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March 17, 2016


Wayne Borean


Possible. Or they could be working for Kasich. Or even Cruz! This could be an attempt by Cruz staffers to make Trump look bad to Republican women.

You never know...


"This article is for you:"

No way such an article will change anything: “America is the only country where a significant proportion of the population believes that professional wrestling is real but the moon landing was faked.”

There is no amount of information, evidence, or facts that will change the opinion of the Republicans while Hillary is still alive.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

Interesting new developments on the democrat front - now it seems like Hillary will not enter a debate with Sanders unless he "Tones down his language".

If she follows through on that threat, it might just cost her the nomination... :)

Wayne Borean


Didn't say it would. It might show Catriona why so many people back her.


Don't see it causing her that much of a problem. It will however cost Sanders a chance to be seen.



Don't you worry about Sanders being not seen. He's been outspending Clinton on TV ads since January.

Per "wertigon" Ekström


What happens when top dogs skip the debates? They get punished for it. Trump tried it, and that cost him Iowa.

Wayne Borean


Spending on ads, and being seen in a debate are two different things.


Maybe. The situation is different though. Trump did it fairly early in the cycle, while Hillary will be doing it late. It will be interesting to see what happens. FYI, I'm cheering for Sanders, even though I don't think he can win against Hillary. I always did like underdogs!

Tomi T Ahonen


This thread took me by surprise.. 88 comments to our lovely hobby discussion about the election? Gosh luvly... I hope its not stupid stuff haha... Wow. Didn't expect to find that when I landed. Ok, lets do some reading and replying

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Wayne

Gosh thanks for the Ehrlichman interview. Wow. It makes 100% sense. I kind of had a gut feeling there is a hidden agenda to the war on drugs but gosh, that makes perfect sense and yes, the start was with the Nixon administration, then it was paused during the Carter years but returned with a vengeance with Reagan's administration. Yes. It gives the perfect excuse to target specific enemies and especially their leadership. VERY good article that I very well might have missed when I'm heading out to read the political stuff later today. Thanks.

Incidentially, back when I used to read the Economist religiously (and I mean religiously every single print issue probably every single week from about 1974 to about 2010) one of the greatest treasures that happened all too infrequently, but happened several times every year - was the editorial that blew your mind away, that opened an honest alternate viewpoint or angle. The most amazing such The Economist impact to my life was somewhere during the 1980s when they suddenly wrote an editorial to legalize drug use.

I had personally been a total anti-drug person, personally for me (reason being very simple and selfish - early on I got tested for remarkably high IQ and sometime after that - within a year of that - I discovered the then-radical news in the 1970s that drugs will do irreparable damage to your brain. That article specifically said that various drugs reduced your IQ. I recognized that my talent was a rare gift and decided I would never voluntarily destroy any part of the advantage I had been born with). But I am very much a libertarian by philosophy - hence loving so much about the philosophy in the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights etc - I want maximal freedom to everybody - including the freedom to damage themselves (ie take risks) if they so desire - as long as they do not harm others. I therefore didn't feel a strong need to have a war against drugs either as drug users or even drug pushers. Yes, drug dealers are criminals and should go to prison but they're not 'worse' than rapists or murderers in terms of criminals, warranting anything as severe as a war haha. So I was never a drug user myself but I wasn't against the right of others to use drugs if they wanted to (recognizing that was a crime and they might end up doing time for it). Now, separately, I have a huge MISTRUST of any drug USERS - recognizing what I had read about addiction and how an addict won't be in control of their own lives (necessarily). So a few times that I noticed clear drug usage in a work colleague for example, I steered rapidly away from that person.

So back to The Economist. A conservative paper would be expected to push the severe line against drugs. And lo and behold, The Economist was one of the very first - might have been THE first conservative publication - to suggest that the solution to drugs was to legalize it. And they made a compelling case - in how only The Economist could - and I was instantly converted. And for the past 3 decades I've then been awaiting for the world to slowly catch up to the reality spelled out in that wonderful magazine editorial. When the Netherlands legalized pot use, I wasn't surprised. Then when now recently first medical pot use and now overall legalized pot has started to become legal in the USA, again, am not surprised except a bit saddened how long it has taken them to get to that obvious truth and realization, the war on drugs (at least with pot) is a total waste and just pointlessly criminalizes random citizens who happen to get caught.

