This was a pretty stupid week, in terms of the news cycle.  People did stupid and nonsensical things and everybody dwelled over it, even as we all got sick. Maybe we were all high on cough medicine?

I know!  Let’s dwell on it some more (and have some more of that delicious Robitussin).  First off, I’ll take one more stab at Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury before it is completely forgotten.  I went to all the trouble of making this fun infographic for your enjoyment.

As I’ve said, the book is more about Bannon than anything else.  I didn’t filter out mentions of “Trump Administration” or “Trump Tower”, so Bannon’s prominence in the book is actually downplayed on that graph.  Also, you are reading that correctly.  The word “Jew” appears more times than “Mueller” or “Manafort”.  Here’s a bizarre example that didn’t get much attention while this book was being discussed in the media.

Something like half of the uses of “Jew” are over the course of five pages and it seems that Wolff was just trying to see how many times he could cram the word into a few passages.  Of course he mentions that Trump is a big Jew hater, but then he throws the word around like he thinks that it’s some sort of kryptonite to Trump.

Anyway, I found it weird that the Mueller investigation was less important to Wolff’s narrative than highlighting all the Jewy Jews that Jew-bashing Trump Jewed in Jew York even as his now-Jew daughter married a Jew leading him to placate all the Jews in the Jewish state of Israel because he’s a Jew who wears his faith like Jewelry.  Jew, Jew, Jew, Jew, Jew, Jew, Jew…

I guess that’s it for Wolff, since the book’s credibility has been ripped to shreds and its protagonist, Bannon, has been broken.

Senator Feinstein, who has previously pissed off liberal voters by stating that no evidence has been found that Trump colluded with muh Russians, delighted them when she released the Fusion GPS transcripts without consulting anyone else on the Senate Intelligence Committee.  I suppose she did it out of spite for Senator Grassley sending a criminal referral to the DOJ over Christopher Steele, but she hasn’t been clear on her reasoning.

First she was trying to “clear the record”.  Next it was because she was “pressured”.  And then it was “I had a cold”.  Whatever, the true reason, Feinstein should not have done this because the investigation was still ongoing and it’s going to influence the testimony of future witnesses.  Or maybe that was her intention since it’s her party that is most tangled up with Fusion GPS’s potential interference in the 2016 election.

She should be suspended from the intelligence committee pending the outcome of an ethics investigation.  Nunes was removed from the House committee temporarily for less than this.

Can we make it through another post without invoking the “shithole” word?  Of course not.  I now firmly believe that Trump is an evil and depraved man for suggesting that countries in which brown people live are awful and that we shouldn’t simply let them move here.  Nor should we should compare them to predominately white countries.  I have seen the error of my ways because this was a perspective once advocated by that known xenophobic, Alt-Right racist maniac, uhhh, Lindsay Graham.

Well, that’s just awkward.  Here I thought that Trump was being influenced by me and it turns out that I was really being influenced by Graham.  He has been in control all along and has better words than Trump.   There are those who will try to convince me that this is somehow different from what Trump said but….(whispers)….it fucking isn’t.

Seeing journalists run around repeating “shithole!” at every opportunity makes me laugh.  It’s sort of like how Thrill Jr will watch a movie like Big Ass Spider or Hellboy and he gets a such a kick out of saying the title over and over again.  In his case, it’s just because he knows his mom can’t get mad at him for saying “ass” and “hell” if he’s just saying the name of a movie he likes.  Doesn’t matter what the movie is about.  He just likes saying funny words.  Similarly, journalists aren’t providing the public with a rational debate on immigration policy nor do they care.  It’s all about the funny “shithole” word.  Amateurs.

From my point of view, the furor over “shitholes” wasn’t the most exasperating bit of gibberish this week.  No, that honor belongs to 9th Circuit Federal Judge William Alsup.  I defy anyone to try and surpass this tweet’s perfection at summarizing the lunacy that a president cannot nullify by executive order his immediate predecessor’s unconstitutional executive order.

You can’t.  You also can’t rationalize this ruling, as the Supreme Court will eventually demonstrate.  This is full-on rogue court behavior.  Just in case you think it’s funny, keep in mind that Democratic presidents will be dealing with a multitude of Trump nominees for decades to come, thanks to all of the unfilled vacancies during Obama’s term.

So you think the Republicans are the only experts at blowing easily winnable Senate elections by entertaining parody campaigns such as Roy Moore’s and Joe Arpaio’s?  Naive fool.  Are you ready for Democratic Senator Chelsea Manning, 2018?

Honestly, I cope with it all by just reminding myself that this chaotic phase must eventually come to an end.  Also, I drink lots of cough syrup.  Sure, I occasionally find pieces of mailboxes stuck in the grill of my car and accidentally release classified information from ongoing intelligence probes, but that’s the way I’m living.

Oh, the Trump Curse hit Oprah hard this week, turning her home into a shithole when it was revealed that she was even considering running for president in 2020.  And you wonder why I shill so much for Trump?  I’m too frightened not to.

Some non-gibberish I enjoyed this week.  It’s sort of nice to get the “Trump really did want to become president, has been working toward that goal for a long time, and used profound psychological techniques to achieve it” perspective from someone other than Scott Adams every now and then.

Admittedly, I’m a couple of months late on discovering it, but there it is.

Also, here’s something non-political from Vox that taught me something I didn’t know.  Why do people think they can improve their shithole kitchens with granite countertops?

There’s more that I’m sure I’ve forgotten in my Ny-Quil haze.  What shall we talk about?

No, wait.  About what should we talk?

That’s not right either.  What shall we discuss?

30 comments

  1. I can see by the reactions of the resident conservatives here that we should consider the shithole comment a flub from a guy we should know by now “speaks from the hip.” I can also see that, while we’re supposed to believe that this is a flub, it also draws from these same people a hidden truth about how they feel. They feel that we should not be taking immigrants fromshitholes, third world nations, despotic regimes, or whatever term they say might have been better, but ultimately makes the point valid.

    I think what rubs people that are not trump supporters raw is that, when taken cumulatively with his stance on Charlottesville it is hard for him to protest being called a racist without the whole thing ringing hollow.

    In my opinion, trump IS a racist, albeit not by personal experience. I think he approaches it partly from the callous “this is what my base wants” entertainer viewpoint, and partly because his fortune (and world) has been built on the bedrock of shitting on minorities to get ahead.

