Election 2016

"Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and the Missile Headed for Grandma's House"

When it comes to foreign policy, there's less difference among the leading contenders than you might think.

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Veteran GOP strategist Alex Castellanos, a self-confessed "card-carrying member" of the Republican establishment, has written an interesting take on the coming presidential primaries.

Snippets:

…our most likely matchup is Cruz v. Trump down the home stretch….

Today, Cruz has one-third of the GOP, Trump has a third, and the remaining establishment third is split between Rubio, Bush, and Christie.  Even if the establishment lane comes together, it's still two against one. The GOP has become an outsider's party.  Trump's legacy and that of the 2016 "outsiders" will be lasting. For the near future, the GOP will be a more Trump-like, populist party, not the evangelical party of Ted Cruz.

Whether it is an angry and dark populism that rails ineptly against Washington, or an optimistic and visionary populism that decentralizes our outdated top-down government, empowers people bottom-up, and opens up America's economy to the future all remains to be determined.

If Ted Cruz and not Donald Trump were to become the Republican nominee, there is increasing concern among the GOP Washington establishment, in which I confess card-carrying membership, that he would lead the GOP to ruin.

Cruz's strategy for the general election is to polarize the electorate, inflame and turn out the GOP faithful.  Cruz would pit the Republican base against the Democratic base.  That would be great strategy if general elections disallowed swing voters.

The cost of Cruz's polarization strategy?  Surrendering the middle and the future.

Castellanos, who is no fan of Trump, nonetheless sees him as capable of beating Hillary Clinton, almost certainly the Democratic nominee:

Should Hillary Clinton be favored to beat Donald Trump?  Not necessarily.

Donald Trump is above all a salesman.  He is, as he constantly reminds us, the "Art of the Deal." Trump would adapt, pivot, and do anything to make his next deal; winning the general election….

Trump is little constrained by party or ideology. Unlike Senator Cruz, Mr. Trump would run left of Hillary Clinton when he found an opening.

Additionally, many swing and minority voters, seduced by Mr. Trump's "tell-it-like-is" strength, make allowances for his over-heated rhetoric.  They know he is saying what he finds necessary to close a deal.  His hyperbolic declarations as mere "opening bids" in his political negotiations.  Many voters have grown comfortable with Trump in their homes, as a man who has inhabited their televisions for decades.

There's a lot more in Castellanos' piece, which also looks at whether "establishment" types such as Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio (who until just a few months ago was a Tea Party fave, right?) have gas left in their tanks.

I suspect that a lot of Reason readers share my lack of partisan interest in the outcomes and the fates of the Democratic and Republican parties. Having said that, how all this plays out and upon what major themes will have a major impact on the policies that take front and center over the coming years. Currently, I'm probably more worried about foreign policy concerns, since the difference between, say, Hillary Clinton and a Marco Rubio or a Ted Cruz is far less than any of their followers will admit. All are in various ways big defense spenders and interventionists who talk about extending all or most "war on terror" type actions. Cruz is better on the issue of domestic surveillance than either, but his anti-immigrant positions underwrite invasive workplace rules. And his foreign policy seems incoherent: Like Rand Paul, he's rightly chided Clinton for lauding the Libyan bombing but unlike Paul, he's quick to talk about carpet bombing, making sand glow, and all that.

The economy is finally starting to route around all of the damage created first by unrestrained spending and regulation during the Bush administration and then compounded by Barack Obama's grand "triumphs" (stimulus, Dodd-Frank, Obamacare). There's no question that we need a leaner, less-intrusive government when it comes to the economy, for sure, but capitalism always finds a way to regain productivity (not that entrepreneurs and businesses and all of us should have to fight through useless regulations).

When it comes endless war footing and endless interventions, it's much harder for us to figure out ways to wall off the damage, I think. Which makes me especially worried about the 2016 election regardless of what current leading contenders get into office.

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  1. I don’t think any bit of this guy’s conceptual framework will exist after the first few primaries.

    IA and NH will decide who the “serious” candidates are, and voters will completely re-align themselves following those depending on which of the 3 or so are the most credible and most likely to win.

    Trump’s 1/3 share has been based on his populist charismatic appeal, but zero actual political credibility or ability to win. The things that have floated him in polls will vanish… after SC, at latest, which is one i think he might win. But I don’t think he’ll actually even do as well as projected in IA & NH.

    1. It’s minus 6 in Minnesota.That’s the story.I’m warm and drinking and eating.

      1. I was supposed to be on a business trip in the Twin Cities last week and next week but it got canceled at the last minute. I think I dodged a (frozen) bullet on that one

    2. I thought that for a long time but have changed my mind. I am starting to think he is going to win. All that you say about Trump is correct, except for the issues I talk about below. The problem is that the voters have gotten so fed up with Washington and so angry, none of that matters. In the voters’ mind, especially the GOP voters’ minds, none of the assholes have any political credibility. So the charge that Trump doesn’t have any carried no weight.

      Beyond that, unlike the rest of these clowns, Trump has credibility on two issues; doing something about the border and sticking it to the PC culture. Those are big issues. People are tired of being told to fuck off about immigration and really tired of being told what they can and cannot say. And Trump has set himself of as the champion of all of that.

      1. No,he’s wrong all day long.He can’t round up 11 million people,he can’t ‘build the wall ‘ and ‘make ‘ Mexico pay for it.He’s a crony all on board for stealing the property of others and even loves farm subsidies,including ethanol.He’s a ass clown

        1. Just because he can’t get all 11 million doesn’t mean he can’t get a lot of them and make things better than what they are. Moreover, even if he doesn’t get all 11 million, he can sure as hell not sign amnesty and not invite more in.

          Come on, you guys would never buy into the “it must be perfect or it is of no good” fallacy in any other context. Don’t buy it here because it makes you feel good and fits your narrative.

          Trump is the only politician talking seriously about immigration and who has shown himself to be anything but lying crap weasel waiting to sell out the country at the first chance. That and his willingness to tell the media and the PC culture to fuck off is why he is succeeding and why he stands a good chance of being president.

          1. Okay, John, we get it. You agree with him on immigration.

            Here’s the thing, a lot of people here don’t. And, whatsmore, even some who agree with him on immigration recognize that he’s atrocious on a host of other issues.

            And, for a lot of us, immigration is just a sideshow issue. What’s going to make or break America over the next twenty years isn’t whether we deport or grant amnesty to a bunch of hispanics. Sorry, but it really isn’t even on the list.

            Our debt and budget are a make or break issue.

            Reforming (or preferably eliminating) entitlements are a make or break issue.

            Figuring out how we can get by in a world where bad actors have vastly enhanced capabilities without giving up our rights and liberties is a make or break issue.

            Preserving the rights and liberties that actually made this country great while a sizeable portion of our young people are openly dismissive or contemptuous of those rights and liberties is a make or break issue.

            Immigration is about as far from being a make or break issue as stoned Mexican ass sex. And as far as I can tell, Donald Trump either doesn’t give a shit or is on the other side of all of those things.

