Category Archives: Politics

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The Donald, “It’s Bill Clinton Who ‘Doesn’t know Much’”, reality check

What “The Donald” Tweeted and below Bill Clinton’s achievements and awards.  You judge the truth.


Donald Trump: It’s Bill Clinton Who ‘Doesn’t Know Much’


A war of words between Donald Trump and Bill Clinton escalated after the former president told a local newspaper that Trump “doesn’t know much” and blamed his wife’s loss in the race for the White House on FBI Director James Comey and Russian hackers.

The president-elect took to his Twitter feed to respond Tuesday morning.


Donald J. Trump


Bill Clinton stated that I called him after the election. Wrong, he called me (with a very nice congratulations). He “doesn’t know much” …

5:03 AM – 20 Dec 2016


Donald J. Trump


especially how to get people, even with an unlimited budget, out to vote in the vital swing states ( and more). They focused on wrong states

5:09 AM – 20 Dec 2016

Clinton made the initial remarks last week to a group of people he ran into at a small bookstore in Westchester County, NY, including an editor at the Bedford-Pound Ridge Record Review, who published Clinton’s comments.

Trump under pressure to acknowledge Russian hacking 7:23

“James Comey cost her the election,” Clinton reportedly said, referring to Comey sending a letter to lawmakers just two weeks before the election about the finding of new emails the FBI said could be pertinent to an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server during her time as secretary of state. Clinton added, “We were seven (percentage) points up” in the polls and slated to win before Comey’s announcement.

Two days before the election, Comey told members of Congress that the FBI found nothing new in the e-mails but Clinton maintained the damage had already been done.

RELATED: Hillary Clinton Blames FBI Letter, Russia Hacking for Presidential Loss

In the reports of Clinton’s stop at the bookstore, Clinton was characterized has having had taken a call from Trump after the election and described it as “cordial.” On Tuesday afternoon, Clinton sought to clear up who initiated the phone call through his own Twitter feed:


Donald J. Trump


Bill Clinton stated that I called him after the election. Wrong, he called me (with a very nice congratulations). He “doesn’t know much” …


Bill Clinton


Here’s one thing @realDonaldTrump and I can agree on — I called him after the election. …

10:17 AM – 20 Dec 2016

Clinton was also asked at the book store if he thought Trump was a smart man. “He doesn’t know much. One thing he does know is how to get angry, white men to vote for him,” Clinton reportedly responded. He had previously said he believed Russia was also to blame for releasing internal Democratic emails and documents that hurt his wife’s election’s prospects before Election Day.

“I’ve watched her battle through that bogus email deal and be vindicated at the end,” Clinton said earlier this week. “She fought through everything, and she prevailed against it all. But, you know, with the end we had the Russians and the FBI deal, which she couldn’t prevail against that.”


Bill Clinton’s Achievements

Taken from:

  • He has been honoured with doctorate degree from various colleges and universities including Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, and New York. Countries across the globe have honoured him by naming institutions, roads and buildings in his name.

  • In 2001, he was the proud recipient of the Medal for Distinguished Public Service. Additionally, he was awarded with the prestigious Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children, a J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding, a TED Prize and GLAAD Media Award recipient.


  • Taken from Wikipedia:

    The list of honors and awards received by Bill Clinton who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Before that, he was Governor of the state of Arkansas, and afterwards he has continued life in the public eye.[1] He received many awards and honors throughout his career.

    Other honors and awards

    Schools have been named for Clinton,[19][20][21] and statues do homage him.[22][23][24] The Clinton Presidential Center was opened in Little Rock, Arkansas in his honor on December 5, 2001.[25] He has been honored in various other ways, in countries that include the Czech Republic,[26] New Guinea,[27] Germany,[28] and Kosovo.[22] U.S. states where he has been honored include Missouri,[29] Arkansas,[30] Kentucky,[31] and New York.[32] He was presented with the Medal for Distinguished Public Service by Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen in 2001.[33]

    In 1993, Clinton was selected as Time magazine’s “Man of the Year“,[34] and again in 1998, along with Ken Starr.[35] From a poll conducted of the American people in December 1999, Clinton was among eighteen included in Gallup’s List of Widely Admired People of the 20th century.[36]

    In 2000, Princeton University‘s American Whig-Cliosophic Society awarded him the James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service.[37]

    In 2004, he received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children for narrating the Russian National Orchestra‘s album Wolf Tracks and Peter and the Wolf (along with Mikhail Gorbachev and Sophia Loren) and 2005 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for My Life. In 2005, he received the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding,[38] and 2007 TED Prize (named for the confluence of technology, entertainment and design).[39]

    In 2005 he received the Freedom medal.

