.

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#301214 - 05/14/17 07:27 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: pondering_it_all]
TatumAH Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 368
Loc: Upstate NY
Can it happen here?

Can It Happen Here?
You bet!
Tat

This is a clear moment of crisis for Americans, says Atlantic senior editor David Frum. “We are living through the most dangerous challenge to the free government of the United States in decades,” he explains in this video. What can people do when Congress refuses to check the president, civil unrest fuels his agenda, and he uses Twitter to stifle dissent? Read more in The Atlantic’s March 2017 cover story, “How to Build an Autocracy.”
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There's nothing wrong with thinking
Except that it's lonesome work
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#301215 - 05/14/17 09:22 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
matthew Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 235
'
I remember a posting here about nine years ago which seems to have been borne out by our recent history:

LINK

Quote:
As I recall from my political indoctrination ---- I mean, my civics classes ---- the world-view of the framers of the Old Constitution was distinctly jaundiced, and that they assumed that people who sought power were not to be trusted. That is why there were so many "checks and balances" in the first place. In this, at least, they showed some acumen. But,

tempora mutantur, nos et in illis mutamur.
[Times change, and we change with them]

The crude and simple-minded safeguards in the Old Constitution may have been adequate for the unsophisticated, agrarian America of the 18th century, but they are ludicrously deficient in a 21st century society which is technologically complex, dominated by vast, soulless aggregates of monopolistic power, and where militarism and ruthlessness are sedulously cultivated in both the rulers and in their pawns. The Constitution has failed, is failing and will fail ever more disastrously as time goes by. Within the next ten years, I predict that its utter inanity will be apparent even to the astute commentators here on Capitol Hill Blue.

emphasis added
.
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#301219 - 05/15/17 02:48 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15185
I remember several threads dominated by our curmudgeonly friend. I also remember the frustration of the time trying to address how we should remedy the alleged defects. As my opening indicated, I agree there are defects in the process that should be remedied. I identified a few: winner take all, delegate distribution, State manipulation thereof. Some of these can be remedied with statutes, but ultimately it requires wide understanding of the problems and the seriousness of the threat. Then public pressure can be brought to bear on solutions.

Unfortunately, many of the problems are not legal issues, but social defects. Parties in the political process, like corporations in the economic sphere, can be useful tools for organizing - but are also objects used for abuse when their underlying purpose is distorted. This election was a prime example. Neither party "stood for" things in a way that the populace accepted so an unrepresentative demagogue was able to step in and usurp the machinery. The Russian-Trump connection is strong because neither represented the interests of the nation (neither still do).

Bulwarks need to be erected to prevent a recurrence, but one has to be careful not to damage the substructure and foundations in the process.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#301221 - 05/15/17 04:53 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
Ma_Republican Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 6431
Loc: USA
The answer to the question, for me anyway, is simple. The choices sucked and somebody had to win. My vote was wasted here in the Peoples republic of Massachusetts, but I will bet my reasoning follows along with many right leaning voters; Hillary could not be allowed to appoint a Supreme Court Justice. Hillary was actually fairly business friendly. and while she used the you tube video Innocence of Muslims, that just proved that she had no honor and that she would fit in in Washington.

Donald Trump is a moron! He is a perfect example of the Peter Principle and I still wouldn't want Hillary as POTUS. The US is divided and neither party is doing anything to change that situation. Americans are forced to decide between right or left, and America is usually a center right country. And even scarier, he might win a second term.

I lay the Don at the feet of fate, and fate is a bitch with a twisted sense of humor.

Tim
_________________________
A proud member of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy, Massachusetts Chapter

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Thomas Jefferson

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#301226 - 05/15/17 09:24 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Ma_Republican]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6607
Loc: North San Diego County
Quote:
America is usually a center right country


People like to think they are, but don't touch their Social Security, Medicare, USDA checks for farmers, public schools, highways, police, fire departments, etc. They assume Communism is evil, Socialism = Communism, and therefore everything Socialist is evil.

But government does a LOT of things they like, therefore "all those things they like" must not be Socialist. But they are.

Many people are Social Conservatives (but not a majority: IE. gay marriage, legal pot) but Economic Liberals.

