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US Politics Hamsterwheel v2.0

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US Politics Hamsterwheel v2.0

Old 30th Apr 2019, 19:24
  #18241 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Thank you Chuks and Turbine for carrying the torch on this one. Seriously OB, you know that I did not mean that Trump caused measles. But his nihilistic (to borrow Chuks apt phrase) outlook ensnared him into being an anti-vaxxer among other dubious beliefs--such as that the then POTUS was born in Kenya or some such foolery.

He might be making a late hour conversion, but that does not excuse his rank stupidity and cupidity for attention in trumpeting the anti-vaxx message. He finally bleats out something after 700 plus cases have been reported.

Why do you defend the indefensible? Why, among the more serious questions that I posed, do you pluck out this one? Why not wrestle with the meatier ones such as why his SECDEF and staff ignored his orders? Why not delve into the efforts that Russia and others are making to compromise your electoral system once again? No, pick the low hanging fruit of the jabs. Yet it is we who are feeble minded?
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Old 30th Apr 2019, 20:01
  #18242 (permalink)  
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I would not recommend eating junk food in the quantities consumed by Trump, but it does have its place in the scheme of things.

At one time I was thinking about finding a place in the States in which to settle down. I bought a BMW K100RS and went looking for it, starting from Washington, D.C. (That was a place I already knew, and not an option.) When I got to that part along the southern border with a whole lot of nothing I would drone along as fast as I dared, with an eye out for speed traps, and around noon each day I would pull into some lonely desert crossroads patch of civilization with a filling station fronting a McDonald's. First up was filling up the bike while I scrubbed the bugs off the visor without even taking my helmet off. Then I would pay the bill for the fuel and zip across to the Rainbow Room for a Big Mac, fries, and a large Coke. Having inhaled lunch I could then be back on the road after a total of about 30 minutes spent not moving at about 70 mph.

About a year later my German wife said that she wanted to see America too. We were just passing Bremen Airport then on Neuenlander Stra▀e, when the next thing along the road was, yes, a McDonald's. I pulled in smartly and told her that her wish had come true, sofort! Big Mac, fries, a large Coke: sorted. That bought me a few years before we did have to go to the Land of the Big PX itself.

I see that we now have our first real major crisis in the Americas, a hard move by Guiadˇ against Maduro in Venezuela. (I don't think all this "migrant caravan" stuff is a real crisis; others may disagree.) It will be very interesting to see how Trump responds to this, first by what he might say. I have no real idea what that might be, and I hope we see a rare moment of restraint on his part. Let's hope too that we do not see some sort of bloody repression by Maduro, using the Venezuelan military with Cuban assistance.

Last edited by chuks; 30th Apr 2019 at 20:12.
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Old 30th Apr 2019, 21:52
  #18243 (permalink)  
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I think we agree OB on your border issue. Having thousands plop down in your lap every day and petition for asylum is not in anyone's best interest. Perhaps I am not seeing the nuances of the immigration problem. Either one is in a country legally or not.

From a humanitarian aspect it breaks my heart, as it does to most, to see the Med issue up its dead of those who failed to sucessfully make the crossing. This is similar i imagine to those who are susceptible to explotation by smuggling gangs in Latin America. I can hardly grasp the desperation of those who set off in a raft with such poor prospects in making it.

I used to hate the word rationalization, but it fits here. The laws and quotas need to be ratioalized from head to foot.

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Old 30th Apr 2019, 22:03
  #18244 (permalink)  
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OB, it is a matter of record that Trump has taken anti-vaxxing stances many times in the past. Doing this was just another one of those wacky things he goes for in order to appeal to his base, lining up with such a loon as Alex Jones, for instance. Now, thanks in some small part to his role as another anti-vaxxer, there is a measles epidemic. Trump now needs to pivot to telling people to take the same shots that he had previously blamed for autism, as if he had never been an anti-vaxxer.

Did Trump ever sincerely believe, for example, that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, not in the USA? Who can say? But Trump sure pushed birtherism very,very far, only to deny that he had ever done that once birtherism was of no further use to him, perhaps even an embarrassment. (There must be a prize for writing a sentence that contains both "Trump" and the notion that he could be embarrassed. I am not aware of anyone ever having done that before.)

