Should America Vote for Donald Trump Part 3

Intelligence officials write open letter exposing the dangers of a Trump presidency

Mr. Trump, with all due respect to you as the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, you cannot credibly serve as commander in chief if you embrace Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader has repeatedly shown himself to be an adversary of the United States. Putin, during his long tenure, has repeatedly pursued policies that undermine U.S. interests and those of our allies and partners. He has steadily but systematically moved Russia from a fledgling democratic state to an authoritarian one. He is the last foreign leader you should be praising.

50 G.O.P. Officials Warn Donald Trump Would Put Nation’s Security ‘at Risk’

How Trump recreated his Foundation to take other people’s money and make it look like he was the virtuous donor

Trump’s failed Baja condo resort left buyers feeling betrayed and angry

In the end, nothing at all was built at Trump Ocean Resort, and Simms lost her money. As did about 250 other buyers, most of them from Southern California.

All told, two years of aggressive marketing yielded $32.5 million in buyer deposits, every bit of it spent by the time Trump and his partners abandoned the project in early 2009 as the global economy was reeling. Most of the buyers sued them for fraud.

Mike Pence might not be a throw-back mid-century fascist, he just has some beliefs in common with Nazi ideology

Ex-Benghazi investigator-intelligence officer (a Republican) says U.S. panel targeted Clinton. Yet every Conservative Trump supporting web sites has spun a false, frequently outrageous narrative about Benghazi. Throughout history when a political movement tells more lies than truths, manufactures narratives, spins like crazy, they always have a nefarious agenda.

The Republican standard-bearer’s new economic plan may be his emptiest promise.

How Donald Trump Exploited Charity & Veterans for Personal Gain



Should America Vote for Trump Part 2

How Breitbart “News”, the white supremacists neo-fascists Trump supporters, conquered the media

To understand how truly bizarre this method of opining is, consider the following: Had polling showed that relatively few Trump supporters believe black people are lazy and criminally-inclined, if only a tiny minority of Trump supporters believed that Muslims should be banned from the country, if birtherism carried no real weight among them, would journalists decline to point this out as they excoriated her? Of course not. But the case against Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” is a triumph of style over substance, of clamorous white grievance over knowable facts.

This is what Andrew Breitbart, and his progeny, ultimately understood. What Shirley Sherrod did or did not do really didn’t matter. White racial grievance enjoys automatic credibility

Where Crazy Conservative Memes Are Invented (from 2002, but continues this election cycle).
The parallel universe of right-wing conspiracy e-mail smears.

Michael Mukasey, who is advising the Romney campaign although the Journal does not disclose that, claims Obama might release Omar Abdel Rahman, mastermind of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. Mukasey readily admits to having no real evidence for such a preposterous scenario. So where do these lies get invented? Often they come from the conservative underground echo chamber.

If a genuine truth serum were ever invented and conservative “news” sites and politicians took it, they would literally have almost nothing to say. The Radical Right has been built on a platform of lies and conspiracy theories since the Holocaust deniers of the 1950s.

Trump’s campaign says he’s given ‘tens of millions’ to charity, but offers no details and no proof

In addition, The Post’s story found that the Trump Foundation appeared to have defied tax laws. In one case, it made an improper political donation to a group supporting Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi (R), which arrived around the time that Bondi’s office was considering fraud allegations against Trump University

Donald Trump gave an interview that should end his campaign, but his supporters love the lunacy. Trump knows nothing about monetary policy except he knows he wants to raise interests rate.

The Hillary Clinton email story is out of control

…In fact, Ms. Clinton’s emails have endured much more scrutiny than an ordinary person’s would have, and the criminal case against her was so thin that charging her would have been to treat her very differently. Ironically, even as the email issue consumed so much precious airtime, several pieces of news reported Wednesday should have taken some steam out of the story. First is a memo FBI Director James B. Comey sent to his staff explaining that the decision not to recommend charging Ms. Clinton was “not a cliff-hanger” and that people “chest-beating” and second-guessing the FBI do not know what they are talking about. Anyone who claims that Ms. Clinton should be in prison accuses, without evidence, the FBI of corruption or flagrant incompetence.

