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What "Gremlins 2: the New Batch" Reveals About the Presidential Race
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A 26-year-old movie that offers a surprisingly direct insight into dynamics of the Republican nomination race is Joe Dante’s 1990 horror comedy sequel Gremlins 2: The Next Batch.

I recall it as being pretty funny, especially the publicity hound billionaire Daniel Clamp, owner of Clamp Center. The moviemakers started off intending Clamp to be the deplorable bad guy, but he winds up helping the kids from the original movie save the day.

Dante told Lou Lumenick of the New York Post recently:

“It was pretty obvious from the name who we were talking about,” says Dante, “though Clamp is also part Ted Turner, since he runs a cable empire as well. Clamp was originally supposed to be the megalomaniac villain of the piece, but he was so oddly endearing, he ended up becoming a semi-heroic figure.”

 
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  1. Come on, Don! Do it so we can really live in interesting times! I underestimated the American love of the theatrical. Trump is perplexingly charismatic

  2. Trump disappoints me with his endless personal attacks. I hate Cruz but if I were campaigning I wouldn’t go on and on about how he’s a “bad guy” and “nobody likes him.” That makes Trump look awful.

    • Replies: @gruff
    Can you imagine a man with Trump's intelligence, confidence and political views (immigration restriction chief among them) who was also courteous and articulate? He'd clean up.
    , @Stan Adams
    Hate is a strong word. Do you go around patronizing people you hate? "I hate you, but it would be tacky to say that out loud. So I'll merely say that you and I have our differences."

    Maybe Trump honestly believes that Cruz is a loathsome loser, or maybe he's putting on a show for his red-meat-eating base. But at least he's man enough to take a strong stand. You know how Trump feels about Cruz. He doesn't leave any room for ambiguity.

    He's not wishy-washy: "The gentleman from Calgary is a wonderful human being, but sometimes conscientious men acting in good faith find themselves in opposition when it comes to formulating effective solutions to certain social and political problems. Regrettably, I feel compelled to register some opinions that are different from those of my esteemed colleague."

    He's direct and to-the-point: "Cruz doesn't know shit from Shinola, and he's a cheating snake, to boot. I'm right and he's wrong."

    It's odd to hear him say such things - in this day and age, politicians are not supposed to talk that way about one another. (In Jefferson's time, they were expected to do so.) But that's because our political discourse is so thoroughly dominated by the feminine passive-aggressive communication style. It's jarring to hear a real man talk in a masculine active-aggressive way.

    I'm not defending everything that Trump says or does - far from it. But at least he errs on the side of honesty, rather than hypocrisy. He doesn't live in fear of every little slip of the tongue. His bluntness hurts him at least as much as it helps him. But it also marks him as a formidable presence in a world full of cowering opportunists and sycophants.
  3. I really liked the second movie, better than the original IMO.

  4. That’s a mighty big cellphone. What’s that curly thing coming out the bottom of it?

  5. I actually walked into Donald Trump while leaving a Knicks playoff game in 1994. Madison Square Garden has these strange attached doorways that dump people directly into one another as you exit. We physically knocked into each other as he has escorting his kids to his limo. I expected to be given a nasty look or told to watch it. Instead, he apologized to me and laughed. This comports with other stories I’ve heard over the years. He paid off some guy’s mortgage when the guy helped his mom’s disable car. Also, my friend, who was an auditor of the Trump organization often crossed paths with him. He said he was pretty much down to earth. From what I hear, DJT treats his employee very well. He is no Leona Helmsley.

    • Replies: @Taco

    He paid off some guy’s mortgage when the guy helped his mom’s disable car
     
    Is this story actually true? Can anyone verify it?
    , @EriK
    Another anecdote, a friend attended a fundraiser (for his boss who couldn't make it but donated a bunch of money) and left with his wife just after Donald left. Trump literally held the elevator for him and his wife. Trump also made pleasant chit-chat on the way down.
    , @whorefinder
    Trump's a man who understands that celebrities have a new persona in the last 50 years, and that is the television persona.

    Caesar could be chummy with a common beggar he ran into and individually offer clemency to his military and political opponents, but in a business dealing, or in the Senate, or with an army behind him, he became vicious. SO too with Trump, except he realizes that television demands a third persona: bombastic entertainer. And so he delivers.

    But I don't really care how Trump acts in his personal life. To steal from and up the ante on Ann Coulter , at this point Trump could privately perform 3rd trimester abortions at the White House while kicking a puppy and burning lupus orphans alive, and we wouldn't care. What we want is the bombastic asshole on TV to be a bombastic asshole on the job and deliver us a beautiful border fence, deport the illegals, and cut our legal immigration to 90%. If he does that, I don't care if he's a hero to his valet or not.

    That's what drags many politicians down: that some private peccadillo/personal behavior is so destructive to their political persona that it ends them. Hilary is paranoid about people finding out she's a cold bitch, Cruz that he's a two-faced liar, etc. Trump has effectively neutralized such a chink in his own armor because (1) the worst possible version of Trump's behavior is already front and center---and so he's innoculated, because any story about his personal behavior will either confirm what we see or else make him look like a better person; and (2) he's running on an issue so beloved by the American people that we don't care if he's not our ideal president---all we care about is that he's the ideal guy at the moment to deliver on it.

  6. Actually I see a closer resemblance between the problematic Gremlins and the supporters of Hillary and Bernie, but without the warm fuzziness.

  7. So the illegal immigrants are Gremlins? I’m not sure this holds up.

    • Replies: @anon
    I remember people used to make certain unkind comparisons to the Gremlins in the first movie, who kept making noise in movie theaters and wouldn't shut up.
    , @syonredux
    Actually, a fair amount has been written about racism in Gremlins:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gremlins#Allegations_of_racism


    https://pr0jectvegan.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/the-racism-we-never-noticed-in-gremlins/

    And one could argue that the film does work as an anti-immigration allegory. Cf, for example, how it shows the snowballing effects of immigration, as we go from a single creature (the cute, cuddly Gizmo) to a veritable tsunami of Gremlins....
  8. Did Samuel L. Jackson do the voice for this particular Gremlin?

  9. What happened to the 2 havebeens?

    They had the best rightist podcast but seem to have stopped?

    Oh, never mind.

    I checked and the havebeens are back.

    Yay.

    http://2kevins.com/archives/343

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Thanks for the heads' up. I had given up on them, figured they'd thrown in the towel.
  10. @SFG
    So the illegal immigrants are Gremlins? I'm not sure this holds up.

    I remember people used to make certain unkind comparisons to the Gremlins in the first movie, who kept making noise in movie theaters and wouldn’t shut up.

  11. I just recall that the actor who portrayed Clamp looked an awful lot like Cy Curnin, the lead singer of English new wave band The Fixx.

    • Replies: @Glaivester
    The actor portraying Clamp went on to play the Devil in Brimstone, and to play Goren's dementia-suffering mentor in LAw and Order: Criminal Intent, and to play Lionel Luthor (Lex's father) in Smallville.
  12. “This looked like a very commercial movie on paper, but I turned it into another quirky Joe Dante movie,” the director says with a chuckle. “It was a critical and commercial flop.’’

    As far a quirky cult movies go, Drop Dead Fred has more Amazon reviews than Gremlins2, which is based on Donald Trump as the villain who turns into the hero.

  13. @Blah
    I actually walked into Donald Trump while leaving a Knicks playoff game in 1994. Madison Square Garden has these strange attached doorways that dump people directly into one another as you exit. We physically knocked into each other as he has escorting his kids to his limo. I expected to be given a nasty look or told to watch it. Instead, he apologized to me and laughed. This comports with other stories I've heard over the years. He paid off some guy's mortgage when the guy helped his mom's disable car. Also, my friend, who was an auditor of the Trump organization often crossed paths with him. He said he was pretty much down to earth. From what I hear, DJT treats his employee very well. He is no Leona Helmsley.

    He paid off some guy’s mortgage when the guy helped his mom’s disable car

    Is this story actually true? Can anyone verify it?

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    The car story is not true according to Snops. However, it is true that in 1986 Trump helped pay off the mortgage on a widow's farm after he was moved by a television reoprt about her story.
  14. “Even ‘The ’Burbs’” — his 1989 comedy-mystery with Tom Hanks — “has a huge cult following thanks to video,’’ Dante says. “I think a lot of it has to do with nostalgia by people who were discovering these movies as kids. People are just crazy about 1980s movies — and it often has nothing to do with their actual quality.’’

    LOL. That makes me think of nothing more than Field of Dreams. I remember they even sold it at McDonalds. It left me feeling warm and fuzzy with an overdose, because hey, if you can convince a black guy to go walk into a fucking corn field, for to hang out with dead baseball players, well of course then the fans will come from all around to see what sounds insane, ghosts playing baseball that is, on some guys farm, because he had built a real field just for them. I mean that fantasy’s got grip my God!