    In New York he was vocal about putting away black men in prison for a rape…, A rape they didn’t commit. When they were exonerated in a court of law, trump offered no retraction or apology for the lynching spectacle he created.

    Trump was a slum lord, taking advantage of poor blacks that were his renters. Trump spread lies about obama not being born in America. Trump ignored, and then endorsed the Nazis marching in Charlottesville.

    Trump has now called predominantly black and poor nations shitholes, and STILL people insist on defending this behavior.

    Trump has no place as a world leader. He’s a shame of a man. He’s pathetic, a liar, a cheater, and not honorable in any measurable way I’ve seen since he’s taken office.

    I don’t think it should be too difficult to admonish trump’s bad behavior and counter productive commentary.

    Unless you really are getting what you wanted by voting for this man. Are you?

  2. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jan/14/trump-accuses-wall-street-journal-of-fake-news-ove/

    President Trump on Sunday added the Wall Street Journal to his list of “Fake News” offenders, saying the newspaper intentionally misquoted him.

    “The Wall Street Journal stated falsely that I said to them “I have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un” (of N. Korea). Obviously I didn’t say that. I said “I’d have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” a big difference. Fortunately we now record conversations with reporters,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.

    He continued, “and they knew exactly what I said and meant. They just wanted a story. FAKE NEWS!”

    The report last week set off speculation that Mr. Trump secretly had direct communications with Mr. Kim.

    So which is it? “I” or “I’d”? I think it’s “I’d”. That’s what I hear and the proceeding “probably” makes it more likely that it’s what he intended to say.

    Listen for yourself.

    https://twitter.com/WSJ/status/952404617261961216

  3. They feel that we should not be taking immigrants fromshitholes, third world nations, despotic regimes, or whatever term they say might have been better, but ultimately makes the point valid.

    I don’t believe we should be taking immigrants from those countries JUST BECAUSE they’re from those countries. If you tell me, “Well, we must accept 50,000 people a year from multiple Third World countries on the grounds that we don’t get enough people from those countries”, I want to know why we’re arbitrarily bringing in thousands of these people simply because of where they’re from and not basing it strictly on their qualifications.

    There’s no reason why we can’t have a merit-based immigration policy such as what Trump favors that says we’ll bring in 50,000 primary care doctors, nuclear physicists, or data scientists from the Third World. What we don’t need are 50,000 more Uber drivers.

    In my opinion, trump IS a racist

    And I just don’t care. Trump may not like black people very much. But it doesn’t make his policies racist. If I tell you that I want strict curbs on immigration because immigrants from Third World countries depress wages, burden public education and social welfare programs at the expense of American citizens, and so on; you saying “Well, opposing immigration from the Third World is racist!” isn’t an argument to any of that.

    Trump has now called predominantly black and poor nations shitholes, and STILL people insist on defending this behavior.

    Failed states that are overrun with extreme poverty, corruption, radicalism, and civil war ARE shitholes. If they weren’t, people wouldn’t be trying to leave them.

    I don’t think it should be too difficult to admonish trump’s bad behavior and counter productive commentary.

    It isn’t. I even said on my main post on the Shithole Posting that I thought he should apologize for the shithole remark (even though there’s plenty of reason now to believe that it isn’t true he said that).

    But I also think that people such who hate Trump automatically assign the worst motives for every single thing he does, engage in the worst sorts of histrionics over every move he makes, lie about him and his supporters, and live in a sort of reality all their own.

    It’s gotten so bad, that even David Brooks says that the Anti-Trump Movement is getting “dumber.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/08/opinion/anti-trump-opposition.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

    I see your comments week after week where you launch into these tirades over Trump and I get it. You hate him. I have never once suggested that you shouldn’t if you think he’s genuinely a bad guy. But you can certainly hate him and still make an effort to understand what he’s doing or what the effects of his policies are without every single conversation revolving around “He’s racist”.

    Unless you really are getting what you wanted by voting for this man. Are you?

    Yes, I am. I’m currently satisfied.

    I’ll remind everyone again that I started out as anti-Trump and stayed that way until around this time in 2016. I went “leans Trump” because I felt it necessary to vote against Clinton. Had the GOP nominated Trump and the Democrats nominated Biden, Sanders, Webb, or pretty much anybody else in 2016, I wouldn’t have voted for Trump.

    Since then, I’d say I’ve gone from “leans Trump” to “solid Trump”. Go back to my posts from almost a year ago and you’ll see that I used to be much more skeptical of him. What’s different now?

    What primarily changed with me is that he’s following through on the policies that he said he would on the campaign trail that I agreed with: conservative judges, strong but non-interventionist foreign policy, and stricter immigration. I like the tax bill he has signed into law, am happy that he stopped Obama-style micromanaging in the ISIS war, and am pleased with our national economic performance.

    But you know what? I still agree that he’s an amoral sleaze and I’m perfectly willing to criticize him. I even called much of the Wolff book “plausible” and recommended that everyone read it.

    If it looks like I constantly defend Trump and think he’s a great guy, it’s only because the attacks against him are so frequently dishonest and constantly over-the-top that I genuinely think he looks good compared to his detractors.

    Maybe NeverTrumpers could acknowledge, one year into Trump’s presidency, that all of the horrific things they probably expected to happen when he first got elected haven’t come to pass and that the country isn’t doing too bad in spite of his shittweeting?

    Seriously, I don’t expect anyone else to go anti-Trump to pro-Trump like I did, but I would like to see some real introspection every once in a while.

    I wish someone would surprise me this week. Can we have an honest to God, fact-based discussion about the merits of continuing the Visa Lottery Program without emotionally screeching about how hurtful the word “shitholes” is when we’re describing poor countries where people don’t want to live and how Trump is a mean racist? I know the media is incapable of this, but surely we’re up to it here.

  4. Well said Judge Dredd, Pro Se.

    I even said on my main post on the Shithole Posting that I thought he should apologize for the shithole remark

    No point apologising if it’s not genuine. I’ll give him that – we never get bullshit apologies from him, because he never apologises. You all knew this going in – is it ok to have a President who is prone to saying stupid shit, and never apologises. You might be ok with the first, but are you ok with both?
    Ah, who am I kidding, he wasn’t Hillary, literally none of his flaws mattered at all.

