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February 25, 2016

Comments

Mayor of Cleveland turns the venue of the GOP nominating convention to an "open-carry" facility, double-dog-dares OH Gov. Kasich and GOP leg. to reverse it.

Actually, I'm not even sure that action by the Mayor is required...there's been some ALEC-ish legislation going around that makes it super-easy for individuals or groups to sue to remove local firearms policies, and difficult (and financially painful) to defend.

So it might just take ONE Ohio patriot to stand up for the 2nd Amendment. One can hope.

If they award the nomination to anyone else despite Trump having a plurality, he will go independent and be it just out of spite.
I could not even blame him.

A brokered convention is even less likely than Cruz immediately suspending his campaign and endorsing Rubio. Which looks like the only way Trump isn't going to be the nominee.

On the other hand, the presidency itself looks a bit of a stretch:
http://capx.co/49-of-americans-are-terrified-at-the-prospect-of-a-president-trump/

Having just read Rick Perlstein's "The Invisible Bridge",* which contains an extensive discussion of the 1976 GOP convention (which was not brokered as there was only one ballot, but felt like it), a brokered GOP convention in the age of social media that involves Donald Freaking Trump would likely blot out the sun. Or collapse upon itself into a black hole. Maybe both.

But don't count out the possibility of Trump delegates defecting, so it's not like Rubes needs to get all the non-Trump delegates on his side. That said, I have no idea how it would go over if Trump has 45% of the delegates, Rubes 30% and Cruz 25% heading into the convention and Rubes comes out as the nominee because of wheeling and dealing.

You think some of the GOP base is angry at the "establishment" now....

There is also this tidbit from the NYtimes (their front page blurb on this story):

As Donald J. Trump inches closer to being the party’s presidential nominee, Republicans fear he won’t back the conservative agenda pushed by Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

Since when does a D or R POTUS follow the agenda of a D or R Speaker? When in the hell has that ever been an expectation? I swear, more sh1t is getting made up in this election year than ever before, with the SCOTUS vacancy being just the (far and away) leading example.

Nigel, that article you link to has one snetence that struck me as significant: "Unless Nevada is somehow very unusual, Mr Trump’s ceiling may be a rising one!"

But Nevada is very unusual. Its population's level of anti-(Federal) government sentiment is exceptionally high. (It's no coincidence that the Bundys are from Nevada.)

Rather than reading Trump's getting 46% in Nevada as an ominous sign, it could equally well be read as a positive one -- if Trump can't get above 46% in Nevada, how popular can he be overall?

Which is not to say that he necessarily will revert to his previous 35% level. But if he does, it won't be a surprising reversal of his fortunes. And still won't necessarily keep him from hoovering up a substantial fraction of the delegates, thanks to winner-take-all states where 35% might be a plurality.

This makes me laugh:

Billionaire Donald Trump has a substantial lead among Florida Republicans in his bid for the presidential nomination, beating out rival Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on his home turf by 16 percentage points, according to a Qunnipiac poll released Thursday.

In Florida.

Rather than reading Trump's getting 46% in Nevada as an ominous sign, it could equally well be read as a positive one -- if Trump can't get above 46% in Nevada, how popular can he be overall?

Excellent point. It gives me hope. Not much, but some.

A more direct point is that Trump has only a few percent of the delegates at this point, so it's a bit premature to panic.

For me, it's more like a lingering dread.

I think a lot of the Republican base likes Trump because he's angry. But: you know who else was angry?

Suppose Trump wins in Florida. That pretty much takes Rubio out -- if he can't even carry his home state, what good is he as a candidate? So who does the party "establishment" turn to next?

What I suspect we see over the next few weeks is whether Rubio, or Cruz, or Kasich can beat Trump. Even with home-court advantage. If only one does, the anti-Trump forces will likely coalesce around him. Whether than is enough . . . well we shall see.

And if two or all three do, then we continue as now for a couple of months more. Great fun for political theater junkies; not so much for the rest of us.

The only way Rubio wins is to pick an old guy as running mate right now. Unheard of I suppose, but Florida wont vote for "another first term Senator". Hard enough for me to do and I think he is pretty smart. I spent some of the weekend talking to friends that are pretty thoughtful and still for Trump.

To a person the answer was that he was the only candidate that wanted to make the country better, something they could be proud of. However, I get the sense it is more than that. He is the candidate that tells them they are ok and America is great and will be greater. They are tired of politicians telling them the country sucks and its their fault. But what they say is that he will make America great. Again.

