On Media Bias

Bias is a part of humanity, and there really isn’t anything wrong with it. Anyone who reads the stuff I write will know where I stand. I don’t hide anything. Even if you hate things like free markets, Western Civilization, the gold standard, traditional American values, and Donald Trump, you can’t be annoyed with me personally because I do not hide the fact that I support these things and tailor my words accordingly.

What people don’t like is duplicity. And for decades now, the mainstream media has been guilty of it in spades. This is because it (by ‘it’ I mean the collective of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and even Fox News, as well as the New York Times, Washington Post and numerous other major papers) purports itself to be objective actors who merely act as sieves, filtering the torrent of news that comes out in a particular time frame into the most pure elements.

Consider this. The average Donald Trump rally goes on for something like 60 to 90 minutes. Your average news segment runs 2-3 minutes, which includes a description of the context in which whatever rally that is being reported on is taking place in. This means that at most, 30 seconds or so of actual footage of the rally will be used in the report.

30 seconds, which is 0.8% of the rally, is what will be presented to the public as representative of that rally. So which 0.8% will be used? Will it be a substantive 0.8%, in which Trump discusses the perilous economy, or the poor trade situation, or the fact that the status quo has failed us, or the deleterious effects of Obamacare, topics he discusses in every rally? Or will a 0.8% of the rally in which he makes an off color remark, or trashes the media, or speaks disparagingly of a third party, be chosen to be presented to the public?

That decision is a matter of bias.

And the media has overwhelmingly favored the latter. It makes sense; the more ‘explosive’ elements of the Trump rhetoric makes for good TV, increased ratings and all the rest of it. It also enables blowhard pundits the space to excoriate Trump for ‘failing to stick to the issues,’ as they declare his candidacy dead on a nightly basis.

Karl Rove did exactly this on Friday night. He was on the O’Reilly Factor, which I had on in the background and he cited the recent declaration by Minnesota that Obamacare was no longer affordable in his state. He went on to wail about OH MY DAYS WHY ISN’T TRUMP HAMMERING THIS INSTEAD OF TALKING ABOUT SEX SCANDALS THIS IS WHY HE IS GOING TO LOSE!

Rove must have missed Trump making that exact Obamacare point 24 hours prior, to his 12 million Twitter followers.

He must have missed Trump bringing it up in all of his rallies over the last few days. This is par for the course for the media coverage of Trump. They’ll take a quip about ‘second amendment people’ here, and a tweet about Alicia Machado there, and spin it into the idea that Trump spends 90 minutes talking to the tens of thousands at his rallies about nothing other than these side topics.

And the media wonders why it is so disliked.

But it goes far beyond this. The entirety of the mainstream news media has been against Donald Trump’s candidacy since the start, with the exception of a handful of personalities on Fox News. This is because Trump’s campaign represents a real challenge to the status quo, which the media is a part of.

Republicans in general receive less than favorable coverage from the press, but Trump has been on the receiving end of an intense all out blitz.

Since the conventions alone, the media has overblown ‘scandals’ such as the Khan family fiasco, the ‘second amendment people’ comment, Trump’s ‘dark’ convention speech, ‘Babygate,’ joking about Russia being involved in finding Clinton’s emails and more. Not to mention the Judge Curiel drama, the NYT story in May about Trump’s behavior regarding women, and the release of 3 pages of his 1995 tax release.

All of these episodes have been played up to ‘confirm’ the media’s preconceived notion that Trump is racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic and generally unhinged. These sagas were given wall to wall coverage on cable news networks, replete with panels of 6 and 7 pundits to go over every last syllable Trump uttered, and in what intonation, so as to properly understand the level of bigotry therein.

Despite all of that huffing and puffing, none of it really worked. Trump stayed in the game, and was even thriving, when most GOP candidates would have folded at even one of these many ‘scandals.’

The ante had to be raised, and the media was ready to oblige. At the end of the first presidential debate, Clinton brought up Alicia Machado, former Miss Universe winner, in an attempt to put a face to the ‘Trump is a Sexist’ talking point. It was buttressed by glossy puff pieces in several outlets, and a tour of interviews for Machado across the major networks.

A cursory dig into the idea of Machado as an avatar for Trump’s ‘sexism’ blew the whole thing apart: Trump was nothing but gracious to Machado in what was a difficult time for her, and it was he who saved her job. The allegations that Trump’s ‘abuse’ led to her having an eating disorder was proven false when it was discovered that prior to having even met Trump, she had been quoted talking about dealing with those struggles. And this is all before any mention of her extremely seedy past, which includes drug lords, murder, and judge intimidation.

Yet when Trump, who was 100% in the right, merely defended himself from the allegations strewn at him by the Clinton campaign, the media turned around and portrayed him as some sort of crazy man who stays up all night plotting to eviscerate poor helpless Hispanic women he doesn’t like.

These sniveling, underhanded tactics are why the media is so disliked, and now outright hated by many in the public. The media seems to expect a one way street when it comes to their relations with anyone: they dish out the abuse, and the recipient is expected to stand there and take it, and even be grateful for the attention. That Trump refuses to sit there and take it seemingly vexes the media. Already being used to bullying Republicans, Trump’s resistance been met with blatant hostility dripping with contempt from some quarters of the media.

Yet, they still proclaim objectivity.

This dynamic has escalated in the past few days, after Trump spoke at length about the media and its duplicitous role in this election. He portrayed the media as being part of an establishment, alongside the large corporations, financial institutions and politicians which seeks to rob the US of its sovereignty. The media has gone apoplectic over this speech, immediately inventing dark implications:

Just to make his pedigree clear, Donald Trump is now suggesting that Hillary Clinton “meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty, in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends, and her donors.”

 

What was it the Nazis called the Jews? Oh, yes, “rootless parasites,” that’s it. For Stalin they were rootless cosmopolitans.

 

Just saying.

Despite no mention of Jews in any way, the media has gone into an convulsion, comparing Trump to Hitler and Stalin. Meanwhile, Trump had been referring to this, a release from the recent Wikileaks Dump:

Hillary Clinton Said Her Dream Is A Hemispheric Common Market, With Open Trade And Open Markets. “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”  [05162013 Remarks to Banco Itau.doc, p. 28]

What we have there, is Hillary Clinton, meeting behind closed doors with an international bank, discussing her ‘dream’ of a ‘hemispheric common market,’ which would necessarily be the end of American sovereignty economically, which would ostensibly be to the benefit of said international bank to whom she spoke.

In other words, relaying facts is now Antisemitic. And as stated before, to merely challenge the histrionic media in this manner is to invoke despair in the media themselves. Ironically, this reaction only serves to buttress Trump’s point – in feverishly defending the parties involved, they take the side of the establishment.

In general, when attacked, the knee jerk response of the media has been to wrap itself in the First Amendment, blubbering on about how important a free press has been to the fabric of America, and how necessary it is to prevent a tyrannical government.

That is, of course, unless that government is populated with leftists and Marxists of all stripes, as it has been for decades. In this case blatant corruption can be tolerated because to continue to press (heh) on would mean beating a dead horse or perhaps neglecting a different story about the latest mean thing Trump said, which could generate more clicks.

In short, the press is not doing its job, but is instead focusing on the molehills that are Trump’s manufactured scandals, simply because they could favor their preferred candidate. Google search trends tell a different story. It suggests that Wikileaks dwarfs Trump Sex scandals, yet is the latter which dominates media airwaves.


screenshot-from-2016-10-15-10-05-42

This discrepancy, between what the people care about and what the media is covering, should say it all.

Brian Stelter of CNN perhaps best crystallized the reason for growing media antipathy in this reaction he had to the Trump speech from last week:

For a long time, people treated Donald Trump like he was a joke. Right now, it’s a very serious drama. That speech was paranoid and that speech was dangerous. It was a speech driven with hatred. A speech driven with contempt. Railing against bankers, and corporations, and the media, and this grand conspiracy that somehow he has only been able to connect the dots of. It sounded a lot like a dog whistle to a lot of people.

 

If there is violence and unrest after election day, I think we now know why based on the hatred dripping out of that man’s mouth.

Stelter’s words can be taken as representative of most media types. The same media types who have dealt in paranoia as they saw Antisemitic Nazism in Trump’s statement of fact regarding Hillary’s Wall Street speeches. The same media types who never cease to refer to Trump as a bigot, racist and idiotic, defending Clinton’s assertion that his supporters are ‘deplorables,’ mostly uneducated losers. All of this hatred and contempt, for having the temerity to express views in opposition to the status quo.

These are the same media types who have justified violence against Trump and his supporters, and openly talk about purging what Trump represents from America entirely. It seems as though that advice has been taken to heart, as last night a GOP office in North Carolina was firebombed. On the side of a nearby building, the words ‘Nazi Republicans, leave town or else.’

When you spend month after month labeling a man who disagrees with your agenda as Hitler, frames these disagreements as the end of democracy and those who support them as deplorable, such that violence is an acceptable response, we shouldn’t be surprised when we get it. It is Trump supporters whose property is vandalized, and who show Trump support threatened at rallies. Indeed, it is official Democrat policy in some areas to create a ‘psychological environment unfavorable to such displays.’

Yet the media claims it’s Trump with hate and violence ‘dripping’ from his mouth. In short, Stelter, and the media at large are projecting. They have proven themselves to be crybullies, stabbing you in the back before moving to seek damages because they sustained a cut in the process. As such their dramatic protestations of Trump’s ‘chilling’ rhetoric ring hollower and hollower as time goes on.

The American Revolution, 2.0

For those who control the levers of power in Washington, and for the global special interests they partner with, our campaign represents an existential threat. This is not simply another 4-year election. This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization that will determine whether or not We The People reclaim control over our government. – Donald Trump, 13 October 2016

 

On 21 December 1989, Nicolae Ceausescu, Romania’s Communist leader, addressed the public in a speech intended to restore calm. He promised the workers increased social benefits, including a raise in wages, and declared that the casualties in Timisoara from a few days earlier were the result of foreign agitators who wished to undermine the sovereignty of Romania. He called upon the people to stand and fight against these agitators.

