I was wrong about Trump voters (plus “get stuff done”)

During the campaign I insisted that Trump had no actual beliefs, and that all his campaign promises were merely empty rhetoric—telling us precisely nothing about what he’d do as President.  And of course I was completely right.  No repeal of Obamacare, indeed he never even came up with a proposal to do so.  No slashing of income taxes down to a top rate of 25%, indeed his administration never even put together a tax plan.  No infrastructure.  No wall on the Mexican border.  He also abandoned his promise not to intervene against people like Assad (except to protect Americans.) He abandoned his pledge to go after China on trade.  Etc., etc.

But I was wrong about Trump voters.  Like many other people, I wasted many hours during 2016 reading thoughtful opinion pieces by left and right wing intellectuals, discussing “what the voters were telling us”.  One common theme was that voters were becoming more nationalistic and anti-immigrant.

Then when Trump reversed course on DACA and signaled he wanted to deal with the Dems to protect those illegal immigrants, the right exploded and warned darkly that his “base” would not stand for this.  Oh really?

Donald Trump’s tough talk on illegal immigration was a big part of the reason Dave Hagstrom and many others in this booming Phoenix suburb supported him for president. “Walls make good neighbors,” Hagstrom said.

So when the president moved this week to cut a deal — with Democrats no less — to block the expulsion of 800,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, was Hagstrom disappointed?

Not at all.

“If you were to deport them, where would they go?” Hagstrom, 60, a car-warranty manager, asked on his way to a Bible-study dinner at an upscale shopping mall. “To send them across the border would be inhumane almost. There’s no life for them there.”

It turns out that all of those opinion pieces on what the voters were trying to tell us were completely worthless.  The Trump voters have no principles at all.  They will support Trump in whatever he does.  He could install a Maoist economic policy, or a fascist regime, or a libertarian paradise, and his base would be equally happy. They just like the guy.  (Which is weird, as he has the most unlikeable personality I have seen in 62 years of existence—worse than Nixon.)

You’ll probably claim that I’m overreacting, that Hagstron is just an outlier, a 1 out of every 100 Trump supporter, while the other 99 are tough on immigration.

Then consider this:

In more than a dozen conversations with Trump voters in this sweltering Sonoran Desert oasis, not one found fault with Trump’s abandonment of his vow to deport the young immigrants, often referred to as Dreamers. In the bargain, he said, Democrats agreed to much tougher border enforcement, though not construction of a physical wall.

The odds of interviewing “more than a dozen” Trump people (in Arizona!) and finding that all just happen to be among the 1% of Trump supporters who are soft on immigration is . . . well I think it’s less than one in 10 to the 24th power.  I’m not good enough at math to describe those odds, but I think it’s roughly one in a septillion.  Or, maybe those “more than a dozen” are actually pretty common among Trump voters.  That’s the hypothesis I’m going with.

And this is really good news!  Trump has no fixed values.  His base had no fixed values.  It’s a complete crap shoot as to what will happen.  That might not seem good, but it’s less bad that the alternative—that Trump and his supporters actually believed the things they said in 2016.  It also suggests that Trump has no coattails—when he leaves the scene no one will able to pick up his voters, even with the same position on issues.  The issues never mattered.

PS.  This comment from America’s favorite racist cop brought a tear to my eye:

Indeed, even Arpaio seemed willing to go along with the compromise reached this week, if Trump thinks it best.

“He’s trying to make deals and get stuff done,” said Arpaio, a staunch supporter of the president who faced a prison sentence for racial profiling before Trump pardoned him last month.

That suits people like Joseph Wise just fine.

“I know a lot of these kids,” said Wise, 75, a retired electrical engineer from Gilbert, who paused to talk about Trump and immigration as he loaded groceries into the back of his sport utility vehicle. “They’re good kids. I’ve talked to some of them about how they crossed the border and barely survived.”

That’s right, get tough on “illegals” just as long as you don’t hurt any actual, physical, flesh and blood human beings.  As always, when the public is educated into the inner feelings on “the other”, utilitarianism wins.  Sorry Ann Coulter, but you are on the losing side of history.

PPS.  Oh, and Trump’s broken promise on Syria?  That was caused by pictures of children horribly maimed by poison gas.  Utilitarianism wins again.

 


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37 Responses to “I was wrong about Trump voters (plus “get stuff done”)”

  1. Gravatar of Nathan Taylor Nathan Taylor
    16. September 2017 at 18:06

    In a severe conflict, people care about in-group/out-group above intellectual doctrine. Intellectualizing about beliefs is something (small l) liberalism and peace allowed. But it’s fraught to think this is something that automatically pertains through history and in the future. I’m also disappointed to find Trump voters, in their fraught conflict, pick tribe above intellectual principals. But be honest. I’m not surprised. Nor, do I believe is anyone else who reflects on history.

    And consider. If antifa punch more people they hate as nazis, and violence ensues, which side will people pick? Intellectual (small l) liberal, free speech side? Some intellectuals of course will pick their doctrine. But that’s not something most people do. If fighting starts, people side with their in-group. That’s human nature. And I would also say, that human large scale cooperation is dependent on this innate biologically selected for behavior. It’s both our human original sin, and the key to our greatness for civilization.

    Historical example. Do you think during Protestant v Catholic from 1400-1600, did people study their doctrine to decide which side to fight on in each battle. Or did they just side with their tribe?

    Intellectualizing does have a long term, larger impact on the world. People select doctrine when they “hear voices in the air.” So intellectual doctrine makes a difference. But as violence comes, we pick our blood allies. So we survive the blood lust.

  2. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    16. September 2017 at 19:07

    ssumner, I get your point but I think there may be a distinction these voters are drawing between deporting the Dreamers back to countries they don’t even know and being tougher on letting any more illegals in. It’s not strict principle but it shows that these people are normal folks not monsters.

  3. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    16. September 2017 at 19:09

    I agree with this post.

    But is Trump less likable than Nixon?

    Nixon left behind perhaps 270 million cluster bombs in Laos.

    “From 1964 to 1973, the U.S. dropped over 2 million tons of ordnance over Laos in 580,000 bombing missions, the equivalent of one planeload every 8 minutes, 24 hours a day, for 9 years. At least 270 million cluster bomblets were dropped as part of the bombing campaign; approximately 80 million failed to detonate.”

    These bombs, which are “cute” and look like small turtles, have injured or killed 50,000 Laotians, most long after Nixon pulled out of Vietnam. Unbelievably, the US never sent official clean-up crews to Laos.

    Though the cite above says the Laos bombing started in 1964, most of the cluster-bombing was Nixon-Kissinger, as they were trying prevent North Vietnamese troops from crossing into Vietnam.

    Nixon also ordered break-ins of several facilities, including the Chile Embassy, the Brookings Institution, and doctor’s offices. and then Watergate (some dispute Watergate, as if the break-in happened spontaneously).

    I could go on about Nixon, one of the most fascinating characters in Oval Office history and a very smart, crafty and amoral guy. (Forgotten is he was accepted to Harvard as undergrad, but could not afford to go.)

    Nixon was also “mobbed up” (he pardoned Jimmy Hoffa and Angelo “Gyp” DeCarlo, a mob hit man) and spearheaded efforts to murder Fidel Castro.

    So is Trump less likable than Nixon?

    I would say, “Not yet.” Although we tend to find out misdeeds well after the fact, and so Trump may be doing worse things than we know.

    Nixon, like Reagan and Trump, was a bit of protectionist (Reagan, in deed and not word, very much so), and all wanted growth-oriented monetary policies.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelo_DeCarlo

    http://legaciesofwar.org/resources/cluster-bomb-fact-sheet/

  4. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    16. September 2017 at 19:17

    Matthew Water and anybody else:

    Add on: The Nixon-era Brookings break-in reminded of this from Brookings, Fall 2013:

    Michael W. L. Elsby
    University of Edinburgh
    Bart Hobijn

    Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

    Federal Reserve Bank of New York

    The Decline of the U.S. Labor Share

    ABSTRACT

    Over the past quarter century, labor’s share of income in the United States has trended downward, reaching its lowest level in the postwar period after the Great Recession. A detailed examination of the magnitude, determinants, and implications of this decline delivers five conclusions. First, about a third of the decline in the published labor share appears to be an artifact of statistical procedures used to impute the labor income of the self-employed that underlies the headline measure.

    Second, movements in labor’s share are not solely a feature of recent U.S. history: The relative stability of the aggregate labor share prior to the 1980s in fact veiled substantial, though offsetting, movements in labor shares within industries. By contrast, the recent decline has been dominated by the trade and manufacturing sectors.

    Third, U.S. data provide limited support for neoclassical explanations based on the substitution of capital for (unskilled) labor to exploit technical change embodied in new capital goods.

    Fourth, prima facie evidence for institutional explanations based on the decline
    in unionization is inconclusive.

    Finally, our analysis identifies offshoring of
    the labor-intensive component of the U.S. supply chain as a leading potential explanation of the decline in the U.S. labor share over the past 25 years.

    —30—

    Okay, so these guys from the Fed, in a Brookings publication, say offshoring is reducing labor share of income in the US.

    The Fed has also published papers to the effect that large current account trade deficits lead to house price explosions.

    https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/staff_reports/sr541.pdf

    https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/2013b_elsby_labor_share.pdf
    Often ideology and theories run aground on the shoals of reality.

    Maybe Reagan and Trump are right on trade.

  5. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    16. September 2017 at 19:49

    Nathan, You said:

    “I’m also disappointed to find Trump voters, in their fraught conflict, pick tribe above intellectual principals.”

    Also disappointed? Are you implying that I’m disappointed by their support for preserving DACA?

    msgkings. Maybe they should have thought of that point before hammering Obama over and over and over again for his DACA proposal.

    Ben, You said:

    “But is Trump less likable than Nixon?

    Nixon left behind perhaps 270 million cluster bombs in Laos.”

    I suspect you don’t know what “likable” means. It has nothing to do with policy positions.

  6. Gravatar of Alec Fahrin Alec Fahrin
    16. September 2017 at 19:51

    I have a few thoughts related to this post, Mr. Sumner.

    First, selling out your base is the oldest trick in the politics book. That a principleless NYC businessman would do that is not surprising. Remember that the guy was running left-of-center (relative to most of his competitors) until the convention. He was a registered Democrat until for longer than he has been a Republican.
    Second, Trump’s base much more connected to the man, Donald Trump, than the president. I’d wager that he would be almost as powerful today even if he had lost the election. His supporters will stand by him until he gets caught doing something as bad as Watergate, and maybe still even then.
    Finally, and most importantly, I’d argue that ideology, truth, and actual policies matter less in recent years than they did for much of the past. Call it a post-ideology society. People don’t want results. People don’t want reality. People don’t want the truth. People want someone who seems like he/she stands up for them against the perceived other.

    I’ll give you another anecdote. I actually voted for Donald Trump in my first act as a voter. Took me two months to decide. Yet, I didn’t vote for Trump the man or Trump the post-convention candidate. I voted for what he represented instead of Hillary Clinton. Maybe that means I’m not part of his “base”, but then again I’d be considered so by 90% of American liberals. Nonetheless, when he “betrayed” his base with DACA and the debt limit deal, I wasn’t at all bothered by those decisions. Maybe that’s because I give my loyalty to no one, but I’d bet that many other Americans who voted for Trump, think just like me.

  7. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    16. September 2017 at 20:02

    Alec, Tell me something I don’t already know.

  8. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    16. September 2017 at 20:45

    First law of politics: a majority of the members of the president’s party can always be found to support any decision by their party’s president (not necessarily the same people composing that majority for every issue, though). Thus, FDR won pretty much the same bases both in 1932 and 1936.

    Trump has a likeable personality for the non-college-educated and an unlikeable personality for the college-educated. Simple enough.

    PPS.  Oh, and Trump’s broken promise on Syria?  That was caused by pictures of children horribly maimed by poison gas.  Utilitarianism wins again.

    I don’t believe for a second “take out their families” “Saddam Hussein throws a little gas, everyone goes crazy, ‘oh he’s using gas!'” has any fixed principles against the use of poison gas. Also, I don’t think you can make a good utilitarian case for Trump’s various Syria strikes (only today has Russia done anything similar).

    A large part of his base (about 20%) really does have actual principles.

    I’d argue that ideology, truth, and actual policies matter less in recent years than they did for much of the past.

    No; in fact they matter a great deal more. Compare the mild inconsistency of Trump’s base to the wild inconsistency of FDR’s back in the early 1930s or the total personality-based politics of the 1970s. There are many counties scattered from Pennsylvania to Texas where Hillary Clinton got more votes in 2008 than she did in 2016. Unimaginable in the 1960s and 1970s. Party lists these days matter a lot more than the people in them, and party policies matter a lot more, as well.

    Also, here’s some evidence the base doesn’t just obey Trump’s every word: the Alabama Senate race happening now. Say it with me, now: Senator Roy Moore.

  9. Gravatar of Matthew Waters Matthew Waters
    16. September 2017 at 21:01

    Some political science papers would predict how views can be very malleable based on their party’s policy.

    It’s tempting to think people choose politicians rationally based on their policies. But in the end, it’s more like sports team allegiance. The tribal allegiance really overrides what one thinks a rational actor would support.

    I don’t think it’s definitely good news. Immigration was one reason not to support Trump, but Trump’s very core as a human was the most concerning. He doesn’t care about immigration, but he DOES really care about his ego and power. The supporters who support even a deal with Chuck Schumer on dreamers would also support, say, prosecution of political opponents.

    The good news is Trump is old and, well, kind of lazy. And maybe only 20% of voters are true MAGA, with the rest being Evangelical or fiscal Republicans who didn’t drink the koolaid.

  10. Gravatar of Bob OBrien Bob OBrien
    16. September 2017 at 21:21

    Alec said:

    “Nonetheless, when he “betrayed” his base with DACA and the debt limit deal, I wasn’t at all bothered by those decisions. Maybe that’s because I give my loyalty to no one, but I’d bet that many other Americans who voted for Trump, think just like me.”

    I agree 100% with Alec’s reasoning and I also voted for Trump.

    Scott said:

    “Alec, Tell me something I don’t already know.”

    This is not a very insightful response. Maybe Scott could tell us if he voted for Hillary and, if he did, why he thinks the country would be better off with Hillary as president.

    It seems to me that Trump’s appointments have mostly been good and will help to reduce the size of government and reduce regulations and we will all be better off in the end with Trump compared to where Hillary would take the country.

    Bob O’Brien

  11. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    16. September 2017 at 22:06

    Harding, It would be simpler just to admit “I was wrong”.

    Bob, Tell me how Sessions will “reduce the size of government”?

    (I voted for Johnson)

  12. Gravatar of Chuck Chuck
    17. September 2017 at 02:15

    “PPS. Oh, and Trump’s broken promise on Syria? That was caused by pictures of children horribly maimed by poison gas. Utilitarianism wins again.”

    I wouldn’t call that utilitarianism. That’s emotionalism. It could be that allowing Assad free reign against rebels leads to greater utility than restricting his actions. I’m not saying it does, but it could. If it does, utilitarians would have to explain to emotionalists that we have to stomach some atrocities for the greater good.

    The Trump supporter cited above does not seem to be motivated by utilitarianism. Let’s take a convoluted scenario that deporting Dreamers would end up creating more utility for the Dreamers and everyone else as well. Maybe they lead a free market revolution in their countries of origin that expands the global division of labor or something. Would the Trump supporter then want to deport them? Probably not. It just “feels wrong” to deport people that grew up here. Just like it feels wrong for a parent to kick their kid out of the house even if it might be better for them in the long run.

    Emotions are powerful and can be used for good and bad. Economists tend to (rightfully) discount them, which leads to puzzlement over “common man” outrages such as objections to “price gouging” during natural disasters. You don’t “take advantage” of someone in a crisis. You help them. It feels wrong that businesses would increase prices of essentials while others are sending donations.

  13. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    17. September 2017 at 04:18

    Scott:

    I think what I am citing about Nixon are not “policy positions.” Nixon for this or that tax stance, or such-and-such on civil rights, farm policy, foreign policy, etc.

    Establishing White House operations to break into, bug and burgle private property (as Nixon did) is not a “policy.” It reflects on the character of a individual who would authorize such actions.

    Accepting bribes from the mob, and pardoning Hoffa and De Carlo is not a “policy.” It is a character flaw. Being mobbed up is not a “policy.”

    Lying to the American people, secret bombing, and leaving behind tens of millions of cluster bombs in Laos may be a “policy,” but was so deceptive and inhumane as to pass into something else, on the edge of war crimes or mental illness.

    If you mean who would be more boorish at a dinner party, most likely Trump.

    Who has the worst character flaws, rendering them less likable, Trump or Nixon—for now, I say Nixon. But hey, give Trump time. He may top Nixon yet in the despicable actions category.

  14. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    17. September 2017 at 07:05

    Scott Sumner:

    Since every discussion about Trump leads to Hitler…

    What if you met Hitler, and he was convivial and charming?

    Would you say Hitler was likable, just not his policies?

  15. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    17. September 2017 at 09:02

    Ben, You asked:

    “Would you say Hitler was likable, just not his policies?”

    Yes.

  16. Gravatar of Jeff Jeff
    17. September 2017 at 09:55

    I voted for Trump despite his supposed immigration and trade policies, not because of them. So far I’m pretty happy with what Trump has actually done: some deregulation and some decent appointments. Sessions is not one of those, but it seems some of his worst policies, like his re-emphasis on civil asset forfeiture, are going to be blocked by the Congress. My biggest disappointment so far is the failure to repeal Obamacare, but that’s more the fault of some hypocritical Republican senators than it is Trump’s.

    The American political system makes it hard for any administration to get very much done, and that’s a good thing. It is hard to enact good policies, but it seems that it’s even harder to enact really stupid policies. Hard, but not impossible. Witness Obamacare. Almost every election we see at least some politicians calling for really bad trade policies, but they rarely succeed in passing them.

    I agree with Bob OBrien: we’re better off with Trump than we would have been with Hilary.

  17. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    17. September 2017 at 14:15

    Scott, so what you are basically saying is:

    1) You admitted that you were wrong. (Big step?)

    2) You realized that politics is mostly about rhetoric. (Kudos)

    3) Trump voters seem to have known WAY earlier than you that politics is mostly about rhetoric. (Don’t feel bad about it).

  18. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    17. September 2017 at 15:24

    I was not wrong in supporting Trump either during the primary (though I’m increasingly questioning this) or the general election. It served to prove a point, and that point was proven.

    I was wrong about some of my expectations about what Trump would do. For example, I did not expect him to propose an amnesty of this type for so little. But that’s small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, even if a very real betrayal.

    Sessions will reduce the size of government by cutting funds to sanctuary cities. There, done.

  19. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    17. September 2017 at 19:49

    This blog is fake news.

    “During the campaign I insisted that Trump had no actual beliefs, and that all his campaign promises were merely empty rhetoric—telling us precisely nothing about what he’d do as President. And of course I was completely right.”

    No you were of course completely wrong.

    Disclaimer to usual yokels: The following is not an endorsement, but merely a few facts here and there that refutes Sumner’s alt-left propaganda:

    PART 1:

    KILLED TPP
    $350+ billion deal with Saudi Arabia ($110 billion in arms $250 billion in trade/investment) creating 100,000’s of jobs in both countries, historic.
    Pulled out of PARIS ACCORD
    Had a major victory on sugar exports from Mexico, made Mexico drop the exports % and the amount of refined sugar. This will help our sugar industry and the US sugar mills that produce refined sugar from raw sugar.
    Notified Congress of NAFTA renegotiation on May 18th. Talks can start 90 days later on Aug 16th, 2017
    China Trade deal opening up beef and LNG gas as well as giving a way to get 1 billion Chinese credit scores so the USA can offer them credit. Trade deal was done in record time.
    Sec Ross has slapped more than $2 billion in fines on China and Canada for illegal trade practices.
    the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reached agreement with Chinese officials on final details of a protocol to allow the U.S. to begin the beef exports to China (6/12/17). The first beef has been imported to China (06/30/17 and Sec Predue cut and ate a USDA prime rib in China)
    Reopening KORUS ( South Korean )trade deal ( 06/30/17) per White House started week of (07/14/17)
    saw the first shipment of LNG to Poland and spoke at the three Seas summit to open up additional energy exports.
    The United States Trade Representative released its objectives for upcoming NAFTA negotiations (07/18/17)
    Canceled the Cuba Trade deal done by Obama (06/16/17)
    On Economy
    Unemployment rate 4.4% u-3 and 8.6% U6 (for June 07/07/17)
    222,000 Jobs created in June per BLS (07/7/17)
    Proposed a $1 Trillion infrastructure project
    Stock Market at Historic Highs (Dow up 18%, NASDAQ up 21.5%, S&P 500 up 14.9% since election day as of 07/18/17)
    US homes prices climb at fastest pace In 3 years per CNBC. In Apr
    Jobless claims hit 28 year low in Apr
    OPEC broken can no longer set prices due to USA energy production unleashed
    Secured $50 billion investment from Japan
    Secured $20 billion investment from Exxon in Gulf coast
    Gasoline at $1.95/gallon in Central NC (lowest price at this time of year since 2005 for entire US 06/30/17)
    Repealed 14 Obama regulations via CRA saving $ billions in costs to the economy
    Atlanta Fed sees 3.0% growth in 2nd qrt per CNBC (07/06/17)
    Federal debt is 132,273,000 billion LOWER since Dec 30th 2016 (as of 06/30/17) per treasurydirect.gov
    Federal surplus was $182 billion at end of Apr (unexpected)
    Consumer and business confidence at record highs
    North Dakota experiencing a boom since Dakota access pipeline finished (500,000 Barrels now flowing through pipeline per day)
    Keystone pipeline construction ongoing
    Mining, steel and oil/gas jobs booming
    Mines reopening
    1,079,000 JOBS created since Jan1st (per BLS) 1,395,000 per ADP (07/07/17)
    Directed Dep’t of Commerce to streamline Federal permitting processes for domestic manufacturing
    Launched United States-Canada Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau
    Cut 1.6 billion costs from Air Force one and F-35 airplanes.
    Regulatory freeze on all federal governmental agencies
    Making agencies cut 2 regulations for each new one.
    Saw the opening of the first NEW COAL MINE IN PA in YEARS creating 70 jobs at the mine and more than 400+ supporting jobs in the community. (06/10/17) Per foxnews.
    Coal prices for Central Appalachian coal has increased 8.95% this year. Increasing the economy for SE OH, SW PA, VA, MD and WVA
    Maine unemployment at 32 year low. The State dept of unemployment forced to layoff people because of lack of claims
    Food Stamp spending is down almost $1 billion per month and $12 billion per year per USAD
    Black unemployment at a 17 year low in May at 7.5% per Bureau of Labor Statistics. (06/24/17)
    Coal mining rose 19% in USA for first 5 months per US energy Department
    1st qrt GDP revised up to 1.4%
    USA now pumping 500k more barrels of oil per day since Dec 31st. Now at 9.3 million bpd. 3rd in the world only 1.2 million bdp behind Russia and Saudi Arabia
    USA is the world leader in natural gas production
    Institute for Supply Management says its manufacturing index rose to 57.8 last month from 54.9 in May. Anything above 50 signals that factory activity is increasing (07/03/17)
    15 of 18 manufacturing industries posted growth in JUNE per ISM (07/03/17)
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics for fiscal year (FY) 2017 show that food stamp enrollment decreased nationwide by 2.9 percent over the past year (07/05/17)
    Oil exports FROM the USA are running at 1.3million BPD worth more than $1.5 billion per month to the economy. Per NYT (07/5/17)
    Crude exports from Corpus Christi have already increased from an average of 68,000 barrels a day during the first half of 2016 to 384,000 barrels a day this April NYT (07/05/17)
    India-based information technology outsourcing company Infosys plans to hire 2,000 workers within four years in North Carolina and 10,000 total in USA. Infosys emphasized Thursday that the jobs created as part of its U.S. expansion would go to American workers. Per Charlotte Observer (07/06/17)
    Trade deficit fell 2.2 % in the month of May on higher exports and less imports. China imports dropped 6.1% and Mexico imports increased 5.8%. Trade deficit for the year is still growing by about 13.1% yoy per Breitbart even with the drop in May’s numbers. It will take a while to turn the ship but the ship is turning (07/06/17)
    Labor participation rate 62.8% (07/07/17)
    In June, mining employment grew by 8,000, with most of the growth in support activities for mining (+7,000). Since a recent employment low in October 2016, mining has added 56,000 jobs. (07/07/17) per BLS
    FICO scores for Americans has hit and ALL time high per CNBC (07/11/17)
    Expedited the permitting and approval processes of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals and exports, including the approval of the Lake Charles LNG terminal in Louisiana.guidance from the Treasury Department to allow the United States to export coal.(first 6 months)
    Expedited new pipeline approval and production such as the New Burgos Pipeline to Mexico. (first 6 months)
    Updated guidance from the Treasury Department to allow the United States to export coal.
    Signed the Buy American, Hire American EO on (04/18/17)
    President Trump signed an Executive Order, making it easier for businesses to start and expand apprenticeship programs (06/15/17)
    On Immigration
    Authorized DHS to hire 10,000 ICE officers & 5,000 border patrol agents
    Secured funding for more immigration judges for deportation cases in 2017 budget
    Ended “catch and release” policy
    ICE arrests up 40% as of May
    ICE arrests are 75% criminal illegals as of May
    Ice Arrests for non criminal illegals up 150% as of May due to sanctuary cities polices making Ice go to the home instead of the court houses
    70%+ decrease in border crossings of illegal aliens in first 6 months per head of ICE (07/18/17)
    No Cuban refugees seen by Coast Guard in Apr first time in 7 years
    Open bidding and plans submitted for the WALL. Finalists selected, prototypes to be unveiled this summer per CBP official/Breitbart news.
    6ft chain linked fences being replaced by 20ft hardened steel fencing at border
    More than 1400 gang members have been arrested by ICE
    This year the U.S. has already deported 398 MS-13 gang members back to El Salvador – compared to only 534 for all of 2016
    Texas has passed a law outlawing sanctuary cities
    Foods stamp requests by ILLEGALS D O W N

  20. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    17. September 2017 at 19:50

    Part 2:

    The Trump administration has moved to reopen the cases of hundreds of illegal immigrants who had been given a reprieve from deportation by Obama
    Per Sec Kelly Plans are to start building the WALL by end of summer.
    Travel ban EO cut refugees to 50,000 limit has been reached as of 07/12/17). USA now closed to refugee without a close connection to the USA
    per Breitbart Sec Kelly has refused to expand H2-B visa program in FY 2017 Update 06/22/17 Sec Kelly will expand the H2-b visa program for a limited number of businesses that are in danger of failing and can’t find employment per breitbart.
    Pres Trump and Sec of DHS ended DAPA (06/16/17)
    Refugees dropped by half entering the USA in first three months of Pres Trump’s admin over Obama’s admin. (6/24/17 per Washington Times)
    In fiscal year 2017 so far, ICE has removed over 2,700 criminal gang members, compared to 2,057 criminal gang members in all of fiscal year 2016. (07/20/17) per Whitehouse
    Per Sec Kelly 66,000 mostly criminal illegals arrested by ICE in first 5 months
    Kate’s Law passed the House 06/29/17)
    No Sanctuary Cities Law Passed the House (06/29/17)
    Illegal immigrant arrests in San Diego, Ca have more than doubled from 2016 and 2015 figures per the San Diego Union Tribune (07/04/17)
    In a reversal of Obama administration policy, federal prosecutors with Operation Streamline are filing criminal charges against migrants the first time they are caught crossing the border illegally. Per Tucson.com and breitbart (07/05/17)
    Refugee Arrivals Plummet in Week After Supreme Court Ruling on Trump Executive Order per Breitbart and Department of State website (07/05/17)
    The International Entrepreneur Rule obama era loophole was closed by DHS on (0711/17). The rule allowed illegals to stay in the country for 2 and half years if they were “starting a business” per breitbart.
    ICE crackdown in Pueblo scaring some families back to Mexico per the Pueblo chieftain (07/10/17)
    House subcommittee includes $1.6 billion in funds for Wall in approbations bill (07/12/17) goes to full house for vote
    DHS proposes rule change to increase length (from 2 weeks to 90 days) and Distance (from 100 miles from the border to entire USA) for people to be immediately deported freeing up courts and stopping the lawfare over immigration. (07/15/17 ) per dailymail
    Thomas D. Homan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in an interview that since Trump entered office, illegal border crossings have crashed by almost 70 percent, “an historic low,” arrests inside the country have jumped 40 percent and that demands for illegal criminals in local jails has skyrocketed 80 percent. (07/18/17) per Washington Examiner
    AG Sessions said one goal of DOJ is to totally end illegal immigration (07/18/17) per Breitbart
    The Trump Administration is providing funding for the Texas National Guard’s efforts to assist in securing the state’s border with Mexico per Breitbart (07/18/17)
    Acting ICE Director Thomas D. Homan said he is going to deploy more officers and agents to “sanctuary cities” to arrest illegal criminal (07/18/17) per Washington examiner
    President Trump ordered the creation of the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office at DHS, ensuring that our Government can no longer ignore the victims of criminal acts by illegal aliens. (04/26/17)
    ON LAW and ORDER
    Authorities have arrested an unprecedented number of sexual predators involved in child sex trafficking rings in the United States and around the world
    DOJ issues new sentencing guideline to enforce tougher laws on drug dealers (05/12/17) per Justice. gov
    DOJ stops Obama’s slush funds (06/08/17) per Washington Examiner
    Massive raids on gangs going on across the nation
    More arrests for voter fraud in 2017 then anytime in recent history.
    DOJ and DHS ordered to take on transnational criminal gangs (02/07/17) per POTUS EO
    No tolerance for violence against LEO with a signed EO (02/07/17)
    Fired FBI director who is and was a nutjob.
    Nominated Wray for FBI director, confirmation hearing 07/12/17
    Nominated 21 conservative judges to the federal court
    AG Sessions dismantling the Obama legal doctrine brick by brick at the DOJ per Bloomberg (06/29/17)
    Operation Broken Heart lead by the DOJ arrested over 1,012 sexual child predators across the nation bringing 69,000 cases against them. (06/28/17)
    AG Sessions has asked for an extra $26 million to hire 300 prosecutors devoted to gang violence and deportation cases per Bloomberg (06/29/17)
    DOJ drops case against the Washington Redskins (06/30/17) the era of Political correctness is over.
    AG Sessions condemned murder of NYPD on (07/05/17) calling the attack cowardly.
    April 13, 2017-Under President Trump, The Justice Department prosecuted two doctors and one other for practicing female genital mutilation– the first such prosecutions under a federal law passed by Congress in 1996 prohibiting the practice.
    June 30, 2017—The Trump Administration sent 20 ATF agents to Chicago to help the city fight gun violence.
    AG Sessions and Deputy AG visit GITMO to see operations and conditions in effort to frame future Trump policy on Gitmo. (07/07/17)
    AG Sessions and Sec Price announce the biggest ever Healthcare Fraud operation. Arresting 412 people including Doctors who have committed more than 1.3 Billion in medical fraud including opiod fraud. (07/13/17)
    AG Sessions/FBI took down largest darkweb site Alphabay (07/20/17)
    ON Congressional and Executive action
    Confirmed Gorsuch to SCOTUS
    Signed 39+ Laws so far
    Signed more than 30+ EO
    Reviewing the Obama land grabs at the Sec on interior
    Reviewing and repealing Obama’s regulations
    Obamacare repeal and replace passed House stuck in Senate as of 07/18/17)
    Tax cuts and reform moving through Congress waiting on obamacare repeal
    Submitted 2018 Budget that cuts spending and gives a pathway to a balanced budget in 10 years.
    Returned power to make decisions on “transgender bathrooms” to states (02/27/17)
    Instituted 5-year lobbying ban for all Executive branch appointees
    Instituted permanent lobbying ban for foreign governments for all Executive branch appointees
    Banned aid helping foreign countries provide abortions (Mexico City Policy) (01/23/17)
    Formed Commission on voter fraud led by VP Pence had first meeting on 07/19/17)
    Returned the mission of NASA to space exploration (03/21/17)
    Installing aspects of extreme vetting at points of entry to the USA
    Signed Two bills into Law on June 2nd that makes it easier for family members of slain LEO to get benefits and that helps hire Veterans as LEO
    Sec of VA is starting process to combine the DOD and VA medical records to improve Veteran’s health. Massive shift in government policy (06/05/17)
    Pushing a massive overhaul of our FAA Air Traffic control (06/05/17)
    House votes to roll back Dodd Frank goes to the Senate (06/08/17)
    Senate votes for VA accountability act. Goes to House passed house 06/13/17 major victory for Trump agenda signed into law on 06/23/17
    Pushing an apprentice program to train skilled works to fill 6 million open positions. (06/10/17)
    The U.S. Treasury Department unveiled a sweeping plan on to upend the country’s financial regulatory framework, 80% of which will be done from the executive side and does not need Congress. MAGA!!!!! (06/13/17)
    Signed EO to reshape the education system of the USA to include votech and apprenticeships (06/13/17)
    Did away with rules requiring the Federal government to report on the Y2K bug 17 years after 2000.
    President Donald Trump signed an executive order creating an accountability and whistleblower protection office at the Department of Veterans Affairs.(04/ 27/2017)
    Sec Zinke moves to purge the Interior department of Obama holdovers (6/16/17 per Washington post)
    Energy Department eliminating the Office of International Climate and Technology
    22 federal agency task force formed to help the rural America fight regulations and lack of prosperity led by Sec Perdue
    Environmental Protection Agency has ended a nearly $1 million program that provided gym memberships for employees
    5-0 in special elections (GA6 primary, KS, MT, GA6 final election, SC)