Some of Trump supporters claim to ordinary working class Americans who believe he will look out for them. That would mean that Trump would have to stop being Trump. He has been giving working class Americans the shaft for years,  What Atlantic City Workers Know About Trump

Moody’s: Trump’s plans would cost 3.5 million jobs

Should Americans Vote for Donald Trump Part 1

The fatal flaw in Trump’s Frankenstein economic plans

The second problem for Trump’s Frankenstein economics is that his seemingly contradictory proposals would be a disaster if they were enacted. Moody’s economic forecasting conducted a nonpartisan analysis of Trump’s proposals and concluded that they would lead to a loss of 3.5 million jobs. And they would cost the U.S. economy trillions of dollars of lost growth.

Former models for Donald Trump’s agency say they violated immigration rules and worked illegally

There is no Clinton email scandal, its all about the media trying to balance Trump’s daily insanities

Trump is $650 mill. in debt and part of his debt is carried by the Bank of China

Donald Trump made millions from Saudi Arabia, but trashes Hillary Clinton for Saudi donations to Clinton Foundation (the Saudis have also made donations to both Bush presidents for their libraries).

Voting Rights for Women Should Be Revoked According to How They Obtain Their Birth Control, Says Author of ‘Handbook for the Trump Revolution’

Who should America believe when it comes to Hillary Clinton’s email, the FBI or some unhinged Hillary haters.

Page 11: On January 23, 2009, Clinton contacted former Secretary of State Colin Powell via e-mail to inquire about his use of a BlackBerry while he was Secretary of State (January 2001 to January 2005). In his e-mail reply, Powell warned Clinton that if it became “public” that Clinton had a BlackBerry, and she used it to “do business,” her e-mails could become “official record[s] and subject to the law.” Powell further advised Clinton, “Be very careful. I got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data.”

This is important. First, it makes clear that Hillary conversed with Colin Powell two days after becoming Secretary of State, not “a year later,” as Powell has claimed. Second, Powell essentially told her that he had just gone ahead and broken the law by “not using systems that captured the data.” Hillary, by contrast, chose instead to retain everything as the law required.

There Are No More Moderate Conservatives, Same As It Ever Was

One of those political analysis by a pundit that hits enough of the right notes to sound true, but misses by a few degrees, There’s a New Political Story Line—and it’s Good for Republicans. Better to be two warring tribes than a single reviled one.

Now, let us stipulate that the government shutdown, however long-lived its repercussions turn out to be, was a Republican political failure on a truly grand scale. Moreover, the agents provocateurs were indeed the Tea Party darlings of the House and Senate, all of whom were happy to let the government close shop in their tilt against the Obamacare windmill, and some of whom may well have been willing to risk sovereign default to get their way (but most of whom would certainly have known that the political process was likely to spare them any consequences for their posturing to that effect).

Nevertheless, the new line among Democrats and progressives is actually a net positive for the GOP and the best thing (in fact, the only good thing) that has happened to the party over the past couple weeks. Because the Republican Party truly is divided now—between a majority that is as staunchly conservative as ever and a minority that is not merely staunchly conservative but manifestly radical in its aims and tactics. It does not hurt, but rather has the potential to help Republicans, for their opponents to acknowledge the division within the party and the status of the Tea Party faction as a very vocal minority.

The Tea Party faction is telling its own version of the same story, namely, that it fought the good fight and lost. But that’s another way of saying that the Tea Party does not have the political power within the GOP to prevail.

We fought the good fight is indeed the fable that conservatives are telling themselves. Tod Lindberg is correct, up to a point that there is a divide and the non-tea baggers won. Though what happened was more about who is in charge of the GOP. The shut-down was bad for business. Since forever or since Saint Ronnie you could draw a pie chart with conservatives who could mostly be in the culture war slice and conservatives who mostly fit in the far Right libertarian business slice. The latter is what has and still does have the last say on the conservative agenda. The business slice saw that the shut-down was costing them money. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who is nothing more than a corrupt puppy of the coal industry stepped in and said enough is enough. The business wing of conservatism has always been willing to pander to the culture conservatives because legislation that gives government more control over women does not have much effect on wealthy conservative women, who will get whatever health care they want regardless of what Paul Ryan (R-WI) wants. There is no division between conservatives and the tea baggers that has not always been there. If you think their rhetoric is especially hateful or radical then you need to look back at the Clinton years ( the Hillary and Vince Foster murder conspiracy theory, the Bill Clinton Arkansas mafia that knocked off political enemies conspiracy theory, Bill Clinton was behind the Oklahoma bombing conspiracy theory). Or the George W. Bush years where everyone who disagreed with the invasion of Iraq was a terrorist sympathizers. The tea bags are the same nutbars who have always been in the circle jerk of conservative crazy. The only thing that might have changed is that a few more of them got elected and much of their wackness has become part and parcel of mainstream conservatism. If you’re not out there comparing Obamcare to slavery or Hitler you’re just not a real Republican. Does it benefit the Mitch McConnells and John Boehners (R-OH) to be able to lay off blame to some supposed division in the GOP, to make it seem like there is a somewhat moderate wing of conservatism that will appeal to independent voters in 2014. That is where Lindberg might be on to something. After all conservatives convinced themselves they did not blow up the economy in 2007 and invading Iraq was a great idea.

