Trump looks at America and sees ‘carnage.’ Really?

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
President Donald Trump speaking after being sworn in on the west front of the U.S. Capitol.

The essence of Trumpism is to invite Americans to exaggerate their grievances, ignore their blessings, then promise to solve their problems without putting out concrete plans to do so. It’s to hope that Americans don’t care whether you have any such plans; to sidestep being held accountable by avoiding setting any meaningful benchmarks against which your performance can be judged.

That was the essence of his classless, prosaic inaugural address, which will be remembered mostly for the choice of a single word to describe the America that will now be presided over by Mr. Trump: “carnage.”

My online dictionary defines “carnage” as, “the slaughter of a great number of people, as in battle; butchery; massacre.”

Donald Trump looks at America during the years of the Obama presidency and he sees “carnage.”

He is wrong. America has plenty of problems but, on balance — and in any reasonable context — America is (if not “the” richest) among the richest nations on earth and certainly the most powerful. In addition, by any reasonable measure, while many people have serious problems and some may have lost ground in recent years, life has improved in America over the last eight years, by quite a bit compared to the economic crisis that was still in progress when Barack Obama took office.

The GDP has grown. The unemployment rate has gone down. The crime rate is down. A record portion of Americans have health insurance. We are as close to “at peace” as we get in the age of superpower-dom and perpetual low-intensity conflict.

It would be simplistic (but much less simplistic than Trump’s ridiculous everything-has-been-awful-but-now-everything-will-be-great-because-I-alone-can-fix-it) to attribute every bit of progress over the last eight years to the efforts of President (now ex-President) Obama, just as it would be ridiculous to blame Obama for every problem that still exists.

Trump said something slightly gracious about Obama at the beginning of his speech (thanking Obama for the smooth transition) then proceeded to accuse Obama (not directly, but what other inference can one draw?) for presiding over the “carnage.” The reaction shots of Obama in the audience suggested, to me at least, restrained annoyance.

Trump said: “I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never, ever let you down. America will start winning again, winning like never before. We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.”

It would be nice, but it won’t be coming, if he would agree at some point to some metrics by which these promises could be measured, but he has never done so.

For all our sakes, I hope he succeeds in making life better for those who need help most.

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Comments (97)

  1. Submitted by Kyle Lysford on 01/20/2017 - 03:12 pm.

    Gave him a chance…

    I actually listened to his speech (audio only) and the first 30-60 seconds I was like ‘oh good, maybe he’s actually going to change his tone a little bit. Unexpected, but welcome I suppose’.

    …Then I kept listening. Disappointed would be too strong a word, as that implies unmet expectations, but I was still surprised by how…bad it was. I want to put a little more substance in this comment, but there’s just not much ‘there, there’ as far as trying to analyze that speech.

    Thanks for your writing, and for continuing to add your voice Eric. I know today isn’t a great day, but lots of us out there appreciate your work and continued writing. Thanks!

  2. Submitted by joe smith on 01/20/2017 - 03:13 pm.

    Eric, do you honestly believe Trump

    would have won all the rust belt states he did if the voters felt about the economy the way you want them to feel about the economy? Trump got 306 electoral votes, (the device we use to elect our President) which was a rout, for a reason. The top 20% of Americans, wealth wise, had a 5% increase in their wealth the other 80% had minus to no wealth growth during Obama’s 8 years. When you add up the numbers you get overall growth, but 80% (lower to middle class) of the folks didn’t feel it! Just another note, the 1% did better during the past 8 years than ever before in America’s history. So much for looking out for the little guys.

    We have to careful when folks start touting numbers because you can make numbers say many different things. A deeper dive into all stats we get from politicians in either major party should be mandatory because both sides do their best to deceive us.

    • Submitted by Jeremy Bergerson on 01/20/2017 - 03:54 pm.

      Here are some numbers

      He won 56.88% of Electoral College votes, putting his win in the bottom fifth of all presidential election victories, hardly a rout. Besides, 73m voted for someone else; he only got 63m.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/20/2017 - 05:27 pm.

      You could start with FactCheck

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/21/2017 - 07:33 pm.


      We agree on many things, but the idea that a rout occurred is just silly. Trump barely won and mostly because the Democratic voters failed to show up at the polls. Then Trump complaining today about the media false reporting the “record attendance” at the inauguration…

      I voted for Trump and keep praying that he will mature one day. Unfortunately he has not yet…

    • Submitted by Steve Sundberg on 01/25/2017 - 03:55 pm.

      Trump’s “rout”?

      An Electoral College rout? Unreal. Trump comes in at #39 in terms of Electoral College votes percentages, at 56%. Even U.S. Grant, ranked #15, did better in 1868, with 73%. Tied at #1 are FDR (1936) and Reagan (1984) with 98%.

  3. Submitted by chuck holtman on 01/20/2017 - 04:05 pm.

    Scanned thru the speech that it appears Mr Trump read today.

    Had a different take. What stuck out for me is that the speech names, obsessively, two and precisely two enemies of the welfare of ordinary Americans: “Washington DC” and other countries.

    First, not a mention, of course, of the chief cause of pretty much every ill on his laundry list: the ongoing concentration of wealth in the hands of a very few. From Trump’s speech, you wouldn’t even know that millionaires, let alone billionaires, exist or make decisions that affect jobs, our economy, our military adventurism or any of the rest of it. Makes the whole speech an exercise in insincerity and dishonesty, not that this is surprising.

    Second, other than destabilize the world thru itinerant tweeting, Trump can’t accomplish a thing without the Republican caucus. His speech points the finger at federal lawmakers indiscriminately, but very soon he’ll necessarily be working hand in glove with half of them. Is anyone going to notice that little inconsistency?

    • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/20/2017 - 07:39 pm.

      Who is the worst enemy?

      Do you believe that the rich people are our worst enemies? I have to tell you: this approach was tried in 1917 in a country named Russia and it didn’t end well.

      • Submitted by Nick Foreman on 01/21/2017 - 09:51 am.

        Nothing has EVER worked in Russia

        For the regular people – only the the despots including the czars and the communists have done well. And this will never ever change – after over two thousand and more years unless Rasputin reappears.

      • Submitted by Davis Jones on 01/21/2017 - 11:37 am.

        Missing the point

        You might start by looking up what a slippery slope argument is…Leaving that aside, the point wasn’t to hate the rich (though many certainly deserve it). The point is that Trump only attacks one side of the problem – government – while ignoring that, at least since Reagan, many (most?) of his class have done everything in their power to assure that virtually all economic benefits go to them. His people – the very wealthy – benefit most from the government he dislikes so much.

        • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/21/2017 - 07:57 pm.

          The point

          Mr. Foreman, actually some things did work in Russia, like education, for example, at least in some places, which is why Russia has had world class writers, composers, artists, scientists, chess masters, human rights defenders… And scapegoating the wealthy did not and will not work in any country.

          Mr. Jones, what Mr. Holtman said was that “the chief cause of pretty much every ill on his laundry list: the ongoing concentration of wealth in the hands of a very few.” If the wealthy are the reason for all out troubles, it is hard to make the argument that they are not our worst enemies and therefore deserve our hate… I just emphasized Mr. Holtman’s idea. On the other hand, why should I care if Gates has billions if I am happy with what I have? Plus, what about Buffett, Soros, etc. who are mostly actually very liberal in their views? Do they, or do they not, assure that they get the most benefits?

          • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/21/2017 - 09:40 pm.

            But of course

            Most of those “world class writers, composers, artists, scientists, chess masters, human rights defenders” moved to the United States as soon as they could. America’s educated population (as opposed to a few individuals) and developed infrastructure allowed their genius to work.
            That’s why our life expectancy is 20 years longer than Russia’s.

            • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/22/2017 - 11:58 am.

              Not exactly

              From the Soviet Union – yes, from Russia before revolution – no. But I also moved to America so you don’t need to explain to me why America is better – that is what I’ve been trying to do here for the last several years… and that is what many people don’t understand.

      • Submitted by chuck holtman on 01/22/2017 - 09:43 am.

        Mr. Gutman: Mr. Trump speaks in terms of enemies.

        I speak in terms of cause and effect.