Personally, I think that Trump is a man rare for the way that he really has no fixed beliefs aside from an unfounded belief in himself. That makes him able to twist and turn in pursuit of whatever it is he needs to believe at any given moment that is a useful thing for him to believe in order to maintain his belief in himself.

When Trump was attacked here for this anti-vaxxer stance, OB, you defended him by twisting that into someone blaming Trump for causing measles. You took a perfectly reasonable, albeit arguable, issue with Trump's loose tongue, his having been an anti-vaxxer, and turned that into something quite unreasonable, seeing him as the cause of measles.

"Feeble-minded" is how it is spelled, OB. How feeble-minded does someone have to be to call others "feeble minded"?
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Old 30th Apr 2019, 22:28
  #18245 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by obgraham View Post
For once, Chuks,
We are in agreement 100%.

Perhaps we might see that rarest of events: a dictator who departs without taking the country's treasury, and also, alive. Too soon to tell.
As a guy who absolutely loved(s) Venezuela, and spent a lot of time there (even to the exclusion of Brasil with my carioca wife), I continue to be struck by the fact that all the Citgo gas stations (which, I am given to understand, are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Maduro government) seem to be doing a land-office business, underselling everybody but Samĺs Club....
Iĺll believe that we mean to support some sort of regime change when that is no longer the case.
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Old 1st May 2019, 01:44
  #18246 (permalink)  
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Turbine, Trump also loves McDonalds, and serves it up in the White House.

Clearly it is his fault we are too fat.
Where in the world did you get the ideas, Fred, that I defended anything Trump said or did regarding measles or vaccines?
Apparently, you are having problems recalling what your wrote verse what you now claim... You are now simply playing the D game, deny, divert, dismiss, etc. That is what Trumpets do in support of their leader...

Time to take that sabbatical...

Last edited by Turbine D; 1st May 2019 at 01:47. Reason: added wording
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Old 1st May 2019, 04:40
  #18247 (permalink)  
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It's a trap!

This is called "rope-a-dope," where one combatant simply puts his back against the ropes and lets his opponent flail away, landing punches until he's tired himself out.

OB defended Trump by distorting the sense of an accusation that Trump had done anti-vaxxing.

As to the accusation, there are many messages from Trump that are classical anti-vaxxing, such as his anecdote about the little boy who got his shots and came down with autism very soon afterwards.

That's probably the "post hoc" fallacy: the rooster crows and then the sun rises; roosters cause the sun to rise by their crowing. We can only say "probably" because we can't prove negatives, that one particular vaccination can't cause one particular response. On the other hand, in the USA vaccines and other medications do have to be studied for safety, when there has been no proven link found between MMR jabs and autism. Too, one high-profile British doctor was thrown out of medicine for fakery connected to his anti-vaxxing.

It's safe and responsible to be pro-vaccination, and against those who do anti-vaxxing such as Trump. Since that is following conventional wisdom, that is also being boring, when the Trumpsters are into disruption and causing chaos; it's what they do.

Conventionally, if I said that I keep a votive light burning in front of a portrait of Hitler here at Chez Chuks then someone might use that to say that I have to be some sort of neo-Nazi and an anti-Semite. There's no real defense against that one, but I could simply reply that I have no idea what my accusers are on about; my doing that says nothing about where I can be placed along that arc between right and left in politics, or how I feel about the Jews.

You can drive people crazy doing that sort of thing, denying the obvious. Trump and his admirers do that all the time. He comes out with some extremely hateful stuff targeting all Muslims for instance, and then stands there saying "Bigoted, moi?" (Not really, just metaphorically; Trump has no idea what "moi" means.) Here OB obviously was attacking a post accusing Trump of being an anti-vaxxer, by distorting its sense. Then he turned the tables on being accused in turn of doing that as a defense of Trump by saying that he "can't quite follow all that."