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#301233 - 05/16/17 11:49 AM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: pondering_it_all]
Ma_Republican Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 6431
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Quote:
America is usually a center right country


People like to think they are, but don't touch their Social Security, Medicare, USDA checks for farmers, public schools, highways, police, fire departments, etc. They assume Communism is evil, Socialism = Communism, and therefore everything Socialist is evil.

But government does a LOT of things they like, therefore "all those things they like" must not be Socialist. But they are.

Many people are Social Conservatives (but not a majority: IE. gay marriage, legal pot) but Economic Liberals.


I am a typical American. I am fiscally conservative and socially moderate to liberal. Gay marriage, who cares? Gay equality, well duh! I have been saying for years that gay rights should be a Republican issue, because it is about privacy and what people do is none of my business.

Social Security, it is supposed to be a trust fund. It has been raided and mismanaged, it is a slush fund for Congress and will eventually fail. But, on the positive side, I will probably get it, so I am pretty relieves. Schools/Education; a necessity and a national priority. More focus on the sciences would probably be a wiser use of funds, and teachers who teach and not preach, both on the left and the right. Medicare was supposed to take care of retirees, it has been corrupted. Roads and bridges should pay for themselves. Trade in America is practiced in cities and towns along those roads and without them the taxes that are collected would not exist. Pot, come on, who the hell cares if somebody smokes a joint? When I retire, one of the first things that I will do is roll a fatty. Fire and police have been around long before unions and the political power that has corrupted them.

Life in America is pretty cut and dried. There is the left who pander to the fringe of society and the right who pander to the great unwashed. Neither side has America’s best interests at heart, they all have an angle to play so they can get rich and powerful. Trump got elected because he was not part of that crowd. I am not a Donald guy, much to the outrage of many of my friends. He is too reactionary, too quick to respond, too quick to take offense. He should be better than what he has shown, but maybe he is playing everybody for the fools that we are? Either way, he has appointed one justice, and there is an outside chance that he could appoint 1, 2 or 3 more. It is SCOUS that makes the difference in America. Congress is just a bunch of hucksters who are playing their angle and getting rich off of the backs of their constituencies.
As long as he doesn’t blow up the world, then he is worth the investment.

Tim
_________________________
A proud member of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy, Massachusetts Chapter

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Thomas Jefferson

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#301235 - 05/16/17 06:10 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Ma_Republican]
rporter314 Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 6026
Loc: Highlands, Tx
Quote:
Social Security, it is supposed to be a trust fund. It has been raided and mismanaged, it is a slush fund for Congress and will eventually fail.

Your belief is a common misconception among conservatives. so I recommend you read up on it.

Quote:
Schools/Education; a necessity and a national priority. More focus on the sciences would probably be a wiser use of funds, and teachers who teach and not preach, both on the left and the right.

That is a strange statement. You want better education and then criticize teachers for trying to instill critical thinking. I have been to the vessels of higher knowledge in the 60's, 80's, and 90's and have yet to find a preacher, however I can point out many in Congress.

Quote:
Medicare was supposed to take care of retirees, it has been corrupted.

I plead ignorance. How has it been corrupted?

Quote:
Trade in America is practiced in cities and towns along those roads and without them the taxes that are collected would not exist. Roads and bridges should pay for themselves.

Really? I know you do not believe once a road is built there will be no maintainence.

From a historical perspective, you should read early American county records. Roads were surveyed and built for the benefit of the free market. All were built with free local labor and maintained the same way.

Or maybe you have a private toll road system? There were toll roads in early America but for the most part counties opted for local free enterprise.

Quote:
Fire and police have been around long before unions and the political power that has corrupted them.

Power works both ways. Those in power abuse it just as those who want it. It is naive to think firemen and policemen would have better working conditions without unions or to believe workers wages and working conditions would have risen above poverty levels or had decent working conditions without unions. They have served a real purpose for those who "work".

Quote:
Life in America is pretty cut and dried. There is the left who pander to the fringe of society and the right who pander to the great unwashed.

Neither side has America’s best interests at heart, they all have an angle to play so they can get rich and powerful.