Ceausescu was jeered. The public knew the truth, and Ceausescu and his wife Elena would be executed four days later.

That truth was that the government had ordered the military to fire on civilians engaging in a protest in the city of Timisoara on 17 December. The protest was over an order of eviction for Laszlo Tokes, a Protestant Bishop, for speaking out against the injustices the Romanian government had perpetrated on its people.

Thousands protested, surrounding Tokes’ apartment, engaging in demonstration. This was eventually met with gunfire, from the military on its civilians. This act sparked a nationwide Revolution, which culminated in the overthrow and execution of the Ceausescus.

Though the situation in 2016 United States is much different on the surface, there are many parallels to be drawn with the situation in Romania circa December 1989. Whereas the Romanian people were suffering under the economic failure that is communism, the American people of 2016 are suffering under a similar economic failure that is best described as corporatism. In both cases, an undercurrent of dissent had been created among the masses. In Romania, it ended up becoming a wave which overwhelmed the elites. It remains to see what happens in the United States.

If nothing else, the Trump campaign should have alerted even the most dim witted among us to the fact that there is a global establishment/elite, and they exist solely to keep themselves enriched and in power. This establishment,despite the existence of conservatives, has only succeeded in driving the country Leftward. Previously, this view was the province of ‘wingnuts,’ purveyors of ‘conspiracy theories,’ and increasingly, anyone who leans right.

Consider the following from Angelo Codevilla, in his piece After the Revolution:

In today’s America, a network of executive, judicial, bureaucratic, and social kinship channels bypasses the sovereignty of citizens. Our imperial regime, already in force, works on a simple principle: the president and the cronies who populate these channels may do whatever they like so long as the bureaucracy obeys and one third plus one of the Senate protects him from impeachment. If you are on the right side of that network, you can make up the rules as you go along, ignore or violate any number of laws, obfuscate or commit perjury about what you are doing (in the unlikely case they put you under oath), and be certain of your peers’ support. These cronies’ shared social and intellectual identity stems from the uniform education they have received in the universities. Because disdain for ordinary Americans is this ruling class’s chief feature, its members can be equally certain that all will join in celebrating each, and in demonizing their respective opponents.

This is why Obamacare was jammed through Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court despite being unconstitutional, this is why Paul Ryan passed Omnibus, why the DNC rigged the Democratic Primary against Bernie Sanders.

This is why, the day after Americans celebrated the 240th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the FBI declared Hillary Clinton had basically committed a crime, but didn’t really, and thus wasn’t going to press charges. Beyond this, the mere optics of the situation say quite a bit. If chargers were to be pressed, the FBI would have had to put President Obama on the stand, who then would have had to either tell the truth, condemning Clinton and thus handing the presidency to Trump, or perjuring himself and risking all that came with that.

To avoid that catch-22, the FBI did its best to botch the case, handing out immunity to anyone with a pulse, and even allowing key evidence to be destroyed. Their goal was to make the whole case go away, cementing the idea that the elites exist to protect the elites.

This explains why Clinton, two months later, called half of Trump supporters ‘deplorables’ and ‘irredeemable,’ essentially excommunicating them from America. The mainstream media, the mouthpiece of the establishment, enthusiastically agreed with Clinton, like it agrees with and defends the establishment position generally.

The Leftward March

Despite the fact that ‘communism’ is still a dirty word in America, its elites have not shied away from borrowing the tactic of suppressing dissent, dissent against the Leftward March in particular. Codevilla provides insight as to some of the changes that march has inflicted on America over the last five decades or so:

Fifty years ago, prayer in the schools was near universal, but no one was punished for not praying. Nowadays, countless people are arrested or fired for praying on school property. West Point’s commanding general reprimanded the football coach for his team’s thanksgiving prayer. Fifty years ago, bringing sexually explicit stuff into schools was treated as a crime, as was “procuring abortion.” Nowadays, schools contract with Planned Parenthood to teach sex, and will not tell parents when they take girls to PP facilities for abortions. Back then, many schools worked with the National Rifle Association to teach gun handling and marksmanship. Now students are arrested and expelled merely for pointing their finger and saying “bang.” In those benighted times, boys who ventured into the girls’ bathroom were expelled as perverts. Now, girls are suspended for objecting to boys coming into the girls’ room under pretense of transgenderism. The mainstreaming of pornography, the invention of abortion as the most inalienable of human rights and, most recently, the designation of opposition to homosexual marriage as a culpable psychosis—none of which is dictated by law enacted by elected officials—is enforced as if it had been.

Let’s step back for a moment. One of the defining characteristics of this multi decade Leftward March has been the replacement of Christianity with a sort of secular atheism. This secular atheism is a religion in its own right; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have been replaced by Equality, Fairness and Diversity. The seven deadly sins of this new religion are sexism, racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, nationalism, Anti-Semitism and Judgmentalism.

As I’ve written before, these new deadly sins are the vector through which societal control is meted out by the elites. Furthermore, the thresholds for committing one of these sins are continually lowered such that the only narrow band of thought and behavior which is acceptable is complete acquiescence to the most cutting edge of Progressive views at the time.

In 2016, the Current Year, the proles who enthusiastically support the modern tenets of leftism – such as transgender acceptance – are on the Right Side of History and can feel comfort in the fact that they are Good People.

The problem arises in the future. As Codevilla describes, things that were once unthinkable or taboo can commonplace and normal in a short period of time, and one was bandied as a bigot if one did not fully accept those changes. In the same way, a Goodperson in the Current Year 2016 may find himself or herself faced with a new test for Goodpersonhood in a future Current Year – namely the complete acceptance of things such as incest, pedophilia, or bestiality, for example.

Balking at such a test, and refusing to accept those things as normal may brand one a Bad Person, worthy of the same social ostracism one was eager to foist upon someone who wanted to stop illegal immigration in 2016. This is the ultimate flaw with leftism, in all of its guises – it’s a never ending race to the bottom which runs counter to human nature. As a result, any and all manner of Stasies, dictatorial iron fists or Twitter Trust and Safety Councils are needed to perpetually shield the March against gripping reality.

Ultimately, reality and truth win out, and the hope is it happens before there is some sort of terminal crisis. Trump’s candidacy, and concomitant movement is in may ways is that Enough is Enough moment. An email from Bill Ivey, former Clinton official, to John Podesta, Clinton campaign chair, part of the Podesta Email dump released by Wikileaks, suggests that the elites understand what is happening. Part of it reads:

 …And as I’ve mentioned, we’ve all been quite content to demean government, drop civics and in general conspire to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry.

 

The unawareness remains strong but compliance is obviously fading rapidly. This problem demands some serious, serious thinking – and not just poll driven, demographically-inspired messaging.

‘Poll driven, demographically-inspiring messaging.’ Aka playing on the seven deadly sins, which mostly involve demographics. With these two paragraphs, the entire leftist modus operandi is laid: Divide people up based on their individual characteristics, and then deliver targeted messaging based on each characteristic in order to stir emotion. Once that emotion is stirred, it can be directed towards the end of voting for leftists.

Hence the constant barrage of ‘Trump is racist, Trump is sexist, and so forth.’ This email, written in March, reveals that even then Democrats had been concerned that their standard messaging wasn’t working, as evidenced by an admitted rapid fading of compliance. Ivey recommends ‘serious thinking’ about how to restore such compliance.

All Out War

It is not a stretch to imagine that the smear campaign waged against Trump over the last week constitutes a the sort of escalation in tactics required given the failure of run of the mill ‘demographically-inspiring messaging.’

Rationally speaking, the Billy Bush tape simply displays an alpha male engaging in crude, vulgar sex talk, which while disturbing to some, is a rather accurate commentary on sexual relations. Anyone who tries to intimate that high status men do not have ‘leeway’ with women that does not apply to ‘regular’ men is at best a liar.

The women involved in the latest sexual harassment charges against Trump highlight a different, more pernicious issue. At the second debate, during discussion of the Billy Bush tape, Anderson Cooper asked Trump multiple times if he had ever sexually assaulted a woman in the way that was described on the tape. Never mind the fact that on that tape, Trump declared that women LET him touch them, owing to his star status.

Cooper asked Trump multiple times in succession, as if to warn Trump that he better be careful how he answered. That exchange was the green light for the parade of sexual assault accusers that followed. That this sort of thing was so predictable immediately raised questions. Beyond that, a few of the accusers have had holes poked in their stories since the start. It appears that at least one of them might be a Clinton plant.

Summer Zervos, the woman who nearly broke down in tears while reading her account of an alleged assault has had her account rebutted by her cousin, who claims she spoke highly of Trump until April of this year:

“I am completely shocked and bewildered by my cousin, Summer Zervos, and her press conference today. Ever since she was on The Apprentice she has had nothing but glowing things to say about Mr. Trump. For almost a decade, my cousin would talk about how much she looked up to Mr. Trump and viewed him as an inspiration – a success story she wanted to copy. Summer would also talk about how kind and caring Mr. Trump was on the show, and how he would even visit children in hospitals without telling the press. She has praised the good things he’s done for her life, and in fact she converted her friends and our family to become Trump supporters even though we’ve never been active in politics before.

 

“That was until Summer invited Mr. Trump to her restaurant during the primary and he said no. I think Summer wishes she could still be on reality TV, and in an effort to get that back she’s saying all of these negative things about Mr. Trump. That’s not how she talked about him before. I can only imagine that Summer’s actions today are nothing more than an attempt to regain the spotlight at Mr. Trump’s expense, and I don’t think it reflects well.” – John Barry, Mission Viejo, CA (first cousin of Summer Zervos)

That should make for an odd Thanksgiving gathering for sure.