Lots of "yes buts" when confronted with what a whack job he is. Its not that they don't see his faults, they think Hilary's are worse(useless, lying, criminal), Bernie's a commie and the Republicans are owned by special interests. It only leaves him.

I think a lot of the Republican base likes Trump because he's angry. But: you know who else was angry?

The Hulk?

wj - What I suspect we see over the next few weeks is whether Rubio, or Cruz, or Kasich can beat Trump. Even with home-court advantage. If only one does, the anti-Trump forces will likely coalesce around him. Whether than is enough . . . well we shall see.

If Trump sweeps Super Tuesday, or sweeps everything other than Texas, then I think it's over. No one is coalescing around Ted Cruz, I must say, and if Cruz wins TX he sticks in the race through the March 15 primaries at least, further sucking delegates/votes from Rubio making Trump that much harder to catch.

Because GOP voters not only like someone who is angry, but to vote for the "winner" too.

They are tired of politicians telling them the country sucks and its their fault.

I'm trying to recall a politician who says that the country sucks.

That the country has problems which need to be addressed? Sure. That some groups (none of whom are Trump supporters) are at fault -- typically bankers, the very rich, etc.? Sure. But that the people who are Trump supporters are at fault? I don't recall that.

Ted Cruz, I must say

You saw the Ed Grimley photo, I take it.

Florida wont vote for "another first term Senator"

Instead, they'll go for a 0th term Senator? Someone with zero experience in any public office?

If you think Trump is not so bad, you should spend some time wading through his Twitter feed, which he updates relentlessly. Everyone who thinks Trump is not so bad should do that.

It's almost 100% cheering on the Trump brand while sneering at everyone who opposes the goal of Trump in the White House. Seriously. It reads like a cartoon supervillain wannabe.

i wonder what percentage of Trump supporters love pro wrestling...

The only way Rubio wins is to pick an old guy as running mate right now.

What's Cheney doing?

Oh. Trump would have made an outstanding counterpart for Vince McMahon.

No wrestling experience required.

Really, it's perfect.

No slart, they clearly see the 0th term senator as a successful businessman with deep experience who understands how to fix the economy. He is Mitt except when people give him a hard time he says f you, I can fix this. Louder than anyone else.

Because, see. its the economy stupid. These people are still struggling and Obama keeps talking about how great a job he has done fixing the economy. They just call bs.

Second, its the wall. But more than the wall its the desire to have pride in "our" country. There are a plurality of the people in this country who believe this is not going to be our country very much longer. It will be their country.

Their country. Because for generations immigrants came here legally because the most important thing for them was to become Americans. The illegal immigrants want the benefits of living in America but have no demonstrated desire to become Americans, They don't learn the language,blah blah. The wall is just a symbol for that sense of "us" having a country. Everyone wants one.

People claim racism, that's really not a fair assessment in general. It is xenophobia maybe, but your not paranoid if somethings is after you.

You saw the Ed Grimley photo, I take it.

Yep. Thanks to cleek.

Also, the Donald has been on WWE, no?

But that the people who are Trump supporters are at fault? I don't recall that.

you've become so accustomed to it that you don't even see the crushing hand of the Leftist PC Police blaming the common man for everything.

Wait...a guy who has zero experience with anything at all related to government, and zero powers to do anything at all WRT the economy, is thought to be a credible person to step in and fix the economy?

WTEF?

The wall is just, pardon my English, fncking retarded. Asinine. Idiotic. Naïve. Anyone who's given the matter even a few seconds of thought ought to be able to see the glaring shortcomings in such an idea. We've talked about them. Cost. Effectiveness. Ease of circumvention. The sheer ridiculousness of building a wall thousands of miles long to keep out Mexicans who, by and large, don't even want to come here so much anymore. Don't take my word for that, though. GIYF.

I don't know if Trump is a racist or not. It doesn't matter. The fact that he's a loudmouthed braggart tinpot tyrant with no motivation other than win by any means possible was, for me, enough.

I don't think we need President Donald Trump in order to be proud of our country. Pride in our country is not our problem. Even if it were: Trump isn't going to do anything to rectify where pride is lacking. Because those people are going to loathe Trump as much or more than they've loathed a previous President of any political bent. They're going to be less proud of our country, and I will also be less proud.

Finally: if you think Mexicans are after you, I think you have bigger issues than who's in the WH.