Why is equality not in America's best interest? It is not only in it's best interest, it is front and center what America is all about.

Quote:
Trump got elected because he was not part of that crowd. I am not a Donald guy, much to the outrage of many of my friends. He is too reactionary, too quick to respond, too quick to take offense. He should be better than what he has shown, but maybe he is playing everybody for the fools that we are?

He is a narcissist. He can not think about playing people for fools since that is outside his mental capability i.e. everything is about him. not you or me. Certainly the people who voted for him, the people who brought him to power would be foolish.

Either way, he has appointed one justice, and there is an outside chance that he could appoint 1, 2 or 3 more. It is SCOUS that makes the difference in America.

He really did not appoint anyone to SC. When the Senate bends the rules to ensure a vote, is that really getting an appointment through? He could have nominated a reasonable person which would have had bipartisan support, but in a country frozen in partisanship, we will have nominees more extreme than the last one, until they approve of Mr trump anointing himself emperor of America.

Quote:
Congress is just a bunch of hucksters who are playing their angle and getting rich off of the backs of their constituencies.

I guess you mean like Rep Price. The problem is people with high profiles will always be approached by people with money, but it applies regardless if one is public or private.

Quote:
As long as he doesn’t blow up the world, then he is worth the investment.

Based on your conclusion, I will conclude you would vote for a ham sandwich, as long as it doesn't blow up the world.

Mr Trump has demonstrated he is a terrible boss. He is incompetent and has no conception of the qualities it takes for people to be good in government. He surrounded himself with people who have at the very least been in situations which compromise their integrity and yet he does not recognize it. He does not comprehend the nature of national security except his own bigotry. He sold out his promise of better HC for America by selling it out to right wing extremists who would rather deconstruct government than actually do something for America. I can go on, so what investment are you waiting on?
_________________________
ignorance is the enemy
without equality there is no liberty

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#301236 - 05/16/17 07:53 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6607
Loc: North San Diego County
Quote:
Social Security, it is supposed to be a trust fund. It has been raided and mismanaged, it is a slush fund for Congress


Standard myth of the right, with zero basis in reality. The reason they claim it is that excess Social Security Trust Fund money is all invested in US T-Bills, but a special kind that can be redeemed at any time. They get the prevailing interest rate at the time they are purchased. This is the safest investment in the world because it is backed by the authority of the US to collect taxes, tariffs, etc.

When T-Bills are purchased, the money goes into the general fund from which the government pays for everything. THAT'S why they claim it has been raided. But the Social Security Administration still has those T-Bills, which they cash in when they need money.

If all T-Bills were worthless because the US went broke and couldn't collect any taxes, the lack of Social Security checks would be the least of our problems. Short of WW III, never going to happen.

I am curious: What do these "Social Security Raided" folks think Social Security should do with excess money? Keep it in a bank account (to earn 0.1% interest)? Keep it under the mattress (to earn 0% interest)? Those investments lose to inflation. Put it in the stock market? Very risky.

People all over the world buy US T-Bills because they have a decent return with a tiny tiny risk.

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#301246 - 05/17/17 05:31 AM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Ma_Republican]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15185
We all like to believe we are "typical Americans." It is more true for some of us than for others. Trump, too, thinks this (apparently). But the reality is that conservatism represents only about 22% of American views (although 36% self-identify as "conservative" - ironic, no?). Yet strident conservatism is vastly overrepresented in legislatures around the country, most especially in Washington. And the reason is because the system is broken.

It is not "fate" that brought Trump to the White House, but craven and short-sighted party members. It goes to prove that nearly to a person they will vote along party linesregardless of qualification or consequence.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#301247 - 05/17/17 11:16 AM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Ma_Republican]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15185
Originally Posted By: Ma_Republican
My vote was wasted here in the Peoples republic of Massachusetts,
Issue one: why was it wasted? Winner-take-all. Had there been proportional delegate distribution, your vote would have "counted" even as the minority. Three million Democratic voters feel your pain - their votes didn't "count" because of the electoral college and winner-take-all delegate distribution by the States.