Jokes aside, these allegations beg the question: How is it that a man who has been at the center of media attention for 40 years, a time during which countless women were in his orbit, having had no charges of sexual assault during that time, is now all of a sudden is bombarded with a torrent of charges of sexual abuse by an Establishment which is mere weeks from possibly losing the Presidency to that same man who has an agenda destructive to that same Establishment?

Given such a question violates multiple deadly sins, do not expect it to ever be posed, let alone answered, by anyone other than Dissidents of the Leftist March.

Indeed, those on the right, the GOP establishment types in particular, were lightning quick in not only denouncing Trump’s comments on the Bush Tape, but outright withdrawing their support for his candidacy. In doing so, they highlighted what most people already suspected, which was that they never really supported Trump, and were looking for any excuse to jump off the train.

There were even internet rumblings that the source of the Bush tape was an operative from the Romney/Paul Ryan camp, which is unconfirmed at the time of this writing, but plausible given the rapidity and coordinators of the disavowals from GOP establishment Republicans.

This facet of the saga is particularly interesting, given the timidity shown by  GOPe Republicans such as Paul Ryan in standing up to anything Obama and the Democrats have attempted to do. The acceptance of the farce that is condensing  an entire budget into a single bill, which therefore just has to be passed so as not to avoid the ‘disgrace’ of shutting down the government. Meanwhile the budget is usually chock full of goodies handed out to special interests. GOPe and Democrat voices are the first to trot out the old lines about children and the sick elderly suffering because of political grandstanding. In actuality, they are preying on normal human compassion to force through handouts to their friends. It is the singular establishment mindset at work.

Even if Trump were to win, Ryan would be one of Trump’s biggest enemies in Congress. This is because Trump’s nationalist agenda is in direct contrast with Ryan’s corporate donors, who have installed him to push through legislation such as TPP, among other things. On a personal level, there is the observation that Trump, a political neophyte, came into the GOP and immediately shot to the top of the food chain. Ryan, on the other hand, has paid his dues for nearly two decades, climbing up the Party ladder. In a GOP which is all about order, and the ‘next guy in line,’ Ryan had placed himself in pole position in terms of a GOP nominee for 2020.

In the high likelihood he does harbor Presidential ambitions, Ryan would have every reason to combat Trump, and more broadly Trumpism, given Trump’s election would render his political career a huge waste of time. In other words, the ascendancy of Trumpism would simultaneously bring about the death of GOP RINOism. This fight is a fight for survival, and as such it is bound to be very dirty and very intense.

As mentioned earlier, it is not confirmed that GOPe players were behind the leak, but the fact that Billy Bush is the cousin of one Jeb Bush has done little to quell that speculation. Even if there was nothing nefarious, the sharp and swift abandonment of Trump by prominent Republicans, as well as the wall to wall coverage given to every Trump controversy by the media, and culminating with this train of sexual assault accusers, has ended up possibly, almost incredibly, having the effect of turning Trump into a victim. Trump seems to be latching on to this point in his latest speeches, in particular the speech he gave yesterday afternoon in Palm Beach:

The establishment and their media enablers wield control over this nation through means which are very well known. Anyone who challenges their control is deemed a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe, and morally deformed. They will attack you, they will slander you, they will seek to destroy you career and your family. They will seek to destroy everything about you, including your representation.

Trump has been transformed from the Big Bad Racist Wolf to Laszlo Tokes, a dissident who saw the guns of the government turned on him for merely saying out loud what most people had already known to be true. With each attack, each slander, each new accuser who comes out of the woodwork at the most convenient of times, the idea that the elites are trying to screw over Donald Trump, the representative of The People, grows stronger.

Overplaying Their Hand

Much like the thousands who formed a ring around Laszlo Tokes’ apartment in 1989, many are doing the same for Donald Trump. It started last weekend with Paul Ryan getting heckled by his own constituents in Wisconsin, and continued that afternoon when an impromptu rally took place outside Trump Tower. When Trump came down to greet the throng of supporters, there was momentary pandemonium on the streets. It has continued all week on social media and message boards, which have become the true vanguard of the culture war underpinning this election.

And yet, the establishment, the media in particular, does not understand any of this. Throughout the multi decade Leftist March, all that was required of the press to take down a Republican was a middling scandal. An affair with a staffer, some dodgy tax returns, a questionable comment about minorities or the poor, you get the idea. These sort of things were then megaphoned into the public conscience until the offender got on his knees, groveled and begged for forgiveness. The moment that happened, the game was up, for the penalty for committing a deadly sin in politics is the death of one’s campaign.

Donald Trump has endured literally dozens of these sort of ‘controversies,’ big and small, without folding. It is not only a testament to his fortitude, but a stunning rebuke to the argument put forth by some conservative commentators that literally any other GOP candidate would have beaten Hillary Clinton. A ‘normal’ GOP candidate would have also been susceptible to ‘normal’ campaign ending takedowns from the establishment media. It’s that simple.

Having had dozens of their attacks fail over the course of the campaign, the establishment media has responded by going even harder than before. Indeed, the authors who introduced the most recent sexual assault accusers in the New York Times earlier this week, Megan Twohey and Michael Barbaro, were the same authors who wrote a piece in May which attempted to portray Trump as a serial abuser of women in the work place and his private life. Less than two days after that story dropped, the principal subject of the story was on TV refuting those implications and said that Trump treated her like a gentleman during the time they dated.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Except, at this late stage in the game, the increasing intensity and fervor of these accusations, which seem to increase by the hour, starts to feel more and more like desperation. It starts to feel like the lady doth protest too much. It starts to feel like the boy who cried wolf. Especially when it comes from the media, which has overwhelmingly lost the trust of the public, owing to its lies and obfuscations. Furthermore they’ve shown an unwavering commitment to pushing the same Political Correctness line at the exact time that is falling out of favor with more and more people. It is all done to secure the continuation of the Leftward March, but its casualties are exactly the victims this march purports to save.

To wit, in (possibly) drumming up charges of sexual assault against Trump for political gain, they have potentially done great damage to real sexual assault victims by trivializing the charge. This is in the same vein other ‘deadly sins’ such as racism and homophobia have now been rendered worthless by the ever expanding actions which now can be covered by those terms.

As a result, the media will be fundamentally altered, for the worse. A Trump victory means the death of legacy media. A Clinton victory means they go on as loyal Clinton/establishment servants for a time, but the last shred of legitimacy it had in the eyes of the people will be lost. More ominously, the media will have completed its transformation from mere dishonest advocates, to outright enemy combatants in the coming conflict.

On this conflict: it is only a matter of time before the public turns against the Leftward March and rises up to defeat it, as the Romanian people did to the communists in 1989. The most obvious event that will usher this home in America is the election of Donald Trump. If Trump does not win, the situation will be a bit murkier.

There is a school of thought that a Clinton presidency will be compromised, owing to the fact that it was so hotly contested. The ongoing Wikileaks saga and the obvious fact that she was allowed a free pass by the FBI  would render her a very weak president in the eyes of many.

I disagree with this view. I believe that Clinton does not care how she attains power, as long as she gets it. She will note the fact that the country was ‘so close’ to succumbing to fascism as a pretense for implementing fascist tactics herself, under the guise of ‘anti-fascism.’ We’re talking executive orders out the wazoo, major restrictions on the second amendment, and explicit declarations of ‘seven sins’ violations as criminal. In other words, the Leftward March will proceed at warp speed, having been motivated by the near death experience that was Donald Trump.

Given the fact that at least half the country already protests the massive, fundamental transformation of America, an acceleration of it has potentially explosive implications, up to and including war. Unfortunately, that is the only resolution when differences that are this stark exist among the populace.

The most likely scenario is that the massive war the establishment is wishing to ignite with Russia comes to pass, and the country is instantly ‘united’ in that manner. It is my view that an escalation with Russia is almost a certainty should Hillary Clinton win. Her record is no different to your run of the mill neocon who worships the military-industrial complex. She, like them, supported all American adventures in the Middle East, and supports American actions in the proxy war with Russia in Syria. She, like them, is quick to label Putin as the new Hitler (during the 5 minutes a day that comparison isn’t being made about Trump).

Trump, on the other hand has dared to put forth the idea that diplomacy with Russia is possible, and that the two nations could even be allies. The Russians agree, saying that a vote for Hillary is essentially a vote of nuclear war.

Conclusion

None of this matters however, because Donald Trump once talked about what women would LET (let, as in allow, as in consent to, LET) him do with their private regions.

This is what it has come to, unfortunately. A culture ground down by decades of cultural Marxism has allowed tabloid gossip, salacious drama, feelings and smear campaigns to supersede discussion of substantive issues, like the prospect of nuclear war. And for this we claim to be an enlightened and forward thinking generation.

Unfortunately, because we have declared ourselves so enlightened, we are also above learning anything from the multitudes who walked this earth before us. The Leftist March is all about that idea: that whatever feels good in the present IS good solely because it is in the present. History is to be ignored, which is why leftists always talk about progress as if it is a linear thing. We can’t go ‘back’ to the old way, they constantly tell us; we must keep moving ‘forward,’ even if that means straight into a buzz saw.

It is not a stretch to say that the modern slavish devotion to the Leftward March, ostensibly in the name of a constructive inclusiveness, may ultimately usher in the use of perhaps the most destructive force ever known to man, nuclear weaponry. Future historians will look back with amazement at how stupid we were to allow things to get to this point in the first place.

But for now, YOLO.

 

‘America Deserves Better’

After the debate last night, one of the more common refrains was that America deserves better, America can do so much better, or the American People were the losers of this debate, and similar sentiments.

The simple answer is this: No, America does not deserve better.

Andrew Breitbart once said that politics is downstream from culture, so if one is wondering why our politics are in the gutter, the first place to look is upstream at the culture.

And what you’ll find there is a culture which has been in decline for decades now.

Earlier this morning, the Wall Street Journal had this piece about the debate in which the following was written in response to the outrage over the Trump Tapes last Friday:

Our email inbox is filled with Republicans saying this is a double standard because while Mr. Trump may talk like a lout, Bill Clinton acts like one and Hillary Clinton enables him. Oh, and Democrats still revere JFK, who was a sexual predator in the White House.