    But grown ups are only gripped that way by music, and they know so. I can’t really enjoy that movie but except when there’s music. Music is art. Or when James Earl Jones tells y0u about baseball and America and about America being the history of basical. Which is warm and fuzzy in a sophisticated way that’s still worthy may I say.

    http://thestake.org/2015/08/10/what-if-donald-trump-is-really-president-johnny-gentle/

    That pegs David Foster Wallace foreseeing Trump on the horizon as well. Rather misses the point of the book however, or rather the debate of the book you could say. Which is that maybe the Canadians are behind this future Trump, that is to say I don’t think DFW was writing about Trump. I think he was writing about what if behind a big joke of a gentle administration were the scheming Canadians. Well that would be a funny joke hence he wrote an Infinite Jest. And twenty years on it remains great art all the same.

  15. @Blah
    I actually walked into Donald Trump while leaving a Knicks playoff game in 1994. Madison Square Garden has these strange attached doorways that dump people directly into one another as you exit. We physically knocked into each other as he has escorting his kids to his limo. I expected to be given a nasty look or told to watch it. Instead, he apologized to me and laughed. This comports with other stories I've heard over the years. He paid off some guy's mortgage when the guy helped his mom's disable car. Also, my friend, who was an auditor of the Trump organization often crossed paths with him. He said he was pretty much down to earth. From what I hear, DJT treats his employee very well. He is no Leona Helmsley.

    Another anecdote, a friend attended a fundraiser (for his boss who couldn’t make it but donated a bunch of money) and left with his wife just after Donald left. Trump literally held the elevator for him and his wife. Trump also made pleasant chit-chat on the way down.

  16. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    A screenwriter from “Back to the Future” claims that Trump was the inspiration for Biff Tannen:

    https://variety.com/2015/film/news/back-to-the-future-donald-trump-biff-1201623760/

    “We thought about it when we made the movie! Are you kidding?” Gale told the outlet when asked if he noticed Biff’s resemblance to Trump. “You watch ‘Part II’ again and there’s a scene where Marty confronts Biff in his office and there’s a huge portrait of Biff on the wall behind Biff, and there’s one moment where Biff kind of stands up and he takes exactly the same pose as the portrait? Yeah.”

    “Part II” sees Tannen (played by Thomas F. Wilson) build a 27-story casino and gain political sway, which he uses to take over Hill Valley, Calif., where he insists on being called “America’s greatest living folk hero.”

  17. @Anon
    What happened to the 2 havebeens?

    They had the best rightist podcast but seem to have stopped?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldzFpakc-Jo

    Oh, never mind.

    I checked and the havebeens are back.

    Yay.

    http://2kevins.com/archives/343

    Thanks for the heads’ up. I had given up on them, figured they’d thrown in the towel.

  18. @AndrewR
    Trump disappoints me with his endless personal attacks. I hate Cruz but if I were campaigning I wouldn't go on and on about how he's a "bad guy" and "nobody likes him." That makes Trump look awful.

    Can you imagine a man with Trump’s intelligence, confidence and political views (immigration restriction chief among them) who was also courteous and articulate? He’d clean up.

    • Replies: @SFG
    I have my doubts. Trump has a very particular niche--blue-collar truth teller--carved out. I don't think being more genteel would really help.
    , @AndrewR
    He really would. I hate having to support him but no one else comes close on policy.
  19. Actually I see a closer resemblance between the problematic Gremlins and the supporters of Hillary and Bernie, but without the warm fuzziness.

    Feeding them after midnight = leftism.

  20. So who fed Rubio, Cruz, and Kasich after midnight?

  21. @Laguna Beach Fogey
    I just recall that the actor who portrayed Clamp looked an awful lot like Cy Curnin, the lead singer of English new wave band The Fixx.

    The actor portraying Clamp went on to play the Devil in Brimstone, and to play Goren’s dementia-suffering mentor in LAw and Order: Criminal Intent, and to play Lionel Luthor (Lex’s father) in Smallville.

  22. @SFG
    So the illegal immigrants are Gremlins? I'm not sure this holds up.

    Actually, a fair amount has been written about racism in Gremlins:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gremlins#Allegations_of_racism

    https://pr0jectvegan.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/the-racism-we-never-noticed-in-gremlins/

    And one could argue that the film does work as an anti-immigration allegory. Cf, for example, how it shows the snowballing effects of immigration, as we go from a single creature (the cute, cuddly Gizmo) to a veritable tsunami of Gremlins….

    • Replies: @SFG
    I guess, but those guys will see racism in a yogurt parfait.
    , @anon
    My favorite line from that second article was:

    In addition to the application of Nama’s “figures of distortion,” the film also clearly codes the mogwai as black when they population an urban community, but what’s more, they make their way into the suburbs, and while break into a houses, clearly enter a neighborhood not made for them.


    I would suggest that any neighborhood the Gremlins went to would not be a neighborhood made for them, since few neighborhoods are made for two-foot-tall, scaly monsters that have only existed for a day.

    The majority of the article was complaining that the Gremlins were supposed to be "black" because they were dangerous and threatening. I'm not sure the author really gets the concept of a "monster movie", but I guess people do get paid to write this kind of stuff. Since it seems like an easy job, and I'm not in on it, ultimately, the joke's on me.
    , @AndrewR
    Wow. Was that blogpost a college freshman essay?
    , @unpc downunder
    "for example, how it shows the snowballing effects of immigration, as we go from a single creature (the cute, cuddly Gizmo) to a veritable tsunami of Gremlins…for example, how it shows the snowballing effects of immigration, as we go from a single creature (the cute, cuddly Gizmo) to a veritable tsunami of Gremlins…."

    They should have called it Gremlins - the Second Generation (with a few scenes shot in a social welfare office).
  23. Off topic but good drug overdose rate by state graph. Yes WV is the highest but then its difficult to detect a Scots-Irish vs German pattern…

    http://www.statista.com/statistics/246637/top-ten-leading-states-concerning-death-rate-of-drug-overdose-in-the-us/

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Exclusive Premium statistic

    You need a Premium membership to access this statistic.
     
    My curious German genes want to see this, but my penurious Scots-Irish ones won't let me pay for the privilege.
  24. So when Gizmo goes Rambo is that the cuckservative throwing off his mantra of “I don’t see race” and going full on Alt-Right?

  25. “supposed to be the megalomaniac villain of the piece, but he was so oddly endearing, he ended up becoming a semi-heroic figure.”

    Pretty accurate description of Trump’s candidacy.

  26. @Blah
    I actually walked into Donald Trump while leaving a Knicks playoff game in 1994. Madison Square Garden has these strange attached doorways that dump people directly into one another as you exit. We physically knocked into each other as he has escorting his kids to his limo. I expected to be given a nasty look or told to watch it. Instead, he apologized to me and laughed. This comports with other stories I've heard over the years. He paid off some guy's mortgage when the guy helped his mom's disable car. Also, my friend, who was an auditor of the Trump organization often crossed paths with him. He said he was pretty much down to earth. From what I hear, DJT treats his employee very well. He is no Leona Helmsley.

    Trump’s a man who understands that celebrities have a new persona in the last 50 years, and that is the television persona.

    Caesar could be chummy with a common beggar he ran into and individually offer clemency to his military and political opponents, but in a business dealing, or in the Senate, or with an army behind him, he became vicious. SO too with Trump, except he realizes that television demands a third persona: bombastic entertainer. And so he delivers.

    But I don’t really care how Trump acts in his personal life. To steal from and up the ante on Ann Coulter , at this point Trump could privately perform 3rd trimester abortions at the White House while kicking a puppy and burning lupus orphans alive, and we wouldn’t care. What we want is the bombastic asshole on TV to be a bombastic asshole on the job and deliver us a beautiful border fence, deport the illegals, and cut our legal immigration to 90%. If he does that, I don’t care if he’s a hero to his valet or not.

    That’s what drags many politicians down: that some private peccadillo/personal behavior is so destructive to their political persona that it ends them. Hilary is paranoid about people finding out she’s a cold bitch, Cruz that he’s a two-faced liar, etc. Trump has effectively neutralized such a chink in his own armor because (1) the worst possible version of Trump’s behavior is already front and center—and so he’s innoculated, because any story about his personal behavior will either confirm what we see or else make him look like a better person; and (2) he’s running on an issue so beloved by the American people that we don’t care if he’s not our ideal president—all we care about is that he’s the ideal guy at the moment to deliver on it.

    • Agree: AndrewR
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Caesar could be chummy with a common beggar
     
    And Hitler was good with little kids and puppies. So what? Yes, yes, I know - reductio ad hitlerum.

    Is Julius Caesar really the model you wish to invoke as the next leader of this (once free) Republic?

    What we want is the bombastic asshole on TV to be a bombastic asshole on the job and deliver us a beautiful border fence, deport the illegals, and cut our legal immigration to 90%. If he does that...
     
    If wishes were horses.

    As someone who vacillates between Trump and Cruz, but is increasingly leaning toward Cruz, I'd like an explanation of how Trump intends to achieve the three goals you elaborated above. Furthermore, must one be "a bombastic asshole" to achieve such goals? Or is it just a calculated schtick to fire up angry blue collar whites? Or perhaps the rantings of a desperately insecure billionaire who craves mass adulation and validation?

    or with an army behind him, he became vicious.
     
