Patterico's Pontifications

2/14/2018

Judging Trump by the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:30 am

I often hear these days about how conservative Donald Trump is. I’ll grant you that, so far, he’s been more conservative than I expected. Much of that is the flag-waving I-love-a-parade brand of conservatism that doesn’t excite me much, but a sizable chunk is real conservatism: almost (almost) uniformly excellent judges, reduction of regulation, etc. Notably, so far — as long as he doesn’t get us into a stupid war — his policies have been a clear improvement on what we would have gotten from a Hillary Clinton. Especially if you can ignore his clownish public statements, pathological dishonesty, and wretched character, and focus only on what he does, you can be pretty happy with what we’ve seen. (Of course, what the President says matters — but I’m getting ahead of myself.)

But amid all the praise for the guy, here’s the thing. We’re kinda giving him a pass, even on policy, because we expected so little. It’s like when the kid with the dunce cap gets a question right: it warms your heart and everything, but it doesn’t really make the dunce smart. Put another way: if you have two kids, and one gets straight A’s, and the other fails all of their classes and does drugs, you’re disappointed when the first kid gets a B, while that same B would make you wildly ecstatic with the performance of the other kid. When the latter sort of expectation becomes ingrained, it can lead you to what George W. Bush memorably called “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

So I’d like to take a moment to point out two ways in which Donald Trump is objectively horrible: 1) the debt, and 2) his support for dictators.

THE DEBT

I’m not sure it has quite sunk in for everybody just how awful the recent spending bill was. Here’s a synopsis:

Republican lawmakers in 2011 brought the U.S. government to the brink of default, refused to raise the debt ceiling, demanded huge spending cuts, and insisted on a constitutional amendment to balance the budget.

On Wednesday, they formally broke free from those fiscal principles and announced a plan that would add $500 billion in new spending over two years and suspend the debt ceiling until 2019. This came several months after Republicans passed a tax law that would add more than $1 trillion to the debt over a decade.

With all these changes, the annual gap between spending and revenue in 2019 is projected to eclipse $1.1 trillion, up from $439 billion in 2015. And they are expanding the deficit at an unusual time, when the economy is growing and unemployment is low, a dynamic that often leads to shrinking budget gaps.

Ah, but that’s all Congress’s fault, I hear you say. Not so fast, Sparky! Trump’s proposed budget, released since the are all on him, and they are wretched as well. He just got through proposing that we add $7 trillion to our debt:

The White House budget request would add $984 billion to the federal deficit next year, despite proposed cuts to programs like Medicare and food stamps and despite leaner budgets across federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr. Trump’s budget statement calls deficits the harbingers of a “desolate” future, but the White House plan would add $7 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years.

Trump could have been a strong voice for fiscal conservatism and threatened to veto anything that added to the deficit. He has been the opposite. Our children will pay the price.

PRAISE FOR DICTATORS

I said up top that if you can ignore what Trump says, and “focus only on what he does, you can be pretty happy with what we’ve seen.” Criticizing his praise for dictators might seem to be at odds with that — but it’s not. First, what the President says always matters. Any president receives outsized news coverage, and Trump gets his share, to put it mildly. But especially in foreign affairs, what he says matters. And Trump loves to praise dictators.

Trump’s man-love for Vladimir Putin is well known, and need not be recounted here. Never mind the murders of journalists — which Trump enables by denying the proof. Never mind the political repression and corruption. We love us that Russian strongman!

But the praise and back-slapping of dictators doesn’t end with Putin. There’s the praise for Duterte’s murderous tactics, from May 2017:

President Trump praised President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines in a phone call last month for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem” in the island nation where the government has sanctioned gunning down suspects in the streets.

Xi has made himself a virtual emperor and heads a repressive society that is perhaps the greatest threat to the U.S. He jails journalists and political opponents, and censors information with a vengeance. Trump says of Xi: he is a “very good man.”

Similarly, Trump praises al-Sisi and Erdogan without restraint or caveat. I could go on.

Much of this gets defended as good diplomacy. You want us to get along with other countries, don’t you, Patterico? Well, sure … but the U.S. has always walked a fine line when it comes to oppressive regimes. We want to get along, but we have always tried to keep human rights in mind, and send a signal that we disapprove of abuses. All that is out the window when you are openly applauding the extrajudicial murder of drug dealers.

Yes, we have some good judges and maybe regulations have been eased a bit. But the kid in the dunce cap isn’t a genius. Let’s tone down the praise to bring it in line with reality.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

143 Responses to “Judging Trump by the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations”

  1. His IQ is just north of 50 so he’s not an idiot. He understands the motivations of his Al Queda (base) and pandering is his true gift. You’re not going to hear them back off the sychophancy

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  2. Both of us were in high school when ‘waitress sandwich’ dodd. (Future friend of angelo were screening about El Salvador, so please lets get some perspective.

    narciso (d1f714)

  3. Mr. Xi’s the only hope America has of stopping North Korea

    if our incompetent pansy-assed military was up to the job he could throw shade on Xi all day

    but that’s not the whirl we live in

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  4. Xi is truly dangerous, because he really believes this
    Commie rot, considering he has 20 miiliom of our rpm files,