And again - sorry about the lecture - obviously its more dangerous to drive a car while being stoned than it is to be above the limit of being drunk haha... I know all that. But its me the libertarian... I prefer to give people maximum freedoms if at all possible...

So yeah... war on drugs. Good move by Obama to to commute those drug sentences but tens of thousands more are in prison with bogus overly excessive charges. These will need to be undone in coming years.

PS - The Economist was the last print mag I was still paying money to read. Until it hit me, it is last week's paper. I do get all my news online and I want also all my analysis online - inluding The Economist of course - but buying the paper magazine became a former hobby essentially overnight. I think I've bought 3 issues in the past 5 years because I was utterly bored and passed a news stand. Then reading it, while loving a few of the articles, noticed almost all the stuff of interest - I had already taken in, from my usual news sources in the past week(s). So I had each time a profound 'I am so wasting my time with this news source' feeling.

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutantur in illis

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

hi everybody

(sorry am rushing to catch up).. so you guys had a good discussion about how long might the Republican party recover or might it not at all (or split). Including the three extremist factions now dictating to the party...

Lots of agreement to that all. First, my fave option is that the Convention becomes so contested, it results in a split in the party. I think it would be healthy for both the USA and for the Republican party and actually would be the fastest and least painful way for the GOP to get back to health (or possibly if things go badly for them, to vanish).

I think nothing says more loudly that the two-party system is broken, than how some Trump supporters can say, they'd consider voting for Bernie (or vice versa). There cannot be a bipolar 'intergalactic standard political axis' if that is possible. That means the world is not only bipolar, black-and-white, either-or world of R or D. And a healthier development for the USA is for a genuine third party to emerge (and in the future, more parties). Yes, its perhaps more messy and less efficient - but its more democratic. Clearly a slice of America is racist and sexist and wishes the whites were in power and think the wrong side won the Civil War and that all sorts of brown people should be denied access or rights, and thats fine. Its their belief. It is not a winning proposition, but if those people want a voice, there should be a racist party for them to hang out with their pals. Don't come pollute the sensible ruling parties.

The Tea Party is the party of No. Let them split into their own faction, more or less with Trump (take Cruz and Sarah Palin with you) and leave the rest of the Republican party alone. Incidentially, why not have a Christian party split into its own as well. They can do their baby harvesting sillyness but again, don't hijack a genuine national party with that extremist agenda. If a Christian party was to openly promote a pro-Bible governing philosophy - MOST Christians would recoil and not support that party... but their own kind could have their little club and vote protest votes with their handful of members of Congress etc...

Anwyay, my ideal scenario is a genuine split, Trump (or possibly Cruz or even both of them) leading a break of the party (or the Hollywood version, that Trump takes over the party, and the rebel traditionalists break away to re-launch a genuine Republican non-Tea Party party). Obviously both the Tea Party and purist Republican party would lose heavily in the immediate elections of 2016 and likely also into 2018 but they'd establish their clear identities and a 'very moderate' Republican party - in the style of Bill Kristol and Morning Joe Scarborough and George Will and Colin Powell - could 'steal' plenty of moderates from the way the Democratic party is rushing to embrace a Socialist-Liberal progressive edge...

Now on the recovery. The break in the party is unlikely but possible. So what of recovery then. I think its telling that in 2012 the party had its widely discussed autopsy - and did NOTHING that autopsy demanded. And instead, went in the WRONG direction full speed for the past 4 years. I like the analogy of the dead end (in driving and maps). Its a really frustrating feeling as a driver if you are intending to go somewhere (as in somewhere you've never been to and don't know the way) and you suddenly notice, this is a dead end road. Its not just that you can't get to where you wanted to go - now you have to go BACK the way you came. And that can be - on a country road - a long way too. Very frustrating. And that is what the Republicans did - bizarrely - the past 4 years. They will pay a price. Hillary's victory margin in 2016 is at least partly thanks to the crazy behavior of the Republicans (especially Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, less so now Paul Ryan).