    Any moron or thug can be "vicious" with an army behind him. Just ask all those Latin American or African dictators. It's the ones with armies behind them who can be judicious, deliberate, even-tempered, and, yes, magnanimous who build lasting legacies and bequeath societies worth living for their successors.
  27. P.S. the movie that really explains this election cycle is Mac and Me.

  28. @gruff
    Can you imagine a man with Trump's intelligence, confidence and political views (immigration restriction chief among them) who was also courteous and articulate? He'd clean up.

    I have my doubts. Trump has a very particular niche–blue-collar truth teller–carved out. I don’t think being more genteel would really help.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
    He's not very PC but he is constantly flinging mud and bullshitting. I don't think that blue collar folk need be rude and pompous.
  29. @syonredux
    Actually, a fair amount has been written about racism in Gremlins:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gremlins#Allegations_of_racism


    https://pr0jectvegan.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/the-racism-we-never-noticed-in-gremlins/

    And one could argue that the film does work as an anti-immigration allegory. Cf, for example, how it shows the snowballing effects of immigration, as we go from a single creature (the cute, cuddly Gizmo) to a veritable tsunami of Gremlins....

    I guess, but those guys will see racism in a yogurt parfait.

    • Replies: @Cracker
    Yogurt is white...
    , @syonredux

    I guess, but those guys will see racism in a yogurt parfait.
     
    Absolutely. And I'm quite sure that the filmmakers intentions were quite "pure." Still, I am rather charmed by the the idea that it is a piece of implicit anti-immigration propaganda. Perhaps that explains why I loved it so much as a boy....
    , @Anonym
    #yoghurtsowhite
  30. Meanwhile, from the GOP flack who derided Trump’s supporters on network television as childless single men who masturbate to anime…

    Family values from the household of @TheRickWilson: "Piss in her mouth and make her swallow it all."Degenerate!https://t.co/7fhcHS2wCw— Vendetta (@Vendetta92429) February 7, 2016

  31. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux
    Actually, a fair amount has been written about racism in Gremlins:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gremlins#Allegations_of_racism


    https://pr0jectvegan.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/the-racism-we-never-noticed-in-gremlins/

    And one could argue that the film does work as an anti-immigration allegory. Cf, for example, how it shows the snowballing effects of immigration, as we go from a single creature (the cute, cuddly Gizmo) to a veritable tsunami of Gremlins....

    My favorite line from that second article was:

    In addition to the application of Nama’s “figures of distortion,” the film also clearly codes the mogwai as black when they population an urban community, but what’s more, they make their way into the suburbs, and while break into a houses, clearly enter a neighborhood not made for them.

    I would suggest that any neighborhood the Gremlins went to would not be a neighborhood made for them, since few neighborhoods are made for two-foot-tall, scaly monsters that have only existed for a day.

    The majority of the article was complaining that the Gremlins were supposed to be “black” because they were dangerous and threatening. I’m not sure the author really gets the concept of a “monster movie”, but I guess people do get paid to write this kind of stuff. Since it seems like an easy job, and I’m not in on it, ultimately, the joke’s on me.

  32. The Joe Dante movie you all need to see is The Second Civil War made for HBO and shown in 1997, which is more relevant today than when it was made. Don’t let the “HBO” part discourage you. It’s a comedy-drama along the lines of Wag the Dog and it has a fantastic cast (including the late Phil Hartman as the President). It also comes down very hard on the mainstream media.

    The gist of the plot is that after a limited nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, a human rights group tries to bring a group of Pakistani orphans to Idaho and the Idaho governor refuses them, leading to an escalating conflict not only between the states and Federal government but between various ethnic groups and interest groups.

    The first two videos are the opening of the movie. It starts out a little slow, but gives the set up. The second two videos are from much later and contain spoilers but give a good idea of where it goes, which includes black street gangs fighting a Hispanic mayor and police force for control over LA and both the Alamo and Statue of Liberty being blown up by the opposing sides.

    Language in all of these videos, since it was a cable movie, may NSFW.

    It’s available on DVD.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    I remember this. And the most memorable part was the reporter dodging bullets while trying to find somebody who spoke English (and the response from the LAPD officers was "Que?").
  33. @SFG
    I guess, but those guys will see racism in a yogurt parfait.

    Yogurt is white…

  34. Hilary is Tracy Flick from Election.

    • Agree: Vendetta
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Hilary is Tracy Flick from Election.
     
    Tracy Flick was much more likeable than Hillary Clinton.
  35. “I guess, but those guys will see racism in a yogurt parfait.”

    Have you noticed that vanilla is always on top? It’s systemic, man!

    • Replies: @Blobby5
    Non-white rice is 'wild' and black olives are put in a...can!
  36. Okay, slight memory lapse. I was getting Gremlins 2 confused with Trolls 2, generally considered the worst horror movie of the last 40 years (mostly because of this scene:)

    On the other hand, this scene might closely approximate global leftist reaction if Trump gets elected. That’d be cool. 🙂

  37. @SFG
    I guess, but those guys will see racism in a yogurt parfait.

    I guess, but those guys will see racism in a yogurt parfait.

    Absolutely. And I’m quite sure that the filmmakers intentions were quite “pure.” Still, I am rather charmed by the the idea that it is a piece of implicit anti-immigration propaganda. Perhaps that explains why I loved it so much as a boy….

  38. @gbloco
    Off topic but good drug overdose rate by state graph. Yes WV is the highest but then its difficult to detect a Scots-Irish vs German pattern...

    http://www.statista.com/statistics/246637/top-ten-leading-states-concerning-death-rate-of-drug-overdose-in-the-us/

    Exclusive Premium statistic

    You need a Premium membership to access this statistic.

    My curious German genes want to see this, but my penurious Scots-Irish ones won’t let me pay for the privilege.

  39. Super Bowl commercial controversy thus far. I saw the “transphobic” thing coming, but not the humanizing fetus stuff.

    https://www.romper.com/p/snickers-super-bowl-ad-criticized-by-twitter-for-being-anti-feminist-transphobic-5221

  40. @SFG
    I have my doubts. Trump has a very particular niche--blue-collar truth teller--carved out. I don't think being more genteel would really help.

    He’s not very PC but he is constantly flinging mud and bullshitting. I don’t think that blue collar folk need be rude and pompous.

  41. @gruff
    Can you imagine a man with Trump's intelligence, confidence and political views (immigration restriction chief among them) who was also courteous and articulate? He'd clean up.

    He really would. I hate having to support him but no one else comes close on policy.

  42. @SFG
    I guess, but those guys will see racism in a yogurt parfait.

    #yoghurtsowhite

  43. @syonredux
    Actually, a fair amount has been written about racism in Gremlins:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gremlins#Allegations_of_racism


    https://pr0jectvegan.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/the-racism-we-never-noticed-in-gremlins/

    And one could argue that the film does work as an anti-immigration allegory. Cf, for example, how it shows the snowballing effects of immigration, as we go from a single creature (the cute, cuddly Gizmo) to a veritable tsunami of Gremlins....

    Wow. Was that blogpost a college freshman essay?

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Wow. Was that blogpost a college freshman essay?
     
    In my experience, just about all writing by the Lumpengentsia is on the level of a freshman essay....
  44. OT,

    Boy, what a crappy Superbowl. Just the amount of stupid plays, especially by the Panthers, especially by Cam Newton, made it completely annoying to watch.

    Cam Newton is the “new face of the NFL”? God help us.

    Is anybody going to bring up how he pissed away any chance to get back in the game when he wouldn’t deign to go down to the ground to fight to recover his own goddamn fumble? Would asking that question be a microaggression — or even something bigger these days?

    I was rooting for Denver — though certainly not my own team. But I could hardly enjoy the victory, because of so much idiocy and bad character on the way there.

  45. What did you guys think of the debate? I saw snippets, but wasn’t very impressed. Odd that Steve hasn’t made a debate thread.

  46. @Mr. Anon
    "I guess, but those guys will see racism in a yogurt parfait."

    Have you noticed that vanilla is always on top? It's systemic, man!

    Non-white rice is ‘wild’ and black olives are put in a…can!

  47. Is anybody going to bring up how he pissed away any chance to get back in the game when he wouldn’t deign to go down to the ground to fight to recover his own goddamn fumble?

    He actually had a better shot at it keeping his feet. Here’s a similar play:

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-cant-miss-plays/0ap3000000605433/Can-t-Miss-Play-Rivers-recovers-fumble-on-own-interception

    Ball just bounced too fast past him.

  48. @AndrewR
    Wow. Was that blogpost a college freshman essay?

    Wow. Was that blogpost a college freshman essay?

    In my experience, just about all writing by the Lumpengentsia is on the level of a freshman essay….

  49. @AndrewR
    Trump disappoints me with his endless personal attacks. I hate Cruz but if I were campaigning I wouldn't go on and on about how he's a "bad guy" and "nobody likes him." That makes Trump look awful.