 

This is all true, and it is a bit much to see the same liberals who said Mr. Clinton’s actual exploitation of an intern was merely about sex, or who called Paula Jones trailer trash, now wax indignant about Mr. Trump’s bragging. The same moralists who celebrate misogyny in pop music and a sex-crazed culture are also conveniently outraged by a man who was marinated in that culture before he entered politics.

This is spot on. We have a culture which celebrates autotuned, dumbed down music as fine art, has no qualms with the ubiquity of pornography, and eschews personal responsibility, whether that be in the realm of our diets, our commitments to marriage vows, or any hardship which may befall us. We’ve gone from scoring a touchdown and handing the ball to the ref and high-fiving our teammates, to grown men twerking in the endzone.

I don’t say this to make judgements, as I’m far from perfect in any of these matters. I only say this to highlight the fact that a culture with an eroding morality, while at the same time allowing everyone with a pulse to participate in the political process, is going to end up with nothing more than mudfights.

If everyone is granted the same rights to vote, the only way to win over a majority is going to be through an appeal to emotion, going down to a base level which all of us can relate to regardless of our individual variations in intellect and education.

This is something many have failed to understand, particularly when analyzing Donald Trump. Based on your competitive college debate rules, Trump probably hasn’t won any of the debates he has participated in throughout this election cycle.

Actually, let me rephrase that.

Based on pre-cultural decline competitive college debate rules, Trump hasn’t won any of the debates he’s been in.

That isn’t because he doesn’t possess the intellectual rigor to debate on that level. It’s because he possesses the intellectual rigor to understand that the current electorate, with its almost negligible attention span, has no time for nuanced policy discussions.

Barack Obama didn’t win his candidacy in 2008 because he flawlessly opined about the intricacies of Wall Street regulation and cap and trade. He won because he kept saying ‘Hope and Change,’ and this tapped into an emotional vein commonly felt among millions of people. That was what carried him to the presidency.

The chattering classes understood this to a large degree back then (recall Chris Matthews tingling leg), but this time around they want to judge Trump on a highly technical policy wonk basis.

The rise of the ‘fact checker,’ more aptly described as pedantic geeks with little grasp of normal human expressions, such as sarcasm and facetiousness, is emblematic of the punditry missing the mark.

Nobody gives a shit if Trump ‘lied’ by saying that Clinton ‘acid washed’ her server, when she actually used ‘BleachBit.’ The point is that she tried to destroy evidence of wrongdoing, which itself constitutes wrongdoing. The ‘fact checker’s’ subsequent attempt to declare the entire argument invalid on such technicalities would be laughable, but for the fact these positions are elevated to legitimacy by a media pushing an agenda.

That Trump relentlessly blows through these sort of ‘fact checks’ is to them evidence of the absence of intellect in the Trump campaign as a whole. The reality is that Trump understands that disseminating truths and half truths with a dose of emotion embedded is far more effective.

If we’re going to have a culture which embodies the Marcuseian dictum of ‘whatever feels good is good,’ we shouldn’t be surprised that our politicians have evolved to be world class liars who specialize in lying to the public, ensuring their stranglehold on power by playing to that feelgood element.

Any politician who is honest, and was prepared to be principled on things such as the unsustainability of entitlements, wouldn’t last long in the politics game. So those lamenting the reality show nature of this election, I’d submit this: If you really want a Lincoln-Douglas level of debates, you need a Lincoln-Douglas electorate, with a Lincoln-Douglas grasp of the English language, and a moral and intellectual pedigree befitting that level.

Until you get there, stop moaning, and stop promoting cultural changes which advance the dumbing down of society.

 

 

 

Second Debate Review – Always Darkest Before the Don

Last week, speaking at a rally in Colorado, Donald Trump said the following, recounting his trials and tribulations during the early 1990s real estate crash:

In the early 1990’s, they splashed the front pages with stories about how Donald Trump — me, they said I was finished. Everyone said I was done. There were front page articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, among many others. They were thrilled and delighted.

 

The only person that didn’t think I was in trouble was a guy named Donald J. Trump. I didn’t think I was in trouble, I didn’t know what they were talking about. The power of positive thinking.

The last 48 hours have been full of similar howls of glee from the mainstream media declaring the end of the Trump campaign, following the hot mic tapes from 2005. The GOP was pulling funding, countless Republican congressmen disavowed Trump. Pressure was on for Trump to drop out of the race. Pence was rumored to have wanted off the ticket. Paul Ryan invited Trump from an event in Wisconsin. The end was nigh.

This would have been true if the candidate was your standard GOP Republican. He would have folded and begged for forgiveness. Not Trump. Trump is made of different stuff, and he showed that in this debate tonight. He won, and won handily. This was evidenced by most of the mainstream media, predisposed to a Clinton victory, being forced to declare that it was a draw. Here are my thoughts, in no real order:

  1. The Bush tapes, and the subsequent framing of Trump as the ultimate misogynist opened the door for Trump to bring up the skeletons both Hillary and Bill Clinton have in this arena. Having said that, Trump was walking a fine line. If he went nuclear and reduced Hillary to tears, he’d have lost the argument, despite being right on the facts. When the debate started, Trump was rather ‘soft,’ apologizing for his comments on the hot mic, but reiterating that it was merely locker room talk. If it was up to Trump, it would have been left there. Even when Anderson Cooper outright accused him of sexual assault, Trump remained cool and stuck to his message. Clinton raised the stakes when she went on a lengthy soliloquy insinuating Trump was a bad person. Trump had no choice but to respond.

1a. Trump’s escalation was almost flawless. He established the point that words are meaningless, compared to actions. He then calmly went through the sordid history of Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton herself, acknowledging that their victims were present in the audience. (This was an absolutely devastating move by Trump. Bill Clinton, upon entering the venue looked as though he was walking to face a firing squad. Hillary was clearly unnerved early on in the debate as well.) Clinton had no answer for this. Trump threaded the needle by being forceful without coming off as a bully.

2. One of the most important lines of the night was when Trump checked the moderators, Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz, two obvious Clinton fans, with the quip ‘one on three,’ referring to the fact that both of them were on Clinton’s side. One of the themes I’ve been harping on is that the coordinated attacks on Trump from the media and political establishments would only be effective to a point, because the ganging up on Trump would end up with him looking a victim. There was a clear change in the way the moderators behaved after that. To be sure, they were argumentative with Trump and interrupted him more than Clinton. But Trump completely nullified any sort of future ‘gotcha’ moment or ‘fact checking’ crusade the moderators had planned because he subtly put it into the mind of the viewer that everyone was against him. Incredibly effective.

3. The Wikileaks and Email portion of the debate was probably the highlight of the night, and should Trump go on and become President, some of those clips will be replayed for decades. In response to a question about Clinton’s Wall Street speech transcripts, in which she said that politicians should have public and private positions on things, she gave the following answer:

Trump followed it up with this:

From this point on, Trump was unstoppable.

4. I suspect the media will run with this moment more than anything else in the coming hours and days:

Even in the comments to that video, there are charges of ‘fascism,’ because Trump is promising to go after Clinton should he win. These accusations couldn’t be further from the truth. Why that is would be too lengthy to get into here. Suffice to say that most of those on the left and GOPe accusing Trump of fascism are merely projecting. It’s Trump supporters who are getting beaten in the street, having their property vandalized and threatened, merely for being Trump supporters. It is Trump himself who is facing all sorts of dirty tricks from all angles, merely because he stands in opposition to and is a real threat to the establishment power dynamic. He put the fear of God into them all with that remark.

The theory that Hillary Clinton was never prosecuted by the FBI was because if Hillary went down, the whole power structure of the Beltway Elite were coming with her looks more plausible by the day. You can rest assured that Barack Obama will pardon Clinton before he goes, and Trump will actually clean DC.

5. Trump was at his weakest when talking about Syria. He is fundamentally right, mind; the Russians are not our enemy, despite Clinton’s protestations throughout the evening. Trump’s problem was more stylistic in nature. He was rambling a bit too much for my taste. He was correct to blatantly disagree with Pence’s position. Pence holds the incorrect GOPe and Clinton view that the Russians are our enemy. Even though that will be another big talking point on TV, he was right to stand his ground.

6.  Further evidence that Trump won handily came in the shape of CNN being caught rigging an ‘unbiased’ focus group after the event:

It also released a ‘scientific’ poll made up of 58% Clinton supporters.

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Again, they came right out and declared that the polling group was made up of 58% Clinton supporters, and declared with a straight face that this ‘scientific’ poll showed Clinton won the debate 57-34. This disingenuous bullshit is being repeated on Twitter, attempting to fool the people into thinking that merely inserting the word ‘scientific’ into a description of a poll makes it accurate, or representative of anything. ‘Polls’ like these, and the ones using heavy D samples are simply meant to demoralize Trump supporters into thinking that he has no chance. The onslaught of coordinated fear and rumors over the Bush Tape was a clear example of that as well. And people wonder why the mainstream media is dying.

7. Finally, all of the GOPe weaklings, Paul Ryan the most prominent, need to hang their heads in shame. They’ve been exposed, yet again for the world to see. While President Obama ran roughshod over them for 8 years, they stood there and took it, not lifting a finger to advance the interests of the American People who put them in position to do just that. Yet, the minute someone says rather uncouth things on tape, or elsewhere, the knives come out.

The Paul Ryans, Ben Sasses, Mitt Romneys, and Jeb Bushes of the world are a dying breed of politician. Their deceit and backstabbing will never be forgotten. As for Trump, what he has accomplished as a political neophyte will be studied for the next 200 years, win or lose. He can celebrate his victory tonight, but the GOPe/Democrat/Media coalition, the Political Industrial Complex will not rest. We will see more polls with heavier and heavier Democrat samples. We’ll see more hit jobs, perhaps more smear attempts such as the Bush tapes. This behemoth won’t quit, because it is fighting for its survival.

