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What Exactly Is The ‘Trump Fix’ For The Economy?

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What Exactly Is The ‘Trump Fix’ For The Economy?

Trump economy fix

In Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, it was his frequent, unbridled slaps at Wall Street elites and arrogant, job-busting corporate executives that gave him the “populistic” patina he needed to win. But wait a minute: Who are those guys escorting The Donald into the Oval Office?

Oh, my God, they’re Wall Street elites and arrogant corporate executives! Trump campaigned on the theme of remaking Washington by “draining the swamp” of pay-to-play corporate favoritism and cronyism. But those swamp critters are the very ones who are buying favors from the president-to-be by putting up tens of millions of dollars to pay for his inaugural extravaganza and his transition operation.

The transition team itself, which is literally shaping and staffing our next national government, is a viper’s nest of pay-to-play corporate interests. The teams setting up the various agencies and writing their agendas are dominated by top operatives from anti-worker corporations and from the same Wall Streeters whose casino-style speculation crashed our economy in 2007 and crushed the middle class. Now they are on the inside, deciding who will fill more than 4,000 executive positions and run our government.

Some 850 of these corporate high rollers and lobbyists huddled with Trump early this month for a fundraiser at a posh Manhattan restaurant to pay for putting together his government — and theirs . The room was filled with moneyed elites, such as Paul Singer, the hedge-fund billionaire and extremist laissez-faire ideologue. These are not people who are going to finance any sort of working-class populism; they instead intend to use The Donald’s victory to impose a plutocracy over America.

Pay-to-play is already in full effect, and Trump hasn’t even spent his first day in office. His inauguration is just another opportunity for the plutocrats to buy their way into Donnie’s favor. Of course, Trump had to bring in one of his longtime pals to help him plan such an elite affair. Few Americans have ever heard of Tom Barrack, but he’s going to be a big, behind-the-scenes player in Trump’s Washington.

Indeed, Barrack’s literally in charge of parading The Donald into the White House. He chairs the presidential inaugural committee, overseeing everything from numerous balls to the swearing-in. The four-day affair will, of course, be a Trumpian Spectacular, yet Barrack insists it won’t be outlandishly tacky. “The president-elect,” says Barrack, “wants this to be about the people.”

Sure, Tom — people like you and the other billionaires that serve on the committee.

Barrack is a speculator who runs a myriad of Wall Street funds, real estate ventures, luxury resorts and casinos. Some of the other billionaires who serve on the committee are coal baron Joe Craft, fracking pioneer Harold Hamm, Gail Icahn (wife to investor Carl Icahn) and casino moguls Steve Wynn, Phil Ruffin, Sheldon Adelson, and Adelson’s wife, Miriam. Unsurprisingly, their idea of “the people” turns out to be those privileged ones who will buy the premium inaugural tickets that include access to His Excellency, Trump himself. Those tickets start at $25,000. But that only gets you into the bleacher seats out in right field. For the platinum seats up in the luxurious owners’ suites, the price is a cool million bucks.

What does that buy? An “intimate dinner” with the new vice president, Mike Pence; four tickets to a “ladies luncheon” with Melania Trump and Karen Pence; an elegant “candlelight dinner” with The Donald and his sidekick, Pence; admittance to the black-tie inaugural ball with Trump, Pence, Cabinet officials and other governmental big shots; four tickets for priority seats at the official swearing-in; and priority booking at select hotels — so you won’t have to mingle with commoners.

Barrack expects to raise a record $75 million from corporations and fat cats wanting to endear themselves to the Trumpster.

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com

IMAGE: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to reporters aboard his plane as he travels between campaign stops in Ohio, U.S. September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower is a nationally syndicated columnist and one of America's most prominent progressive voices. His column carried by more than 75 publications across the country. Prior to becoming a writer, Hightower served as Texas Agricultural Commission from 1982 to 1991.

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  1. Lynda Groom December 21, 2016

    The ‘voters’ in their infinite wisdom put Trump in charge. The fact that he feed them a line of bull twaddle to get their vote is beyond the understanding of the average Trumpster. The moneyed elite have been given a great Christmas present that will keep giving for at least the next four years.

    1. Claudiawroberts December 22, 2016

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    2. FireBaron December 22, 2016

      Lynda, “wisdom” had nothing to do with it. He appealed to their most base, visceral feelings. Ironically, the vast majority of those who supported him are the ones most likely to be financially ruined by his economic policies.