    But I also think that people such who hate Trump automatically assign the worst motives for every single thing he does, engage in the worst sorts of histrionics over every move he makes, lie about him and his supporters, and live in a sort of reality all their own.

    What about the people that don’t hate him automatically, but who keep getting told they do when they dare to criticise him? Presumably they don’t exist.

    I’m fascinated by this strategy some people have adopted of spending pretty much ALL their time on the reaction so they don’t have to deal with the fact that he’s fucked up again. Again, I can only imagine the shit fit if Obama had called other countries/regions ‘shitholes’. The right would have called him an international embarrassment. We’d never hear the end of it. And yet this kind of shit is a weekly thing for Trump.

    I know the media is incapable of this, but surely we’re up to it here.

    As I said in the other thread, you supported a guy who is always going to leave you frustrated because he’s more interested in the emotional screeching and snowflaking and who is against him than actual policy. You can hardly complain about it now. You can’t like a guy who actively tries to piss as many people off as possible, and then complain that the focus isn’t on the right thing.

  5. I’m also in the camp that you can’t compartmentalise as much as you seemingly want to do. The guy is the leader of your country and supposedly the free world. Who he is and what he says matters, not matter how much you constantly want to trivalise.

  6. No point apologising if it’s not genuine.

    Also, there’s no point in apologizing if you didn’t actually say what you’re accused of saying. Trump has taken that stance. Are you able to entertain the possibility that he didn’t say something stupid here and doesn’t need to apologize?

    What about the people that don’t hate him automatically, but who keep getting told they do when they dare to criticise him? Presumably they don’t exist.

    People can and do make substantive arguments about Trump’s policies without engaging in the knee-jerk emotional hatred that I’m talking about. Even I’ve criticized him on this blog over Syria and Afghanistan, among other topics, and nobody said that I hated Trump. But then, I was doing over his policies, not because I was getting the vapors over his mean tweets.

    I’m fascinated by this strategy some people have adopted of spending pretty much ALL their time on the reaction so they don’t have to deal with the fact that he’s fucked up again.

    I don’t think he fucked up. He’s somehow managed to have it shake out where his base is reassured that he’s not preparing to betray them on DACA while simultaneously discredited the media’s characterization of what he said by having other members of Congress who were in the room deny that he even said it.

    Just because it made people who already hate him mad doesn’t make it a fuck up. All he has to do is keep his base loyal and engaged and this controversy is doing that. It’s just a fact, like it or not.

    Again, I can only imagine the shit fit if Obama had called other countries/regions ‘shitholes’.

    Why would he have done that? He wanted more immigrants from those countries.

    Instead, Obama only criticized Americans by calling us bitter clingers and teabaggers. We had every right to have a shit fit over it.

    As I said in the other thread, you supported a guy who is always going to leave you frustrated because he’s more interested in the emotional screeching and snowflaking and who is against him than actual policy.

    It wouldn’t matter. Your ilk screeched equally about Bush and he never said things like Trump does. Didn’t do much good. Besides, what makes you think I’m frustrated with Trump? As I said, I’m more pro-Trump now than I was a year ago.

    You can’t like a guy who actively tries to piss as many people off as possible, and then complain that the focus isn’t on the right thing.

    See, the accusation that Trump “actively tries to piss” people off is the sort of emotional, “dumb” anti-Trumpism I’m referring to.

    He isn’t trying to piss people off. Don’t you understand how silly that idea is? Really, you quoted this part. Did you read it?

    But I also think that people such who hate Trump automatically assign the worst motives for every single thing he does, engage in the worst sorts of histrionics over every move he makes, lie about him and his supporters, and live in a sort of reality all their own.

    It’s that self-awareness thing brownbag was talking about again.

    I’m also in the camp that you can’t compartmentalise as much as you seemingly want to do.

    Here’s the difference between me and you. You think I compartmentalize and I think you delude yourself.

    If you have someone you admire, such as Obama, you have to convince yourself that he is flawless. This is why I’ve never seen you once entertain a single criticism of him. Similarly, I’ve never once seen you say a single positive thing about Trump, no matter how minor, or even express any skepticism about anything negative about him whatsoever.

    To you, good is ALWAYS good and bad is ALWAYS bad. You are 100% predictable on every issue and utterly impossible to debate on every topic because you don’t think about anything that doesn’t suit the worldview you have staked out for yourself. You don’t care about facts, just your version of absolute truths.

    Trump is an evil, racist idiot as far as you’re concerned. That means everything he ever does is evil, racist, and idiotic regardless of the actual policy impacts. There can be no exceptions and your arguments never give me any surprises, as I lamented in my reply to JDPS.

    I think Trump has both bad and good qualities. He does things that I agree and disagree with. On balance, I usually agree and that’s why I’m inclined to be favorable to him. I don’t have to compartmentalize. I look at the overall big picture and say he’s good or bad on balance, taking everything into account, which you are apparently incapable of doing or just unwilling to do with your black-and-white dichotomy.

  7. Are you able to entertain the possibility that he didn’t say something stupid here and doesn’t need to apologize?

    Sure. It’s possible. Just very unlikely. Particularly as so many Republicans believe it happened (including apparently Graham, who was in the room). So yeah not just the Dem witnesses. Or the massive delaying in addressing it. Or the reasoning behind that, which is that he was calling to see the reaction. but sure, as they say in every good courtroom drama, it isn’t impossible, so it’s possible. That you’re willing to constantly give such a huge benefit of the doubt is at least an interesting.

    People can and do make substantive arguments about Trump’s policies without engaging in the knee-jerk emotional hatred that I’m talking about. Even I’ve criticized him on this blog over Syria and Afghanistan, among other topics, and nobody said that I hated Trump. But then, I was doing over his policies, not because I was getting the vapors over his mean tweets.

    That’s just the thing, you’re requiring people to compartmentalise like you. Expect the POTUS is a position which is significantly more than just policy. It’s perfectly natural and reasonable for people to have a reaction or want to discuss everything else (i.e. who the guy is and how that constantly manifests itself, and the actual damage it does). A lot of it is meaningful, no matter how you might want to think it isn’t, or denigrate those who think it is. But it’s not even about an emotional reaction. A tweet can wipe a massive amount of value off a stock.

    All he has to do is keep his base loyal and engaged and this controversy is doing that.