 

P***y Riot 2: More Thoughts

Upon thinking further about the Trump Tape fiasco and the Podesta emails, I’ve got some things to add to my original post, in no particular order.

  1. The fact that these two events took place is telling:

Telling because it confirms that Trump has legit support, and that support isn’t being shaken by this latest smear campaign by the media

2. There are rumors on Twitter that it was the GOP establishment who leaked it. I don’t really buy that as of yet, but it were to be confirmed it wouldn’t be a surprise. Regardless, the way several of the GOPe members of House and Senate reacted, in unison to disavow Trump highlighted several things. First it highlighted that they were never on board with Trump in the first place. On a more basic level it highlights their hypocrisy, weakness, while confirming them as backstabbers. It underlines one of the main themes of the election, which is that Trump is a true outsider fighting against both the Republican and Democrat establishment, as well as a mainstream media. All 3 of those actors are set to have their influence neutered, if not destroyed completely by a Trump presidency, and this renders their actions in circling the wagons against Trump unsurprising.

3. Whether this hurts Trump, and how much is an open question. In the cold light of day, this is a nonsensical issue, tabloid fodder. Trump spoke in an uncouth manner, but there is no man on earth who hasn’t spoken in such an ‘ugly’ manner when it’s just the guys. Politics isn’t based on rational thought however, and as such Trump might be facing a hit. this is especially true because his ‘scandal,’ and indeed all of his ‘scandals’ to date have been much more visceral and emotional sounding than Clinton’s.

The ease in which encapsulating a ‘MISOGYNIST/SEXIST/EVIL/HITLER/BIGOT’ into an easily remembered sentence or phrase compared with the relative complexity in describing Clinton’s unending corruption and active humiliation and intimidation of Bill Clinton’s rape victims, not to mention her ‘dream’ of a borderless North America and executive ordered castration of the 2nd Amendment, renders Trump’s scandals more damaging, despite being not even being real scandals in the first place. Trump will have to overcome this.

4. One plus for Trump is that he was a known playboy from the start. He was never one of these Evangelical holier-than-thou politicians. As such this sort of revelation doesn’t do that much harm because it is congruent to who he is. Americans hate phony, and tape confirming what we already knew about Trump solidifies his authenticity. For all the people who might be scared away from him, others may be drawn in because he is ‘real,’ and have themselves engaged in that sort of boorish behavior themselves.

5. I can’t stress the contempt I have for the media for pulling this stunt, and others. They promote all sorts of sexual deviance, push pedophilia, push for things like mandatory sex education elementary school children about sex, yet cry bloody murder over tape of Trump being an alpha male. It’s a disgrace, which suggests to me there is an element of desperation in their tactics. The media, being part of the establishment triumvirate which wants Trump gone is stepping up its assault because Trump is too close for comfort. As I mentioned before his support is real. Having not been demoralized by a barrage of polls with unrealistic Democrat samples, the media is trying to go after Trump in this underhanded manner.

6. Related to that is an idea I’ve talked about before – the risk of the media and Clinton overplaying their hand. For a start, the MISOGYNIST/SEXIST/RACIST/BIGOT argument isn’t a real argument, it’s a slander. It works, however, owing to the issue I raised in point 3 about irrationality in politics. These hit pieces work because play on emotion. In 2016, this has been the vast majority of the attack, which is dangerous because at some stage people will get tired of it. The blatant nature of the Trump Tape attack has a decent chance of backfiring because a large percentage of people will see it for what it is – a low blow. It’ll turn Trump into an almost sympathetic figure, which might make him even stronger.

7. The debate Sunday night is going to be for all the marbles. I have no clue how Trump will play it, but early indications are he is preparing for war. If he ‘goes there’ with Clinton, he has to get it right. But even if he doesn’t, the entire debate has to be about Trump holding Clinton to the fire for her failures. It is possible the Trump Tape attack was a wad shot too early, done as a counter attack to the Podesta emails. The latter will be a slow burn, while most of the life of these Trump Tapes has already run its course. By the end of Sunday night, the debate will take over as the main talking point, along with the further digestion of the Podesta emails.

8. As I’ve said numerous times, Trump has given Americans a true choice for the first time since perhaps the 1980 election. If Americans want to eschew that real change because it comes in a boorish package, the so be it. But I prefer a p***y monger to an open border, globalist warmonger.

 

 

 

Reality Doesn’t Care About Feelings, Vol. 5 – P***y Riot

Yesterday we got a couple leaks, one concerning Donald Trump, and the other concerning Hillary Clinton. Both links confirmed we already knew about each candidate, but I’ll go through them in turn.

First, Wikileaks dumped a pile of emails from John Podesta on us. Podesta is a Clinton operative, currently as the Chair of Hillary’s campaign, and in the past as Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton. The biggest concentration of dirt is contained in the emails which compile excerpts from paid speeches Hillary Clinton gave to donors, big business interests and others (see here and here), for which she got paid tens of millions in speaking fees. Some of the more choice quotes are as follows:

Clinton explicitly says it is important to be two faced as a politician to better deal with the competing interest of the public and insiders:

CLINTON: You just have to sort of figure out how to — getting back to that word, “balance” — how to balance the public and the private efforts that are necessary to be successful, politically, and that’s not just a comment about today. That, I think, has probably been true for all of our history, and if you saw the Spielberg movie, Lincoln, and how he was maneuvering and working to get the 13th Amendment passed, and he called one of my favorite predecessors, Secretary Seward, who had been the governor and senator from New York, ran against Lincoln for president, and he told Seward, I need your help to get this done. And Seward called some of his lobbyist friends who knew how to make a deal, and they just kept going at it. I mean, politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position. [Clinton Speech For National Multi-Housing Council, 4/24/13]

Clinton, speaking to Goldman Sachs, opines about how the blame for the financial crisis could have been handled better, from a political point of view:

“That was one of the reasons that I started traveling in February of ’09, so people could, you know, literally yell at me for the United States and our banking system causing this everywhere.  Now, that’s an oversimplification we know, but it was the conventional wisdom. And I think that there’s a lot that could have been avoided in terms of both misunderstanding and really politicizing what happened with greater transparency, with greater openness on all sides, you know, what happened, how did it happen, how do we prevent it from happening?  You guys help us figure it out and let’s make sure that we do it right this time. And I think that everybody was desperately trying to fend off the worst effects institutionally, governmentally, and there just wasn’t that opportunity to try to sort this out, and that came later.” [Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments Symposium, 10/24/13]

Clinton admits that the passage of Dodd-Frank was largely a political maneuver, so the politicians could have been seen to be ‘doing something’ outwardly. Inwardly though, different story:

Clinton Said Dodd-Frank Was Something That Needed To Pass “For Political Reasons.”
“And with political people, again, I would say the same thing, you know, there was a lot of complaining about Dodd-Frank, but there was also a need to do something because for political reasons, if you were an elected member of Congress and people in your constituency were losing jobs and shutting businesses and everybody in the press is saying it’s all the fault of Wall Street, you can’t sit idly by and do nothing, but what you do is really important. And I think the jury is still out on that because it was very difficult to sort of sort through it all.” [Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments Symposium, 10/24/13]
Clinton expressing her very globalist ‘dream’ of a Unihemisphere setup in North America, essentially dissolving the individual identities of America, Mexico and Canada:
Hillary Clinton Said Her Dream Is A Hemispheric Common Market, With Open Trade And Open Markets. “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”  [05162013 Remarks to Banco Itau.doc, p. 28]
In terms of foreign affairs, in particular the goings on in the Middle East, sounds Trumpian in discussing refugees:

“So I think you’re right to have gone to the places that you visited because there’s a discussion going on now across the region to try to see where there might be common ground to deal with the threat posed by extremism and particularly with Syria which has everyone quite worried, Jordan because it’s on their border and they have hundreds of thousands of refugees and they can’t possibly vet all those refugees so they don’t know if, you know, jihadists are coming in along with legitimate refugees. Turkey for the same reason.”

[Jewish United Fund Of Metropolitan Chicago Vanguard Luncheon, 10/28/13]
Despite knowing this full well, she wants to bring more of these sort of refugees into the country, and decries those who oppose this as bigoted racists.
Clinton admits that Saudi Arabia is the one of the largest purveyors of Radical Islam. These comments are particularly jarring given the fact that believing this, she has no problems referring to them as allies, and taking in their millions to the Clinton Foundation:
“And they are getting a lot of help from the Saudis to the Emiratisto go back to our original discussionbecause the Saudis and the Emiratis see the Muslim Brotherhood as threatening to them, which is kind of ironic since the Saudis have exported more extreme ideology than any other place on earth over the course of the last 30 years.” [2014 Jewish United Fund Advance & Major Gifts Dinner, 10/28/13]
There are other choice email threads, like this one in which it is indicated that HRC would have qualms using an executive order to impose gun control and liability on gun manufacturers. And this one, in which the multitude of problems with the Iran deal are outlined, not least of which being the transfer of ‘billions’ to Iran to ‘enhance its funding for terrorism and its efforts to gain hegemony in the region,’ thereby making it, as per Trump, one of the worst deals ever signed indeed.
As I said earlier, most of this merely confirms a lot of what we already knew about Clinton. She’s a stereotype of a power hungry politician who will sell herself to the highest bidder as long as she is installed in a position of power. The end results of her actions are of little consequence.
The other leak which dropped yesterday, by the Washington Post, was of a video of Donald Trump talking on a hot mic with Billy Bush before an Access Hollywood appearance, all the way back in 2005. This is making waves because in it, Trump is describing an encounter he had with a married woman, in a crude manner. Here is a transcript of what was said:

“I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it,”

 

“Whoa,” another voice said.

 

“I did try and f— her. She was married,” Trump says.

 

Trump continues: “And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’”

 

“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” Trump says. “Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”

 

At that point in the audio, Trump and Bush appear to notice Arianne Zucker, the actress who is waiting to escort them into the soap-opera set.