Wait...a guy who has zero experience with anything at all related to government, and zero powers to do anything at all WRT the economy, is thought to be a credible person to step in and fix the economy?

But slart that cant be. Obama fixed the economy, bush screwed it, it hasn't been good since Clinton did such a great job with after Bush 1 screwed up what Ronnie had fixed from Jimmie. What do you mean he cant do anything about it?

Jeb (not that Jeb!) Lund on Trump, from the Guardian UK.

Jeb (not that Jeb!) Lund on Trump, from the Guardian UK.

Also, this:

The illegal immigrants want the benefits of living in America but have no demonstrated desire to become Americans

seems not quite accurate, to me.

I mean, they came here, right? Often at risk of their own lives.

It's a somewhat moot question, since the option of actually becoming Americans isn't really available to most of them.

Obama fixed the economy, bush screwed it

If you believe either of those things, you have no business voting. Or complaining about Democrats making lousy arguments, because this one is a real stinker.

For my own part, I think using the arguments of others that I have ridiculed as a sort of in-your-face tactic for justifying voting the latest idiot into the Oval Office is...unclean.

Crap can only get said so many times before people believe it. All people. When everyone argues, all the time about which president was best for the economy eventually people internalize it. Even if intellectually they would discount it.

So this notion that Trump is going to save the economy is one that you do not personally subscribe to?

This is overlong, and sometimes tendentious, but I think it grasps the essence of the Trump modus operandi:
http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/16/military-strategist-explains-why-donald-trump-leads-and-how-he-will-fail/

from Nigel's link:

One emblematic late August analysis found CNN giving Trump 78 percent of its GOP campaign coverage. He’s still at it: an analysis of news in the days following his proposal earlier this month to ban Muslim immigration found Trump getting 25 times as many media mentions as the other 13 Republican candidates combined.

...

Trump, of course, has (like Romney) the deterrent effect of a potentially large self-funded war chest at the ready, but he has never needed to spend it. He’s spent only $217,000 on campaign ads, compared to $28.9 million by Jeb and between $2 million and $11 million by each of Rubio, Christie, John Kasich, and Ben Carson.

it's been obvious for a long time that Trump is the media's creation. but, wow. the numbers are still shocking. CNN should be burned to the ground.

Their country. Because for generations immigrants came here legally because the most important thing for them was to become Americans. The illegal immigrants want the benefits of living in America but have no demonstrated desire to become Americans, They don't learn the language,blah blah.

Which is exactly the same thing said about every previous wave of immigrants.

Except for the complaint about them immigrating illegally, but before 1917 (when most of the Germans, Irish, Italians, Scandinavians, etc. arrived) there basically were no immigration restrictions, so illegality was moot.

Also, it's common to assume that anyone who speaks Spanish is an illegal immigrant, regardless of their actual status. Around here, there's as significant chance that they are Puerto Rican, and natural-born US citizens.

there's not much evidence to suggest that Trump's supporters know history, or law, or economics, or policy. or that they even care about those things. but they do know that he looks like a tough guy who says he's going to take on all the people and institutions and problems that they think they have. and he's going to do it with style and class and panache.

he's a textbook demagogue.

and the GOP is absolutely stuck with him.

Obama fixed the economy, bush screwed it

If you believe either of those things, you have no business voting. Or complaining about Democrats making lousy arguments, because this one is a real stinker.

Not a total stinker, slarti. Certainly presidents tend to get way too much credit or blame for the state of the economy. But still, Obama did get a stimulus bill passed and it did help matters. So give the man some credit.

Incidentally, I happen to think that McCain might well have done something similar, but who knows.

Marty: a successful businessman with deep experience who understands how to fix the economy.

Slarti: a guy who has zero experience with anything at all related to government

Wait a minute here. Trump's approach to making money has everything to do with government. Specifically, with getting special treatment from government for himself and his projects. So it is really unfair to say he has no experience with government.

And equally wrong to say that he knows how to fix the economy . . . unless you think that government is the solution. But I don't think Marty is really going there. ;-)

One thing Trump does talk about quite a bit is infrastructure. Our national infrastructure needs LOTS of work, and it would put people to work, be it at better jobs than they now have or some job rather than no job.

I don't know how serious he is about that, what he has in mind (or whether it makes any sense), or how able he would be to get the necessary cooperation from congress.

