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June 11, 2016


Wayne Borean


Name the scandals. Provide links to reporting. Prove your thesis.

I have not seen any reporting about anyone in the administration lining their pockets, committing assault (or murder). Have you?

Wayne Borean


Parts of Utah are likely to go Blue if I'm right. Utah is heavily Mormon, and Donald Trump would be offensive to most Mormons (Mormons have little in common with Fundagelicals).

Here's a report on Utah's 4th Congressional District

Here's an editorial which says that the United States is a comic book nation

And here's another editorial which says that Donald Trump is Mitt Romney's legacy

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

Ok am assessing Trump 2.2. I just listened to another full stump speech by Trump. Its the one he just gave in Richmond Virginia yesterday. First, he now promises to be in battleground states (so at least as of now, he seems to be signalling that part of the shift to Trump 2.2). Then the previous prevalent hostility to the press was now 'I love those guys' pointing to the cameras in the back of the room (????? He suddenly loves the media? Manafort IS getting through to him). This was a non-teleprompter speech ie somewhat typical stream-of-consciousness Trump but he had clearly some adjustments. He once mentioned (and he should not be mentioning this kind of stuff) but he's clearly still absorbing Trump 2.2 rules, he said he should not mention his old rivals by name. He said it like he had been recently TOLD not to do that, and he kind of spoke outloud what is ringing inside his head.

So yes very CLEARLY a shift to Trump 2.2. He spoke for 40 minutes. Now how effective was the speech. Sigh. So much, so very much wasted time and space on useless pointless and still even counter-productive topics. He still feuded with Republicans. He mentioned Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush by name. He KNOWS he isn't supposed to be doing it, yet Trump cannot have this much discipline to avoid it. Then he told the story from Romney's convention where one of his endorsers (Romney's) spoke for a long speech before finally mentioning Romney right at the end. Yeah, who was that? Its FAMOUSLY the keynote speech by Chris Christie, the front-runner for Trump to consider as his VP. Nice boss... And ringing endorsement of your likely VP.

Why on EARTH would you EVER think of going there? What possible good can it do. It wasted time of your speech that did NOT go into attacking Hillary and did not go to telling your story and your ideas.

Then Trump re-litigated the early primaries (why?) the early polling (gosh why) and the primary FUNDING race (belittling his Republican rivals but not mentioning them by name). Trump wants to claim he is such a smart and competent manager that he can run his campaign more efficiently with less money - fine, but to do that, there is no need to spend about 10 minutes of the 40 minute speech re-living your past glories. He wanted to brag. Its his ego.

Talking about ego - then is the celebration of how many times he has been on the front cover of Time Magazine (?????) Again, is THAT a reason for anyone to vote for Trump? He is bragging, it is an unbecoming trait. He needs to quit doing that. And it was again, wasted time he could have used in attacking his rival.

Now, he mercifully has moved on from mentioning the Judge and Trump U. Good. And no mention of Muslims, no bans, no celebrating Muslims in Jersey. Good. But he still had to do the Wall, of course and have the audience yell that Mexico is going to pay for it. Apparently Manafort has not yet convinced Trump to drop this silly idea. Now weird stuff again - the TV audiences. Who cares and what the fuck. But Trump keeps bragging about how some long-forgotten CNN debate or Fox debate had some record audience viewership. A metric that is irrelevant to voting and one that is now almost a year old. Get over it Trump. You need to advance your CAMPAIGN and not celebrate some pointless measure that is relevant in some OTHER industry than politics.

Now new nasty stuff. Pocahontas. So yeah, the fresh attacks of racism against Elizabeth Warren. We knew he was doing this from the fierce reaction in the media but yeah. He repeated the term several times. Lets see how many days it takes for Trump to be scolded to stop doing that.

Then his 35% tariff on Mexico. He said literally in the next sentence that he is for free trade. At some point he will be ridiculed about this so badly. He really needs to stop contradicting himself within the same speech and especially within 20 seconds.

Of the total speech he only managed about 10 minutes of attacks on Hillary, and some contrasts to his 'positions' and wild promises. It was mainly around taxes and gun control. He also promised some education changes where he really doesn't know what he is talking about.

As far as stump speeches go, he is a great natural talent at speaking, and charismatic, inspirational speaker with great audience contact. But his speech is rambling messy hodgepodge with almost no focus or point. He barely hit any real points to convince anyone who might be in the audience to 'listen' to a candidate (his core supporters don't care) and this speech will convince nobody who is undecided. It was another wasted effort. He wasn't doing MUCH new damage to himself (apart from Pocahontas) but he was still slightly more digging a hole into that mess of the feuding with some Republicans. He sounds like he has dropped his hostility to the press and this speech was not interrupted by protesters so we don't know how he now reacts to those in Trump 2.2.

It is CLEARLY evolution past Trump 1.0. CLEARLY. Far less abusive and incendiary. But compare it to a pro speaker doing a pro speech - Obama, Romney, Hillary, Bill, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie - this was weak. This was mostly another wasted opportunity.