    Hate is a strong word. Do you go around patronizing people you hate? “I hate you, but it would be tacky to say that out loud. So I’ll merely say that you and I have our differences.”

    Maybe Trump honestly believes that Cruz is a loathsome loser, or maybe he’s putting on a show for his red-meat-eating base. But at least he’s man enough to take a strong stand. You know how Trump feels about Cruz. He doesn’t leave any room for ambiguity.

    He’s not wishy-washy: “The gentleman from Calgary is a wonderful human being, but sometimes conscientious men acting in good faith find themselves in opposition when it comes to formulating effective solutions to certain social and political problems. Regrettably, I feel compelled to register some opinions that are different from those of my esteemed colleague.”

    He’s direct and to-the-point: “Cruz doesn’t know shit from Shinola, and he’s a cheating snake, to boot. I’m right and he’s wrong.”

    It’s odd to hear him say such things – in this day and age, politicians are not supposed to talk that way about one another. (In Jefferson’s time, they were expected to do so.) But that’s because our political discourse is so thoroughly dominated by the feminine passive-aggressive communication style. It’s jarring to hear a real man talk in a masculine active-aggressive way.

    I’m not defending everything that Trump says or does – far from it. But at least he errs on the side of honesty, rather than hypocrisy. He doesn’t live in fear of every little slip of the tongue. His bluntness hurts him at least as much as it helps him. But it also marks him as a formidable presence in a world full of cowering opportunists and sycophants.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    But at least he’s man enough to take a strong stand.
     
    I don't know about you, but in my book being a man requires action, not flinging insults at political opponents. You know, talk is cheap... What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight? Carry arms in defense of his country? Serve as a volunteer fireman? Killed a wild animal? Don't confuse vulgarity with manliness.

    But at least he errs on the side of honesty, rather than hypocrisy.
     
    Unless that "bluntness" is just a schtick.

    He doesn’t live in fear of every little slip of the tongue. His bluntness hurts him at least as much as it helps him.
     
    Is that why he tried so desperately to sound as if he were a devout Christian in Iowa even though he couldn't come up with a single Bible verse?
    , @Kylie
    "It’s jarring to hear a real man talk in a masculine active-aggressive way."

    It's refreshing, enjoyable and very welcome.
    , @AndrewR
    Admittedly I should not have said I hate Cruz. I don't think he's a good person but hate is a strong word. If I were running for office against him or anyone else I would do my best to take the high road at all times even if I occasionally failed. Trump, however, doesn't seem to try at all. Maybe it's a New York thing?

    To imply civility and diplomacy are not "masculine" things is absurd. One can be assertive without being rude and insulting. In fact I would go so far as to say that insulting others is an unmistakeable sign of weakness and immaturity. True maturity means being able to stand up to people without being a bully. And you'll have to forgive me for thinking that the coarseness of 18th century politics is very far from anything we should seek to emulate. Of course this sort of ultra-retro hipsterism is sadly common in this corner of the internet. "Hoho I am such a brilliant and manly patrician because I value things that the rest of society grew out of centuries ago."

  50. When that recording got leaked and it came out Ted Cruz was being graceful to Trump very deliberately, among the media the vague sense knew something was wrong, but what was hard to state, because it only appeared as a kind of manipulation next to the guy who only sells himself rhetorically. And his great advantage is this: that that can only be revealed progressively.

    A headline calls him bombastic, but Trump’s pure American, he gives everyone the respect they deserve exactly in the American style, the spirit of a Great Democracy, most true to itself when it can speak truly of Revolution; no wild-eyed observer, Pat Buchanan himself is speaking of a New Era. Trump knows what he’s doing and he owns himself, and that is why any attacks only help him. That way he is truly untouchable.

    And as he owns himself he is playing a part and good for him. Sartre saw a fine waiter pretending to be a waiter, and knew that makes the waiter neither more nor less of one. Stop pretending to be a waiter, and one may expect to stop waiting. The point is when you’re just a waiter, just a waiter, you never stop pretending. The question to me would be, does that make you sad to know, or can you pretend not to be?

    Hard to say from here from me. But I will say that if you respect a man more who sweats as he serves when he stops serving so not to sweat for everyone anymore, if you then respect him more then perhaps you should have respected him before, for being good enough to keep the truth of that to himself while he served, and realize you lost a good server when he’s gone. But you should always know there are windows and I’m just trying to give you one. And assure anyone that no I’m not sweating, and consider me a story.

  51. @whorefinder
    Trump's a man who understands that celebrities have a new persona in the last 50 years, and that is the television persona.

    Caesar could be chummy with a common beggar he ran into and individually offer clemency to his military and political opponents, but in a business dealing, or in the Senate, or with an army behind him, he became vicious. SO too with Trump, except he realizes that television demands a third persona: bombastic entertainer. And so he delivers.

    But I don't really care how Trump acts in his personal life. To steal from and up the ante on Ann Coulter , at this point Trump could privately perform 3rd trimester abortions at the White House while kicking a puppy and burning lupus orphans alive, and we wouldn't care. What we want is the bombastic asshole on TV to be a bombastic asshole on the job and deliver us a beautiful border fence, deport the illegals, and cut our legal immigration to 90%. If he does that, I don't care if he's a hero to his valet or not.

    That's what drags many politicians down: that some private peccadillo/personal behavior is so destructive to their political persona that it ends them. Hilary is paranoid about people finding out she's a cold bitch, Cruz that he's a two-faced liar, etc. Trump has effectively neutralized such a chink in his own armor because (1) the worst possible version of Trump's behavior is already front and center---and so he's innoculated, because any story about his personal behavior will either confirm what we see or else make him look like a better person; and (2) he's running on an issue so beloved by the American people that we don't care if he's not our ideal president---all we care about is that he's the ideal guy at the moment to deliver on it.

    Caesar could be chummy with a common beggar

    And Hitler was good with little kids and puppies. So what? Yes, yes, I know – reductio ad hitlerum.

    Is Julius Caesar really the model you wish to invoke as the next leader of this (once free) Republic?

    What we want is the bombastic asshole on TV to be a bombastic asshole on the job and deliver us a beautiful border fence, deport the illegals, and cut our legal immigration to 90%. If he does that…

    If wishes were horses.

    As someone who vacillates between Trump and Cruz, but is increasingly leaning toward Cruz, I’d like an explanation of how Trump intends to achieve the three goals you elaborated above. Furthermore, must one be “a bombastic asshole” to achieve such goals? Or is it just a calculated schtick to fire up angry blue collar whites? Or perhaps the rantings of a desperately insecure billionaire who craves mass adulation and validation?

    or with an army behind him, he became vicious.

    Any moron or thug can be “vicious” with an army behind him. Just ask all those Latin American or African dictators. It’s the ones with armies behind them who can be judicious, deliberate, even-tempered, and, yes, magnanimous who build lasting legacies and bequeath societies worth living for their successors.

    • Agree: Desiderius, AndrewR
    • Replies: @Jahangir
    The key thing to keep in mind re: reliability of Donald Trump, is that the man is in over his head. He has to know that he does not have the resources or background to staff the departments and agencies, and that he will need to rely on someone with more political experience to do so. To date, he has relied extensively on the Senator from Alabama in all things policy (recently hiring top Sessions man Stephen Miller as his senior policy advisor). I suspect that would continue in a Trump administration, at least with respect to the policy areas where Donald hasn't indicated that he would take a stance at odds with those favored by people like Sessions (e.g. in foreign policy). In those areas, I don't have a sense as to what path he would actually take.

    With Cruz, it is hard not to walk away with the impression that the policy issue he is most passionate about is reigning in the administrative state. That makes sense for a guy who came up through the conservative legal movement. But I don't see the evidence that he really understands why anyone would be particularly worried about immigration. I do understand the argument for Cruz that nominating Trump might be too risky, but fortune favors the bold.
  52. @AnonNJ
    The Joe Dante movie you all need to see is The Second Civil War made for HBO and shown in 1997, which is more relevant today than when it was made. Don't let the "HBO" part discourage you. It's a comedy-drama along the lines of Wag the Dog and it has a fantastic cast (including the late Phil Hartman as the President). It also comes down very hard on the mainstream media.

    The gist of the plot is that after a limited nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, a human rights group tries to bring a group of Pakistani orphans to Idaho and the Idaho governor refuses them, leading to an escalating conflict not only between the states and Federal government but between various ethnic groups and interest groups.

    The first two videos are the opening of the movie. It starts out a little slow, but gives the set up. The second two videos are from much later and contain spoilers but give a good idea of where it goes, which includes black street gangs fighting a Hispanic mayor and police force for control over LA and both the Alamo and Statue of Liberty being blown up by the opposing sides.

    Language in all of these videos, since it was a cable movie, may NSFW.

    https://youtu.be/cBwHiqMmPSI

    https://youtu.be/5sMkleuRBQY

    https://youtu.be/FvjRKNDjvKE

    https://youtu.be/XGKBfew6hSU

    It's available on DVD.

