Friday, March 4, 2016

Was the GOP Debate a Real Debate or a Dog Fight...

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You have to give the GOP credit, they certainly do put on a show. Whether you think it is a good sow or not depends to a large degree on your perspective as just what the nation needs at this point in it's history. For the many who are mighty angry with the direction of the country and feel marginalized by the government and the elite establishment politicians the debate was possibly just what they wanted. For those who were looking for a debate with a lot of substance and specifics the debate fell, once again, far short of accomplishing the real purpose of a debate between presidential candidates.

Trump's populism with its undertones of extreme nationalism appeals to an angry party and Americans who view the answers to our national dilemma(s) as toughness, closed borders and a beautiful wall, starting trade wars with certain nations who trade with us in order to balance trading activity, deporting 11 millions undocumented (illegal) aliens, increasing defense spending to build up our military, the strongest and best equipped in the world BTW, into an even bigger and more awesome fighting force, crushing ISIS and using "enhanced" interrogation techniques (torture) to do so, and lowering taxes on business and individuals while balancing the budget and reducing the national debt. Trump telling it like it is. Oh, did I mention bringing back jobs to America?

All of the talk sounds good, and it would be good if it all works out like The Donald tells us it will, if we only believe and trust in his awesome abilities to make things happen. The problem is that Trump makes it all about personality, his, and how much he wins and how GREAT he will make America AGAIN. Without ever actually telling us specifically, point by point, how exactly he will accomplish his wonderful and beautiful vision for America. In fairness to Trump the other candidates, with possibly the exception of Kasich, aren't really giving us a lot of specifics either.

What we are seeing is a lot of canned statements (promises) we've heard over and over again with an increasing degree of personal insults and mud slinging, all of which does nothing to advise the American people in a positive way what they can expect. Trump insults and baits Rubio who of course takes the bait and off they go acting like the spoiled children they apparently are. Cruz, to his credit, tries to keep out of the dog fighting but nonetheless gets into it mixing it up with Trump. Kasich, to his immense v credit stays out of the insulting game and tries to redirect the debate to having some semblance of structure and substance. When the moderators give him an occasional question. At the end of the night we are pretty much right where we were before the "debate" started. Disappointed and somewhat disgusted. Hoping for better next time and knowing not much if anything will change.

American GOP politics has reached a new low with the candidacy of Donald Trump. Thoughtful and informative responses to questions asked on policy, deficit reduction, debt management, social; security, civil liberties, programs to aid veterans and the elderly etc. have been sacrificed as the republican front runner spends time focusing on how much he wins, how great he is and therefore how great he will make America and how he is going to crush ISIS and make everyone fear American should they interfere in our interests. It plays well with the angry middle class that has been squeezed every since the financial meltdown of 2007-2008 but it leaves a myriad of unanswered questions.

Perhaps when the nominating process is complete and the democratic and republican nominees square off America will finally get some meaningful answers from the candidates, if the moderators ask probing meaningful questions about issues important to the country. I for one won't be counting on it.


  1. Here's what i don't get...

    For years we've heard how the world does not respect us because of Barack Obama and yet the people saying that are head over heels for Trump, whom the rest of the world abhors.

    Add in how the GOP candidates are trashing trump as almost Satanic and a GOP Party wrecker, yet have said they will support him, and there is no way to make this stuff up.

    The world of the conservative voter is Alice in Wonderland Topsy Turvey.

    They hated inexperience when it was Obama, but worship it now.

    They said Obama was not eligible to be Pres because even though his Mom was a citizen, he was not born here, yet they have no problem with Ted Cruz.

    They call themselves family values people, yet support candidates who issue school yard taunts recalling the relative size of their "manhood", blowjobs and more.

    They've denigrated the faith of Mitt Romney [Mormonism] and Barack Obama [Christianity] yet openly support someone who maybe the most secular president we've seen in quite a while.

    They slam Hillary as dishonest, and she is, yet when Trump is shown beyond a doubt to have lied, it's not a problem.

    It is such an amazing election season this year...

    1. 3 of the remaing candidates are as pathetic and childish as they are amazing. But apparently the conservatives, especially Trump's supporters, like it that way Dave.

      Today's republican party has lost all resemblance to the party of Lincoln.

  2. Dave Miller: They call themselves family values people, yet support candidates who issue schoolyard taunts recalling the relative size of their "manhood", blowjobs and more.

    I have it on my DVR, although I haven't watched it yet. From what I hear, some of the "more" includes Cruz eating a booger. Rubio is obviously desperate with his debating of the size of Trump's equipment. ex-Congressman Bob Ney (on Thom Hartmann's program yesterday) predicted that Rubio will be out within a week.

  3. This fiasco will drag on, maybe to the convention. There is an increasing possibility of a brokered convention. And, Trump is threatening independent run again.

    Keeping pretzels and craft brews in ample supple.

  4. Replies
    1. Dog fight in dog poop. The complete deal.

      It must be embarrassing to be the Chair of the Republican National Committee.

  5. For years we've heard how the world does not respect us because of Barack Obama and yet the people saying that are head over heels for Trump, whom the rest of the world abhors.

    What's to get Dave? This is the height of absurdity.

    As far as how great America is, was and may ever have been...

    One low point was during and after the Shrub presidency. We caused a worldwide depression, the aftermath of which involved bailing out the very investment banks that had caused it. As if that wasn't bad enough, there were real losers. Not just here at home. People who were never made whole again.

    To make it worse, the U.S. had, as I am sure you know, involved itself in an "adventure" in Iraq. The most painful part of this, if you for a moment put aside all of the people that died as a result, was the fact that the U.S. had been convicted in the world court of opinion of various degrees of torture. Not just a few people that had been tortured, but several hundred.

    In case you did not notice, Obama did an almost impossible and fairly creditable job of restoring our worldwide prestige, almost immediately after taking office.

    Trump appeals to idiots who hate Obama. That simple. He is in no great way very different than Mitt Romney or Marco Rubio. They are all cut from the same cloth.

    Get it now?

    Trump is the uber-dog for stupid people who

  6. It is embarrassing to be a US citizen.

  7. One low point was during and after the Shrub presidency. We caused a worldwide depression, the aftermath of which involved bailing out the very investment banks that had caused it. As if that wasn't bad enough, there were real losers. Not just here at home. People who were never made whole again.

    On the above, some interesting reading on that sorry subject HERE and HERE.

    Politics and political considerations too often get in the way of clear cool headed analysis. I know. I've been there and done that!

    Hopefully we won't make the same mistakes again but there are signs already surfacing that we may be traveling down that destructive oast again.

    1. That is good information Les. I will have to look at the second article after the busy weekend.

    2. The second link has all the signs and symptoms of a partisan hit piece; and the dots do not connect. Here is another perspective:

      FINANCIALIZATION OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY. Since the Reagan years, this has been the mantra of supply-side economics: “Cut taxes, cut regulations, cut back social spending so people will be more eager to find work and be less dependent on the government … It would lead to kind of a boom economy” (source: Les Leopold). Sounds good in theory; a disaster in practice:

      1. Changes in CEO compensation. In 1980, CEO pay was comprised of 95% salary and bonuses and only 5% stock incentives. Today the situation is reversed; 90-95% stock incentives and 5-10% salary and bonuses. The result is a shift in business culture and a change in emphasis. Today, CEOs divert financial resources to raising shareholder value (a form of stock manipulation) instead of putting the focus on product and corporate development.

      2. Stock buybacks. In 1980, only 2% of corporate profits were invested in stock buybacks. Today, 75% of profits are invested in buybacks resulting in less emphasis on R&D, new product development, employee wage compensation, or corporate citizenship. In 1970, the ratio between CEO compensation versus workforce compensation was 45:1. Today, the ratio is 844:1. Here is a measure of skyrocketing income inequality.

      3. Productivity. Since WWII, output per worker hour has risen dramatically, virtually a 45 degree angle on a line graph. Workforce wages grew at a similar rate (their fair share of the American Pie) … until 1977 when worker compensation started to slow until wage increases vanished in the 1980s. Today, middle class wage increases have flatlined; real buying power after cost of living has turned negative; and quality of life indicators (in education, food, housing, and health care costs) are substantially below 1980 figures.

      4. Mergers/Acquisitions. Corporate raiders financed consolidations, mergers and acquisitions by front-loading all debt onto the books of corporations they had taken over. IOW, debt had essentially been turned into free money for empire building, as they diverted profits into stock buyback programs (stock manipulation PLUS double-dealing). Until the 1980s, corporate America was essentially debt free. Today, corporate debt is over $12 trillion, and $21 trillion in untaxed assets lay in offshore accounts. When debt and offshore accounts go up, tax receipts go down.

      5. Impact on Public Sector. The middle class is carrying the cost burdens of government while the elite get away scot free. Furthermore, the middle class falls sucker to these political slogans: “Cut the public sector. Cut teacher salaries and pensions. Cut the social safety net.”

      Financialization of the American economy has been described as “strip mining” every penny of economic growth into the coffers of an elite. There is no economic recovery for those at the bottom. The housing bubble was only the first warning shot. There are new crises looming on the horizon.

    3. At the risk of pissing you off I frankly view much of the rhetoric from both the right and left as partisan hit pieces, the purposes are not to solve problems but to gain adherents to a particular viewpoint or ideology.

      Having said the above, I find your bullet points reality based and certainly factual in substance. It is indeed unfortunate that our media, politicians, and parties are not engaged in the honest discussion of the grave deficiencies you took the time to highlight.

      Personally I have no problem with companies making a healthy profit and competent decision makers making a healthy compensation. Without profits companies would close their doors.

      While taxing the CEO's of American at 100% would not result in balancing the budget or reducing the national debt the 884:1 ratio is obscene. Making it completely understandable why many focus on the issue of greed.

      I have no idea how this will play out, and I may be dead before it finally does plays out. Whichever way it goes. I just know I tire of the bullshit 24/7 and am amazed at the number of people who are blind to the dangers of Trump, Cruz, Rubio et all.

      It is what it is and as a growing cynic I doubt it will change any time soon.

    4. I am not offend at all (in fact we are probably on the same page but merely express ourselves differently). The drift of today’s GOP to the far rightwing represents an absolute plunge into Plutocracy Hell; and frankly Democrats come off as Republican Lite — chicken cowards offering bandaid solutions that merely disguise the fact that they too have their dirty fingers in the same powerful pockets. IMO, the entire system is rotten to the core.

      In past comments, I lamented the passing of an era, the one in which we were born and raised. When capitalism meant small family-owned businesses on Main Street — the province of the middle classes and the wellspring of upward mobility. Before consolidations, acquisitions and mergers concentrated market power among the few and destroyed the American Dream for the many — fundamentally changing the rules of the game.

      Sometimes I think partisan labels are reversed. Sometimes I see myself as the conservative — recalling better days and wishing we could roll back time to an era that grew the middle class. I see the fringe rightwing as activist in how aggressively they promote the New Plutocracy, while disguising their true intentions with appeals to prejudice and dog whistle politics. Ugly times we are living in; and I am bereft of optimism.

  8. Trump is the product of years and years of right wing rabble-rousing. He is the product of FOX News, of the Tea Party movement, of partisan pseudo-news all over the internet. He is the product of the dumbing down of the American political discourse.

    And he ran as a Republican because they were most ripe for the picking. The dumbest down.

    The right wing created Trump, and I hope he makes them miserable.


    1. The right wing created Trump, and I hope he makes them miserable.

      If your wish comes true, and he gets elected, you also will be miserable. Thus we will be one great big miserable family.

  9. Replies
    1. Hm, I get why the Sentinel is not endorsing Trump, Cruz, or Rubio, no news publication worth its salt should imo. However, I am somewhat puzzled as to why they won't endorse Kasich as the only reason given is "he can't win". Perhaps they think another will rise from the ranks to save the GOP brand? Maybe if they endorsed Kasich he might get some more traction that would lead to more delegates and give him more leverage should the GOP end up with a brokered convention.

      Frankly I think the Sentinel has a limp wristed editorial board given their reason for not endorsing Kasich. Unless they are going to throw their full endorsement behind the democratic candidate, whoever that may eventually be.


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