    In 2006, Clinton was made a Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu (GCL) by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea. He was given the award for “outstanding leadership for the good of mankind … and his commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS.”[40]

    On June 2, 2007, Clinton, along with former president George H.W. Bush, received the International Freedom Conductor Award, for their help with the fund raising following the tsunami that devastated South Asia in 2004.[41] On June 13, 2007, Clinton was honored by the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria alongside eight multinational-companies for his work to defeat HIV/AIDS.[42]

    On September 9, 2008, Bill Clinton was named as the next chairman of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His term began January 1, 2009, and he succeeded former President George H. W. Bush.[43]

    In December 2010, Bill Clinton was named PETA‘s 2010 person of the year for using his influence “to promote the benefits of following a vegan diet.”[44]

    On March 15, 2011, Bill Clinton was inducted into Irish America magazine‘s Irish America Hall of Fame for his crucial role in the Northern Ireland Peace Process.[45]

    In 2012, a fish species was named after him, the beaded darter, for his lasting environmental accomplishments in creating and expanding national monuments, preserving millions of acres of wilderness areas, his leadership and commitment during challenging economic times, and his continued commitment to global humanitarian issues and needs and peace[46]

    In April 2013, Bill Clinton was named the inaugural recipient of the honorary Advocate for Change GLAAD Media Award for his record of promoting tolerance of the LGBT community, including advocating for marriage equality in New York in 2011, advocating against Amendment 1 in North Carolina in 2012, and calling for the Supreme Court of the United States to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.[47][48]

    In March 2015, Bill Clinton was listed among the 10 recipients of the maiden edition of Global Seal of Integrity (GSOI) Honors list. An annual list by two young Nigerians, Emmanuel Joshua Omeiza and Godspower Oshodin dedicated at promoting trust and honesty for the well-being of the universe.

    If you want to understand Trump’s Presidency you’ll have to come to grips with Steve Bannon, Propagandist in Chief.

    I Know Trump’s New Campaign Chairman, Steve Bannon. Here’s What You Need To Know.

    Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, FileSteve Bannon



    AUGUST 17, 2016

    3275868864217 Comments948911

    UPDATED November 13, 2016

    On November 13, President-Elect Donald Trump named Bannon his White House Chief Strategist. He will serve alongside White House Chief of Staff and former RNC Chairman Reince Preibus as co-equals, reportedly.

    ORIGINAL: On Wednesday, the Trump campaign shifted top campaign staff: the new CEO of the campaign is, predictably and hilariously, Steven K. Bannon, the current chairman of Breitbart News. I have a bit of experience with Bannon, given that I was the editor-at-large of Breitbart News for four years, and worked closely with Breitbart and Bannon.

    Here’s what you need to know about Bannon, as well as new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.

    1. Steve Bannon Turned Breitbart Into Trump Pravda For His Own Personal Gain. Back in March, I quit Breitbart News when it became clear to me that they had decided that loyalty to Donald Trump outweighed loyalty to their own employees, helping Trump smear one of their own reporters, Michelle Fields, by essentially calling her a liar for saying that she had been grabbed by then-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Here’s what I wrote at the time:

    Andrew built his life and his career on one mission: fight the bullies. But Andrew’s life mission has been betrayed. Indeed, Breitbart News, under the chairmanship of Steve Bannon, has put a stake through the heart of Andrew’s legacy. In my opinion, Steve Bannon is a bully, and has sold out Andrew’s mission in order to back another bully, Donald Trump; he has shaped the company into Trump’s personal Pravda…the facts are undeniable: Breitbart News has become precisely the reverse of what Andrew would have wanted. Steve Bannon and those who follow his lead should be ashamed of themselves.

    Not to say “I told you so,” but I did tell you so.

    2. Bannon Uses Celebrity Conservatives To Elevate His Personal Profile. Bannon began receiving conservative media attention for his documentary Generation Zero. And he began elevating his profile by latching onto Michele Bachmann with his documentary Fire From The Heartland. But he truly insinuated himself into the circles of conservative power by making a 2011 documentary about Sarah Palin, The Undefeated. His connection with Palin upped his brand in the movement significantly. He soon began appearing on Fox News with Sean Hannity fairly regularly, became personal friends with Hannity, and met Andrew Breitbart. He insinuated himself into Breitbart’s business by lending him office space, then made a documentary starring Breitbart, Occupy Unmasked. When Breitbart died, his business partner Larry Solov offered Bannon chairmanship of the company. Bannon then turned Breitbart into his personal domain, making himself a regularly bylined columnist (certainly rare for a major media company) and installing himself as a radio host on Breitbart Radio on Sirius XM. Finally, he used his role as Breitbart CEO to turn the outlet into Trump Pravda, creating a stepping stone to close connection with Trump. Breitbart publicly burned bridges with everyone to maintain its Trump loyalty. That was Bannon, a scorched-earth personal opportunist.

