Election 2016, September 4–September 10

With Labor Day upon us, the presidential campaign begins the home stretch.


118 thoughts on “Election 2016, September 4–September 10

  1. Although I am crystal clear on multiple reasons why someone would not want to vote for Hillary, I still absolutely cannot wrap my head around the support for Trump. He parrots so many batsh*t crazy conspiracy theories, and is constantly saying things like “very credible sources” to support things that are not remotely credible without ever backing anything up. He is like someone’s crazy uncle who has clearly been drinking since early this morning. I will admit to having a stronger-than-anyone-I-know need to fact check things, as my FB friends will attest, but I just cannot understand how people take him seriously. I didn’t think he’d last past the first month or two of the primary, and then put his success down to the overall low turnout for primaries. But if polls are saying he is actually ahead (or even competitive) in surveys of all potential voters – I feel like I’m an episode of Candid Camera, and this is just a big joke that everyone is on but me.

  2. MBT – I haven’t paid much attention to Trump’s peddling conspiracy theories, but my conspiracy theory on the whole thing is that it’s a subconscious signal on his part. His supporters probably don’t believe that Ted Cruz’s Dad was hanging out with Crazy Lee Harvey Oswald, but showing that he’s open to entertaining such ideas signals that he’s someone who won’t tell you that you, yourself, are a crazy conspiracy theorist for pointing out things like the IRS targeting political groups.


    It’s a disturbing pattern, and unfortunately it’s not limited to State. There have been similar questions about the integrity and professionalism of the IRS ever since the American people learned in 2013 that it was unfairly targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

    Three years, many congressional hearings and disappearing hard drives later, there is still no evidence the IRS has ended the practice. Just last month, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals described the IRS approach to its targets this way: “You’re alright for now, but there may be another shoe falling.” This follows on a March ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which blasted the IRS for refusing to produce a list of those it had targeted—as well as for its bad faith in defending itself by invoking a rule meant to “protect taxpayers from the IRS, not the IRS from taxpayers.”

    Originally the speculation was that the IRS effort had been orchestrated by the Obama administration. As the Journal’s James Taranto noted at the time, the IRS scandal is worse if it was not directed by the White House. “If it ‘went rogue’ against the Constitution and in support of the party in power,” he wrote, “then we are dealing with a cancer on the federal government.”

  3. Milo – could be, although with your specific example, I don’t really have an issue with the IRS investigating groups applying for tax-exempt status whose name indicates political partisanship, as long as it is done to all groups, which reports seem to indicate. Maybe this is my own conspiracy-mindedness, but I don’t believe for a second that all of those groups applying for tax-exempt status were not set up for the primary purpose of political activism. I am not a huge believer in any kind of conspiracy that would require large numbers of citizens to be complicit in order to be successful – there are way too many people who would sell a juicy story to anyone willing to pay, or who despise the other political party and would want to reveal it for the lying, cheating entity that it is. Like the survey I received from the NRA asking if I am in favor of jack-booted government thugs bursting into my home at 2:00 am to confiscate my guns (check yes or no), those jack-booted thugs would have to come from my neighbors, fellow parishioner, other parents from school, spouses of my colleagues, etc – I just can’t see it happening.

  4. I have pretty much lost interest in the election, but are any of the polls that follow the electoral college predicting anything other than a solid HRC win? The last time that in checked she solidly would win. As the 2000 election showed up, the general means nothing!

  5. “The last time that in checked she solidly would win.”

    The Electoral College prediction is one of those things that seems more overwhelming and convincing than it is, based on its mostly winner-take-all manner of awarding points. While it’s certainly possible that Hillary could win as Bush did in 2000, winning the Electoral College while losing the popular vote, it’s more of a statistical anomaly than a firewall.


    The interesting thing about the poll numbers and the recent trend of Trump rapidly closing the gap (and even taking the lead) is the numbers in the swing states have moved in a way that is basically correlated and in concert with the trends nationally. You could reasonably conclude that all the targeted campaigning in a few states is geographically meaningless. In other words, a candidate could campaign just about anywhere and have the same effects nationwide. This seems particularly apparent this cycle, when Clinton has been focusing on the “battlegrounds,” and Trump has been all over the place.