    They are the beneficiary of rakhine province resources the middlemen in the Congolese’s warlords koltan rampage

    narciso (d1f714)

  5. Xi is just another Plutocrat Industrialist with a trickle-down hiding behind Marx.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  6. So really what is your answer you want to go to trade or real war with china, the first could sting, the second could go nuclear quickly.

    narciso (d1f714)

  7. They are an economic superior trending up while the US struggles. Why do you think we’ve been engaging them peacefully nut they remember the Opium Wars.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  8. For some reason, many countries distrust the US.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  9. As opposed to a country that devoured 50 million of their own?

    narciso (d1f714)

  10. Both sides do it proportionately.

    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/American_Indian_Genocide

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  11. China has embraced the caricature of robber baron capitalism with a smattering of gangsterism, they like the mascots in animal harm, are closer their hated enemy the kuomintang?

    narciso (d1f714)


  12. Yes, we have some good judges and maybe regulations have been eased a bit. But the kid in the dunce cap isn’t a genius. Let’s tone down the praise to bring it in line with reality.


    You’re kidding, right? Praise? What praise? I don’t recall that post. Any time I see any sort of minor acknowledgement of something good Trump may have, could have done it’s immediately followed with a disparaging or sarcastic remark. Kinda like this post.

    At what point does Trumpophobia go from neurosis to psychosis? Or has it made that transition with pussy hats, screaming at the sky and adoration for the communist Commissar of Propaganda and Agitation?

    One doesn’t have to be a gung-ho Trump supporter to be tired as hell with the constant negativity. Especially by our own team. Every day, all day Trump said this, Trump did that. The constant din of anti Trump propaganda is giving the long dead Goebbels a hard-on. The Trumpophobes on our own team are handing the Congress to the left if not the Presidency.

    All you guys are doing is giving Republicans and conservatives a good reason to stay home on election day. And every time you remark something like: ” But the kid in the dunce cap isn’t a genius.” you tell our own voters they’re stupid if they support our team.

    I just don’t understand you, Patterico. At this point we all know how you feel about Trump. What good does it do our country or our party to join forces with the other team? Don’t you think the entire news media, Hollywood, academia and sports industries are enough? When is enough, enough?

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  13. China has embraced the caricature of robber baron capitalism with a smattering of gangsterism,

    Yes. So mebbe the conflation has eluded you.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  14. Well its worked put so well in California, wait ghul alred scotched the first election, and the second election the candudate was beaten like a red headed stepchild.

    narciso (d1f714)

  15. You don’t enable addicts by praising them..you make excuses, hoagie.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  16. Why china is no longer communist, as with the czar in all but name

    narciso (d1f714)

  17. When you get excited the keyboard rebels narco.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  18. Our host began this post with:

    I often hear these days about how conservative Donald Trump is. I’ll grant you that, so far, he’s been more conservative than I expected.

    That’s more credit than I’m willing to give him, actually.

    It gives him credit as if he believes in the political doctrine that is in line with the referenced actions by Trump. He does not.

    He’s a reality TV show star playing a part. He doesn’t genuinely understand the part he’s playing, which means that when he goes off-script and either has to, or chooses to, improvise, he goes wildly out of character. The conspicuous and extremely illuminating example of that was when asked, during the primary season, whether he though women who seek abortions should be punished. He was surprised by the question (duh), and when he was pressed, he guessed what he thought the “conservative” answer was supposed to be, he guessed completely wrong:

    CHRIS MATTHEWS: Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle?

    TRUMP: The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.

    Before reality TV, when they had mere game shows, there was a game show called “The Gong Show.” If this interview had been on that show, this answer would have earned Trump a big GONG.

    It’s just a waste of time to speculate about whether Trump is or isn’t conservative. To have either a conservative or a liberal ideology, he’d have to be able to relate meaningfully with the idea that there are other human beings on the planet, other than himself, who have worth and are important. And he’s so narcissistic, so entirely wrapped up in himself as the star of his own national reality TV show — “Live! From 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue! [cue the Tonight Show Orchestra with “Johnny’s Theme] It’s the Donald Trump Presidential term in office!” — that he can’t empathize with one brand of politics or the other enough to even make accurate guesses about what other people want, need, feel, or believe.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  19. Most of the foreign policy apparat agrees with those notions, like king of the bazaar Richard Armitage who comey forgot to inform justice
    about, this is why outliers like Conrad black get the shiv,
    whereas other members of hollinger were immune.

    narciso (d1f714)

  20. also Mr. Duterte is not a dictator

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  21. Don’t slur Armitage for the clusterfu<k. He carried your heavy water and got no thanks.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  22. Lila Rose says women should have to get abortions in the town square in from of all their neighbors

    she’s a very sick person

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  23. ugh in *front* of all their neighbors i mean

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  24. speaking of dictators do we really believe the US “Intelligence Community” jackoffs have our best interests at heart when they tell us not to use Chineser phones

    i think i’d wait for a more respectable opinion before doing a decide on this

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  25. Beldar (fa637a) — 2/14/2018 @ 10:54 am

    Nailed it.