        Undoubtedly the maldistribution of wealth is the chief cause of our ills. It doesn’t matter if, for any particular individual or incorporation, that wealth was deserved or ill-gotten. The concentration of wealth in very few hands distorts our economy and our political system so that they serve those very narrow interests instead of the public welfare. That is why we are stuck in a fossil-fuel based economy with a growth imperative in place of a proper wealth distribution mechanism, even as we watch it destroy the human habitability of our planet; why capital is rendered ever more free to roam the globe while labor is fenced in and immiserated; why those around the globe turn to violent nihilism when the prerogatives of global power deny them the possibility of self-determination; and why ordinary folks are distracted by mythical grievances against each other while the few are busy consolidating global political and economic systems that will allow them to wring out what social wealth remains to be extracted even as the world burns.

        Most importantly, concentrated wealth consolidates the means, motive and opportunity for the few to determine the frames through which the many see and understand the world in which they live. It is through this latter concerted effort, for example, that a sufficient number of people were caused to believe that a sociopathic con artist at the top of the pile of concentrated wealth will deliver them from the predations of the elite.

        Your comment about the Russian revolution is a non sequitur.

        • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/22/2017 - 11:59 am.

          You were clear enough

          I did understand you correctly. If wealth concentration is the cause of all evil, it (wealth concentration) is logically an enemy and must be fought against by all means to make things better. The end justifies the means… And Russian revolution is very much related to this topic because calls to take the wealth from the few wealthy and give it to many poor were the driving force behind that revolution. Marx said that proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains and I heard that slogan again yesterday. On the other hand, how come that wealth concentration in the hands of Morgan, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, etc. did not prevent America from moving forward and creating enough wealth for middle class and still defeating Hitler? Why should I care if Gates has $50 billion?

          • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/22/2017 - 03:49 pm.


            The middle class came after the defeat of Hitler, in the late 40’s and early 50’s when the US was sole surviving industrial power and the king of the marketplace. The world before the WW2 was in the grips of the Great Depression, not middle class wealth. The demands of the world market-place were to be satisfied by the industrial might of the US and the limited supply of US workers. The rising wages and benefits of this time, where demand out-stripped labor supply lead to the middle class. The period from the 60’s on is characterized by the (re)industrialization of the rest of the world with the rest of the world supplying vast quantities of labor and automation that reduced the advantages of the US middle-class.

            The question of the future is how can the fortunes of the US workers and middle-class remain anomalously high with respect to the rest of the world.

            • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/22/2017 - 07:27 pm.

              I believe it was Henry Ford who said that he wants every one of his workers to be able to afford to buy his car… So terminology aside, there was some level of prosperity in the beginning of the 20th century in America despite wealth concentration. And that is exactly my point: Why should people care about few super rich if they can afford what they reasonably want.

              Your question about maintaining the level of prosperity for Americans is a good one. The Western Europe and other few developed countries are already on par with America but the rest of the world is not. So we have to be honest: Globalization will not help American workers and will actually inevitably hurt them, at least in the short time, which is decades. It is similar to the law of communicating vessels: If a liquid level is higher in one vessel (America) and it is connected to another vessel with lower liquid level (developing world), the liquid will balance at the same level in both vessels meaning that it will go from the one with the higher level to the one with the lower level.

          • Submitted by chuck holtman on 01/23/2017 - 11:41 am.

            Mr. Gutman, thank you for helping me clarify my thinking.

            Indeed, it seems clear that not only should we expropriate the wealth from the few, we also should behead them so they can’t rise up and take it back.

            Actually, what I was thinking of was something more like working hard to educate people to think critically and accept their duty of civic engagement, so that we as a society can start electing representatives who will work to adjust our political and economic structures so they are consistent with values of equal opportunity and self-determination.

            Leftism is about working analytically and pragmatically, with careful consideration of human motives and incentives, to create a society that embodies our (proclaimed) fundamental values. To state the obvious, that is why principles can be extracted from the Russian revolution, or the relationship of wealth to society in the days of Carnegie, but that all considerations about ordering our political and economic affairs rest deeply on the conditions, relations and ideations of our time.

            The differences in how the left and the Right conceptualize society and its forces are stark, and if one is incapable of grasping them, or even of recognizing that this difference exists, one will remain mired in the realm of psychological projection and straw argumentation that dooms colloquy.

            • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/23/2017 - 07:55 pm.

              I always appreciate good sarcasm… except that people were beheaded and shot just because they were rich… I also always support teaching critical thinking… unfortunately, it is only getting worse And the reason may be that our education became indoctrination (just the other day a teacher writing for Community Voices here in MinnPost said that “Teaching is an inherently political act”). Or just think of all “safe spaces” and similar bogus things happening on college campuses. Why were Trump’s supporters ostracized and insulted in colleges? So it is hard to see how leftism “is about working analytically and pragmatically, with careful consideration of human motives and incentives.” Is this what Sanders did when he suggested emulating Denmark by giving everyone free college education when they do not do it in Denmark?

              Now about that adjusting “our political and economic structures so they are consistent with values of equal opportunity and self-determination.” We do have equal opportunity and self-determination now – we don’t need to anything to make it better. The fact that Gates is a multi-billionaire doesn’t limit my or your opportunities and self-determination in any way. You said in your first post that “the chief cause of pretty much every ill on his laundry list: the ongoing concentration of wealth in the hands of a very few.” So how can our system be adjusted to fight it without actually taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor which, as I said, has been tried… unsuccessfully many times.

  4. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/20/2017 - 04:13 pm.

    I was especially struck by the disconnect between his rhetoric of Washington insiders being the ones who profited over the last decade or so, as contrasted to nominating Tom Price to head HHS– Tom Price was one of 20 people in the country offered a discounted stock price on a health care stock that had business affected by Price’s decisions.

    Drain the swamp–no, its the rise of the swamp creatures !! Millionaires and billionaire, all set on grifting off of the government and removing the protections of the American public.


    “The White House website has removed the page devoted to climate change action and posted newly sworn-in President Donald Trump’s pledge to undo environmental regulations and “revive America’s coal industry.”

    The 361-word policy outline on the new page, titled “America First Energy Plan,” makes no reference to global warming or climate change, except to note Trump’s commitment to “eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.”

  5. Submitted by charles thompson on 01/20/2017 - 05:28 pm.

    Folks didn’t feel it!

    No they didn’t feel it and they’re not going to – ever. I was just reading (at the Reformed Broker) about a fruit farmer buying a mechanical picker for his operation which will eliminate the need for humans. His choice was buy the machinery or go out of business. Ignore his message at your peril.

  6. Submitted by Roy Everson on 01/20/2017 - 05:33 pm.

    Historic day

    Angela Merkel is now the leader of the Free World.

  7. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 01/20/2017 - 06:18 pm.

    How Did We Go

    From a President who,…

    in the midst of telling the truth,…

    had a member of the House of Representatives from the opposing party,…

    yell, “You lie!” during his State of the Union,…

    when he was NOT lying in any way,…

    to this,…

    to Dishonest Donald,…

    whose Inaugural Address was a lie,…

    both by omission and commission,…

    from beginning to end,…

    without ANYONE in the mainstream media pulling out facts, figures, and statistics to tell the American people the truth of where we are socially and economically,…

    truth which would put the “lie” to President Trump’s entire speech?

    We’ve had many people of varying points of view and levels of competency take up the Oval Office over the history of this nation,…

    and most of them received at least a modicum of respect from the press.

    Will the press now hide behind “respect for the office,” and take a hands off approach to President Trump,…

    or do they have the courage to simply tell the truth about this thoroughly dishonest and disrespectable man?

    Do the members of the press corp now value their very substantial salaries, their fame, and their comfortable lives

    more than they value the well being of their fellow citizens,…

    and the survival or our world?

    I hope I’m wrong,…

    but I’m betting they’ll play it nice and safe,…

    while President Trump lies and lies and lies,…

    and dismantles the health and well being of this nation.

    Meanwhile, his fellow .1%ers had best pay attention to the fact that Trump only “deals” with you,…

    if he LIKES you,…

    and his fellow Republicans had best realize that despite his seeming agreement with them,…

    Dishonest Donald is a party of one.

    In every instance, his schtick is to try to make dishonest deals where he takes advantage of,…

    gets the better of,…

    and makes a killing at the expense of,…

    the people he’s “dealing” with.