Here's funny headline (didn't watch the Fox News video):

Limbaugh blasts GOP establishment: You created Trump

Yeah, and you had no part in that, Rush. WTF?

It has become orthodoxy on the Right that the state should, nay, must be run like a business and that policy is too serious a business to leave it to politicians, in particular career politicians. Trump is the perfect caricature of that idea. Romney was already too much tainted by career politicianism (which btw I consider to be true to a significant degree, although for different reasons).

Marty: a successful businessman with deep experience who understands how to fix the economy.

The latter part of that may, or may not be true, but there is zero evidence for the proposition.

Obama did get a stimulus bill passed and it did help matters.

There is much disagreement just how helpful that bill was. It was, however, unambiguously expensive. Not to mention, beset with the occasional misstep.

Hartmut - "If they award the nomination to anyone else despite Trump having a plurality, he will go independent and be it just out of spite.
I could not even blame him."

I half expect that if Trump does win the GOP nomination that Bloomberg will step in with the same tactic. Seems to me that Forbes could also steal some thunder by declaring that he'd make a run at Trump if the GOP's fractiousness allows Trump to take the nomination.

a successful businessman with deep experience who understands how to fix the economy

I would prefer a candidate who understands what the Chief Executive can and cannot do. Based on promises made by either party, there are no such critters out there. Excepting possibly Cruz. But I haven't paid enough attention to his promises at this point.

Cruz at least on occasion has drawn a line between what he would prefer, and what he could actually do. That's what my memory says, anyway.

slart, have no confidence Trump can accomplish anything he says, his is the most empty and gratuitous campaign pandering since, well, Obama. Same campaign. Meaningless slogan, promise everything, make empty but soaring speeches jumping from topic to topic and promise to make Washington "work". Like a 2 min 30 sec song with two verses and 2 choruses with a 10 sec change. Or your standard 30 min sitcom. Plays in Peoria.

how is it that Obama's was an empty and gratuitous campaign if he's "rammed his agenda down our throats" for 7 years ?

either he overpromised or enacted his agenda.

can't be both.

If they award the nomination to anyone else despite Trump having a plurality, he will go independent and be it just out of spite.

There's just one problem with this. There are several states (several big states) which have "sore loser" laws. If you want to get ojn the general election ballot as an independent, you have to sign up early, typically by June.

Which means, decisions will have to be made -- whether by Trump or by Bloomberg. It's not impossible. But it does mean either one might be in a position of making that decision before the dust has settled.

Slarti,

Yes, Solyndra, where less than .1% of the money went, turned out to be a disaster when competing technologies had dramatic cost reductions. Private investment firms have lots of flops too. Talk to a VC firm about it sometime.

As for the disagreement, yes there is some. But it's not on very solid footing. Greg Mankiw, for example, offered an alternative stimulus, which suggests he does think they can work, and his criticism of the actual bill was taken down pretty well by Nate Silver.

One highly dishonest criticism, which you may have seen is that the unemployment rate near the end of 2009 was higher than CBO predicted with no stimulus. Sounds damning, except that the CBO prediction was based on current unemployment numbers which, it turned out, were way too low.

Here's the thing. Under certain circumstances stimulus works. You can argue about measurements, but it works.

These people are still struggling and Obama keeps talking about how great a job he has done fixing the economy. They just call bs.

I think this is a fair point. But the GOP (and Trump)offer public policies that will, arguably, only make things worse.

Second, its the wall. But more than the wall its the desire to have pride in "our" country. There are a plurality of the people in this country who believe this is not going to be our country very much longer. It will be their country.

Other than the previous waves of immigrants for which it took more than a generation to suddenly be seen as "white"? And are blacks included in the "their"?

You can cry, "This is not racism", until the cows come home, but it is racism.

When GNP is below potential, government spending will push output toward that potential (all other things being equal).

This is pretty damnned basic stuff that has been known (and yes, empirically so) since the late 1940's.

can't be both.

Unless he ran on empty promises and then rammed his secret agenda (i.e., less than promised) down everybody's throat.

(play "Twilight Zone" theme song here)

wj, I am aware of that. But it would be enough of a spanner in the works to spoil the GOP game, which would be Trump's reason to do it. I believe Trump did not believe that he would get even this far when he started his campaign. He would have nothing to lose if it came to that situation but he would live in glorious infamy as the guy who brought the house down. Hero Or Herostratus, he will embrace both roles with glee.

Excepting possibly Cruz.