            1. I’ll add restoring a decent pace of economic growth is a make or break issue.

            2. Sure Bill. And whether you agree or disagree with him on immigration has no bearing on whether you take him seriously or not. The responses to Trump on here boil down to “we hate that so therefore he must not be serious.”.

              There is nothing unreasonable about thinking that a federal government as large as ours could not if it really wanted to deport 11 million people or at the very least make a big dent in doing so. You may think that is a terrible idea. If so, then say why you think it is. Don’t try and avoid the argument on the merits of doing that by pretending that it is some crazy idea beyond the laws of physics.

              1. John, Adans smith has listed a number of issues, outside of immigration, that Trump sucks on. It’s simply not the case that people here don’t like Trump because they disagree with him on immigration. There’s a shitload of reasons to not like the guy. He’s a crony capitalist who supports single payer. That alone should be enough to disqualify him in libertarian, or even Republican circles. I’ve joked before that Donald Trump is a white Barack Obama who hates Mexicans. The thing is, it’s really not that far off.

                Let me ask you, if Donald Trump were pro-open-borders, would you support him? Why?

                1. Bill,

                  I never said he was serious on those issues. I said people don’t care because the public doesn’t think anyone is serious on those issues. I said he was serious about immigration. And he clearly is. You just refuse to admit it because you don’t want to engage the merits of the issue.

                  Imagine if someone were running against the drug war and said they were going to as President repeal the drug laws and commute the sentences of everyone in federal prison on drug offenses. The drug warriors would say exactly the same things you guys are about Trump. And you guys would love the candidate. The same thing is going on with Trump regarding immigration only you guys are acting like the drug warriors in my example.

                  1. No, regerdless of what you seem to want to think, you don’t know our, or at least my, views and opinions better than I do. If there were someone coming here telling me what a serious candidate Bernie Sanders is, I’d probably be even more dismissive of him than I am being of Trump.

                    Or maybe I could put it another way. If Donald Trump had the same immigration views, but was otherwise a candidate espousing individual liberty, free markets, free markets and rule of law,I’d consider giving the guy a hearing. I’d see him as having a YUGE blindspot in his outlook, but that’s something most of us have in one way or another. But, that’s not what Trump is. On every single issue, Trump is pushing the GOP to sever every principle that still ties me to the Republican party. On every single issue, the guy is behaving like a demagogue, appealing to people’s emotions rather than outlining a rational policy.

                    This is an election the Democrats deserve to lose. But, if the Republicans are going to respond by running a crony capitalist who loves socialized medicine and tax hikes, they sure as hell don’t deserve to win.

                    1. the Republicans are going to respond by running a crony capitalist who loves socialized medicine and tax hikes

                      That’s who they usually run. They’re trying not to run this one for some reason.

                    2. If what you said were true, why would Trump score so well against my views in either the Project Vote Smart or On The Issues voter-candidate match? He doesn’t come out on top, but not so far behind as one would believe to read you.

                    3. According to http://votesmart.org/voteeasy , Trump beats Gary Johnson (who hadn’t announced, so wasn’t included, last time I did this) 74-67% in similarity to me! Rand Paul still beats Trump by only 1%. But the real surprise is that tied for greatest similarity to me are Jeb Bush & Ted Cruz at 89%! Bernie Sanders is farthest from me at 22%.

                      It’s possible that I answered “wrong” the Q on whether I favored “targeting” suspected terrorists outside official theaters of conflict, for which I said “yes” but with the lowest degree of interest. Depends whether “targeting” is to be taken literally, as in trying to shoot them, or just means investigating them. Still, it’s only 1 of 13 Qs.

                      http://ontheissues.org is more problematic 1st off w its quiz pigeonholing me, asking such questions as whether “marijuana is a gateway drug” or I support “American exceptionalism”, or “stricter punishment reduces crime”?matters that don’t seem to have to do w my preferences?so I don’t trust them as much. (Plus, a lot of what they ask re “personal issues” doesn’t have much to do directly w personal liberty.) But they do ask a greater no. of Qs than Project Vote Smart does, so they have a chance at greater precision or accuracy. There Rand Paul comes out on top, 58%, Trump only 35%, tied w Jindal. But the surprise there is Santorum in 2nd place, 48%.

            3. And, for a lot of us, immigration is just a sideshow issue.

              True. I don’t care for his immigration prohibition. I certainly don’t think it’ll be any more effective than all the other prohibitions.

              The deal breaker on Trump is his support of Kelo-style eminent domain powers of government. I mean, he freaking loooooves it. And I haven’t seen him denounce civil asset forfeiture, either…so fuck him. Hard.

          2. Your a fool,he makes all kind of wild claims of things he can’t ever do.No .he is no serious.He’s a fool,a serious person would want to end the drug war,the war on terror,bring home the troops from South Korea,Japan,and Europe.Also end all business subsidies including Iowa farmers ,solar and wind.No,not serious at all.

            1. You are confusing “wild” with “I don’t like that”. I get it, you think the border should be open and anyone who wants to should be able to cross. Trump’s supporters disagree. That means you disagree with them. It doesn’t mean Trump isn’t serious.

              1. No, John, it’s when he says he’s going to get the Mexicans to pay for it that we know he’s not serious.

                1. The amount of money that Mexicans and South Americans remit every year is enormous.

                  It is Mexico’s second largest source of income behind oil.

                  A tax on it would most certainly pay for a wall.

                  I think that might be his plan and it is feasible if indeed one is determined to build a wall.

                  I keep telling wall supporters that walls work both ways but I just get blank stares mostly.

                  1. Except how do you collect that if the Latin Americans working here just decide to send cash in the mail? Is President Trump going to have the government start rifling through people’s mail if they’re sending to Mexico or Central America?

                    1. The tax doesn’t have to be onerous enough to give that incentive considering the risk of mailing cash and the amount being remitted each year.
                      You could easily fund a wall on a pay as it grows basis with 5% to 10% of that

                      http://goo.gl/T9HVzr

                      Even it it was borderline high enough, after after some of it started disappearing in the Mexican Postal Service that would be another disincentive to mail cash.

                  2. A consumption tax would get a piece of the cash economy that informs most of the illegals’ economic interactions. If you want a piece back, you have to get legit.

                    Sorry, didn’t mean to imply that cash work is somehow not legitimate. But it’s certainly a way to avoid taxes, unless you’re paying at the register.

                2. This. He talks a lot, but he’s long on bluster and short on specifics. Of course you could say that about lots of candidates.

                3. I don’t get why the fucking wall is so expensive. It seems like it should be possible for people in border communities would easily be able to construct walls along the adjacent border without requiring any sort of ulterior state support. Where I grew up, every community constructed and maintained its own waterways and roads, for that matter, without the need to levee taxes on people thousands of miles away. It wasn’t a big deal.

                  1. For that matter, if enough of the marches were privately owned, it would be impossible for invaders to enter without the support of the property owners.