So the campaign is attempting to get the candidate into control. There have been some guidelines that have been drilled into his head, he is nearly remembering them, and the speech has had some clean-ups but a lot of mess still remains. All this effort is potential Trump voters unconverted, while Hillary is on the air with the largest negative ad campaign ever run before the Conventions start, that is killing Trump right now, and his own TV ad budget cannot respond. This is time he cannot afford to waste.

Ok, now I will go watch a whole Hillary (standard, not for example that prepared special foreign policy) speech.

Tomi Ahonen :-)



Lets assume your predictions come true and the GOP is routed as much as expected. I would think the party will simply fall apart. The current Republican party is a coalition of three groups that do not like each other. Each group will blame the other two for this disaster. No one will look at themselves and decide they themselves need to change. After this fight is mostly done, a new Republican party will have to be rebuild.

In short, I expect there will not be a party left to hate the democrats. They will be too busy fighting each other.


I wonder how the election will go if Trump is not the Republican candidate? He might quit, or be made or bribed to quit. Then the Republicans could nominate someone else, say, Romney, Cruz, or Kasich.

Could that prevent the worst?

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

Ok, the latest speech by Hillary was the one for Planned Parenthood. Not a stump speech as such, although of course it had elements of that. But this would be a 'tougher' speech than a stump speech, where the topic is now very specialist. An interesting contrast to Trump's generic stump speech.

And wow what a contrast. Hillary of course on a teleprompter. A VERY VERY well written speech, good structure, builds to a crescendo, with many clever speech-writing gimmicks and rehetorical tools. It would read well if you received the written version (where Trump's speech as a transcript would be nearly unintelligable nonsense).

The early parts established excellent raport with the Planned Parenthood audience, where Hillary showed her long history with the group, and her intimate knowledge of its 100 year history and the links to major historical moments. The part set up Hillary as INCREDIBLY knowledgable about women's issues not just in abortion but far more broadly. She used examples of individuals from heroism of Planned Parenthood to cases of saving lives and really mattering to people in various ways like catching breast cancer etc. She wove in very well various voter groups - talking of transgender youth for example, and of various minorities, not just 'women' as a group obviously of interest in a Planned Parenthood event. She also several times brought in men and husbands and fathers.

It was a variation of her stump speech, so on three occasions she brought in attacks on Trump and very professionally worked Trump's own catch-phrase 'Make America Great Again' into the accusation he wants to take America Back Again into history where women were not in charge of their own bodies. She made a clever argument about the Republicans and their decay - that when Hillary first fought for some young women's rights thing (I forget the specifics) in the 1990s (obviously during Bill's Presidency) the Republicans were WITH her (it was something dealing with contraception I think) and its only more recently that the Republicans have turned against women.

She wove constantly in her background, from working with women's issues early in her career - to teaching law - to representing the USA abroad as its First Lady and as Secretary of State - but then always relevant connection points to women's issues and Planned Parenthood. Very very well crafted speech that oozed competence and very deep knowledge of the matter. Details, details, examples, personal stories, and context. VERY good on this specific topic. Then woven in - bang! Attacks on Trump. He wants to defund Planned Parenthood, he said women should be punished for abortions, he calls women fat pigs, he said pregnant women are damaging employers and he thinks paid maternity leave would make America less competitive, etc etc etc. This speech was VERY VERY heavy on facts, on stats, on examples, on actual Trump quotes, and a MASSIVE litany of the history of what EXACTLY and SPECIFICALLY has Hillary Clinton done for THIS cause. Also plenty of acknowledgement and thanks to various other Democrats from Obama to Texas former Governor Ann Richards (deceased, but a brilliant orator of her time) whose daughter Cecile Richards is now the CEO of Planned Parenthood and introduced Hillary.

Very competent, just slightly wooden at parts, only slightly 'fun' with to me, too little laughter and happiness - but with a powerful ending on a highly emotional and fiercely fighting mood. Not her best speech, not in the class of say the foreign policy speech or the victory speech earlier this week but this is at least an 8 on a scale of 10, a VERY good 'generic' speech and to a specialized audience, that is incredibly good. Obama could not pull this speech off, his would be far more a 'generic women's issues' speech than this.

(for context, I'd grade Trump's speech a 3 on a scale of 10 being perfect, like Elizabeth Warren's speech now, and 0 being .. Dr Ben Carson on .. just about anything).

In short, a pro speech, delivered professionally. If you were undecided in that audience, you left convinced for Hillary. But that was obviously a partisan audience with nobody not convinced. Of the TV audience who would see her, that speech will convert people (where the Trump speech will not). Also this speech will have plenty she can cut into video clips to share on YouTube on specific women's issue type of topics while the Trump speech has nothing that could be used further.