    To what end? All he has to do for who?

    Instead, Obama only criticized Americans by calling us bitter clingers and teabaggers. We had every right to have a shit fit over it.

    There are plenty of Americans from countries he has abused (not just this time).

    Besides, what makes you think I’m frustrated with Trump?

    You said:

    Can we have an honest to God, fact-based discussion about the merits of continuing the Visa Lottery Program without emotionally screeching about how hurtful the word “shitholes” is when we’re describing poor countries where people don’t want to live and how Trump is a mean racist?

    You seem frustrated by the natural result of having Trump as President, in that policy usually has to take a back seat because of his new round of drama. But this is what you voted for – a shit-show for four years.

    See, the accusation that Trump “actively tries to piss” people off is the sort of emotional, “dumb” anti-Trumpism I’m referring to.

    Well, you like to explain it as (a subset of) ‘activating his base’. Same thing really though.

    If you have someone you admire, such as Obama, you have to convince yourself that he is flawless.

    No way was Obama flawless. Surveillance, drones, TPPA, for example. Nobody is flawless.

    Similarly, I’ve never once seen you say a single positive thing about Trump, no matter how minor, or even express any skepticism about anything negative about him whatsoever.

    I literally just wrote that he doesn’t give bullshit apologies.

    To you, good is ALWAYS good and bad is ALWAYS bad. You are 100% predictable on every issue and utterly impossible to debate on every topic because you don’t think about anything that doesn’t suit the worldview you have staked out for yourself. You don’t care about facts, just your version of absolute truths.

    Well then you don’t know me very well. There were good right-wing arguers on Moorewatch forums who changed my mind on some things, or at least moved me across. Hal has done that too.

    Trump is an evil, racist idiot as far as you’re concerned.

    Well here go immediately: I detest how people misuse the concept of evil, i.e. as a lazy copout. There is nothing ‘evil’ about Trump. I don’t even really think he’s an idiot (dependent on the definition I guess). It’s clear to me that he’s racist though, yes. By looking at all the evidence and considering the likelihood of every one of the cases being a misunderstanding or a coincidence, and then the whole series being a series of coincidences.

    That means everything he ever does is evil, racist, and idiotic regardless of the actual policy impacts.

    Accusing someone of taking that view isn’t too different from being like that.

    There can be no exceptions and your arguments never give me any surprises

    And you’re different how?

    Ok, here we go:
    I don’t actually have strong liberal views on immigration – I agree with the general principle that each country should be able to determine their own immigration policies. The issue here has been the ramifications of how your President has behaved again (and no, not on pearl-clutchers, or those who hate Trump anyway). And, despite the steaming pile that brownbag (whoever he/she is) is trying to sell, I’ve largely stayed out of discussions about guns in the US. Primarily because it’s a very American issue as you have a unique situation, and it doesn’t impact the rest of the world. I’ve written many times (at RTFTLC but probably more on Moorewatch forums) that I don’t know what the answer is (or if there even is one).

    I look at the overall big picture and say he’s good or bad on balance, taking everything into account, which you are apparently incapable of doing or just unwilling to do with your black-and-white dichotomy.

    I couldn’t disagree more. I think you’re extremely narrowly focused. It’s usually on what he needs to do to keep his base (notwithstanding the effect that it might have on everyone else), or on short-term American interests (even if counter-productive over the longer terms), and you ignore, dismiss, downplay or simply mock the negative aspects/impacts of Trump being President.
    Do you think Trump has used the Presidency to make him or his companies money?

  8. Sure. It’s possible. Just very unlikely. Particularly as so many Republicans believe it happened (including apparently Graham, who was in the room).

    Graham, lol. Did you read the post? Graham said almost the exact same thing on television that Trump did.

    So yeah not just the Dem witnesses.

    Have any other Democratic witnesses besides Durbin come forward?

    Fun trivia fact: Dick Durbin has lied about this kind of thing before.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/dick-durbin-repubican-leader-obama-098720

    In a ‘negotiation’ meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: ‘I cannot even stand to look at you,’” Durbin wrote in a post on his Facebook page over the weekend. Even Durbin’s White House friends contradict this story. White House flack Jay Carney refuted Durbin’s claim yesterday: “I looked into this, and spoke to somebody who was in that meeting, and it did not happen.” Following Carney’s comments, John Boehner released a statement calling for a retraction and apology from Durbin.

    Trump is on solid ground not apologizing.

    That you’re willing to constantly give such a huge benefit of the doubt is at least an interesting.

    I’m not doing that. I’ve said that I think he said it or something similar. Where we disagree is that I don’t find any fault with it, aside from diplomatic repercussions. You, on the other hand, are willing to give Graham a pass for saying the same thing. Weird.

    A tweet can wipe a massive amount of value off a stock.

    A tweet can also carry forward an easily understood idea to millions of users and simplify a larger strategy. It can provide guidance, direction, and influence. Watch the Meme video on the post.

    You seem frustrated by the natural result of having Trump as President, in that policy usually has to take a back seat because of his new round of drama.

    No, frustration is not anything I’m experiencing at this time. It’s pretty funny you think that I would blame Trump for the neurotic behavior of his opponents though.

    Well, you like to explain it as (a subset of) ‘activating his base’. Same thing really though.

    “Pissing off people” for its own sake, as you suggested, and providing messaging to one’s supporters are not the same thing at all.

    No way was Obama flawless. Surveillance, drones, TPPA, for example.

    Would you like to take this opportunity to surprise me by praising Trump for killing the TPPA?

    The issue here has been the ramifications of how your President has behaved again (and no, not on pearl-clutchers, or those who hate Trump anyway).

    Again, it’s that he’s said mean things (or alleged to have in some cases), not about the actual policy proposals.

    I think you’re extremely narrowly focused. It’s usually on what he needs to do to keep his base (notwithstanding the effect that it might have on everyone else)

    I examine what actions he takes and logically believe that most of what he does is intended to preserve his base. This is a safe thing for him to do at this time and I remark on it because I’m trying to understand what he’s doing.

    Should the GOP lose Congress in 2018, it will be very interesting because if he tries to only appeal to his base, he’ll get nothing done for the rest of his term like post-2010 Obama. But if he triangulates for the benefit of “everyone else” to work with Democrats to get legislation passed, he might alienate his base and risk losing in 2020. Or maybe he’ll broaden his appeal.