    Dave (445e97)

  26. Narciso, was Allred behind the maid of Whitman story? Crap, you would think she could just have brought in an au pair above board as part of LDS outreach, but noooooo

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  27. LG4 phones suffered from a operating system lock condition that would crop up at most unopportune times. My particular boycott of CE (is that the symbol you see on products?) phones is not political.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  28. For those lamenting the Trump deficit–as if we’ve had anything but deficits for a decade or more–, please review 1970, the aftermath of Nixon’s effort to restore a balanced budget. Midterm losses, awful democrats elected, and worse. The Democrats used it politically, and would again, to even better effect now, with an electorate even less attuned to what a deficit means.

    If you want Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair, impeachment hearings, and Mattis grilled about why he hasn’t hired Chelsea Manning as an advisor, and Democrats running even bigger deficits, balancing the budget now is the way to do it.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)

  29. please review 1970, the aftermath of Nixon’s effort to restore a balanced budget.

    Isn’t that when Nixon took us off the Gold Standard?

    Ingenious.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  30. Ah. ’71..next up PETRODOLLAR

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon_shock

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  31. The world’s top oil importer, China, is expected to launch its long-awaited and delayed yuan-denominated oil futures contract at the end of March, according to Reuters’ sources.
    The petroyuan is seen as Beijing’s challenge to the US dollar, the dominant global currency in oil contract settlements.

    The contract could reportedly be launched on March 26 on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE). The exchange has recently received the approval from China’s State Council.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.rt.com/business/418638-china-yuan-oil-futures/amp/

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  32. balancing the budget

    Nobody with a clue is even considering balancing the budget now, or anytime in the foreseeable future.

    (Donald Trump promised to not only balance the budget, but pay off the entire national debt in eight years, but he’s an ignorant dolt who can be safely ignored).

    The question is simply whether to add even more spending/borrowing. Holding the line on spending, as largely occurred (thanks to the GOP congress) during the period of “gridlock” from 2011-2016 is, in itself, progress, since growth of the economy will eventually shrink the deficit relative to GDP and government receipts.

    Unfortunately, that period of tepid fiscal discipline ended with Trump’s inauguration.

    Dave (445e97)

  33. Low expectations? When did anyone have high expectations? Trump is a cloud with silver linings, that was always the deal.

    SarahW (3164f0)

  34. So when the dunce brings home mostly A’s some parents will note the U next to “Uses Time Wisely”.

    Pinandpuller (1ad50c)

  35. Most of us are used to daily back room betrayals and below the radar ignorance but Mr Patterico has to put up with aggressive stupidity like Tony Villar and Gavin Newsome so I get it.

    Pinandpuller (1ad50c)

  36. I like the title of this thread even though it really has nothing to do with the usual use of the term ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’, which is used to describe liberals’ very real feeling (expressed in deeds, not words) that minorities are inferior.

    I didn’t vote for Trump and had zilch expectations he would deliver any sort of conservative (aka positive) results for the country. In this respect and mostly to do with judicial appointments and tax cuts, I’m pleasantly surprised.

    As to his going along with the spineless Republicans and refusing to control spending, he’s a disaster but I expected nothing better.

    As to his bizarre childish behavior regarding public statements via twitter and speeches, it’s painful to hear/watch and the true measure of how damaging it is will show in the mid-terms, where anything can happen.

    All in all a truly surreal first year but still better than Obama’s third/poss. fourth term thru Madame Pantsuit.

    Trump’s presidency is a sh*t sandwich with significantly less t*rd compared to bread.

    harkin (75fedf)

  37. Should had “than his predecessor” on the end there.

    harkin (75fedf)

  38. The Washington Post notes that while Cohen denies that “the Trump Organization nor the Trump Campaign” were parties to his selfless act of charity, he pointedly does not absolve Spanky himself.

    Dave (445e97)

  39. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the gold standard by which modern presidents are measured, quadrupled the national debt before the United States entered World War 2.

    After entering into war FDR quadrupled the peace time quadrupling of the national debt.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  40. If someone is allergic to nuts, you don’t confront them daily with fruitcake, like Kato. It’s not nice.

    Pinandpuller (ed061d)

  41. Patterico, your unrelenting string of Trump put-downs has evolved from universal and outright contempt for the ground he walks on to acknowledging that on occassion he does something you approve, albeit for all the wrong reasons.

    At this rate you’ll finally come to admit Trump’s agenda is good for America and help celebrate the great man’s accomplishments sometime around the Second Coming.

    ropelight (e06aeb)

  42. I think the dems and nevertrump are going carb free Mr harkin if you know what I mean.

    Pinandpuller (ed061d)

  43. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the gold standard by which modern presidents are measured, quadrupled the national debt before the United States entered World War 2.

    After entering into war FDR quadrupled the peace time quadrupling of the national debt.

    GDP also quadrupled.

    Dave (445e97)

  44. It’s as if you believe the voters didn’t know who Trump was in November when they rejected the evil queen…

    Twenty one years ago Bill Bennett wrote The Book of Virtues when another Trumpian style leader roamed the halls of the WH. Little has changed and little will change until the virtue that was destroyed by the 60’s and postmodern moral relativism returns. Trump is a symptom of the problem, not the cause.

    I’m with you on the irresponsible overspending in the federal budget but the Congress, especially the Senate, has insufficient political will to restrain it. The pro-growth policies of lower corporate taxes and less red tape will likely lead to a smaller annual deficit than the zero-sum projections.