  6. I just can’t figure out his path to winning the electoral college. Certainly the electoral college and popular vote generally travel together, but does anyone really predict that Trump is going to win Virginia or Ohio?

  7. Maybe not VA, but at this point, he could win OH, FL, and PA. That would almost surely be enough.

    The state-by-state polling seems to lag the national polling by about two weeks, and the numbers have shifted considerably in the past two weeks.

    A fresh Wikileaks dump in October, as we’ve been promised, a couple of entertaining debate performances while Hillary crumbles into a fit of uncontrolled coughing… It’s not that unlikely right now.

  8. Sure, he could win any of those states. But all 3? Unlikely.

    And the coughing fits should help Clinton. It moves us closer to Kaine, which is what so many reluctant voters want. Of the 4 prez/VP candidates, he is the strongest.

  9. ” But all 3? Unlikely.”

    No, that’s where you’re misunderstanding the degree to which these outcomes are highly correlated.

    If we get a snowstorm in January, do you really see schools in Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun all closing? Sure, any one of them could, but all three? Unlikely.

  10. But they aren’t correlated like weather. Birds of a feather certainly flock together for political views. Every state does not rise at the same rate as a candidate’s popularity rises. A snow storm in NoVa doesn’t do much for Philadelphia schools. Maybe a little bit falls in Philadelphia.

  11. “Every state does not rise at the same rate as a candidate’s popularity rises.”

    Recently, they have been. That’s what Nate Silver’s been saying for a while. Different election cycles might shift the baseline in a particular state (i.e., VA more toward Clinton, PA more toward Trump), but once that’s been established, a 1% shift nationally generally means a 1% shift in PA, and a 1% shift in OH, etc.

    This is from Nate six days ago, before these most recent national polls showed Trump even or barely ahead:

    I’ve often heard Democrats express a belief that Clinton’s position in the swing states will protect her in the Electoral College even if the race draws to a dead heat overall. But this is potentially mistaken. Although it’s plausible that Clinton’s superior field operation will eventually pay dividends, so far her swing state results have ebbed and flowed with her national numbers.

    Take Wisconsin, for example. At her peak, Clinton had a double-digit lead there, according to our polls-only forecast. By Wednesday morning, it had declined to an estimated 7 points, as a result of our model’s trend line adjustment — which adjusts polls in all states based on shifts it detects in the race overall — along with data from the Ipsos 50-state tracking poll.

    We know that some readers don’t like the trend line adjustment. But if anything, the model hadn’t been aggressive enough. Two highly rated, traditional telephone polls of Wisconsin came out Wednesday, and they showed Clinton up by just 3 points and 5 points. The 3-point lead was in a poll from Marquette University, which had Clinton up by 13 points just after the Democratic National Convention. (As of Thursday morning, Clinton is projected to win by 5 points in Wisconsin, according to the polls-only model.)

    Usually, the trend line adjustment helps the model peg what forthcoming polls will look like in a state even if there haven’t been many of them recently. When Clinton established a roughly 8-point lead nationally in August, for example, it figured we’d see polls showing her with leads of 10 to 12 percentage points in some of her better swing states, such as Michigan and Colorado, along with leads of 5 to 6 percentage points in swing states that are just slightly redder than the country as a whole, such as Ohio and Florida. And that’s pretty much what we saw, at least on average. Now that the race has tightened to 4 or 5 points nationally, the model expects to see narrower leads — along with some polls showing a tie or Trump slightly ahead in the more red-leaning swing states

    Keep in mind that these numbers are self-correcting. For instance, the model expects new Ohio polls to show Clinton ahead by 2 or 3 percentage points, provided they don’t have a strong Trump-leaning or Clinton-leaning house effect. If new surveys deviate significantly from that range, the model will adjust itself accordingly. But usually this method gets things about right. Swing states are swing states for a reason — they closely follow the overall national trend.

    The other thing to notice about Clinton’s swing state polls is that they aren’t especially strong (or weak) relative to her national polls.1

    At her post-convention peak, Clinton’s path of least resistance to 270 electoral votes appeared to run through a set of states that included Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, among others. But in Pennsylvania, the most recent polls have Clinton ahead by margins ranging from 3 to 8 percentage points — perfectly fine, but not that different from her national numbers. We haven’t gotten much data recently from New Hampshire, but it can be swingy, and the most recent numbers from the Ipsos poll (caveat: very small sample size) showed Trump ahead. We did get some high-quality polls from Wisconsin, and, as I mentioned, they weren’t that good for Clinton.