    This is his personal definition of a “great deal,”…

    and exactly the deal he expects to make with the American people,…

    especially his white working class followers.

  8. Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 01/20/2017 - 06:59 pm.

    Kinda funny how people are reacting…

    I am going to put something controversial out there…

    Trump is smart.

    He said ‘carnage.’

    Now he has a good chunk of America explaining how good we have it.

    Takes the life out of the protests, doesn’t it.

    • Submitted by Bill Phillips on 01/20/2017 - 07:30 pm.

      hmm, missed your point

      He is a smart man, although perhaps more ethically challenged than most of our prior presidents, but I’m not sure of your point. He claims there has been carnage over the last eight years, without regard to any of the metrics noted in Eric’s article. The protesters see carnage coming in the future, so I think there’s plenty of life for the protests in the days, months, and years to come. We’ll see.

    • Submitted by Ed Day on 01/20/2017 - 08:05 pm.

      Taking the bait

      And this is obviously bait.

      The “carnage” of the last eight years that change-agent Trump is referring to includes:

      Taking an economy from the brink of collapse to painfully slow growth;
      Relatively less military conflicts;
      20 million more people accessing health care;
      Gay marriage;
      Black lives beginning to get noticed.

      So there’s really nothing to protest.

      Trump is quite smart in terms of saying things to energize his supporters. That’s an uncontroversial statement of fact.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 01/20/2017 - 10:34 pm.


      His plan is to take away the good we have and create ACTUAL carnage amongst the poor, the sick, and the non-white, nah, not so much.

    • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 01/24/2017 - 09:38 am.


      On Kerri Miller’s show on MPR this morning… below are some responses after she played the Trump ‘carnage’ quote from his speech …


      ……Unemployment is lower than it was eight years ago

      ……It was wrong for Trump to say ‘carnage’ because it will keep businesses away from our vibrant cities

      ……Inner cities are doing better than people think

      Kerri is doing what I am assuming many hosts are doing around the country this morning. She is providing Trump’s counter argument to people protesting about how bad it is to live in America.

  9. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/20/2017 - 07:38 pm.

    Let’s be honest

    “The essence of Trumpism is to invite Americans to exaggerate their grievances, ignore their blessings, then promise to solve their problems without putting out concrete plans to do so.” So how is it different from what Obama did 8 years ago? Remember “Hope and Change?” And if Trump accused Obama of being a bad President, so did Obama towards Bush.

    When Trump used the word “carnage” (and that is an idea, if not a word, that he used many times before), he, at least in my mind, did not mean comparing America to other countries but comparing it to America from some time ago. And if one does that, it is clear it is pretty close to the truth. Let’s analyze some numbers.

    The unemployment rate is indeed down… because the labor participation rate is down, lowest in 50 years. Crime rates are down but they were going down every year since 1991; however, if one looks at murder and rape rates, they are up in 2015 almost to the level of 2009. And I am not even talking about the murder rate in Chicago… And sure, more people have health insurance but only on paper because they cannot afford their high deductible. Plus, let’s take terrorism into account, too…

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/21/2017 - 08:36 am.

      If America is carnage!

      What is Syria, Mosul and Congo? The simple point is: The constant miss use of words relative to their definition sooner or later means they have no common understandable meaning. We can analyze all the numbers we want, but as with words, seem lots of folks want to scapegoat the numbers. The (evil government Dept of labor) has been reporting since 1884. Are you are saying is they have it all wrong!

      Perhaps there is an asterisk: The labor force participation rate is dropping because boomers are retiring! A second * could be that folks have given up looking because their skill sets are no longer applicable to the present economy, so what we heard yesterday was, we need to dumb down the economy for these people to get jobs.

      Drop the insurance issue I’ll admit defeat): The “R’s” and new CIC got that all fixed already. Just ask them. Everything will be wonderful, now lets see what the definition of wonderful looks like, Suspicion forn this end says it will look like carnage!

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 01/21/2017 - 02:39 pm.

      Yes, let’s be honest

      Someone always responds to the drop in unemployment under Obama by bringing up the labor participation rate. And the response to that response is always that it’s complete and utter nonsense. The labor participation rate has been dropping for decades and will continue to drop, mostly as a function of demographics. It has almost no relationship to the drop in unemployment rate. Bringing it up is just a way to district from the fact that unemployment dropped significantly under Obama after going up under Bush (after dropping under Clinton and blind up under the first Bush).

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/21/2017 - 07:58 pm.


        Mr. Wagner, I specifically said that comparison was to America itself, just at a different time. As we all know, everything is relative in this universe… But I agree with you that we (and politicians, and the media) misuse words all the time to add to the impression they are trying to make. For example, if there is discrimination in America, what is in Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe? What was in the former Soviet Union? As for labor force participation rate, statistics show that there are more people on disability now than before – how can that be explained?

        Mr. Terry, you cannot say that labor participation “has almost no relationship to the drop in unemployment rate,” because the fewer people are looking for jobs, the lower unemployment rate will be. So regardless of why the labor participation rate is lower, unemployment rate now and 8 years ago is not based on the same statistics; in other words, we are comparing apples and oranges… If among 20 people two are looking for a job, the unemployment rate is 10% but if two of 20 quit looking, for whatever reason, and one of them is the one who was looking, the unemployment rate drops to 5.5%… without anyone finding a job.

        • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/21/2017 - 09:00 pm.


          Eric doesn’t like a good % of my responses so I’ll try to tone them down.
          Why should we compare to Saudi Arabia or Zimbabwe? We are, (were) the world leader up until Friday, in freedom and equality. There is an old business saying, if you are looking behind you at the competition, you aren’t confident in your strategy! There is another business saying actually a life principle, there are things you can control, there are things you can influence, and to be perfectly honest, politics in either Saudi or Zambia are way out of my influence capability, much less control. However here in America, minuscule influence, but possible, seems a lot of women here and around the world made one “H” of a statement today. However Trump is too arrogant and narcissistic to take a hint. And Yes, that came from a Dr. In Psychology.

          No, in Trump’s world and his followers, everything is not relevant, especially facts: Specifically the point of this article: Specifically when there are pictures of the turn out yesterday and the press is accused of misreporting! As above, up until Friday, America was a global leader a beacon of hope, now, from this vantage point we are under the guidance of a fascist, and yes when you look at the 14 points of fascism, Trump and gang are doing a wonderful job of ticking them off.

          • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/22/2017 - 12:01 pm.


            We shouldn’t compare ourselves to Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe but it was you who first brought up Syria and Congo. That is why I (and hopefully Trump) compare America now to America before – that is how progress is measured for leaders. And as I said, in the last 8 years we regressed: The world does not look at America as a leader anymore and ignores its interests and desires and cohesiveness of our society is way lower now than it was then. So no, we were not the world leader up until yesterday nor do you know what will happen tomorrow. By the way, even in freedom and equality we were not the leader according to Sanders who wanted us to be like Denmark…

            What kind of statement did all those demonstrations make? That they don’t like what they don’t know? Trump has not done anything yet as a president and they are already protesting? Or are they warning him not to do things they don’t like? But they were not his voters anyway… and never will be so it may be logical for Trump to dismiss them. And please don’t use that “F” word – it doesn’t prove anything.

            As for Trump feud about inauguration attendance, it is silly in my mind, but what do you think about MLK bust disappearance reporting?

            By the way, if you comments were not posted, it’s not Eric’s decision…

            • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/22/2017 - 08:34 pm.

              One more try!

              The comparison was relative to the word carnage!
              Precisely the point America before: Do we really have to go back there again and again and again and again? Best economy in ~ 20 years (repeat) BEST ECONOMY IN OVER 20 YEARS.
              World leadership, you and Trump share the same perspective. We clearly disagree. However, given Trump’s speech he clearly wants to get out of the global leadership role, and apparently you agree, so be it. But please explain how the world does not look at the US as a leader? LAst I checked oil was still bench marked to the dollar.

              Please be specific where have we regressed? We got plenty of facts indicating progress. Ironically though you come across as a hard right conservative: meaning by definition conservative=regress keep things the same, turn back the clock, you should be happy, that we aren’t progressive!

              So Saunders wants us to be like Denmark, should we do some quality of life statistical comparisons to Denmark Bet is Denmark will come out ahead on the majority.