That's ... interesting. Here's a guy who just showed that he knows who Arp Schnitger was. (Everyone here who knows that off the top of his head, raise your hand. Okay, I count two people: me and OB.) That shows someone who's able to retain rather obscure knowledge, so no dummy. (Of course it could be that he simply looked up that name and faked such obscure knowledge; some people do do that sort of thing.) Yet, suddenly, sophisticated OB is unable to follow a very simple line of argument.

WC likes to do something similar. He poses a simple question; he gets an answer to his question; he claims that his respondent was unable to answer his question; and he says that he has won that exchange.

This sort of stuff is fun for Trump and his crowd, and a large part of the fun is that not following the rules may drive people who are against this sort of stuff crazy.

The exact equivalent of my (imaginary) votive light burning in front of a portrait of Hitler would be marching behind Nazi flags bearing torches and chanting "Jews will not replace us." What did Trump just do in response to that outrage, along with the death of a peaceful protester at the hands of one of those bigoted scum? He just claimed that those people were marching to defend the memory of a great general, Robert E. Lee! It's insane to make the jump between what really happened and what Trump claimed about that, and that is okay if you simply want to drive responsible people nuts by saying crazy stuff. (Of course some people then went off on the trail of Trump's red herring, arguing about Lee's status as a general, ignoring the real issue: Trump giving neo-Nazis a pass for what they had been up to in Charlottesville.)

In true Trump fashion OB just went and owned himself by getting a word denoting stupidity wrong; he wrote "feeble minded" when it's actually "feeble-minded." (That is because of a rule of English I won't bother getting into now, one he should know about given his claimed background.) Bothering to get simple words right, not making stupid mistakes, especially when accusing others of stupidity, is just "wordworrying," according to him; it's just some sort of game that he does not play. No, it's the practice of using written English for communication.

That's interesting. OB seemed to be right on point when it came to Arp Schnitger, almost as if he cared to show how much he knew about him, and about the organs he built here in North Germany, so what went wrong now? Is he Mr. Accuracy, or is he Mr. Covfefe? He can't be both in reality.

There once was a popular TV show, "To Tell the Truth," that involved a guessing game that ended with "Will the real [person's name] please stand up?" When it comes to Donald Trump there simply is no real Donald Trump. For some of his followers there also seem to be no real people behind their personas, so that, just like Trump, they never have to stand up.

Last edited by chuks; 1st May 2019 at 04:58.
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Old 1st May 2019, 08:00
  #18248 (permalink)  
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Seems as if Deutsche Bank is being helpful in providing the records requested of them by NY state and possibly Congress. Trump of course has filed suit to stop the release of any information (How so very Roy Cohn of him) but I wonder if that suit will prevail. Or will it be that everything comes to a stop while the case gets put on the docket for September 2037? On another legal front, his efforts to stop a suit regarding his apparent violation of the emoluments clause have failed from what I am reading.

One side of the argument says that his past business practices have no bearing on his role as president. The other side, and one to which I subscribe from this distance, is that would be nice to uncover all his money laundering for the Russian mob/oligarchs just so there is a clear demarcation as to who played the craven lackey in carrying his water for him all these years. Ah, but things move so slowly so I hope we are all alive when some of these questions are finally answered.
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Old 1st May 2019, 08:24
  #18249 (permalink)  
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OB, about all I know about Arp Schnitger is what I read in the papers. You may well have the expertise you claim about him and his organs, which far surpasses the little I know on that topic, and that is fine. It's just an odd thing that a claimed polymath should defend ignorance.

When it comes to self-owns it is hard to beat calling people feeble-minded but not being able to spell that very word, no?

Hey, I love pillorying the ignorant, OB! Guilty as charged there, Squire. On the other hand, I guess you have missed the way that I have tried to break a lance for reason and tolerance, arguing against the sort of ignorance and bigotry you celebrate in Trump. There you are trying to have it both ways, celebrating the evil in Trump while claiming that it's not the evil itself, just the disruption he is causing to some imaginary elite, the "deep state," that you like. I only want it one way, when that means "Down with Trump and all he stands for, including not spelling common English words correctly, as if accuracy in speech does not matter for a President."