 

“Your girl’s hot as s—, in the purple,” says Bush, who’s now a co-host of NBC’s “Today” show.

 

“Whoa!” Trump says. “Whoa!”

 

“I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump says. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”

 

“And when you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”

 

“Whatever you want,” says another voice, apparently Bush’s.

 

“Grab them by the pussy,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”

This led to outrage in the media. Various Republicans followed Paul Ryans lead in decrying Trump’s comments as the worst thing to ever have happened to mankind:

Paul Ryan statement

The media giddily suggested that the GOP camp was internally turning on Trump to the point where his withdrawal from the race was imminent. #NeverTrump acolytes celebrated on Twitter and other social media, sensing their finest hour might be upon them.

All because Trump confirmed to the world, in a rather blunt manner that he is indeed a heterosexual man who desires beautiful women.

Trump’s comments were indeed crude. They were not comments one would make in front of female relatives, or perhaps any female at all. They are, however, comments which are similar to those that have been made in that sort of context (amongst the fellas) by 99.9% of all heterosexual men over the age of 15 or so, in all of human history.

The outrage over this is thus disingenuous at the very least, on multiple levels.

For a start, the outrage flame is being fanned by those on the left, women of the feminist bent, and the weak willed men of the GOP establishment persuasion. This coalition outright promotes (in the case of leftists and feminists) or meekly allows(in the case of the GOPe) acceptance of any and all forms sexual deviancy, right up to and potentially including pedophilia. They’ve never heard of an ‘open marriage’ or ‘modern family’ arrangement they didn’t like.

Yet when Donald Trump speaks crudely of pursuing a woman, in a private conversation, all of a sudden these people reach into their trash cans, rummaging through the waste to find their Bibles and crosses, brush off the slime and start waving them around madly. Spare me.

Furthermore, these are the same people who praise female pornography series like 50 Shades of Grey, and made it one of the highest selling books of all time and a commercial success. This is mostly because of, and not in spite of its depictions of Christian Grey as a dominant billionaire who imposes his will on women sexually. These books are rife with intricate descriptions of rough sex and male dominance in the bedroom.

Given what we know about Trump already, and in light of this new release, what is Trump, if not an aged, real life version of Christian Grey? Despite their protestations, some women will take very well to this confirmation that Trump behaves as Grey does. There is evidence they already do, if this smattering of tweets is anything to go by:

trump fantasies

This saga has only shown what we already knew to be true about playboys, beautiful women, and fame. So again, spare me.

The legions of people in the media and politics attempting to position themselves as holier-than-thou paragons of virtue over this is, to use Paul Ryan’s terminology, sickening. In shaming what is essentially normal heterosexual male behavior in which they themselves have likely engaged in at some point in their lives, they are further cementing themselves as nothing more than weak virtue-signallers.

And in that context, the wider scope of the Trump Tape outrage is juxtaposed with the findings in the Podesta emails released by Wikileaks.

We have become a society which has devolved into being obsessed with being on The Right Side of History, with this ‘right side’ defined solely by Cultural Marxists and their ideals. Even supposed ‘conservatives’ strain themselves to adhere to this ‘right side.’

This desire to be seen as a Good Person, in the context of this election, means that one must ignore the fact that Hillary Clinton is perhaps the most corrupt individual ever to seek the Presidency, to ignore the fact that her tenure as Secretary of State was replete with failure, criminal mishandling of state secrets, and unending war in the Middle East. One must ignore the fact that her agenda explicitly seeks to erase the identity of the United States through her antagony toward the Second Amendment, literal erasure of its borders and introduction of immigrants she knows to be potentially dangerous. One must ignore that she is firmly in the camp that wants WW3 with Russia, which indeed is depressingly close, and would be all but confirmed with her election.

We must ignore this all, confirming ourselves as Good People, because Donald Trump made some off color remarks about a beautiful woman he tried to bed 11 years ago. We must ignore it all because Donald Trump may or may not have called a woman ‘Miss Piggy’ nearly 20 years ago. We must ignore it all because Donald Trump took a $900 million loss in 1995 and may have not have had to pay taxes in the years after, because the law says you don’t have to pay taxes on a loss until you make it back all the way.

This, from a ‘modern’ culture which fancies itself to be the most progressive, tolerant, and intelligent people who have ever lived.

One of the reasons I think this is the most important election of our time is the fact that it is essentially a Referendum on Virtue-Signalling, amongst other things. If the United States willingly chooses war, soulless globalism and the eradication of its traditional culture simply because Donald Trump is a bit boorish, we’ll have all the confirmation we need of the abject stupidity of crowds, and their susceptibility to succumbing to the contemptible ‘gotcha!’ and smear politics which has dominated campaigns for decades. This highlights the ultimate failure of pure one citizen, one vote democracies.

Of course, Franklin warned us about keeping the Republic centuries ago, but it’s the Current Year now. Nothing those BadPeople of yesteryear thought or said is of any consequence. Our generation’s current stance in history is that of the proverbial 20 year old kid who knows everything, until he reaches 25 and realizes he doesn’t.

I suppose that means we’ll reach this stage of true enlightenment at some point, just further in the future. It’s just a shame that we’ll have to incur unnecessary damage, hardship and wasted time to get there. (You can strike all of this, maybe, if Trump manages to pull himself out of this).

The Trump Tax ‘Bombshell’

Last night, the New York Times continued its attack on Donald Trump by dropping this ‘bombshell,’ publishing a leaked copy of part of Trump’s 1995 tax returns.

Here’s the bottom line: Trump declared a loss of over $900 million in 1995. By law, one is allowed to carry forward losses in one year to future years, which reflects the simple fact that the life cycle of a business doesn’t necessarily line up perfectly with the date.

In other words, if a business has a $5 million loss in one year, and a $6 million profit in the next, during the year with the losses, no taxes were paid. In the year in which the profit was made, the profits from the prior year is ‘carried forward,’ to reflect the fact that the business made a $1 million profit across two years. The IRS allows one to apply losses for up to 18 years, as long as it exceeds income made over that time.

Nothing about this is illegal, or even uncontroversial. The guy who owns a dry cleaner at your local strip mall faces these issues.

Yet the NYT used intentionally misleading language for the sole purpose of duping a misinformed electorate into thinking Trump has somehow gamed the system at the expense of the little guy.

The title of the piece itself is ‘Trump Tax Records Obtained by The Times Reveal He Could Have Avoided Paying Taxes for Nearly Two Decades.’ The use of the word ‘avoided’ is intentional, suggesting Trump did something sneaky. The bottom line is you don’t pay taxes on a loss, so Trump didn’t ‘avoid’ anything.

The piece spends a great deal of time talking about how the loss represented a devastation and heartbreak for those affected, while Trump was able to skate through unscathed because of extraordinary tax privileges apparently only he was privy to.

The truth is that the real estate industry was decimated in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Plenty of developers were devastated in a similar fashion to Trump. The difference was that Trump was the most high profile of the developers at the time, and as such his business trials and tribulations were in the public domain. To the extent he was fortunate lies in the fact that most developers would have been totally wiped out by a near $1 billion loss. Trump wasn’t, because he convinced the banks to work with him, so he didn’t have to liquidate all of the holdings he had already built up. Call it luck, or great negotiating, but that’s what happened. Nothing nefarious.

Yet, it will play that way to the average voter, for whom these sort of dealings are completely foreign. The concept of carrying forward a loss won’t resonate with them, and therefore they’ll be amenable to the Clinton spin that Trump is bilked the public for years.

It also represents an opportunity for Trump if indeed Clinton/the media keeps playing this line. It will almost surely come up in the next debate, at which time Trump needs to point blank state that there was nothing controversial, let alone illegal about what happened. The fact that the Clinton campaign and the media are portraying it that way can only mean one of two things.

One possibility is they do not understand even the most basic of tax law, accounting, and general business, and therefore cannot be expected to understand anything about creating jobs. Why would Clinton or the media understand anything about business or the economy, given Clinton has only worked in the public sector and the NYT’s support of failed neoliberal Keynesian economics?

The other possibility is brazen dishonesty, in knowing the average voter takes much better to a simple ‘Trump avoided taxes!’ one liner than the far lengthier, legal and accounting arguments such as what I’ve put forth here.

Furthering the dishonesty angle, there is a potential legal issue here involving the NYT releasing the leaked tax information. The Washington Post discusses it here.

So in a twist of irony, the NYT may have broken the law…to show that Donald Trump followed the law in his tax dealings. And people wonder why the mainstream media is failing.

They’re even bragging about the whole thing. The author of the piece has just written this article, breaking down the events leading to the piece. The way she describes it one could think she had solved the Jimmy Hoffa mystery rather than a data point corroborating an old saga that we already knew. Trump literally wrote a book about this period in his life, The Art of the Comeback.

The fact the leak came from Trump Tower itself is also rather intriguing. Did Trump himself leak the documents, so as to control the narrative, which he is known to do? The next few days should answer that.

Trump could use this saga to his advantage rather easily. It has been public information for decades that Trump had losses in the billions in the early 90s. Yet he is here, richer than ever. Losses happen, especially in business. But to be down on the mat, and then get up and triumph, is America in a nutshell. And this is precisely what Trump is trying to do with the country as a whole. The country is down, and trying to get back on its feet, and then some. Trump has been there, done that.

The indignation over Trump’s honest failures, compared with the silent acceptance of the dishonest enrichment of the Clintons stands as one of the clearest examples of what this election is all about. Because Clinton is on the ‘right side of history’ in terms of social justice nonsense that plagues the nation, her sins are forgiven, while Trump credits are manufactured into sins because of his resistance to the march of social justice.

Reality Doesn’t Care About Feelings, Volume 4 – The Larger Importance of the Machado Saga

Donald Trump further addressed the Alicia Machado saga yesterday with a series of early morning tweets on the matter:

The conventional political wisdom is that Trump stepped in a well laid trap that Hillary Clinton set for him. What he should have done was largely ignored the situation, maybe dealing with it in one abrupt sentence and then pivoting to something else. I think that this is a special case for a few reasons.