              Lets be honest: Many, many,many of us have watched all the debates, followed all the news, we know this guys stripes, and they aren’t changing, there are very strong reasons we didn’t vote for him, and are extremely, extremely cautions about anything the guy says, his track record is almost 100% BS, be real do you think us folks just cracked out of the egg shell, we have spent our entire lives dealing with these shysters. The statement made in case you missed it: Mr. Trump there are two things we believe about you: Basically anything you do is probably not good for us, and almost everything you say is a lie; He has a 1 year plus track record, what you think none of us have been listening?

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/23/2017 - 01:53 pm.

                Not Sure

                I think many would disagree that this is the best economy in 20 years and that the USA is the World Leader. I am guessing that is why so many people came out to vote for Trump, even with his flaws.

                • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/23/2017 - 02:06 pm.

                  Disagree all you want:

                  Statistics and facts are facts, unless of course we can all have “alternate facts”! Feel free to prove otherwise. Unemployment rate, GDP, Stock Market, home foreclosure rates, what numbers do we want to use, Gun sales?

                  • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/23/2017 - 08:57 pm.

                    Facts and Data

                    Here are the various unemployment measures.

                    Incomes of the lower 50%

                    Now if I was a worker who wanted a good manufacturing job and opportunities to advance. I would find our low wage service economy very frustrating and would vote for people who promise real change. Those I mention elsewhere in this post.

                    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/24/2017 - 11:52 am.

                      Lets not Cherry pick OK (Thats cheating)

                      Official Unemployment rate 4.7% Nov 2016 , Nov 96 5.4 % unless my math is wrong 4.7 is a smaller number than 5.4! Us Unemployment same dates 5.7 vs 6.4, again is my math wrong? The U-6 number is the same 9.3:vs 9.3 So the point is what 2 out of the 3 indicators are better, 1 is equal, meaning the economy is worse? :

                      The one on Incomes of the lower 50%! Are spots changing? The article starts out with 6 decades of trends, exactly what folks like me have been pounding on for ever, “rich:richer, poor poorer” but if you are a Trump supporter you again said lower the taxes on the wealthy, come on how many times do we have to go over this? It also doesn’t reflect the state of the economy. Now if I were a worker that: canb be used with most any job, etc. etc. maybe one needs to go out and rev-up their skill set. Please no crocodile tears for folks that want it all but aren’t willing to do anything to improve their own fate. Seems you are really taking on a lets socially engineer the economy so low skill folks don’t have to up their game but can still live high on the hog in the middle class? This isn’t where you have been for months and months and months. New spots?

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/24/2017 - 11:48 pm.

                      No Cherries

                      My sources have decades worth of data that dispute your original comment.

                      “Best economy in ~ 20 years (repeat) BEST ECONOMY IN OVER 20 YEARS”

                      Now I am not saying it is bad… But it sure isn’t much much different than ~11 years ago. And for the many manufacturing people who have lost their higher paying jobs over the past 11 years and now have to settle for low paying service industry jobs… I think they believe it is much worse.

                      I assume that is why after 8 years of mixed results, they really wanted to have some hope and see some real change.And with the pipeline approvals, it looks like they are getting it.

              • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/23/2017 - 07:53 pm.

                Me too

                Let me start with the obvious: If economy were as good as you think it is, Clinton, as a continuation of Obama, would have been elected in a landslide but just the opposite happened which means that people thought economy was bad (“it’s the economy, stupid!”) And economy cannot be that great if labor participation is at 50 year low (which is why unemployment is low, by the way), average income is down, the number of poor is up, home ownership is down… as for stock market, I would say it helps only rich people, right?

                America doesn’t hold world leadership anymore – just think about the conference about Syria which was agreed upon without America and after so many unsuccessful American attempts… Or check what the entire Middle East thinks about America and its past leadership… And Iran and China have been talking about not using dollars… As for regress, it’s enough to look at racial relations in the country – almost everyone thinks that they got much worse.

                And yes, we can compare us to Denmark… for example, how much Denmark spends on defense because we pay for that or how diverse Denmark is… Denmark is a monarchy and has a government-supported state religion and church of which 80 percent of Danes are members (who pay on average 1% of their income to this church). All Danes pay 8% minimum tax – regardless of income – while there are only two tax brackets after that – 6% and 21% (which is way less than Americans pay) so to compensate for that, there is a 25% flat VAT, or sales tax in layman’s terms, meaning that, again, everyone, whether rich or poor, pays this tax when buying anything; clearly, the Danish system is relying on taxing the poor much more than the American one.

                • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/24/2017 - 12:05 pm.

                  You too what?

                  The point was statistically speaking (measures), please show the numbers, not the assumptions and opinions, that’s like arguing if its gray or grey! World leadership? One data point does not make a trend, but I will agree Trump plans on turning the US into s Banana Republic, we agree.
                  Denmark, the point was quality of life? Seems folks like you struggle like “H” with that concept. Minnesota has a higher quality of life than Mississippi (yes we can support that with all types of survey data and health statistics etc.) if you believe in that type of thing. But we pay more taxes for certain things than Mississippi does, parks recreation, art police protection, schools, health care etc. etc. is not “Quality of life” what its all about? So the easy answer is some folks really believe in that preamble thing
                  “in order to form a more perfect union” and see the world not in terms of me/you, but us and we. How do we make a better world for us, and if 2% more tax yields a 3% improvement in quality of life that is a good deal for us, even though on some particular issue I may only get 1.5% for me.

                  • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/24/2017 - 07:12 pm.

                    Me too – one more try…

                    Voting against Obama is a fact that proves practically 100% that people do not see economy as good (and all the polls confirmed that before election). All the statistics I cited is real and I checked it before but here is one source: and I am sure you heard that the number of people on food stamps is way up. I do not say things I am not 100% sure. And a world leadership failure is not one point – it’s a common knowledge You may talk about Denmark’s quality of life but I pointed out that there are objective reasons behind that that are beyond our control (if anything, Trump wants Denmark to pay more for its military) so comparison is just not fair. And as I said, they think that everyone must participate by paying taxes, unlike many people in America. As for “us” vs. “me,” that sounds great but you and I are still a part of “us.” I am fine with paying taxes… if they improve lives of those who deserves it.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/25/2017 - 07:40 am.

                      The reality is many people see the economy as good and that it is fine. All it takes is for a significant chunk of the Moderates in certain States to be suffering to change the election results.

                      I am not sure why folks want to paint it as good or bad… I would say okay /mixed.

                    • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/25/2017 - 06:39 pm.

                      I agree

                      Economy has objective and subjective aspects. For an unemployed person who can’t find a job for a long time and has to declare bankruptcy, move to a small apartment, etc., economy is bad no matter what the numbers are showing. And if there are enough of those people in specific states, the election results will follow. But there are also objective numbers which tell the story. I would not say that economy is terrible or very bad but I will never agree with those who say it is the best ever thanks to Obama either.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/26/2017 - 09:40 pm.

                      Agreed. It is good to take over at the bottom of a business cycle.

                      Of course that bodes poorly for Trump. 🙂

  10. Submitted by Lyn Crosby on 01/21/2017 - 08:04 am.

    essence of Trumpism

    Yes, his greatest skill seems to be exaggeration — yesterday I was watching the inaugural events off and one, MSNBC was just talking about how many fewer people were in the bleachers, on the mall, etc., especially compared to BOTH of Obama’s inaugurals. Ten minutes later Trump is speaking about how “full” all the events were, saying “we had more people here” – “tens of thousands”. Well I guess that last statement is probably the truest he has said – not hundreds of thousands!!

  11. Submitted by William Beyer on 01/21/2017 - 08:42 am.

    “At peace?”

    Good take overall, but the idea that America is at peace only emphasizes that carnage is our leading export. Ask the people of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Honduras, Somalia, South Sudan about the “low intensity” they’re experiencing. America has always managed to insulate itself from the real carnage in this world. American Exceptionalism is really nothing more than American ignorance.

  12. Submitted by Curt Carlson on 01/21/2017 - 09:25 am.

    A campaign speech

    I studiously avoided coverage of the inauguration, but passed through a room with the inaugural address blaring forth. I only heard a few seconds worth, but it struck me as another campaign speech. Today that seems to be a common observation.