So they have an even worse 'road back' that they need to travel than what say the Democrats had with Walter Mondale's drubbing in 1984 (did you know Mondale is still alive - talk about being condemned out of public life, he is a former VP, yet nowhere to be found. That is what I wish for Trump after November).

BUT there is also HOPE. From a guy from Hope... The Democrats were lost until a young Bill Clinton came and showed them 'a third way' in his unlikely path to victory. Thats really all it takes - one brave soul who is really good at articulating the obvious vision, and then getting the party to join in that mission. I think the repair can come in one election cycle - but I think - also - that it NEEDS that kind of charismatic leadership and the new hope candidate. It won't be someone from the past. So imagine the potential we felt in Marco Rubio. But he's now not it anymore. Now consider say Nikki Haley for 2020 - after the 20 point catastrophy of Trump's loss in 2016, why not go with nearly everything that Trump was against haha... Nikki could become the face of the party and the nominee and while I think anyone will lose to Hillary in 2020 - that could help expedite a quick change to the party - because so much of the non-Tea Party members of the Republican party can SEE how wrong this path is.

Now those who support Democrats can delight in wishing the confusion among the rivals will last decades and essentially give the donkey party a monopoly on all major elected offices haha...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi all

Oh and Trump... Now he's said he no longer is certain to keep his pledge to support the GOP's eventual nominee if its not himself.. Well that was.. honest. If I was planning anti-Trump ad campaigns, I'd include this instance as proof of how meaningless are any promises by Trump. But it also brings me back to the last debate they had - where all three rivals did attack Trump but then at the end, when asked, all three said yeah, they'd support the eventual nominee. I betcha they'd love to get to say something else if they could have a re-do of just that moment...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Millard Filmore

@Tomi: " I betcha they'd love to get to say something else if they could have a re-do of just that moment..."

I am on vacation, relaxing with the TV on in the background, but I think Cruz has in fact said he cannot support anyone that attacks his family.

I just did a Google search and came up with this:

"All three GOP candidates backed away from their pledge to support GOP nominee"


Trump answers all questions to CNN. The concept that words have a specific meaning seems to be totally alien to him. Not really a surprise.

Donald Trump did a CNN townhall last night. And it was a classic.


A quote from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass:

"When I use a word," Trumpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

I am REALLY stunned by the bit of honesty that came out of Trump's uncontrolled mouth today, speaking to students, reported by Politico. He broke from his campaign stump speech for a short detour into career advice and said "always be around unsuccessful people because everybody will respect you."

My mind is blown. I don't know where to begin. First off, all - all - all - ALL - successful business leaders say the opposite on TWO levels. First, not unsuccessful people - all really successful leaders in ANY area of life - want to be around OTHER successful or great people. The best leaders seek to hire and promote SMARTER people than they themselves are. Consistent theme among all real successful leaders - nobody ever has said its a good idea to collect the worst losers around to your team or hang around with. This is so perverted Trumpian logic (and lets recall, he didn't make his Billions, he inherited his money, nearly ruined what he got from his dad initially, was bailed out again by his dad, then its been estimated that his investments have panned out so badly, that if he just bought a standard portfolio of highly rated stocks with his money he'd be worth more today than he is now. Thats before we count all the total disasters of his failures in most businesses that do not depend on his celebrity status and showman image)

Anyway. Second important point - that Trump would think that a weird biased 'peer review' of idiots would somehow make smart people feel good about themselves and their lives? What kind of perverted and severely deprived sickness is that? But yeah. So Trump doesn't suggest - find the best minds and use you fresh skills out of university to create a wonderful career - no he says, find losers so you can seem smart to THEM. Not to achieve something but to SEEM smart and SEEM a success.

But that... then triggered something inside my head which took about an hour to 'brew' until it hit me - the real gem in this insight. THIS IS WHY HE CONNECTS.