            2. a serious person would want to end the drug war

              Trump publicly said we should do just that, repeatedly for over 20 years. There are very obvious reasons why he wouldn’t campaign on that while seeking the nomination of either major party. The president doesn’t have the power to unilaterally end the WoDs but if Trump gets the nomination he’ll be the3 most “anti-drug war” candidate either major party has fielded since prohibition became federal law.

              1. “he’ll be the3 most “anti-drug war” candidate either major party has fielded since prohibition became federal law.'”

                You’re acting like his statements have ever been based on principle rather than a momentary belief they might gain him some political traction.

                This is a guy who’ll say anything. That you credit him for sincerity in views you find appealing, and dismiss his stupid shit as mere ‘pandering’ says more about you than about him.

                1. That you credit him for sincerity in views you find appealing, and dismiss his stupid shit as mere ‘pandering’ says more about you than about him.

                  Where have I dismissed his stupid shit as “pandering”? Ending the WoDs isn’t something Trump said once or “in a moment”. Hell, it’s the most consistent political position he’s held.

          3. “Trump is the only politician talking seriously about immigration ‘

            You must have a different conception of “seriously” than I do.

          4. John, he cannot deport 11 million Mexicans. Ir is a logistical impossibility. He won’t even be able to deport a quarter that many.

            For one, that’s a lot of police manpower to deploy, at enormous cost and to the detreiment of all other police activity.

            For another, the disruption to communities would be enormous. Businesses would go bankrupt, farms would lose a lot of produce, schools would lose a lot of students. The political uproar would swamp those who hate immigrants (legal or otherwise).

            You usually come across as pretty pragmatic, but you have lost it on this one. It simply cannot be done.

            1. John, he cannot deport 11 million Mexicans. Ir is a logistical impossibility. He won’t even be able to deport a quarter that many.

              Citation please? And sorry but wishful thinking doesn’t count.

              1. How about you provide some kind of citation? You’ve done nothing but say Trump will deport 11M people. How about some kind of refutation of even my minimal statements, which are more than you’ve provided.

                Stuff it, John, you’ve got nothing here, and as much as admitted it.

            2. He won’t have to. End all federal support for sanctuary cities, end welfare for illegals, end federal support for states that give illegals drivers’ licenses, and a good chunk of the problem takes care of itself. You don’t have to go all Elian Gonzales on 11 million people. (Though the “11 million” figure everyone repeats may well be low.)

              1. Local sheriffs could take over most of the actual work involved, employing local citizenry as needed for the effort. With enough public enthusiasm, it could easily be done.

            3. Sort of like how ending slavery led to a collapse in the southern agricultural sector. “You can’t take the serfs away! It’ll destroy everything!”

          5. If you want to see a bullet put in the brainpan of the Republican party, by all means, let’s start rounding up immigrant families. Whatever your thoughts on the ethics or legality of tolerating illegals, the mood is going to shift sharply against anti-immigrant zealotry after the inevitable media blitz showing incarcerated families nonstop for months.

            1. As opposed to letting them stay and all of them vote Democrat? And their children? And their children’s children?

              Look at Mexico, they were content to vote for a corrupt socialist party for 70 years

              It’s a country that by all rights should be as rich as California. Except for the corrupt government. And they are bringing that here.

            2. I don’t see why that is the case. You think it is because you assume everyone agrees with you. They don’t .

            3. If illegals stop getting welfare and are fired from their jobs, why would they want to stay? They’ll go home.

              1. Why would they go home? It’s not like things are so much better there, even assuming you can stop illegals from getting welfare and fire them from all jobs, which I would say is a huge assumption. It’s not like there aren’t measures designed to keep them off welfare rolls and prevent them from being employed already. How are those working out?

                1. States (and Democrats in general) are not enforcing the laws. Why should they? More illegals means more clients for the welfare state, more voters, and more population for Democratic districts, which helps in elections even if there’s no vote fraud.

                  Trump + a GOP Congress could put pressure on the states and localities to enforce the law, simply by withholding money from those that don’t. Don’t turn over arrested illegals to ICE? No federal law enforcement money. Give illegals drivers’ licenses? No federal highway funds. Etc.

                  1. Fine, but if you look at the places with the most illegal aliens, they aren’t Democratic controlled. I don’t think the problem is as simple as getting some Republicans in office.

                    Even if you could magically stop these people from accessing social programs or getting jobs, why would they want to go back to Mexico? They didn’t come here because life in Mexico was so wonderful and jobs were plentiful there.

                    1. Also, I’m not sure the GOP is really interested in getting rid of illegals, a cheap labor pool and political bogeyman.

                    2. You do know that illegals flock to California and Democrat-controlled cities, right? It’s not exclusive, but it’s a visible trend, I think.

                      And true, the GOPe likes cheap labor. The GOP base does not.

            4. “If you want to see a bullet put in the brainpan of the Republican party, by all means, let’s start rounding up immigrant families. Whatever your thoughts on the ethics or legality of tolerating illegals, the mood is going to shift sharply against anti-immigrant zealotry after the inevitable media blitz showing incarcerated families nonstop for months.”

              This seems doubtable. Most people who express outrage at that sort of thing do not strike me as sincere, but more like it’s their way of announcing that they are right-thinking peons. Whereas among those who would be cheering it on, the majority seems very sincere. The majority of USA folk I would guess are kind of ambivalent. At some point, a media frenzy fails to move anything, if there’s nobody to speak of that gives a dam other than the TV people. With enough public support, the emigration would be feasible. Without that support, it may be difficult and expensive but possible natheless, provided enough people aren’t enthusiasticly opposed.

            5. And if you think that the ?conomic effects could put an end to it or even slow down a favoured political trend, you should go back and study Stalinist Russia for a time.

          6. “The problem is that the voters have gotten so fed up with Washington and so angry”
            Yawn. People have been “fed up with Washington” since 1783. By now it’s nothing more than a mantra for heterodox candidates. Cooler heads still nearly always prevail. And when they don’t, as history shows, even people like you end up regretting that they didn’t after the fact.

      2. “In the voters’ mind, especially the GOP voters’ minds, none of the assholes have any political credibility.I think you underestimate

        Cruz’s popularity along this issue.

        He’s definately not considered a Washingtn insider.

        He has burnt the Republican Party leadership and called them liars BY NAME. He exposed their shenanigans and phoney votes and named names on the senate floor.

        If you haven’t watched this in it’s you owe it to yourself to do so. i don’t think America has seen a politician of this stripe in my 59 years. Statesman is a better description than politician. Yeah, yeah , yeah ya’ll throw rocks I don’t give a shit. He is the most Libertarian candidate that has a real chance of winning ever so go ahead and let perfect get in the way of good if you want
        to be a libertarian purity snob and put ideology ahead of country.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aimgwzV-77U

        People in Texas consider him the only politician we have sent to Washington that has done excatly what he said he would do if elected and none of what he said had to do with cozying up to washington insiders.

