Trump Consciousness

The only problem, Jim, with Bill Mitchell's POV is that American capitalism does darned well on hand outs and tax breaks [oil and agriculture] and government contracts - all while paying little or no taxes while taking advantage of facilities and infrastructure paid from the public purse.

Big government is a myth - a demon invented by libertine capitalist ideologues who have a loopy notion of how the economy works. The US government tis the biggest spender and employer on the planet. Without it most of US businesses would not exist. Quite apart from the money there is the simple business of maintaining law and order and the vital systems that make it possible for a society to work.

Pirate capitalists are predatory and disordered. They don't want government, except when they go belly up when their accumulated incompetences cause the economy to tank - and then they love government when they get bailed out.

Of course, lets not be naive here. Big government is okay when it spends money on weapons and war, and vile when it spends on welfare, education, health and regulating criminal misconduct. Interesting.
Don’t be fooled. He’s playing the long game. It’s all a ruse. He is isn’t a f$&ken idiot, he just wants everyone to THINK he is. It’s actually very clever.
Video in not working. I take you mean T is playing a long game - with his attention span that's five minute. Check his history. Long games are not his strong suit.

He has a certain genius cunning for survival and self-profiting - an art a lot of despots have perfected. He is not remotely strategic. He has a crude brutality to business aided by aggressive bullying, deception and let down by a fundamental incompetence at doing anything straight.

At his best T is an exploiter and manipulator - and demonstrates impressive skill in selling his cons. But he can't manage, do real deals or play straight.

Actually T doesn't want people to think he is an idiot. You have to remember the guy is the best at everything - you know, the very stable genius. Only he's not. T craves praise. He doesn't want ANYONE to think he is an idiot. But they do.

One person involved in the discussions said the target date for the report’s release has been Nov. 20, but another indicated that the Justice Department is unlikely to deliver it by then and that it is more likely to come after Thanksgiving because of the complicated and contentious mix of legal, classification and political issues at play.​
Who are you talking to Jim or, again, is this just a repository for your own personal propaganda efforts?

Seems the moderating standards have been thrown out the window in this thread for one poster. I can't imagine I could get away with waging a personal propaganda campaign in any thread on Skeptiko. I have no problem with Jim having a viewpoint and using third party references as support. But just spamming a thread with select soundbites and no context? Seems beneath any attempt at actual discourse.
I am finding the ongoing revelations about the Ukraine debacle is an unravelling drama that is exposing a bizarre strategy designed to lift the pressure off the Russians. The argument is that the Russians need US expertise to tap their oil and gas resources [the Russian economy depends on them]. So while the sanctions remain on because of Russian interference in the 2016 election that assistance is off the table. Trump has constantly tried to have those sanctions lifted - and failed. So now Ukraine is supposed to be the player, not Russia. but they won't play ball. The exposure of the scheme resulted in release of military aid that was being withheld to put the heat on Ukraine.

This is a huge scandal - if true. Let's be kind and say its only alleged at the moment. It is major misconduct. It would be a sackable offence at any other level of government if the allegations are substantiated. The witnesses delivering testimony are extremely credible.

So what's happening in Trump/Fox land? They are talking about Clinton and asking whether identifying the whistleblower is wrong [yes it is] and ignoring the shitstorm that is raging around them. The argument that these allegations are part of a conspiracy by the Deep State and Fake News by asking a simple question - how likely is it that the people involved as professional public servants, academics, journalists [and so on] have conspired to remove a President wrongly? It takes a degree of paranoia and huge ignorance about the processes of governance to imagine such an array of determined opposition would be organised against a cleanskin like Trump without proper cause.

Trump's defence is essentially an invocation of paranoid empathy and fearful self-interest. It is never a good thing when a substantial portion of a community feels so dispossessed and disempowered that it embraces a paranoid interpretation to explain why it is doing so badly. Insulting Trump's base is not necessary and it is dishonourable. Though it is hard to resist profound criticism for the fundamentalist Christians who have convinced themselves that there is no price they will not pay to have the Supreme Court stacked with judges who may overturn Roe v Wade.

However there is not a huge gulf between those who find succour in White Supremacist and Neo-Nazi beliefs and Christian Fundamentalists. Both groups form critical elements of Trump's 'base'.

We may believe different things to the point where we passionately disagree on interpretation. I get it that many folk want a President to enact the policies that Trump espouses. I would not be bothered by such a person occupying the White House. I would disagree with their policies, because that is my disposition.

But Trump is incompetent and unfit to occupy the office of POTUS in terms of his character, his intellect, his psychological stability and his grasp of the process of governance. There are indisputable facts, matters of established public record, concerning his fitness. Trump has masterfully manipulated his fans to believe that those who fairly compile and interpret those records do so with evil intent, rather than sincere concern for the governance of their country. Some Christians are induced to read only the Bible, because that alone is God's word.

Shep Smith quit Fox because the opinion shows rampaged over news. News - genuine attempts to report what is happening - has lost out on Fox to peddlers of not just opinion, but radical fantastic opinion solely intended to deflect attention from actual news. Hannity, Ingraham and Carlson maintain a relentless barrage of seemingly rational comment that is, on closer analysis, utterly unhinged from reality. Don't believe me -check for yourself. Oh wait, you can't, because that means accessing Fake News. Clever. There's nothing but opinion from Trump devotees that can be trusted. Can't you see there is something fundamentally dangerous about that? It has a technical term - its a cult.

Now I am not dissing those who sincerely believe Trump is a good man and a great President. I disagree with you. My concern is that you can't defend your position using the usual tools of argument and information. If you think I am wrong show me why in the way traditionally accepted - rationally structured argument and evidence to support. If you are deeply pro-Trump you have virtually made a contract to not go looking for fair and balanced evidence to support his/your claims. You accept the fake news prohibition. So we cannot discuss.

I share a house with a Trump devotee. We try to avoid the topic, but here's what happens when we can't - from my perspective. First up their claim is that the US economy was trash under Obama and only picked up under Trump. You can't get that result on Google. It isn't true. No rational economist says it is.[tell me if you know otherwise] So I ask for evidence to back up this claim, because its contrary to everything I can find [and I couldn't give a damn if it were true]. So I ask what else has Trump done. Its a fair question. I do want to know. The tax cuts. Okay what do you know about the tax cuts? I get a bunch of claims that I fact check and turn out not to be substantiated.

I fact check, almost compulsively. I do that because I have over 40 years in the public sector and I know governments lie and others misrepresent. These days lying and misrepresentation is so commonplace I struggle to accept anything unless I know the source - and still, even then, my acceptance is provisional. Also, fact checking is part of my professional responsibility - so its a habit.

Here is where the interchange turns to shit. I am insulted - I can't see the truth before me; I stick my head in the sand; I have 'drunk the cool-aid'; I have been hypnotised by Fake News and conned by the Deep State. My companion is a member of an enlightened minority who sees through the awful conspiracy to bring Trump down. Why? Because they fear is policies?

Utter bollocks of course. But you cannot argue with a cult devotee and expect to win.
I fact check, almost compulsively.
How do you do that? Because I think it’s largely impossible without spending huge amounts of time researching each fact.
How can you rely on the ‘checkers’, or even the raw data unless your doing it yourself? Even then, you would have your own bias.
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