  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 21, 2016

    The Trump Economy Fix? This is how it will work:

    1) Set the stage for purported change by making the perfunctory lofty phrases of how things will be better. Use lots of Tweets, wild gesticulations, and plenty of hot air.
    (This step has been completed).
    2) Amplify point 1 by promising to cut off a path for immigrants into the US regardless of how skilled they might be. (PROVISO—If skilled immigrants already here are stuck in low-paying jobs, keep them there). This way the US can close itself off from innovative and creative ways of problem-solving by putting out the Nativists’ sign “NOT WELCOME UNLESS YOU ARE FROM THE RIGHT PLACE”.
    (Already In Progress)
    3) When the manufacturing and oil-drilling jobs don’t materialize, just say “OOPS! I erred”. (To Be Announced Soon)
    4) Most importantly, make sure that the bulk of money generated gets funneled to Donald, his clan, his cronies in Congress and the business world, and that a cut goes to Putin as a thank you. (Comey can be given a tip for his efforts).
    (Already in Progress)

    So, there you have it, straight from the the TRUMP PLAYBOOK inspired by “The Art Of The Shaft” and “CON JOB FOR DUMMIES”.

  3. InGen12 December 22, 2016

    Anyone who’s read The Lost Tycoon and Trump: Revealed will know that Drumpf is completely devoid of integrity and character. He’s always been this way. That will not change. He’s lied, cheated, grifted, scammed so many people and businesses to acquire his wealth. He is NOT a great (or even good) businessman. He had hit a brick wall here in the US (finally) and could no longer get financing from our banks because he scammed millions from them between 1970-2000 and then left them holding the bag. No reputable real estate developer would work with him. No one wanted to be associated with him. The residents of NYC knew this, which is why he only garnered 10% of their vote. Yep, he couldn’t even carry his hometown! And the really, really sad thing is that so many people in this country believed his “hyperbole” and thought having an unqualified business person run our country would be a good thing.

  4. Dan S December 22, 2016

    I will slap anyone silly who thought Trump meant it about draining the swamp. No reasonable person should be surprised by the graft from the President Elect. As a side note I certainly will have better things to do on Inauguration Day than see this fascist baboon sworn in. I don’t want to trash my flat screen

    1. Sand_Cat December 22, 2016

      ou wouldn’t have touch touch them to get them there. Most of them are way beyond “silly.”

  5. Sand_Cat December 22, 2016

    Clearly, “the fix” is in. What are you worried about?

  6. greenlantern1 December 22, 2016

    Remember Hoover’s GREAT DEPRESSION?
    Nixon took us OFF the gold standard!
    Remember his “revenue sharing”?
    ANOTHER “fix”?

  7. Jim Samaras December 22, 2016

    These people have already made their millions! Is it not possible they’re getting into politics to “pay back” America for the opportunities given to them to achieve greatness? The difference between these people and predecessors is that they have already succeeded and the others got into it for profit. Smart people take a wait and see attitude before judging. Isn’t that what you libs preach? It’s time to begin practicing your “tolerance” for a change!

    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 22, 2016

      Such a naive and silly notion. Were you born yesterday to come up with such a fairy-tale assessment like that? Did you attend school or get beyond high school. Such an assertion as yours is an indication of a man who never was required to do serious reading and to write papers in school expatiating on what you read.

      Jim, since you never made a serious effort to educate yourself, let me briefly say that the millions of dollars you gush over that the millionaires and billionaires accrued came largely at the expense of underlings paid chump change, or by forcing others to give up their lands(refer to “Manifest Destiny” and The Winning of the West) and water rights so that those “self-made” millionaires could rape the land and pay dirt-cheap wages in order to maximize their personal gains.
      Jim, I know you have freedom of speech but use that freedom responsibly by educating yourself so that you don’t come across as someone who could care less to become better educated. If you want to join in on a conversation, it might be wiser to listen more than to insist on blurting out something w/o giving much thought to what you wish to say and how to say it.
      It’s hard to have “tolerance” for someone who insists on “my way or the highway”—an approach you favor up to now. Who are “you libs”? Does that mean you are a “con”?
      You’re always striving to force whole groups of people into tight and neat categories, so typical of those who like to stigmatize entire groups.