        I’m voting for him every chance I get through all the rocks you want. If you are a libertarian then that is your loss as well as mine if that keeps him out of office…

      3. Those are the major issues for people who watch FOX News all day (I mean literally, like my grandma does), not a majority of voters.

        You’ve been had in a big way John. You either will or won’t figure that out before you’re dead.

      4. If they’re tired of being told what they can and cannot say, why would they support someone who advocates for government censorship of the Internet?

    3. Gilmore,
      Before I start please let me state I have no horse in this race, so put away your trump card. Now… your analysis is based on ??? You clearly are not seeing the data that I am reading…. Your idea that Trumps numbers will vanish after the early primaries is crack pipe smoking material…. Trump not only has the numbers, but he also has the momentum as well as capturing the nations attention with what is important. (Terrorism, refugees, economy) AND the negatives on the Clinton are astronomical. I have no idea,…. ( well some idea) where you are pulling your analysis from…. Were you around in the 70s with Carter??? The nation was in crisis and carter was demolished… Now the nation is 100 times worse than under Carter… Trump will most likely win the nomination and the election, but I have no idea what you are smoking…

    4. You should have stopped on your 3rd word… ” I dont think” Your statement would be have had some sort of grounding in reality. Your analysis is ….. well can’t be calibrated with any known piece of data. http://www.breitbart.com/big-g…..ing-class/

  2. On an important note.I am making a lasagna with grilled porta bella mushrooms in garlic and butter.A green salad with blue cheese and olive oil and balsamic vinegar and several stouts with the football games.

    1. We love to cook. Half the time we make something gourmet and half the time something down-home. Last night I fried chicken livers and onion rings.

      Right now my wife is stewing a pot of zuppa tuscano, a delicious gourmet soup. Spinach, Cauliflower, bacon in a cream base.

      It isnt minus six here, but I have a nice glow in the fireplace. Forty five is cold for Louisianians.

      1. ‘I like to cook with wine,and sometimes I put it in the food’ Julia Child.I live by that quote.

      2. Last night I fried chicken livers and onion rings.

        Nice….

        1. Nice ,food of the gods there.

          1. And I really enjoy rumaki.

      3. There’s a pub near me that does Sunday roasts. I think I’ll drop by and see what the dish is.

        1. Um, roast?

      4. fried chicken livers

        *narrows appetite*

      5. I have a rack of St. Louis style babybacks on the grill being caressed by a mixture of low heat, oak chunks, and mesquite chips for a little spark in the smoke.

        And beer.

        1. It’s a Cat’s Paw Pale Ale.

          Anyone tried it.

  3. It’s true that capitalism routes around gov. regulations, bans, and taxes. Examples are numerous: underground commerce during Stalinist era, prison economies, bootleggers, grey markets, pirate bay, cigarette smugglers, take your pick. But the cost of current regulations is staggering, reducing productivity and wealth creation enormously. The human brain can sometimes route around stroke damage, but vanishingly few (major) stroke patients regain full function and the majority remain disabled forever.

    Sad that progressives can’t see how many of the causes they profess to love (excellent public education, animal rights, fair trade coffee, green energy, etc) are luxury goods. Creating greater wealth enables many many more consumers to purchase such goods, leading to massive increases.

    1. But … but …

      Those regulations ?feel? like the right thing to do! Without all those regulations, we’d have 7-year-olds working night and day as monacle polishers!

      Well, ?more? 7-year-olds.

    2. Many ‘comrades’ were wealthy due to the black market.

    3. Well said.

  4. Hey Reason! Enough with that picture already! I’m getting afraid to come here.

    1. BRING BACK LOBSTER GIRL.

      1. NOT BETTER

        1. Better. That composite is positively frightening. Need a reason contest – “Name This Candidate”.
          Donarry Trumton?

          1. Tumpery Hilldon

  5. Marco Rubio hasn’t been a “tea party fave” since at least the “gang of 8”, if not before that.

    1. I prefer black tea

        1. No,some of my best orphans are wogs.

  6. “Currently, I’m probably more worried about foreign policy concerns, since the difference between, say, Hillary Clinton and a Marco Rubio or a Ted Cruz is far less than any of their followers will admit. All are in various ways big defense spenders and interventionists who talk about extending all or most “war on terror” type actions. Cruz is better on the issue of domestic surveillance than either, but his anti-immigrant positions underwrite invasive workplace rules.”

    I think the battle against domestic surveillance is won by separating it from foreign policy in the minds of swing voters.

    In terms of going to war on the ground in Syria, I want to avoid that–no doubt–but I think that’s an opinion that’s shared by more and more people. If any President tries to go to war on the ground in Syria, they will quickly find their actions unpopular on both sides of the political spectrum. . . . just like Obama got slapped back for trying to get us into Syria over his idiotic red line.

    1. You know the best way to win the battle over domestic surveillance? Give people some confidence that the government is keeping terrorists out of the country to begin with. Do that and the proponents of surveillance have a lot harder time scaring people with the prospect of it ending.

      Sadly, I don’t think that is something Reason is very interested in doing. Worse still, it would never occur to them that adopting reason’s preferred position on middle eastern and Muslim immigration plays right into the hands of those demanding to take away our privacy.

      1. Bull,there are so many more threats to to you life besides ‘the terrorist’. Like driving or crossing the street.Here in SE Ohio across from WV their not even a side note

        1. Sure there are. But just because it is not the only threat doesn’t mean it is not a threat worth eliminating. The answer to people being murdered can’t be “hey what are your chances?”. That is just complete fucking horseshit. Just because any individual’s chances of being killed in a terrorist attack is small doesn’t mean the threat of such is insignificant or that there is no reason to take any effort to limit it.

          What were the chances of any individual black person being lynched back in the day? Minuscule. Yet, lynching was a real problem that warranted attention.

          1. I was reading this earlier today, and take it or leave it, but here’s what John is saying with math.

            1. The past is a predictor of the future right up until it isn’t. Based on the past, what were an 18 year old French Male’s chances of dying in combat before he was 21 in 1913? Pretty small, yet we know now his chances were actually pretty good.

        2. Bull,there are so many more threats to to you life besides ‘the terrorist’.

          Bull on your bull. You could same thing about threats in Syria. Most Syrians haven’t been beheaded or gassed or shot. Or even Obombed. So, why so refugee?

          1. Welfare ?

            The pic of the little drowned boy was possible because the boys grandfather told his son he should go to Europe to get the massive amount of dental work he needed for free.

            Google it yourself.

      2. “Give people some confidence that the government is keeping terrorists out of the country to begin with. Do that and the proponents of surveillance have a lot harder time scaring people with the prospect of it ending.”

        This is an explanation of exactly why the government will not do it.

        They know full well that an immigration flood will have jihadis in it, and they don’t mind as long as it isnt too many of them, just enough to keep people scared.

        I saw an interview friday (?) with an ex-homeland security guy. He was asked about the vetting system for ME immigrants. Answer: “What system? There is no system. It’s not like we can pull these people up on a computer and find out who they are. There is no record of who they are. There is no system.”