    I remember this. And the most memorable part was the reporter dodging bullets while trying to find somebody who spoke English (and the response from the LAPD officers was “Que?”).

    • Replies: @AnonNJ
    @Twinkie

    The scene with the black street gangs opening fire in the Mexican mayor of LA is in one of those clips from YouTube I put on my message.
  53. @LondonBob
    Hilary is Tracy Flick from Election.

    Hilary is Tracy Flick from Election.

    Tracy Flick was much more likeable than Hillary Clinton.

  54. @Stan Adams
    Hate is a strong word. Do you go around patronizing people you hate? "I hate you, but it would be tacky to say that out loud. So I'll merely say that you and I have our differences."

    Maybe Trump honestly believes that Cruz is a loathsome loser, or maybe he's putting on a show for his red-meat-eating base. But at least he's man enough to take a strong stand. You know how Trump feels about Cruz. He doesn't leave any room for ambiguity.

    He's not wishy-washy: "The gentleman from Calgary is a wonderful human being, but sometimes conscientious men acting in good faith find themselves in opposition when it comes to formulating effective solutions to certain social and political problems. Regrettably, I feel compelled to register some opinions that are different from those of my esteemed colleague."

    He's direct and to-the-point: "Cruz doesn't know shit from Shinola, and he's a cheating snake, to boot. I'm right and he's wrong."

    It's odd to hear him say such things - in this day and age, politicians are not supposed to talk that way about one another. (In Jefferson's time, they were expected to do so.) But that's because our political discourse is so thoroughly dominated by the feminine passive-aggressive communication style. It's jarring to hear a real man talk in a masculine active-aggressive way.

    I'm not defending everything that Trump says or does - far from it. But at least he errs on the side of honesty, rather than hypocrisy. He doesn't live in fear of every little slip of the tongue. His bluntness hurts him at least as much as it helps him. But it also marks him as a formidable presence in a world full of cowering opportunists and sycophants.

    But at least he’s man enough to take a strong stand.

    I don’t know about you, but in my book being a man requires action, not flinging insults at political opponents. You know, talk is cheap… What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight? Carry arms in defense of his country? Serve as a volunteer fireman? Killed a wild animal? Don’t confuse vulgarity with manliness.

    But at least he errs on the side of honesty, rather than hypocrisy.

    Unless that “bluntness” is just a schtick.

    He doesn’t live in fear of every little slip of the tongue. His bluntness hurts him at least as much as it helps him.

    Is that why he tried so desperately to sound as if he were a devout Christian in Iowa even though he couldn’t come up with a single Bible verse?

    • Replies: @Kudzu Bob

    I don’t know about you, but in my book being a man requires action, not flinging insults at political opponents. You know, talk is cheap… What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight? Carry arms in defense of his country? Serve as a volunteer fireman? Killed a wild animal? Don’t confuse vulgarity with manliness.
     
    What a remarkably ignorant thing to say. Post your foolish and tiresome comments over at National Review Online, where they won't seem so out-of-place.
    , @Mr. Anon
    You know, talk is cheap… What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight?"

    And if he had done so, would you now be saying that he is a brawling thug?

    "Carry arms in defense of his country?"

    Nobody in America carries arms in defense of his country. Our military doesn't defend our country. They are not "protecting our freedom". They are defending an empire that only serves the interests of wealthy elites and deep-state nabobs.

    "Killed a wild animal?"

    Like that Minnesota dentist? Yeah, real manly.

    "Don’t confuse vulgarity with manliness."

    That strikes me as what you are doing.

    I generally like your posts, but I think you are very wrong here.
    , @Harry Baldwin
    What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight? Carry arms in defense of his country? Serve as a volunteer fireman? Killed a wild animal?

    Trump once shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die. It was Merv Griffin, if I recall correctly.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    What manly thing has he ever done? ... Killed a wild animal?

     

    Where do you think he got that pelt he wears on his head?
    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    What manly thing has he ever done? ... Killed a wild animal?

     

    Where do you think he got that pelt he wears on his head?

    Trump defends his big-game hunting sons as they are shamed on Twitter for posing with their trophy kills - including a leopard and an elephant - after death of Cecil the lion
  55. @Stan Adams
    Hate is a strong word. Do you go around patronizing people you hate? "I hate you, but it would be tacky to say that out loud. So I'll merely say that you and I have our differences."

    Maybe Trump honestly believes that Cruz is a loathsome loser, or maybe he's putting on a show for his red-meat-eating base. But at least he's man enough to take a strong stand. You know how Trump feels about Cruz. He doesn't leave any room for ambiguity.

    He's not wishy-washy: "The gentleman from Calgary is a wonderful human being, but sometimes conscientious men acting in good faith find themselves in opposition when it comes to formulating effective solutions to certain social and political problems. Regrettably, I feel compelled to register some opinions that are different from those of my esteemed colleague."

    He's direct and to-the-point: "Cruz doesn't know shit from Shinola, and he's a cheating snake, to boot. I'm right and he's wrong."

    It's odd to hear him say such things - in this day and age, politicians are not supposed to talk that way about one another. (In Jefferson's time, they were expected to do so.) But that's because our political discourse is so thoroughly dominated by the feminine passive-aggressive communication style. It's jarring to hear a real man talk in a masculine active-aggressive way.

    I'm not defending everything that Trump says or does - far from it. But at least he errs on the side of honesty, rather than hypocrisy. He doesn't live in fear of every little slip of the tongue. His bluntness hurts him at least as much as it helps him. But it also marks him as a formidable presence in a world full of cowering opportunists and sycophants.

    “It’s jarring to hear a real man talk in a masculine active-aggressive way.”

    It’s refreshing, enjoyable and very welcome.

  56. @Twinkie

    But at least he’s man enough to take a strong stand.
     
    I don't know about you, but in my book being a man requires action, not flinging insults at political opponents. You know, talk is cheap... What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight? Carry arms in defense of his country? Serve as a volunteer fireman? Killed a wild animal? Don't confuse vulgarity with manliness.

    But at least he errs on the side of honesty, rather than hypocrisy.
     
    Unless that "bluntness" is just a schtick.

    He doesn’t live in fear of every little slip of the tongue. His bluntness hurts him at least as much as it helps him.
     
    Is that why he tried so desperately to sound as if he were a devout Christian in Iowa even though he couldn't come up with a single Bible verse?

    I don’t know about you, but in my book being a man requires action, not flinging insults at political opponents. You know, talk is cheap… What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight? Carry arms in defense of his country? Serve as a volunteer fireman? Killed a wild animal? Don’t confuse vulgarity with manliness.

    What a remarkably ignorant thing to say. Post your foolish and tiresome comments over at National Review Online, where they won’t seem so out-of-place.

    • Replies: @iffen
    Post your foolish and tiresome comments over at National Review Online

    I know NR has fallen on hard times, but foolish and tiresome not out of place? How the mighty have fallen. Speaking of hard times, I see where Dreher at the Am Conservative has taken off the gloves and says of Trump, "... a threat to democracy, this isn’t funny anymore."
    , @Twinkie

    What a remarkably ignorant thing to say. Post your foolish and tiresome comments over at National Review Online, where they won’t seem so out-of-place.
     
    I believe the story you linked 1) has been disputed by at least one witness and, according to another commenter here, 2) has been disproved by Snopes.

    Do you have anything else besides ad hominem?

    And for the record, I have not read NRO for quite some time now, and have never commented there.
  57. @Twinkie

    But at least he’s man enough to take a strong stand.
     
    I don't know about you, but in my book being a man requires action, not flinging insults at political opponents. You know, talk is cheap... What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight? Carry arms in defense of his country? Serve as a volunteer fireman? Killed a wild animal? Don't confuse vulgarity with manliness.

    But at least he errs on the side of honesty, rather than hypocrisy.
     
    Unless that "bluntness" is just a schtick.

    He doesn’t live in fear of every little slip of the tongue. His bluntness hurts him at least as much as it helps him.
     
    Is that why he tried so desperately to sound as if he were a devout Christian in Iowa even though he couldn't come up with a single Bible verse?

    You know, talk is cheap… What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight?”

    And if he had done so, would you now be saying that he is a brawling thug?

    “Carry arms in defense of his country?”

    Nobody in America carries arms in defense of his country. Our military doesn’t defend our country. They are not “protecting our freedom”. They are defending an empire that only serves the interests of wealthy elites and deep-state nabobs.

    “Killed a wild animal?”

    Like that Minnesota dentist? Yeah, real manly.

    “Don’t confuse vulgarity with manliness.”

    That strikes me as what you are doing.

    I generally like your posts, but I think you are very wrong here.

    • Agree: BB753
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    And if he had done so, would you now be saying that he is a brawling thug?
     
    No I would not. It's normal for boys to have engaged in some fisticuffs. A thug is someone who persists in that kind of aggression as an adult and/or is pathological about fighting.

    Nobody in America carries arms in defense of his country. Our military doesn’t defend our country.
     