    This screed, and his acceptance speech at the RNC, seem to me to be part of a campaign to convince his supporters that his strong hand is needed to bring back the glory of a mythical past. My question is how long it will take the non-neonazi, non-white-supremacist elements of his supporters to admit they’ve been conned. The true believers will likely never let the facts intrude on their fever dream.

  13. Submitted by Dennis Litfin on 01/21/2017 - 09:29 am.

    Donald Trump has and still does

    offer nothing but glitzy sound bites which attract his fickle short attention-span band wagon jumpers. As Eric said, concrete offerings are still missing from Trump’s rants which he has bantered again and again over the past year and I suppose provide some solace to his followers.
    Compare President Obama’s final press conference, if you took time to watch it, to Trump’s first open press conference. Obama was gracious, as usual; Trump was haughty, as usual. Do you really think that Trump’s persona is one which American and world-wide citizens will respect and give credence to ?

  14. Submitted by Roy Everson on 01/21/2017 - 09:41 am.

    Words as weapons

    Inaugural speeches are historically positive and unifying. With low approval and huge loss in the popular vote, we should expect something besides Carnage and insults for our allies. Insults aimed at harming our democratic institutions. He divides and continues to divide. We no longer expect any truth from him, but he talks so much that millions find truth and hope in that jumble of words. Meanwhile, those of use who are the targets of his words are told to not take him literally.

    Using words as weapons when they should be used to heal. That is what we have signed up for.

  15. Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 01/21/2017 - 10:15 am.


    Well, life expectancy is down considerably for working class people, after globalism, automation and anti union sentiment took most of the good-paying working class jobs away. Wage and benfit theft by stealth suppression is taken for granted by the chattering class, like you must be ignorant, a bigot, a racist and a misogynist if you have a problem with neoliberal economic doctrine that looks increasingly like neo-feudal debt servitude.

    There’s a new housing bubble to go with the stock bubble and car loans and fracking etc. The banks are bigger and control more of the economy. How many veterans maimed by our “low intensity” eternal privatized wars of imperial overshoot? Meanwhile the fields and forests are pretty much in total monopoly corporate control such that bee and butterfly seem on their way to extinction.

    So the state of America depends a lot on what you are willing to look at. Obama doesnt deserve praise any more than Trump is demon incarnate.

  16. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 01/21/2017 - 10:57 am.

    This was a strongman’s speech, calling for people to fear and loathe the country they live in now, to ignore what has been done in the name of social well-being and economic health by the last five or six presidents (he did not excoriate only Obama, folks!). The rhetoric Trump used dug down deeper into his campaign’s ugliness and darkness, with all the implied violence of that campaign and a frightening divisiveness where the United States is split into an “us” versus “them.”

    Most of America was left out of that speech, which was the most chilling inaugural address I have heard in my entire life (I started paying attention to inaugurals with Kennedy).

    Note: The first real act of Trump’s presidency (that we know of; a number of his actions yesterday were not made public!) was to cancel an Obama-administration reduction in the mortgage insurance rates for the average person, a matter of several hundred dollars a year for people at the bottom.

    Somehow, making life financially easier for the Average Joe in America is not a Trump priority. Evidently Trump supporters don’t have mortgages on their homes. and they don’t need all the other consumer protections from Big Business Abuses that the Democrats established.

    I hope the people who voted for Trump will spend some of their energy actually studying what he does, and how much he and his Cabinet really care about them.

    Case in point: A repeal of Obamacare includes a body blow to seniors’ health care, with a serious cut to Medicare: Obamacare has provided free annual flu shots to Medicare seniors (flu regularly kills thousands of elderly every year and a flu shot protects them), and free cancer-detecting screenings, like bi-annual mammograms. Those will be gone, under Trump and Paul Ryan.

    Trump is ignorant of all this detail, of course. God help us all!

  17. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/21/2017 - 07:33 pm.

    We are participants in a grand psychological experiment.

    A person with many of the signs of classic narcissism is in charge of our country. They have fixed opinion of what is reality and are reflexively vicious toward people who view the world in a different way.

    For instance–how many people attended his inauguration–a world-record number of people or fewer than the last three or four ?

    Easily estimated, but his press secretary is sent out to berate the media for their lies and their lying photos. Especially enraging on a day when far more come out to protest our leader’s statements and proposed policies.

    What will happen over the next four years.?

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/21/2017 - 11:32 pm.


      Now I agree that Trump has no problem lying and vilifying the folks who call him out, I am not sure why he does this or why so many people still seem to believe him. I have seen this behavior to a lesser degree from many upper level managers. They seem to believe if they voice their vision of reality enough times, people will begin to believe them. And sometimes this is with positive intent, like the coach telling the losing team at half time that things are bleak but they can still pull out the victory.

      However I find this sentence fascinating: “They have fixed opinion of what is reality and are reflexively vicious toward people who view the world in a different way.”

      After 8 years of listening to the Left viciously attacking folks on the Right, I am just fascinated that someone would say this with a straight face? Maybe this is a psychological experiment to determine how far we humans can go into our own bubbles and de-humanize folks in other bubbles. While believing that we are in some way better and more clear headed.

      As for carnage… I do not know what his thoughts were, however remember that there is a reason why so many previously democratic voters went for Trump. Like canaries in the coal mine they know that something is terribly wrong with the system and change is needed. Obama promised change but doubled down on more government, taxes, regulations, etc. It will be interesting to see if they get what they want.

      • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/22/2017 - 08:39 am.

        The person (and associates) who are doing the attacking are the occupants of the highest office in the land–not bloggers or media figures or commentators on websites. And they are attacking verifiable reality. And it’s not just the hapless press secretary, it’s Trump himself. I challenge you to read the transcript of Trumps comments at the CIA yesterday and not become really worried for the next few years.

        (quote of Trump)

        And I was explaining about the numbers. We did a thing yesterday, the speech, and everybody really liked the speech, you had to right? [applause]

        We had a massive field of people. You saw that. Packed.

        I get up this morning. I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field. I say: “wait a minute. I made a speech. I looked out. The field was…. It looked like a million, a million and a half people.” They showed a field where there was practically nobody standing there. And they said “Donald Trump did not draw well”. And I said “well it was almost raining”. The rain should have scared them away. But God looked down and he said “we’re not going to let it rain on your speech”.

        In fact, when I first started I said “oh no”. First line, I got hit by a couple of drops. And i said “oh, this is too bad, but we’ll go right through it”. But the truth is: that it stopped immediately. It was amazing. And then it became really sudden, and then I walked off and it poured right after I left – it poured.

        But you know, we have something that’s amazing because, we had, it looked honestly, it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.

        And I turn on, with my steak … and I get this network shows an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people.

        Now that’s not bad. But it’s a lie. We had 250,000 people literally around, you know, the little bowl that we constructed. That was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20 block area all the way back to the Washington Monument was packed.

        So we caught them. And we caught them in a beauty. And I think they’re going to pay a big price.

        (end quote)

        You can read the rest of the speech at

        Second, I seem to remember in the not so distant past a certain female candidate and a President of a minority persuasion against whom entire media empires were grown on the basis of pretty personal and vicious attacks.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/22/2017 - 01:18 pm.


          I agree whole heartedly that Trump’s lying and pointless attacks are unacceptable.

          Just as I think Hillary calling Conservative voters irredeemable deplorables was.

          And then we have certain stars and singers saying worse.

          Now what are we citizens going to do about this unprofessional behavior that we seem to be complicit in?

        • Submitted by Ellen Hoerle on 01/23/2017 - 05:19 pm.

          Thanks for directing us to the CIA comments.

          But you didn’t quote the most scary part. The scariest part was Pence’s introductory remarks:

          “Number one, I’ve never met anyone more dedicated to the safety and security of the people of the United States of America, or anyone who is a greater strategic thinker about how we accomplish that for this nation. In fact, to understand the life of our new President is — his whole life was strategy. He built an extraordinary success in the private sector, and I know he’s going to make America safe again. (Applause.)

          And lastly, I can honestly tell you, for all my years serving in the Congress, serving as governor of my home state, traveling cross-country and seeing the connection that he’s made to men and women who serve and protect in every capacity in this country, I’ve never met anyone with a greater heart for those who every day, in diverse ways, protect the people of this nation through their character and their service and their sacrifice.”