Quote:
I will bet my reasoning follows along with many right leaning voters; Hillary could not be allowed to appoint a Supreme Court Justice. Hillary was actually fairly business friendly. and while she used the you tube video Innocence of Muslims, that just proved that she had no honor and that she would fit in in Washington.
How utterly tribal of you. Those arguments are entirely tribal in nature, and are exactly the defect I described. First, the "choice" is reduced to a single issue, "us" or "them". The Supreme Court has become a "tribal" institution Because of this very attitude. The Republican Senate abdicated its Constitutional responsibility to pursue its tribal interests - not the interests of the American people. Second, you felt the need to denigrate the "not my tribe" candidate with specious claims that only exist within your tribe's world. "Your team sucks!" That's hardly a "rational" argument.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

Top
#301248 - 05/17/17 04:35 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
Ma_Republican Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 6431
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer

Quote:
I will bet my reasoning follows along with many right leaning voters; Hillary could not be allowed to appoint a Supreme Court Justice. Hillary was actually fairly business friendly. and while she used the you tube video Innocence of Muslims, that just proved that she had no honor and that she would fit in in Washington.
How utterly tribal of you. Those arguments are entirely tribal in nature, and are exactly the defect I described. First, the "choice" is reduced to a single issue, "us" or "them". The Supreme Court has become a "tribal" institution Because of this very attitude. The Republican Senate abdicated its Constitutional responsibility to pursue its tribal interests - not the interests of the American people. Second, you felt the need to denigrate the "not my tribe" candidate with specious claims that only exist within your tribe's world. "Your team sucks!" That's hardly a "rational" argument.


Whether you like the idea or not, there are only two tribes in America, and everybody fits inside them. I did not denigrate your tribe, I equate being a politician as one of the basest forms of employment in America. There is very little good said about them, and they don't even deserve that. I want government out of my life as much as possible, you don't. I want small government with the power centered in the states, you don't. Both sides of the arguments have merit, we just picked different sides. My argument isn't that your side sucks, my argument is that both sides suck, but I keep more money in my wallet if my side wins.

The Supreme Court was always the fight in the last election. The President has very little real power, he can shape discussion, he can champion one side of the debate, but he can't introduce and he can't vote on legislation. Only SCOTUS can decide the fate of legislation that has been passed and signed into law. Only SCOTUS can interpret how a law should be implemented and only SCOTUS can make a real difference after the fact.

It isn't as complicated as people like to make it seem. SCOTUS usually gets it right, but not always, and SCOTUS has only their self-imposed politics to deal with. It is the most important privilege of the President. Donald Trump is a dope. He isn't ready for the job and probably never will be, but he gets to choose the next Justice, maybe even the one after that. As I have said, as long as he doesn't blow up the world, having him choose the next Justice is worth the risk.

Tim


Edited by Ma_Republican (05/17/17 04:38 PM)
_________________________
A proud member of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy, Massachusetts Chapter

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Thomas Jefferson

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#301249 - 05/17/17 05:49 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Ma_Republican]
rporter314 Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 6026
Loc: Highlands, Tx
i am a goose as you continue to amaze me with your beliefs

Quote:
I want government out of my life as much as possible, you don't.

generically you mean conservatives v. liberals. so here is a clue ... as a liberal i also want government out of my life and the reality is 95% of all people globally do not want government in their lives because people just want to live their lives ... the other 5% are nuts

the best i can tell only conservatives want to interfere in my life. liberals always want to give people choices.

Quote:
I want small government with the power centered in the states, you don't

i prefer city state government. why are you for big government???? conservatives always confuse small government and limited government. the Constitution created limited government. It does not constrain it by size. It does constrain its power.

What is the essential difference between state government and federal government? the answer is there is no difference, so I fail to understand your position. It is like saying you only like the twinkie on the right side of the package and not the one on the left.

Quote:
The Supreme Court was always the fight in the last election

the wall ... Muslim ban .... bigger military ... etc. The SC was low on the list. The people who you said were not interested in government in their lives don't give a ratzazz about what the SC decides.

The people who supported Mr Trump only care about getting coal mining jobs, deporting non-whites and Muslims, legalized discrimination, and making rich people richer.