    3. Bannon Took At Least One Major Breitbart Investor For A Serious Ride. One of the main investors in Breitbart News is Robert Mercer. The Mercer family put millions of dollars into a Ted Cruz super PAC during this election cycle, even as Bannon manipulated Breitbart News into a Cruz-bashing Trump propaganda outlet. The spokesperson for the Mercer family was Kellyanne Conway, who has now been installed as Trump’s campaign manager. I have been reliably informed by sources associated with the pro-Cruz super PAC that for months, as Bannon was using Breitbart News to promote Trump, the Mercers were defending Bannon’s neutrality to other Cruz supporters worried about Breitbart’s dishonest coverage about Cruz.

    4. Breitbart’s Staff Lusts After Trump Involvement. Long before the billionaire officially entered the presidential race, Bannon was close to him; in April 2014, the Trump offices described Bannon thusly: “MAJOR SUPPORTER OF MR. TRUMP.” The new team at Trump headquarters will undoubtedly include all the Breitbart staffers who openly lusted after power within the Trump campaign: Joel Pollak, the Breitbart lawyer who desperately wanted to be a Trump speechwriter, and wrote a disgusting hit piece about me personally when I left and accurately accused the website of becoming an adjunct to the campaign; Matthew Boyle, the pseudo-journalist who reportedly bragged about becoming Trump’s press secretary; Milo Yiannopoulos, the Trump-worshipping alt-right droog stooge. They’re all in with their Godking, now.

    5. Under Bannon’s Leadership, Breitbart Openly Embraced The White Supremacist Alt-Right.Andrew Breitbart despised racism. Truly despised it. He used to brag regularly about helping to integrate his fraternity at Tulane University. He insisted that racial stories be treated with special care to avoid even the whiff of racism. With Bannon embracing Trump, all that changed. Now Breitbart has become the alt-right go-to website, with Yiannopoulos pushing white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate response to political correctness, and the comment section turning into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers.

    6. This Is Precisely The Sort of Corrupt Media Relationship Breitbart Used To Abhor. Andrew Breitbart used his memoir, Righteous Indignation, to target one thing above all else: what he called the Democrat-Media Complex. He hated the merger of the Democrats and the media, and particularly despised their lie of objectivity. Breitbart News never claimed to be objective. But until Trump won the nomination, leadership at Breitbart News maintained that they had not become a loudspeaker for Trumpism. That was obviously a lie, and one Breitbart would hate. HATE. Now, it’s clear that Breitbart News is indeed and Trumpbart News. That’s pathetic and disgusting.

    7. Trump’s Campaign Strategy Could Be The Launch Of A New Media Outlet. Because Bannon’s ambitions extend to Steve Bannon, he’ll tell Trump he’s doing a fantastic job even if he isn’t. That’s how Bannon Svengalis political figures and investors – by investing them in his personal genius, then hollowing them out from the inside. There’s a reason Sarah Palin went from legitimate political figure to parody artist to Trump endorser, with Steve Bannon standing alongside her every step of the way. There’s a reason Breitbart News went from hard-charging news outlet to drooling Trump mouthpiece. Bannon emerges from all of this unscathed. So what’s next on his agenda? If Trump wins, he’s in a position of high power; if Trump loses, Bannon could head up a new media empire with Trump’s support and the involvement of new Trump supporter and ousted former Fox News head Roger Ailes. Look for Sean Hannity to be a part of any such endeavor.

    8. Bannon Is A Legitimately Sinister Figure. Many former employees of Breitbart News are afraid of Steve Bannon. He is a vindictive, nasty figure, infamous for verbally abusing supposed friends and threatening enemies. Bannon is a smarter version of Trump: he’s an aggressive self-promoter who name-drops to heighten his profile and woo bigger names, and then uses those bigger names as stepping stools to his next destination. Trump may be his final destination. Or it may not. He will attempt to ruin anyone who impedes his unending ambition, and he will use anyone bigger than he is – for example, Donald Trump – to get where he wants to go. Bannon knows that in the game of thrones, you win or die. And he certainly doesn’t intend to die. He’ll kill everyone else before he goes.

    Bannon’s ascension is the predictable consummation of a romance he ardently pursued. I joked with friends months ago that by the end of the campaign, Steve Bannon would be running Trump’s campaign from a bunker. That’s now reality. Every nightmare for actual conservatives has come true in this campaign. Why not this one, too?

    Donald Trump supporters get their news from a strange media universe – and it’s frequently fact-free

    Donald Trump supporters get their news from a strange media universe – and it’s frequently fact-free

    Concern over the presence of fake news websites has grown during the election


    Click to follow
    The Independent Online

    francis-fake.pngOne of the many fake stories to be shared by millions claimed Pope Francis was backing Mr Trump WTOE5 News

    On a street in Grundy, Virginia, a declining mining community that would vote 78 per cent in favour of Donald Trump, a man had an update on a trending news story.

    A report about two police officers being shot in Des Moines, Iowa, was false, said the man. It had been invented, apparently to try and benefit one or other political competing in the area. He had read about it being false on the internet. (Later, it was announced the police had found and charged a suspect with the shootings.)

    One of the defining features of the 2016 US presidential election was the parallel words from which opposing supporters obtained their information. The continuing fragmentation of the media and the growth of non-mainstream sources has meant that voters have never had so many options when it came to seeking out information. 


    There is increasing concern about the proliferation of fake news websites (Buzzfeed)

    Yet, another distinctive feature was the number of stories that turned out to the utterly false. This was particularly true – though not exclusively so – for supporters of Mr Trump, who were frequently drawn to news site such Breitbart, InfoWars and Freedom Daily.

    “Because of social media you have access to a larger variety of information in the past, Kathleen Stansberry an assistant professor of public relations and social media at Cleveland State University, told The Independent.

    Yet she said while there were many of articles published online that were well-researched and accurate, there were usually fewer “gate-keepers” than in traditional media with its fact-checking, accuracy and fairness.

    InsideGov | Graphiq

    “We need to take more responsibility as media consumers and media publishers,” she said.

    Facebook has found itself in the crosshairs of criticism after it was accused that the social media giant had unfairly helped Mr Trump by the spread and dissemination of articles about Ms Clinton that were false. These included stories about an alleged secret son belonging to Bill Clinton that had been covered up for decades, claims that she was seriously ill and that Pope Francis had endorsed Mr Trump.

    Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly demised the criticism, saying that it did not impact the election, because the fake news his social media site spread to hundreds of millions of people were not biased in favour of just one candidate.

    View image on Twitter

    View image on Twitter


    Alex Jones


    This photo of Hillary captures her soul like nothing I’ve ever seen. This is the demon. #SpiritCooking #Trump #AltRight

    6:42 AM – 6 Nov 2016

    “The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics,” he wrote in a public post. “Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other.” 

    Earlier this year, an investigation by BuzzFeed found that that of the Facebook posts it examined from three major right-wing websites, 38 per cent were either false or a mixture of truth and falsehood. It said readers were often likely to share such false stories and were therefore profitable for Facebook to post. 

    Mr Zuckerberg said more than 99 per cent of news shared on Facebook was verifiable, but acknowledged more could be done to flag fake stories which had been debunked.

    13 Nov

    DrunkReactionaryBond @DrunkRxnryBond

    @RichardBSpencer Establishment go-along-to-get-along types are fine. The NeverTrumpers are dangerous, but have frozen themselves out already


    Richard Spencer


    The question is: Which way is the arrow pointing? It’s pointing towards the #AltRight!@DrunkRxnryBond

    10:23 PM – 13 Nov 2016

    “We don’t want any hoaxes on Facebook. Our goal is to show people the content they will find most meaningful, and people want accurate news,” he wrote.

    “We have already launched work enabling our community to flag hoaxes and fake news, and there is more we can do here. We have made progress, and we will continue to work on this to improve further.”

    Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart who took a leave of absence to lead Mr Trump’s campaign, is now set to take up a position within the new administration as political counsellor. His appointment has delighted many on the alt-right and white extremists. 


    Richard Spencer, who heads the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist “think tank” based in Arlington, Virginia, welcomed Mr Bannon’s move into the White House.

    He said on Twitter: “Bannon is not a chief of staff, which requires a “golden retriever” personality. He’ll be freed up to chart Trump’s macro-trajectory.”

    Only 29% of Republicans are concerned with Russia Hacking U.S.

    The entire article appears below.  What I find amazing is the Republican party is the party of hawks.  This is the party who behaves like might makes right.  Only 29% are concerned with Russia’s hacking shows a tremendous partisan divide that puts (and I’ll call it) hate for democrats above international security. This is a significant breakdown.

    Poll: 55 Percent Concerned About Russia’s Interference in Election


    More than half of Americans say they are significantly bothered by the news that hackers working in connection with a foreign government were involved in trying to influence November’s presidential election, according to results from a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

    Forty-three percent of respondents say they are bothered a “great deal” about Russian interference, while an additional 12 percent were bothered “quite a bit.”

    By contrast, 23 percent of Americans say they aren’t bothered at all by the news, while 8 percent said “very little” and another 10 percent said “just some.”

    NBC News

    But there’s a notable partisan divide on this question: A combined 86 percent of Democrats are bothered a great deal/quite a bit by the interference, versus just 29 percent of Republican respondents who say this.  (My Emphasis)

    Forty-nine percent of independents say they are bothered either a great deal or quite a bit.

    U.S. intelligence officials now believe with “a high level of confidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in the Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, senior U.S. intelligence officials have told NBC News.


    Pressure Mounts on Pres-Elect Trump to Acknowledge Russian Hacking 2:15

    Despite more than half of Americans being concerned about Russia’s interference, just 37 percent believe the actions helped President-elect Donald Trump win the presidential contest, while 57 percent say it didn’t make a difference.

    The NBC/WSJ poll also finds 31 percent of Americans believing that Trump’s relationship with Russia’s Putin is too friendly and not appropriate, versus 24 percent who don’t believe it’s too friendly. Forty-four percent have no opinion.

    NBC News

    Once again, there’s a striking partisan divide: 61 percent of Democrats say Trump is too friendly with Putin, compared with just 8 percent of Republicans who believe that.

    “There’s just an overwhelming partisan filter to the responses,” says Republican pollster Bill McInturff, whose firm co-conducted the NBC/WSJ poll with the Democrats from Hart Research Associates.

    The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Dec. 12-15 of 1,000 adults – including nearly half of them by cell phone – and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.

    The Affordable Care Act (AKA ObamaCare) creates jobs?!?

    Obamacare Has Its Biggest Day as Republicans Promise Repeal

    A record number of Americans signed up for Obamacare Thursday on what they thought would be the last day to enroll in health insurance coverage that starts in the new year, President Barack Obama said Friday.

    So many people visited the federal government website that the administration extended the deadline until early next week to give more people time to sign up for what could be the last year of Obamacare coverage.


    KAREN BLEIER / AFP – Getty Images

    The Republicans who will control Congress and the White House starting next month say they’ll repeal the law that provides the insurance markets as soon as they can — although there’s no clear plan for how, when or what to put in its place.

    Related: Repeal Obamacare? Maybe Not

    Obama plugged the health insurance marketplace, the centerpiece of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, in his last press conference of the year before heading to Hawaii for vacation.

    “Yesterday was the biggest day ever for More than 670,000 Americans signed up to get coverage,” Obama said.


    That’s compared to 600,000 sign-ups last year on the Dec. 15 deadline.

    Obama said when he took office, 44 million Americans lacked health insurance. “Today, we have covered more than 20 million of them,” he said. “For the first time in history, more than 90 percent of Americans are insured.”

    Republican opponents of Obamacare don’t dispute the coverage numbers but say the law has failed to bring down costs for consumers, as had been promised.

    Related: Most Americans Don’t Want Obamacare Repealed

    Premiums have risen as insurance companies taking part in the exchanges have struggled to make the profits they seek with the other restrictions imposed by the law. Obamacare limits the ability to charge higher premiums for women and older people, and it forces insurers to take all comers, even people who are already sick.

    But the publicity over higher premiums didn’t seem to scare off new customers. The Department of Health and Human Services said more than 4 million people have signed up for coverage on, compared to about 2.8 million enrollments by the first week of December last year. That includes 1.1 million people not covered before and 2.9 million renewals.


    Most people who buy private insurance on the health insurance marketplaces get a hefty federal subsidy to help pay the premiums. An analysis by the Center for Health and Economy found those subsidies would cost $42.6 billion next year, an increase of nearly $10 billion over this year.

    Related: Obamacare Repeal Would Take Insurance from 30 Million People

    The enrollment numbers do not include 12 health insurance marketplaces run by states and Washington, D.C. independently of the federal government.

    The new demand could help improve profitability for insurers, said Larry Levitt of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. “If the current (Affordable Care Act) open enrollment period is successful and enrollment grows, it means the insurance market is not collapsing,” he said via Twitter.

    16 Dec

    Larry Levitt @larry_levitt

    Big ACA enrollment numbers are remarkable given the political noise, uncertainty about the future of the law, and lack of public attention. …


    Larry Levitt @larry_levitt

    If the current ACA open enrollment period is successful and enrollment grows, it means the insurance market is not collapsing.

    12:35 PM – 16 Dec 2016

    “Because of the extraordinary demand, we extended the deadline to sign-up for January 1 coverage by two business days until 11:59 pm PST December 19. We don’t yet know how many people will take advantage of this extension, but nearly a million consumers left their contact information to hold their place in line,” HHS said in a statement.

    Obama on Friday took a shot at critics who said the law would hurt business and employment by requiring larger employers to cover their workers.

    “Since I signed Obamacare into law, our businesses have added more than 15 million new jobs,” he said.

    Charlie Sykes on Where the Right Went Wrong

    By CHARLES J. SYKESDEC. 15, 2016

    Continue reading the main storyShare This Page


    CreditNiv Bavarsky

    MILWAUKEE — After nearly 25 years, I’m stepping down from my daily conservative talk radio show at the end of this month. I’m not leaving because of the rise of Donald J. Trump (my reasons are personal), but I have to admit that the campaign has made my decision easier. The conservative media is broken and the conservative movement deeply compromised.

    In April, after Mr. Trump decisively lost the Wisconsin Republican primary, I had hoped that we here in the Midwest would turn out to be a firewall of rationality. Our political culture was distinctly inhospitable to Mr. Trump’s divisive, pugilistic style; the conservatives who had been successful here had tended to be serious, reform-oriented and able to express their ideas in more than 140 characters. But in November, Wisconsin lined up with the rest of the Rust Belt to give the presidency to Mr. Trump.

    How on earth did that happen?

    Before this year, I thought I had a relatively solid grasp on what conservatism stood for and where it was going. Over the previous decade, I helped advance the careers of conservatives like House Speaker Paul D. Ryan; Gov. Scott Walker; Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee; and Senator Ron Johnson. In 2010, conservatives won big majorities in the Wisconsin State Legislature, and I openly supported many of their reforms, including changes to collective bargaining and expansions of school choice.

    In short, I was under the impression that conservatives actually believed things about free trade, balanced budgets, character and respect for constitutional rights. Then along came this campaign.

    On the surface, the explanations for Mr. Trump’s improbable win in Wisconsin are simple enough: He won big margins in rural, blue-collar counties and won the pivotal Green Bay area by double digits. But he underperformed Mitt Romney in the vote-rich Milwaukee suburbs and ended up getting fewer votes in victory than Mr. Romney received in his 2012 defeat. Hillary Clinton, however, got about 39,000 fewer votes in heavily Democratic Milwaukee County than President Obama did four years earlier. Democrats simply stayed home, though that is obviously not the whole story.

    That is what I saw, and this is what it might mean for the future of conservatism. When I wrote in August 2015 that Mr. Trump was a cartoon version of every left-wing media stereotype of the reactionary, nativist, misogynist right, I thought that I was well within the mainstream of conservative thought — only to find conservative Trump critics denounced for apostasy by a right that decided that it was comfortable with embracing Trumpism. But in Wisconsin, conservative voters seemed to reject what Mr. Trump was selling, at least until after the convention.

    To be sure, some of my callers embraced Mr. Trump’s suggestion for a ban on Muslims entering the country and voiced support for a proposal to deport all Muslims — even citizens. One caller compared American Muslims to rabid dogs. But right to the end, relatively few of my listeners bought into the crude nativism Mr. Trump was selling at his rallies.

    What they did buy into was the argument that this was a “binary choice.” No matter how bad Mr. Trump was, my listeners argued, he could not possibly be as bad as Mrs. Clinton. You simply cannot overstate this as a factor in the final outcome. As our politics have become more polarized, the essential loyalties shift from ideas, to parties, to tribes, to individuals. Nothing else ultimately matters.

    In this binary tribal world, where everything is at stake, everything is in play, there is no room for quibbles about character, or truth, or principles. If everything — the Supreme Court, the fate of Western civilization, the survival of the planet — depends on tribal victory, then neither individuals nor ideas can be determinative. I watched this play out in real time, as conservatives who fully understood the threat that Mr. Trump posed succumbed to the argument about the Supreme Court. As even Mr. Ryan discovered, neutrality was not acceptable; if you were not for Mr. Trump, then you were for Mrs. Clinton.

    The state of our politics also explains why none of the revelations, outrages or gaffes seemed to dent Mr. Trump’s popularity.

    In this political universe, voters accept that they must tolerate bizarre behavior, dishonesty, crudity and cruelty, because the other side is always worse; the stakes are such that no qualms can get in the way of the greater cause.

    For many listeners, nothing was worse than Hillary Clinton. Two decades of vilification had taken their toll: Listeners whom I knew to be decent, thoughtful individuals began forwarding stories with conspiracy theories about President Obama and Mrs. Clinton — that he was a secret Muslim, that she ran a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor. When I tried to point out that such stories were demonstrably false, they generally refused to accept evidence that came from outside their bubble. The echo chamber had morphed into a full-blown alternate reality silo of conspiracy theories, fake news and propaganda.

    And this is where it became painful. Even among Republicans who had no illusions about Mr. Trump’s character or judgment, the demands of that tribal loyalty took precedence. To resist was an act of betrayal.

    When it became clear that I was going to remain #NeverTrump, conservatives I had known and worked with for more than two decades organized boycotts of my show. One prominent G.O.P. activist sent out an email blast calling me a “Judas goat,” and calling for postelection retribution. As the summer turned to fall, I knew that I was losing listeners and said so publicly.

    And then, there was social media. Unless you have experienced it, it’s difficult to describe the virulence of the Twitter storms that were unleashed on Trump skeptics. In my timelines, I found myself called a “cuckservative,” a favorite gibe of white nationalists; and someone Photoshopped my face into a gas chamber. Under the withering fire of the trolls, one conservative commentator and Republican political leader after another fell in line.

    How had we gotten here?

    One staple of every radio talk show was, of course, the bias of the mainstream media. This was, indeed, a target-rich environment. But as we learned this year, we had succeeded in persuading our audiences to ignore and discount any information from the mainstream media. Over time, we’d succeeded in delegitimizing the media altogether — all the normal guideposts were down, the referees discredited.

    That left a void that we conservatives failed to fill. For years, we ignored the birthers, the racists, the truthers and other conspiracy theorists who indulged fantasies of Mr. Obama’s secret Muslim plot to subvert Christendom, or who peddled baseless tales of Mrs. Clinton’s murder victims. Rather than confront the purveyors of such disinformation, we changed the channel because, after all, they were our allies, whose quirks could be allowed or at least ignored.

    We destroyed our own immunity to fake news, while empowering the worst and most reckless voices on the right.

    This was not mere naïveté. It was also a moral failure, one that now lies at the heart of the conservative movement even in its moment of apparent electoral triumph. Now that the election is over, don’t expect any profiles in courage from the Republican Party pushing back against those trends; the gravitational pull of our binary politics is too strong.

    I’m only glad I’m not going to be a part of it anymore.

    Charles J. Sykes (@SykesCharlie), a talk-show host in Wisconsin, is working on a book titled “How the Right Lost Its Mind.”

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    International College Students Leery of Trump Could Cost U.S. Billions




    Talal Al-Johani, a high school student in Saudi Arabia, couldn’t imagine going to college anywhere else but the United States. For the last two years, the 17-year-old has been collecting university applications and making connections with admission counselors in an effort to land at a leading American institution.

    But after American voters elected Donald Trump as president, Al-Johani is having second thoughts.

    Image: Talal Tawfeeq Al-Johani

    Talal Tawfeeq Al-Johani Talal Tawfeeq Al-Johani

    Leery of unclear policies and a potentially hostile social environment under a Trump presidency, international students may now be reconsidering higher education in the United States — and that potential “brain drain” could take a hefty financial toll on America’s education economy, international education experts say.

    “I am concerned about how I’m going to be treated and how people will see me as a Muslim from Saudi,” said Al-Johani, a student at Dhahran High School in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. “I feel Trump has affected people’s social attitudes, especially towards someone like me.”

    Last year, more than one million international students, a record number, came to America to pursue higher education — pumping $32.8 billion into the U.S. economy, according to the Association of International Educators (NAFSA).

    The largest contingents: China, India and Saudi Arabia, made up a whopping 53 percent of all international students — not to mention billions in revenue.


    That money is the lifeblood of many universities, said Neil Ruiz, executive director of the Center for Law, Economics, and Finance at The George Washington University Law School. “Foreign students don’t get financial aid, they pay out of pocket tuition as well as state and international fees, which is why a lot of universities have been marketing to international students,” he said.

    Related: Do High School Walkouts Suggest Generational Resistance to Trump?

    That revenue also subsidizes tuition for native-born students, who would see an increase in education costs if there was a dip in foreign counterparts, Ruiz added.

    “Higher education is our biggest export,” he said.

    Peggy Blumenthal, senior counsel to the president at the Institute of International Education, said there are several financial incentives in bringing international students stateside. A large majority of tuition, housing and fees goes to colleges and universities, which then use revenue to expand programs and hire teachers, she said.

    But that could all be on the verge of changing.

    A survey of students in more than 118 countries conducted in February by international student recruiting firms Intead and FPP EDU Media found that 60 percent said they were less likely to study in the U.S. under a Trump presidency. For some countries, like Mexico, that went up to an 80 percent less likelihood.

    While this only measures inclination and not actual cases, the number speaks volumes to how important the American political climate is for international students, said Intead CEO Benjamin Waxman.

    Guns On Campus Georgia

    A pedestrian walks through the Georgia Tech campus aon March 11, 2016, in Atlanta. David Goldman / AP

    Manail Anis Ahmed, an expert on international higher education in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, said the conversations she’s been having with students in her office are increasingly about what could happen under Trump.

    “The Trump phenomenon has freaked people out,” she said. “Students are actually asking if they might be rounded up because they are Muslim.”

    If even 10 percent of Saudis choose not to study in America, a projected economic loss could be close to $200 million, according to Waxman’s data and the Institute of International Education. For Indian students, a 10 percent decline would near a $520 million loss.

    And with Chinese students, the damage could be as steep as $1 billion.

    Related: The 141 Stances Donald Trump Took During His White House Bid

    Tonghui Shi, who graduated from China’s Beijing Institute of Technology in July, said his plans to get a masters in the United States is currently on hold for at least a year. The 23-year-old wants to see how Trump does with job policies.

    “I want to see if he is capable of creating more job opportunities” before going to the United States, said Shi, who is already looking into programs in Germany and the U.K. “If the general economic situation gets better in the U.S, the better for all students,” but Trump is a bit of a wild card right now, he added.

    “Plus we saw a lot of black swan events happen this year, and there is some chaos in parts of the U.S.,” he said. “So I’m going to wait.”

    Although Trump’s sole statement on foreign students was an August 2015 tweet saying “they should not be thrown out,” many of his public stances since then don’t quite match up.


    Donald J. Trump


    When foreigners attend our great colleges & want to stay in the U.S., they should not be thrown out of our country.

    10:42 AM – 18 Aug 2015

    “There is a business case in bringing in international students — and Trump is a businessman,” Ruiz said.

    “But he is also conflicted because he made promises to put American workers first.”

    The president-elect also proposed a Muslim registry and “extreme vetting” for people from the Middle East — a booming market for international students, he said.

    It’s unclear what he will do, which is making a lot of people nervous to take a risk, Ruiz explained.

    But not only are many students spooked by his rhetoric, they are also worried about the practical ramifications, such as not being able to gain the necessary visas, he said.

    Related: President-Elect Trump Names Picks For Education, UN Ambassador

    A similar trend happened post-9/11, when the U.S. tightened its visa vetting regulations. Between 2001 and 2003, there was a loss of almost 15,000 international students and millions of dollars, according to Institute of International Education.

    Hamza Ahmed Fuzail, an Indian national working in the Middle East said his “lifelong dream” was to get an MBA in the United States and eventually settle after landing a good job.

    “I’ve always wanted to study in America, but I’m not sure now,” said Fuzail, who is worried immigration restrictions will be an obstacle for his ambitions. “The United States doesn’t seem like an appealing place anymore.”

    Image: Hamza Ahmed Fuzail

    Hamza Ahmed Fuzail Courtesy of Hamza Ahmed Fuzail

    But Blumenthal said it’s still too early to say whether a dramatic drop in international students is on the horizon without knowing Trump’s visa policy.

    Al-Johani, who still harbors hopes for an American education, said he’s lucky because he has a full year before graduating to see how things play out in a Trump presidency. But Plan B is already in the works.

    “If something goes tremendously wrong in the upcoming months,” he said, “I’m already lining up schools in Europe.”

    The Trump Faithful Are Already Expressing Buyer’s Remorse

    By LeftOfCenter

    12/02/16 7:31am

    The Trump Faithful Are Already Expressing Buyer's Remorse

    Credit: Politico


    Many of the most die-hard Trump supporters have seen the light that the rest of America saw so clearly. Draining the swamp was actually the last thing on Donald’s to-do list. Steve Mnuchin, predatory lender and hedge-fund billionaire is his actual pick for Secretary of the Treasury? Oh dear. The draining of the swamp has revealed a very thick layer of scum. And now people are noticing their health insurance might be at risk?

    In an interview with the Associated Press, Los Angeles resident Teena Colebrook now says, “I just wish that I had not voted.” She added, “”I have no faith in our government anymore at all. They all promise you the world at the end of a stick and take it away once they get in.”

    Mnuchin and a team of investors ran OneWest, who foreclosed on Colebrook’s home during the Great Recession, taking over two units she rented – which were her primary sources of income.

    Trump in the days leading up to the election had claimed that he was “draining the swamp” in Washington, D.C., but so far the bulk of his appointments have been millionaires and billionaires well entrenched in the swamp of corruption and cronyism that so many dislike about politics.

    Sadly, Teena learned the truth far too late.

    Speaking about Trump’s betrayal, Colebrook said, “He doesn’t want the truth. He’s now backing his buddies.”

    It’s not just the financial sector that will be suffering with these abhorrent choices made by Mike Pence and Cheeto Mussolini, it’s the promise to take away millions of lower-income Americans’ healthcare access. Granting rights and then rescinding them is not going to go over well, as residents of Teabagger Matt Bevin’s state of Kentucky are beginning to realize.

    NPR reports:

    In a state as cash-strapped as Kentucky, the increased expenses ahead for Medicaid will be significant in Bevin’s view — $1.2 billion from 2017 to 2021, according to the waiver request he’s made to the Obama administration to change how Medicaid works in his state.

    ↓ Story continues below ↓

    Trump’s unexpected victory may help Bevin’s chances of winning approval. Before the election, many analysts expected federal officials to reject the governor’s plan by the end of the year on the grounds that it would roll back gains in expected coverage.

    A Trump administration could decide the matter differently, said Emily Beauregard, executive director of Kentucky Voice for Health, an advocacy group that opposes most waiver changes because they could reduce access to care.

    Trump actually promised NOT to mess with Medicare and SS, but here we are.
    Congressman Tom Price, the HHS pick, is a vehemently anti-LGBT and leader in the repeal Obamacare fight.

    Even some of the more well-known of Trump’s supporters are beginning to show signs of dissent.


    Ann Coulter


    Medicare IS NOT WHAT THE ELECTION WAS FOUGHT OVER. If Ryan wants to change Medicare, then run for president on that & see how far you get. …

    10:08 PM – 26 Nov 2016

    View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter


    Brad Santa Geiser @therealbradg

    A tragedy in 4 acts

    11:45 AM – 30 Nov 2016 · Davis, CA

    Credit: Tumblr

    Credit: Tumblr

    Credit: Tumblr

    Affordable Care Act, Buyer’s Remorse, Donald Trump, Financial Crisis, Kentucky, Matt Bevin, Steven Mnuchin, Trump voters