          “I’ve never met anyone with a greater heart for those who protect the people of this nation” translates to

          “I’ve never met anyone with a greater skill at lying to people and getting them to believe the lies than DJTrump and that is why I agreed to be his VP and that is why every Republican legislator and senator voted for him because there is no greater power in the world than being able to lie to people repeatedly, with a straight face and when challenged, being willing to double, triple, quadruple down on the lie, to do whatever it takes to get people to believe the lie. The Republican Party will be able to do whatever it wants to do because no will trust the media when it says we are going to dismantle government like it has never been dismantled before.”

          I’ll just leave you with this link:

          But we also learned how Trump is going to get rid of ISIS:

          “But we’re going to do great things. We’re going to do great things. We’ve been fighting these wars for longer than any wars we’ve ever fought. We have not used the real abilities that we have. We’ve been restrained. We have to get rid of ISIS. Have to get rid of ISIS. We have no choice. (Applause.) Radical Islamic terrorism. And I said it yesterday — it has to be eradicated just off the face of the Earth. This is evil. This is evil. And you know, I can understand the other side. We can all understand the other side. There can be wars between countries, there can be wars. You can understand what happened. This is something nobody can even understand. This is a level of evil that we haven’t seen. And you’re going to go to it, and you’re going to do a phenomenal job. But we’re going to end it. It’s time. It’s time right now to end it.”

          Let me repeat that part again:

          “And you’re going to go to it, and you’re going to do a phenomenal job. But we’re going to end it. It’s time. It’s time right now to end it.”

          So what he’s saying is that he expects, after insulting the CIA, that they are now going to end ISIS, because this is all it takes. So when Trump said, “I alone can fix it”, what he really meant was,

          ‘I alone will go and tell the CIA that they must fix it and all I have to do to get them to fix it is tell them they’re going to do a phenomenal job. Because, even though those comments I made on twitter are part of a permanent record, in my mind, they no longer exist and their impact on the decreased morale of the intelligence agencies has now been eviscerated because I have now come before them and told them there is no one who supports them more than DJT. And because I am POTUS, they have to believe me. They have to do what I tell them to do. They just have to.’

          Let’s hope those at the CIA figure out that despite what Joe Biden said, America’s biggest threat is its own president.

          “And you’re going to go to it, and you’re going to do a phenomenal job. But we’re going to end it. It’s time. It’s time right now to end it.”

      • Submitted by Ed Day on 01/22/2017 - 10:28 am.

        Read “They” as narcissists

        I think Neal was referring specifically to the behavior of narcissists with his statement, “They have a fixed opinion of what is reality and are reflexively vicious toward people who view the world in a different way.”

        That would be people who hold firm to their vision of reality despite clear evidence to the contrary. Their self-image based on claims such as,”I am the richest man in the world” (while staring at a 1040 that indicates $30,000) or “my concert sold out the Target Center” while viewing footage of a half-empty lower bowl, is so important to them that they will lash out at those who present them with the evidence.

        To me this is a far cry from you and I calling each other stupid because we disagree on Sunday liquor sales or some other debatable Left/Right issue.

        It’s also different from managers trying to get people to buy in to their vision because, no matter how wacky that vision is, it’s usually a roadmap to potential success that has not yet been clearly disproven.

        • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/22/2017 - 12:02 pm.

          Not much of a difference

          Mr. Appelen has already touched on this but how about Obama’s ignoring the reality of the world and claiming that ISIS is nothing or that his Middles East strategy is working? And everyone who disagreed with him was vilified by Obama and his press-secretaries… Or Clinton’s claims that Libya was a success story… Politicians do it because people buy it.

          • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/22/2017 - 08:49 pm.

            Lots of:

            Please: How did Obama ignore the reality of the world, some examples would be helpful, otherwise it looks like a Trump BS statement.
            Where does this ISIS is nothing come from Brietbart?
            Please again: Show the Libyan connection?
            One final point: Are you claiming that the US should have put boots on the ground in all these situations? And W/O congressional approval?
            Thanks looking forward.

          • Submitted by Ed Day on 01/22/2017 - 10:08 pm.

            Big difference

            You’re talking about run-of-the-mill hype equivalent to George W. Bush standing under a banner that said “Mission Accomplished.” Yes, politicians do things to look good or possibly in the case of ISIS, to keep the public from panicking (and in the case of “Mission Accomplished,” to make people feel good). Point taken, but all of these things could be rationally argued by rational people. (Certainly a part of the mission was indeed accomplished).

            I’m talking about narcissistic personality disorder (or at least that’s what the name I was told), which I’ve seen firsthand in halfway houses. It’s literally equivalent to saying “that shirt is black” when looking at a white shirt. And instead of having press secretaries vilify those who disagree, it’s visceral enough to come to blows.

            The fact that our president has exhibited this behavior during the debates, on Twitter, and frankly, whenever he feels uncomfortable, is alarming to me.

            • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/24/2017 - 07:13 pm.


              Mr. Wagner, not assumptions: Obama called ISIS a “JV” and pretended that it will go away. He similarly assumed that Assad will go away on his own so we don’t need to do anything. Libya and Clinton: And there were many ways to do something in Syria without bringing troops there – Obama rejected all of them.

              Mr. Day, sure, Trump likes himself and what he is doing more than he should to be taken seriously… However, Obama had that feature as well – if I remember correctly, he rarely, if ever, said that he was wrong… Hopefully, Trump will get better in this…

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/22/2017 - 01:09 pm.

          Kind of

          I understand, but unfortunately Trump’s bad habit of belittling and attacking people who believe differently than himself just seems to be the norm for our society at this time. Both the folks on the Left and Right do it regularly while complaining the “the other side” is doing it… Look at Clinton’s name calling of Trump voters during the campaign. How did this become socially acceptable?

          I truly wish Trump would focus nearly exclusively on that vision, instead of getting distracted often like a toddler. On the other hand, are the Liberals willing to consider that vision and evaluate it fairly? Or are they going to keep name calling and vilifying?

          • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/22/2017 - 04:16 pm.

            I would guess you are talking about the “deplorables” comment by Clinton


            You know, just to be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable. But thankfully they are not America.

            (end quote)

            Is this really the same weight as the many and varied documented slurs made by Trump ?

            And for the record


            [the other half] are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.

            (end quote)

            While we all could argue about “half or not half” of his supporters, there is a sizable portion of his supporters whose beliefs are such that a significant number or Americans (and many Trump supporters, too) would find “deplorable” (which simply means “deserving of strong condemnation”).

            Hardly a slur of all of Trump’s supporters.

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/22/2017 - 06:22 pm.

              Yes I do think Clinton’s comments were as bad or worse than Trump’s.

              Trump has said many bad things about Border Jumpers, Illegal Workers, Potential Immigrants from High Risk groups, Other Politicians, etc, but I don’t remember him ever attacking legal US citizens with that type name calling and vehemence .

              And I am sorry, but I am more concerned about all US Legal Citizens than those who are not. I want those current legal citizens to have more jobs that pay better.

              • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/23/2017 - 03:24 pm.

                Of course…

                Clinton did later apologize, and accept blame for a bad choice of words.

                Please remind me of that sincere Trump apology for any mis-statement he has made: still standing by the claim that thousands of NJ Muslims cheered the fall of the tower on 911.

                You are willing to trade the acceptance of known lies for a few right wing goodies you are desirous of.

                The “truth” is almost always the basis for any compromise we may find: “I’m somewhat correct and you are somewhat correct, let’s find a middle ground”. When both sides have their own “truth” and their own “facts” we will always battle to a standstill.

                • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/23/2017 - 05:54 pm.

                  I guess I disagree, it seems to me that often parties negotiate even though they have very different perspectives on reality.

                  Liberals believe the Successful do not pay their fair share and that it harms our society. They believe taking more from the Successful to reduce the negative consequences experienced by the Unsuccessful will help our society.

                  Conservatives believe the Successful pay too much and that it harms our society. They believe that allowing people to experience the natural consequences of their choices will help our society, be they good or bad.

                  And somehow this has allowed us to create the mixed economy (ie middle ground) that we have today. Now of course this negotiation is on going, but it is happening.

                  • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/24/2017 - 08:57 am.

                    Perspectives on reality…

                    Based on your posts over the years I take it that you are an engineer by training, trade or both. Imagine going into a meeting to discuss R&D going forward and the CEO says: “from this day forward this company will use pi = 2 for every calculation and assumption we make”. This is not a perspective on reality this is a plainly known falsehood and every bit of time and energy devoted to anything requiring pi will be a total waste of time until the simple truth is acknowledged.

                    Again last night, Trump tweeted out more plainly known untruths. Apparently none of his family or advisers can convince him that telling the truth is far more important than he realizes or we must come to the conclusion that our newly inaugurated President is a pathological liar and we all must show ZERO tolerance going forward or all manner of disaster awaits us.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/24/2017 - 02:52 pm.

                      What Matters

                      Yes… BS and MS Engrg… Topped off with an MBA and Six Sigma BB… (ie perfect nerd) Now I dislike Trump and his obsession with lying about things don’t matter… “I would have won the popular vote if I had campaigned in California, or those 3 million illegal residents had not voted”…

                      The question is what is he lying about that matters?
                      Since the Congress passes the laws, does it matter?

                      Remember that I dreaded voting for him… But the alternative platform was much worse.

                    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/24/2017 - 04:53 pm.

                      Does it Matter?

                      “The question is what is he lying about that matters?” In the short term, perhaps not, except insofar as it makes him look foolish in the eyes of the world (foreign leaders are going to ooze respect for the guy who goes Yosemite Sam because he doesn’t like the estimate of the size of the crowds at his inauguration). In the long term, I would say it has potentially greater consequences. A democracy depends on trust, among other things. We trust that our leaders, while perhaps not always as truthful as they should be, have some regard for the truth and will communicate with us truthfully. Again, perhaps an aspiration, but we should know that they have the capacity of knowing that we regard their lies as something that should not be happening.

                      The second danger is the desensitization to falsity that will develop if there is no distinction between truth and lies. It puts us in danger of losing our moral compass as a nation.

                      By the way, it would be more amusing for some of us if you were to refer to yourself as a “Compleat Nerd.” As the kids would put it, just sayin’.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/25/2017 - 07:46 am.

                      Please note that I in no way defend Trump’s character, however it looks like he is working hard to check off his election promises for better or worse. I am guessing his supporters will forgive him his transgressions if he get things done.

                      As for “desensitization to falsity”, I think that horse left the barn for both sides quite awhile ago. 🙂

                    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/25/2017 - 09:14 am.

                      “Getting Things Done”

                      In the Road to Serfdom, Hayek talked about “the general demand for quick and determined government action” that is one of the first steps towards the suppression of democratic institutions and the creation of a totalitarian regime.

                      Desensitization to falsity should not lead to an indifference to the truth.

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/22/2017 - 06:30 pm.

              Open Minds

              So are you willing to put the US workers, poor and their families first?

              – Push the Illegal Workers out of the USA?
              – Increase the costs of foreign made product?
              – Demand accountability from our school and other public servants?
              – Reduce the cost of government / taxes?
              – Reduce the regulatory and other costs of operating businesses in the USA?

              Trump’s behaviors may frustrate me greatly, however many of his stated high level goals seem directionally correct.

          • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/22/2017 - 08:15 pm.

            John I’ll bite!

            What’s the vision? And can it connect a few dots to reality? “Global economy” From this perspective, ground zero equals. “Bucky” BuckMinster Fuller, “Space ship earth” We all live on this space ship planet together. If this planet goes to hell, there is no better neighborhood to move too!

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/23/2017 - 09:56 am.

              See above

              See the comment labeled Open Minds for what I think the Vision is.

              • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/23/2017 - 02:25 pm.

                OK: meaning?

                Just so we are clear:
                -Search, arrest, process and deport ~11 Million people, regardless the cost and carnage?
                -Increase the cost of goods from foreign countries sold into the USA, i.e. make it more expensive for Americans to buy goods an services. (Will this increase or decrease demand/ie. good or bad for economic growth? American’s need higher prices on imported goods and services, even though 70% of our economy runs on consumer spending.
                —Curious, what will prevent foreign countries form retaliating and doing the same to us?
                – Demand accountab8ility in education: we aren’t doing it today, meaning what is different tomorrow?
                -Reduce the cost of government / taxes meaning, somehow we get more for less, or less for less?
                – Curious: How does this fit with accountability?
                – Reduce the regulatory and other costs of operating businesses in the USA? So lets pollute more and allow big business to, cheat, take advantage of consumers etc. to a greater degree?
                Are we on the same page? because I don’t see a vision as much as political slogans, how do all these dots fit together, that is vision in my world.
                PS: No I don’t trust business to self regulate, that’s like asking criminals to self regulate. Didn’t we just go through that financial “carnage” back in 07 -08-09 etc, and the environmental carnage in 2010 Deep Water Horizon? How soon we forget.

                • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/23/2017 - 03:25 pm.


                  We want more low end American jobs that pay better. That means:
                  – reduce size of this work force (ie no illegal workers)
                  – encourage US consumers to Buy American and pay US employees good wages
                  – encourage companies to build plants in US

                  Sorry but treating companies as enemies is costing our citizens and country far too much. And allowing Public Employees to have high job security and total compensation while they are failing to meet performance expectations is also harming most citizens. (ie higher taxes / failing support)

                  I agree that there is some risk in freedom, but usually the better results are worth it.

                  • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/23/2017 - 09:32 pm.

                    Come on:

                    Lets not be coy!
                    11 Million: Lets not dance around the carnage, yes we should go rip them out of family settings neighborhoods and communities or not. It’s like business, make the decision and execute, that’s what the Trump voters want in our government, more business type decisions and management.

                    Your statement is a little contradictory: Low end jobs that pay more? Did I miss something, is there a suggestion for a minimum wage hike here?

                    Encourage consumers to buy American, and companies to build in the USA? Again seems I am a Rip-van Winkle, did I miss something? This has been going on since the late 60’s early 70’s? Is there some witches brew cooking about setting price controls/quality controls etc. to ward off foreign competition, are we afraid others can do it better and cheaper? A little dig: Don’t you think Trump should have at least had his Hats made in the USA? That is like so hypocritical, do as I say not as I do!

                    Sorry again: Treating our companies like enemies? Gee, were we dreaming? Obama & GWB really didn’t bail out wall Street, and Obama didn’t bail out GM and Chrysler, etc. etc. and basically against the majority of right wing wishes? S3eems you may have been out here campaigning a while back to let the free market reign, we should have let those companies sink like the Titanic. There isn’t a suggestion here that we should start socially engineering our economy is there?

                    Is it possible to list “Performance expectations” we all have different ones would be nice to get us on the same page? My boss had expectations we would grow the company 20-25% Y/Y/Y/Y/Y and what did were those expectations on, especially when we could statistically show a shrinking market with increased competition.

                    Number of Government workers? 1962, 5.354M , 2014 4.185M Now what we should be looking at is the growth in contract workers, that of course is private sector. We won’t go there, because it ends up back at expectations.

                    “Hiring freezes have “little effect on Federal employment levels,” the GAO said. The report said the freezes “disrupted agency operations, and in some cases, increased costs to the Government.”

                    Still looking for that vision thing: How we do more with less, or what is the less with less?
                    Great Stuff

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/24/2017 - 02:43 pm.


                      Minimum Wages: No change required if we reduce the number of ILLEGAL workers and increase the number of businesses operating in the USA. Supply and demand will drive wages up.

                      Buy American: We consumers chose to buy foreign over the past 40 years and our domestic workers have suffered. Import fees will increase prices and make higher wages in America competitive. Isn’t that what the Liberal voters want?

                      I personally would have preferred if Consumers had just chosen to buy domestic … But they didn’t and so a more expensive mandate may occur soon.

                      Personally I think the Banks and Car Manufacturers weren’t that excited about the bailouts they were forced to endure. And most Conservatives sure won’t for them, especially the GM deal that helped the Union Employees the most.

                      Performance management is challenging, but at it’s worse it is better than what we have today. As for number of employees, please remember to add the huge number of contract employees that the government has on the payroll.

                  • Submitted by Matt Haas on 01/23/2017 - 10:59 pm.


                    If its YOUR water supply that’s poisoned, or YOUR daughter killed on the job due to lax safety standards, or YOUR friend killed by a drug let slide by a lax regulatory regime, or YOU killed by tainted food its all hunky dory? Just taking one for the team right? Please, you know full well you’d be up in arms. You simply think the odds are in your favor, and don’t really bother to concern yourself with others problems. Your prescription is for dystopia, the reason business interests are treated as enemies is because they are. The conservative vision of economics is one of bloodsport, they who cheat best win. Capitalism is built on the notion that the party best able to exploit others is the winner, its what profit IS, the excess value taken from one party by another in a trade transaction. Of course I should treat someone offering me a good or service as my enemy, its the whole point of the game, they’re trying to take me for as much as they can. You’re welcome to fight over the scraps they deign to give you, I prefer to call a spade a spade and attempt to hold them to account as they attempt to further rig the game on their favor.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 01/24/2017 - 02:11 pm.


                      You have a very disturbing view of Capitalism – “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market”.

                      Especially since most people and companies are very brand loyal and interested in long term relationships, meaning that the parties to the transaction find the free exchange of money for goods/services so beneficial that they keep coming back for more.

                • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/23/2017 - 10:12 pm.


                  OK, businesses can’t self-regulate. Why do you think government will do a better job regulating them? And who would regulate government?

                  • Submitted by Matt Haas on 01/24/2017 - 10:41 am.


                    I can fire a regulator who doesn’t do as I like, your side just did, it’s called an election. If let’s say a feedlot poisons your drinking water what recourse do YOU have as an individual. Do you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund a legal challenge? You gonna go beat the owner up? You are powerless, just as we all would be in an environment without regulation. You literally place your life and health in the hands of those with no need to care about either, you literally hold less importantance to them than the dirt in the ground.

                    • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/24/2017 - 07:15 pm.

                      You can stop using a company that you don’t like or investors fire the CEO – those things may happen sooner than the election comes. I never said that there should be no regulations but I don’t like when businesses are considered evil so a government is necessary to check their every step… As we all know, power corrupts and so we should be careful with giving government too much power.

  18. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 01/22/2017 - 06:12 am.

    How to explain the new resident in the White House?…

    …when will the word “unstable” become part of the public vocabulary in relation to our ‘new man’ and all the ways he has yet to abuse the public trust?

    When this nation and the world respond boldly by marching its dissent… watch carefully for the next abuse as when will free speech slip away?…when the media is silenced which essentially was executed by the White House

    Is the hoofprint of instability or tyranny finding a toehold I do wonder?

    • Submitted by Roy Everson on 01/22/2017 - 08:34 am.

      A new era in useful slogans

      “Hoofprint of tyranny” — that’s a good one, a keeper, even if some centaurs may take offense.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/22/2017 - 12:15 pm.


      Hoofprint of instability and thumb of tyranny are not mutually exclusive–history has shown us that, over and over.

  19. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/22/2017 - 07:28 pm.


    Not to defend Trump (and I do think that there are ways for him to improve his behavior, to put it mildly) but the left and the media do not treat him fairly and it is hard to say who started this fight first. Sometimes it seems that for the left Trump is a worse enemy than terrorists or traitors. Can they coexist with him?

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/23/2017 - 09:25 am.

      Who Started the Fight?

      Let’s see . . . on the one hand, you have a politician who lies as easily as most of us breathe. On the other hand, you have those who are exposing and continuing to discuss those lies.

      Coexistence? I suppose it is, after a fashion.

    • Submitted by Roy Everson on 01/23/2017 - 09:58 am.

      You’re close

      No, not a worse enemy, but Trump is clearly a bigger threat than the terrorist community. Terrorists unite the mainstream, sane peoples against them. Trump not only divides us but he will create more terrorists. He is the number one recruitment tool of worldwide terrorism, bar none. His promise to eradicate “radical Islamic” terrorism is a path to a religious war that extremists on both sides lust for.

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/23/2017 - 07:52 pm.

        Danger ahead?

        Mr. Holbrook, do you mean to say that other politicians do not lie?

        Mr. Everson, so you want to say that you can coexist with ISIS but not with Trump? Anyway, how does Trump divide us vs. Hillary who does not but yet called half the country “deplorable?” And how does Trump create more terrorists? One can say that it was Clinton who created al-Qaeda … which didn’t need a call to eradicate “radical Islam” to organize and blow up Twin Towers…

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/24/2017 - 09:53 am.

          Not at All

          I mean that Trump lies with ease, and doubles-down on those lies when he is called out on them. His agitprop people have even coined the term “alternative facts” to rationalize the pattern of lying.

          The constant lying and denial of the truth is a dangerous, but oft-used, practice. As Hannah Arendt put it, “The result of a consistent and total substitution of lies for factual truth is not that the lie will now be accepted as truth and truth be defamed as a lie, but that the sense by which we take our bearings in the real world—and the category of truth versus falsehood is among the mental means to this end—is being destroyed.”

          • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/24/2017 - 07:14 pm.

            I guess it is impossible to be a politician and have difficulty lying with straight face (I know, it is a very pessimistic view but unfortunately realistic). People just notice lies of the politicians they oppose and ignore (or believe) them from politicians they like. Plus, media is not doing much better…But I am all for telling the truth…

  20. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/23/2017 - 08:32 am.

    Sid Rules

    Long time listeners to Soucheray and Reusse’s Sports Talk shows will recognize that the Trump Presidency is a wholesale rip off of Sid Hartman’s legacy as identified by the Soucheray and Reusse “Sid Rules”:

    1. Always set up the loss: make the odds of the events confronting us nearly insurmountable, requiring a miracle performance to overcome the history behind us.

    2. Always offer a ray of hope: so that if we do win we will have had the prophet foretelling our improbable victory.

    3. Keep it local: For Sid it is ultimate loyalty to any former Gopher, for Trump it is us against the world, America First, For me to win, they must lose…

    4. Revise history to meet the needs of your current point of view.

    5. Silence the critics, mock the geniuses.

    6. Throw down the gauntlet to all your adversaries

    7. Follow the law of diminishing goals: what ever you do achieve is what you intended to achieve in the first place.

    Some how I would feel better if Sid was President though….

  21. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 01/24/2017 - 11:30 am.

    Many of Trump’s lies are so glaringly obvious that, yes, the world does wonder if the man is all there, if he has any solid grasp of reality.

    I speak of the lies he made even his press secretary repeat–to disbelief and pity for Mr. Spicer, whose reputation is being destroyed by himself and his boss.with these Trump lies he defends. Crowd numbers: unimportant except to the man who must be The Perennial Winner or (as his father browbeat into him) he’s A Loser. Obama 2009 had hundreds of thousands more than Trump did at the inaugural: Trump tries to establish some “alternative truth.” And makes all the staff around hij contribute to that lie!

    Then, when reminded in this numbers game he himself pushes that he grossly lost the popular vote in November, Trump repeats a huge and very damaging lie: that there were many millions of illegal immigrants voting in the November election. He said that yesterday, people, repeating a national calumny he uttered last month when it was again brought to his attention that he lost the popular vote. We all get it, that he squeaked by with a rather minimal Electoral College tally, that “he won.” But not by much, and that fact he can’t accept. We accept it. Trump seems unable to.

    It’s a president who can’t accept facts, and who really doesn’t bother to dig them out on any issue, that will bring this country down. A president who seems unable to focus. A president who throws snits like a toddler, on irrelevancies. A serial name-caller who dirties our national civic discourse even with his inaugural address.

    A man who actually goes to the CIA on his first full day in office and feels compelled to tell the assembled intelligence community that “I’m a smart person!” (such a statement says the opposite, and speaks to his immense personal insecurity). He actually thought of asking for a hand-count of those CIA people who had voted for him! He didn’t ask the to raise their hands, in the end, but he told them it crossed his mind to do that tyrant thing, and force people to express publicly some false support. He thought of requiring the CIA to lie for him!

    This behavior pattern is frightening. And we have the absolute duty to call it out!

  22. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/25/2017 - 11:22 am.

    Carnage yes really!

    Here comes the carnage:
    EPA black out and shut down, science out the window, rational thinking, down the sewer: Hey lets make all America water like Flint! International relations gone!

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