This what a more conservative SC will do for you personally. It will allow you to buy a gun if you are placed on the terrorist watch list, or if you have a mental breakdown (or are otherwise irresponsible so as to be danger to the pubic). They will guarantee in general legalized discrimination. They will approve of the disenfranchisement of groups of people generally based on color, ethnicity, religion or sex preference. They will guarantee big business and the wealthy have a better chance of making and keeping money to the detriment of middle class and poor folks. Etc. Trump supporters are in general incapable of following to the logical conclusion what their beliefs would result in, however those who proposed the SC as the primary issue wanted guarantees of Uzis for every new born, no abortions, and ensuring the transfer of wealth to the wealthy continues. Ultimately they want indoctrinated bots who will support oligarchs as democratic leaders. Thanks but no thanks.

My question is why do you think those are goods things looking through the lens of the Constitution????
_________________________
ignorance is the enemy
without equality there is no liberty

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#301250 - 05/17/17 05:50 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Ma_Republican]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6607
Loc: North San Diego County
Quote:
as long as he doesn't blow up the world, having him choose the next Justice is worth the risk


There is a huge unwarranted assumption in there. From his observed behavior, there is no reason to think he won't blow up the world. He is maybe the most impulsive and uninformed President in the history of the republic. Making this choice (Supreme Court vs world blowing up) is proof that the Republican party is filled with sociopaths.

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#301251 - 05/17/17 07:55 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Ma_Republican]
Greger Online   content

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 13722
Loc: Florida
Quote:
I keep more money in my wallet if my side wins.


And that right there is the crux of the biscuit. We can talk all day long about Muslim bans, anti-Mexican walls, the gay agenda, and how blue lives matter and black lives don't. But it all comes down to taxes. Your side doesn't want to pay them. My side doesn't mind them because with higher taxes come better services. For everyone.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#301258 - 05/18/17 06:43 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1594
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
First, his supporters. I believe, that for the most part, they are people who have lost their jobs to automation. They seem to be between approximately 35 to 55 and its unlikely they will ever work again and simply do not understand what is happening. I am also convinced that there are going to be LOT more of them in the future unless gov starts to work on the problem right now. There are also another group of Trump supporters who apparently want to return to the 50's & 60's. These are just people yearning for the good old days when they were young and everything was right with the world.

I also believe that its unlikely that he will make it through his entire term. I think that there is, now (finally), an acceptance that the man is simply incompetent in the job and is unable to accept anybody's advice and his current path can create huge problems for us all unless he is stopped. With the special council now onboard its gonna get real interesting. Should probably goto predictit and invest a bit on his downfall.

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#301259 - 05/18/17 09:36 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
matthew Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 235
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
I remember several threads dominated by our curmudgeonly friend. I also remember the frustration of the time trying to address how we should remedy the alleged defects....

This election was a prime example. Neither party "stood for" things in a way that the populace accepted so an unrepresentative demagogue was able to step in and usurp the machinery. The Russian-Trump connection is strong because neither represented the interests of the nation (neither still do).

Bulwarks need to be erected to prevent a recurrence, but one has to be careful not to damage the substructure and foundations in the process.

Well, there is still a year left for you to agree with "your curmudgeonly friend."

It seems to me obvious that the "substructure and foundations" are already fatally damaged.
.
_________________________
Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of Americans

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#301260 - 05/19/17 09:31 AM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
pdx rick Offline
Member
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 40136
Loc: Puget Sound, WA
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
I remember several threads dominated by our curmudgeonly friend. I also remember the frustration of the time trying to address how we should remedy the alleged defects. As my opening indicated, I agree there are defects in the process that should be remedied. I identified a few: winner take all, delegate distribution, State manipulation thereof. Some of these can be remedied with statutes, but ultimately it requires wide understanding of the problems and the seriousness of the threat. Then public pressure can be brought to bear on solutions.

Unfortunately, many of the problems are not legal issues, but social defects. Parties in the political process, like corporations in the economic sphere, can be useful tools for organizing - but are also objects used for abuse when their underlying purpose is distorted. This election was a prime example. Neither party "stood for" things in a way that the populace accepted so an unrepresentative demagogue was able to step in and usurp the machinery. The Russian-Trump connection is strong because neither represented the interests of the nation (neither still do).