    Whatever he does, I’ll be watching and commenting on it. For now, I believe that he’s found it most prudent to play to his base. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me saying it because it will have broader consequences as Trump’s presidency goes on. It doesn’t mean I have a narrow focus, it just means that I’m analyzing what he’s doing. I think he’s more calculating than his opponents do.

    or on short-term American interests (even if counter-productive over the longer terms)

    Which interests do you consider to be short-term?

    and you ignore, dismiss, downplay or simply mock the negative aspects/impacts of Trump being President.

    I’m sorry, did you mistake me for a neutral observer in all of this? I support Trump and most of his key planks, particularly those that are the most important issues impacting the US at this point in our history.

    Part of the reason for the stories I choose to post on is what I think is actually significant. The other part is my personality, which carries a decidedly Absurdist outlook. But I’m up for discussing anything such as…

    Do you think Trump has used the Presidency to make him or his companies money?

    No, I don’t. I mean, if he was planning to do that, it hasn’t worked if his declining Forbes net worth is any indicator.

    I originally thought, when I was anti-Trump, that he was running for president as a publicity stunt to launch some new venture, but I don’t anymore. There were plenty of ways, far more easy and less risky, than becoming richer than by being president.

  9. I wish someone would surprise me this week. Can we have an honest to God, fact-based discussion about the merits of continuing the Visa Lottery Program without emotionally screeching about how hurtful the word “shitholes” is when we’re describing poor countries where people don’t want to live and how Trump is a mean racist?

    Ok. Here goes.

    Here’s why I think the comment (assuming it was said) is racist and wrongheaded, and indicates that Trumps worldview is actually getting in the way of sensible policy.

    “How many years of school does it take before you’re Norweigan?” H/T : J. Lovett.

    The fact of the matter is, that where the people come from is entirely irrelevant to whether the person will be a good fit for the USA.

    There’s no reason why we can’t have a merit-based immigration policy such as what Trump favors that says we’ll bring in 50,000 primary care doctors, nuclear physicists, or data scientists from the Third World. What we don’t need are 50,000 more Uber drivers. – Thrill

    If this is your aim, then surely you don’t care which countries the immigrants come from? Why even make the comment is all you care about is merit? Unless for some reason you’re assuming that the person coming from the African country is less innately intelligent than someone coming from a white country. This is what Trumps comment reveals – it’s that even if he wants a merit based immigration system, his wrongheaded racist views are actively getting in the way of that aim.

    So:

    If I tell you that I want strict curbs on immigration because immigrants from Third World countries depress wages, burden public education and social welfare programs at the expense of American citizens, and so on; you saying “Well, opposing immigration from the Third World is racist!” isn’t an argument to any of that.

    If you’re saying that the reason that this happens is that they weren’t born with the magic American gene that automatically makes them successful, then yes, it is racist. Opposing immigration from the third world just because that’s where people are from is racist. Like if I said I didn’t want any Americans coming to live here in NZ because their inherent ignorance would put a burden on the school system.

    So – on the one hand Trump is saying he wants a merit based system, but on the other hand he’s attempting to make selections based on race (which is not a merit based system, unless you subscribe to the view that other races are inherently inferior. Hence Racist)

  10. Lmao. No, Thrill, I think WE get it. You don’t have any motivation to discuss the ACTUAL POLICIES Trump is foisting on the American public, why or why not it might deeply offend swaths of the American public for an elected leader to “speak from the hip” the way he has (I mean, just my relationship would at least justify a raised eyebrow, but you don’t seem to sympathize), and really the policy issues the Trump administration has actually accomplished many would like to discuss (ie. net neutrality, Trump’s tax subsidy plan, repeal of environmental issues for offshore drilling, except for Florida). We’ll just drone on about whether source is REALLY, REALLY correct on whether Trump said shithole or not. Or, did he really MEAN shithole? Or let’s admonish others for using cognitive association based on Trump’s past statements to INFER he probably means shithole in the racial context, by using free association to divorce him from his statements and policy decisions.

    Those arguments seem to devote pages of ink to. Not a word on what the actual policies getting voted through are doing for the nation, or a discussion about how trump has “solved the opiate epidemic”, or “raised the living standard of Americans” back to where “we were great again.”

    I do get it. This is your president, and you agree 100 percent with what he is doing and saying, more or less. This is better than Hillary Clinton, to you. All of it, apparently.

    I dont hate Trump, but I don’t see why you think I wouldn’t be justified, even if I did. Nope, you don’t see it from the angle of a Californian, in a multi-cultural familial and romantic relationship. It’s just hate trump. I mean, he’s only completely ignored the state through THREE natural disasters, the deaths of innocent people, and said absolutely not one word of condolence or declared the state a national disaster for aid.

    He HAS called our judicial system a kangaroo court for letting a Mexican national go free in a jury trial for lack of evidence, he is erecting a wall in California that less than 5 percent of the state actually wants here by imposing his federal authority on our internal political positions, and he’s turned a dumbo eared, inbred hillbilly lackey he appointed to a position of legal authority by nepotism to rescind our state’s rights to peacefully vote laws in to govern ourselves.

    I mean, if there were a reason to hate someone, it would be for vindictive policies and blatant racially motivated hate mongering, but I digress.

    Trump hasn’t started ANY social issue dumpster fire that isn’t racially motivated or divisive. You can go right down the list from his Mexican race baiting, to fucking with a peaceful protest because the participants were black athletes, to sending vocal support to Neo-nazis who were protesting armed and violently, to demeaning people of many nations friendly to the United States by a comparison to a white nation.

    I know you’ll be in the trenches digging the sand bags to defend each and every one, but don’t think people can’t see the pattern and aren’t allowed to call it bullshit.

  11. Trump is on solid ground not apologizing.

    There we go – your assessment here appears to be solely about what will keep his base happy. Not for what is good or reasonable or appropriate beyond that. Do you recognise that what his base wants might not be good/resonable/appropriate beyond that? He’s much more than just ‘President of His Base’.
    He and others have agreed that the sentiment was accurate (and you agree that “he said it or something similar”), so the exact wording used actually isn’t all that important.

    Where we disagree is that I don’t find any fault with it, aside from diplomatic repercussions.