      1. Jim Samaras December 22, 2016

        Aaron, you sound like an example of the “over educated idiot” that the working man experiences from time to time. While you were reading and writing papers many of us were actually DOING the things that were required to create jobs and a comfortable existence for ourselves. The “underlings” you speak of did so of their own free will and I can assure you not one was there a gun held to their heads to show up every day and do the work they were asked to do.

        1. greenlantern1 December 22, 2016

          Who was the CRIMINAL that led Nixon’s “hard hat” riot in New York City?
          70 Americans, including 4 policemen, were hurt in that!

        2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 22, 2016

          Jim, you sound a lot like the person who abhors increasing his knowledge we common working class people encounter—such as yourself. Is an underdeveloped educational foundation something you aspire to maintain?
          What is “over education”, Jim? Is there some upper limit defined by some nihilistic concept you personally cooked up?
          Jim, if you want to better yourself, part of that includes always seeking to educate yourself—there is no mandated upper limit.
          I hope your parents didn’t teach you that you should stop educating yourself when you reach a certain age. Maybe it’s a hidden message whispered by the GOP to keep you forever in an educational stasis and dead end.

          ““O my Lord! Increase me in knowledge”—This is a passage from Surah 20:114.

          Elsewhere, you’ll find a statement by Abdu’l Baha, one of the Central Figures of the Baha’i Faith, who reiterates a theme, stated in an Islamic Tradition that we should seek knowledge from wherever one may be, even to the point of gathering knowledge from China. That’s a metaphor saying that no one who is able should restrict their education to one subject, one political view, etc.

          Do you get my point?

          1. Jim Samaras December 22, 2016

            Aaron I do get your point! That’s one reason I visit this site and that is to hear a different point of view with an attempt to “educate” myself with a differing opinion. I then in turn express my opinion as I think that’s the way this is suppose to work. The GOP has nothing to do with anything, imo they are a dying breed. The Trump administration brings a breath of fresh air to politics that will last for years to come!

            After having been in retail most of my adult life I’ve run across many educators and highly educated people who couldn’t common sense their way out of a room and I’ve dubbed them over educated fools. To me liberalism is a sort of disease that I find impossible to cure with logic. Many here (note I said many lest you accuse me of categorizing) have book knowledge but no real life experience to draw from therefore their opinions hold very little weight.

            Do you get my point?

          2. Budjob December 22, 2016

            Trump brings nothing but ignorance,fear,and a mentality of a fourth grade student!

          3. Jim Samaras December 22, 2016

            Ignorance and fear TO a fourth grade mentality is what you mean.

          4. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 22, 2016

            Your only point is that you were in retail all your life, and we’re so underwhelmed by that bit of expertise.

          5. Jim Samaras December 22, 2016

            So you admit book knowledge is your claim to fame? I would never have guessed…..

          6. Budjob December 22, 2016

            You could probably warm up to a lot of people,>>>if you were cremated with them!

          7. Budjob December 23, 2016

            Hey Fascist/Nazi fuckface,do everyone a favor,Breitfart is to the right>>>>>way right,visit them,and don’t forget to show them your swastika armband!

        3. Budjob December 22, 2016

          And these “things” that you were alluding to,exactly what were these things you have alluded to? P.S.You are still a racist,Fascist/Nazi imbecile.

          1. Jim Samaras December 22, 2016

            That, Hand….I mean budjob is my business but to be sure I had underlings that did whatever work they were hired to do….willingly for whatever pay that had been negotiated.

          2. Budjob December 22, 2016

            After reviewing some of your posts,I have decided I am in favor of abortion regarding cases of incest!

        4. Sand_Cat December 28, 2016

          You always sound like an undereducated idiot – ignorant and proud of it – so maybe you should devote more thought to that, if you can even do so.

    2. greenlantern1 December 22, 2016

      Remember Nixon’s “hard hat” riot in New York City?
      70 Americans, including 4 policemen, were hurt in that?
      Remember Attorney-General John Mitchell?
      He was our ONLY, jailed, attorney-general!
      Remember Spiro Agnew?
      He was our ONLY VP to enter a plea bargain!
      I have a very large memory!
      I remember!
      My patience has run out!

      1. Jim Samaras December 22, 2016

        Ancient history! Get on the new Trump train old timer as there’s a new sheriff in town. See if you can muster enough “patience and tolerance” as to not give yourself a coronary.

        1. greenlantern1 December 22, 2016

          New sheriff or a Sheriff Arpaio drone?
          Ever hear of fellow Americans Ray Kot, Sunnil Rattu and Martin Caballero?
          They were murdered at Trump Taj Mahal!
          It had one security officer for 11 floors of parking!
          What did IKE, and Patton, do to Hitler’s ATLANTIC WALL?
          What did Joshua do to the walls of Jericho?
          Ever hear of Mexico’s AZTEC EAGLES?
          They were part of the UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE!
          They helped a great American general, General Douglas MacArthur, to return!!

        2. Budjob December 22, 2016

          I just hope with the massive cuts coming to Social Security and Medicare that your Mother and Father are among the recipients! then maybe you will have the opportunity to step over their bodies!

          1. Jim Samaras December 22, 2016

            You are truly a gullible moron if you believe he will do ANYTHING to SS or Medicare other than improve them. Where do a$$clowns like you get these insane ideas? If you say DT I’d like a link that proves it but first look at his website to educate yourself

          2. Sand_Cat December 28, 2016

            “Gullible moron”? More projection by you. Did you have to “think” – I use the term loosely – about that?

        3. Budjob December 22, 2016

          I understand your birth certificate is an apology letter to your Mother and Father from the condom factory!

    3. roguerunners December 22, 2016

      They simply want to rule the world. They want more, more and more. They will never have enough to be satisfied.

      1. Jim Samaras December 22, 2016

        And you know this to be a fact how Nostradamus?

        1. roguerunners December 22, 2016

          As you say…wait and see.

        2. Budjob December 22, 2016

          You sound as if you have a mixmaster shoved up your ass,and don’t want anyone to know it

    4. Budjob December 22, 2016

      Jimbo,I personally have Zero tolerance for fascists and Nazis,and you fit the mold! I woul like to have insulted you,however with your limited intelligence you probably wouldn’t have been offended!

    5. The lucky one December 23, 2016

      “Is it not possible they’re getting into politics to “pay back” America for the opportunities given to them to achieve great wealth?”

      Well anything is possible but given Trump’s history and the usual behavior of billionaires it is unlikely. Their mentality is that their “greatness” means they are entitled.

      1. Jim Samaras December 23, 2016

        And what of Obamas history as a child brought up by a socialist and his experience as a community organizer? We’ve experienced that “usual” behavior and from what I’ve seen has gotten us nowhere. Let’s see where the minds of billionaires who have attained the American dream the American way takes us.

        1. The lucky one December 23, 2016

          We’ve already seen that. It’s always been the rich who have taken this country in whatever direction they thought best served their interests. Trump will take us into a new “Gilded Age” although to be fair we are already there and he will just grease the progress in that direction.

  8. Dr. Samuel Taddesse December 22, 2016

    Trump is very smart! He knows everything and he will fix everything. So don’t worry!

    1. greenlantern1 December 22, 2016


  9. Jim Samaras December 22, 2016

    This is what bothers a lot of people about Trump. He won’t accept a can’t do attitude, or inexperienced, incompetent performance.
    He will get results, it just might not be smooth or pretty.

    Amazing stats: Make sure you read to the bottom… An eye opener! (Or should be!)
    New Mexico
    New York
    South Carolina

    These 10 States now have more people on welfare than they do employed!

    Last month, the Senate Budget Committee reports that in fiscal year 2012, between food stamps, housing support, child care, Medicaid and other benefits, the average U.S. Household below the poverty line received $168.00 a day in government support.

    What’s the problem with that much support?

    Well, the median household income in America is just over $50,000, which
    averages out to $137 a day

    To put it another way, being on welfare now pays the equivalent of
    $30.00 an hour for 40 hour week, while the average job pays $24.00 an hour.

    3. Check the last set of statistics!!
    The percentage of each past president’s cabinet… who had worked in
    the private business sector… prior to their appointment to the cabinet.

    You know what the private business sector is: A real-life business…
    not a government job.

    Here are the percentages:
    38% T. Roosevelt
    40% Taft
    52% Wilson
    48% Coolidge
    42% Hoover
    50% F. D. Roosevelt
    50% Truman
    57% Eisenhower
    30% Kennedy
    47% Johnson
    53% Nixon
    42% Ford
    32% Carter
    56% Reagan
    51% GH Bush
    39% Clinton
    55% GW Bush
    8% Obama ***

    ***This helps explain the bias, if not the incompetence, of this current

    ONLY 8% of them… have ever worked in private business! That’s right!
    Only eight percent – the least, by far, of the last 19 presidents!
    And these people are trying to tell our corporations how to run their

    How can the president of a major nation and society, the one with the
    most successful economic system in world history, stand and talk about
    business when he’s never worked for one? Or about jobs when he has never
    really had one? And, when it’s the same for 92% of his senior staff and
    closest advisers? They’ve spent most of their time in academia, government,
    and/or non-profit jobs or as “community organizers.”

    1. Eleanore Whitaker December 22, 2016

      Hey Rock Star…He does accept “can’t do” moron. As in he can’t do the right thing and pay his employees and contractors. He can’t do anything this relates to honor, responsibility or morality. He can’t do anything that doesn’t put money in his bank account no matter how he has to steal it from others.

      Your day of reckoning is coming. He’ll be sworn in to this oath pallie: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

      You better make sure you have your rock star pathetic earnings under your mattress.

      Being a billionaire is not smart. Einstein wasn’t a billionaire jerk. He was smarter than Trump, Tillerson or Adelson will ever be. Get a life you loser bum.

      1. roguerunners December 22, 2016

        A rock star? Not. A wannabe maybe.

        1. Eleanore Whitaker December 23, 2016

          rofl…I so agree…a pretender wannabe in league with another failed wannabe…Ted Stugent and Kid Rocks-in-his-Head.

          1. roguerunners December 23, 2016


    2. Eleanore Whitaker December 22, 2016

      Hey moron..YOu posted it without any unbiased substantiation. Get it or make a jerk of yourself yet again.

    3. Bill P December 22, 2016

      Once again you either distort or don’t understand the statistics you quote about “10 States now have more people on welfare than they do employed!” Here is what William Baldwin the author of the Forbes article that is being misinterpreted by you. You are basing your comment on a table that Baldwin created that had 6 columns – State, Total Employment, Private Employment, TANF program, SNAP program and Medicaid. Someone who is employed and earns less than $2,633 a month (130% less than poverty level) is eligible for SNAP benefits so anyone in the Total Employed column earning $2,633 or less can collect SNAP benefits and could in the Medicaid program. That would be triple counting these people so you claim that these states have more people on welfare than are employed is totally bogus. Here’s a link to an article that shows how your claim is based on this misinterpretation – http://www.factcheck.org/2013/01/death-spiral-states/

      Since you are interested in welfare – “here are the states that get more than $2 back for every $1 in taxes paid: Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia, Hawaii, South Carolina, Alabama, Maine, Montana, Alaska, Virginia, Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky and Vermont” Of the 14 states 11 of them are red states.

    4. The lucky one December 23, 2016

      “He won’t accept a can’t do attitude, or inexperienced, incompetent performance.” Not in others but he is very forgiving or in denial about his own shortcomings.

  10. Eleanore Whitaker December 22, 2016

    OK, KS, IA, LA, TN, SC, NC and WVA…all crying poverty. ALL Republicans states. All want you to go back to using coal to heat your homes so they don’t have to get an education for a job that is 2017’s most prosperous.

    Hicks…they are lazy bums who don’t want to work, don’t want to have to learn anything knew that might be beneficial to their health and well being and most of all don’t know how to shut their stupid mouths.

    Trump will fail. He’s had over 150 lawsuits against him and almost as many fines for violating laws. He dares violate ONE single Constitutional law and any citizen in the US can demand under their 1st Amendment right to have him impeached.

    1. mike December 22, 2016

      Acting stupidly again. Trump the bogeyman, how fun.
      Your Trump Derangement continues, waiting for your next tantrum.

      1. 788eddie December 22, 2016

        Unfortunately for our country, I think Eleanor is right.

        1. mike December 22, 2016

          Not really! She talks a good story but that’s about all.

          1. Budjob December 22, 2016

            It sounds as if VIA your posts that the best part of you ran down yo Momm’s leg!

          2. mike December 22, 2016

            Merry Christmas!

      2. Eleanore Whitaker December 22, 2016

        Awwww…Mikeee doesn’t like truth. I can substantiate what I post. You can’t. That’s why I know you are a liar. In a court of law, the only determination of truth is substantiated proof. You have none.

        Right now, Trump the Hump is about to plan the biggest orgy DC has ever seen. Melania will be doing the nude Wango Tango with Ted Stoogent and Kid Rock will be playing Bull God with Ivanka the Canka Sore.

        You hicks and righties think we are going to let up? You are in for daily doses of bashing..You dished it out for 8 years..NOW you get it back in triples.

        1. mike December 22, 2016

          Provide the data of the states crying poverty. Even you should know it is more complex than you try and make it. Using silly and stupid descriptions of people shows how crass, coarse you have become.

          Looking at the ten poorest states by median household income adjusted for cost of living differences, Maine, West Virginia, Hawaii, Mississippi, Arkansas, Montana, Vermont, New Mexico, New York, and Louisiana. If Washington D.C. had statehood, it would’ve ranked 5th poorest, knocking Louisiana off the top ten list. Of these ten states (not including D.C.), four voted Democratic in the 2012 compared to six tilting right, though there would be a perfect 50-50 split in voting patterns if D.C. was included.
          Here is something to shew your cud on.

          Paul Krugman blogged in 2012 that “Aaron Carroll of Indiana University tells us that in 2010, residents of the 10 states Gallup ranks as ‘most conservative’ received 21.2 percent of their income in government transfers, while the number for the most liberal states was only 17.1 percent.”

          I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Sorry January 2017 won’t turnout the way you had hoped. Honestly, no I am not. We dodged a bullet. There is a God.

          1. Budjob December 22, 2016

            No there isn’t a God,or,he wouldn’t have saddled us with that insane Bastard that you so revere! P.S. were your Mother and Father by any chance cousins??

          2. mike December 22, 2016

            But there is a God!
            Thump beat the smartest, most qualified women ever, who spent a billion plus, had Obama on the campaign but she still lost. The so-called insane Bastard beat her. End of story.
            And you think your sane. I don’t think so.

          3. The lucky one December 23, 2016

            “We dodged a bullet.” maybe, but we jumped into a minefield to do it. “There is a God.” Nah, or he/she does not take an interest in US politics or we would have had a better choice than the two demagogues that we were stuck with.

          4. mike December 23, 2016

            It’s an expression. Lighten up!
            You can think and say what you want but it doesn’t change the huge loss of power. In 6 years Dems lost House, Senate, Presidency, 12 Governorships and 800+ Legislative state seats.
            Even after losing house, senate, state governments your party totally missed the mood of the country this election cycle. Greatest loss of power going back to late twenties.
            Merry Christmas!

          5. The lucky one December 23, 2016

            Yes, as is my reply, take your own advice. The essential flaw in your comment is ” YOUR PARTY totally missed the mood of the country”. I am not a Democrat. The corollary to that is that in no way is my contempt for Trump an endorsement of Clinton. Neither is what our country needs as prez but Clinton is now irrelevant so the focus is on the grifter Trump. I don’t believe he was elected because people have faith in him. They just had a greater aversion to Clinton.
            Happy Hanukkah.

          6. mike December 23, 2016

            If you are Jewish back at you. Years ago in college a good friend and Jewish and I got into a religious conversation and after much discussion we decided in the end one of us is getting screwed.
            In some ways you are right. My vote was strictly against hillary, her continuation of Obama’s failed policies and her ability to nominate for SCOTUS.
            But I will give him a chance.

          7. The lucky one December 24, 2016

            Not Jewish, or any religion really, but I respect everyone’s beliefs until they begin to intrude into my life. I’ll celebrate any holiday. I don’t believe in any afterlife but if I’m wrong the “eternal reward” must be based on how we lived our life rather than what religion to which we claimed allegiance.

            So anyway, no politics today. Enjoy tomorrow as a celebration of life. Cheers

          8. mike December 24, 2016

            Not being religious is fine and I promise not to pray for you. So where did your values come from? How were they formed.

            I wish you much joy and happiness this Christmas Season.
            May the coming New Year be the best ever for you and yours.
            Merry Christmas!

          9. The lucky one December 25, 2016

            I think that no one has the right to dictate to another how they should live their life, what they can do to their own body, what they ingest, what practices they follow, who they mate with etc. When any of these choices produce demonstrable harm to another person that person has the right to resist. I realize that is a simple formula but to discuss that issue fully would take many pages and still not be settled.