Bulwarks need to be erected to prevent a recurrence, but one has to be careful not to damage the substructure and foundations in the process.

Or, us Dems can ensure that a Debbie Wasserman-Schultz type of shenanigans never happens again. Hmm
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#301261 - 05/19/17 09:38 AM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
pdx rick Offline
Member
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 40136
Loc: Puget Sound, WA
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
We all like to believe we are "typical Americans." It is more true for some of us than for others. Trump, too, thinks this (apparently).

Yeah...because Trump is so bright. rolleyes

So many of us typical Americans are running around stating that we're billionaires, while we're mere millionaires, we have filed corporate bankruptcies four times, mobster sleaze bag Roy Cohn was our mentor, and our daddies denied black Americans housing by place a "C" on their applications if they were "colored."

Also, so many of us who are typical Americans are puss-grabbers because we're special and the ladies let us do that to them. coffee
_________________________
Contrarian, extraordinaire



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#301262 - 05/19/17 09:43 AM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Ma_Republican]
pdx rick Offline
Member
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 40136
Loc: Puget Sound, WA
Originally Posted By: Ma_Republican
When I retire, one of the first things that I will do is roll a fatty.

Why wait? coffee
_________________________
Contrarian, extraordinaire



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#301263 - 05/19/17 09:47 AM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
pdx rick Offline
Member
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 40136
Loc: Puget Sound, WA

Quote:
I will bet my reasoning follows along with many right leaning voters; Hillary could not be allowed to appoint a Supreme Court Justice.

Why is that?

The only person who should not be allowed to appoint a Supreme Court Justice is Donald J Trump because of what the Republicans did to Merrick Garland. No where in the Constitution does it say that a president in his last year of Office cannot nominate a SCOTUS judge.
_________________________
Contrarian, extraordinaire



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#301272 - 05/20/17 05:41 AM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: pdx rick]
Ken Condon Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/14/07
Posts: 3692
Loc: Eugene, OR
Quote:
Why wait?

I will be so bold as to answer that question for MA as he likely does not want to go there.. Feel free to correct me MA- if I am wrong.

In the past MA has stated that he works for a defense contractor, or at least in a company that has ties to such enterprises. Those companies generally take random UA’s as an agreed upon term of employment. They have lists of banned substances that, if found in the random tests, are terms for dismissal. I would venture to guess that THC and associated compounds are in the list of frowned upon substances from MA’s employer.

I am quite sure that Mr. MA wants to hang on with his employer long enough to get whatever retirement benefits he might be entitled to.

Am I warm?
_________________________
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

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#301347 - 05/24/17 07:54 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: matthew]
matthew Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 235
Originally Posted By: matthew
I remember a posting here about nine years ago which seems to have been borne out by our recent history: LINK
Quote:
As I recall from my political indoctrination ---- I mean, my civics classes ---- the world-view of the framers of the Old Constitution was distinctly jaundiced, and that they assumed that people who sought power were not to be trusted. That is why there were so many "checks and balances" in the first place. In this, at least, they showed some acumen. But,

tempora mutantur, nos et in illis mutamur.
[Times change, and we change with them]

The crude and simple-minded safeguards in the Old Constitution may have been adequate for the unsophisticated, agrarian America of the 18th century, but they are ludicrously deficient in a 21st century society which is technologically complex, dominated by vast, soulless aggregates of monopolistic power, and where militarism and ruthlessness are sedulously cultivated in both the rulers and in their pawns. The Constitution has failed, is failing and will fail ever more disastrously as time goes by. Within the next ten years, I predict that its utter inanity will be apparent even to the astute commentators here on Capitol Hill Blue.

Americans: Government is broken big time

Nearly nine of every 10 Americans think the government of this country is broken, but they still hope that it can be fixed.

The history of American politics demonstrates the triumph of hope over experience.

The insane are those who keep doing the same thing, hoping that they will get a different result.
.
_________________________
Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of Americans

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#301348 - 05/24/17 08:18 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: matthew]
Greger Online   content

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 13722
Loc: Florida
Quote:
Nearly nine of every 10 Americans think the government of this country is broken, but they still hope that it can be fixed.