    So why do you want a POTUS who regularly does things that have diplomatic repercussions? Are they that unimportant? Were they important when the last guy was in charge?

    A tweet can also carry forward an easily understood idea to millions of users and simplify a larger strategy. It can provide guidance, direction, and influence. Watch the Meme video on the post.

    True, but that would involve an alternative universe where the person tweeting was not impulsive and didn’t constantly just repeat what he saw on Fox News. Again, this is Trump, if you like the use of Twitter by a POTUS because of the potential it provides, you are accepting the negatives.
    And again, your assessment of Trump here seems to be solely about whether he’s maintaining his base. The base he got partly by being offensive and childish.

    It’s pretty funny you think that I would blame Trump for the neurotic behavior of his opponents though.

    Not what I said. I’m observing the ongoing attention to how people respond (much of it reasonable, some of it over-the-top), rather than the ramifications of what he’s actually done/said.

    “Pissing off people” for its own sake, as you suggested, and providing messaging to one’s supporters are not the same thing at all.

    Very often they are, and that’s what I’m referring to.

    Would you like to take this opportunity to surprise me by praising Trump for killing the TPPA?

    I did when it first happened, happy to do so again though. That was great.

    Again, it’s that he’s said mean things (or alleged to have in some cases), not about the actual policy proposals.

    Again, you’ve elected a guy who spends a lot of time abusing and denigrating individuals and groups. It’s an integral part of who he is and how he operates. People generally push back when they’re abused or denigrated, which distracts from policy. But that’s what you voted for.

    I’ve run out of time now to respond to the rest, other than this:

    No, I don’t. I mean, if he was planning to do that, it hasn’t worked if his declining Forbes net worth is any indicator.

    I didn’t ask: “Do you think Trump is in this to make money” or whether his fortune is going up or down, I’m asking whether you believe he has used the Presidency to make him or his companies money?

  12. Judge Dredd, Pro Se, well put yet again.

    Not only that, but there is no need to consider the detail of policy when you’ve failed to make your case that change is needed (particularly when it’s likely to have negative repercussions) . Relying on one biased groups’ flawed and narrow claims, which fly in the face of everything else, isn’t going to cut it with anyone even half paying attention.

  13. ilovecress:

    The fact of the matter is, that where the people come from is entirely irrelevant to whether the person will be a good fit for the USA.

    If we’re just randomly choosing people from among the populations of countries, I argue that it is relevant. The average Canadian or Briton has more in common with the average American than the average Yemeni in terms of language, norms, laws, work ethic, religion and such things that make it easier to adapt to a foreign country.

    As an example, an Australian that I hire at my food processing plant is unlikely to need any unusual accommodations. A Somali, on the other hand, might demand prayer breaks and refuse to handle pork. You can certainly argue that I should be delighted to champion diversity by bending over backwards to meet their demands, but I would honestly prefer to hire the Australian and not have to screw with it.

    That isn’t a racist position. The implication that a country is a shithole if it is majority black is one that’s being drawn by Trump’s critics, not anything that he actually said.

    This is what Trumps comment reveals – it’s that even if he wants a merit based immigration system, his wrongheaded racist views are actively getting in the way of that aim.

    As I see it, we have to have the conversation about why we are allowing in immigrants who don’t actually benefit our country before we can address why a change in policy is needed. Many Americans don’t understand what the net benefit is of diversity for its own sake is and wonder why we don’t only take those who directly benefit us with vital skills that are scarce among American population.

    Trump has that conversation underway now and I think it’s a good thing.

    Opposing immigration from the third world just because that’s where people are from is racist.

    The flip side is that allowing immigrants in simply because of where they’re from (i.e. Third World shitholes)–and no other reason–is supposedly a good thing but I see no evidence that this is true. It’s the debate I’d like to have. I’m persuadable on that topic.

  14. JDPS.

    I dont hate Trump…

    I’m astounded to read that.

    …but I don’t see why you think I wouldn’t be justified, even if I did.

    I’ve never once said that you’re not justified. I’ve repeatedly said that if he offends you, it’s not my place to try to convince you that he’s a great man you should admire. What I DO suggest is that Trump’s critics should examine what he does without either assuming that it’s the random workings of a moron or malicious ones guided simply by racist motivations.

  15. CM

    There we go – your assessment here appears to be solely about what will keep his base happy.

    No. He also has been pushing the argument that the Democrats were arguing in bad faith, both with their proposals and by “lying” about the shithole comment. He’s now also positioned himself to blame the Democrats for the failure of any deal on DACA. That extends beyond his base.

    So why do you want a POTUS who regularly does things that have diplomatic repercussions?

    Well, the actions of all US presidents have diplomatic repercussions. But if you’re only referring to saying things that offend other countries, I’m in agreement that the world order does need to be shaken up. Other countries take the US for granted, have unrealistic expectations on us, and take advantage of us. I don’t see how that ends unless our leadership calls them out for it.

    True, but that would involve an alternative universe where the person tweeting was not impulsive and didn’t constantly just repeat what he saw on Fox News. Again, this is Trump, if you like the use of Twitter by a POTUS because of the potential it provides, you are accepting the negatives.

    I don’t think Trump’s tweets are impulsive. I think he puts more thought into them than his critics realize. If anything, I think it’s far better for Trump to put out the message that he wants put out rather than rely on the media, which has repeatedly demonstrated that it will lie about his administration without remorse.

    I’m observing the ongoing attention to how people respond (much of it reasonable, some of it over-the-top), rather than the ramifications of what he’s actually done/said.

    I’m sorry, but I’m not going to blame Trump for the irrational and destructive exaggerations that his opposition chooses to embrace. That’s their own doing, not his.

    I did when it first happened, happy to do so again though. That was great.

    I pronounce you forever inoculated against any sweeping future claims that you reflexively criticize Trump regardless of what he does. Feel free to refer to this comment in any conversation you ever have in which you are accused of doing so and I, as a Trump-supporting conservative, will verify that this is untrue.

    I’m asking whether you believe he has used the Presidency to make him or his companies money?

    No, I don’t.

  16. If we’re just randomly choosing people from among the populations of countries, I argue that it is relevant.

    It’s not random. There are specific requirement to be eligible. But still.

    As an example, an Australian that I hire at my food processing plant is unlikely to need any unusual accommodations.