You can play the organ, OB? That is great, but why then are you backing Trump, this man who could not even play the kazoo? "Ooh, Donald, no! That's not where you are supposed to put the kazoo!" The arts, including music, need public support; Trump is cutting funding across the board for the arts, acting like the greedy boor that he is. What, you can play the organ but you can not put two and two together?

You didn't have to come right out with "Trump was right to do anti-vaxxing," to support him in that; it was enough to belittle someone else by claiming they had nonsensically blamed Trump for measles. There again you wanted it both ways.

From my point of view there's not much use for sweet reason when dealing with Trump partisans. If one of them wants to call all those not for him "feeble minded [sic]" that is okay with me; it is just grist for the mill, one more reason to mock a fan of this most ignorant of Presidents for his own ignorance.

Fred, some of these judicial proceedings can move pretty darn quickly! Look at how many of Trump's people have already been investigated, tried, and sentenced, starting from sometime in late 2016 or so: 2 1/2 years or less. When the will to move quickly is there then progress can be quick. It seems to be so that Trump is trying to slow-roll all these investigations, but he might not succeed in that, even as President.

Last edited by chuks; 1st May 2019 at 11:40.
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Old 1st May 2019, 19:34
  #18250 (permalink)  
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In the background I have the NYT live feed of the Barr hearing in front of the Senate. Graham really comes across prissily and as a drama queen. Rather laughable in fact for someone of his position.

I think the important consideration however, is the stream of 60 plus tweets that Trump has issued in the past 24 hours regarding the nation's fire brigades.

Only the best--the very best.

On a more serious note, it looks as if there is signifanct bipartisan blowback against the re-written NAFTA agreement. Hmmm...trade issues are hard and slapping tariffs on things wily nily is not always going to make it easier.

Last edited by Uncle Fred; 1st May 2019 at 20:55.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 06:40
  #18251 (permalink)  
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Have a sweeping generalization based on ignorance ....

OB, as a migrant perhaps you missed the Watergate hearings; they took place over 45 years ago, when you probably were not even present in the USA as a US citizen.

It would be understandable and somewhat excusable on the basis of your migrant background if you had missed them, as you seem to have. You seem to have missed them, for whatever reason, since they resulted in the resignation of President Nixon when he was facing impeachment. On that basis they could not be described in the way that you have chosen to describe all such hearings:

"Is there ever a senator in a [congressional] hearing who is not a drama queen?

"These events are all about polishing the senator's ego, and nothing to do with the topic at hand."

It's certainly true that there was a certain amount of stagecraft in the Watergate hearings on both sides, from both those looking into Nixon's misdeeds, and from those who were attempting to keep them hidden. (The hearings made Sam Ervin into a hero, and Charles Sandman, Jr., into a bum.) Drama aside, the hearings were of historic import since they resulted in the removal from office of a President who clearly had transgressed very gravely. The hearings were about much more than merely "polishing [some] senator's ego."

OB, would you like to restate that opinion about congressional hearings in light of this reality I have just brought to your attention? "Probably not," is my guess, but let's see what you want to do about having been caught out by stating an obviously mistaken opinion. (You are mistaken because the result of the Watergate hearings, the resignation of President Nixon, is an historic fact of major importance to the USA.)

From that fact we can move right along into the usual guessing about what is to come for Trump. My guess is that he's now facing too many inquiries on too many fronts from too many entities on too many rather serious topics, for him to successfully stymie all of them.

In the hearings that OB has referred to in such historically unfounded and slighting terms this clumsy attempt by AG Barr to misstate what Mueller told him about Trump is being torn to bits by various legislators. Barr has been reduced to denying the obvious, that Trump's conduct, yes or no, was less than the "full co÷peration" with the Mueller investigation that Barr chose to describe it as. The obvious answer to that question was "No," but Barr gave it as "Yes."

Full co÷peration would have meant Trump giving oral answers to Mueller's questions; Trump only gave written answers, ones obviously carefully crafted by his lawyers. Leaving aside whether Trump was entitled to do that, this obviously was not "full co÷peration."

"Taking the Fifth" is perfectly legal, but it is also an entitled refusal of full co÷peration. One could not do that and then state that full co÷peration had been given.