Broken down a little further...4.5 of those 9 out of 10 think the government is broken because it is to liberal, the other 4.5 think it is too conservative.

Hmm
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#301349 - 05/24/17 08:59 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6607
Loc: North San Diego County
The other 1 out of ten are made up of morons who have no opinion because they barely think about anything but TV and beer, and the few anarchists who want to destroy the government because they never learned how to share in Kindergarten.

But we really should get over partisan loyalties and labels. Here's a few question everybody should answer and their Congressmen respond:

How do you feel about Social Security? It has certain real requirements to keep working.

Should it collect more money or pay less?
Should we increase the standard retirement age from 66?
Should we increase the cutoff limit so rich folks keep on paying the same percentage no matter how much they make?

How do you feel about health coverage?

Should we let people without insurance die in the ER parking lot if they can't produce cash?
Should we provide free coverage for poor kids?
How about poor adults?
How about disabled people?

How do you feel about foodstamps?

Should we feed poor kids?
Should we feed the disabled or sick?
Should we feed the poor?

And so forth. If Congress just enacted legislation based on how we felt, things might work a lot better. I can tell you right now, pot would be totally legal for anybody over 21.

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#301351 - 05/24/17 09:26 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: pondering_it_all]
Greger Online   content

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 13722
Loc: Florida
Jeex, PIA, that's a lot of questions. But to most of us here the answers are pretty obvious.
Social Security...
We need to increase the cutoff limit and leave the retirement age alone or even lower it. If anything payouts need to increase.
Health coverage...
Should be universal.
Foodstamps...
Should be easily and readily available for all who qualify with very few restrictions on what can and cannot be purchased.

And yes, weed should be legal for anyone over 18.
College tuition should also be free for lower income families.

Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton had solid plans to make this(and much more) possible. Yet here we sit with Donald Trump serving as our president... cry
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#301352 - 05/24/17 09:30 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Greger]
Greger Online   content

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 13722
Loc: Florida
And speaking of weed we need to get rid of all those piss tests that prevent many who would like to from being able to indulge in a safe, fun, and healthy recreational herb.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#301353 - 05/24/17 11:48 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Greger]
pdx rick Offline
Member
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 40136
Loc: Puget Sound, WA
Originally Posted By: Greger
...Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton had solid plans to make this(and much more) possible...

Only because Bernie came up with the idea first, and Bernie forced HClinton from her center-right comfortability, more left. smile
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Contrarian, extraordinaire



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#301359 - 05/25/17 07:00 AM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Greger]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6607
Loc: North San Diego County
Specifically, we need to do something about CPS testing people who are doing something perfectly legal , like using medical marijuana by prescription, and then taking away their kids because of a positive drug test!

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#301360 - 05/25/17 07:11 AM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Greger]
pondering_it_all Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 6607
Loc: North San Diego County
Quote:
Jeex, PIA, that's a lot of questions.


I appreciate you answering, but what I had in mind is our Congressmen asking all of us these and similar questions, and then paying attention to the results. There are quite a lot of issues and problems that don't care what your Party loyalty is, they just need to be fixed. Democrats AND Republicans should figure out things they can agree on and fix together without caring who gets credit. Hell, they can both claim credit for voting for this stuff in their reelection campaigns.

95 percent of stuff both Democrats and Republicans should be able to support.

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#301362 - 05/25/17 02:37 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15185
If Congress actually paid attention to public polling, it would be a popular and effective institution.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#301364 - 05/25/17 03:22 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: pondering_it_all]
rporter314 Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 6026
Loc: Highlands, Tx
the patent response of conservatives is at least half of those folks are committing fraud

Yesterday Rep Meadows, one of the uber conservatives, began crying as he admitted his plan may cut pre-existing and he was all for pre-existing and will do everything possible to get the funding necessary to support pre-existing ... i had to wonder if he was for real .... uber conservative who is as close to no government is good government as possible now claims he wants more government? really?