        Another admitted that yes they know there will jihadis but they are banking on there not being too many. A ‘numbers game’ he called it.

        1. It is absurd. How do you vette someone from Syria? The entire country is falling apart. There is no way to tell if someone is who they say they are.

          1. Not only are they lieing about vetting them they are lieing about how many they are arresting for terror activity once here.

            http://goo.gl/h4zGwn

            Following the discovery of a terrorist cell in Texas allegedly operated by an Iraqi who entered the United States as a refugee, the Washington Free Beacon has learned of an additional 41 individuals who have been implicated in terrorist plots in the United States since 2014, bringing the total number of terrorists discovered since that time to 113, according to information provided by Congressional sources.

            So not only is the Fed Gov.knowingly importing jihadists and lieing about it, they are also lieing about how many they have already arrested for jihadist actions once here. And they just past funding to bring 170,000 more in 2016

            And people wonder why Trump is doing so well ? Fuck, maybe we should all get our pitchforks out and join him

          2. ” How do you vette someone from Syria? ”

            Offer him bacon. It’s not that fucking hard. Antiochus figured this out twenty-two hundred years ago, and he was the result of four generations of familial retardism. Certainly it’s not that hard.

      3. “You know the best way to win the battle over domestic surveillance? Give people some confidence that the government is keeping terrorists out of the country to begin with.”
        Nonsense. Do you really think people’s fears are in general even remotely related to related to reality? There are a thousand things people should be more afraid of than terrorism that most people never think about.

  7. My libertarian concerns have more to do with Obama’s senseless capitulation to Iran on its nuclear program–something he himself is surely coming to regret given Iran’s missile program.

    Libertarian foreign policy is about how the military should be properly used to protect our rights from foreign threats. I am much more concerned about a candidate being insufficiently hawkish on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs than I am about a President putting or keeping troops on the ground in Syria. Keeping troops on the ground in Syria will be widely unpopular regardless, but keeping Iran’s nuclear and missile programs from threatening the life, liberty, and prosperity of the American people in the wake of Obama’s senseless capitulation to Iran will require real leadership.

    1. My problem is any deal should have included all the countries in the region.Not western countries making a deal they have to live with.Typical prog deal making.They are the racist.

    2. ‘something he himself is surely coming to regret given Iran’s missile program.’
      Surely…

    3. Just imagine the mess the next president is going to inherit from this POS and I hope the next president reminds this whiny POS and his followers about it on a daily basis.

  8. Oh, and speaking of the Donald and Muslim-bashing, NPR and Vice have gone full retard on the Rapey New Year story out of Germany.

    NPR is basically taking Vice’s lead, but Vice is basically blaming German Rape Culture.

    “Ever since New Year’s Eve, German media have largely been discussing the violence at Cologne’s central train station in terms of a rape culture that was imported into Germany ? simply because the perpetrators in this case looked “Arab” or “North African”, according to witnesses. The only point being, of course, that the men weren’t white.

    That’s an idea that renders sexualised violence and theft harmless by trivialising and exorcising both notions. The fact that our society and its institutions aren’t in any position to protect those affected by the violence and identify its culprits doesn’t in any way mean that there’s never been sexualised violence in Germany before. In fact, Germany’s rape culture is deeply rooted in our collective psyche.”

    http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read…..s-2016-876

    More than 75% of the German population weren’t even born until after World War II. Subjecting themselves to needless suffering doesn’t atone for shameful oppression perpetrated by individuals who died decades ago.

    They’re blaming this on Germany’s own rape culture?

    Let my people go.

    1. I am totally sure they would take the same stance if the case involved a bunch of frat boys on Spring Break. Remember, these are the same people who turned the Duke LAX case into an American Dryfus case. And now they are all about “we can’t get all judgy here”. Pathetic.

      1. This goes beyond parody!

        If this were a satire of how progressives see things, it would have been written the same way.

        Shifting the blame for hundreds of sexual assaults by dozens of asylum seekers to German rape culture?!

        Are people ever allowed to live down the sins of their ancestors? How much self-loathing for things their ancestors did is enough?

        1. never Ken because the entire point is for leftists to feel superior to other white people. The migrants and even the victims are totally incidental here. Everything leftists do is so that they can show themselves to be more enlightened and superior to other white people. Admitting that the problem is the refugees and not other white people does nothing to accomplish that so they will never admit it.

    2. Look Ken,they have to blame the ‘white ‘people’.They don’t understand that Africa and much of the middle east are still mostly tribal.They do not have the values that the west posses.It’s a 30 years war all over with modern weapons.

      1. BTY,don’t tell the French,Germans Italians,ect,they are all the same race.And the Balkans are still a mess too.

    3. Eine von f?nf vier!!1!

    4. “Demoralization is a great brainwashing process whereby the person, no matter how much information they have, cannot draw a sensible conclusion. In this way they are not able to defend themselves, their families, or their country.”

      There you have it right there. This is playing out before our eyes. Bezmenov could not have nailed it any better than that.

      1. Another point worth making: Weren’t the 60’s counterculture sexual revolutionary people the ones who campaigned so hard against the notion that rape victims were responsible for their victimization because of the way they dressed?

        Angela Merkel, one of the sexually liberated, is now advising women in Germany not to dress so provocatively.

        They are, as someone yesterday said, going full retard victorian. They are evil people.

        1. Something something Poe’s Law.

    5. Oh FFS, there is no ‘white’ rape culture in Germany simply because of the many Laufh?user.

    6. There’s certainly been some degeneration in the Prussian culture if it is even possible for immigrants’ raping the folk to continue on enough to develop to a recognisable problem. I don’t think it’s likely that this could have come about a hundred years ago, even if somehow the same immigration had taken place. And since then, weapons technology has advanced somewhat. There’s no explaining it without factoring in a degeneration of the native culture that somehow favours this sort of thing. Not to detract responsibility from the actual rapism sufferers. Folks with a mental illness like rapism shouldn’t be able to terrorise a populace of normies, but still they are the only ones ultimately responsible, like anybody, no matter how crasy or weird, for their own actions. All the same, one ought to consider the possibility that a cultural shift is occurring that fails to strongly discourage people with debilitating sociopathies from brutalising everyone they meet.

    7. Are you seriously suggesting that something bad can actually not be a white man’s fault? The horror!

      Sidenote: the moment someone says the phrase ‘collective psyche’, they should be immediately prescribed a heavy dose of anti-psychotic drugs. That’s as absurd a concept as dry water.

  9. There is little,if any, difference between Hillary and Rubio’s foreign policy. They are both neoconservative to the core. Cruz and Trump are both decried by the establishment as radical isolationists.

