If there was winner it was Warren this time, but moderates try to pull progressives back…

July 31, 2019

Note: my immediate reactions to the Democratic debate of the evening of July 30, 2019.

I began watching tonight’s Democratic debate, televised from Detroit, thinking there was far too many people in it, ten this evening and that was just half, the other half tomorrow night (Wednesday, July 31).

But as it progressed I felt that at least some of the lesser knowns spoke up and tried to pull some of the assertions or proposals from the progressive front runners back to more pragmatic approaches, such as not throwing the baby out with the bathwater by taking away or doing away with private or employer-provided health insurance by providing for Medicare for all. There are different proposals but in one way or another most seem to point toward the demise of non-public insurance, at least eventually, save for maybe supplemental policies, if that.

And free college for all was criticized because it would allow wealthy people to take advantage of such a system, not to mention the cost.

I marvel at the notion that there is really such a thing as free health care or free college. As for health care I do support a public role of at least protecting those who cannot afford coverage. As for free college. First of all we have too many people in college who do not belong there. Higher education is not for everyone. We probably do need to look at restructuring the whole system because the old model is out of date. But at any rate, it is never free. Someone has to pay, college and health care.

Personally, I thought Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who for some reason I don’t usually take to, at least had maybe the best line of the night when she retorted to one candidate who claimed progressive ideas were impractical and could not be done. Her retort was to former congressman and now presidential candidate John Delaney, but probably applied to some of the other moderates.

“I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.” That got her good applause.

Applause to a political candidate is like a laugh to a comedian. But earlier in the debate when some in the audience started to laugh at something Warren was saying, she shut them down by saying: “this is not funny”. And seemed to get away with it. The lady does put energy into what she does.

I think Bernie Sanders is just a little too socialist for me, and he is an avowed socialist. Like I say all the time: I’m for social programs, not socialism.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, whom I do like somewhat, I think did well, but she is rather low key and while that may work in her native Minnesota, I’m not sure how that works in nationwide politics and against the monster that is Trump. She would I am sure make a good president — well I think so. How can I know?

We need someone competent and someone who can bring our nation back to normalcy and decency. But to win the election a candidate probably has to have some pizzazz. Some energy.

I should mention South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg. He is well spoken and he is an Afghanistan war veteran, and one who apparently at least served out in combat areas (don’t know the details). He took a swipe at Trump, accusing him of escaping military service by claiming a phony injury or disability (that seems to be a fairly well supported assertion). Not sure how comfortable some voters would be about electing Buttigieg an admitted homosexual for president. Not politically correct to say that (and probably not nice either), but I’m not writing this to be politically correct (or nice), just to be honest. And he is so young, 37. He took a swipe at the religious right Republicans by saying something about when you hurt the poor you mock the maker (a biblical reference apparently). I liked that. That’s because I think there is so much ugly hypocrisy from those who claim to be holier than thou but support such an immoral president.

Overall, I thought Elizabeth Warren probably came out ahead, but there seemed no clear standout in this.

I should mention that the disappointing phenom Beto O’Rourke, who got famous for losing a senatorial race to Ted Cruz of Texas (but it was close), kind of came back from the dead with what I sort of thought was a Kennedyesque style (JFK). But I think he is probably old news or all hat and no cattle as they say down his way. And he, like JFK, does not wear a hat.

These were just some immediate reactions and this is not meant to be a complete summary. You either saw it or can replay it or can skip the whole thing of course, the latter probably being the best option.

Superstars Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are on tap tomorrow night (Wednesday, July 31) along with all the others who were not on this evening. As I write this and before I watch, if I can, tomorrow night, I’m thinking when the dust has settled on all this primary stuff, it will be either Biden or Harris vs. Trump. Either one ought to be able to beat Trump, that is unless they get too confident — like the last one who tried. And how you can spend so many millions of dollars on a campaign and fail to grasp the power and danger of the Electoral College, stuns me. And then there is bad luck.






Forget the Mueller book and TV show, save a smoking gun, the ballot box is the key…

July 25, 2019

As almost everyone else, I have not read the 448-page Mueller Report. But I’ve seen the TV show and it is boring (Wednesday’s, 7-24-19, televised hearings). Questions from Democrats and Republicans that often were more political statements than questions, and a muddled response from Special Council Robert Mueller, who seemed addled at times, is what the public was presented.