            “where did your values come from? How were they formed.” That is a difficult question as well but my early values were formed by my parents example and my own experience often by negative feedback form inside myself. An example I clearly recall is shooting a small bird with my new BB gun and feeling the thrill of hitting my target quickly turn to sadness over the result of my action. Similar experiences guided my early value formation and I have continued to rely on my inner experience as a guide for “proper” behavior. Later on I became very interested in philosophy and questions of being. Some of the writers I studied came from religious backgrounds but many did not. That’s maybe more than you asked for not the usual comment on NM but since you asked.

            Best wishes on this day commemorating the birth of a man that taught love as the only commandment.

          10. mike December 25, 2016

            Merry Christmas! I have better things on this day of the birth of Christ than bantering with you.
            So your parents were never Attended church or followed a religion. Right!
            Any response to the rest of your post or to my post today will be answered tomorrow.

          11. The lucky one December 25, 2016

            No problem. I really didn’t expect any response today or ever unless you wish to do so and share your sentiment regarding our conversation but I have a little time before celebrating today the best way I know with a long walk in nature.

            My parents attended catholic church as I did until about age 16. Religion or its dictates were seldom if ever discussed in our house. They lived IMO good Christian lives practicing kindness, tolerance and generosity but never preached. I don’t know how much religion inspired their values but I suspect very little with my dad but probably somewhat with my mom.

            Merry Christmas.

          12. mike December 29, 2016

            I suspect your parents were influenced by religion more than you want to believe and they passed those values on to you.
            We never discussed religion in the home but we did practice our faith.
            Happy New Year

          13. The lucky one December 30, 2016

            We are all influenced by the culture we grow in so religious myths and practices influence all of us to some degree. I’m no exception I’m sure. Very early on I became interested in mythology and read extensively in Greek, Roman & Norse mythology, Norse being my favorite. I think my beliefs were influenced far more by that than by the bible, which I also read a considerable portion of.

            I have always, since my teens, depended far more on my direct experience to form my values than any dogma. My reading has been focused on how particular individuals grappled with life and how they came to understand meanings revealed by their experience. I know some have relied on religion as a compass to orient themselves and find meaning but many have just used it as a crutch to avoid any critical thinking on their part. Whatever gets you through the night, as long as you don’t try to impose it on others. (By “you” I mean anyone).

          14. mike December 30, 2016

            To each their own.
            I will take you at your word.
            So the Ten Commandments have played little to no role in your life! Right?

        2. mike December 23, 2016

          You’re ignoring my request to substantiate your claim ” states crying poverty.” Time to put up or shut up.
          You crack me up with this republican state baloney of getting back more from Feds. and calling them lazy, etc.
          Only in your vacuous head are people in these states all voting republican. So no one votes democratic in these “red states”, Right? Could it be that most welfare participants vote democratic? Since you are the true maven on all things I know this will be a piece of cake to refute.
          I noticed in my earlier post with a Krugman comment you ignored it too.
          Merry Christmas!

    2. Robert A. Clemons December 25, 2016


  11. Eleanore Whitaker December 22, 2016

    The reality is that none of the Republican states crying poverty have any right to that claim. Every Republican state takes 65% of annual revenue. They get back from $1.35 up to Alaska’s $1.87. Texas is No. 2 at $1.78 for the $1 they pay in federal taxes.. Compare that to the ROI Dem states get…an average of 55 cents for the $1 we pay in federal taxes.

    Sorry, the time has come to start putting Republican states back on their own state funding. It is as easy to do that as returning ALL of the SS, Medicare and Medicaid payroll deductions back to Dems states who would then benefit handsomely instead of going broke trying to work our butts off to keep lazy bum Republicans in AK-47s, welfare, food stamps and billions in for profit prisons, military (VA is No. 1 and takes 52% of the 57% alloted for defense funding.) Big Oil, coal mining, Big Agri and fracking.

    There is NO reason these hicks should to work as Walmartians and then supplement their incomes with welfare. That’s BS.

  12. The lucky one December 23, 2016

    “Trump campaigned on the theme of remaking Washington by “draining the swamp” of pay-to-play corporate favoritism and cronyism. But those swamp critters are the very ones who are buying favors from the president-to-be…”

    More than anything else the reaction to this from his followers will show whether they were truly rejecting establishment politic as usual by voting for him or were just hopelessly ignorant.


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