    I think this is a non sequiter, you’re talking about employment, not immigration. If the nations laws require your factory to accommodate Muslims, then it shouldn’t factor into your immigration policy.

    But again, even if we take your employment example (it is unproductive to allow Muslims to work in a factory because they want prayer breaks) then it still doesn’t follow to just not employ anyone from Somalia. There are plenty of Somalians who don’t require prayer breaks, and plenty of Australians who do.

    Saying all Somalians are unproductive because they take prayer breaks is prejudice and discrimination. If you don’t want Muslims working, then just say so, lets have that debate.

    As an example, an Australian that I hire at my food processing plant is unlikely to need many sick days because of their better overall health. An American, on the other hand, might take lots of days off because of their obesity. I would honestly prefer not to hire one of those fat, lazy Americans.

    See how crazy that sounds?

    Look, I don’t necessarily disagree with you that the debate around merit on immigration is needed. There’s a good conversation that needs to be had about whether, say, a good command of English should be a requirement. Similarly there’s a debate to be had around what skill or education level of people should be allowed in.

    However, that’s not what Trump is talking about. Trump (and Miller et al) are proposing (pre)judging immigration applicants based on their country of origin – which is specifically not judging them on their individual merit. Which is what you claim you want.

    Therefore, you should disagree with Trump/Millers approach.

    Many Americans don’t understand what the net benefit is of diversity for its own sake is and wonder why we don’t only take those who directly benefit us with vital skills that are scarce among American population.

    Happy to have the diversity conversation, but I fear that may take us on a tangent (and you’re already debating us libtards on two fronts!). In a nutshell, it has been proven that diversity of thought helps with innovation in times of change. In a global society (you may not like Globalisation, but it’s here) change is constant, and the ability to innovate is at a premium. This is the theory for businesses as well as for nations.

    One more point – and this is something that came up a lot in Brexit – its a myth that you’re looking for high skillset people to immigrate. The doctors, lawyers and scientists of the world are actually less likely to migrate anywhere. They’re usually older and have settled, and have a decent life in their own country – so they don’t usually move.

    What you are looking for are the people who are going to be doctors, lawyers and otherwise productive members of society. You’re looking for potential. Much harder to screen for potential. It’s basically a combination of talent and hard work. And it cound be argued that someone from a ‘shithole country’ has a better work ethic than someone who comes from a socialist utopia like, say, Norway.

  17. The fucking Flu hit us this week too, i spent monday through wensday as fucking mess, made it to work Thursday only to take friday off when the wife and kid got sick.. joy joy.

    As for the Trump book, i guess the author is the only laughing, all the way to the bank, sales sky rocketed, and provided fresh ammo for the left, it doenst matter if its true or not, what matters is the seriousness of the charge. or something like that,

    Shithole, oh boy. my first reaction was , that dumbass has to know that some rat bastard in that meeting will blab to the media anything you say that is slightly off color or just characterize anything you say as offensive. I rolled my eyes,
    Haiti and many of these African nations are shitholes, and that is why people are trying to flee them in any manner they can. When nations become shitholes, people leave them in droves…. Ireland Germany Italy Russia… all had periods of time when they were shitholes.
    I can see the value of Merit based immigration, and fully support that option, however there are so many with few skills or few abilities, that would meet such requirements that a merit system would require, what are they ever to do? Well, There are other nations, other than the USA , that needs the despite and lost, low skill labors, im sure. Canada for one, right? Mexico? England? Brazil? Japan? China? Australia? come on step up to the plate, show the USA how its done..

    9th Circuit Federal Judge William Alsup
    How did that guy keep a straight face doing that? , even he has to know that this will not stand. At best this is a weak attempt to piss in Trumps eye..so glaringly partisan, its stupid.

    Democratic Senator Chelsea Manning

    Should he win, would he be able to pass scrutiny, and get a security clearance?

    as for Granite counter tops, i love mine.

    oh dear god there are a lot of replies to this post! Great Job man!

  18. There’s no reason why we can’t have a merit-based immigration policy such as what Trump favors that says we’ll bring in 50,000 primary care doctors, nuclear physicists, or data scientists from the Third World. What we don’t need are 50,000 more Uber drivers.

    I saw a lil factiod, on twitter. Someone Slaming trump for his remark, pointed out that about half of the immigrants from Nigeria are , professionals, educated doctors physicians teacher engineers, ectra.

    That is quite a brain drain, going on there. Those Doctors, engineers and other professionals could have a really significant effect on their home nation if they , well were in their home nation. Many were educated overseas and instead of going home and making their nation better place, they are leaving, why ever so? I geuss one could make the argument that by accepting these people, we are making things worse ? i mean how bad can it be?

  19. It’s not random. There are specific requirement to be eligible. But still.

    Yes, you mentioned it on another thread. A high school education is such a requirement. But does the US have a shortage of high school graduates? No.

    Saying all Somalians are unproductive because they take prayer breaks is prejudice and discrimination. If you don’t want Muslims working, then just say so, lets have that debate.

    Come on. You know I’m not saying “all Somalians are unproductive.” Instead, I’m making a point that where immigrants hold norms that don’t align with the host country’s, it creates problems where hiring culturally similar employees would not. The only real justification for hiring the Somalis is that they will work for a lower wage, in any event.

    See how crazy that sounds?

    I don’t think it sounds crazy at all. If Australia declines to hire American workers because there is reason to believe that they’re more susceptible to higher absenteeism, then I don’t think Australia should be called racist for refusing to increase immigration quotas from the United States.

    Trump (and Miller et al) are proposing (pre)judging immigration applicants based on their country of origin – which is specifically not judging them on their individual merit. Which is what you claim you want.

    That’s not what the debate is in terms of the “shithole controversy”. Trump was offered a deal that would have maintained the diversity lottery that only emphasized maintaining immigration levels from specific countries of origin without regard for individual merit. That’s what Trump rejected.

    All we know at the moment is that Trump doesn’t favor taking in tens of thousands of random immigrants from these countries. If he says anything that indicates that he wants to refuse qualified candidates from African countries, I’d certainly oppose it.

    Happy to have the diversity conversation, but I fear that may take us on a tangent (and you’re already debating us libtards on two fronts!).

    Three, if JDPS gets honorary libtard status.

    What you are looking for are the people who are going to be doctors, lawyers and otherwise productive members of society. You’re looking for potential. Much harder to screen for potential.