A lot has come out of his inquiry in the Russian investigation and people have gone to jail. We cannot forget that. And Trump skates even though evidence indicates he was right in there with them. Being the president does seem to insolate one.

And what is this silly argument over whether his report exonerated or did not exonerate the president? That question seems subjective. I mean that was not his job. He was supposed to come up with the facts. Now it would seem that had he really thought there was enough evidence to convict he would have suggested prosecution. He claims to be working under a rule (not a law) that says no sitting president can be indicted. Well fine, wait till he is out of office I guess (although that would set a scary precedent and make us look like a banana republic). Also the congress still has the power to impeach. Right now it is divided, with the Democrats holding the U.S. House of Representatives and the Republicans the U.S. Senate. The house could impeach Trump (which does not mean removal) but the senate is afraid of Trump and will not convict him (which would mean removal). And maybe that is the way it should be. If it were too easy for a congress to remove a president then each party would remove each other’s successful nominees. Richard Nixon was so badly embarrassing that his own party would not save him.

We know who Trump is. We know he has dealings with our enemies. We know he has terrible manners. We know he is doing terrible things to the reputation of our country. And we all know that he is destroying environmental and work safety measures and wants to do away with the health care law (with no alternative).

We even know he tried to obstruct justice, or at least that is what most would call his actions.

But without a smoking gun — such as the Nixon tapes — he’s not going anywhere.

The only foreseeable way at this juncture to defeat Trump is at the ballot box.

And the only way I see that the Democratic Party will beat him there is to put up a candidate who catches the imagination and enthusiasm of the voters.

Hillary Clinton got way more votes but she lost in the Electoral College. And some expert observers are seeing that scenario likely again.

She also lost because she could not get some usually loyal Democrats out to vote for her in key states.

Remember poor Al Gore? He got more votes too but he could not get his own state in the Electoral College. Some say he ran a lackluster campaign. You really do have to give it your all.

Lesson for Democratic presidential hopefuls: your own party has to really be enthusiastic about you and you need to be able to capture swing voters or even dissatisfied Republican voters and new voters.

The idea that the Democrats could put up a ham sandwich and defeat Trump I think is not likely correct unless between now and election he does something so gawd awful that his supporters turn their backs on him. And what the heck would that be?

Americans historically don’t go for extremes on the right or left. Trump is an extreme but not on the right or left really. Besides being a pathological liar, he’s an outlier. He is in a category all of his own as to ideology — well maybe close to a fascist in the Benito Mussolini style, with traces of Hitler, which to me is really a lack of ideology and just a thirst for power. The uber nationalists and racists and bigots in a society feed off that thirst and hapless others are caught up in the wave.

Hillary’s husband Bill of course was elected president, two times. He and Hillary are neither extreme left or right — middle of the road. Remember? He was going to be the leader of a new Democratic Party. And Hillary was going to carry on the tradition. But she was not Bill — she lacked that certain something — personality, that is to say something that seemed a genuine personality. Bill at least knew how to fake it. I was always astounded at how so many Republicans seemed to respect him, even if they opposed him politically.

The smoking gun could conceivably emerge in the Trump affair, but it seems doubtful. And one wonders if even it would change things.

Yeah, I think for their sake, the country’s sake?the Democrats need to not let Trump run their agenda. They need to talk about themselves and what they can do for us.

Even though Trump seems invincible at times, I have to think that there are a whole lot of Republicans and others out there who just want an excuse to vote for the Democratic nominee. But they need that excuse.


As to the Russians meddling in our elections through manipulation of public information on the internet, that is of course serious. However, I am not sure how you keep people from only seeing and hearing what they want to believe and to be more discriminating in their searches of what passes for news. But my major concern is that our actual voting mechanisms are secure and I fear that they are not. All the Trump scandal and confusion is taking our eyes off the ball.


The Senate Intelligence Committee reports that the Russians have targeted our elections apparatis in all 50 states. No reports of actual votes being changed. This according to the NY Times.






Do some Republicans not so secretly wish for Democrat Joe Biden?

July 14, 2019

It seems that many in the self-described rightwing media are obsessed that the Democratic Party is committing suicide in the race for the presidency by going too far to the left and by nearly all of the 20 or more candidates promising free health care for illegal aliens (while the rest of us pay for it one way or the other), that there will be essentially no restrictions on abortion, and that the government will eventually take over all health care with private insurance falling by the wayside (some see the private sector hanging on I guess to offer supplemental coverage).

I’m not sure why they are obsessed. They may be trying to rally the troops behind the right-wing cause (whatever that really is) or perhaps they are truly worried that the Democrats will fail to offer a credible candidate to go up against Trump.

Now for the Trump-is-our-man-because-he-says-and-does (rude and thoughtless, vulgar and selfish and racist and bigoted ) things-we-cannot crowd, the Dems committing suicide would see happy news.

But there are some on the right or some in the Republican Party (which has become synonymous with the term right wing in politics) who just might wish the Dems could come up with decent competition.

Just read that stalwart Trump supporter (sycophant) Sen. Lindsey Graham differs with Trump on climate change. He believes that instead of denying it, the Republicans need to acknowledge it and then get out in front of what to do about it so that whatever that is it will work to their advantage, rather than facing draconian restrictions that might severely affect business, industry. As the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board indicates — doing something about climate change may be important but we just can’t afford it at this time — maybe down the road.

(The ever so special Lindsey is an interesting case. Not so long ago he was describing Trump as nutty, well I guess that was before the election. Since then Lindsey is mostly on his side. He knows where the power is. But deep inside he also knows the truth as we all do. The emperor has no clothes. But the Republicans in government are obliged to follow in order to hold onto their own power — they were responsible for putting Trump in the White House after all).

As I have noted in this space many times now, it is hard to argue with a healthy national economy. While I hear daily reports about ups and downs and trends and predictions, it seems overall the economy is going along like gangbusters — but as we all know that can change rapidly and quite unexpectedly.

However, I must confess that within the last four years I have sure seen more help wanted signs in windows or on the sides of buildings than I have ever seen in my whole 69 years. When I was a teenager and in my 20s you were more likely to see “No help wanted” or “No applications accepted”. Of course people who really want to work and are not terribly picky usually get past all that.

But also like I have said I think it would be possible to have just as robust an economy with jobs all around without the terror and shame that is Trump. I realize anyone reading this who kind of likes Trump will not understand what I mean. So I am not writing for you. I am writing for those with some amount of decency and character and who have some interest beyond their own selves. A little grasp of culture and history would not hurt either.

The economy was already recovering from the Great Recession that occurred during the George W. Bush terms (not necessarily his fault) during the Obama years. Bush, our first MBA degreed president, did the only thing he could think of, he bailed out the big banks and investment outfits who basically got us there in the first place by throwing caution to the wind because Greed is Good. They were aided and abetted, though, by a populace drunk on the draw of making money out of nothing — buying and selling houses without money but somehow making money in the process, and putting everything on credit — with a credit card or better yet, several credit cards, you too can live like the rich and famous, without being rich or famous.

But I think Trump did do something to spur the economy. He created the promise that onerous environmental and safety restrictions would be lifted off of industry — and he and his administration are doing what they can to fulfill that promise. He also promised that he would bring back the jobs to our shores. He has not been as successful at that. Business is business, not a charity. It usually seeks cheaper labor. In fact, his trade war with China has simply shifted some production to Vietnam (you remember, where 60,000 of our soldiers died, with thousands more terribly wounded). I think Trump has found that he can’t turn back the reality of the global market. He can mess it up. Even so, Trump has created a climate in which businesses may feel more comfortable to expand within the borders of the U.S. And a government should do that.

About the help-wanted signs too. There are things going on in society. Have I read this or is it mostly my own observation? I mean we have the baby boomers retiring (me, except I still work, that is my retirement for now) and at the same time we seem to have this phenomenon that not all young people hit the job market after high school. They don’t even all go to college. Some just hang out. That may account for some of the labor shortages in some sectors. And we can’t forget the opioid epidemic that seems to have eroded the work force. No wonder people cross the border for jobs. If you don’t want them, they do.

All or most of that is just speculation on my part admittedly.

I really have no all-around conclusion to all this. I would like to see the Democratic Party put up a credible middle-of-the-road candidate. Yes, Joe Biden is supposed to be that candidate. I am not so sure but what that his time has passed. He has gone to the well more than once. But for some reason I get the idea that a lot of Republicans wished he would make it — like, “please Joe, save us from the Frankenstein we created”.




Maybe the British ambassador is a victim of a Trumpian dirty trick…

July 11, 2019

I’ve heard the advice: don’t put anything in writing but apparently that is especially true of emails.

