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Blind Faith

By The Reverend Published: May 30, 2016

As Both-Siderism has it, there are equivalent intra-party political battles within each of the two major parties this cycle. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Donald Trump, a reality teevee show celebrity, is the evidence that the Republican Party, also known as the GOP establishment, has been soundly rejected by GOP voters. Republican primary voters rejected every establishment primary candidate....allegedly because establishment Republicans have been lying to voters about what they would do, if elected. No, I don't buy it either, but that's the meme.

What has been striking about the intramural GOP presidential primary process is that political policies have not mattered much to Republican primary voters. "Winning", whatever that means in the moment, has replaced the typical focus in the process on where a candidate stands on taxes, economic growth, foreign policy and the like. Not to worry, says the GOP candidate, he'll guarantee that America will "win" if voters choose the teevee celebrity as their president....and that seems to be good enough for the angry base voters who made Trump the party's nominee.

Republican voters who cast their lots with the reality-teevee celebrity do not seem to care that their candidate flip-flops on policy answers within the same 24 hour period, or that he lies just as often as he tells the truth, or that Trump has no knowledge or experience, whatsoever, that would qualify him to become the president.

On the Republican side of things, voters have taken a "blind faith" approach to Mr. Trump's candidacy. Just believe in The Donald....and wait for all the "winning." Trump's campaign has explained that Trump has no intention of informing voters about what he will do as president....until voters elect him president. Campaigning for the presidency, according to the Trumpsters, is not about talking about all that boring policy stuff....it's about entertaining audiences for 45 minutes to an hour with stream-of-consciousness ramblings similar to what one hears from celebrity hate radioers. And then the closing statement about "we're going to win so much"...blah, blah.

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Will U.S. Media "Forfeit Its Decency"?

By The Reverend Published: May 29, 2016

I recommend this piece on the "normalization" of Donald Trump by U.S. media.

Emory University professor Deborah Lipstadt, in her pathbreaking book, Beyond Belief, tells a ....story of how the international press normalized Hitler after he came to power and ignored his excesses. Many American press accounts exculpated Hitler for the early episodes of Nazi violence and attributed it to “overenthusiastic and poorly disciplined followers.” Editorialized one Ohio paper, “Chancellor Hitler, personally, is committed to a policy of moderation.” The Los Angeles Times agreed, opining that once he “becomes more used to his job” – the pivot – he would become less “theatrical.”

Remember: This was Adolf Hitler. In Germany. How do you think the American press will treat Trump if he closes in on the presidency?

That's the question, isn't it?

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FED Rigging

By The Reverend Published: May 28, 2016

The April Consumer Price Index report....

Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 1.1 percent
before seasonal adjustment.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.1 percent over the last 12 months, compared to a 2.2-percent rise for the 12 months ending March.

It seems as if there is still no threat of runaway inflation in the U.S. economy. The 10 year Treasury bond yield stands at 1.85%....basically where it's been for....years. The sluggish economic recovery that began in 2010.....is still, well, sluggishly recovering.

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Make The World Nervous Again

By The Reverend Published: May 27, 2016

What do foreign leaders think about Donald Trump's campaign for the U.S. presidency?

"They are rattled by it — and for good reason," Obama said. "Because a lot of the proposals he has made display either ignorance of world affairs, or a cavalier attitude, or an interest in getting tweets and headlines."

What Obama said in Japan was certainly not breaking news. Foreign leaders and foreign media have been voicing concerns about Trump's, let's say, radical pronouncements, for months. And Obama did not say anything that wasn't true. Many Trump "proposals" do "display either ignorance...a cavalier attitude" or a desire to gain attention from corrupt U.S. media. Trump's devoted followers may not notice these things because that's how it is when you are a member of a cult of personality.....criticism of the Dear Leader does not register.

But political and media leaders in foreign countries DO hear Trump's radical authoritarian messaging. They hear it loud and clear.....and they're concerned, "rattled."

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A Thug Who Will Be THEIR Thug

By The Reverend Published: May 26, 2016

From the moment the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States, free from being deterred by the only other world superpower....began taking steps to dominate all world countries. In other words, 1991 was when the USA dropped all pretenses and fully embraced its god-given right to be the lone thug of the globe.

Sure, American leaders behaved thuggishly before 1991...but the mafia-style, global dominance was, until then, limited to regime changing and dominating Latin and South American countries who resisted our unique form of mafioso capitalism. See: the Reagan administration. With the Soviet threat taken off the table.....U.S. military dominance of all nations of the world was within reach...and that is exactly what our bipartisan foreign policy has been ever since....making all world nations genuflect to American "interests"...or.....else...face the wrath and power of the world's lone superpower.

To way too many U.S. citizens this global military dominance thing was seen as the natural order for an "exceptional" nation like ours. A kind of "manifest destiny" thing, only spread to the entire globe. Citizens soothed their consciences with the entirely false notion that our military dominance policies were for the sake of humanitarian concerns, which, of course, they never were.

As has always been the case, U.S. "wars", wherever they have been launched and no matter the false pretenses under which they were launched, have been waged for the sole purpose of enriching the investor class. American behemoth corporations are constantly in need of more customers, cheaper labor, manufacturing locations without environmental or human rights controls, shipping lanes free of threats from non-exceptional countries, and, above all over the last couple of decades, access to foreign oil reserves.

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A Big "Nothingburger"

By The Reverend Published: May 26, 2016

The State Department Inspector General's report on email practices of Department employees...including Hillary Clinton....revealed these two significant details....

OIG identified more than 90 Department employees who periodically used personal email accounts to conduct official business.

“State’s technology is so antiquated that NO ONE uses a State-issued laptop and even high officials routinely end up using their home email accounts to be able to get their work done quickly and effectively.”

Kevin Drum...while acknowledging that the report says Hillary "broke rules", not laws....puts the IG report in perspective....

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It's Not Just Talk

By The Reverend Published: May 25, 2016

Sebastian Junger made the cable teevee rounds yesterday promoting his new book "Tribe". You can read what Junger says about "over-valorizing veterans" in this transcribed interview. It's a good read. Junger's new book deals with the problem of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).

Junger believes that it is the "society that you come back to" as a combat veteran that is exacerbating the problem of post-traumatic stress syndrome for returning U.S. combat veterans. "Maybe the problem" Junger says, "is not with them (returning combat veterans)...maybe the problem is with us." Combat veterans come out of a "cohesive society"....which is the military, and return to civilian life in America where there is no sense of community, unity or cohesion.

Junger made some very interesting points. But what caught my attention was this....

"the political parties are at each other's throats, we live in racially and economically segregated communities...there are politicians and leaders in media who literally talk about some fellow citizens as if they are traitors. ...as if their rivals literally want to hurt the country. They talk about the president, they talk about members of the Congress and elements of the population as if they are actually trying to harm their own country....People talk like that about their enemy...and when you talk like that, you are dividing your society..."

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Should Democrats Panic? Oh, Hell No

By The Reverend Published: May 24, 2016

One of my favorites....TBogg....has some fun with Salon.com's "sky is falling" approach to Hillary Clinton's presumptive Democratic nomination. If you visit Salon, you know that they have had numerous feature pieces up bemoaning Hillary's almost-decided Democratic nomination. At times, the articles in Salon could have been mistaken for pieces at Fox Nation or RedState...that's how anti-Hillary they have been.

Make no mistake.....there's an argument to be made in favor of Democrats rejecting Clinton and choosing Bernie Sanders as their presidential nominee....but, realistically, Hillary will win the nomination, and she will have done so by winning more primary votes and delegates than Bernie.

As I've been predicting, mainstream media, since Trump's Indiana primary win, have rushed to normalize the candidacy of Mr. Trump. Normalize...in the sense that the Donald is just a typical GOP presidential candidate. He's not, of course....but for the purpose of juicing media ratings and keeping the general election close....that's what for-profit, corporate media have been doing. And they will continue doing it.

The Village has been all aflutter the last few days over head-to-head matchup polls showing Hillary and Trump in a dead heat nationally. I won't try to rationalize those polls away, but instead point to the fact that the Democratic primary contest has not ended yet. Currently, many Democratic voters are still holding out hope for a Sanders nomination....but after June 7th, that will change.

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Telling It Like It Is

By The Reverend Published: May 23, 2016

What many Americans love about the teevee entertainer running for the U.S. presidency is that "he tells it like it is". Candidates who are not teevee entertainers often resort to politi-speak. They say words that make up sentences but the sentences don't really inform audiences about what that candidate would or would not do if elected to office. But not Mr. Trump. He's different.

And, see...Americans are really tired of campaigning politicians who refuse to give a straight honest answer to a direct question. That is what has been so refreshing about Donald Trump. He doesn't do that. Trump speaks his mind with clarity so that when he is done answering a question....by god, you know where he stands.

Let's take, as one example of Trump's unique, uniqueness,...how the Donald handled Hillary's criticism of the straight-talking candidate's speech to NRA members the other day....

Clinton, responding to that speech, said Trump's vision "isn't just way out there, it's dangerous," and noted that while Trump wants to allow guns in schools, she believes "parents, teachers and schools should have the right to keep guns out of classrooms, just like Donald Trump does at many of his hotels, by the way."

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The Man With The Plan

By The Reverend Published: May 21, 2016

Question: In the following Trump statement to a gathering of the NRA, is Mr. Trump pandering or does he really believe in what he's saying?

“Gun-free zones. We’re getting rid of gun-free zones, OK? I can tell you that,” Mr. Trump said in his address to the national convention of National Rifle Association (NRA) — the powerful pro-gun lobbying group in the US — in Kentucky.

The way you would know whether or not Trump was only saying what his gun-addicted audience wanted to hear is if Trump-owned properties are gun free zones, or not. If Trump is a true believer in the 'guns-everywhere' doctrine of the NRA, then it would follow that none of the Trump-owned properties would be gun free zones.

HuffPo's Sam Stein....

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