    That’s an excellent point, although I’d argue that we should be considering how to entice foreign talent to our shores rather than rolling the dice on the potential talent. But still, the question of whether it’s worth bringing in 100 immigrants who work at Uber for the chance to have 10 who are of exceptional talent is an extremely valid one.

    And it cound be argued that someone from a ‘shithole country’ has a better work ethic than someone who comes from a socialist utopia like, say, Norway.

    Awww, FML. THAT was devastating. I hope you guys know that when I say that ilovecress understands American conservatives and knows exactly what to say to us that I’m not just blowing smoke up his ass.

    That is a legitimately effective argument that you liberals should be using on other forums where this debate is being had.

  20. Someone Slaming trump for his remark, pointed out that about half of the immigrants from Nigeria are , professionals, educated doctors physicians teacher engineers, ectra.

    That is quite a brain drain, going on there.

    And see, I’m selfish. I’m perfectly happy to take those people away from Nigeria even if it fucks over their own future. America First, baby.

  21. I don’t think it sounds crazy at all. If Australia declines to hire American workers because there is reason to believe that they’re more susceptible to higher absenteeism, then I don’t think Australia should be called racist for refusing to increase immigration quotas from the United States.

    So you’re quite happy to be judged unfairly based on where you were born – even if you don’t possess the trait that you’re being judged for. That’s textbook prejudice. That’s treating a whole group of people the same, regardless of the individual differences. Even if a larger percentage of conservatives are engaged in gay sex scandals, that doesn’t mean I should be nervous if I’m in a restroom with you. (lol, as they say)

    Again, your position is that you want to be able to only bring in specific people, but you’re actually just using generalities. Racism and prejudice is antiethical to the conservative agenda. You should be outraged that those loafer Norwegians are getting a leg up simply because of the politically correct notion that being white and speaking English is somehow better. If you’re talented enough and dedicated enough, it shouldn’t matter where you were born. It’s us liberals who like to pick the winners and losers based on arbitrary factors that make us feel squishy inside.

    If he says anything that indicates that he wants to refuse qualified candidates from African countries, I’d certainly oppose it.

    That is what he is saying. By making the distinction about their country of origin, rather than their qualification – he’s saying that suitability is based on the country, not the qualification. He’s saying that being from Africa means you’re unqualified, and being from Norway means you’re qualified.

    I’m not even making the liberal argument that his racism is immoral – it’s that it’s stupid.

    Trump was offered a (bipartisan) deal that would have maintained the diversity lottery that only emphasized maintaining immigration levels from specific countries of origin without regard for individual merit. That’s what Trump rejected.

    Fixed that for ya. It’s relevant because of the funding bill – it’s now harder for Trump to blame the Democrats for shutting down the Government, so the Dems have more leverage. That’s what the GOP is cursing at the moment, not the swearing.

  22. So you’re quite happy to be judged unfairly based on where you were born – even if you don’t possess the trait that you’re being judged for. That’s textbook prejudice.

    Again: I’m not advocating judging qualified immigrants based solely on where they come from. Neither is Trump.

    Racism and prejudice is antiethical to the conservative agenda. You should be outraged that those loafer Norwegians are getting a leg up simply because of the politically correct notion that being white and speaking English is somehow better.

    I’m outraged that people such as Norweigans are eliminated from consideration simply because of where they’re from.

    That is what he is saying. By making the distinction about their country of origin, rather than their qualification – he’s saying that suitability is based on the country, not the qualification.

    That is only what he’s saying about the diversity lottery. Trump has not said which country, if any, would be excluded under a merit based system.

    Fixed that for ya. It’s relevant because of the funding bill – it’s now harder for Trump to blame the Democrats for shutting down the Government, so the Dems have more leverage. That’s what the GOP is cursing at the moment, not the swearing.

    I don’t see it as simply a GOP vs Democrat issue. The GOP isn’t much better on immigration issues than the Democrats when it comes to open borders. This is much of the reason Trump won. He didn’t hold to GOP orthodoxies on the desirability of cheap labor.

  23. Me:

    just because someone is from a poor country it doesn’t mean they’re a shit person. In fact often when a person comes from a country with less opportunity, they work harder in the new country.

    Thrill:

    Explain this: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/09/01/immigrant-welfare-use-report/71517072/

    But now:

    cress:

    And it cound be argued that someone from a ‘shithole country’ has a better work ethic than someone who comes from a socialist utopia like, say, Norway.

    Thrill:

    Awww, FML. THAT was devastating. I hope you guys know that when I say that ilovecress understands American conservatives and knows exactly what to say to us that I’m not just blowing smoke up his ass.

    That is a legitimately effective argument that you liberals should be using on other forums where this debate is being had.

    Whaaaaaaaaa?

  24. Whaaaaaaaaa?

    What? I’m agreeing with the suggestion that the United States might be better off allowing immigrants if they’re black and willing to work for low wages over worthless European socialists. What?

  25. You should be outraged that those loafer Norwegians are getting a leg up simply because of the politically correct notion that being white and speaking English is somehow better. If you’re talented enough and dedicated enough, it shouldn’t matter where you were born. It’s us liberals who like to pick the winners and losers based on arbitrary factors that make us feel squishy inside.

    Yeah what about the American dream? Isn’t the idea that people can rise up from nothing to be President (or at least really successful)? In the meantime, who is going to do all those shitty jobs that Americans won’t do? You know, the Americans (Dem voters) that are lazy and refuse to work. Many immigrants complement the work of U.S. employees and increase their productivity. People are the fuel for growth and wages. A larger and more diverse population supports more intensive development of the resources available and a more complex division of labor, leading, over time, to a steadily more sophisticated and prosperous national economy. It doesn’t work if they’re all already well qualified.

  26. Yeah what about the American dream? Isn’t the idea that people can rise up from nothing to be President (or at least really successful)?

    I don’t think that really exists.

    In the meantime, who is going to do all those shitty jobs that Americans won’t do?

    Americans will do any job if it pays a fair wage. I don’t believe that importing workers to work for slave wages is the correct answer.

    Many immigrants complement the work of U.S. employees and increase their productivity.

    Yes, over the past 20 years, productivity has dramatically increased while wages have remained stagnant. I’d like to see the stagnant wages part change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

%d bloggers like this: