Carson Digs Deep and Aims High

Posted by Keeley on October 6, 2015 at 9:43 PM

In an interview with Fox, Ben Carson described one similarity that the and Donald Trump share - aside from the fact that they both have never held office - and that is the fact that they "won't be corralled by the political establishment." Imagining Ben and Donald together at a rodeo is fun ... and they have undoubtedly already seen their share of agricultural events, especially Carson. But the metaphor is interesting for other reasons.. In the first place, Carson did not mention Fiorina, who by implication is open to dealing with the political establishment. One wonders who will corral who when it comes to Fiorina and the establishment. But she is clearly comfortable with them, and is arguably already part of the establishment. So Fiorina is both a political outsider, and by running for the Senate, she has also signaled a clear intent to be part of that political establishment.

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Reciprocity & Responsibilty Trump Equality & Generosity.

Posted by Christine & John on September 28, 2015 at 6:52 PM

I dislike how the ideas or equality and rights are currently evolving. They are analogous to a drug where the dosage determines whether they are a lifesaving life-saving medicines or deadly poisons. The kinds of rights I dislike tend to be entwined with egalitarian ideas, which is why I paired them in this essay. A good society values rights and equality, but depends on reciprocity for its real strength.

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When Polls in China Will Really Matter

Posted by Keeley on September 24, 2015 at 7:24 PM

What a shocker! Nearly 90% of Americans are concerned with the amount of treasury bills and other forms of U.S. government debt held by the Chinese. Loss of jobs to China, Chinese cyberattacks, and human rights violations in China follow in that order. Other issues like the trade deficit with China and China's environmental footprint are also important, if less so. Clearly the Pew Research Center's poll numbers show that Americans are well-informed on the risks that burden America's relationship with China.

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Ben Carson Had the Courage

Posted by Keeley on September 22, 2015 at 4:26 PM

Could Article 6 of the Constitution fracture under a clearly-theoretical supposition of Sharia law? Ben Carson has created a controversy ("firestorm" seems to be some of the media's preferred term) with his response to Chuck Todd's question on the acceptability of a Muslim President. He clearly said no, and the response from liberals and progressives was immediate and oh-so-outraged. The third clause of Article 6 deals with the binding by oath of legislators, executive officers, and judges to support the constitution. As almost an appendage, but a vital one, it also states that no religious test shall be "ever required as a qualification" for holding office.

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What Can Thursday Do for the Rest of Them?

Posted by Keeley on September 15, 2015 at 8:11 PM

Thursday's debate will be one big "jump ball" according to Marc Thiessen, the former George W. Bush speechwriter. How else to explain Carson's rise in the polls aside from pointing out how Ben's "good debate performance ... vaulted" the doctor from unknown to second place in the latest polls? And that means that anyone, say Jeb Bush for example, with a good jump and a solid performance can regain momentum and climb again in the polls.

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Fire Trump

Posted by Christine & John on September 12, 2015 at 11:57 AM

I dislike Donald Trump on a visceral level. He is bringing reality TV to politics and coarsening debate. I could accept his boorishness if I thought the guy could do the job. But his claim to fame is being rich. He got rich by inheriting lots of money; going bankrupt four times and sticking others with his failures & using the power of crony capitalism to get government to pay his bills and coerce people to sell their property.

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Does Deal-Making Trump Rhetoric? Donald and Aristotle

Posted by Keeley on September 10, 2015 at 4:12 PM

The art of the deal is not quite the same as the art of rhetoric. But does rhetoric matter in today's political world? As an art or as a vice? Could this have to do with Trump's seeming to get away saying things that would sink other candidates? Nowadays, rhetoric bears the burden of negative connotations by almost everyone who uses it - none more than the very politicians accused of rhetoric who in turn accuse various colleagues of all rhetoric and no action. In fact, rhetoric as a relevant political term is just about worn out, even as a criticism. Most people are tired even of the term itself. Accuse someone of letting their decisions follow the money on K street. Accuse someone of ignoring the law when it comes to issues like immigration and border security. Accuse someone of bending to the latest poll numbers in a desperate attempt to stay above water. But accuse them of bad rhetoric? Or just rhetoric? Who cares, right?

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Hillary versus Biden

Posted by Christine & John on September 4, 2015 at 12:49 PM

I am conflicted. I like Biden better than I like Hillary. Biden is like your odd, but lovable, uncle, like Uncle Billy on "It's a Wonderful Life." Hillary is nasty and arrogant, like the stepmother in "Cinderella. But Hillary is more likely to bring in moderate advisers. Biden will be beholden to the Obama wing of the party. History does not repeat, but do we want something more like the Clinton years, which were mostly okay, or more like the Obama years, which were clearly not as good.

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A curious case of Muslim "compassion"

Posted by Christine & John on September 4, 2015 at 9:22 AM

Europe is facing a refugee crisis as thousands of Muslims free persecution by fellow Muslims to take refuge in mostly Christian Europe. Think about this. There are dozens of Muslim countries nearby, many of them rich countries. Yet smart Muslims flee to the West, ostensibly the home of the Great Satan and a bunch of little Satans. Could it be that they are saying with their actions what they won't admit in their words? The West is better.

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Energy everywhere

Posted by Christine & John on September 2, 2015 at 8:20 PM

The announcement of a massive natural gas field off the coast of Egypt is just one more example of the phenomenal availability of energy. Just a few years ago, we talked about peak oil and thought that natural gas would be mostly exhausted by now. We massively transcended the energy crisis of the 1970s. We have new challenges, but it is good to be rich.

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Hillary will not be the nominee

Posted by Christine & John on August 30, 2015 at 7:52 PM

I asked if Hillary is toast a couple posts ago. Now I think it is becoming clearer. Hillary will not be the Democratic nominee for president. Her tide almost came in and then receded. She is now down to 37% in Iowa when her only competition is a man who is not a Democrat (Sanders) and one who is not running at this time (Biden.) Democrats are desperate to dump Hillary. The problem is that the put all their chips down on her way too long ago. So what is it gonna be?

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A Late Start From Biden Would Still Worry Hillary

Posted by Keeley on August 27, 2015 at 6:45 PM

Right after Iowa and New Hampshire things go south. The contests are held in southern states where the Democratic vote is often dominated by black voters. That means that despite all the fuss and focus on immigration and the Hispanic vote that one presumes Clinton will largely be able to attract, the African-American vote is possibly a little more tricky and definitely a crucial factor in deciding who wins the Democratic nomination. Tricky because if Biden finally decides to run, he just may have Obama's endorsement. That's hardly a shocking prediction: Obama had to fight tooth and nail with both of the Clintons in 2008, and Biden has been a loyal VP for almost two presidential terms now. So if Biden runs, he almost certainly will have Obama's blessing, so to speak.

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Is Hillary toast?

Posted by Christine & John on August 25, 2015 at 9:21 PM

Hillary is looking more and more fragile. She just does not have "it" but she seems to have lots of problems and is seriously "integrity challenged." Joe Biden is warming up and it looks like Obama would support such a run. Biden would certainly be more fun than Hillary. Biden could not stand up to the Clinton machine, but Democrats are clearly getting worried that their once and future queen may not be up to the task.

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Ring out the clowns

Posted by Christine & John on August 24, 2015 at 8:46 PM

I hate to watch Hillary Clinton, with her schoolmarm lecturing style and arrogant feeling of entitlement. But I am coming to hate to watch Trump even more, with his glib defense of truly stupid ideas and his constant pulling himself up by pulling others down. It makes me despair for my country that these are the two front runners in the respective parties. My only hope is that more sanity will set in before November next year.

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Buying and borrowing to be president

Posted by Christine & John on August 23, 2015 at 9:35 AM

We are watching a big test of whether money and power can buy elections. The obvious is Donald Trump. Can a man w/o political experience buy an election with money & celebrity? On the Democratic side we have Hillary Clinton. She is a very poor candidate, yet she remains the front runner, called inevitable. Can a woman become president borrowing on her husband's organization and influence?

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