I have a question for Sarah Palin and other Obamacare haters. It is a rhetorical question, because being in touch with reality and not blinded by the worse kind of venal partisanship, I know the answer. When you use a private insurance web site or talk to customer service over the phone has your experience always been perfect. I know that it has not because i have worked with every kind of insurance company and their data bases and customer service. They have a good sized turn over ate in customer service personnel because of the burn out dealing with frustrated customers. This site has a possible five star rating for health insurance companies – look how many get one star. Palin: Obamacare website glitches are a feature, not a bug, and will push U.S. into socialism. You mean that Congress will pass legislation making Marxist Medicare available to everyone? Oh my, that would be awful. That would be the Medicare that her and Todd will be filing for in a few years. The Palin family collected every public benefit they could get in Alaska, why isn’t it socialism when conservatives do it. That is one of the disturbing things about how tea bagger conservatives see values; giving millions of Americas more access to health care is some how immoral. The Palin families’ corruption is the new patriotism. Weird.

A good unbiased look at the ACA/Obamacare web site glitches, The Truth About the Obamacare Rollout The feds botched the website. But the states are doing much better.

The Republican Shutdown Only Cost The Country $24 Billion

Early Fall wallpaper

Early Fall wallpaper

Political wonks may wonder what the heck changed for the House especially, and the Senate to reach a deal on the debt ceiling. Jonathan Cohn has the go-to background article, Three Reasons That the Democrats Prevailed

But in a narrower political sense, this was one of those (relatively) rare Washington battles in which one side clearly prevailed. It was the Democrats. When this episode started, they said they were determined not to make major concessions simply because Republicans were threatening shutdown and default. Sure enough, here we are—with a new continuing resolution, a higher debt limit, and no major changes in law. Democrats achieved the policy outcome they had sought, while establishing a precedent for the future: No more negotiating while under such threats.

I don’t know that I would go as far as one analyst in comparing the damage to the tea bagger coalition as a battle where they were defeated and will be too frayed to do much damage in the next battle. It is more straight up and less dramatic. In politics you go into fights with some political capital. In the next fight – coming in January and February, the public knows that the tea bags will be pandering to the crazies – the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins that live in mostly gerrymandered districts. Most Republicans are not going to let these freaks on the outer fringe of conservatism drag down the party even more than they already have. Unless House Republicans stage a successful mutiny and get rid of Boehner (R-OH) he will strike a deal with more practical minded members of hos party and Democrats.

2. Republican crazy brings people together. The Senate still has some conservative Democrats, of course—Joe Manchin of West Virginia comes quickly to mind. But the agenda has changed a lot since 2009 and 2010: Instead of trying to enact their own policies, in this episode, at least, Democrats were mostly trying to stop Republicans from passing theirs. And that wasn’t so hard, given the nature of Republican tactics. Polls showed repeatedly that, despite the public ambivalence about Obamacare, majorities did not support shutting down the government in order to undermine the law. And as the shutdown wore on, it became clear that Republicans, not Democrats, were taking the blame. It helped, too, that prominent Senate Republicans were openly critical of what Ted Cruz and his House Republican allies were trying to do.

If you go over to the dark side- sites like Hot Air and Breitbart they are certainly tribal minded. The crazy is their rallying flag. But they make the mistake of thinking that only works in one direction. The crazier they get the more Democrats and the endangered moderate Republicans stick together, and sound to the public like the voice of reason. I have no desire to see them tone down their worship of Ted Cruz (R-TX) or Rand Paul (R-KY). They can pack their clown car with all the freaks and conspiracy theories they like. There has never been a point in history in which the clowns have won in the long haul. Call Obamacare – a gift to the health care industry and pharmaceutical companies – the same thing as slavery and you just create more distrust of the tea bagger agenda. Tea Party’s Image Turns More Negative

Unfavorable Views of Tea Party Have Nearly Doubled Since 2010. The Tea Party is less popular than ever, with even many Republicans now viewing the movement negatively. Overall, nearly half of the public (49%) has an unfavorable opinion of the Tea Party, while 30% have a favorable opinion.