    As far as coddling dictators is concerned the last I checked the world is full of them. If we’re talking to them and furthering their interests at the expense of our own that would be bad. I doubt the dictators are taken in as easily by Trump’s bloviating praise as the critics are. Nations like people operate in their perceived self-interest. The balance of power and influence in the world has shifted. I’m never going to be a fan of Trump’s style but I see no evidence that he’s selling out as previous presidents did and Hillary would.

    crazy (d99a88)

  45. Exactly, crazy, we Dont compare to some unattainable ideal, could a Coolidge type like pence, get elected on his own, its not entirely clear.

    narciso (d1f714)

  46. @ the Rev., #12:

    At what point does Trumpophobia go from neurosis to psychosis?

    I think you misspelled “Trumpophilia.”

    One doesn’t have to be a gung-ho Trump supporter to be tired as hell with the constant negativity.

    Ah, finally…the same page! At last, we agree.

    Especially by our own team. Every day, all day Trump said this, Trump did that.

    Oh. You still think of “negativity” as an “us” thing, and not even remotely a “you” thing. Never mind. Carry on!

    And every time you remark something like: ” But the kid in the dunce cap isn’t a genius.” you tell our own voters they’re stupid if they support our team.

    Umm…no. No, that’s not even remotely what that means. If anyone infers that, they need a critical thinking course, stat.

    I just don’t understand you, Patterico. At this point we all know how you feel about Trump. What good does it do our country or our party to join forces with the other team? Don’t you think the entire news media, Hollywood, academia and sports industries are enough? When is enough, enough?

    I’ll take “A Quote For All Seasons” for $800, Alex.

    NORFOLK: “Oh, confound all this. I’m not a scholar, I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not but – dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can’t you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!”
    MORE: “And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?”

    Demosthenes (17f107)

  47. Definitions have been so twisted guys like Ben can’t even lay back and enjoy not getting toxically masculanized. It’s just not in his nature. His is the only mental state I will characterize.

    Pinandpuller (8904b7)


  48. GDP also quadrupled.
    Dave (445e97) — 2/14/2018 @ 12:16 pm


    Tends to do that when the country is manufacturing war materials for six nations! I don’t think it’s an economic accomplishment to triple the GDP to fight a World War. Do you?

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  49. The host must’ve expected Trump to beat Hillary. Virtually no one else did. I guess winning in 2016 was a “low expectation”, which is odd for a fan of a candidate (Cruz) who wouldn’t have carried Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    I judge Trump by what we would’ve had if Hillary had won.

    random viking (3cfbca)

  50. There are reviews and critiques which are constructive and legitimate.

    One word describes people like Ben: Bitching

    Bitching makes everyone miserable but that’s the objective.

    Pinandpuller (8904b7)

  51. Is that a critique or me bitching? Five stars.

    Pinandpuller (8904b7)


  52. At what point does Trumpophobia go from neurosis to psychosis?

    I think you misspelled “Trumpophilia.”


    No, you misspelled Trumpophobia. Trumpophilia is something else which Patterico does not have.


    One doesn’t have to be a gung-ho Trump supporter to be tired as hell with the constant negativity.

    Ah, finally…the same page! At last, we agree.


    I’ll take it because at least it’s a start. I really don’t enjoy being ridiculed and called names. I’d rather have a discussion but it takes two. I may be unusual in this respect but I don’t respond well when people talk down to me, act like they are better than I or infuse their discourse with condescension. But if they are willing to talk reasonably they can count me in.


    Especially by our own team. Every day, all day Trump said this, Trump did that.

    Oh. You still think of “negativity” as an “us” thing, and not even remotely a “you” thing. Never mind. Carry on!


    I don’t understand what you mean by that.


    I’ll take “A Quote For All Seasons” for $800, Alex.


    You don’t need to use other people’s quotes, just say what you think. We’ve all seen “A Man For All Seasons” so you needn’t reach to impress anyone. One is no less an insulting slug when one does it by a literature proxy than by a Popeye quote. Just more of an effete snob.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  53. everyone miserable

    I didn’t make the bed you sleep in.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  54. Rev Hoagie

    It’s just a fact that there are frequencies you are unable to hear.

    For a younger man Trump is a screaming power steering pump.

    Trump doesn’t bother you and your blooming old man strength takes you smoothly through the corners.

    Nothing wrong with that.

    Pinandpuller (8904b7)

  55. I haven’t seen A Man for All Seasons but I listened to Vivaldi in a Holiday Inn Express.

    Pinandpuller (8904b7)

  56. a magnificent cloud floated in the heavens above, streaked with silver, streaked with hope

    all who looked upon this cloud were gladdened, their toils lightened, their smiles brightened

    they loved the cloud and the cloud loved them right back

    America.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  57. “Tends to do that when the country is manufacturing war materials for six nations! I don’t think it’s an economic accomplishment to triple the GDP to fight a World War. Do you?

    FDR also actually extended the Great Depression during the 30s with his policies but they never talk about that.

    harkin (75fedf)

  58. Tends to do that when the country is manufacturing war materials for six nations! I don’t think it’s an economic accomplishment to triple the GDP to fight a World War. Do you?