Yeah like I said, she's the FAR better campaigner and far FAR more disciplined.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Winter

Great two comments. And you know, this is REALLY puzzling me, on an intellectual level. My own MIND is torn. Part of me says, this cannot be happening, parties do not tear themselves apart like this, Trump cannot possibly continue like this, there will be a 'counterbalance' in the ying-and-yang of life, Hillary will also have bad days and Trump will have good days, it simply cannot be that bad. It cannot be.

And then I have to question my eyes. Did I just read that. Did Trump just say that. Did he really do that. And the numbers keep YELLING inside my head. I KNOW what it takes. Its like Elop with Nokia. I KNOW what is the right thing you HAVE to do to win, and I know the EXACT opposite of what you should be doing will HURT you. Thats Trump. Hillary was already ahead by so much, that only something close to a miracle could stop her (against a generic rival like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio) but Trump? He has campaigned the past year, as if he WANTED to set the record for the biggest election loss in history. To lose by more than 22 points.

So what I am struggling with, is 'reconciling' this massive conflict inside my head. Which is right. The 'logic' side that says, no election is ever this lopsided, nobody is this dumb, there are too many variables that are all going one way, it just never is this extreme. Then there are my eyes, and the evidence from Trump - and the math. If the race today is 7 points (polls out in the next few days) that is BEFORE the latest revolt in the GOP that now some Republicans have started to quit the party - because of Trump - and many say openly, they will not vote for Trump - and a few have started to say, they are open to voting for Hillary. BEFORE THE CONVENTION.

This has NOT happened in the TV era. That members of the nominee's own party say - they will vote for the rival candidate - already before the Convention has even started. When those come out (rats who escape the sinking ship) that is only in that last weeks, in October - like with John McCain and Sarah Palin when people like General Colin Powell, a Republican, said he cannot vote for McCain and he will vote for Obama. It NEVER happens this early.

Which is why I REALLY enjoy talking with all you guys here on the CDB blog, because we've now been going down this route for a year, sharing our thoughts. And I can express my astonishment here, and throw in my wild theories and see how it goes. And get your feedback.

On your two questions, I'll do a separate response to them, but wanted to do this over-arching first observation before that. This is bewildering to me. Note, it MUST be baffling also to essentally all sides. Imagine being inside Trump's 'campaign' and the demoralized and probably intensely hostile environment there. When one guy who clearly knows what he's saying - Manafort - says something 'sensible' and then that idiot Lewandowski insists on the opposite - and clueless boss Trump doesn't see reality - or worse, he seems to get it, but tomorrow he does again the opposite. So take the Mexican Judge. A huge wasted week fighting the accusation of racism. A textbook case of racism. JUST when it seems like the campaign is getting over it, Trump does what? Pocahontas. He's a moron.

Now consider the Hillary campaign. They must think/fear this is some elaborate hoax and a weird Jedi move in some 3D chess game that they simply do not know the rules to. How much of their frustration has gone into trying to untangle that hidden strategy of why is Billionaire Trump doing this - seemingly suicidal move. But now consider the REPUBLICANS. Is he or isn't he. Will he or won't he. What has he done now. How bad is it today? What will be the crisis tomorrow, will that be worse than the one we have today and will it supercede today's crisis or will we have to deal with both tomorrow.

There was a cool picture on Twitter. A turtle was placed atop a pillar next to a road. The pillar only came to its tummy, its feet and head were hanging in the air. It could not move, obviously. So the caption had a number of sentences, saying - obviously the Turtle doesn't belong here. He could not have gotten to this place by himself. Someone must have put him there. He cannot get out. He doesn't know what to do. (or words to that effect).

It is the reality for Trump. He is stuck. He cannot win. He may know it already (it emerged that the Bernie campaign had known for several weeks already, internally, that they can't win. Of course they knew). But Trump cannot get out. The longer he waits, the worse it will hurt when he finally quits (or loses the election). That pain, for a narcissist who had what seemed like the world craving his speeches and yelled his name - when they disappear in November, the Secret Service protection is removed, and nobody in the press will call. That will be incredibly painful. When the Republican party will blame Trump for a historic loss - and all conservative media will compete to pile upon Trump, that this was all his fault - and nobody comes to defend him, even his 'own' spokespeople will scramble to blame Trump (to save their own skins) - it will the the worst loneliness Trump could ever imagine. He may well commit suicide. At last Walter Mondale wasn't an egomaniac narcissist.

Ok, enough of the philosophical view. You had concrete questions (next)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Wayne

(Winter, I'll answer Wayne first, he had comments before yours)

First, thanks for responding to the troll. I removed his comment.

On Utah. Yeah, but still weird. It obviously helps that Mitt Romney is so vocally against Trump. What would help Hillary a lot is to do a bit of 'serious religious' campaigning. She is a Christian.. I cannot imagine that we might see a Democrat winning Utah, Kansas or Mississippi. Gosh.