Just ask the British Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch, who found himself forced to resign for writing no more than the truth. He reportedly advised others in the British government that U.S. President Trump is “inept” and “insecure”.

There was an email leak. It came out in public.

That is no more than most people in the world already know, save some Trump supporters, and maybe Trump himself. But even among a large percentage of those who in some way favor Trump, I think, I am sure, most are well aware of his shortcomings (not making a snide reference — you know, the hands thing and all) but also know that he in some way enables things they prefer and if nothing else runs interference for them against their political enemies.

British Prime Minister Teresa May (not long for her post either, but for a different reason) and others in the British government defended the ambassador, and officially, he was not asked to resign (officially anyway). Boris Johnson, leading candidate for prime minister, reportedly a Trump fan, refused to comment on the whole affair. But it is speculated that his failing to support the ambassador may be a reason for the ambassador’s resignation in that Johnson, who reportedly admires Trump, may be his new boss soon.

This sure seems to indicate Trump has sway over at least one foreign government. Trump of course had castigated on Twitter the ambassador for the unkind portrait of him and has vowed his administration would no longer deal with him.

(What if everyone in the world who had dared to criticize Trump would just not speak to him? That’s a thought.)

I can understand that the British government would be embarrassed. And probably the ambassador would lose his effectiveness after such a statement or statements had been made public.

But the whole world operates on one says whatever he or she thinks in private, and often hopes others, the subjects of criticisms especially, do not hear, out or politeness and out of fear of embarrassment or worse.

It is sometimes said that if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say it — but this is the workings of government. As May herself said, it is the ambassador’s job to be frank and give his opinion. Would a general or intelligence agent fail to report on a possible enemy or situation for fear of not saying something nice?

At some point honesty must take center stage.

Trump says all kinds of mean and awful things about people in and out of government, important people and non important people, and he has not been fired.

And of course our people — the president on down — meet with leaders or high officials of other nations, some who are adversaries. Our people must say all kinds of things out of their earshot as they do about us. But, yes, it is embarrassing to have it aired in public and then have to face those you have criticized (or did nothing more than tell the truth about).

And of course, whatever the ambassador said was his opinion for the higher ups to mull around and decide for themselves.

It all seems kind of suspicious. It even has the markings of a Trumpian trick. In the presidential campaign it was the leak of the Hillary Clinton and Democratic committee emails (said to be aided and abetted or at least supported in some way by the Trump campaign). Among other things, as I recall, the emails pointed to the strategy of pushing Hillary over Bernie Sanders. And since, strangely enough, a not small segment of the Trump world preferred either Sanders (the Democrat) or Trump (the nominal Republican) that seemed good for grabbing them to support Trump over mean old Hillary, who was running over Bernie thanks to the built-in advantage of super delegates and other things.

Meanwhile, for the rest of us, don’t put it in writing. You want to gossip but don’t want it to get back to the, what? the gossipee, don’t electronically message it in any way lest you have some explaining to do or get a punch in the nose or worse.


Despite one major gaffe, much ado about nothing in the fears of Trump taking over the Fourth of July…

July 5, 2019

UPDATE: As I mentioned in in the first draft of this blog post I did not listen live to Trump’s Fourth of July speech. But this morning (July 5) I heard some of it and at first I thought I heard it wrong. He talked of Gen. George Washington leading his troops in the crossing the Delaware and…taking over the AIRPORTS. Seems like a good strategic move but of course there were no airplanes nor airports in 1776, not even hot air balloons, as were used in the American Civil War. It was apparent he was simply reading a speech and had just misspoke. But he did not correct it or even notice it probably. Trump of course has no use for accuracy nor history. There were some other flubs in the speech too. But still below I contend it seems all the fuss before his personally planned and Trump personalized Fourth of July Spectacular was perhaps overblown.


So Trump had his July 4 extravaganza featuring him and tanks.

In the end it appears all the concerns and complaints about using the nation’s birthday and the military to glorify himself and to run for re-election was much ado about nothing.

Yeah he wasted some money that should have gone to the parks and military preparedness or back into the taxpayers’ wallets, but much of that money may have well been misused anyway, and being the president does get one privileges.

I did not listen to his speech but read a summary of it and it was apparently devoid of the usual name calling and accusations of disloyalty and criticism of journalists who fail to praise him and concentrate too much on the facts or fact finding.