He has promised to 'abolish' the IRS, has he not?

"Their country. Because for generations immigrants came here legally because the most important thing for them was to become Americans."

For generations immigrants came here legally because you could get in legally by just showing up disease-free. I know for certain that my grandfather would have immigrated illegally if he had not been able to come legally.

There are several states (several big states) which have "sore loser" laws. If you want to get ojn the general election ballot as an independent, you have to sign up early, typically by June.

This is the kind of problem that is amenable to solution by throwing massive amounts of money and lawyers at them.

The "real" deadline is when ballots have to be printed, probably mid-October.

People claim racism, that's really not a fair assessment in general.

I beg to differ.

h/t LG&M

I think even Marty could appreciate this Taibbi masterpiece.

I have nothing at all of importance to contribute to this discussion, so I'm just going to leave a link to what is simultaneously the most hilarious and disturbing ebook I have seen in my entire life. Hilarious because, come on, look at the title.

Disturbing because someone, somewhere is already envisioning the future of our nation in such less-than-flattering circumstances. And I don't really want to be on the receiving end. Of any of it.

http://www.amazon.com/President-Domald-Tromp-Pounds-Americas-ebook/dp/B015BH04HA

All apologies, but I just couldn't help myself this time. :)

I love Taibbi.
That is a great article, as in between the lovely phrases ("satanic quail hunter"...), it actually explains the Trump phenomenon in detail - something the rest of the media have singularly failed to do; possibly because that would require a long hard look in the mirror.

Meanwhile, Rubio exposed a crack in the armour:
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/02/marco_rubio_finally_learned_how_to_attack_donald_trump.html

Domald Tromp!

There are good lines in that Taibbi article. Including "Rubio gets exposed in the debate as a talking haircut, a political Speak n' Spell" and "The two men, of course, are polar opposites in just about every way – Sanders worries about the poor, while Trump would eat a child in a lifeboat"

Although sometimes he's trying too hard:

"Rubio's face-plant brilliantly reprised Sir Ian Holm's performance in Alien, as a malfunctioning, disembodied robot head stammering, "I admire its purity," while covered in milky android goo."

Rubio, on Trump, from Nigel's cite:

Here's the guy that inherited $200 million. If he hadn't inherited $200 million, you know where Donald Trump would be right now? Selling watches in Manhattan

LOL.

That's the way to play it, Marco.

It may seem childish and demeaning to address Trump on his own level, but as far as national US politics goes, 'childish and demeaning' is a horse that left the barn long, long ago.

You don't get to pick your opponents. If you're gonna play, play to win. I hope Rubio keeps it up.

Oddly, I found Taibbi's article to be, in part, extolling the virtues of Trump - correctly, even. Trump has exposed the emperor's lack of clothes, even if he, himself, has none.

I can't even fathom how a Trump presidency would play out if it came to pass. It so defies logic that I can't process it. It's like the irresistible force and the immovable object. They can't coexist in the same logical universe. Donald Trump and the President of the United States cannot logically be the same person in my mind.

Why couldn't it have been someone who wasn't an ego-maniacal a$$hole to blow up the system (seemingly, at least)? Why couldn't it have been someone who presented a viable alternative? Is this country such that only the likes of Donald Trump could do it, or is it just a matter of dumb luck that it was him?

Yes, I'm afraid that this country (or at least the GOP) has become such. It's a matter of dumb luck that it was Trump. But it had to be someone like Trump.

And, at the same time, to beat Trump it will be necessary to, among other things, beat him at his own game. Apparently Rubio had a go at it last night, at least the ridicule part. The questions now are: can Rubio keep it up? And will the rest of the field wade in as well? (I admit that I'm having trouble imagining Cruz managing to do so effectively.)

It appears that, among the Democrats, Sanders has found a somewhat less noxious way to make some of the same points. And with some success -- from a horrible starting point. Clinton, who has some experience with political rough and tumble, seems to have found the beginnings of a solution, albeit a traditional one: she's adopting parts of Sanders' platform.

Maybe a Trump presidency plays out like Arnold in California.

Maybe he wins and the Democrats win back the Senate and the GOP keeps the House? That would be quite something.

Except Arnold was never as noxious as Trump. And he was willing to work with others, also unlike Trump. That is, he was actually interested in governing; not just in posturing.

I'd like to believe that a President Trump would turn out that way. I'd like to, but I just can't.