One can only wonder what it is like to slowly swirl down the drain of history. The new tea bagger conservatism, being even more far Right than the conservatism of 2000 of 2008 comes with similar financial penalties for the country they claim to care about, S&P: The Shutdown Took $24 Billion Out Of The US Economy

The S&P has cut the annualized U.S. growth view closer to 2% from 3%, Bloomberg is reporting.

The ratings agency — which recognizes the Senate deal will be approved — says that the shutdown has taken $24 billion out of the economy and cut 0.6% off of yearly fourth quarter GDP growth.

In the last 13 years the Conservative Republican agenda has cost us trillions of dollars. Yet they endlessly grumble about poor kids getting food assistance. They must have read about the decadence of the late Roman Empire and seen that as a recipe rather than a warning.

Crazy Conservatism, Trucker Rallies and Medicaid

Fishing Boats, Key West

Fishing Boats, Key West, 1903. By American painter Winslow Homer.

When the crazy never stops its like what happens to the little hair-like fibers in your ear after listening to loud music for years. Those cells become less sensitive to sound. Since there always seems to be some conservative freak or group of freaks doing something weird – and calling that weirdness patriotism, my political sensors tend to yawn at this point. I heard about the conservative trucker rally and I was not struck by anger, humor or frustration. All I could work up was a who cares. Most of the truckers I have known over the years are either pro-labor Democrats or independents. So a few truckers are against their own best interests, that describes many working class conservatives. These truckers ( Fox and other conservative media outlets said there were thousands, while in reality there were almost three dozen) had a list of demands and grievances which included,

… to change Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution on eight separate occasions to make it possible for Barack Obama to meet the eligibility requirements for the office of president. Of which, a legal investigation has proven that his documents provided are forgeries, which is a felony offense.

Birthers have lost every court challenge to Obama’s citizenship. Everyone. Mr. Radical Conservative Supreme Court Justice Antoine Scalia will not even hear the case because birthers lack even the tiniest shred of evidence. The Wizbang Conservative truckers also assert:

… illegally put our military in a “War Zone” where they currently, guard opium productions and transport, police the people of other countries based on US law, they get authorization for military action from the United Nations Security Counsel, which is High Treason, and they are exposing, and administering experimental, psychotropic, mind altering drugs for control over soldiers during secret, clandestine operations.

This is why liberals cannot win a debate about the Constitutions with conservatives. Conservatives defend the Constitution of the planet Zorn and liberals defend the Constitution of the U.S. While those two items are soaked in tin foil and BS, it is no wonder since the organizer of the Wizbang Truckers believes that President Obama is actually Osama Bin Laden in disguise and those jet trail clouds are actually are actually chemicals sprayed into the atmosphere by the government. Meet The Conspiracy Theorist Behind This Week’s Trucker Rally In D.C.

Zeeda Andrews — a co-organizer of the effort who made October 8 appearances on Fox News and Glenn Beck’s The Blaze to promote the event — apparently thinks that President Obama and Osama bin Laden are somehow the same person; that Obama is a secret Muslim; that the Boston bombings were a “false flag”; that the CIA murdered Buzzfeed journalist Michael Hastings; and that the Department of Homeland Security is stockpiling ammunition in order to slaughter Americans.

There does not seem to be a limit for the amount of freako theories that Beck and Fox News viewers will swallow.

And last, but not least is the chewy nugget on our Crazy Conservative Sundae, Greg Collett, who is a Tea Party candidate running for office in Idaho, who is uninsured and says

I don’t think that the government should be involved in health care or health insurance. The issue for me is that it is not the proper role of government.”

Except, it turns out that Mr. Collett has 10 kids, all of whom are on Medicaid. Medicaid is a government run health insurance.

My head would spin except conservatives broke that from over use as well.