On somewhat the same basis the bare minimum for describing how Trump has behaved towards the Mueller investigation is not the description given by AG Barr. In fact, it seems clear that Trump probably went much further than merely failing to give that full co÷peration. It would seem that he committed obstruction of justice, when this most probably is something that is going to be further explored by Congress to a soundtrack of cries of "WITCH HUNT!" by Trump.

Trump is facing inquiries into his hotel in D.C. from both D.C. and Maryland that have to do with the Emoluments Clause.

Trump is facing inquiries into his finances from the State of New York that have to do with fraud.

Trump is facing a suit stemming originally from sexual harassment from Summer Zervos, one that has to do with defamation. (That was Trump basically not having been able to keep his mouth shut about an alleged sex offense that was not actionable because of the Statute of Limitations. He called Zervos a liar, which enabled her, aided by one of his worst nightmares, Gloria Allred, to move against him for defamation.)

Those are just three things off the top of my head; there are more than a dozen different problems that Trump is forced to deal with now. These are what would seem to be more problems at once than even he, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Kellyanne Conway can spin successfully. Damaging facts about Trump seem to be bound to leak out increasingly, from multiple sources.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 07:48
  #18252 (permalink)  
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Time to flash that Mensa card again! Or not ....

OB, would you describe what you saw of the Watergate hearings as "having nothing to do with the topic at hand," as if you saw senators just polishing their egos then? I think you made a mistake there, given that you now admit that you did view them, even as a non-citizen migrant, but you tell me.

I think you can look up this stuff about Trump on your own, OB. Your intellect is probably adequate for that, leaving aside what would seem to be an obvious question: whether I am more intelligent than the average Trump booster or not. My being more intelligent than the average Trump booster would not mean that I have a "superior intellect" as such. (Compared to a goldfish, Trump has a superior intellect, but that is not to say that he has a "superior intellect.")

On the other hand, OB, even a person of average intellect could hardly fail to have missed the Watergate hearings as having been far more useful than the way you characterized all such hearings. Are you now claiming that you are of sub-normal intellect, to have missed such an obvious fact? That would be an excuse, but probably not a good excuse, so why not just agree that you made a mistake there by overstating things?
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Old 2nd May 2019, 08:42
  #18253 (permalink)  
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There seems to be only 4 hamsters on this wheel, with the occasional visit by another.

How about a separate chat room is set up for the 4 hamsters to upstage each other? But I suppose nobody would then contribute to this boring old thread, dominated by Forrest Trump and his idiocies.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 12:13
  #18254 (permalink)  
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When you get through watching the Youtube videos from 1882 be sure to check out Lincoln's tweets about political integrity. (Lincoln was a Republican, you know, but not a lot of people know that.)
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Old 3rd May 2019, 02:54
  #18255 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Uncle Fred View Post
In the background I have the NYT live feed of the Barr hearing in front of the Senate. Graham really comes across prissily and as a drama queen. Rather laughable in fact for someone of his position.
Graham? You mean Blanche Dubois surely. If that Southern Belle doesn't have a dead hooker or a live boy in his background, my dick's a kipper.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 08:52
  #18256 (permalink)  
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"The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy." That was Edwin Edwards, a colorful and very successful Louisiana politician, bragging. He ended up being somewhat mistaken; he later was jugged for corruption, serving 8 years in a federal prison. After that he has not been so successful, even with Louisiana voters.

There has been speculation for years about the sexuality of Lindsey Graham, but why should that matter, whether he really is some sort of closeted homosexual or not? (Both of their parents died when Graham was 22 and his sister was only 13. He raised her, when she described him as having been " ... kind of like a brother, a father and a mother rolled into one." If you want to seize upon that to make him out to be defective then that is being very unfair to Lindsey Graham.) As long as that does not mean that he's under some sort of undue pressure to collaborate with Trump (possible, actually) whoever he is as a private person matters much less than what he does as a legislator.