On comic book nation, yeah. Agreed (sadly). And Trump being born of Mitt Romney's run, yeah, I see that. But part of Trump goes back to before that, to Sarah Palin. And part of it is a re-run of Pat Buchanan's campaign. Here is the scary part. Trump has been hysterically BAD at this strategy. Imagine if Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan or Marco Rubio having run 'the Trump strategy' but done it properly.

So in the primary, court the racist vote, and the nationalist protectionist vote, and the low income blue collar vote. But don't alienate all groups and especially, don't start wars with Hispanics and women. The SMART play on this - in the primaries - could relatively easily win you more than 50% of the vote. Then do the 'intense counter-attack' on all rivals the moment they attack you. Hit them relentlessly and hard, go on all TV networks and make that hurt. That kills off Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Dr Ben Carson, Ted Cruz etc. The anti-Mexicans, anti-Muslims, anti-Women, anti-Media tirades were all a wasted effort that was useless, worthless, that diminished his chances even in the primaries, and now prevent him from winning. Just a little bit nuanced attack plan would have gotten those racists and nationalists and white supremacists and others who love Trump now - they would ALL have come to the candidate without specifically attacking those voter groups.

So this strategy could have worked, and then if the 'alternate Trump' would now be less polluted, only a moderate pivot would be needed to produce a viable, possibly competitive candidate for the general election. The scary part is, that with just some tweaks, this strategy could theoretially win a general election too. Luckily not this way that Trump ran it. And now my hope is that he really does lose by something near 20 points, because then it will be considered so 'inherently catastrophic' as a campaign strategy, that no Republican will attempt it for many decades to come..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Winter

So first, party splitting apart. You're way ahead of me haha. I had not gotten that far in MY thinking. I am still trying to get my head around this. Is this really happening. Your scenario is VERY plausible. Of course they will try to rationalize the situation, and to lay blame on someone. They will of course primarily blame Trump. But they also will try to lay blame on the other factions of the party. The problem with Trump is that he isn't a factional Republican (like how Ted Cruz would be) so its not easy to suggest one faction of the party is at fault.

But yeah, a break-up of the party is possible. I was expecting the Tea Party to eventually lead to such a break, from the inside (split away from the party). This was well visible as a possible outcome from a brokered convention with Ted Cruz. But Cruz suddenly quit the contest. It was to me UTTERLY out of character for Cruz (it may be that there is a deal between Trump and Cruz, of some kind - Cruz for VP or Trump quits before Convention and pledges his delegates to Cruz?).

Now to me, the most likely way the party would split is a defection to the Libertarians. Former GOP Strategist Mary Matalin was among the first to go, formally changed her party registration from Republican to Liberatarian. Mitt Romney just now hinted that he'll probably vote for the Libertarian ticket. Its a chance for them to steal a good share of the 'Never Trump' Republicans and then it would mean, that the 'Republican Classic' party would become the Libertarians, while the Trump-Nationalist New Republicans would be far more 'pure' in Trumpian style of say protectionism. But for this fissure to 'survive' and become a real split, the Libertarians would have to emerge out of this as a real third party. If its only a protest for one cycle, and that Libertarian experiment fizzles and dies, then those voters and supporters will go back to the GOP especially as Trump the cancer will be gone.

But if we think in terms of political ideology, there is the foundation of a Tea Party as a distinct separate political party (led by Ted Cruz) on the principle of 'burn it all'. They'd have something like 10% national support. There is a separate 'Christian Party' which would have something near 10% say 8% national support. Then there is a conservative Republican rump which should have something like 12% support and a Libertarian sliver with say 3% support. Thats roughly what all vote for GOP (excluding the Independents in the middle).

Then there is also a split waiting in the Democratic party. The Occupy Wall Street movement - Bernie supporters - Socialists - would easily have something around 15% national support. Most of that comes out of Democrats. That would leave Democrats with say 25% support. Throw in a Green party with something like 3%. And you've got about a third of the nation truly uncommitted, Independent, as of today's party affiliation. If all seven parties had seats in Congress and the Senate, and all nominated a President, and the President came from more than two of the 7 parties, we'd be at a pretty healthy system in terms of democracy, but obviously a much less efficient system in terms of how to govern. No party alone would have a majority, they would have to form coalition governments... That in turn would require much more compromise and negotiation and give-and-take. Not a bad thing.

But if only the Republican party splits into 3 parts, they will be utterly meaningless in government and the Democrats would rule as a de-facto Monopoly (like for example in South Africa). Thats a prescription for abuse and scandals and corruption. What I hope is that the Republicans HEAL themselves and return as a strong party. Get rid of the Tea Party sickness and get back to serving voter interests. So away with the false vote outcomes of gerrymandering and massive money elections. If the Republican candidates honestly embraced some conservative principles but stopped with the lunacy, they would be competitive in most districts and could easily win again. But not if they deny science and pursue hate and division and voter suppression...

