52 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-17-16

  1. Wow, am I first? Good day, all. I posted this yesterday in response to Roscuro IRT some comments she made about Syria and Trump…

    Roscuro, that’s the second testy response to what were really just plain questions put to you about what you said.

    The reason AJ asked about what you think Trump ought to do in Syria, and why I followed up, is because you loaded your posts with accusations about his character *in the context of the situation in Syria.* You say, “Surely, people can discuss on world events and public figures without having their words weighed and counterweighed for ‘motivation’.” Yeah, that’s why we asked what we did. We never said anything about your motivation. [And you should be more careful with your use of quotation marks. They really should only be used when they actually repeat what a person said.]

    You say you only posted about Aleppo because that’s in the news, and this is the news thread. But all the stuff about Trump’s character is “taking it to another level;” certainly not just “for information.” I’m prepared to agree with all kinds of criticisms of Donald Trump–for whom I did not vote–and made a number of them here in these pages. But I only want to criticize him over things I know he’s guilty of. He may not care about a lot of things. But you said he didn’t care about the little people in Syria.

    So the questions remain, how do you know he doesn’t care about those people, and what are you suggesting he should do to help them?


  2. Agreement reached that could restart Aleppo evacuation



    BEIRUT – An agreement was reached Saturday to allow “humanitarian cases” to leave two besieged government-held Shiite villages in northwestern Syria, a step that would allow the resumption of civilian and rebel evacuations from eastern Aleppo which were suspended a day earlier, Hezbollah’s media arm and a monitoring group said.

    The opposition’s Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the evacuation of some 4,000 people, including wounded, from the villages of Foua and Kfarya was expected to start Saturday.

    Hezbollah fighters have joined the Syrian war fighting along with President Bashar Assad’s forces. Opposition activists blamed the Lebanese group for blocking the main road south of Aleppo and blocking evacuations from rebel-held eastern neighborhoods of the city.

    The Aleppo evacuation was suspended Friday after a report of shooting at a crossing point into the enclave by both sides of the conflict. Thousands were evacuated before the process was suspended. …

    … Hezbollah’s Military Media said the new deal includes the rebel-held towns of Madaya and Zabadani near the border with Lebanon where tens of thousands of people are trapped under siege by government forces and the Lebanese group.

    Syrian State TV correspondent, speaking from Aleppo, said Saturday that the main condition for the Aleppo evacuation to resume is for residents of Foua and Kfarya to be allowed to leave. …



  3. Hi RickyWeaver. I saw that Politico piece yesterday; a facebook friend posted a link. I do agree with some stuff, but I don’t think Trump is complex enough to merit that kind of deep analysis; i.e., he doesn’t really embody a lot from those historical movements as much as now and then he coincidentally happens to take such an approach. But as you said, it’s doubtful that really says much about the core of who he is.

    One other thing that always annoys me about pieces like that one is the assumption that Trump is anti-Semitic; maybe he is, but where in the wide world has that analysis been as it regards so many on the Left? They *own* antisemitism. It’s just a lazy way to win that tolerance point.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d like to ask the missing question: WHY would Russia try to throw the election to Trump? You don’t think they have a lot of information about Secretary Clinton that would further their aims better?

    Perhaps a better question is WHY don’t any of these people screaming about fake news try to answer that question?

    As you know, I’m not a Trump supporter, but the hysteria on the left is not working in their favor. Meanwhile, there’s this. I anticipate other similar items will come forth trying to sway either side. Reach your own conclusions.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michelle, Here are some reasons:

    1. Trump has been complimentary toward Putin.
    2. Trump is more likely to ease economic sanctions on Russia caused by the Ukraine invasion.
    3. Hillary/Obama helped Putin’s election opponents.
    4. Hillary/Obama have been harsh critics of Russia.
    5. Trump is more likely than Hillary to work with Putin on Syria.
    6. Trump is less likely than Hillary to destabilize other Middle Eastern countries.
    7. Hillary is largely financed by Organized Perversion which hates Putin.
    8. Hillary is also financed by crazed treehuggers who oppose the use of fossil fuels that Russia produces.
    9. Hillary/Obama helped create the revolution that toppled the elected government of Ukraine (a Putin ally).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bob Buckles, The girl that got punched was a Texan. Dallas/Fort Worth has twice as many people as all of Oklahoma, so we send a lot of kids up there.


  7. This is NOT my answer, I asked a politically conservative highly intelligent non-relative successful businessman friend who has worked overseas and doesn’t care for Trump.