Graham was a very harsh critic of Donald Trump until recently. Homosexual or not, he clearly is a flaming hypocrite for the way he now strongly defends the same man he recently denounced as unfit for office because he was a "kook," and a "race-baiting, xenophobic bigot." Graham was right in what he said then, so how can he be so strong in support of Trump now?
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Old 3rd May 2019, 15:33
  #18257 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by chuks View Post
Graham was a very harsh critic of Donald Trump until recently. Homosexual or not, he clearly is a flaming hypocrite for the way he now strongly defends the same man he recently denounced as unfit for office because he was a "kook," and a "race-baiting, xenophobic bigot." Graham was right in what he said then, so how can he be so strong in support of Trump now?
I'll offer you two reasons.
1. Politics isn't just about personalities
2. The game changes with each sunrise, in politics. It is a continuum - play never stops.

Venezuela: have heard a variety of interesting rumors about what is going on, why Maduro did or didn't head for Cuba, what the Russians are up to, and much else. I'll not comment further as Venezuelan politics seems to rate its own thread.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 19:39
  #18258 (permalink)  
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While I will wholeheartedly agree that what Graham does in his bedroom is his business and certainly not mine, I was at a loss for words other than prissy and drama queen when I described his histrionics. Bed-chamber preferences have no bearing on the matter but while I understand that he has to show fawning fealty to Trump, it is rather embarrassing for his sake to watch. How else to describe his behavior? I feel sorry for the chap quite frankly. Having to put on that kind of show for Trump and to maintain office must drain one's soul.

He has been a politician for sometime. That means that he is wealthy by most standard definitions. It is not as if he could not find a consulting gig if he were not a senator. Why debase oneself in such a manner?

A few months ago he was in the same theatrical form when he described as "hell" the hearings held on behalf of Mr. Cavanaugh. Hell? Really? Children starving to death in Yemen or a person maimed in an industrial accident could be considered hell, but a hearing held, on full stomachs and with television cameras rolling so one can play to them, cannot be in the same league.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 21:06
  #18259 (permalink)  
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Agree. Bed chamber business should be of no concern unless it can be used as blackmail These days, who cares? The Evangelicals. They aren’t really Christians, it’s more of a political pact that got started early ‘70s. The Franklin Graham”s ( no relation to Lindsey as far as I know) the Pat Robertson’s the heavy hitting, far-reaching Power Preachers can pull the sheep in and are well funded. Trump is no Christian but he’s delighted to get them behind him. The ProLiife, Pro big family, ( the Duggar clan) Alpha Male, subservient wives and big donors. They don't care about past misjudgments because we are all forgiven now!

Trump could care care less about their philosophies as long as trump gets the crowd and big donors. All that money is tax exempt. Evangelicals ver their White Male Privilege card can keep the womenfolk at home and quiet. Trump gets Trump Tower Moscow and can be the Big Kahuna. He wasn’t accepted in polite NYC society so this can be his big get-even. Yes, he’s that petty.

Sorry to jump in here. Many of my in-laws are active Christians and missionaries. They are appalled by trump.

It’s happenings. Trump has secured the tax exemption for the churches and the Churches can preach to their congregations Trump is the anointed. .

The lies are taking off. “The founding fathers were godly men, Christian men. This country was built on Christianity., One Nation (under God) in the Pledge! .”In God we Trust” is on our money! We need prayer back in the schools! Women back in the kitchen, the colored folks can go back to their place!

It’s happening.

Forgive the typos. I’ve had eye surgery and my vision is not up to snuff yet
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Old 3rd May 2019, 21:28
  #18260 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Life in Washington changes a person, I think. I used to work there, and I met some real "special" people then.

I had a sort of girlfriend who wrote me a letter when I was in the Army in Vietnam. In the letter she told me that Bennington College was "worse than Vietnam." Now, Saigon was not exactly jungle warfare, but there still was a certain amount of anxiety to it at times of the VC's choosing.

I put it to her that she might be overstating things a bit. By return of post she told me that, no, for a truly sensitive person (her), Bennington College was far worse than Vietnam for a normal person (me). (I was just chopped chicken liver, I guess.) Imagine a city packed with such folks and then you can see hell. Hell for them, and hell for us too, when we have to hear them moaning.

By the way, "In God We Trust" was added to the paper currency in 1957. It is not something that goes far back into US history.
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