  10. The scaremongers are trying to convince us that ISIS is gonna invade the country and rape our wimmins and radicalize the chillens. We must continue to counter that propaganda where it pops up. Also there is a full-on campaign to limit speech rights. For Hilary it’s ‘hate speech incites violence’ like campus hate codes and blasphemy as in ‘a video caused Benghazi’. For Trump it’s ‘shut down parts of the internet’. Cruz might be slightly better but unlikely for long. Again, these absurd claims must be confronted and neutralized. It’s a ‘war on speech’ just like the war on drugs with all the same tactics and rhetoric. E.g. “Is your child already radicalized? Take this quiz to find out!” – government pamphlet in London.

    1. You make some valid points. And they all point to why letting in huge numbers of Middleeastern and Muslim refugees is a very bad idea.

      1. In fact speaking out against the influx was criminalized in Germany – a huge victory in the war on speech. Even now Merkel is browbeating Facebook to suppress ‘hateful rhetoric’. Like the war on drugs it creates a vicious cycle of increasing legislation and criminalization. We should not follow Europe’s lead on this. But we must continue to let in well vetted refugees. Bombing them and saying “sorry not welcome here” is not just cruel, it’s un-American.

        1. There is no such thing as a well vetted refugee. There is no way to vette them. And we don’t owe them entry into our country.

          1. Refuse to grant them refuge? That is un-American but fine, then stop bombing them with the lie that otherwise they will rape your wimmins and radicalize your chillens. The only thing we should be doing is providing humanitarian aid. (If there are factions that support human rights and democracy and teach their children the same then I have no problem supporting them. Sand monument consecrations of fealty are meaningless.)

            1. Where’s Cytotoxic to clear all this up for us?

              Sorry.

            2. If bombing them makes them hate us, how is it in any way safe to let them in the country? You are on the one hand claiming that bombing them makes them terrorists and then on the other claiming we can let them in the country with no risk even though we are and will continue to bomb them.

              1. You know what John, I think you’ve got me convinced. Bombing the shit out of these Muslim nations doesn’t cause them to hate us. It makes them love us. The love it when friends and family are blown to bits by missiles launched by cowards sitting at computer screens on the other side of the globe. Why wouldn’t it? They’re not human beings. They’re Muslims. They don’t care about their friends or their family. They were probably planning to cut off their heads anyway, so the drone operators just saved them the trouble. And you’re right about not letting them into the country either. Yeah, they’re infinitely pleased that we’re killing the people who are close to them, but they’re all murders anyway. Like you’ve said so many times, they’re not human beings. They’re Muslims. They would like to thank the drone pilots by killing them. That’s how they show thanks. So you’re rights. We need to keep bombing them out of love, and prevent them from entering the country so they can’t show us how much they love us. You’re right John. So right. They’re not humans. They’re Muslims.

            3. “stop bombing them with the lie that otherwise they will rape your wimmins and radicalize your chillens.”

              We didn’t cause the Arab Spring to come to Syria. It would have come to Syria–even if we’d never invaded Iraq.

              Because the Arab Spring destabilized Syria does not make us responsible for what happens there and is no reason why we are in any way obligated to accept refugees from Syria.

              “Refuse to grant them refuge? That is un-American but fine”

              Granting them refuge and bringing them to live among us are two different things. There are lots of ways to help refugees that do not involve bringing them to live among us. No reason to conflate the two.

              1. OK and what part of “stop bombing them” don’t you understand? Would you like me to repeat it more slowly for you?

              2. Our continued efforts to destablize the Assad regime kind of do give us some responsibility for what happens there, though. I’m still at a loss to explain how a decades old government suddenly “must go” in our mind, despite the fact they’re fighting our supposed greatest threat in existence (ISIS).

                1. “Our continued efforts to destablize the Assad regime kind of do give us some responsibility for what happens there, though.”

                  Bullshit.

                  Our leaders are morally obligated to do what is in our best security interests.

                  Even IF IF IF we have a moral obligation to help these people, that does not mean we are obligated to compromise our security interests by bringing them to live among us.

                  1. Fine. So how exactly is our involvement in destabilizing Assad, which continues, helping our security interests?

                    I agree that we aren’t obligated to import Syrians. That’s a separate discussion from whether we bear some responsibility for the current shitstorm in Syria.

                    1. “Fine. So how exactly is our involvement in destabilizing Assad, which continues, helping our security interests?”

                      Iran is convinced that their own security depends on keeping Assad in power. I don’t see why I should argue with them.

                      That’s why Iran has fully committed both the Iranian Revolutionary Army and Hezbollah to fight on behalf of Assad in Syria.

                      I believe Iran represents the biggest long term security threat to the United States, certainly in terms of its nuclear capability and its missile program. Iran is scared to death of the Arab Spring turning into a Persian Summer, and if our enemy Iran could be destabilized from within–like they’re afraid they would be if Syria fell–then that would be ideal for America’s long term security interests.

                      It’s important to remember that the United States isn’t the primary force behind destabilization in Syria. The Syrian people saw to that for their own reasons. They didn’t check with us to see if it was okay with Obama if they rebelled.

            4. We are not bombing them.

              Many of them aren’t even from Syria as it turns out and even the ones that are aren’t the target of US bombing campaigns.

              I see no reason at all why we should let any of them into this country.

              Even their fellow lovers of the Religion of Peace won’t offer them shelter.

              We have assces to all the cheap labor we need in this hemisphere.

              1. “We are not bombing them.” – Liar, liar: “As of 3:59 p.m. EST Jan. 3, the U.S. and coalition have conducted a total of 9,379 strikes (6,217 Iraq / 3,162 Syria).”

                http://www.defense.gov/News/Sp…..nt-Resolve

      2. “why letting in huge numbers of Middleeastern and Muslim refugees is a very bad idea.”

        Because the Muslim ideology and the Arab culture are extremely delusional and frequently inimical to the association of free men. I say that, and I’ve got Muslim family from Palestine that actually make the more tolerable part of that branch of the family. It’s not really disimissible if one examines the facts with an open mind. The only reason they aren’t a lot of clinical psychotics is because they are naturally found in cultures where everyone is that crasy. There’s no question that a big influx of these people would fuck everything up. The problem is how to prevent it. Unfortunately, there’s no way to go about it that does not take one along a course of action that is also inimical to the association of free men and encouraging to delusional beliefs, such as that that it is possible to unlace ends and means dickloach.

    2. Most of your concern about propaganda promoting fear of ME immigrants should be directed at the immigrants themselves dajjal. They are the number one producers of it.

      1. I’m all for the Arab staets taking care of this and bringing US troops home.Europe ,Japan and South Korea too.

        1. “I’m all for the Arab staets taking care of this and bringing US troops home.Europe ,Japan and South Korea too.”

          Oh yeah, because the Arabs have always been so great at getting their own shit together. Just look at what a paradise it’s become since the Turks let them off the reservation.

      2. Teach your children right and wrong then you don’t have to worry about them getting radicalized by an extremist cleric posting youtube videos from the levant and then you don’t have to bomb them and then you don’t have to let them into your country by the millions and then complain when they behave the same way they always have and then blame the resulting mess on the people who point out what you failed to do. Simple.