(sorry I am lecturing, its late my time haha)

Now on the return. Hope is a wonderful thing. How often in so many countries and elections have we seen some party be destroyed, to think they are out forever, or for decades to come, and they suddenly return in a cycle or two or three. The Republicans can win the Presidency if they nominate an electable but highly attractive candidate next time (realistically, unless Hillary's world is in dire straights 2020, it has to be year 2024). So first, no more war on women, no fights to try to deny abortion rights, fully embrace equal pay, paid maternity leave, INCREASE the funding for Planned Parenthood, EXPAND Obamacare, that kind of stuff. Get some women's groups to ENDORSE you. Probably should be a woman to do this, for the Republicans.

Then same with Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, etc. Absolutely no discrimination. VERY loud vocal, immediate public disavowal of any racist comments by anyone, politician or other. Work with their groups, get their endorsements. It would GREATLY help to be one of those groups if not two haha. Susana Martinez would be good, woman Hispanic; or Nikki Haley, woman Asian; or Condi Rice, woman Black.

Then total acceptance of FACTS and Science. Climate change is real. It will be FAR more obvious by year 2024, gosh, but the sooner that politician made his or her public conversion to accepting it, the better. Same with other silly science positions of the Republicans. Evolution? Have to take a clear break with the religious right. They are allowed to BELIEVE in the literal interpretation of the Bible but the USA was formed on the PRINCIPLE of religious freedom. You are allowed to believe like that, but government CANNOT select one religious belief over another and not substitute religion for facts. I don't think any candidate after this year can ever be elected in the the USA on the religious nutty positions that some hold. It is a REPUBLICAN principle to allow for your beliefs. And not to mandate them on others. That is where the 'alliance' between the Republicans and the religious leaders got lost, when they started to adopt the Christian dogma into the party. No, absolutely not. That is instant ruin to the purity of the PARTY. And they are a MINORITY so if you pander to them, you cannot win the national election.

So yeah, imagine Nikki Haley or Condi Rice or Susana Martinez or someone like that, a Republican, woman, minority, and smart, relatively young, very accomplished (ex Governor or yes, Secretary of State) and then give that woman a few years of excellent public speaking and experience. Have her be a VP this year or in 2020, to rehearse the run. Then a clever campaign and some genius like David Axelrod for Obama (who invented that 'Yes We Can' chant which Obama himself hated) and the Republicans could very easily have a President elected already in 2024. Even after total devastation now in 2016. And THEN around THAT candidate and her views, the new party could reform. Like the Democrats reformed around Bill Clinton, 8 years after the devastating loss by Walter Mondale.

But yeah. I had not gotten that far, I'm only up to November in my mind haha, hadn't thought of the GOP after they awake to their nightmare of the Hateful Eight haha. THEN what. You're ahead of me, Winter... :-)

(more coming)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Winter

Ok then the next scenario. Trump is out somehow (we don't care if he quits or its some kind of palace coup). Party nominates someone else - Romney, Cruz, Kasich (or Rubio). What then.

First off, it cannot be worse. Trump has NOTHING. Hillary spent about 100 million dollars so far, hiring nearly 1,000 people nationally, top notch people into the Battleground States, to prepare her run. Trump hasn't even hired the STATE BOSSES into several of the same states. His total team is only a handful. And they are feuding internally and performing to horribly inefficient level (as judged haha by that stump speech Trump did yesterday in Virginia).

Trump cannot attract top talent. He hasn't got money to ramp up fast. He isn't willing to devote the necessary assets and each hire is a huge fight internally just to get PERMISSION to hire someone and then Trump does dumb stuff like hiring a pollster for New York state.

If a pro came in - Romney and Cruz definitely, arguably Kasich and possibly even Rubio would almost instantly attract a pro core of campaign experts - with more experience and competence than what Trump can get. The fund-raising will be easier while they'd start in a hole - but not as much a hole as Trump who is LITERALLY 44 million dollars in debt to start with. At least anyone else would start at zero. The SuperPACs are attack organizations, they can continue and they'd find it easier to collect money if Trump was no longer the nominee, but their job is to attack Hillary anyway, so they would only get their job easier.

As a candidate, anyone of those four would be FAR better than Trump. The electorate would be severely confused but none of the four would have as big negatives as Trump. They would lose many Trumpistas who are attracted to him personally. Some could be converted to the alternative. Some would stay home and not vote (and some would write in Trump). Whoever it was, they would lose enormously to Hillary. But they would not keep making blatant mistakes. They would run a disciplined campaign. They would not come in with all the baggage of Trump. They would not have half of the Republican party condemning them like Trump has. I think Romney or Kasich could get to a 10 point loss level (but face fierce challenge from the Libertarian ticket of course). Cruz is such a toxic person and the party is not warming to him, even after his attempt at a charm offensive, that he'd probably lose by about 20 points also. Rubio somewhere in between, say 15 point loss. But the PARTY would not be split. The Senate would be lost in any case, but Romney or Kasich would almost certainly save the House. Rubio and Cruz, probably the House would be gone but they'd at least make a fierce fight to try to save it. Trump doesn't care about anything else except himself. He will not lift a finger to try to help win other seats than his own haha.