  21. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    17. September 2017 at 19:50

    PART 3:
    Sec Kelly dropped many “Pro-Obama Islamic groups from funding” Groups that pushed for sharia law and closed muslim communities within the USA. (06/23/17 per breitbart)
    TRAVEL BAN upheld by SCOTUS by 9-0 ruling. Extreme vetting will now become law of the land.
    ScottPruitt signed #WOTUS proposed rule, supporting @POTUS order to restore the rule of law.
    Travel BAN now in full effect across the world. (06/29/17)
    Signed agreement to construct oil pipeline into Mexico per Pres trump speech
    Opening up LNG centers to ship LNG across the world (06/29/17)
    Introduced 6 point plan to unleash American energy (off shore, Nuclear, coal, NG,Oil, renewable) (06/29/17)
    President Trump Signs EO Reviving The National Space Council (06/30/17)
    Pentagon halts Obama’s transgender plan (07/01/17 per Breitbart)
    Sec Devos has stopped two obama regulations from going into effect which would have harmed for profit colleges. The Gainful Employment rule and the Borrower Defense rule (06/30/17)
    On May 4th, 2017 Pres Trump signed the Religious Freedom EO ordering his admin among other things to not enforce the Johnson amendment.
    Reduced White House expenses by $22 million by reducing staffing levels from Obama levels. Doing more with less
    Pres Donald Trump’s first-quarter salary donation will help fund the restoration of two projects at Antietam National Battlefield, Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced Wednesday per Breitbart (07/05/117)
    Returned the Winston Churchill bust back to the Oval Office and Kept the Martin Luther King Jr bust proving we can respect and honor both men.
    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday ordered the agency to resolve a backlog of more than 2,000 oil and natural gas permit applications for drilling on public lands per Washington Examiner (07/06/17)
    The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today (07/07/17) 747 disciplinary actions including 526 employees who were fired since January 20th 2017 per CBS (07/07/17) suspended 200, demoted 33 (22 of which were senior management) per White house (07/20/17)
    Sec Carson of HUD announced a $500+ billion “error” in the Obama HUD’s 2015 and 2016 budgets was found by an Audit completed by the Office of Inspector General (04/08/17) per CBN
    He had ordered that he gets 2 scoops of Ice Cream per CNN so might be fake news:)
    Working hard to get the Olympics for the United States (L.A.) (07/10/17) per POTUS twitter
    House cuts Sec of Department funding by 17% in approbations bill (07/12/17) goes to full House for vote
    The Department of Veterans Affairs has acted to increase transparency and accountability by launching an online “Access and Quality Tool” to provide veterans a way to access wait time and quality of care data. (07/20/17) per White House
    President Trump signed legislation allowing our veterans to receive care outside of the Veterans Affairs medical system.
    President Trump created the Office of American Innovation to streamline and improve the Government for future generations. (03/27/17)
    On Politics 1.President Donald Trump’s job approval rating in the American counties that fueled his 2016 victory stands at 50 percent, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of these “Trump counties. (07/16/17) per NBC 2.PDP poll from OH has Pres Trump at 54% approval to 41% disapproval (07/15/17) per PDP poll 3.RNC continues to have record high monthly funding contributions while the DNC continues to have record low contributions(07/20/17) On Foreign Policy
    Secured a 34,000 Arab force to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria
    Sent 3 carrier battle groups to NK to pressure them on nuclear program, installed THADD in SK and Japan
    Working with China on NK but results are not going well as of (07/12/17) but we had to try.
    Sent Navy to South China Sea to secure sea lines
    Fired 60 Tomahawks after a gas attack in Syria
    Got the G7 countries to agree that a nation has a right to control migration and immigration
    Had G7 countries agree NK was a threat
    Had G7 nations agree that Trade should be FAIR as well as FREE and that nations can punish non fair trade
    Had NATO agree to pay more and got more countries to pay their fair share of defense pact
    Have met with more than 100 of the world leaders many at the white house
    Pulled out of Paris Accord and freed the USA from the economic Slavery Obama sold us into
    Have surrounded ISIS in Iraq and Syria strongholds
    Have killed the ISIS commander in Afghanistan and reduced their strength by 2/3rd in Afghanistan
    Dropped the MOAB on ISIS killing more than 90 ISIS fighters
    First sitting POTUS to pray at the Western Wall
    Restarted peace process between Israel and PLO
    Visited the land of the three major religions in the world
    Opening of center to defeat radical Islam in cyberspace during Saudi Arabia visit. One orb to find them and in the darkness and bind them.
    Gave powerful speech in the heart of Islam about the need to reform Islam and drive out the radicals
    Had G7 countries agree that refugees should stay as close as possible to home country and be returned when the threat is gone
    Got the Arab nations to cut ties to Qatar for funding terrorists, massive historic shift in diplomatic actions in the Muslim world.
    Started the assault on Raqqa in Syria to defeat ISIS on June 6th 2017.
    Got Romania to up it’s NATO funding to 2.1% of GDP
    Has the Special Forces helping relieve siege in Philippines.
    Visited Poland, attended the Three Seas summit (07/05/16)
    Per Sec Tillerson. The PLO has stopped the payments to terrorists families. Major change in PLO policy conflicting reports on this
    Pres Trump’s State department secured the release of American citizen Otto Warmbeir from NK without paying $400 million ransom
    Pres Trump admin secured the release of American citizen, Aya Hijazifor, from Egypt Jail without paying $400 million ransom.
    Obama appointed Ambassador to Qatar “quit” during the biggest Crisis in Qatar’s history. What was she hiding?
    Gave Sec Mattis authority to set troop numbers in Afghanistan to turn the tide of the war. 06/16/17 .
    Rolled back Obama’s Cuban policy. 06/16/17
    Canada promised to increase defense spending by 70% (06/16/17)
    Gulf Countries sent Qatar a list of demands to defund terrorism, reject the Muslim brother hood so Qatar can return to the fold, direct consequence of Pres Trump’s trip to the Middle East. Qatar has since rejected these demands setting a possible military conflict (updated 06/30/17)
    NATO countries (excluding the US) increase defense spending by 4.3% from last year per daily mail and breitbart(06/30/17).
    Per Iraq military Mosul has fallen. ISIS no longer controls the city. Just a couple pockets of resistance left per independent (06/30/17) PM of IRAQ declares the complete pacification of the city (7/09/17)
    Imposed Sanctions on major China Bank for it’s funding of North Korea and has declared the admin will work to cut North Korea off from access to the US financial market. (06/29/17)
    approved a $1.42billion arms deal with Taiwan (07/02/17) 38. Reached out by Twitter to offer help to save baby Charlie Gard and has started the conversation on Baby Charlie’s fate. (07/03/17)
    The US ambassador to the UN threatens China and other countries who trade with North Korea with blockage from the USA market. (07/05/17)
    Pres Trump increases the threat to use trade access to the US market to stop North Korea setting up a potential for a trade war with China and other nations (07/05/17)
    Gave a major speech in Warsaw Poland to a crowd of thousands reaffirming Western Civilization (07/6/17)
    Pres Trump has had 50% more meetings with foreign leaders than Pres Obama did during the same time period. Per Breitbart (07/06/17)
    US, Russia, and Jordan announce ceasefire in Southern Syria (07/07/17) Cease Fire still holding as of (07/18/17)
    OLD City walls in Raqqa were breached by US led forces on July 4th 2017. Less than a month after the battle for Raqqa began. Per Economist (07/07/17)
    Pres Trump got three major victories in G20. 1) Trade he had the G20 agree that nations can protect themselves from unfair trade. 2) He got them to agree a nation has control over their borders and can control immigration and migration. 3) He stood firm on the climate hoax known as the Paris accords and included the importance of fossil fuels. Per the G20 communiqué (07/08/17)
    U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday promised $639 million in aid to feed people left starving because of drought and conflict in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen. (07/08/17) per Reuters
    Sec of State signed a counter terrorism funding agreement with QATAR giving Pres Trump and the Gulf allies major victory and moving along the impasse in the region to a hopeful peaceful solution (07/11/17) per state. Gov
    Visited France to hold bilateral meetings and take part in Bastille day marking the 100th anniversary of the USA entering WW1 (07/13/17)
    President Donald Trump has sent out another clear message on the worsening political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, promising “strong and swift economic actions” should socialist leader Nicolás Maduro push ahead with plans to create a non-elected “constituent assembly.” (07/18/17) per Breitbart
    President Trump has lifted restrictions that had prevented the Secretary of Defense and our commanders in the field from fully using their judgement and expertise. (07/20/17)
    The United States sanctioned sixteen entities and individuals that have supported Iran’s military and Revolutionary Guard Corps in the development of drones, fast attack boats, and other military equipment.(07/20/17) per Whitehouse
    The Department of the Treasury sanctioned over 25 entities and individuals involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, ensuring our ability to monitor potentially malicious actors while preventing future acts of terrorism. (07/20/17)