    You may disagree with the military-foreign policy aims of our elected leaders (I certainly do). But carrying arms in service of your country (even or perhaps especially when you disagree with "the orders") and engaging in battle courageously IS manly. It's certainly manlier than lobbing VERBAL insults to people who won't hit you back or harm you.

    Like that Minnesota dentist? Yeah, real manly.
     
    Hunting, especially hunting dangerous wild animals, is manly. It takes courage, perseverance, discipline, precision, overcoming physical discomfort or even hardship. It's certainly manlier than writing tweets in a centrally heated room. And hunting skills translate very well to battle skills, naturally.

    Trump's vulgarity in no way strikes me as manly - it strikes me as, pardon my language, bitchiness.
  58. @Stan Adams
    Hate is a strong word. Do you go around patronizing people you hate? "I hate you, but it would be tacky to say that out loud. So I'll merely say that you and I have our differences."

    Maybe Trump honestly believes that Cruz is a loathsome loser, or maybe he's putting on a show for his red-meat-eating base. But at least he's man enough to take a strong stand. You know how Trump feels about Cruz. He doesn't leave any room for ambiguity.

    He's not wishy-washy: "The gentleman from Calgary is a wonderful human being, but sometimes conscientious men acting in good faith find themselves in opposition when it comes to formulating effective solutions to certain social and political problems. Regrettably, I feel compelled to register some opinions that are different from those of my esteemed colleague."

    He's direct and to-the-point: "Cruz doesn't know shit from Shinola, and he's a cheating snake, to boot. I'm right and he's wrong."

    It's odd to hear him say such things - in this day and age, politicians are not supposed to talk that way about one another. (In Jefferson's time, they were expected to do so.) But that's because our political discourse is so thoroughly dominated by the feminine passive-aggressive communication style. It's jarring to hear a real man talk in a masculine active-aggressive way.

    I'm not defending everything that Trump says or does - far from it. But at least he errs on the side of honesty, rather than hypocrisy. He doesn't live in fear of every little slip of the tongue. His bluntness hurts him at least as much as it helps him. But it also marks him as a formidable presence in a world full of cowering opportunists and sycophants.

    Admittedly I should not have said I hate Cruz. I don’t think he’s a good person but hate is a strong word. If I were running for office against him or anyone else I would do my best to take the high road at all times even if I occasionally failed. Trump, however, doesn’t seem to try at all. Maybe it’s a New York thing?

    To imply civility and diplomacy are not “masculine” things is absurd. One can be assertive without being rude and insulting. In fact I would go so far as to say that insulting others is an unmistakeable sign of weakness and immaturity. True maturity means being able to stand up to people without being a bully. And you’ll have to forgive me for thinking that the coarseness of 18th century politics is very far from anything we should seek to emulate. Of course this sort of ultra-retro hipsterism is sadly common in this corner of the internet. “Hoho I am such a brilliant and manly patrician because I value things that the rest of society grew out of centuries ago.”

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    To imply civility and diplomacy are not “masculine” things is absurd. One can be assertive without being rude and insulting. In fact I would go so far as to say that insulting others is an unmistakeable sign of weakness and immaturity. True maturity means being able to stand up to people without being a bully. And you’ll have to forgive me for thinking that the coarseness of 18th century politics is very far from anything we should seek to emulate.
     
    Absolutely!
  59. @Twinkie

    Caesar could be chummy with a common beggar
     
    And Hitler was good with little kids and puppies. So what? Yes, yes, I know - reductio ad hitlerum.

    Is Julius Caesar really the model you wish to invoke as the next leader of this (once free) Republic?

    What we want is the bombastic asshole on TV to be a bombastic asshole on the job and deliver us a beautiful border fence, deport the illegals, and cut our legal immigration to 90%. If he does that...
     
    If wishes were horses.

    As someone who vacillates between Trump and Cruz, but is increasingly leaning toward Cruz, I'd like an explanation of how Trump intends to achieve the three goals you elaborated above. Furthermore, must one be "a bombastic asshole" to achieve such goals? Or is it just a calculated schtick to fire up angry blue collar whites? Or perhaps the rantings of a desperately insecure billionaire who craves mass adulation and validation?

    or with an army behind him, he became vicious.
     
    Any moron or thug can be "vicious" with an army behind him. Just ask all those Latin American or African dictators. It's the ones with armies behind them who can be judicious, deliberate, even-tempered, and, yes, magnanimous who build lasting legacies and bequeath societies worth living for their successors.

    The key thing to keep in mind re: reliability of Donald Trump, is that the man is in over his head. He has to know that he does not have the resources or background to staff the departments and agencies, and that he will need to rely on someone with more political experience to do so. To date, he has relied extensively on the Senator from Alabama in all things policy (recently hiring top Sessions man Stephen Miller as his senior policy advisor). I suspect that would continue in a Trump administration, at least with respect to the policy areas where Donald hasn’t indicated that he would take a stance at odds with those favored by people like Sessions (e.g. in foreign policy). In those areas, I don’t have a sense as to what path he would actually take.

    With Cruz, it is hard not to walk away with the impression that the policy issue he is most passionate about is reigning in the administrative state. That makes sense for a guy who came up through the conservative legal movement. But I don’t see the evidence that he really understands why anyone would be particularly worried about immigration. I do understand the argument for Cruz that nominating Trump might be too risky, but fortune favors the bold.

  60. @Twinkie
    I remember this. And the most memorable part was the reporter dodging bullets while trying to find somebody who spoke English (and the response from the LAPD officers was "Que?").

    The scene with the black street gangs opening fire in the Mexican mayor of LA is in one of those clips from YouTube I put on my message.

  61. As someone who vacillates between Trump and Cruz, but is increasingly leaning toward Cruz, I’d like an explanation of how Trump intends to achieve the three goals you elaborated above.

    Well, see, first, you start with intent…

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Well, see, first, you start with intent…
     
    Intent or publicly professed intent in the middle of an election campaign?

    Promises and campaign promises are not always the same, regrettably.
  62. @Taco

    He paid off some guy’s mortgage when the guy helped his mom’s disable car
     
    Is this story actually true? Can anyone verify it?

    The car story is not true according to Snops. However, it is true that in 1986 Trump helped pay off the mortgage on a widow’s farm after he was moved by a television reoprt about her story.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    However, it is true that in 1986 Trump helped pay off the mortgage on a widow’s farm after he was moved by a television reoprt about her story.
     
    That's the equivalent of a hedge fund millionaire tossing out a dollar bill to a beggar.

    True noblesse oblige would be deliberate and sustained. I also do not see ANY evidence that he inculcated the sense of caring for the less fortunate of the society to his children, which, to me, is the biggest "tell."
  63. @Svigor

    As someone who vacillates between Trump and Cruz, but is increasingly leaning toward Cruz, I’d like an explanation of how Trump intends to achieve the three goals you elaborated above.
     
    Well, see, first, you start with intent...

    Well, see, first, you start with intent…

    Intent or publicly professed intent in the middle of an election campaign?

    Promises and campaign promises are not always the same, regrettably.

  64. @Harry Baldwin
    The car story is not true according to Snops. However, it is true that in 1986 Trump helped pay off the mortgage on a widow's farm after he was moved by a television reoprt about her story.

    However, it is true that in 1986 Trump helped pay off the mortgage on a widow’s farm after he was moved by a television reoprt about her story.

    That’s the equivalent of a hedge fund millionaire tossing out a dollar bill to a beggar.

    True noblesse oblige would be deliberate and sustained. I also do not see ANY evidence that he inculcated the sense of caring for the less fortunate of the society to his children, which, to me, is the biggest “tell.”

  65. @AndrewR
    Admittedly I should not have said I hate Cruz. I don't think he's a good person but hate is a strong word. If I were running for office against him or anyone else I would do my best to take the high road at all times even if I occasionally failed. Trump, however, doesn't seem to try at all. Maybe it's a New York thing?

    To imply civility and diplomacy are not "masculine" things is absurd. One can be assertive without being rude and insulting. In fact I would go so far as to say that insulting others is an unmistakeable sign of weakness and immaturity. True maturity means being able to stand up to people without being a bully. And you'll have to forgive me for thinking that the coarseness of 18th century politics is very far from anything we should seek to emulate. Of course this sort of ultra-retro hipsterism is sadly common in this corner of the internet. "Hoho I am such a brilliant and manly patrician because I value things that the rest of society grew out of centuries ago."

    To imply civility and diplomacy are not “masculine” things is absurd. One can be assertive without being rude and insulting. In fact I would go so far as to say that insulting others is an unmistakeable sign of weakness and immaturity. True maturity means being able to stand up to people without being a bully. And you’ll have to forgive me for thinking that the coarseness of 18th century politics is very far from anything we should seek to emulate.

    Absolutely!

  66. @Twinkie

    But at least he’s man enough to take a strong stand.
     
    I don't know about you, but in my book being a man requires action, not flinging insults at political opponents. You know, talk is cheap... What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight? Carry arms in defense of his country? Serve as a volunteer fireman? Killed a wild animal? Don't confuse vulgarity with manliness.

    But at least he errs on the side of honesty, rather than hypocrisy.
     