    First, I never said it was an accomplishment. I cited the number to put the misleading ones papertiger cited into context.

    But I wonder whether Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo thought it was an accomplishment as they cowered in their bunkers waiting for us to bury their dumb @sses? What do you think?

    Do you seriously want to deride the frankly ineffable economic miracle of national effort which saved the entire world from tyranny, just because a Democrat was in charge?

    Of course, that miracle was not the work of the government alone, by any means, but it seems insane to fault FDR for spending what it took to win WWII, and in a way that exploited the productivity of our industry while economizing on the lives of our soldiers.

    Dave (445e97)

  59. A broken clock is right twice a day. Our Captain is a pragmatist, not an ideologue, and will swop ends on anyone and everyone for a win and a televised signing ceremony.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  60. he’s the best swopper that’s for sure

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  61. 64.BREAKING: Trump comes out against domestic violence

    Under cover of another mass school shooting.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  62. Under cover of another mass school shooting.

    In politics, timing is everything.

    Dave (445e97)

  63. The kids interviewed seem composed and adjusting to the new normal.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  64. “I’m totally opposed to domestic violence. And everybody here knows that,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “I’m totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. Everyone knows that. And it almost wouldn’t even have to be said. So, now you hear it, but you all know.”

    Ivanka?

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  65. “The host must’ve expected Trump to beat Hillary. Virtually no one else did. I guess winning in 2016 was a “low expectation””

    I knew Trump would win at the start of his campaign. For three reasons; he was not of the establishment during a strong anti-establishment movement (which Hillary was a loser in, being the poster child for establishment on the left, Bernie would have beat her in the primaries were it not for her establishment support) two, Trump had crossover appeal (cited to this day by nevertrumpers as evidence of his malfeasance, but really just his non-ideological, or maybe I should say non-partisan makeup), and three his boldness on building the wall and controlling the borders, which establishment Republicans quit talking about after the 2006 resolution to build the wall and replacement with “comprehensive immigration reform” more commonly known as amnesty.

    Now, since I have been a supporter of Trump from the start, I have never had low expectations, and because my expectations have not been diminished, posts like this amuse me.

    Seems those claiming low expectations are really guilty of high expectations that two generations of the establishment on both sides turning the country hard left, and joining with said establishment in fighting Trump at every opportunity, could, would and should all be accomplished in Trumps first year. Even when said establishment have and are still blocking him from even filling out his cabinet posts.

    Heck, it took over 800 railroad fatalities before they would even allow the spot of railroad commissioner to be filled!

    Anyway, I call BS on calls to stop the praise due to the bigotry of low low expectations. It’s really about placing impossible expectations on someone you irrationally hate, and can’t stand to hear praised.

    It’s clear as day to anyone uninfected with TDS.

    TheBas (6724fa)

  66. Did Vegas get your bet on Trump? What were the odds?

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  67. @ the Rev., #55:

    You don’t need to use other people’s quotes, just say what you think. We’ve all seen “A Man For All Seasons” so you needn’t reach to impress anyone. One is no less an insulting slug when one does it by a literature proxy than by a Popeye quote. Just more of an effete snob.

    Effete snob…well. I do believe that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me. Thank you. Unfortunately, it’s only half-true. I am, in fact, a virile snob.

    And if you have seen “A Man for All Seasons,” I promise you, you took away all the wrong lessons. For Thomas More, the battle line was not drawn between “our team” and “their team,” as it is for you. Nor am I convinced that you rise to the dignity of Norfolk’s genial error. You strike me far more as a Richard Rich type, who would switch sides on a argument the moment he sees an advantage.

    Demosthenes (09f714)

  68. Ironically, I viewed Kasich in the 90s as an irredeemable scion in DC.

    Moderated opinion aged in oak barrels

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  69. Single-malt Scotch.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  70. I see Ben as more Louis Depalma “You want me to like Jimmy Hoffa?”

    Relax, it’s a method actor in bad makeup.

    Pinandpuller (4bdc74)

  71. I am Jimmy Hoffa.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  72. What were the odds you would show up today and aggressively try to wrap the commentariat up in your wretched emotional wet blanket?

    Pinandpuller (4bdc74)

  73. You’re on fire today, Jimmy.

    Pinandpuller (4bdc74)

  74. 69.I would look at Kasich

    Have you ever seen him eat?

    9 photos of John Kasich eating on the campaign trail …

    http://www.politico.com/…/04/john-kasich-eating-food-photos-002249

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  75. I don’t watch people eating.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  76. > I may be unusual in this respect but I don’t respond well when people talk down to me, act like they are better than I or infuse their discourse with condescension.

    That seems reasonably normal to me.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  77. Nah you’re more of a Robert Blake. You got your alibi for tonight, I mean reservations at Vitello’s?

    Pinandpuller (4bdc74)

  78. Thanks pin.

    The flu has ravaged my lower GI and the adrenalin is peaking.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  79. Pentagon: Afghan war costing US $45 billion per year

    http://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2018/02/07/...

    ‘Forty-five billion dollars. That’s how much the Pentagon says the Afghan war is costing American taxpayers, and with no end in sight…’

    17 years and counting. If Patton was alive he’d slap himself.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  80. Hoffa was forced into accepting mob enforcers because of corrupt cops and bizness.