  22. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    17. September 2017 at 20:17

    Jeff, You said:

    “My biggest disappointment so far is the failure to repeal Obamacare, but that’s more the fault of some hypocritical Republican senators than it is Trump’s.”

    I stop reading at that point. Seriously, Trump promised that he’d get rid of Obamacare, and he said if Congress didn’t go along he’d force them to. He make them do it. So why didn’t he?

    Instead Trump never even came up with a proposal! How the heck is Congress supposed to do this in a 52/48 Senate and with zero leadership from the White House? Did Obama just sit back and wait for Congress to come up with health care reform? The lengths that people will go to to defend Trump are absolutely mind-boggling. The guy is a complete loser—why can’t his supporters see that? He has zero leadership ability.

    And you don’t think his TPP policy was a “really bad policy”?

    Christian, You seem to have a big problem with reading comprehension. I didn’t just realize that Trump was lying. I knew it long before you did.

    Harding, You said:

    “I was wrong about some of my expectations about what Trump would do.”

    I told you not to believe a word he said. Why didn’t you listen to me? Now you alt-rightists look like fools.

  23. Gravatar of John Thacker John Thacker
    18. September 2017 at 05:07

    The Trump (and Trump fan) policy on immigrants and immigration is exactly the same as on healthcare policy: all the good stuff, without any of the bad stuff. They want to keep *all* the “bad immigrants” out, but not the good ones. They want all the nice sounding regulations about keeping kids on their parents’ insurance, no higher premiums for pre-existing conditions, etc., without any of the extra costs, rationing, or higher premiums that go with that.

    In that, they’re not any better than the swing voters who typically decide elections, but we usually expect our Presidents to promise impossible things during the campaign and then bow to reality when in office.

  24. Gravatar of J Mann J Mann
    18. September 2017 at 10:29

    The best case for Trump (and it’s not likely), is some mix of Clintonian triangulation and “Nixon in China” effect – that in order to burnish his place in history, Trump eventually gravitates to centrist policies, then sells them to his base by the same bizarre force of personality that got him there in the first place.

    My actual prediction is that he achieves nothing, which is the second best thing government can do for me (after the right thing).

  25. Gravatar of Liberal Roman Liberal Roman
    18. September 2017 at 11:36

    I tried to say this 100 times. Trump was a cultural revolt. It wasn’t about any particular political issue. It wasn’t even totally about racism (although I would say benign racism that’s inherent to most people had a role in it). It was more about the dominance of political correctness and identity politics in our culture.

    The years 2012-2016 saw wave after wave of incidents that I know pissed normal WWC voters off. And while we rational people were also upset about random comedians/actors/anchors being forced to resign or offer insincere apologies, we didn’t think of it as a primary issue. We certainly weren’t going to vote for a lunatic like Trump just because of this. Well, for a lot of people, culture was their primary reason to vote Trump. They were sick and tired of all the political correctness. They were sick and tired about being lectured about their white privilege. They were sick and tired about various institutions patting themselves on the back because of the number of LGBTQ people they hired. Again, I was sick and tired of it too, its just I had different priorities.

    So Trump can do whatever he wants policy wise. As long as his personality type is in office, that makes his base happy. Getting him into office was the victory. He really didn’t need to accomplish anything.

  26. Gravatar of Jeff Jeff
    18. September 2017 at 18:20

    Scott,

    While Obama was still in office, both the House and the Senate approved straight-up Obamacare repeal bills. Nothing but hypocrisy prevented them from doing that again this year. At first, their excuse was that they didn’t just want repeal, they wanted “repeal and replace”. Of course that was never going to fly. If the “replace” part was actually possible, they could have done it before Obama was even elected.

    Eventually, even Trump figured this out and called for a more-or-less straight repeal. But several Republican senators who had voted for repeal when Obama was still in office changed their minds and would not support repeal when there was a President willing to sign it.

    I call that hypocrisy. Don’t you? How is that Trump’s fault? Perhaps he should have seen it coming. Maybe he did. But your complaint amounts to saying that Trump should have foreseen that repealing Obamacare was not politically possible with the Senate that resulted from the 2016 election. Not only that, you’re further saying that having foreseen this, he shouldn’t have even called for repeal. Because he knew it couldn’t happen, calling for it is a lie.

    This is, to put it politely, a somewhat unusual standard to hold a politician to.

    Pulling out of TPP may or may not have been a bad idea. Tariffs in the U.S. are already pretty low, and while there are some formal and informal import quotas, previous trade deals mean that they’re not nearly as restrictive as they used to be. TPP does call for other countries to lower their trade barriers a lot, but there’s really no reason why US consumers should care much about that. It would be good for the inhabitants of those countries, but unless you really buy into the whole mercantilist mindset, it shouldn’t matter much to American consumers.