The longer it would take, the worse it would be. Ideally, if Trump was replaced, it should happen in the time before the Convention. The Convention is one of the last 4 events left, that will definitely happen, that have a chance to change the race. (VP selection and two debates by the Presidential candidates are the other 3, the VP debate won't matter enough to change the race). If it happened after the Convention, then the Convention would be 'wasted' with no bounce for the new candidate. And every week it went past that, would essentially mean the remaining work load would become 8% tougher because the Democrats will not stop running their campaign.

In short, because Trump keeps starting new problems, he is literally making his race more difficult. Doing nothing would be less damaging. And anyone 'sensible' to start instead of Trump would do better. So far, Trump has not done almost any of the prep work which ALL past campaigns in the past 50 years have done, so at this point, Trump is still at the starting line. To abandon his feeble attempt now, would not throw away much of anything of utility, but any sensible candidate could make better use of the remaining time and finish with more than Trump could do - as a campaign from this point forward. The only trade-off is the loyal Trump army of the brainwashed Trumpsitas, who love him. You'd definitely lose some of those but none would go vote for Hillary. And at least some of those Republicans now considering voting for Hillary would 'come home' to vote for the more sensible Republican instead. A better move for the party yes, but not by much. They could not salvage a victory out of it anymore. (same for Paul Ryan as candidate too)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

More news. Politico has article from Romney's donor network meeting in Utah on Friday. Attendees included VanderSloot the GOP donor Billionaire and several other rich people mentioned by name. These are Romney peeps so no love here for Trump. But article speculates that Trump may not pass $300 million in total donations (where Hillary will go far above 1 Billion). To me, 500 million would be cripplingly weak. 300 million? Gosh ouch.

And funny speculation. Trump may have to go and take PUBLIC financing from the government (like McCain in 2008). Election rules say if you take public money, you can't take private money. McCain was severely handicapped by this vs Obama of 2008 who that year broke the fund-raising record of all time. But in 2012 Obama broke his own record and now Hillary is ahead of that trend and will definitely break Obama's previous record. It would be hysterically funny if Trump the alleged Billionaire is so poor (and so bad at fund-raising) that he'd have to take the government payment option instead. Would be epic. Except, that he'd then defraud the government of course and steal the money and shovel it somehow into his own pockets. Still, I'd love that part of the humiliation too. But am not expecting Trump to stoop that low.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Millard Filmore

@Winter: "I would think the party will simply fall apart."

One of the liberal blogs characterized the core value of the Republican party as: the desire to suction money out of the lower classes moving it upward, and the higher the better. Anything else is a welcome side issue.

Groups against communism, abortion, immigration, crime, gays, plus racists and evangelicals .... All just along for the ride.

@Tomi: with your evaluation of Mr Trump's capabilities, the question is how to get rid of Mr Trump. He has a substantial base in the Republican party and I do not think the party leadership wants to shed them all forever. So what can be done to save the House that will not cause Trump's base to scream "stabbed in the back" and riot?

If I was in charge ... the official Republican Party organization would soon announce they will not support Mr Trump. Yeah, he is our candidate and we are stuck with him, but he gets no money, no help, and no recognition that he is One Of Us. Put ALL energy into saving down ticket races. They could make this move after any new outrage.

Trump on the top all alone, abandoned. This should save the core party for this election cycle, and have a starting point to accrete back those groups that peel off because they feel betrayed or estranged this year.

Trying to keep an association with Trump may lose them everything. Then again, there are good reasons I am not in charge.


On Trump:
Maybe Trump is a result of Romney's failure. But also Trump is a result of Obama's shrewd moves. Obama, just by being black has aggravated the Republican racists. But on top of that, Obama pursued bipartisan stuff, and he got some support from the moderate Republicans on certain issues. That has angered the tea baggers and has intensified the infighting in GOP. That's why I think Obama is in part to blame for the fact the GOP establishment is so hated by the GOP base. The GOP congressmen have failed to stop Obama even though they had the majority, simply because Obama's proposals were to moderate and so reasonable that he got some GOP support from moderate Republicans. The best example of my argument is the Garland move which was meant to expose the craziness of the tea baggers but also it was meant to increase the GOP infighting.

On Clinton's government:
If Clinton will go for partisan stuff, I think she will strengthen the GOP. The GOP will unite against her. The only way to keep the GOP divided is to continue Obama's strategy. Clinton will have no choice but to move to the left a bit, and thus, pursue partisan stuff. The DNC has gotten way to much to the center and the left was awakened by Sanders and it is no longer possible to ignore them if you want their votes.

On Trump's potential replacement:
I think no one wants to step into Trump's shoes. Anyone that replaces him would have very little chance of winning the election. In addition to that, the nominee will get the blame for failing to win (look at what happened to Romney). His/her political career may be in jeopardy after that. Let's take Cruz for example. He is the most successful challenger. The primaries have shown that he can't get much support from the Republican base. How is he going to win the general elections when his own base is only in part behind him?