Trump has nurtured a skill to sell to losers. A skill to be the con artist to those who are most vulnerable - those who are systematic failures in their lives and careers. He has made a life of living with career failures. He has collected such 'talent' around himself. That is why The Apprentice was such a big hit - Trump knows WHAT LANGUAGE to use to talk to those losers. Its how he SELLS his bogus University and his various investments and whatever ideas. None are good or sustainable but INITIALLY will sell if the brand seems good (ie Trump, must be good) and he THEN USES THE RIGHT LANGUAGE

I am incredibly irritated every time he brags about his wealth because I lived in one of Finland's richest families (not born into it, my mothers's second husband; not that my real dad wasn't rich too, only not at that level). It was VERY VERY clearly taboo in those circles - my peers in an exclusive 'elite' school in Finland - to brag about one's wealth. Same with most who have lived as rich people. The people who brag about wealth are those who won the lottery or somehow suddenly and unexpectedly became rich - and they usually don't do that for long. But Trump keeps at it. And now I get it. He KNOWS IT WORKS for HIS AUDIENCE. Those who have 'always failed' in life, they are near the end of their hope, they need a savior, they need a messiah, they need a miraculuous super-success to come to their lives and Trump is it. These are the same idiots who buy the self-help videotapes from late late night TV infomercials. How to get rich from your own home, just send 19.95 and we will send you the whole kit... Trump sounds like THOSE annoying guys. The worst type of used-car salesman.

But now I get it. This is how Trump was programmed his whole life. Why most people see right through him - thats a total basket case and I'd never buy one of his steaks or his silly Vodka or gosh, buy one of his apartments - but a 'lifetime loser' would. They'd scrape together their last pennies to come up with the payments to go to Trump University or whatever the current scam is - or now - to vote for Trump.

He said that really weird thing months ago 'I have the best words'. Haha. Yeah. And you're really really smart too haha. Well, it makes you FEEL smart to hang around with the idiots that you prefer as your company. And for THEM... Trump does have the best words. Simple words of only superlatives. This is the very best. I have to be honest with you, the very very best. And that article critical of me, you know that author is the worst. Really a horrible human being. Oh, I went to Wharton, you know its the best school, ok, so one of the best, but in reality, I gotta tell you, it is the best.... Speaking only in superlatives and constantly bragging about himself - no SANE and normal person would put up with him and that tiresome act - but 40% of Republican voters love him. Of course the majority of Republicans don't like him and the majority of Americans overall hate him. But now that 'I have the best words' comment finally makes total sense. He does use the best language not to all Americans but to this - usually ignored sub-segment of the population - those who are perennial losers.

Now, again, not all of Trump supporters fall into this category - some of the white supremacists are not perennial losers (although there no doubt is some overlap there haha) and so forth. But gosh, that makes SO MUCH SENSE.

And it says so much - that he said earlier that his primary foreign policy advisor is himself, that he talks to himself (because obviously all during his life he's only collected inferior minds around himself). Then yes, his list of the few advisors he mentioned include for example a Putin supporter.. Now his Putin comments make more sense. And then obviously the recent foreign policy interview with was it WaPo or NYT, he would essentially want to leave South Korea and Japan (pushing those two countries to rapidly accelerate their peaceful nuclear research into nuclear weapons - nice - two countries more into the nuke club and then promoting a nuke weapon arms race in Asia with Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia to join soon..)

Then he'd want to reduce US involvement in NATO - thats giving more power to his pal Putin. Yeah good move there Mr New Ronald Reagan indeed. And then Saudi Arabia, he'd want to cut US support of Saudis which would shift the Mid East balance into Iran's favor - and probably push Saudis to acquire nukes too. Nice move there. And oh, ISIS - yeah, lets fire some tactical NUCLEAR weapons at the terrorists to kill a million innocent civilians held hostage by ISIS to get to destroy maybe a quarter of the ISIS armed force and not end that terrorist threat but get all US allies to disown the USA... All this no doubt sounds smart when Trump talks to himself or to his 'unsuccessful people' he likes to hang around with.

I am still processing this but thats my first read..