    TPP has also been criticized by people like me who think we’ve really gone overboard with protecting “intellectual property”. Some of the problems with TPP here include:
    (i) TPP calls for other countries to adopt the ridiculous U.S. copyright protection for seventy years after the author has died.

    (ii) Generic drugs would be blocked or delayed, and the Indian pharmaceutical industry that is responsible for cheap drugs worldwide would be devastated.

    (iii) Many people in the open-source software world think that TPP rules would have greatly hampered the creation and adoption of software that is hugely important and becoming more so by the day.

    Drugs, technology and software are important parts of the world economy and are becoming more so as time goes on. TPP codifies, encourages and locks in rent-seeking behavior in these industries in ways that will become more and more detrimental as time goes by.

    On balance, TPP may be better than nothing. But it’s certainly debatable and not the slam dunk you imply.

  27. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    18. September 2017 at 19:01

    “I stop reading at that point. Seriously, Trump promised that he’d get rid of Obamacare, and he said if Congress didn’t go along he’d force them to.”

    No he didn’t, he never said he’d FORCE them to, you’re lying again Sumner.

    He said he would work to end the bailouts of insurance companies at taxpayer expense.

    Something you likely would have virtue signalled in supporting had Clinton won the presidency.

    But virtue signalling today? You’d probably find an excuse to defend the bailouts.

  28. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    18. September 2017 at 19:03

    Jeff you wrote:

    “While Obama was still in office, both the House and the Senate approved straight-up Obamacare repeal bills. Nothing but hypocrisy prevented them from doing that again this year.”

    Hey now, verified facts that refute the narrative of this fake news blog? Suicide watch hotline is ringing

  29. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    18. September 2017 at 21:58

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/09/18/bombshell-feds-wiretapped-paul-manafort-before-and-after-the-election/

    To put this into the only perspective this blog will understand: Imagine a topsy turvy world if you will: Trump and his cronies in the deep state spy on the communications of one of the forerunners for Democrat or Independent candidate for President of the United States of America, to use as leverage in supporting the Republican candidate for the same.

    Now imagine the deep state being unelected and subject to bribes and forces from the highest world bidder, instead of through the “normal” periodic local, state and federal elections. Or, imagine it is subject to democratic accommodation to some positive degree. OK, fine, but then imagine the media complex being almost entirely on the side of the powers behind the deep state, i.e. foreign bribes? What kind of democratic accommodation from the US public would there be, less or more? A lot of blog authors are already nearly completely brainwashed.

  30. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    18. September 2017 at 22:00

    CNN may have turned a corner for its own survival’s sake, or they don’t know what they’re talking about. The point is the spying did take place.

    Didn’t people used to call them “police states” at some point in the past?

  31. Gravatar of Benny Lava Benny Lava
    19. September 2017 at 05:03

    This is exactly correct. All those hillbilly elegy thinkpieces and hand wringing about how Trump won because liberals aren’t nice enough is just piffle. Trump voters like him because he seduced them. They don’t care what actual policies go through. All those articles by conservatives justifying Trumps contradictions last year were sillyness. All thoses “we can read through the bluster and see what he really wants” was nonsense

  32. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    19. September 2017 at 07:17


    Christian, You seem to have a big problem with reading comprehension. I didn’t just realize that Trump was lying. I knew it long before you did.

    I never said that you just realized that Trump was lying.

    And I never took Trump at his word, so you weren’t earlier at anything.

    My impression is that you are still very bipolar about Trump. My impression is that you fluctuate between massive hysteria and complete tension release about Trump since months. And every time you reach one pole again, you’re shouting out: “Look guys, I knew it from the very beginning!”

  33. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    19. September 2017 at 12:30

    Scott’s been consistently correct about Trump all along, except for his initial prospects for winning, which he’s acknowledged. He was closer to correct than me also when it comes to how well our institutions have held up. They’ve offered more resistance than I expected, to my pleasure.

  34. Gravatar of Floccina Floccina
    19. September 2017 at 13:09

    The rule on immigration to the USA seems to be we try to keep immigrants out and if they get in we try to expel them for 2 years. If they manage to avoid detection for 2 years, we let them stay.

    So the guy who has been at least able to earn USA wages for 2 plus years and learn English (a valuable skill even in Mexico and central America) and children brought here who have benefited from USA schooling, get to stay which is great but meanwhile the poor guy who spends his life savings to get across the border but gets caught is turned back.

    Weird and not very utilitarian unless you think loss aversion uber alles.

    It seems absurd to have a law that you have no intention of enforcing.
    The illegal immigrants who have been here the longest are better off than those who would have wanted to come but did not come because they did not want to come illegally.
    The illegal immigrants who have been here the longest are better off because they have had a chance to earn more money than those in Mexico.
    The illegal immigrants who have been here the longest are better off because they have had a chance to learn some English which might help them get a better job in Mexico.

    http://un-thought.blogspot.com/2016/01/immigration.html

  35. Gravatar of Floccina Floccina
    19. September 2017 at 13:38

    I like Chucks term: “emotionalists”. I think DACA supporters are who are against greatly increasing legal low skill immigration are emotionalists. They are OK with harming people as long as they do not have to see them because that brings negative emotions. C’est la vie.

  36. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    19. September 2017 at 16:50

    Liberal, So do these people want ESPN to fire liberal commentators for not being politically correct?

    Christian, You said:

    “Scott, so what you are basically saying is:

    1) You admitted that you were wrong. (Big step?)

    2) You realized that politics is mostly about rhetoric. (Kudos)

    3) Trump voters seem to have known WAY earlier than you that politics is mostly about rhetoric. (Don’t feel bad about it).”

    And then you said:

    “I never said that you just realized that Trump was lying.”

    Trump voters didn’t know anything about politics that I didn’t also know. I knew Trump was a liar.

    I actually don’t know why I even respond to you. Why can’t you be intelligent, like mbka?

    Jeff, It’s the President’s job to lead his party. Trump said he’d force Congress to do his bidding. Trump is either unwilling or unable to do so. He hasn’t even TRIED. It’s hard for me to believe that you can’t see that.

    Some Senators are hypocrites? Alert the media!

  37. Gravatar of Massimo Heitor Massimo Heitor
    20. September 2017 at 11:07

    “One common theme was that voters were becoming more nationalistic and anti-immigrant.”

    Are universities “anti-student” for rejecting so many students and refusing to allow them the privilege of enrolling in classes and learning?

    That is silly, but that’s exactly the rhetoric that you’ve chosen.

    I’ve always been sympathetic to immigrants, including illegal immigrants, and would-be immigrants who respect our laws and remain outside of the US.

    I’m sympathetic to much of the morality of full open borders, but it imposes large negative costs on the host population, especially with democracy and the whole global model of distinct geographical nation states that represent different cultural and tribal units.

    “Trump has no fixed values. His base had no fixed values.”

    If Trump and Trump’s base have no fixed values than neither does his opposition. Bryan Caplan reported having nightmares about Trump, yet this doesn’t make sense if Trump doesn’t represent anything at all.

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