So let me remind Rep Meadows, he can not get the tax cuts he wants if he expands his HC plan ... they really do elect these folks .... amazing
_________________________
ignorance is the enemy
without equality there is no liberty

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#301367 - 05/25/17 06:09 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1594
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
Trump is president because the Democrats ran somebody who had been so demonized that, literally, nobody liked her. This happened over 30 years and millions of anti-Hillary spent in the effort. It has been said that over 100 million dollars has been spent trying to get something on Hillary. She has been sued, maligned, and conspiracized and yet there has never been a single conviction or proof. The problem is that this nation runs on perception and not fact and, after 30 years of the malign efforts of those on the right, I think the smoke won.

I also find it interesting that Hillary never really fought back against her demonization. I think this too contributed to her further demonization. Its the old "where there is smoke there is fire" thing. After the American public has been treated, for over 30 years, with accusations against Hillary, with nary any pushback, people just started believing the lies. We love our perceptions and we firmly believe in the smoke thing. I think Hillary would have been wise to list every little thing she has ever been accused of and answer each one. She never even tried (as far as I know).

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#301368 - 05/25/17 10:06 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
matthew Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 235
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
If Congress actually paid attention to public polling, it would be a popular and effective institution.

Why should they pay attention to public polling?

They don't care what the consumer-units want, and they want it to be effective only for the oligarchs who are bankrolling them.
.
_________________________
Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of Americans

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#301369 - 05/25/17 10:09 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Greger]
matthew Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 235
Originally Posted By: Greger
Quote:
Nearly nine of every 10 Americans think the government of this country is broken, but they still hope that it can be fixed.


Broken down a little further...4.5 of those 9 out of 10 think the government is broken because it is to liberal, the other 4.5 think it is too conservative.

And the few people who are sane know that it will remain broken no matter whether it is liberal or conservative.
.
_________________________
Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of Americans

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#301374 - Yesterday at 03:34 AM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: matthew]
Greger Online   content

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 13722
Loc: Florida
Quote:
And the few people who are sane know that it will remain broken no matter whether it is liberal or conservative.


And that's a statement which has held true down through the ages.

Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's worse, sometimes it's truly awful, but it's always broken.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#301376 - Yesterday at 11:31 AM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Greger]
Ma_Republican Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 6431
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Greger
Quote:
And the few people who are sane know that it will remain broken no matter whether it is liberal or conservative.


And that's a statement which has held true down through the ages.

Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's worse, sometimes it's truly awful, but it's always broken.



Government is a necessary evil. The secret to a truly representative government is to limit the amount of power it has over its citizens.

This government sucks, but it is the best a lot of bad choices. The secret is to find candidates who can inspire and motivate. In that category, we are unfortunately failing.

Tim
_________________________
A proud member of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy, Massachusetts Chapter

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Thomas Jefferson

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#301379 - Yesterday at 05:40 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: Ma_Republican]
rporter314 Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 6026
Loc: Highlands, Tx
I find the negativity of conservatives a but strange ...

Quote:
Government is a necessary evil.

Democratic government vs the anarchy of a Darwinistic death race without any rules.

and you think that is a choice????

no wonder conservatives are demented .... they prefer Darwinism to rule of law
_________________________
ignorance is the enemy
without equality there is no liberty

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#301381 - Yesterday at 06:45 PM Re: How is Trump President?! [Re: NW Ponderer]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15185
I'm curious what is meant by "this government", Tim.

Ultimately, I think, the blame is with the voters. We have the power to prevent these abuses, but we refuse to exercise it. It was patently obvious that Trump was unsuited for the office of President but not enough citizens were motivated to prevent it. It has been patently obvious for at least a decade that Congress is incompetent to govern, yet we continue to send the same reprobates to "represent us." It is patently obvious that the Republican party is as corrupt, venal, and power mad as Caesars of old, yet they still exist as a "party". When was the last time a GOP member actually produced legislation that helped ordinary Americans?

And yes, Ma R, I blame you explicitly, notwithstanding the lack of impact your vote actually had (living as you do in a rationally-based commonwealth). You continue to support a party that does not have your interests anywhere in its calculus based upon some vague idea that it represents you. When? How? and if you say "Neil Gorsuch" - I'll puke.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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