Also read there was at least one flag burning incident. That does not sit well with me even if the Supreme Court has ruled it is protected speech. It’s disrespectful and bad manners I would say and is darn near tantamount to treason. But we have a lot of freedom in this nation and that is what the Fourth is all about, a celebration of freedom.

There are a lot of things to despair about Trump for but the Fourth of July celebration appears to not be one.

His opponents need to concentrate on the important stuff.

Somehow complaining about a Fourth of July celebration done the president’s way does not seem effective to me.

I guess Trump wanted one of those military parades with goose stepping soldiers (except ours don’t march that way) and tanks and rockets and such but had to settle for stationary tanks and no military parade due to costs and the fact the streets could not support heavy armor.

He missed or passed up his opportunity to play soldier and apparently wants to make up for it.

So he had his day. Hopefully a good time was had by all.

I’m on the West Coast so while I write this on the night of July 4 it is all over elsewhere. I’m just getting ready to watch the fireworks.

I love the USA!

Trump propaganda spread large on YouTube, blurs line between information and indoctrination…

July 4, 2019

I call up subjects, issues, interviews with famous or important people, songs, and various items of entertainment on YouTube frequently. Why? Because it’s there and easy to use and often the only access or quick access I have.

Sometimes I get what I want immediately. Sometimes I get an advertisement I must listen to or partially listen to or push the skip sign when available.

The ads used to not particularly bother me even if they were usually mildly annoying. But, hey, when I first got on the internet years ago I wondered how it could provide all of this for free. I got my answer. It’s not all free.

This blog site may sometimes have ads on it. I don’t put them there and I do not get any revenue from them from WordPress which makes all this possible. But I could if I were willing to pay a little myself to upgrade the site.

Okay, that out of the way. I get it.

But now things have gotten out of hand, on YouTube at least. Oh, yeah, occasionally I have posted videos on that I admit.

Now much of the time I call things up on YouTube I am presented with fairly slick Trump propaganda dressed up as a message trying to enlighten me on various issues, such as the claimed fact that Trump had nothing to do in the least with Russian meddling in our election process, that in fact the real story is how the forces of evil in our own government actually spied on candidate Trump and tried to prevent him from getting elected.

That is just one example of the propaganda. The messages always talk of the lies “mainstream media” (read any organization that does not spout the Trump line or lies) tells us all and how Trump is the victim.

All this of course is political advertising which by definition is not truth per se. But it is presented as news or a promotion for a news site in which someone has taken an objective look at the facts and come up with the real story.

And while this is not a new tactic, with the help of the internet and the fact that everyone, even little kids, gets all of this on their smartphones, we are getting to the point where it’s getting more and more difficult to discern information from indoctrination.

I’m not going argue whether there is bias in mainstream media but you don’t correct bias by being more biased or by dropping objectivity altogether. You can’t effectively fight bias and false reporting with bias and false reporting.

It is problematic to outlaw deliberately false messages on public issues and preserve the all-important right of free speech.

Our only hope as a democracy is that the electorate remains discerning enough to sort through the garbage or that it even cares. But as a society we seem to be getting more and more complacent and dumber and dumber (well not you and I dear reader, but those other folks).

At one time perhaps more or most all news and general media organizations had some level of ethics.

I think ethics have been Trumped.

Happy Fourth of July.


There is some evidence I admit that at least a couple of FBI agents admitted in emails that they were personally not wanting Trump to get elected. I personally think that they should have been let go if they were discussing their personal political motivations while performing  their duties (well a couple of high level ones were, I now recall). But we also know that Trump has been oh so cozy with the Russians and bends over backwards not to criticize and in fact praises the Russian leader Vladimir Putin and mocks any concern that Russia meddled in our presidential election when there is ample evidence that it did and that the Russians preferred Trump to win. And a little kernel of truth in a big lie does not make a lie into the truth.





Klobuchar seems the best bet at this early stage; Trump world scared of Harris…

July 1, 2019

Yes it’s early. But right now I see U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota as the best hope to unite the Democratic Party and reach out to disaffected Republicans to defeat Donald Trump and Trumpism with all its vulgarisms.

While she did not get all the headlines, but some notice, in the recent debates (or free-for-alls), she was the only one to come across as sober, level-headed, and moderate. I continue to believe that the vast majority of the electorate is moderate. But when large numbers of people choose not to vote or are tired of the same old same old, the presidency tilts toward the right or left or somewhere else.

What we have right now is neither strictly right nor left in political terms I think. Trump defies ideological identity in the normal right and left mode of American politics. I suppose he is a nationalist and what in European politics would be described as a fascist. Think Mussolini. Think Hitler.

Klobuchar, who I confess to know little about, but some, appears to be a pragmatic moderate, with some liberal tendencies.

Foreign policy was barely mentioned in the two Democratic debates but Klobuchar did manage to get in that we need someone who does not conduct foreign policy “in his bathrobe” and on Twitter in the wee hours of the morning.

(Of course LBJ conducted a lot of business while sitting on the pot, doing his business, so to speak. And I guess Bill Clinton conducted some phone conversations with foreign leaders from the oval office with Monica Lewinsky under the desk.)

While Klobuchar, though reportedly bitchy with her staff, seems politely but firmly spoken in public, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California is a forceful and skillful prosecutor and interrogator, she being a former DA. She came to last week’s debate with ammunition against front runner Joe Biden, just waiting for the right moment to fire it at him. She accused him of being a racist while pretending to acknowledge that he is not. And I think that sums up one of her skills. She can go both ways at the same time. And she intersperses her tough talk with a lot of wide smiles.

Harris may well have broken out of the pack of, what is it now? 20? (so many they had to have two free-for-all sessions). She has the oratory skill and the nimbleness to switch one way or the other. She is for doing away with private health insurance and not at the same time. Maybe phasing it out and replacing it with government insurance.

I see both women as the best posibilites for defeating Trump at the moment, even if I lean toward Klobuchar.

(Harris learned a lot from political master Willie Brown, former mayor of San Francisco and state assembly speaker who pretty much ran the show in Sacramento for years. If a legislator ran afoul of him, he might find his office in a closet. Harris at one time dated Brown.)

Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, is to be reckoned with as well. She is a firebrand, although half way through debate 1, in which she took part, she appeared lost to me — too many people, too many men talking over each other too. But these free-for-alls are like trying to get noticed at a store counter where there is no system and the clerks look through you to wait on someone else.

(Oh, Harris had what may have been a pre-packaged line for that too — at one point she managed to talk over the crowd and admonish them that the American people did not want to watch a food fight but to see how they could put food on their tables.)

But to me, Warren is dangerously anti-business and business is who employs most of us. That is not to say some reforms she calls for, such as in the banking sector, are not in order.

One of the more articulate speakers, and one who seems capable of spinning off a quick and reasonable analysis of the issues, is Mayor Pete Buttigieg (Bootajudge) of South Bend, Indiana.

But putting political correctness aside, I ask: is the national electorate ready to elect a homosexual president (or at least an out-of-the-closet one)? Perhaps. At least he can’t be blackmailed over it since he is out in the open.

Former Obama cabinet member and mayor of San Antonio, Texas Julian Castro got a lot of notice from commentators but I guess I missed his magic. Have to review all that.

Joe Biden, former vice president and U.S. Senator from Delaware, just always seems like silly old Uncle Joe to me. And he is still putting his foot squarely in his mouth —  gaffe a minute. And yet, he might well be able to beat Trump. And that is what is important above all.

More stuff will happen. It will all change my mind no doubt. But for now, those are my first impressions. By the way, I watched both Democratic presentations last week but was working on other things too at the time so I might have missed some things.

I see the Trump crowd is going after Harris. That is a good clue that she is doing well.

They’re trying to do a birther routine on her.


I am a self-described moderate but I cannot be moderate about Trump. It was telling to me that when Judy Woodruff of PBS recently interviewed former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the man praised the accomplishments of Trump. But when asked whether Trump was a good role model for children, he played coy and refused to answer.

It seems honesty, civility, patriotism, belief in the rule of law, all go out the window if you can be credited with keeping those economic indexes and arcane employment statistics up (which are artificial in that they do not necessarily express reality of the nation’s well-being, or of individuals, or the actual employment situation even.)

They say Mussolini made the trains run on time.

If economic indicators and employment numbers are good, well that is good. Certainly business in general has to feel optimistic with a president who pushes for a tax code that favors it and for the dismantling of costly health and safety and environmental rules. If immediate gain is all you can see, things may look good. Worry about tomorrow when it comes I suppose.

I don’t doubt, though, that we could have health and safety rules and environmental protections and thrive now and into the future.

To keep it all in check, you do need a healthy competition between the forces of conservatism and the forces of change.