I would be ecstatic if William Haskell Alsup will get nominated. We need a liberal judge who understands the technology stuff. We need him to stop the patent racketeering. We need him to protect the net neutrality, etc.
Alsup recently ruled the Google vs. Oracle case. He is a Bachelor of science in mathematics. He learned how to develop software applications in order to understand the issues with Java in his court case. Heck, even his name is a programming language (Haskell).


"Groups against communism, abortion, immigration, crime, gays, plus racists and evangelicals .... All just along for the ride."

I agree about the party. The Republican party has long ago sold out to, or was corrupted by, big money interests. However, the voters have not. They are run over by propaganda and marketing. The Republican party does not represent their interests. When the voters realize this, they revolt or walk out. Thats is exactly what they did this cycle with Trump.

The link about Trump being Romney's legacy (see above) wrote about this. Maybe that part was largely overlooked. The party establishment, ie, their billionair sponsers, preach about less government. The voters vote for the candidates promising about more government. Be it fascism (Trump), social-democracy (Clintin), or socialism (sort of, US style, Sanders).

To me, it seems the Repjblican voters are realizing that less government is absolutely NOT in their personal interest. On the contrary. When they want to ever see their ideals come true, they will need MORE government.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

On Orlando. My deepest condolances to the families. On the political implications, briefly. When I write this, we don't know yet motive and if this is a hate crime or terrorism. The killer was apparently US born but had a Muslim name. He apparently acted alone but may have been inspired by ISIS. We do know 50 dead and over 50 injured. It was a gay club, my gut says at least part of the motive was hate crime, against gays. But we don't know.

If this ends up having an ISIS connection, that would serve to Trump's position and he would benefit politically. The attack at a gay club - and USA's deadliest mass murder event - will bring a lot of discussion about hate crimes and gay rights. It will also most definitely re-ignite strongly a debate about reasonable gun restrictions. Note there was a killing of a pop singer also in Orlando just the night before - shot. This story will dominate the news for several days now.

If you remember Rumsfeld's famous 'unknown unknowns' - this is exactly one of those. It supplants and supercedes immediately all political race stories. For Trump who has had his worst 3 weeks, this is very good break out of his 'bad news' days. If he handles this wisely, he WAITS and monitors and then issues a 'sensible, adult' presidential statement/s as the facts come in. For Hillary, she has her best two weeks. She is experienced enough to know, a week is a long time in politics and her past 2 weeks were incredibly rare in how much they were in her favor. It was bound to end. She had just launched her first official TV ad, she'll probably instantly take her campaign down, off the air and let this story run its course. At best, her campaign would be ignored, at worst, her ads could be seen as attempting to benefit out of a tragedy. She will take a sombre tone out of this, she's a pro. She'll mean while map out the political game, what will be the best way to use this, later - and she'll be pushing gun restrictions based on this event, later.

Who gains in the end does depend on whether there is some ISIS connection to the guy or if it was just a domestic USA hate crime against gays. That we won't really know for a few days. But this now is the top story on US news for many days to come. Note most non-Trump Republican politicians will have a kind of 'silver lining' out of this tragedy - the press will stop asking them about Trump's racism, now all politicians on both sides will be asked about Orlando instead.

Tomi Ahonen (sad day, not smiley face)


The Orlando shooter seems to have pledged alliance to ISIS. ISIS seems to want to help Trump. Both want all muslims banned from the US.

Police: 50 killed in Florida nightclub terror attack

Another armed man was arrested who targeted the LA gay pride.

'Heavily Armed' Man Apprehended in Santa Monica; Said He Was Going to L.A. Gay Pride Parade: Mayor


The Orlando shooter might have been mentally unstable and had two fire arm licenses. He worked for a security firm.

What We Know About Omar Mateen, Suspected Orlando Nightclub Shooter

"“He was not a stable person,” the ex-wife said, according to the Post. “He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”

Officials said Mateen had two firearms licenses, a security officer license and a statewide firearms license, all expiring in September 2017. Mateen worked for the security firm G4S since 2007, the company said, adding that it is cooperating fully with law enforcement."

Millard Filmore

@Winter: guns and the USA. Maybe if a few European countries put out travel alerts on the US our Republicans will get the picture. Havana should have been ready for this, with an advertising blast in Europe about a safe vacation in Cuba.

from here:

Wayne Borean

This is going to wander a bit. Where to start...

OK, let's take Orlando. The shooter apparently claimed DAESH affiliation (I never use ISIS, I rather like the Egyptian goddess), but there is so far no evidence that he was actually in touch with them. I suspect he wasn't, but just claimed the connection to make himself look more important than he is. Some reporting indicates that he may not have been mentally stable. Of course a mentally unstable man with guns may decide to use them.

No matter what the case, 50 people lost their lives, and a lot of people were injured. I've already heard claims that Liberals were responsible because they let all these refugees in (but the shooter was American born), and that Liberals were responsible because no one there was armed, and that Liberals...