    Unless that "bluntness" is just a schtick.

    He doesn’t live in fear of every little slip of the tongue. His bluntness hurts him at least as much as it helps him.
     
    Is that why he tried so desperately to sound as if he were a devout Christian in Iowa even though he couldn't come up with a single Bible verse?

    What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight? Carry arms in defense of his country? Serve as a volunteer fireman? Killed a wild animal?

    Trump once shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die. It was Merv Griffin, if I recall correctly.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Good one, Harry.

    Although watching Merv Griffin die hardly counts as manly; it was a national pastime:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jl8JjJJ4ME
  67. @Mr. Anon
    You know, talk is cheap… What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight?"

    And if he had done so, would you now be saying that he is a brawling thug?

    "Carry arms in defense of his country?"

    Nobody in America carries arms in defense of his country. Our military doesn't defend our country. They are not "protecting our freedom". They are defending an empire that only serves the interests of wealthy elites and deep-state nabobs.

    "Killed a wild animal?"

    Like that Minnesota dentist? Yeah, real manly.

    "Don’t confuse vulgarity with manliness."

    That strikes me as what you are doing.

    I generally like your posts, but I think you are very wrong here.

    And if he had done so, would you now be saying that he is a brawling thug?

    No I would not. It’s normal for boys to have engaged in some fisticuffs. A thug is someone who persists in that kind of aggression as an adult and/or is pathological about fighting.

    Nobody in America carries arms in defense of his country. Our military doesn’t defend our country.

    You may disagree with the military-foreign policy aims of our elected leaders (I certainly do). But carrying arms in service of your country (even or perhaps especially when you disagree with “the orders”) and engaging in battle courageously IS manly. It’s certainly manlier than lobbing VERBAL insults to people who won’t hit you back or harm you.

    Like that Minnesota dentist? Yeah, real manly.

    Hunting, especially hunting dangerous wild animals, is manly. It takes courage, perseverance, discipline, precision, overcoming physical discomfort or even hardship. It’s certainly manlier than writing tweets in a centrally heated room. And hunting skills translate very well to battle skills, naturally.

    Trump’s vulgarity in no way strikes me as manly – it strikes me as, pardon my language, bitchiness.

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    It’s normal for boys to have engaged in some fisticuffs. A thug is someone who persists in that kind of aggression as an adult
     
    Engaging in fisticuffs DNE aggression. Indeed, deterring aggression requires being prepared to engage in fisticuffs as necessary, which should not be often for a well-prepared adult.
    , @AP
    Speaking of verbal insults:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/08/politics/donald-trump-ted-cruz-waterboarding/
  68. @Twinkie

    And if he had done so, would you now be saying that he is a brawling thug?
     
    No I would not. It's normal for boys to have engaged in some fisticuffs. A thug is someone who persists in that kind of aggression as an adult and/or is pathological about fighting.

    Nobody in America carries arms in defense of his country. Our military doesn’t defend our country.
     
    You may disagree with the military-foreign policy aims of our elected leaders (I certainly do). But carrying arms in service of your country (even or perhaps especially when you disagree with "the orders") and engaging in battle courageously IS manly. It's certainly manlier than lobbing VERBAL insults to people who won't hit you back or harm you.

    Like that Minnesota dentist? Yeah, real manly.
     
    Hunting, especially hunting dangerous wild animals, is manly. It takes courage, perseverance, discipline, precision, overcoming physical discomfort or even hardship. It's certainly manlier than writing tweets in a centrally heated room. And hunting skills translate very well to battle skills, naturally.

    Trump's vulgarity in no way strikes me as manly - it strikes me as, pardon my language, bitchiness.

    It’s normal for boys to have engaged in some fisticuffs. A thug is someone who persists in that kind of aggression as an adult

    Engaging in fisticuffs DNE aggression. Indeed, deterring aggression requires being prepared to engage in fisticuffs as necessary, which should not be often for a well-prepared adult.

  69. @Harry Baldwin
    What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight? Carry arms in defense of his country? Serve as a volunteer fireman? Killed a wild animal?

    Trump once shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die. It was Merv Griffin, if I recall correctly.

    Good one, Harry.

    Although watching Merv Griffin die hardly counts as manly; it was a national pastime:

  70. @Twinkie

    But at least he’s man enough to take a strong stand.
     
    I don't know about you, but in my book being a man requires action, not flinging insults at political opponents. You know, talk is cheap... What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight? Carry arms in defense of his country? Serve as a volunteer fireman? Killed a wild animal? Don't confuse vulgarity with manliness.

    But at least he errs on the side of honesty, rather than hypocrisy.
     
    Unless that "bluntness" is just a schtick.

    He doesn’t live in fear of every little slip of the tongue. His bluntness hurts him at least as much as it helps him.
     
    Is that why he tried so desperately to sound as if he were a devout Christian in Iowa even though he couldn't come up with a single Bible verse?

    What manly thing has he ever done? … Killed a wild animal?

    Where do you think he got that pelt he wears on his head?

  71. @Twinkie

    But at least he’s man enough to take a strong stand.
     
    I don't know about you, but in my book being a man requires action, not flinging insults at political opponents. You know, talk is cheap... What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight? Carry arms in defense of his country? Serve as a volunteer fireman? Killed a wild animal? Don't confuse vulgarity with manliness.

    But at least he errs on the side of honesty, rather than hypocrisy.
     
    Unless that "bluntness" is just a schtick.

    He doesn’t live in fear of every little slip of the tongue. His bluntness hurts him at least as much as it helps him.
     
    Is that why he tried so desperately to sound as if he were a devout Christian in Iowa even though he couldn't come up with a single Bible verse?

    What manly thing has he ever done? … Killed a wild animal?

    Where do you think he got that pelt he wears on his head?

    Trump defends his big-game hunting sons as they are shamed on Twitter for posing with their trophy kills – including a leopard and an elephant – after death of Cecil the lion

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    Did you read the link you cited?

    He said: 'My sons love to hunt. They are members of the NRA, very proudly. I am a big believer in the Second Amendment.

    'But my sons are hunters, Eric is a hunter and I would say he puts it on a par with golf, if not ahead of golf.

    'My other son, Don, is a hunter. They're great marksman, great shots, they love it.

    'I em, like golf. I don't do that.' [Bold face mine.]
     
    I see Trump is a hunter the same way he is a Christian - because his mother went to a church.
  72. @Hippopotamusdrome


    What manly thing has he ever done? ... Killed a wild animal?

     

    Where do you think he got that pelt he wears on his head?

    Trump defends his big-game hunting sons as they are shamed on Twitter for posing with their trophy kills - including a leopard and an elephant - after death of Cecil the lion

    Did you read the link you cited?

    He said: ‘My sons love to hunt. They are members of the NRA, very proudly. I am a big believer in the Second Amendment.

    ‘But my sons are hunters, Eric is a hunter and I would say he puts it on a par with golf, if not ahead of golf.

    ‘My other son, Don, is a hunter. They’re great marksman, great shots, they love it.

    ‘I em, like golf. I don’t do that.’ [Bold face mine.]

    I see Trump is a hunter the same way he is a Christian – because his mother went to a church.

    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
    Twinkie,

    All of the candidates are deeply flawed. As I am, and you. Choose one and go.
  73. @Twinkie
    Did you read the link you cited?

    He said: 'My sons love to hunt. They are members of the NRA, very proudly. I am a big believer in the Second Amendment.

    'But my sons are hunters, Eric is a hunter and I would say he puts it on a par with golf, if not ahead of golf.

    'My other son, Don, is a hunter. They're great marksman, great shots, they love it.

    'I em, like golf. I don't do that.' [Bold face mine.]
     
    I see Trump is a hunter the same way he is a Christian - because his mother went to a church.

    Twinkie,

    All of the candidates are deeply flawed. As I am, and you. Choose one and go.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    All of the candidates are deeply flawed.
     
    Some candidates are more flawed than others.

    Choose one and go.
     
    I did. I am going to not only vote for Cruz, but will open my checkbook and my "Rolodex" and start making calls for money and votes.
  74. @syonredux
    Actually, a fair amount has been written about racism in Gremlins:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gremlins#Allegations_of_racism


    https://pr0jectvegan.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/the-racism-we-never-noticed-in-gremlins/

    And one could argue that the film does work as an anti-immigration allegory. Cf, for example, how it shows the snowballing effects of immigration, as we go from a single creature (the cute, cuddly Gizmo) to a veritable tsunami of Gremlins....

    “for example, how it shows the snowballing effects of immigration, as we go from a single creature (the cute, cuddly Gizmo) to a veritable tsunami of Gremlins…for example, how it shows the snowballing effects of immigration, as we go from a single creature (the cute, cuddly Gizmo) to a veritable tsunami of Gremlins….”

    They should have called it Gremlins – the Second Generation (with a few scenes shot in a social welfare office).

  75. @Twinkie

    And if he had done so, would you now be saying that he is a brawling thug?
     