    And he did get better deals for the truck drivers who belonged to the Teamsters. But rumors about his links to the mob always overshadowed whatever legitimate accomplishments he had as a labor leader.

    One day in 1975, a few years after his release from prison, Hoffa went out to lunch and disappeared. At the time it was widely believed he was planning a return to active involvement in the Teamsters, and it was widely assumed that he was the victim of a gangland execution.

    The search for Jimmy Hoffa became a national sensation and searches for his body have periodically popped up in the news ever since. The mystery about his whereabouts spawned countless conspiracy theories, bad jokes, and enduring urban legends.

    Early Life
    James Riddle Hoffa was born in Brazil, Indiana, on February 14, 1913. His father, who labored in the coal industry, died of a related respiratory disease when Hoffa was a child.

    His mother and Hoffa’s three siblings lived in relative poverty, and as a teenager Hoffa left school to take a job as a freight worker for the Kroger grocery store chain.

    In Hoffa’s early union days he showed a talent for exploiting an opponent’s weakness. While still a teenager, Hoffa called a strike just as trucks carrying strawberries arrived at a grocery warehouse.

    Knowing the strawberries wouldn’t keep for long, the store had no choice but to negotiate on Hoffa’s terms.

    Rise to Prominence
    The group Hoffa represented, known locally as the “Strawberry Boys,” joined a Teamsters local, which later merged with other Teamsters groups. Under Hoffa’s leadership, the local grew from a few dozen members to more than 5,000.

    In 1932, Hoffa moved to Detroit, along with some friends who worked with him at Kroger’s, to take a position with Teamsters locals in Detroit. In the labor unrest during the Great Depression, union organizers were targeted for violence by company goons. Hoffa was attacked and beaten, by his count, 24 times. Hoffa picked up a reputation as someone who wouldn’t be intimidated.

    In the early 1940s Hoffa began to establish links with organized crime. In one incident, he enlisted Detroit gangsters to run off a rival union from the Congress of Industrial Organizations. Hoffa’s connections with mobsters made sense. The mob protected Hoffa, and the implicit threat of violence meant his words carried serious weight. In return, Hoffa’s power in the union locals let mobsters intimidate local business owners. If they didn’t pay tribute, the truckers who made deliveries could go out on strike and bring business to a standstill.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  81. The debt cannot be addressed, without more republican senators. We can thank the tea party for losses in delaware, indiana, montana, colorado, missouri, alabama, and illinois.

    EPWJ (4dc563)

  82. DCSCA (797bc0) — 2/14/2018 @ 2:35 pm

    Military Times link (still) broken…

    Dave (445e97)

  83. Excellent point, Pat.

    A grading curve against HRC would yield at least a “C” for Daffy Duck and Foghorn Leghorn. Bugs would be another Lincoln on this scale.

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  84. “I often hear these days about how conservative Donald Trump is.”

    Really? Who are you talking with? What news outlets are you watching? ‘Cuz I’ve not heard that anywhere or from anyone. All I’ve heard is that Trump has achieved some, a few, results that conservatives might cheer.

    …not the same thing. Not the same thing at all.

    ColoComment (256f5c)

  85. Trump now talking about a $0.25/gallon gasoline tax to pay for his pork infrastructure bill.

    Dave (445e97)

  86. Kelly denies any increase in taxes or WH abuse.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  87. Once again, you are holding Trump to the wrong standard on the “praise for dictators.”

    Trump really is a deal maker from the business, not legal world. Such people start out saying good things about those from whom they want something, no matter what they really think. Hitting Trump for his love of Putin is really, well, frigging stupid. Trump’s troops just killed around 200 Russian troops this week. Trump has made a number of actions that are anti-Putin, and done so far more effectively than Obama did. Bush knew the right words to make it sound good, but was ineffectual in practice.

    I suggest that your (Patterico) person revulsion for Trump’s style has predisposed you to seek out the worst explanation of any Trump behavior. This is pretty much a constant on the #NeverTrump right.

    Try honestly seeking the most favorable explanation, just to yourself, for awhile, and you might end up writing stuff that is less tedious. I say that as a long time fan who cringes every time I look at one of your articles, because when you gratuitously slam Trump, you gratuitously slander those of use who see him in a better light.

    I was “Flight 93″ Trump voter, and a Cruz supporter. But I see no value in slighting Trump today. It doesn’t do any good and it divides the right. If you want Trump to change, you won’t get their with your style, which is mirroring Trump at his worst. If you don’t want him to succeed, then you are not on the side of good any more.

    John (8829b1)

  88. @87. Google it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  89. I suggest that your (Patterico) person revulsion for Trump’s style has predisposed you to seek out the worst explanation of any Trump behavior.

    he is very bias

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  90. Judging Patterico By The Turgid Bigotry of High Expectations?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  91. “I am Jimmy Hoffa.”

    Ben burn (b3d5ab) — 2/14/2018 @ 2:27 pm

    Buried under 17 tons of concrete? Thank you, Lawd!!!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  92. @95

    Wouldn’t it be “The Turgid Inclusiveness of High Expectations”?