First, recall that it was Hillary Clinton who introduced Alicia Machado into the public conscience at the debate:

Hillary Clinton’s candidacy has been more an anti Trump plea than a pro Hillary one. The vast majority of her case has been ‘vote for Clinton because Trump is a sexist bigot.’ The use of Machado in this manner is entirely to buttress that argument. Machado is to be the smoking gun that proves Trump is a sexist, and thus Trump is disqualified.

Yes, in reality this IS side issue. But since Clinton has made such side issues central to her argument, it was necessary for Trump to address it, in my view. Had he let it slide, Clinton would have been able to parade Machado out constantly over the next month or so in an effort to influence the public with her sob story.

Furthermore, Trump is 100% in the right on this issue. For a start, the claim that he called her ‘Miss Piggy’ and ‘Miss Housewife’ are totally unsubstantiated claims. It is only Machado who is pushing that story. The background to the whole thing as follows:

  • Trump owned the Miss Universe pageant, which Machado won in 1996, the year before Trump bought it.
  • Machado then proceeded to gain weight, about 50-60 pounds.
  • The sponsors, and Miss Universe wanted to fire her, because the weight gain was in violation of her contractual obligations 
  • Trump stepped in and saved Machado’s job, by giving her a chance to lose the weight.
  • Trump made a media spectacle about it, in which he joked about his own weight problems, while addressing the serious issue that faces us all in this regard. It is below:

That was it. Now, 20 years later, Clinton has put Machado forth as the star witness in the prosecution of Trump’s sexism.

The problem for Clinton is that the credibility of Machado has now become an issue, and rightly so if she is going to be cast in this role as star witness.

In 1998 Machado allegedly drove a getaway car from a murder scene in Venezuela. She then used her connections to drug dealers to allegedly threaten the life of the judge in the case. Less criminally, she appeared on a Spanish reality show and had sex on camera with another castmate – who was not Bobby Abreu, the baseball player she was engaged to at the time. She also had the child of a Mexican Drug Lord, who is an American citizen by virtue of being born here.

Machado also claimed that because of Trump, she developed an eating disorder that is still with her today. However, in this Washington Post article, she clearly describes her problems with eating before having won the competition, which means it was before she had even met Trump, who did not purchase the pageant until a year later:

“I was anorexic and bulimic, but almost all of us are,” Machado says without so much as a blink. “When I was preparing for Miss Universe, it was an obsession for me to not gain weight. By the time I won, I was actually recovering. But the year leading to it, I didn’t eat at all. And whatever I ate, I threw up. I weighed 116 pounds when I won. I was skeletal.”

In response to all of this being brought up, Machado had this to say in defense:

“He can say whatever he wants to say. I don’t care,” she emphatically stated. “You know, I have my past, of course. Everybody has a past, and I’m not a saint girl, but that is not the point now.”

 

“That moment in Venezuela was wrong, was another speculation about my life because I’m a really famous person in my country because I’m an actress there and in Mexico, too,” she continued. “And he can use whatever he wants to use. The point is, that happened 20 years ago.”

In short, Machado, an individual with a questionable past and shaky moral values, told a story which is uncorroborated, and then told a provable lie which goes to the heart of the very story she is trying to tell. Ye she is being treated like an ‘angel’ as Trump put it his tweet.

While it is true that everyone has a past, most people’s pasts don’t include being involved in murders and judge intimidation. Furthermore, we are actually supposed to absolve her from being involved with a murder and judge intimidation simply because it was 20 years ago. Yet, we are supposed to crucify Donald Trump for allegedly calling a woman fat…20 years ago.

It boggles the mind of anyone with the slightest bit of rationality, which explains why the mainstream media decided to go all in and bat for Clinton/Machado.

The NYT wrote the following about the allegation that Machado appeared in a sex tape:

Ms. Machado appeared in a risqué scene on a reality television show, but fact-checkers have discovered no sex tape.

I’ll allow Paul Joseph Watson to explain why this nonsense stretches credulity.

Even more hilariously, the mainstream media has dug up this video of Trump from 2000:

The video was part of a 2000 Playboy softcore film. This is seemingly the intro sequence or something, I’m not entirely sure. What it shows is Trump welcoming Playboy models to New York City by pouring champagne on a limousine on a public NYC street in broad daylight, everyone fully clothed. And this is being cited as evidence of Trump as an ‘adult film star.’ A Clinton spokesperson said this:

There’s been a lot of talk about sex tapes today, and in a strange turn of events, only one adult film has emerged today, and its star is Donald Trump.

In short:

Knowingly having sex on film which is to be publicly aired = not a sex tape

Pouring champagne on a limousine in a public street, fully clothed = adult film star

The Big Picture

I’ve painstakingly gone through these details to show what a bizarro, upside down clown world we currently live in. As long as you are a person with views outside the politically correct, establishment approved norms, you are subject to having this sort of treatment foisted upon you.

And this is the larger aspect of the Machado saga. The fact that these sort of nonsensical forays into identity politics are a staple of political campaigns is something that needs to be nipped in the bud. While other politicians of lesser fortitude would have allowed themselves to be bullied by these tactics, I commend Trump for standing up to ambushes like these, because at the end of the day they do nothing but insult the intelligence of the average person.

By virtue of Clinton dramatically introducing Machado to the world on a Presidential Debate sage in front of 100 million people, backed by a complicit media which had Machado puff pieces and TV interview spots at the ready, this was always intended to be a big campaign issue. The aim was to turn women away from Trump en masse. If Trump is able to successfully combat this pathetic mode of political attack, he might render it useless in the future, to the benefit of the political discourse of this country generally.

Beyond politics, tactics like this are meant to silence. In the context of who deserves to be president, whether Trump called a woman fat years ago has no relevance. Yet is being presented in order to push the narrative of ‘sexism,’ which in turn is a weapon wielded by leftists in order to silence dissent. In the current climate, all one has to do is utter the word ‘sexist’ or ‘bigot,’ and you win the argument by criminalizing the opposition. Trump exposing the media and Clinton engaging in this intellectually lazy behavior will benefit the country culturally.

That Clinton would even pull this sort of early ‘October Surprise,’ with such a terribly flawed case and terribly flawed ‘victim’ could smack of desperation. But beyond this, for it to work would require female voters to discount the list of women Clinton allegedly intimidated to stay silent about Bill Clinton’s mistreatment of them. It would require female voters to discount the incompetence shown in allowing 4 Americans to die in Benghazi, the corruption and cronyism alleged in the Cinton Foundation and Wall Street speeches, which allowed the Clintons to go from ‘dead broke’ to having a net worth in the hundreds of millions. Female voters would have to discount the incompetence and/or outright criminality involved in deleting emails from a private server which held classified government information, her complicity in thrusting the United States in to foreign war after foreign war costing thousands of lives and creating chaos in the Middle East and an unprecedented migrant crisis, all while accepting money from countries with atrocious records with respect to the treatment of women. Female voters would have to side with a media establishment which blatantly covers for and aids Clinton in her bid for the presidency, because it’s ‘her turn.’

All because Trump may or may not have called a woman Miss Piggy 20 years ago.

 

 

Thoughts on The First Debate

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump debated each other for the first time on Monday night. Here are my thoughts after a couple days:

I watched the debate through the lens of the political pundit, and from that vantage point, Clinton beat Trump slightly. She was more coherent, and thus made more sense. The problem was that there was very little in the way of substance. It was all political inanities, and thus they didn’t hold any weight. The memorable lines she had were mostly zingers, which made for good TV, but didn’t really do much to attract a new audience, in my opinion.

Trump was rather disappointing from that political pundit lens. He rambled, and was repetitive at times which made him a bit incoherent. He interrupted Clinton and the moderator, Lester Holt quite a bit which made him seem combative. In his defense, both candidates forced Trump on the defensive by picking at some of his known personal flaws. Trump, to his credit, wanted to give his side of the story on every single point, but in doing so, he took up too much time and thus spent too little time attacking Clinton’s major flaws.

Having said that, Trump was at his best in the beginning of the debate, and got in the best exchange of the night when he put Hillary Clinton’s feet to the fire over her and Bill Clinton’s support of NAFTA and TPP:

He was also very strong when he reminded the country that Hillary Clinton has been in politics for decades, and none of the problems the country has can be fixed:

Thus, despite a less than ideal performance stylistically, Trump still ended up getting a defined message across, a message which is obviously in opposition to Clintion’s message, or lack thereof. This was one of the most important things, in my view. He established himself to new viewers as the change candidate, explicitly noting that Clinton’s experience was plentiful, but ‘bad’ experience, and thus useless.

As I said before, I thought Trump lost through the lens of the political pundit, but from the lens of the undecided voter, or individual who was seeing Trump for the first time, Trump probably made a decent impression. This is because those voters walked in expecting him to be a complete buffoon who thinks Africa is a country.

As mentioned earlier, Trump was able to put forward a clear message as opposed to tired political inanities. His specific references to the decimation of states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan when talking about trade is far more effective than Clinton’s bland talk about an economy ‘working for all.’ In other words, Trump spoke to individuals, Clinton to a generic voting bloc.

According to Scott Adams, Trump had a successful debate because he showed the country that he wasn’t an absolute madman, as portrayed by the mainstream media. :

But the most interesting question has to do with what problem both of them were trying to solve with the debate. Clinton tried to look healthy, and as I mentioned, I don’t think she completely succeeded. But Trump needed to solve exactly one problem: Look less scary. Trump needed to counter Clinton’s successful branding of him as having a bad temperament to the point of being dangerous to the country. Trump accomplished exactly that…by…losing the debate.

 

Trump was defensive, and debated poorly at points, but he did not look crazy. And pundits noticed that he intentionally avoided using his strongest attacks regarding Bill Clinton’s scandals. In other words, he showed control. He stayed in the presidential zone under pressure. And in so doing, he solved for his only remaining problem. He looked safer.