Obamacare and Political Realignment

It is still fairly common for conservatives to claim to be the party of Lincoln. That might even have a teaspoon of truth in regards to north-eastern Republicans. Though when racists like Rush Limbaugh say that it is Democrats are are the racists party, such claims are either shameless lies or display a stunning lack of knowledge about the history of political and racial alignments in the U.S. Conservatives, which is what they should call themselves, not Republicans ( the Republican Party has almost nothing to do with small r republicanism) cannot even claim to be the party of Teddy Roosevelt (R, 1901-1909), our 26th president. Teddy went after monopolies and enacted government regulation controlling food quality and inspections. Today’s Repub lican Party, i.e. the Conservative Movement went ballistic at liberal pundits and economists suggesting that we bust up the too big to fail banks after the Great recession started, and they watered down new financial regulation (Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), said he believes Washington’s role is to “serve the banks.”). And of course conservatives are still fighting basic health and safety protections of the American public. Supposedly tossing out every sensible regulation on the books would create millions of jobs. Those jobs, in the conservative fantasy, would not even pay a minimum wage, much less a living wage. So there is evidence to support the observation that conservatives have become captives of the economic and cultural fantasies of the plantation economy. Sure it is easy to find a conservative on the internet arguing that they need low wage workers. That is because they think when they start a business it is their right to get wealthy on the back of wage slaves. How did conservatives to get this point. How did the Republican party, which used to be the progressive party, become the regressive movement. In case you missed it, this is a pretty good post about the history of political alignments between parties, How Racism Caused The Shutdown

This isn’t an article about how Republicans shut down the government because they hate that the President is black. This is an article about how racism caused the government to shut down and the U.S. to teeter on the brink of an unprecedented and catastrophic default.
I understand if you’re confused. A lot of people think the only way that racism “causes” anything is when one person intentionally discriminates against another because of their color of their skin. But that’s wrong. And understanding the history of the forces that produced the current crisis will lay plain the more subtle, but fundamental, ways in which race and racism formed the scaffolding that structures American politics — even as explicit battles over race receded from our daily politics.
The roots of the current crisis began with the New Deal — but not in the way you might think. They grew gradually, with two big bursts in the 1960s and the 1980s reflecting decades of more graduated change. And the tree that grew out of them, the Tea Party and a radically polarized Republican Party, bore the shutdown as its fruits.

[  ]…Hence the famous Dixiecrat revolt of 1948, when Strom Thurmond and likeminded Southerners temporarily seceded from the Democratic Party over Harry Truman and the Democratic platform’s support for civil rights. The tacit bargain that Katznelson documents during the Roosevelt Administration, in which the Northern Democrats would get their New Deal if the Southern Democrats got their white supremacy, became untenable.

[  ]…

The Legacy Of The Democratic South’s Rebellion: The Tea Party
We all know what happens next. The Southern conservative takeover of the Republican Party pushes out moderates, cementing the party’s conservative spiral. This trend produces the Tea Party, whose leading contemporary avatar — Ted Cruz — engineers the 2013 shutdown and risk of catastrophic default.
So we can draw a tentatively straight line between the last 80 years of racial politics and this week’s political crisis. Aside from being an interesting point of history, what does that tell us?
First, that the shutdown crisis isn’t the product of passing Republican insanity or, as President Obama put it, a “fever” that needs to be broken. Rather, the sharp conservative turn of the Republican Party is the product of deep, long-running structural forces in American history. The Republican Party is the way that it is because of the base that it has evolved, and it would take a tectonic political shift — on the level of the Democrats becoming the party of civil rights — to change the party’s internal coalition. Radicalized conservatism will outlive the shutdown/debt ceiling fight.
Second, and more importantly, the battle over civil rights produced a rigidly homogenous and disproportionately Southern Republican party, fertile grounds for the sort of purity contest you see consuming the South today. There’s no zealot like a new convert, the saying goes, and the South’s new faith in across-the-board conservatism — kicked off by the alignment of economic libertarianism with segregationism — is one of the most significant causes of the ideological inflexibility that’s caused the shutdown.

While many of my conservative friends, co-workers and family support Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, Workman’s Compensation, i.e. the social safety net, sabotaging the safety net has become core to the conservative cause. This is also where racism and ye old far-Right nativism meets the ACA or Obamacare. Even the Tea Baggers support the safety net, they certainly depend on it to survive. Conservatives think it is morally just that they receive these entitlements, but not those people over there – the people of color. They see Obamacare as something, as another program that will – in their blurred vision – be taken advantage of by those other people. Even as like food assistance, white southerners and mid-westerners are actually the largest number of participants.