    Dave (445e97)

  93. If some of you want to be happier tonight just imagine you live in South Africa.

    Pinandpuller (fc5dd7)

  94. Valentine’s Day Fantasy-brought to you care of South Africa

    He began his speech by laughing and joking with members of the press, asking them why they looked so serious.

    After paying tribute to those whom he had worked with over the years, Mr Trump said that violence and division within the RNC had influenced his decision to step down.

    “No life should be lost in my name and also the RNC should never be divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect,” he said.

    “Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation, I have always been a disciplined member of the RNC.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  95. Jacob zuma, was a leader of umkhonto do sizwe, exactly the sort we feared would take over there

    narciso (d1f714)


  96. 100.If some of you want to be happier tonight just imagine you live in South Africa.


    As you know I have family who are South African and live outside Cape Town. In 1980 we had 32 family there. Since then nine have been murdered (one by government agents when he went to Pretoria to get his land back), eighteen have fled for assorted places from Amsterdam to Canada leaving only five currently living there. My sister keeps in touch and wants to visit this summer. I’m against it for obvious reasons. Seems my cousins still there don’t want to leave even though their farm has had its land stolen from about 1700 acres to about 40 today and two have been raped, one repeatedly yet they just won’t leave.

    That is a sh!thole.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  97. That is a sh!thole.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7) — 2/14/2018 @ 5:10 pm

    My mom and kids have gone on many mission trips to the Lompopo area. Personally I think it’s cheaper to manufacture Christians there than ship them over from America but I have my cynical side.

    I have no doubt ANC leader Maxine Waters would hand out necklaces if she could.

    Pinandpuller (fc5dd7)

  98. And it was a previous umkhonto commander, mandela who made the country safe for Nigerian kingpins, and their imitators.

    narciso (d1f714)

  99. That is a sh!thole.

    All good things must come to an end.

    Even apartheid.

    Dave (445e97)

  100. A list of pols who I imagine meet the host’s high expectations, since I believe they were worthy of his vote:

    Mitt Romney: loser
    John McCain: loser
    Bush Sr.: failure, gave us David Souter, Slick Willy and costly war #1
    Bush Jr.: failure, gave us more illegals, Obama, and costly war #2
    Bob Dole: loser
    Ted Cruz: loser

    Heaven help us if Trump ever meets the host’s expectations.

    random viking (3cfbca)

  101. The irony that juche Dave couldnt understand:

    http://www.bryensblog.com/little-green-men-face-us-forces-lose

    narciso (d1f714)

  102. LMAO — Schiff pretty much in full retreat right now on his Memo.

    My guess is that behind the scenes he’s been told that the GOP Maj on the Intel Comm is going to release his Memo in redacted form because they don’t fear what’s in it. Schiff concedes today that there are “sources and methods” info in the Memo that needs to be redacted, and that the Dems are working with the FBI to address some of those issues.

    I think he realizes now after the unanimous vote to release the classified information — in appropriate form — that he’s lost control over what eventually gets released. The Intel Comm majority under the rule can now vote to refer the release of the information to the whole House, with recommended redactions, and the whole House can then vote to adopt the Comm’s recommendation.

    How do we know Schiff’s in retreat? Look at what he said today about what the Dems are trying to accomplish:

    “I’ve never said there was proof beyond a reasonable doubt” about collusion, the California Democrat told reporters. “Our responsibility is not determining what can be proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. Our responsibility is to tell the country as much as we’ve been able to learn.”

    Schiff also broadly criticized former President Barack Obama for his failure to impose a ‘deterrent’ against hostile nations whose intent was to launch cyber attacks against the private sector and during the 2016 elections.

    “I think the Obama administration should have done more to establish a deterrent when it had the opportunity,” he said.

    So, he’s not trying to “prove” Trump-Russia collusion, just putting out there in the public whatever they’re able to “learn”.

    Great line from “Absence of Malice” in referring to the press:

    Not fair to whom? Wait a minute! You don’t write the truth. You write what people say. What you overhear, you eavesdrop. You don’t come across truth that easy.

    Michael Gallagher

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  103. Has been promising a lot, he can’t get over his prosecution of that soviet asset, who had been working for the bureau

    narciso (d1f714)

  104. also Mr. Duterte is not a dictator

    Well he says he is but how would he know? happyfeet knows much better!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  105. “I’ve never said there was proof beyond a reasonable doubt”

    I guess he means “…apart from the confessions and email records of Trump’s son, son-in-law, and campaign manager.”

    Dave (445e97)

  106. i am very perspicacious

    and i see that he was elected by a plurality of the people

    when that happens here the corrupt sleazy fbi tries to do a coup all up in it

    but not in the land of the phillippines no for this is not their way

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  107. Current World Dictators

    gotta catch em all

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  108. @116. Multi-national corporations are nation-states, Mr. Feet! They can hire the finest armies. Any CEO’s or CFOs on that list?

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  109. No, they are transnational, I wrote a paper on Argentina, which referenced dictatorship and double standards which was the Reagan administration template in Latin , based on the failure of the spring like tempest of revolutions.

    narciso (d1f714)

  110. “confessions and email records”… Hope you stick around, ConDave, when the last wheel falls off your wagon…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  111. Re 121 — there is an interesting note in the Grassley memo that I hadn’t fully considered before.