Oh, and apparently he wants to punish women who have abortions even though its totally legal by the constitution and Supreme Court. Yeah. As if Trump doesn't have bad enough support among women - and as if he hasn't damaged the Republican image among women enough.

Someone wrote last week that blacks have been trying to find a truly derogatory term for white people, that stings as bitterly as 'nigger' stings when white people use it at blacks. That writer said that Trump is likely to become that word. In coming decades, for a black to call any honkie a 'trump' will be the ultimate insult to a white person. And good thing too. I want that word to be even more toxic than Elop.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Wayne Borean


I'm skipping commenting on the errors I see in your comment because I'm in too much pain tonight. But I did find this link which shows some of the interconnections between the election and American society.


"Trump has nurtured a skill to sell to losers. A skill to be the con artist to those who are most vulnerable - those who are systematic failures in their lives and careers."

This will not come as a surprise, but the likes of Le Pen (Fr), Wilders (NL), De Winter (Be), Haider (AT) did exactly the same. They all talk and sell to the perennial losers who do not understand the world anymore.

And these politicians all surround themselves with "unsuccessful people" because they cannot stand seeing the light shine on someone else.

Per "wertigon" Ekström


The good news are, if you kill off the head few will rise to the same position. :)


"The good news are, if you kill off the head few will rise to the same position."

That is not a good example. We had the bad fortune (there is a bad pun in here) that this happened. Ten years ago, the then leader of the populists was murdered by a lunatic. What eventually came in his place was even worse, much worse.

There will always be narcissistic opportunists that will "rise" to the occasion. The followers are there for fleecing. There is a sucker born every minute, and two con men to please him.

So, even though we can be gloating that Trump will burn and crash in November, this dragon he awakened will not go to sleep. Someone else will step up to take his place. Most likely someone that will make us want to have Trump back.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Wayne, Winter, Per

Wayne - relax and get to feel better, we'll be still here when you feel stronger to post more. This show will go on for months and months still..

Winter (first comment) - yeah the international parallels are remarkable and equally saddening to see whats going on in say Turkey right now, and once awoken, how persistent these nationalistic voting blocks are over time.

Per - Not sure if you meant that sarcastically, but yeah I agree with Winter's response to you, that sadly we will very likely see a new 'leader' to this movement regardless of what happens to Trump himself. Maybe a milder or more 'acceptable' ie politically correct version like with Le Pen but could be worse like Winter said. If we think back to Sarah Palin, we thought it can never get worse - until now Trump. Even when I joked at the start of this cycle, I couldn't imagine Trump being worse than Palin but thought he'd be about as bad. And then thinking to before Palin, when W Bush was President, I often felt that the USA had climbed down to the dumbest level politics it had ever seen and it could not get worse... but it IS like reality TV.. each successive reality TV idea makes lowers the audience to an ever dumber level. Which is why we'd go from a second-tier movie start in Ronald Reagan to a lower-level reality TV host by now in Trump.

Winter (secdond comment) - good point and I was thinking back to where it all started. In some ways Sarah Palin is the direct mother to the Trump campaign. But Sarah Palin partly was possible because of the dumbing down of the party via W Bush, but we need to go even further back - the idea that the VP actually could be close to a moron was given us by Daddy Bush and his VP Dan Quayle. And one could say, even eight years prior to that, when the Republicans decided to nominate a former movie actor, they took onto this path that now gives us celebrity TV star Trump - but to be fair, Reagan was a seasoned politician and accomplished Governor of the largest state by population and by the size of its economy, California. So in terms of being qualified, Reagan definitely was in a totally different class from Quayle, Palin and Trump. Then again, W was also a Governor of another large state, Texas - but Texans seem to be willing to elect somewhat less intelligent Governors see Rick Perry.

Still, after all the lunacy that Trump has given us, yesterday that Geneva Conventions comment really saddened me. But hey, it can't be all laughs and giggles with our Trumpster, can it now. He is a classic tragic figure so there has to be the epic loss in his story which has to be woven in.. One thing is for sure - Trump will be a legend in how to fail and to do everything wrong (not unlike Stephen Elop haha)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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