    No I would not. It's normal for boys to have engaged in some fisticuffs. A thug is someone who persists in that kind of aggression as an adult and/or is pathological about fighting.

    Nobody in America carries arms in defense of his country. Our military doesn’t defend our country.
     
    You may disagree with the military-foreign policy aims of our elected leaders (I certainly do). But carrying arms in service of your country (even or perhaps especially when you disagree with "the orders") and engaging in battle courageously IS manly. It's certainly manlier than lobbing VERBAL insults to people who won't hit you back or harm you.

    Like that Minnesota dentist? Yeah, real manly.
     
    Hunting, especially hunting dangerous wild animals, is manly. It takes courage, perseverance, discipline, precision, overcoming physical discomfort or even hardship. It's certainly manlier than writing tweets in a centrally heated room. And hunting skills translate very well to battle skills, naturally.

    Trump's vulgarity in no way strikes me as manly - it strikes me as, pardon my language, bitchiness.
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    That sealed the deal for me. I am going to support Cruz.

    Trump had a chance there to show a bit of maturity and class - he could have said, "Now, now, let's not use that kind of language - you think he is a coward, and I agree." But he didn't and instead gleefully and childishly parroted the vulgarity in front of a crowd (which I assumed included other women and children).

    It showed immaturity and lack of judgment that is unworthy of someone who aspires to be the president of the United States. It's just crass, not "politically incorrect" or "telling it like it is."

    For that matter, on the issue of enhanced interrogations, which was the topic at hand, I agree with Cruz. I think we should use them, but sparingly. Trump's "I'll bring much worse things" to interrogations of detainees (and anyone who says otherwise is a coward) routine is a stupid, boastful chest-thumping of someone who has absolutely no clue about the issue at hand. He's just feeding garbage to ignorant folks to get a cheer out of them.
  76. @Kudzu Bob

    I don’t know about you, but in my book being a man requires action, not flinging insults at political opponents. You know, talk is cheap… What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight? Carry arms in defense of his country? Serve as a volunteer fireman? Killed a wild animal? Don’t confuse vulgarity with manliness.
     
    What a remarkably ignorant thing to say. Post your foolish and tiresome comments over at National Review Online, where they won't seem so out-of-place.

    Post your foolish and tiresome comments over at National Review Online

    I know NR has fallen on hard times, but foolish and tiresome not out of place? How the mighty have fallen. Speaking of hard times, I see where Dreher at the Am Conservative has taken off the gloves and says of Trump, “… a threat to democracy, this isn’t funny anymore.”

    • Replies: @Kudzu Bob
    National Review's commenters are mindless.
  77. @AP
    Speaking of verbal insults:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/08/politics/donald-trump-ted-cruz-waterboarding/

    That sealed the deal for me. I am going to support Cruz.

    Trump had a chance there to show a bit of maturity and class – he could have said, “Now, now, let’s not use that kind of language – you think he is a coward, and I agree.” But he didn’t and instead gleefully and childishly parroted the vulgarity in front of a crowd (which I assumed included other women and children).

    It showed immaturity and lack of judgment that is unworthy of someone who aspires to be the president of the United States. It’s just crass, not “politically incorrect” or “telling it like it is.”

    For that matter, on the issue of enhanced interrogations, which was the topic at hand, I agree with Cruz. I think we should use them, but sparingly. Trump’s “I’ll bring much worse things” to interrogations of detainees (and anyone who says otherwise is a coward) routine is a stupid, boastful chest-thumping of someone who has absolutely no clue about the issue at hand. He’s just feeding garbage to ignorant folks to get a cheer out of them.

    • Replies: @AP
    I'm not crazy about any candidate, although my preference is Kasich: an old-fashioned, pre-necon conservative Republican with a very good track record running a state. He has no chance of winning, but I would like to see him on a ticket.
  78. @Neil Templeton
    Twinkie,

    All of the candidates are deeply flawed. As I am, and you. Choose one and go.

    All of the candidates are deeply flawed.

    Some candidates are more flawed than others.

    Choose one and go.

    I did. I am going to not only vote for Cruz, but will open my checkbook and my “Rolodex” and start making calls for money and votes.

  79. @Twinkie
    That sealed the deal for me. I am going to support Cruz.

    Trump had a chance there to show a bit of maturity and class - he could have said, "Now, now, let's not use that kind of language - you think he is a coward, and I agree." But he didn't and instead gleefully and childishly parroted the vulgarity in front of a crowd (which I assumed included other women and children).

    It showed immaturity and lack of judgment that is unworthy of someone who aspires to be the president of the United States. It's just crass, not "politically incorrect" or "telling it like it is."

    For that matter, on the issue of enhanced interrogations, which was the topic at hand, I agree with Cruz. I think we should use them, but sparingly. Trump's "I'll bring much worse things" to interrogations of detainees (and anyone who says otherwise is a coward) routine is a stupid, boastful chest-thumping of someone who has absolutely no clue about the issue at hand. He's just feeding garbage to ignorant folks to get a cheer out of them.

    I’m not crazy about any candidate, although my preference is Kasich: an old-fashioned, pre-necon conservative Republican with a very good track record running a state. He has no chance of winning, but I would like to see him on a ticket.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    He could end up the nominee in a Truman scenario.

    He would crush Sanders.
  80. @iffen
    Post your foolish and tiresome comments over at National Review Online

    I know NR has fallen on hard times, but foolish and tiresome not out of place? How the mighty have fallen. Speaking of hard times, I see where Dreher at the Am Conservative has taken off the gloves and says of Trump, "... a threat to democracy, this isn’t funny anymore."

    National Review’s commenters are mindless.

  81. @AP
    I'm not crazy about any candidate, although my preference is Kasich: an old-fashioned, pre-necon conservative Republican with a very good track record running a state. He has no chance of winning, but I would like to see him on a ticket.

    He could end up the nominee in a Truman scenario.

    He would crush Sanders.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    He would crush Sanders.
     
    I am not sure about that. By all rights, Kasich should crush Sanders, but there are two factors. First, Kasich worked on Wall Street, and that would play very badly vs. Sanders. Second, Kasich is not charismatic and does not generate enthusiasm as Sanders does with his base.

    Also, Kasich does appear to me to be made of tough spine. It would be easy to paint the contest as Kasich the flipper vs. Sanders the truth-speaker.

    Elections, like fights, often defy expectations. That's why we bother to have elections (or fights). You just don't know until the bell rings and blows are exchanged.
  82. @Desiderius
    He could end up the nominee in a Truman scenario.

    He would crush Sanders.

    He would crush Sanders.

    I am not sure about that. By all rights, Kasich should crush Sanders, but there are two factors. First, Kasich worked on Wall Street, and that would play very badly vs. Sanders. Second, Kasich is not charismatic and does not generate enthusiasm as Sanders does with his base.

    Also, Kasich does appear to me to be made of tough spine. It would be easy to paint the contest as Kasich the flipper vs. Sanders the truth-speaker.

    Elections, like fights, often defy expectations. That’s why we bother to have elections (or fights). You just don’t know until the bell rings and blows are exchanged.

    • Replies: @AP
    Wall Street would be a problem, but it doesn't define Kasich's career. He spent 20 years in the House, and has been governor of Ohio for two terms.

    I agree that he doesn't seem to be a tough man. Neither does Sanders, however. But Kasich doesn't seem to be terribly weak, as do Jeb (despite his stature) or Rubio.
  83. @Kudzu Bob

    I don’t know about you, but in my book being a man requires action, not flinging insults at political opponents. You know, talk is cheap… What manly thing has he ever done? Has he ever been in a fist fight? Carry arms in defense of his country? Serve as a volunteer fireman? Killed a wild animal? Don’t confuse vulgarity with manliness.
     
    What a remarkably ignorant thing to say. Post your foolish and tiresome comments over at National Review Online, where they won't seem so out-of-place.

    What a remarkably ignorant thing to say. Post your foolish and tiresome comments over at National Review Online, where they won’t seem so out-of-place.

    I believe the story you linked 1) has been disputed by at least one witness and, according to another commenter here, 2) has been disproved by Snopes.

    Do you have anything else besides ad hominem?

    And for the record, I have not read NRO for quite some time now, and have never commented there.

  84. @Twinkie

    He would crush Sanders.
     
    I am not sure about that. By all rights, Kasich should crush Sanders, but there are two factors. First, Kasich worked on Wall Street, and that would play very badly vs. Sanders. Second, Kasich is not charismatic and does not generate enthusiasm as Sanders does with his base.

    Also, Kasich does appear to me to be made of tough spine. It would be easy to paint the contest as Kasich the flipper vs. Sanders the truth-speaker.

    Elections, like fights, often defy expectations. That's why we bother to have elections (or fights). You just don't know until the bell rings and blows are exchanged.

    Wall Street would be a problem, but it doesn’t define Kasich’s career. He spent 20 years in the House, and has been governor of Ohio for two terms.

    I agree that he doesn’t seem to be a tough man. Neither does Sanders, however. But Kasich doesn’t seem to be terribly weak, as do Jeb (despite his stature) or Rubio.

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