    In footnotes the Grassley memo makes references to interviews of particular individuals — Ohr among others — and the reference cites their “302” of particular dates. There are 2 different dates referenced for Orh.

    “302” is a reference to a standard FBI memorandum of interview form..

    Which raises the question — Why is the FBI interviewing people???

    IG Michael Horowitz has his own staff of investigators, the IG does not use FBI agents so the interviews would not be on FBI forms.

    I think its been reported in various places that there are 27 or 28 open “leak” investigations taking place.

    I’ve had it whispered in my ear by people I know and trust that the next 30 days are going to be earth-shaking in FBI and DOJ.

    You know a good way to undercut Mueller’s investigation? Indict a bunch of people Mueller might be relying on as witnesses for leaking classified information through the fall of 2016 and into the winter and spring of 2017.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  112. Trump giving us his version of fireside chat

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  113. it was a very moving statement that did a lot to reassure people i think

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  114. Andy McCarthy goes all-in on exactly the concern I have had with the Trump-Russia investigation from the very start.

    It didn’t matter whether Trump was “compromised” by Russia. He was duly elected in an election conducted pursuant to the constitutional process.

    McCarthy makes the very clear case that the Obama Admin. kept up its investigation until their very last moment in office, and the law enforcement and intelligence officials who were going to hold over planned how to continue the investigation after Trump was President in a way that would allow them to hide its details from him, knowing that he had the absolute constitutational prerogative to shut them down.

    Their conduct disrespected the power of the Office of the President on the basis that “We know better.”

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  115. here’s a link to the McCarthy piece for today

    the prolix one

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  116. Their conduct disrespected the power of the Office of the President on the basis that “We know better.”

    More directly, it disrespected the electorate. For the Left, this is nothing new. As you say, they just know better.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  117. But… but… teh porn star!

    Colonel Haiku (1d71cc)

  118. McCarthy is still a marathon length behind

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/02/echo-chamber-music.php

    narciso (0b27dc)

  119. Harcourt Fenton Mudd @29

    please review 1970, the aftermath of Nixon’s effort to restore a balanced budget. Midterm losses, awful democrats elected, and worse

    30. Ben burn (b3d5ab) — 2/14/2018 @ 11:25 am

    Isn’t that when Nixon took us off the Gold Standard?

    No, that was on August 15, 1971, the same day he imposed wage and price controls, which was made possible by a bill he had vetoed in March.

    On July 15, 1971, he had announced his opening to China. That was a dictatorship as bad as North Korea.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  120. Yes, Sammy. I relayed that

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  121. happyfeet @116

    Hassan Rouhani isn’t the dictator Of Iran. Wrong person.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  122. 105. Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7) — 2/14/2018 @ 5:10 pm

    My sister keeps in touch and wants to visit this summer. I’m against it for obvious reasons.

    Caopetown may not have any running water by summer.

    But that is probably the least of the problems there.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  123. i wondered about that Sammy – that kind of dings the credibility of that site huh

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  124. He is the designated figurehead, the ayatollah doesn’t travel, he would be more like the general secretary as compared to the presidium

    narciso (d1f714)

  125. The Ayatollah is like the general secretary.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  126. 134. happyfeet (28a91b) — 2/15/2018 @ 12:21 pm

    that kind of dings the credibility of that site huh

    It’s going too much by what is official.

    It’s like that old atlas from 1937 that described forms of government. It didn’t say Mussolini was the dictator of Italy.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  127. Trump could have been a strong voice for fiscal conservatism and threatened to veto anything that added to the deficit

    Instead he’s threatened to veto any immigration bill taht doesn’t include his four points.

    So leading members of Congress knowing there could be a very loooong government shutdown, contrived to eliminate all leverage before March 5.

    Make a 2-year buidget plan, eliminating the need for acontinuing resolution, and eliminate the need for a deby ceiling increase.

    To do that they had to let everyone have the spending they wanted. They put in everything but immigration

    Dsvid Brooks was quite right in his New York Times column which ran on Tuesday:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/opinion/trump-republicans-scarcity.html

    Today’s Republicans are happy to trade away their fiscal principles if they can get their way on immigration, which is what they did in last week’s budget deal.

    This is exactly what happened.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  128. the Atlas dedscribed whatever wass in the constitution of Italy. A whole lot fo unreal provisions.

    Incidentally, Mussolini was evbentually deposed, but that was by avote of tyhe Fascist grand Council.

    Then later, Germany occupied much of Italy, and rescuied Mussolini from prison, and placed him back in charge, sort of.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  129. Trump stopped the senate from passing an immigration bill by the threat of aveto. (and if the Senate had passed it it would have been dead in the House)

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  130. Rouhani had been the head of their national security council, that made him responsible for operations like the amia, he had also lied re the stays of their nuclear program

    narciso (d1f714)

  131. Il Duce!

    Bannon would not discuss matters after the campaign, his time at the White House or even conversations he had with certain individuals after he left the administration last August, the lawmakers said.
    The move comes as the White House has taken extraordinary steps to limit Bannon’s testimony to Congress, taking a far more aggressive posture toward the President’s former close confidant than any other witness who has come before Congress.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)


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