        1. I am not in disagreement with you there.

          I was facetiously saying that the spate of jihadi attacks recently here in the US are creating far more fear and resistance to the idea of letting them in than anything anyone is saying.

          Friday morning the country awoke to the news of two jihadis being arrested and a third shooting a policeman and then of a bomb factory in Belgium and an online video of an ISIS bomb making instructional. When this kind of stuff happens we don’t really need propaganda to pump people up about it. The Jihadis are doing a find job of that all on their own.

          1. “fear and resistance to the idea of letting them in” – you guys always change the argument when we’re talking about dropping bombs on them. Let’s watch as you do it again:

        2. But different cultures have a different conception of right and wrong.

          In Islam, raping women is considered right. In Islam, killing infidels is right.

          Islamic terrorists think what they are doing is moral and that the West is the immoral one.

          1. I agree completely, and I’ll say it again: if they embrace western values then we should let them in. Otherwise send ’em back. (For example, a test where they must draw a cartoon of Muhammed.) But still you must teach your children right and wrong, or don’t complain when they say, “But a muslim cleric on youtube told me it was right to kill people!”

        3. “Teach your children right and wrong then you don’t have to worry about them getting radicalized ”

          No, as they are free agents and can do whatever stupid fucking thing they decide to. No amount of educating can stop them from going however in hell they want to go, though it’s a fuck of a lot easier to find the path if a person starts out with some valid referents. My only point is that a person’s fuckuppedness can be maximised no matter how perfectly he’s raised. The only determiner is his own choice of belief. On the other hand, the salvation through ignorance folks are totally wrong and reducing the aperture of the memory stream is most certainly not going to improve the moral sturdiness of the youth. Censorship favours moral weaklings and the dishonorable.

    3. “Cruz might be slightly better but unlikely for long”

      What evidence do you have that backs up that assumption ?

  11. I honestly believe Trump just likes to hear his own voice.

    http://www.Full-VPN.tk

    1. Technological Singularity is nigh!

      1. Someone better scorch the sky, I think the matrix was just born.

      2. Someone better scorch the sky, I think the matrix was just born.

  12. Setting aside the desirability of a GOP victory . . .

    The cost of Cruz’s polarization strategy? Surrendering the middle and the future.

    Okay, when’s the last time the Republicans won a popular vote majority playing to voters in the middle, instead of running a polarizing candidate? C’mon.

    Romney lost. The “maverick” McCain lost. Iraq War Bush was polarizing, if not conservative, and won. “Compassionate Conservative” Bush was non-polarizing, and didn’t get the popular vote. “Dole lost. The Bush-41 who compromised on taxes with the Democrats lost. “No New Taxes” Reagan-Bush’s third term won. Reagan was very much polarizing. Ford was not polarizing, and he lost. Was Nixon polarizing? I would say so, though he, I grant, wasn’t very conservative.

    Sure, maybe 1964 could have been won by a moderate (or at least been less embarrassing), but every election since then has fit a simple-enough polarizing=win, moderate=lose formula for the GOP. The last two non-polarizing GOP presidential candidates to win a popular vote majority were Eisenhower and Hoover.

    So either Alex Castellanos and his ilk are fucking idiots on the same level as people who still spout Marxism despite the best efforts of reality to penetrate their skulls, or they’re lying Democrat operatives pretending to be pro-Republican. Either way they should be ridiculed.

    1. Sure, maybe 1964 could have been won by a moderate

      1964 is so unpredictable because of the assassination of Kennedy. Certainly Goldwater ran an inept campaign, but he was running against the ghost of JFK and the manufactured reality of Camelot.

      1. 1964 was certainly an anomaly by any standard.

        It is so frustrating to see candidate after candidate with no actual principles. If 51% of people in a poll say they want something, the candidate says he wants that too!

        When Rand Paul stood on principle and filibustered, he got people interested/talking. Then he runs to the center-right, and now he polls in the low single digits.

        I dislike Trump rather a lot, but I do get the feeling that he really believes much of what he says. At least that gives you something to vote for or against.

        1. Then he runs to the center-right, and now he polls in the low single digits.

          Yup

    2. Every time I hear a GOP establishment operative talk I think this.

      Mitt fuckin’ Romney? They ran an east coast liberal who invented and implemented Obamacare FFS, something nearly every republican voter hated with the heat of a thousand suns. The guy couldn’t have gotten elected dog catcher. That is who they thought would win.

      I have even heard that they have considered trying to get him to run again.

      These people are beyond incompetent.

    3. I would speculate that it’s a case of reverse causality; parties run more extreme candidates when they can afford to get away with it (when it looks like they have a sure win), and more moderate candidates when they’re in a losing position and desperately trying to win the center. For example, had the Dems run a a more moderate candidate than Obama, they might have won by an even wider margin, but what would be the point? Bush gave the such a big advantage they could afford to run someone further to the left and still win.

      Moderate candidates, imo, tend to lose because they are run in elections where a loss is almost inevitable anyway. Had the GOP run a candidate to the right of Romney (Santorum? Perry? don’t sound like winners to me), they still would have lost, perhaps by an even bigger margin.

  13. Alex Castellanos and his ilk are there to burn through the candidates money, winning isn’t part of the deal.

    1. Say what you will of Trump, his contract with a political consultant would be more detailed than the standard “Here’s $_____ million, go spend it and get 15% commission on the ads you book.”

  14. Hey, hey, so what about that missile heading for grandma’s house? How can Nick keep us hanging like that, nobody here cares about granny?

    1. Granny’s a jihadi – she got radicalized by online propaganda. Evidently she has a thing for thick bearded militants and they took advantage of her loneliness. Call your grandma before it’s too late.

    2. Paul Ryan pushed granny over a cliff in a wheelchair back in 2008. Her bone shards are scattered among the surf tossed shingle at the base of the cliff.

  15. I think libertarians need to prepare for a Trump presidency. I think he’ll beat Hillary like a rented mule. (Assuming she survives the election: her health seems terrible.)

    Trump likes to win, so libertarians need to tailor our ideas into things that look like winners to Trump. He’s a business guy, so he appreciates efficiency and hates waste.

    Yes, we won’t get everything we want, and the open borders types will have to take it in the shorts, but Trump is a good opportunity for a lot of changes that we should like. I can see Trump going along with closing entire cabinet departments.

    There’s going to be a big shake-up. Get ready to get accomplished what you can. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Remember, incrementalism is what got us into this semi-socialist bankrupt mess in the first place. The socialists didn’t just sit around and whine about how un-socialist the US was, they took over the Democratic Party and slowly made the country more socialist.

    Think judo: use your opponents momentum for your purposes.

    1. Hilarious. Libertarians for Donald Trump? Why not libertarians for Hitler and Mao? I’m not voting for any of the Republican nominees and pretty sure not for the Democratic ones either. It’s a pretty sorry scene to watch a once-principled movement throw up its hands and go along with whatever wall-builder and warmonger the RP puts forward. Or, maybe, you guys never had any principles at all and this talk about libertarianism is more bullshit put forward to prevent Black people and Mexicans from getting a dime from the taxpayer.