You get the picture. The other side of course is pointing to lax gun laws. Neither side is pointing at mandatory firearm training as a solution.


Trump, Trump, Trump. Welcome to our all Trump, all the time station!

Last year, when Trump announced his candidacy I was one of the first to say he was serious. I also came up with what I thought Trump had to have done, based on my own business experience.

I was wrong about what Trump had to have done.

There is no way that Trump gamed this out. Not a single chance. I've been watching the train wreck play out, and so many times over the last couple of months I've seen stuff that ANY COMPETENT POLITICAL JUNKIE could have forecast hit Trump in the face like a creme pie, and him not duck.

He's done the entire run like a freaking amateur!

It just doesn't make sense. Yes, in business mistakes are made. But you learn to plan for everything, including retiring the super fantastic product you were sure the world would beat down your doors to buy and didn't (Lumia anyone?)

Trump didn't have a plan. Not even a fragment of one, besides using his personal popularity.

My god, the man has to be the stupidest Presidential candidate in the last century, if not forever!

So what happens now? It looks like he is going to take the Republican Party down with him, at least for this election. I've been poking around, and I'm seeing polls like this one that indicate that Hillary could take Utah because of a split between Trump and Johnson.

In North Carolina Trump holds a very narrow lead at 1%, which Hillary's cash could change.

In Texas Trump is at 2%

Many of the toss up states have Clinton with a slight lead. Of course this is based on minimal polling to date, and is not definitive, but it is showing a pattern, a pattern that has to have the Republican Party terrified.


If this disaster is as big as we think, could the Republican Party split?

Damned if I know. The Republican Party has been described to me as a 'Big Tent' party, with room enough for everyone. If you aren't Gay, Transgendered, Lesbian, Transgendered, Poor, Transgendered, Hispanic, Transgendered, Native American, Transgendered, Black, Transgendered, or Muslim. Did I mention Transgendered?

The current party is made up of the following groups, with overlap between the groups.

1) Business
2) Conservative Christian
3) Mormon
4) Catholic
5) Tea Party
6) Libertarian
7) Ayn Randers
8) Bob Heinleiners
9) Survivalists
10) NRA members
11) Racists
12) Others

As I said, there's overlap between some of the groups. While there isn't likely to be overlap between the Conservative Christians and the Mormons, both groups have overlap with the Tea Party groups. But Libertarians are mad at the Conservative Christians because much of the original Tea Party was Libertarian in nature, and it underwent a hostile takeover.

One group, Business, has almost nothing in common with any of the other groups, but because of Citizens United has been effectively running the Party. Donald Trump is an attempt to take the party back from the business wing, by backing a business leader. Does anyone see the cognitive dissonance here?

So now the business wing is in deep trouble. Donald Trump is a loose cannon, who even if elected wouldn't do what they asked.

The Conservative Christian Wing is in deeper trouble. They tried to stir up trouble by attacking Same-Sex marriage and it bombed on them. So they went after Trans-Gendered people, and that is bombing on them. Bombing so badly that the popularity of Christians has been dropping.

The Tea Party is ecstatic. Donald Trump is a far better candidate than Ted Cruz, since many Tea Party folks may not be the same denomination as Cruz. But the smarter Tea Party folks already realize they have a problem. A problem they can't do anything about because they pushed everyone to greater and greater levels of paranoia, and now they can't turn if off.

Mormons dislike Donald Trump. So do Catholics, Libertarians, Randers, Heinleiners, etc.

Survivalists and Racists love him.

So how could the party break up? God knows. Most of the groups have little in common with each other. I could see the Mormons and the Catholics getting together. They agree on a lot of issues. Beyond that? Flip a coin.


Hillary has a chance to win such a resounding victory that it could set a record that might never be surpassed. I'm certain she'll carry the Senate. I think she'll carry the House.

If she implements anti-Gerrymandering legislation, the Democrats will hold Congress, and the Presidency for at least twenty years due to demographics, unless there is a major blow up.

Unlike a lot of people, I don't see any major scandals coming out of a Clinton presidency. Hillary Clinton is a damned smart woman. She should have learned from No Drama Obama about how to run a smooth, quiet operation. If she did, and she stamps down hard on any corruption that rears its head, she will have a solid eight year presidency.

If she didn't? Well, maybe the second Clinton will get impeached.

We've the last two months of watching Trump put his foot in his mouth up to the hip time and time again, against all reason. Whose to say that Clinton won't do the same given the chance?

Millard Filmore

@Wayne: "Neither side is pointing at mandatory firearm training as a solution."

In the last 4 years I have heard some details about 2 police shoot-outs. In nice round numbers (police shoot 98 times, hit the victim 12 times), about 9 out of 10 shots go wild. Police are trained way beyond what most citizens will get, and still the odds are against them. Except to keep fools from accidentally shooting their kids, what will training do?

Training? Who needs training? Nobody in West Virginia!

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