  12. Kate – This is relevant from Nate’s most recent update, which now puts Trump’s chance of winning up to 33%. (As much as Trump has been written off in the past couple weeks, the simple idea of drawing the one red marble rather than one of the two blue marbles from a hat if the election were held today is pretty significant).

    But to the point…

    Does one candidate appear to have an overall edge in the Electoral College, relative to his or her position in the popular vote?

    Our models, somewhat in contrast to the conventional wisdom, have usually found that Trump is more likely to win the Electoral College while losing the popular vote than the other way around. Some of this is for a quirky reason: Trump is underperforming recent Republican nominees in polls of deeply red states. Last week, for instance, there were new polls of Kansas and Alaska that showed Trump winning by 7 points and 10 points, respectively. By comparison, Mitt Romney won Kansas by 22 points and Alaska by 14. Losing states like those by 10 points instead of 20 would yield a better popular vote margin for Clinton, but wouldn’t help in the Electoral College.

    The SurveyMonkey poll showing a tied race in Texas is in line with this theme. The race probably isn’t really tied there, as other recent polls in Texas have Trump ahead. But a close call — Clinton losing Texas by only 5 percentage points — could yield wasted votes for Clinton in terms of their impact on the Electoral College. It’s plausible that Clinton gains among Hispanic voters are contributing to this pattern, since most Hispanics are not concentrated in swing states.

  13. I guess we will see. I am not really worried about it. And in a schadenfreude kind of way, Trump winning would be exactly what many people need.

  14. Milo,

    I know you and your mom share a somewhat irrational dislike of Hillary. What do you two expect a Trump presidency to be like?

  15. Milo,

    It extends beyond policy and into person animus. Also, you need to weigh her shortcomings against those of her opponent. Do you have any thoughts as to what a Trump presidency holds?

  16. That’s rational but when it extends to voting for their rival – that’s the irrational part. If it was Jeb or Rubio in the race then it would be logical.

  17. It’s not irrational when it’s basically a two-person race. Since both candidates have unfavorable ratings above 50%, with Clinton’s slightly worse than Trump’s at this point, most Americans are rationally choosing the candidate whom they dislike the least.

    I don’t predict too much changing with the election of either Trump or Clinton. If Trump is elected, I imagine that existing immigration laws will be enforced somewhat more stringently. But neither of them is particularly ideological.

  18. “You don’t think Trump is more dangerously unstable than Hillary?”

    No. I think he’s less eager and likely to default to armed intervention.

  19. “Because I know you love these kind of stories”

    Interesting, but… “As for the rest of Morin’s unrestricted gift, $1 million will go toward a video scoreboard at the school’s new football stadium”

    Somehow, I don’t think that would have been his first choice.

  20. I think the only acceptable reason for supporting Trump is because you want him to pick the Sup Ct nominees and not HRC. He just has way too many really terrible things about him for him to win any sort of moral or ethical contest, even against her.

  21. Kate – The way both Clintons smear and denigrate Bill’s rape victims is worse than the things Trump has said or done.

  22. Kate, I do wonder why Milo doesn’t have more of an issue with Trumps innumerable moral and ethical lapses.

  23. I think there is more than a little selection bias going on. You focus on every unproven claim against the Clintons and ignore Trumps countless moral and ethical lapses.

  24. Interesting, but… “As for the rest of Morin’s unrestricted gift, $1 million will go toward a video scoreboard at the school’s new football stadium”

    Somehow, I don’t think that would have been his first choice.

    liked this story, but I thought the same thing

  25. Kate – In all seriousness, what kook-aid? Do you think that Bill did not rape at least several women (and probably more) early in his career, and that Hillary did not help silence them?

    Rhett – Trump’s not a great person, but I haven’t seen allegations more serious than that?

  26. but I haven’t seen allegations more serious than that?

    Driving numerous small businessmen out of business?

    Do you think that Bill did not rape at least several women

    Was he convicted? I think you’re putting too much weight on partisan witch hunts on not enough weight on proven facts. I assume this is driven by your irrational personal animus.

  27. Eileen Wellstone, Juanita Broaddrick, Carolyn Moffet, Paula Jones, Sandra Allen James, Christy Zercher, Kathleen Willey.

  28. Given the lack of prosecutions for rape in our society compared to the overall level of rape, I don’t think “convicted” is the appropriate standard for considering someone a rapist.

  29. “Driving numerous small businessmen out of business?”

    You’ve got to be kidding. That’s capitalism; that’s not a moral failing.

    “Was he convicted? I think you’re putting too much weight on partisan witch hunts”

    These aren’t partisan witch hunts. These are women who came forward after the fact and described very similar accounts, much like in the case against Cosby.

  30. Which ones actually said that he raped them? I know JB said he didn’t in an affidavit and a few other times, then that he did. Have the others actually maintained that he raped them? I think Bill is awful. I would never vote for him. But I don’t think there is any evidence that HRC has done anything. Certainly she will protect the rights that I want protecting a lot better than Trump will.

  31. You’ve got to be kidding. That’s capitalism; that’s not a moral failing.

    You know what I’m referring to, right?

  32. This is the same woman who was allegedly fully aware of Bill’s 1978 alleged rape of campaign volunteer Juanita Broaddrick in real time. As we reveal in The Clintons’ War on Women, according to former Clinton insider Larry Nichols, Hillary came running into the Clinton HQ and said, “You won’t believe what the motherfucker [Bill] just did. He tried to rape some bitch!”


    Since 1982, she has been hiring private detectives to look into their lives and find anything that could embarrass them. Hillary once told private detective Ivan Duda to give her the name and addresses of all of Bill’s girlfriends, so she could “get rid of all these bitches he’s seeing.”

    You can discredit some of them, you can call them “trailer trash” as Hillary and James Carville have done over the years, you can say that they weren’t all the most upstanding women in the first place, and they were probably asking for it, or were dressing provocatively, or whatever you need to tell yourself. But there is such a strong pattern — and it’s not like he was even fully reformed in the White House — that you’re being stupidly naïve to think it’s nothing but a partisan witch hunt.

  33. WTF? Trailer trash and asking for it? If Bill did rape them, I fully support his prosecution. But to hold a spouse as some how responsible for that behavior is dumb. Have you seen how Trump treats women generally? He has no moral high ground when compared to HRC. None.

  34. Great quote from David Brooks’ editorial on Obamacare.
    “There are also lessons for people who think about policy making. First designing technocratic systems that will actually work is really hard. Second, designing effective technocratic systems that can pass politically is really, really hard. Third, designing politically plausible technocratic systems in a country divided on fundamental philosophy is hardness on stilts.”


  35. Kate, my issue with HRC compared to Trump is that HRC claims to be a feminist, but she consistently denigrated rather than stood up for the women who made claims against her husband and similar men in power. I suspect she used what power she had in Arkansas to silence the women who accused her husband.

    I suspect Trump is more of a turd but less of a hypocrite.

  36. “If Bill did rape them, I fully support his prosecution.”

    yeah, I’m sure you do.

    “But to hold a spouse as some how responsible for that behavior is dumb.”

    It’s not dumb when she’s been so blatantly involved in silencing and discrediting the “trailer trash” and “bimbo eruptions.” Plus, you elect the pair with them. If she’s elected, the rapist himself will “be in charge of the economy.”

    That pales in comparison to Trump’s disrespectful or lewd remarks.

  37. WCE – I think that is a valid complaint. But if you support the feminist agenda, there is no question as to which one will advance it and which one will set it back. We have 2 seriously flawed candidates, but when we get down to brass tacks, Trump is going to nominate judges who want to overturn Roe and Hillary will not.

  38. Plus, you elect the pair with them. If she’s elected, the rapist himself will “be in charge of the economy.”

    you lost me

  39. do you seriously think Trump will nominate justices who will overturn Roe v Wade? I don’t see it happening

    and I don’t support Trump to be clear

  40. The subject matter is pretty offensive, Kate. I’m not OK with rapists and those who help perpetuate their crimes.

  41. Wine – he has said he would. It is hard to know what to believe with him, but I do think he will appoint judges who will at least try to restrict access even if they don’t actually succeed in overturning it.

  42. Kate, I’m hopeful that the existing Republicans will die out and some of the social issues will die with them. As I’ve explained to the pro-life people in Sunday School, abortion laws only stop people without the wherewithal to get to another state/country from having abortions. The fraction of the electorate who can remember a time before Roe is dying off.

    Women with means still have ready access to abortion. When I was pregnant with Baby WCE, someone observed that most career women in their 40’s with unplanned pregnancies terminate them, and that’s actually a large group of abortions.

  43. WCE – I am with you on that. I have some pretty complicated feelings about abortions, but I sure as $hit don’t think the way you reduce the # is by reducing access.

  44. “So what do you make of the accusations against Trump, including the one by his ex-wife?”

    Certainly not good, but the clear pattern is not there. He’s no altar boy.

  45. There been at least 3-4 against Trump. It is strange that those are discounted yet HRC is held to a much higher standard for behavior that her spouse allegedly committed.

  46. Not exactly. There’s Ivana’s claim, which she has since disavowed insisting it wasn’t rape. Then, from what I’ve found from a Google search, allegations of two anonymous claimants.

    Like I said, that’s nowhere near the level of the Clintons. I didn’t even bother including Clinton’s anonymous accusers.

    So the lesser of two evils.

  47. “But to hold a spouse as some how responsible for that behavior is dumb.”

    I don’t see Milo holding HRC responsible for WJC’s behavior; what he questions is her responses to his bad behavior. As WCE points out, those responses were less than exemplary.

  48. “when we get down to brass tacks, Trump is going to nominate judges who want to overturn Roe and Hillary will not.”

    My guess is that the best predictor of what kind of judge Trump would nominate is to look at his sister. He seems to value family counsel; extensive consulting with his sister would be consistent with that.

  49. “I think he’s less eager and likely to default to armed intervention.”

    Hillary’s track record is quite hawkish. OTOH, Trump’s foreign policy inclinations appear to be isolationist or libertarian.

  50. My guess of the judges he would nominate come from the list he released of judges that he would potentially nominate.

    I don’t understand how the lesser of two evils is someone who himself has been accused of sexual assault a bunch of times v someone who is accused of silencing her spouse’s accusers. And of course Ivana says it didn’t happen now. How do you think NDAs, alimony and divorces work?

  51. Perpetuating rape by attacking the dozens of victims, over and over and over for decades, allowing it to continue with new victims, is no better than being the rapist yourself.

  52. Hillary’s response to her husband’s behavior aside, the email server issue highlights for me bigger reasons I wouldn’t want her as POTUS.

    I don’t think what’s good for the country is her top priority.

  53. It is a bad idea to vote for any candidate because he or she will nominate Supreme Court justices who will then vote the “correct way” on specific cases that are not even before the Court. There are so many uncertainties at every step in that thought process as to make it an absurd rationale for supporting or opposing either candidate. Both sides are at fault here IMO — the pro-abortion camp for insisting that Roe remain the law of the land despite its obvious flaws and the prolife camp for setting up as a goal that Roe be overturned, even though most states would keep abortion legal.
    Abortion clinics will close when women with unintended pregnancies decide to make other plans, and (more immediately) when aging abortion doctors retire with no young doctors willing to take their place.

  54. Milo,

    That Bill’s a pig goes without saying. But, the case for him being a rapist seems rather weak.

  55. “abortion laws only stop people without the wherewithal to get to another state/country from having abortions.”

    Those laws will only stop some people without the wherewithal.

  56. Rhett – why do you say the case is weak? Would you say that the case against Bill Cosby is weak?

  57. No, I’m not maintaining a list. But what’s your point? There are a dozen or so women who have come forward over the years and accused him of raping them. Are you saying because he was never convicted (settled a suit out of court with Jones) that none of it happened?

  58. The political insider? Drudge and Breitbart are more reliable. Hell, the National Enquirer probably is, too.

  59. Kate – how many rapes (or sexual assaults) is acceptable for you?

    Rhett – are you building a defense on the premise that if he was unsuccessful at gaining penetration, no rape occurred? Ringing endorsement, I suppose.

  60. Rhett – I’m counting about eight named sources compiled in that list who have alleged penile, digital, or oral penetration. Several others are unclear whether penetration actually occurred in conjunction with groping.

  61. No, HRC’s goal is to “ruin” the bimbos. She’s just as guilty as her husband. When you know his history, and you continue to lie for him and discredit the victims, you have semen on your hands.

  62. Rhett – are you building a defense on the premise that if he was unsuccessful at gaining penetration, no rape occurred?

    What is your definition of rape? Unwanted sexual touching?

  63. Rape does have a definition. From the FBI: “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

  64. There are a dozen or so women who have come forward over the years and accused him of raping them.

    By your own definition where are the dozen?

  65. Milo,

    So we’re at 8? And you take Ivana’s claim and retraction as a fact but not Bill’s alleged victim’s signed affidavit and not credible? That obviously doesn’t work.

    So, that leaves a “rape gap” of four between Donald and Hillary. Then add the fact that Hillary has never raped anyone! And where does that leave you?

  66. Four would be enough of a rape gap for me, but how do you get eight down to four? If you’re counting unnamed accusers, there are several more in that article alone against Clinton.

  67. They got it done when it was needed.

    Sometimes the contrarian responses remind me of those multiple choice reading comprehension questions that ask “What is the main idea of this paragraph?” and they want to jump at the first distractor answer.

  68. Well, he does hate Metro! I wonder how many times he has been on it?

    Mr. Thiel should stick to funding WWF wrestlers and taking on big important issues like Gawker.

  69. “Lost between the two extremes is the vast majority of citizens’ common-sense expectation that the country’s transportation, health care and defense systems should actually work. As a result of both parties ignoring competence while they fight over money, today we have the broken D.C. Metro system, the hobbled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and justified public skepticism of government health care.”

    Hard to argue with this point. No matter who is making it.

  70. I think Mr. Thiel might be the victim of hindsight bias. That things eventually worked out makes everyone forget how much of a shit show it was getting it done in the first place.

  71. Here’s a partial list:

    Trump’s casino bankruptcies, which left investors holding the bag while he skedaddled with their money
    Trump’s habit of refusing to pay contractors who had done work for him, many of whom are struggling small businesses
    Trump University, which includes not only the people who got scammed and the Florida investigation, but also a similar story from Texas where the investigation into Trump U was quashed.
    The Trump Institute, another get-rich-quick scheme in which Trump allowed a couple of grifters to use his name to bilk people out of their money
    The Trump Network, a multi-level marketing venture (a.k.a. pyramid scheme) that involved customers mailing in a urine sample which would be analyzed to produce for them a specially formulated package of multivitamins
    Trump Model Management, which reportedly had foreign models lie to customs officials and work in the U.S. illegally, and kept them in squalid conditions while they earned almost nothing for the work they did
    Trump’s employment of foreign guest workers at his resorts, which involves a claim that he can’t find Americans to do the work
    Trump’s use of hundreds of undocumented workers from Poland in the 1980s, who were paid a pittance for their illegal work
    Trump’s history of being charged with housing discrimination
    Trump’s connections to mafia figures involved in New York construction
    The time Trump paid the Federal Trade Commission $750,000 over charges that he violated anti-trust laws when trying to take over a rival casino company
    The fact that Trump is now being advised by Roger Ailes, who was forced out as Fox News chief when dozens of women came forward to charge him with sexual harassment. According to the allegations, Ailes’s behavior was positively monstrous; as just one indicator, his abusive and predatory actions toward women were so well-known and so loathsome that in 1968 the morally upstanding folks in the Nixon administration refused to allow him to work there despite his key role in getting Nixon elected.

  72. To tie yesterday’s Podcast post with this one, Fresh Air had a podcast with reporters Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher about all these blog posts and their book Trump Revealed. They are doing the same with Clinton but interestingly enough no publisher wants to make a book out their reporting on her. I find that curious. Is it that they think no one would want to read such a book or that she won’t be as controversial?

    But one of their points was that Donald Trump does know how to make good deal for Donald Trump and is able to work the system as it is set up. So one could make the argument that if he is negotiating on behalf of America then America would be the beneficiary of him being able to work the deal and who cares if some other country gets the shorter end of the stick. There are two different POV’s for that – one America wants the best part of the deal or two that the deal should be of equal value to each party. They weren’t sure his ability to negotiate for himself would translate well into negotiating for America. But this is true for every president before they take office. What you could do before you held office (or thought you could do) does not always hold true once you have the office.

    The other part that was clear in the interview is that he has made a business in selling his name but he is not the owner nor the operating manager so therefore, he is not held responsible for those actions. You can make an argument that he shouldn’t sell his name to those groups but you can’t go after him as being responsible.

    Anyways I enjoyed the podcast and recommend folks listen to it.

  73. I have been staying away from political news and it’s been refreshing! We stopped cable and it’s wonderful! Hubby is not able to turn on tv to cnn every morning and I am spared political mess.
    I remember someone posted a hilarious picture of rooster and hens (where the rooster had trump like mane thanks to photoshop) with the caption- ” we are going to build hen houses! I am great at building hem houses! And we are going to make those foxes pay for the hen houses!”. It was too hilarious for words. Too bad I don’t know how to post pics here.0

  74. Overheard on the John Fugelsang Show: “I’m sorry, but talking about Trump’s racist connections is taking valuable time away from talking about his organized crime connections.”

  75. Just for my own information, I asked my reliable retired-military friend Mike about the article above. This is his answer.

    “For most of the ranks, officers compete for promotion. A board of superior officers selects the men and women to be promoted. At the top, though, there is a lack of officers to do the selecting. They are appointed. It’s still a promotion, but the process is different.
    “All officers must have their commissions in the new rank approved by the Congress. In cases of some higher ranked officers, they appear before a committee which is usually unsuited to determine their military qualifications. However, at the top ranks, the job is as much political as it is military since the officer (general or admiral) must deal with military and political authorities within their area of operations. This, of course, should be done in conjunction with the State Department.
    Once commissioned, an officer cannot simply be “fired”. Well, second lieutenants who fail to make the cut are relieved of active duty and transferred to the reserve components. Generally, though commissioned (as distinct from warrant) officers can only be removed from active duty or reduced in rank as the result of serious misconduct. In many cases, officers are simply offered the opportunity to quit or retire – unless their misconduct potentially warrants action under the UCMJ. For example, a general whose actions are embarrassing to the US government but which do not warrant action under the UCMJ (or, perhaps, are not sustainable in court) will typically be reassigned and offered the opportunity to retire.

    “In some cases, the Congress *could* revoke the officer’s commission, but this is extremely rare.

    “The President can, essentially, fire officers. They remain on active duty but would be reassigned from the position to which they had been assigned. However, such an action would normally require Congressional cooperation since the top officers are all in positions for which Congress has assented.

    “Were the President to fire the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it would likely be a very long time before suitable officers who are willing to work with Trump could be found and vetted. In the meantime, the former Deputy Chiefs of Staff would be running their services – and they are almost always selected by the incumbent Chief of Staff. So Trump would be putting the Chiefs’ proteges in charge and would have essentially the same position facing him.

    “It’s all fantasy, anyway. Trump knows nothing about the military or about national strategy. He would have to rely heavily on his generals and admirals and would not be able to question anything they say because he doesn’t know enough to ask the right questions.

    “BTW, the idea of using Iraqi oil to pay for our operations in the area is hardly original. George III promised that the sale of Iraqi oil would pay for our conquest of the country. So, Trump is just dragging out old, discredited fantasies.”

  76. David Brooks might be right that there will be some party shakeups, but what’s up with calling Hillary ungracious and unpleasant with Lauer? Guess his vote for Miss Congeniality is going to Trump. Too bad.

  77. Rocky – I agree with your friend. Lincoln “fired” a whole slew of generals before Grant finally worked his way up to commanding all Union forces. But firing just means relieved of that particular command — after McClellan fought Lee to a draw at Antietam, but failed to chase Lee as he retreated, Lincoln had finally had enough and replaced him with Burnside; McClellan was put in charge of the entirely administrative “Ohio Department.”

    In an unrelated account, responding to a report that some Confederate guerilla raiders had killed or captured a few dozen men including a brigadier general, and even more horses, Lincoln replied, “I’m sorry for that. I can make brigadier generals, but I can’t make horses.”

    Whether Trump understands the nuance is anyone’s guess. At one point during the Forum, when he was so eager to take the list of flag and general officer endorsements out of his jacket pocket in response to a question, I got the sense that he didn’t quite realize that these people were all retired. (On the other hand, they could certainly be reinstated.)

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