      1. Says the socialist who ideologically does support Mao and Hitler, both of whom purged undesirables by the millions. As long as your handle includes the word socialist and your commentary reeks of it, you have no grounds for lecturing anybody about principles.

    2. It really pains me to say this, but I agree with amsoc on this one. Donald Trump may have some accidental areas where he lines up with libertarian thought, but there’s no way he’s at all sympathetic to libertarian ideals if you look at his record. Sorry, but there’s nothing in his record that makes me think a Trump presidency will be at all good for libertarians on virtually any front.

      1. I’m not saying Trump is the ideal libertarian candidate, of course. I’m saying that even if he isn’t an ally, he can be an opportunity.

        I’m saying libertarians should emulate Fabian socialists: get what you can, when you can. And there is some overlap between the Trump/populist positions and libertarian positions. And where there aren’t, make some. At times of revolution, things are in flux. Come up with things that he might go for: selling useless federal property. Shrinking and turning the Department of education into a bureau inside HHS. That sort of thing.

        1. I don’t think Donald Trump cares what libertarians think regardless of how they tailor their ideas.

          1. But he cares about succeeding and looking good. That’s my point.

  16. “There’s no question that we need a leaner, less-intrusive government when it comes to the economy, for sure,”

    Why? Unemployment is at 5% now with a milquetoast centrist President. What evidence is there that we need to change course and replace successful policies with some right-wing Extremist?

    “but capitalism always finds a way to regain productivity (not that entrepreneurs and businesses and all of us should have to fight through useless regulations).”

    Rates of entrepreneurship are down. Again, what evidence is there that an economy built on people designing picture-sharing and music-downloading apps is any better than an economy built on people who work at jobs or for the government? Economic growth in the 20th century was highest when most people were working for the government in order to defeat Nazism.

    1. LPR, licencing fees to start any brick and mortar/ service business.

    2. Who the president is has nothing to do with the economy. That being said, labor participation is at horrid levels, so the unemployment statistic is misleading as hell. Of course I’m sure you knew that.

      Also, economic growth was not highest during World War II, but only looks that way when you factor in government spending which of course was at extreme levels, but that’s a problem with the definition of GDP. That spending generated loads of subsequent problems with inflation and other issues, so you need to have a much more sophisticated analysis when making such claims that just comparing GDP numbers which have hosts of flaws. Then again, I don’t expect anything more than bloviation from you, so I won’t hold my breath.

      1. The rational, emotionless economy doesn’t care who’s paying. Capitalism never even promised to deliver full employment, not under any theory of it. That’s not even part of the deal.

        1. I see some arm waving but no point.

        2. What did that screed even mean? And what did it have to do with the topic under discussion?

          Proposition: Obama = great economy
          Me: Obama doesn’t have anything to do with the economy and it isn’t great in any event
          Tony: Capitalism bad!!!

          Maybe you are a bot.

        3. Tony|1.10.16 @ 10:40PM|#
          “The rational, emotionless economy doesn’t care who’s paying.”

          Tony reports in full of shit as always. stealing from productive people and then paying them back does not develop the economy, so, yes, the economy cares who’s paying if the money is stolen.

        4. Deal? Promise? What are you even talking about? Cyclically adjusted full employment is in fact best achieved by a free (“capitalist”) labor market. If producers were permitted to hire workers at the market wage, and were made to compete with each other for market share, any unemployed workers would be readily hired a a lower wage by those evil capitalists so they could lower costs, and therefore prices, so they could gain an advantage over competitors (and also, in turn make their customers better off), and the only unemployment would be the inevitable (but generally short-term) seasonal and structural unemployment. But thanks to your wonderful government, we have a bunch of wage controls, price controls, licensing regulations, and government sanctioned monopolies and oligopolies make doing most of that stuff impossible, and what of it is possible takes a lot of time and money and effort and redtape. So, government hires the people in line to dig ditches, and kinda sorta not really solves a problem it created. Progressive success story!

        5. Yes, you’ve stumbled upon an important point.

          Capitalism just describes free people exchanging goods and services. It makes no promises.

          Politicians promise infinite growth and everyone being taken care of, regardless of what happens.

          Guess who is really full of shit.

    3. Why? Unemployment is at 5% now with a milquetoast centrist President. What evidence is there that we need to change course and replace successful policies with some right-wing Extremist?

      With a Participation Rate of only sixty- two percent, that unemployment rate looks like a big fat statistical lie.

      1. Well he’s a socialist, so he’d probably just send all the retired people, insufficiently (part-time) employed, and discouraged unemployed to labor camps, so I guess that’s why he doesn’t count them,

    4. 5% unemployment doesn’t mean much when the participation rate is at a 30 year low. And only a socialist would call Obama a centrist and Trump an extremist. Honesty and socialists don’t mix very well.

      1. WhatAboutBob|1.10.16 @ 9:45PM|#
        “…And only a socialist would call Obama a centrist and Trump an extremist….”

        Not quite. A lying piece of shit like commie-kid would regardless of his supposed political leanings.
        Presume if commie-kid posts, it’s a lie. You will be correct far more often than the alternative; the slimy twit is pathological.

    5. Commie-kid proves his ignorance one more time:
      “Again, what evidence is there that an economy built on people designing picture-sharing and music-downloading apps is any better than an economy built on people who work at jobs or for the government?”

      In the first instance, there is a free exchange in which both parties gain; that is axiomatic even among lefty econs.
      In the second instance, the money was coerced from the owner, so there was an immediate loss of value, and there are few gov’t programs sufficient to recover that value.
      If there were, it would not require the gov’t stealing money; people would eagerly trade to accomplish those goals.
      I know your stupidity is such that this will never get through to you; just admit that adults have certain knowledge that fucking brain-dead, infantile ‘socialists’ will forever ignore, leading to, oh, the USSR and mass murder.
      What a piece of shit…

    6. Of course, the government using expropriated money to pay people to dig ditches no one needs is far more productive than companies manufacturing goods people actually wanted in order to stay in business because they don’t get to force their customers to buy their goods on threat of throwing them in a fucking box.

      And in case you didn’t notice, that milquetoast centrist” president is running half a trilling dollar a year deficit in a time of supposed prosperity. Don’t you read your Kenyes? Deficits are for recessions. Even assuming the economy remains stable (and recent news isn’t auspicious on that front), in a few years it’ll be the largest deficit proportional to gdp in US history combined with the slowest long-term growth in US history. Now explain to me again how this deficit financed sub-standard growth is markedly different from a pyramid scheme?

  17. “there is increasing concern among the GOP Washington establishment, in which I confess card-carrying membership,”

    Let ’em fret! Who cares about “GOP Washington establishment” and what they’re concerned about. They’re all a crowd of do nothings. As far as “leading us to ruin,” one can only laugh. How ’bout Dole, Bush, Bush, McCain and Romney. To what, if not to ruin, have they led us?

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