When I'm feeling less hysterical, I actually see a Trump presidency as playing out something like Paul LePage's governorship in Maine. I do suspect Trump may be smarter than LePage, in a low animal cunning way. But he's got the same fondness for conspiracy theories (LePage, I think, actually believes them; for Trump they may just be convenient bullshit) and willingness to coddle seriously scary characters, and neither has any concept of what it would be like to govern in a constitutional system with checks and balances.

I tend to think Josh Marshall is mostly right here (although I usually think that about what Josh says). But we will see on Tuesday, as it seems to me Trump wins every state other than Texas.

And it might actually be better for the GOP "establishment" if Trumps won Texas too as that might make Cruz drop out, although I get the feeling Cruz is going to stay in until the bitter end - he's that kind of guy.

This from John Cole is pretty funny:

I have a secret fantasy that at the final debate, when prompted for his closing remarks, Donald Trump will look directly into the camera and blurt out “The Aristocrats,” drop the mic, and walk off stage.

Oddly, I found Taibbi's article to be, in part, extolling the virtues of Trump - correctly, even. Trump has exposed the emperor's lack of clothes, even if he, himself, has none...

That's why I like Taibbi - he doesn't let his prejudices entirely cloud his analysis.

Trump would in all likelihood be an awful president, and like 'the donist' (I'm sorry, but can't help reading hairshirthedonist this way...), I find it hard to imagine how a Trump presidency might pan out.
His capacity for analysis seems minimal, but he does seem to have a unerring instinct for sensing his opponents' weaknesses.

And the US political process is something of a conspiracy against the bulk of the electorate.

'the donist'

Given the topic of discussion, this is either apropos or ironic. I'm not sure which.

Brace yourself and pass the Novacaine.

Novacaine? Or Pepto Bismol?

Morphine drip.

Bern one

It ... I don't know .... cracks me up? ... that Cruz, Rubio and company are now going after Trump's tax returns.

What are they going to do ... sic the abolished IRA on him?

How will his Tea Party supporters react when the Tea Party PAC supporters of Cruz, Rubio, and company hire Lois Lerner to do a private audit of Trump's tax affairs.

There is nothing funny or ironic about any of this or any of these filth.

The Republican Party is cold-blooded murder syndicate, and they and their supporters seek the murder of Millions of Americans with unmitigated, cackling glee.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_0xAbFAIbM

They are merely deciding how flamboyant they want their lead f*cking killer to be.

IRS, though in its heyday, the IRA could do the damage that's required.

Christie for Trump!

Wowie zowie!

The fat man sees a kindred hard-ass in Trump.

Do the deal, or we'll take your bridge out.

They've tapped into the bullying, grab-their-balls essence of the vermin Republican Party base.

They understand only one language.

Are the Trump-haters and IRS-haters here and elsewhere going to call off the IRS and it's all-of-a-sudden convenient cosiness with the Republican Party's desire to see Trump's tax affairs investigated and made public:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/trumps-12-years-audits-very-141036901.html

Will the Christian conservative base unite in full solidarity with their newly crowned Son of God, Donald J. Trump, to fight the predatory Republican Party/IRS abuse of his God-given freedom to cheat on his taxes.

It's assholes all the way down....

I hope Rubio keeps it up.

I don't think Rubio is any better than Trump when it comes to policy, cf. Iran / Israel - on these and other matters he is even more dangerous - it scares me to say this ... because Clinton is almost as crazy ... omfg

This is how it's done Rubes.

and now we come to acceptance

Maybe they'll waterboard Tim Cook at Guantanamo:

Fascist, big government, stinking Republican filth.

If Obama comes out in favor of the FBI hacking the I-phone, will they change their tune, or double down and have Tim Cook arrested?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/do-all-the-republicans-presidential-contenders-hate-apple-183856037.html

I hope to God this happens:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/donald-trump-libel-sue-media

It will be the conservative Republican money shot in their long-held wet dream to cripple once and for all the nattering nabobs in the free press.

And after Trump, or whatever murderer Republicans elect in the Fall and they stack the Supreme Court with their vermin, challenges to the new First Amendment ruination will be turned back and denied.

They'll sue me too. And Marty.

The new Fairness to Vermin Doctrine.

I don't think Rubio is any better than Trump when it comes to policy

It's hard to say, because I have no freaking idea what Trump's policies are.

Other than "it'll be terrific!".

Other than "it'll be terrific!".