 

By tomorrow, no one will remember what either of them said during the debate. But we will remember how they made us feel.

On that last point, Adams is absolutely correct. I’ll go one step further, and say that by the second half of the debate, most people were tuning out and thus couldn’t tell you what was said even 20 seconds later. I know I was zoning out, mostly messing about on Twitter while listening in the background.

As far is Trump seeming less scary, Adams is right. While Trump was combative, as I stated, he was mostly on the defensive. But more importantly, there was no ‘Little Marco’ or ‘tough guy Jeb’ moment. He didn’t go nuclear on Clinton although he could have when she left the door wide open for him to do so. On top of this, the fact that he was able to go toe to toe with Clinton without any major flubs, missteps, not knowing basic facts, etc, was a win for him, given the expectations that he would be exposed in this setting against Clinton.

All in all, he did well for his first one on one debate on that elevated of a stage.

That hasn’t stopped the media from trying to invent a scandal where there was none. Enter Alicia Machado, the Venezuelan Miss Universe winner from 1996. Hillary Clinton brought her up at the end of the debate out of nowhere to highlight how poorly Trump treats women. Clinton said that he called her ‘Miss Piggy’ and ‘Miss Housewife,’ berating her because she had gained weight after the pageant. Recall that Trump had owned the Miss Universe pageant at the time.

Clinton’s aim of course, was to use Machado to highlight how poorly Trump treats women, thus painting him as a sexist. On its face, it is a tired, old political smear tactic. As I’ve mentioned in before, this appeal to an identity group (in this case women), is slowly falling on deaf ears. Yet, politicians and professional victims are resorting to these tactics more than ever.

But even beyond this, the claim is ridiculous. For a start, Machado, having won the Miss Universe crown, took on added contractual obligations as a result. Her gaining 50 pounds was not a good look. That’s just a fact. If you win a prize because of your beauty and physical attractiveness, there is nothing wrong with being asked to maintain that form for future endorsements, which were based solely on that physical form.

She didn’t do it, and thus was about to be dropped from her endorsements and obligations. It was Trump who didn’t want to let her go, and thus gave her the option to get in shape. This video from CNN explains the whole story.

In true Trump style, he made a public event over Miss Universe working out to get back into shape. As you can see in the video, everyone there is making light of the situation. Maybe things were different off camera. But you can’t fake the warm interaction between Trump and Machado captured here. Honestly, if you an find evidence of Trump’s extreme misogyny here, you must truly be a miserable person.

And this is all before going into Machado’s rather colorful past.

Yet the media, almost across the board, went in on this story in the 48 hours after the debate. Machado did the rounds, appearing on Good Morning America, CNN, Megyn Kelly, and others. The print media salivated, and the political pundits wailed about Trump the way the usually have.

This episode highlights why the mainstream media is sliding further and further into irrelevancy. It’s like they don’t understand that we, as the public, have access to the internet, an can dig all the way down the source material, thereby highlighting lies, obfuscations and narratives driven by out of context remarks, and so forth. Yet the media keeps on keeping on. They truly know nothing else.

 

Weekend Reading, Plus Debate Preview

First, the debate:

Pat Buchanan thinks Trump can win the debate if he merely exceeds the very low bar which has been set for him:

With only a year in national politics, he does not have to show a mastery of foreign and domestic policy details. Rather, he has to do what John F. Kennedy did in 1960, and what Ronald Reagan did in 1980.

 

He has to meet and exceed expectations, which are not terribly high. He has to convince a plurality of voters, who seem prepared to vote for him, that he’s not a terrible risk, and that he will be a president of whom they can be proud.

 

He has to show the country a Trump that contradicts the caricature created by those who dominate our politics, culture and press.

I tend to agree. This debate is almost entirely about Trump. He is the reason behind all the hype, he is the reason why there will be potentially a Super Bowl level audience. At the same time, he has a higher burden of proof. Right now, the substantial portion of the electorate that is on the fence with him has concerns over his ‘temperament.’ He has been made out to be a loose cannon that will go off at the slightest provocation. Some have intimated that the next major global conflict may arise because of a Tweet.

Trump is also made out to be totally clueless when it comes to policy, in particular foreign policy. These narratives have more or less stuck to Trump, and his success has come in spite of them. The debate offers Trump the opportunity to show the nation that he is taking the office of the presidency seriously. He has to show some basic awareness of the global situation around the world, avoiding a Gary Johnson Aleppo situation.

Stylistically, Trump would do well to avoid the bombast that was a feature of his Republican debates. This is not because it is a negative in and of itself, but because it is overkill. It feeds into the narrative that he is a loose cannon. If Clinton tries to play it tough, in an attempt to show she isn’t afraid to back down to ‘bullies,’ Trump turning the tables and being the smiling charmer that he can be would be devastating.

If Clinton reverts to her natural Typical Politician demeanor, Trump might have to be a bit tougher. He will have to be careful though, due to his reputation and because of the fact that Clinton is a woman. Despite the feminist Strong Independent Woman rhetoric which underpins her candidacy, there’s no doubt in my mind that the ‘sexism’ card will be used if Trump is seen in any way as bullying. Indeed, Obama intimated that it was sexism that was the only reason the election is close.

A word on the moderator, Lester Holt. Due to the fact that the media is in opposition to Trump, I expect the debates to be a Hillary + moderator tag team versus Trump. Undoubtedly, Hillary Clinton, along with Holt, will attempt to play on the loose cannon narrative in an attempt to create some sort of memorable moment of Trump exploding. Trump will score a major blow if he explicitly points this out in real time. There will surely be a moment when the moderator tries to go out of bounds to get Trump. It may be some sort of obscure historical fact, or digging up an old tweet or Trump quote in an interview. If Trump is able to get through this moment, and even reframe it to his advantage,  it’ll be a win.

As for the substance, Hillary Clinton will obviously be more ‘informed,’ in the sense that she is far more skilled at delivering memorized, focus group tested, inane political talking points than Trump is. In comparison, Trump will sound less scholarly.

This won’t matter as long as Trump sticks to his main messaging, perhaps reminding the public that all of the knowledge Clinton and those of her ilk possess has had disastrous real world results in the Middle East, the economy and elsewhere. All talk no action.

Personally, I believe the mainstream media will declare Clinton the winner, no matter what happens, apart from a health issue on her part.

Other Things to Read this Weekend:

An accurate take on the recent goings on in the Syria Conflict:

What happened in Syria is painfully obvious: the Pentagon sabotaged the deal made between Kerry and Lavrov and when the Pentagon was accused of being responsible, it mounted a rather crude false flag attack and tried to blame it on the Russians.

 

All this simply goes to show that the Obama Administration is in a state of confused agony.  The White House apparently is so freaked out at the prospects of a Trump victory in November that it has basically lost control of its foreign policy in general and, especially, in Syria.  The Russians are quite literally right: the Obama Administration is truly “not-agreement-capable”.

 

Of course, the fact that the Americans are acting like clueless frustrated children does not mean that Russia will reciprocate in kind.  We have already seen Lavrov go back and further negotiate with Kerry.  Not because the Russians are naive, but precisely because, unlike their US colleagues, the Russians are professionals who know that negotiations and open lines of communications are always, and by definition, preferable to a walk-away, especially when dealing with a superpower.  Those observers who criticize Russia for being “weak” or “naive” simply project their own, mostly American, “reaction set” on the Russians and fail to realize the simply truth that Russians are not Americans, they think differently and they act differently.

Staying in the vein of American interventions, some Libyans are starting to regret the backing of the US in getting rid of Gaddafi:

As stated by Libyan medical student, Salem:

 

“We thought things would be better after the revolution, but they just keep getting worse and worse.

 

“Far more people have been killed since 2011 than during the revolution or under 42 years of Gaddafi’s rule combined.

 

“We never had these problems under Gaddafi.

 

“There was always money and electricity and, although people did not have large salaries, everything was cheap, so life was simple.

 

“Some of my friends have even taken the boat to Europe with the migrants because they feel there is no future for them here.

 

“I would like to escape this mess and study abroad but I have been waiting a year for a new passport and, even when I do get one, it will be hard to get a visa because all the embassies left in 2014.

 

“So now I feel like a prisoner in my own country. And I have started to hate my own country.”

From the consistently good Jefferey Snider at Alhambra: Like Everything Else, History Repeats (Almost Exactly) Because Power Truly Corrupts:

As with almost everything with regard to global monetary policies, the Fed merely copied the Bank of Japan with about a decade lag (give or take a few years). The idea of “lower for longer” wasn’t made in the USA, it was designed and first implemented overseas by the Japanese. Every policy statement since the FOMC’s December rate decision could have easily just reprinted what I quoted above.

 

And US monetary officials are making the same mistake the Japanese made; they would only get as far as a second rate hike in early 2007 because of it. The reason is the same as now – they mistook the absence of contraction as if it were the start of stable, renewed growth. Not paying any attention to actual monetary conditions, it didn’t matter how narrow the data was in furtherance of that interpretation; BoJ policymakers saw what they wanted to see and used that as if the appropriate standard. In their case it was the CPI back on the plus side (but only temporarily), while in the US since 2014 it has been the official unemployment rate that excludes far too many.

Speaking history repeating, Fannie and Freddie are reverting to housing boom tactics to spur on home buying:

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are lowering mortgage standards.  On Monday, the two government-backed housing giants revealed a new program designed to boost mortgage origination among first time buyers and those with low to medium incomes. The new program, which will initially be limited two non-bank lenders, will allow borrowers to include the income of residents that aren’t actually on the mortgage, as well as make it easier for borrowers to include income from second jobs.

 

While these changes may strike some as sensible, anyone who has seen The Big Short would have valid concerns in the oversight of these looser lending standards – especially when you consider that the companies responsible for mortgage origination will not be the ones holding the mortgages, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will. It’s always easier to make loans when you know the taxpayers are the ones that will be holding the ris