    This is HIS answer to my question:

    “There has been speculation going back to the tax return issue that Trump was tied into Russian bank deals and therefore to Putin. Not known what is true l, just that the meme has been repeated endlessly. Beyond that, no.

    “I actually think what is more interesting is why Putin would not have wanted Hillary to win. She had done tech licensing deals with Russians, which should have advanced their military capabilities. They got 20% of our uranium supply. And they surely hacked her email and could have blackmailed her during her presidency. What’s not to like? If power and control our your aim.

    “Which may suggest there is something about Trump they really like. Is it his willingness to be reliable and go after ISIS? Don’t know.

    “I go back to the bigger question of so what? Exactly what did the Russians do that was so egregious? Nobody has suggested they altered the voting machines. Was it the Wikileaks? Maybe. But that is what you get with an insecure server. So shut up already. Because it is not exactly like they have disputed the veracity of the Wikileaks content. Which makes me think this is all a misdirection play to distract from what Hillary and the DNC actually did. And to delegitimize Trump’s presidency, which is probably the big point. All part of the Left’s permanent campaign.”

    Draw you own conclusions– but this is the type of intelligent reporting I, personally, would like to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What did the Russians do that was so egregious?

    They hacked the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC and released virtually a daily stream of emails that humiliated Hillary and the other Democrats. It was really quite funny and entertaining.

    In any normal election, these leaks would have dominated the news. However, this election featured Donald “Grab them by the *#%£€” Trump and Hillary “I accidentally gave top secret info to Anthony Weiner, the Chinese and anyone else who was interested” Clinton.

    The Russian leaks, which would have been a home run in any other year, were only a single in 2016.


  9. Y’all need to read Tim Mitcham’s response on Facebook to my 11:52 post. It is the funniest thing I have read all year.


  10. Tychicus,

    The incident itself was interesting. It started as a verbal confrontation between the girl and some of her friends and Mixon and some other players. The girl and her friends were drunk. I don’t know if Mixon was drunk.

    When the girl and her small male friend went inside the restaurant, the other players left but Mixon followed her inside.

    As you can see on the tape, she motioned Mixon to approach her. He did and uttered a “homophobic slur” at her male friend. She then pushed Mixon, he moved toward her, she put her hands on his neck and he decked her, smashing her head into the table and breaking several bones.

    Bob Stoopes reviewed the tape and suspended Mixon from the team for a year. He was convicted of a misdemeanor.

    Several people behaved badly. Alcohol was involved. There is a civil suit. I am not sure I would have handled it differently than Stoopes did.


  11. Ricky: That’s not the standard that I would set if I was the head coach. Mixon should have been kicked out of OU – immediately.

    It goes back to what I said about Coach Charlie Strong – if you as a player hit a woman, you’ll never play for him again. Unfortunately, at too many of these schools, winning games is far more important than character, and doing what is right.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. At ALL the schools winning is more important than character. Winning is what brings donations from rich donors and fans to pay for seats. That money subsidizes everything else the colleges are doing including all the Title IX womens’ sports that the colleges are forced to do.

    The successful coaches are those who can win at the rate demanded by their particular school and keep the rapes, robberies, assaults and academic fraud to an acceptable level. It is a difficult job. The Aggies’ run defense was weakened when their best defensive tackle robbed and assaulted another student. Charlie Strong’s Longhorns were not known for hitting women, but they were also not known for hitting running backs and receivers.


  13. SolarP, You are correct. It has not been proven that the Russians hacked the Democrats. However, it was funny that the FBI tried to warn the Democrats for months that the Russians were hacking them and then right before the election, we got a stream of embarrassing Democrat emails via Wikileaks interspersed between Trump’s eruptions and meltdowns.

    You may not trust or respect the FBI or the CIA. I figure they are about as competent as the rest of the US government. However, I do respect Russian intelligence agencies. If someone other than Putin was doing the hacking and leaking, I think Putin would:
    A. Know who it was; and
    B. Reveal their identity to further humiliate Obama, Hillary, the FBI, the CIA and the rest of the US government.


  14. So, in essence, what are we really teaching our young men?

    If it isn’t done the right way, then it simply ain’t worth doing.

    “There are coaches to whom winning or losing means something close to life or death. If they lose, then their life has somehow been diminished. I’m not that way, and it keeps me steady.”

    “First become a winner in life. Then it’s easier to become a winner on the field.”

    “In my opinion, character is the most important determinant of a person’s success, achievement and ability to handle adversity.”

    “…even after you’ve just won the Super Bowl — especially after you’ve just won the Super Bowl — there’s always next year. If winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing; then the only thing is nothing — emptiness, the nightmare of life without ultimate meaning.”

    Give me Tom Landry as a coach any day…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/electors-under-siege-232774


    Electors under siege

    Members of the Electoral College votes have been inundated by harassing phone calls and hate mail. Many report receiving death threats.


    In two days, members of the Electoral College will cast their historic votes for the next president of the United States. In the meantime, they are under siege.

    The nation’s 538 presidential electors have been thrust into the political foreground like never before in American history. In the aftermath of a uniquely polarizing presidential contest, the once-anonymous electors are squarely in the spotlight, targeted by death threats, harassing phone calls and reams of hate mail. One Texas Republican elector said he’s been bombarded with more than 200,000 emails.

    “I never can imagine harassing people like this. It’s just f—– up,” said Jim Rhoades, a Republican elector from Michigan who runs a home inspection service. “I’ve lost a bunch of business.” …

    … Last week saw the release of a video of celebrities like Martin Sheen pleading with Republican electors to vote for someone other than Trump. On Saturday, Unite for America — the group behind the video — began sending personalized versions to electors in which Sheen and more than a dozen others call them out by name.

    The body’s 306 Republicans have faced the most acute pressure of all. …



  16. I remember a FB friend from college days asking publicly how she could go about finding out who the electors were shortly after Trump’s win. Like most, she was aghast at what had happened and was/is not about to accept any of it.

    (Did anyone catch the Martin Sheen & Co. video? I started to watch it but just couldn’t stay with it. I mean, really?)


  17. If you missed it (and maybe I’ll try to get through it all this time, who knows):


    At the heart of liberal utopianism is the concept that through political exertion you can have a perfect society without tragic outcomes of any kind. This is one reason why liberalism rebels against human nature. (In fact, I think we should routinely refer to liberals as “human nature deniers.” Sauce for the goose and all that.)

    It is this ineluctable characteristic that explains why liberals are having trouble making it through the five stages of grief over Hillary’s election face plant. Acceptance? No way. …

    (the Sheen video follows on the link)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Tychicus, When Tom Landry played college football, actual college students were playing the sport. Most of today’s players would not have a chance of being admitted to their “schools” were it not for their football talent.

    We are not teaching those young men (the players) anything. The universities and the TV networks are using them to make hundreds of millions of dollars for themselves. They provide free entertainment to the rest of us. I am constantly amazed that no one has alleged that the whole system violates the 13th Amendment, particularly since most of the players are young black men.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. RickyWeaver, I’m saying not even the warnings given to the DNC by U.S. officials are based on *proof* Russia was doing the hacking. The current kerfluffle is based on the unproven assumptions those agencies made. And eh, Putin may or may not know that stuff. I’m only saying the *proof* has not been demonstrated or made public yet. Sometimes the narrative turns on a dime; too soon (for me) for assumptions.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. SolarP, You may be right to be sceptical. However, the whole story is too good for me not to believe. I don’t fault Putin. For years the US has bragged about intervening in the elections of other countries: in Egypt, in the Palestinian Territory. We were active in the Ukraine and even in Russia itself. I enjoy Putin giving Hillary and Obama a taste of their own medicine.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. “… In normal times of a transition in our presidency between an incoming and outgoing administration of differing political parties, there is a certain amount of fretting on one side and gloating on the other. And the press usually takes a stance that the new administration at least deserves to have a chance to get started – a honeymoon period. But these are not normal times. This is not about tax policy, health care, or education – even though all those and more are so important. This is about racism, bigotry, intimidation and the specter of corruption. …” ~ Dan Rather

    Liked by 1 person

  22. People like Dan Rather are why Trump won. Bill Maher was right. The press “cried wolf’ by attacking Republican for years and failing to even try to be objective. Now the real insane “wolf” is loose and half the country won’t believe anything the press has to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I agree with you, RickyWeaver, that people like Rather are why Trump won, and hacks like Maher cried wolf, but I think even now they’re being hysterical. Trump is different only because he’s so careless how he sounds. His policies may turn out to be significantly different than Obama’s or Hillary’s (would have been), but they’re still “inside the box.” He won’t do anything that hasn’t basically been done before somewhere in our history; he isn’t about to usher in Italian-style fascism (LOL), he isn’t any more about intimidation or corruption than Hillary (Hillary has set the bar on the latter). To me, his problem is he’s Biblically unqualified.


  24. I agree that Trump is not more corrupt than Hillary. His policies may be more “conservative” than hers. The unique problem with Trump that makes him different from the Bushes, Obama, Hillary and others is that he has the maturity of a five year old. In just the last few weeks he has engaged in Twitter wars with China, a local union leader in Indiana and a man from Vanity Fair who years ago called him a tiny-handed vulgarian. We have to hope that one of his temper fits doesn’t lead us into a trade war, a real war or something else horrible.

    He also lies more than any politician ever, and conservatives and the conservative media is now afraid to call him on it. They fear the wrath of his army of cult followers who wouldn’t recognize the truth if it was delivered to them by the Angel Gabriel.


  25. Trump remains politically largely an unknown — until he’s in office and starts actually doing things.

    I’m personally weary of all the drama and am not following the political news as much as I usually do.


    Liked by 1 person

  26. I appreciated the comment a congressman made–“If there is proof of the hacking, why aren’t they speaking to my intelligence committee? Why is this appearing in the newspapers and I don’t know anything about it?”

    Really, why?

    Liked by 4 people

  27. Debra, I feel no grief that Trump won. I would not change the election result if I could. He will probably be better than Hillary would have been. However, because I recognize the dangers posed by his extreme immaturity, lack of self-control and constant lying, I also acknowledge the possibility that he could turn out to be worse than her.

    I am enjoying the panic and meltdown of the liberals as much as anyone, even though much of what they say about Trump’s lying and his character are true.

    Here is what conservatives who defend Trump constantly need to remember. There is a price to pay when a candidate’s supporters and his portion (less than half) of the media don’t care about his dishonesty, gross immaturity and lack of decorum. The Democrats are watching and they will learn. Their next candidate who is being investigated by the FBI won’t be defensive like Hillary. He will be defiant and post unflattering photos of the Director’s wife like Trump. The standards that gave us Trump can give us Anthony Weiner next time.


  28. For the next four years we will have a lunatic dealing with these types of situations that the lunatic himself will often unintentionally create.


    The US is increasingly a paper tiger, both economically and militarily. Trump will be The Wizard of Oz, billowing lots of smoke and fire. China and/or other enemies of the US are really going to enjoy pulling the curtain back for all the world to see what is really behind the bluster.


  29. Let’s all take a breath …

    Is there not a way to step back, wait until Trump’s presidency actually begins and judge from there?

    I wasn’t a fan either and I didn’t vote for him as you all know.

    I agree there were some alarming aspects of his behavior and statements at times.

    But … I always have to remind myself, also, that I don’t personally know any of these people and I may be mistaken about their inner character. I see a one-dimensional view of them as portrayed in what comes through whatever speeches, remarks (off the cuff or otherwise) they make, but I really don’t know them as people in any kind of a full way. I’d say that, too, about Obama and others whom I tend to really, seriously, distrust — and sometimes even dislike at lest on an emotional level. (At times I’ve actually seen him where he’s disarming and am reminded of my limited view of him as a person.)

    None of us know them as people, they may be entirely different (in ‘real life’) from the one-sided view I have had of them. Or at least much more complex with more redeeming qualities that we’ve seen. What we see are ‘snippets’ of them which may contain some truth and some falsehoods.

    It helps to remember that when our passions, either pro or con, begin to flare dangerously and the name calling erupts from our own lips.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. I agree with much of what was said. However,
    I get the impression that Ricky thinks we who wanted Trump are to blame for what Trump does.
    Not so. We had no choice. Hillary or Trump. That’s it. We chose Trump. I would again.

    The old saying “Between the devil and the deep blue sea”.

    You take your chances with the “deep blue sea” every time.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Chas, As I have said before, I blame no one for how they voted in the general election. There were zero decent choices. Most of my friends, like you, voted for Trump. Right now, that looks like a good decision.

    However, I think it is a mistake for conservatives to defend every idiotic statement made or action taken by Trump. I also think it is a mistake for conservatives to dismiss or ridicule legitimate criticisms of Trump made by liberals. What goes around comes around. Conservatives would probably have been upset if it had appeared that Osama bin Laden had hacked McCain’s emails and leaked the bad ones to try to influence the 2008 election in order to help Obama.


  32. I saw this morning that Pennsylvania troopers have been called out to guard the electors. Anyone know if that is true?

    Craziness. I agree with Donna. Let’s see what happens first before jumping to what might happen. It’s scaremongering that’s going on right now and that really could cause something ugly to occur. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  33. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/12/why-such-a-conservative-cabinet.php


    It seems clear that Donald Trump will end up with the most conservative Cabinet of any president in my lifetime. And yes, that includes Ronald Reagan (Steve will correct me if I’m wrong).

    How did this happen? Maybe Trump, who never seemed all that conservative, has come to embrace conservatism nearly across the board. …

    ~ (Or not; see the full link) ~

    … Right now, conservatives need not worry much about why Trump has appointed such a conservative Cabinet. The point is that he’s appointed one, and that it likely will help the GOP reverse the statist, hyper-liberal course President Obama has charted and imposed.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/12/californias-continuing-brownout.php

    … (California Gov. Jerry Brown) is vowing to have California solve climate change all by itself in the face of the Trumparians who appear poised to adopt climate realism. Brown says full speed ahead for California’s target of reducing greenhouse has emissions by 40 percent below what they were in 1990.

    This is proving even too much for the mainstream media. The Los Angeles Times carried a long, skeptical feature story on the issue last week:

    California’s climate fight could be painful — especially on job and income growth

    ~ By Ralph Vartabdian

    Californians are likely to pay more for gasoline, electricity, food and new homes — and to feel their lives jolted in myriad other ways — because their state broadly expanded its war on climate change this summer.

    The ambitious new goals will require complex regulations on an unprecedented scale, but were approved in Sacramento without a study of possible economic repercussions.

    Some of the nation’s top energy, housing and business experts say the effort may not only raise the cost of staples, but also slow the pace of job and income growth for millions of California families. . .

    “It is dubious as to whether the California goal will be achieved without large economic costs,” said James Sweeney, director of Stanford University’s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center.

    He added that the enhanced climate change fight will likely lead to a less diversified and more fragile state economy. “Meeting the requirement will require severe restrictions, far beyond those seen to date.”

    Exactly what restrictions are not clear, because the rules have yet to be adopted. … ~

    Liked by 1 person

  35. First, the Mexicans came to Texas looking for jobs.

    Then the Yankees let taxes, unions and Democrats destroy their economies and many of them came to Texas.

    Now the Californians are letting the treehuggers destroy their economy and many of them are coming to Texas.

    Our population has tripled during my lifetime. Texas is a big place.


  36. For years, Limbaugh and Hannity have derided Democrats as “low information voters”. They were probably right.

    However, it turns out that Republicans have their own huge group of “low information voters”.

    This is what happens when Trump’s lies go unchallenged by conservative leaders and media. The popular vote is a relatively minor issue, but left unchallenged Trump will mislead millions of Republicans about more important issues.


  37. Chas, Our leaders are creating special Californian-friendly zones with small lot sizes and overpriced homes. However, this morning was a rude awakening for our West Coast Texans. It was 16 degrees in Fort Worth.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Meanwhile in California today:

    A large number of protesters is walking across downtown Los
    Angeles, protesting the apparent election of Donald J. Trump as president of
    the United States. The protesters are walking from Fifth Street and Olive
    Avenue to Los Angeles City Hall, and street traffic in the northern part of
    Downtown Los angeles is paralyzed.


  39. There will be a little housecleaning at the Voice of America, which pretty much fell apart along with the bulk of the Democratic party when Hillary lost the election. Fear abounds.

    ….The present day VOA—once the bastion of America’s Cold War efforts to battle Communism through broadcast arms Radio Free Europe and, more recently, Radio Marti—bears little resemblance to the pro-USA agency taxpayers came to expect. For example, few taxpayers I know would approve of articles VOA distributed this Fall in Russian, Urkranian and other languages calling Donald J. Trump “a dog,” “a pig,” and other derogatory terms. And lavish waste and mismanagement continues to be of concern by those charged with Congressional oversight…….

    Ironically, the provision on page 1,404 stripping away the Broadcasting Board of Governors—to be replaced by a CEO appointed directly by President Trump—was embraced by the Obama Administration. But like so many others, they presumably thought Hillary Clinton would be in the Oval Office when the new law went into effect. Instead, with Donald Trump heading to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue the panic buttons are being pushed, and some liberals are even fearing that the CEO appointed by the new President might be Steve Bannon or even Laura Ingraham.


    Liked by 2 people

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