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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

GOP Debate Tonight - More Crazy Time

Category: GOP Presidential Candidates
Posted: 10/28/15 14:12

by Dave Mindeman

Tonight is another episode of the ongoing reality show that pretends to be a presidential debate.

I have trouble fathoming how the Republican primary electorate can actually believe that its two best candidates are Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

I just cannot take it seriously.

Donald Trump thinks everything in government relates to the best deal. Ben Carson thinks governing and religion are mixable....and that it is necessary to mix them.

I cannot imagine either of them as a real President. Yet there they sit...atop the Republican polls...with nobody even close. It's crazy.

And even though I did not think it possible, Ben Carson is worse than Donald Trump. I mean frighteningly worse.

Carson's ideas can't be explained as anything other than nutty. I watched him do an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday and I struggled (along with Wallace) trying to understand what he even meant. He babbled about how he was going to change Medicare with Health Savings accounts and it made zero sense. Really - zero.

Carson wants to utilize the "smart" people to set up his policies...and Trump watches the news shows to decide on foreign policy.


So, tonight we will probably get to see the Carson, Trump show....and if the past is any indication, it won't matter how crazy they sound or how garbled the policy - because as long as they keep insulting government, they will stay on top.

And so it goes......
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Today's GOP: A Quicksand Foundation

Category: GOP Presidential Candidates
Posted: 09/29/15 12:43

by Dave Mindeman

The rise of Carly Fiorina in the Republican polls is another symptom that the Republican Party has a foundation of quicksand.

Fiorina has no government experience. She obtained her wealth at the expense of the working class. She accomplished virtually nothing during her tenure as the head of a major corporation. She uses doctored facts to try to enhance her record. And she embellishes the truth, or outright lies, regarding many things, but especially when it comes to Planned Parenthood.

The idea that the Republican Party primary voters can admire such a person goes to the heart of the problem in the GOP. They are not interested in actual facts or even real accomplishments. They just want their candidates to say what they want to hear.

You can add on to that quicksand metaphor by noting actions of the Congressional Republican House members and their obsession with ill defined principles and wasteful tactics to accomplish them. The idea that a government shutdown will be the trick to punish Planned Parenthood for undefined and dubious wrongs, seems to fly in the face of logic, especially when recent polling says that 69% of Americans do not want a shutdown over Planned Parenthood.

There is a "spit into the wind" mentality in these Congressional Republicans. When John Boehner resigned, he said he did it for the good of the "institution". He genuinely believed that the course they were on was not good for the country. Yet, the reaction from the conservative wing in the House was childish glee and new plots to continue the trajectory that can lead to economic chaos.

The emerging names for leadership posts are somewhat chilling. Kevin McCarthy looks like the next Speaker, but he resembles more of a weaker version of John Boehner than something truly different.

The Majority leader race seems to be centering on Tom Price, a budget hawk, Steve Scalise, who has troubling connections with racist elements in Louisiana, and newcomer Trey Gowdy, the chair of the select committee on Benghazi and Planned Parenthood super critic. There was a brief mention of Cathy McMorris Rodgers as possibly seeking the post but after a few phone calls to members she dropped out. It was hard to imagine a woman having a chance with this group...especially in this environment.

It is difficult to think of the current GOP as the future of this country. Their focus on petty political stunts....numbers that do not work...made up facts to fit their policies...all of that seems to be the workings of destruction rather than building for the next generation.

Watching the GOP these days is like watching a bad action movie....lots of explosions but no plot whatsoever.
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A Debate Devoid Of Facts

Category: GOP Presidential Candidates
Posted: 09/17/15 12:41

by Dave Mindeman

I sat through that grueling hour upon hour marathon GOP debate last night. And what I take away from it is how astonishingly inaccurate their answers were. I mean don't they know that there are fact checkers out there?

Let's look at the obvious list...

1. Trump says illegals cost us $200 billion a year.

He made that number up. Nobody can find any kind of reference to such a figure. If he had said it will cost $200 billion to deport everybody, then he might have case.

2. Fiorina on Planned Parenthood.

Here's the quote: "I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain."

Pretty gruesome right? There is no such scene in the videos.

3. Fiorina on her HP tenure.

Her quote: "[W]e doubled the size of the company, we quadrupled its topline growth rate, we quadrupled its cash flow, we tripled its rate of innovation."

Nothing quadrupled and the only growth that did occur was because HP merged with Compaq.

3. Trump on vaccines.

Trump goes into the conspiratorial idea that vaccines cause autism. Dr. Ben Carson refuted that on stage. There is no scientific evidence of any link.

4. Trump on Florida casinos.

Jeb Bush accused Trump of trying to influence Florida into adding casinos... which Bush and the legislature defeated. Trump said that he never did any such thing. However, a lobbyist he hired in Florida says it is true.

5. Huckabee on Clinton e-mails.

Huck pompously stated... "None of us are a self-professed socialist. None of us on this stage are under investigation by the FBI because we destroyed government records, or because we leaked secrets."

Although Bernie Sanders has taken on the socialist label, Huck gets the e-mail controversy factually wrong.

Clinton is not a target of investigation (confirmed by the FBI) and she did not destroy government records (she deleted personal e-mails) and leaked secrets is just made up.

6. Trump on Mexico's birthright citizenship.

Trump said that the US is unique in birthright citizenship and that Mexico does not have this. Well, not exactly true. Mexico has citizenship rights for all of their citizens granted at 18 years of age. But any person born on Mexican soil is eligible to obtain that citizenship.

There's an even bigger list, but my fingers are getting tired.
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