Those are pretty much Rubio's policies also. In fact, we all pretty much believe our candidates will tend to make things "more terrific". That's why we go through this agony.

God bless democracy.

He has promised to 'abolish' the IRS, has he not?

addendum:

and don't overlook that stuff about the gold standard. Realistic? You can't be serious. Anybody who advocates going back to the gold standard is simply an economic crank. Period.

But Nevada is very unusual. Its population's level of anti-(Federal) government sentiment is exceptionally high.

You want to provide some data for that? Arizona and Utah are the states passing nullification laws these days. Rural secession movements (from the urban areas, not from the US) are happening in California and Colorado. Every western state has its Cliven Bundy, some rancher that thinks they can flout the BLM and FS rules. In most places, they aren't allowed to go on as long as Cliven was. But they're small and shrinking minorities -- by the Census Bureau's current measure, Nevada is the third least-rural state in the country. (Side note: four of the ten least-rural states by percent of population are western states; five if you include Hawaii.)

Nevada has a better reason than most to distrust the federal government, which keeps trying to cram Yucca Mountain down the state's throat.

Anybody who advocates going back to the gold standard is simply an economic crank. Period.

But bobbyp, we have rampant inflation. We need to tie the dollar to a fixed, stable measure of value, like gold. That's what Ted said anyway.

That's after (or before) he decided that everyone would be completely honest and accurate on their taxes, including his VAT, so all that's needed is a few clerks to collect the checks and take them to the bank.

I think I ran out of popcorn reading this:

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/us/politics/donald-trump-republican-party.html?_r=0

I think I ran out of popcorn reading this

The (R)'s can try to come up with a grand strategy to 'stop Trump', or neutralize him should he prevail, but there is a one underlying problem that they don't seem to be able to address.

A lot of people like Trump. He gets a lot of votes because a lot of people like him. They like his persona, and they like what he says, and they don't particularly care if he's consistent or even all that conservative.

They like him. They prefer him to Cruz, or Rubio, or Kasich, or whoever else is left standing at this point. Which is why they vote for him, which is why he's winning.

A lot of people also hate Trump, for the same reasons. Some of them, but only some, are GOP primary voters. Many, possibly most, of them will only get a chance to manifest that hatred in November if He, Trump wins the primaries.

It's possible that a lot of people who are not GOP primary voters have not got around to hating Trump because a bemused contempt is all they have needed to feel so far.

It's also possible, of course, that the "average" American is clueless enough to elect a carnival barker for president, in which case the "average" American will deserve the consequences.

--TP

I would be a lot more optimistic about the future of the USA if Arnold Schwarzenegger had not managed to emerge the winner on a 1000+? candidate recall-replacement ballot for Gov of CA.

You want to provide some data for that? Arizona and Utah are the states passing nullification laws these days. Rural secession movements (from the urban areas, not from the US) are happening in California and Colorado.

I didn't say that Nevada was uniquely anti-Federal government. Just that it was far more so than most states. Including, implicitly, the other early primary/caucus states.

Snarki, you might want to look at the other (~135) candidates that were on offer in that election. (Of whom, FYI, only 4 got above 1% of the votes.) Arnold was way too moderate to win a Republican primary. But when all he needed was a plurality of the entire voting population....

The only other significant Republican candidate was Tom McClintock. Who most recently is one of the Congressmen most often voting against even the Republican leadership of the House as insufficiently rabid in their conservatism. In short, way too far right to have a shot at winning a California election . . . even where all he needed was a plurality.

Beyond that, given the recall was happening, it would have been a tough sell to elect another Democrat. So given a Republican who was not a visible nut case, that's where people went.

And it should be noted that Arnold did a competent job as governor. Competent enough that he got reelected, even as a Republican in California. And competent enough that, if he were eligible and running this year, he'd be my first choice amongst the Republican candidates for President.

It's also possible, of course, that the "average" American is clueless enough to elect a carnival barker for president, in which case the "average" American will deserve the consequences.

Well, they have now elected one two elections in a row, can't be surprised it might be three.

Well, they have now elected one two elections in a row, can't be surprised it might be three.

Half of all Americans are dumber than average. Some fraction are mere provocateurs. I don't know which group Marty wants into with the above comment.

--TP

The methodology Trump I'd using is no different than Obama's. Everyone else is stupid, I am the only one that I independent, massive social media presence. If you don't think Trump is following the Obama playbook, well you made the categories.

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