All the focus on Trump --

-- can we channel it?

George Will on Donald Trump:

"I believe that what this president has done to our culture, to our civic discourse ... you cannot unring these bells and you cannot unsay what he has said, and you cannot change that he has now in a very short time made it seem normal for schoolboy taunts and obvious lies to be spun out in a constant stream. I think this will do more lasting damage than Richard Nixon's surreptitious burglaries did."

And then you have the WaPo issuing a guest editorial from the husband of a White House aide:

In a Washington Post op-ed published Monday, George Conway wrote that Trump's actions on Sunday "left no doubt" that "naivete, resentment and outright racism, roiled in a toxic mix, have given us a racist president."

Trump used racist language this weekend to attack four Democratic congresswomen, implying that they weren't born in America and suggesting, "they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."

And then you have the call for impeachment, which of course failed.

Which brings us, dear readers, to the meta-analysis: No, over there! Our case-by-case guide to the Trump distraction technique. So what we have with the racist Tweets is a distraction, just like all the others that Adam Gabbatt mentions in his article.

Readers of Caucus99percent, however, will know what Trump is distracting us from: the whole political class is dedicated to global murder-suicide. Yeah, they're the planetary equivalent of Chris Benoit, and they like it that way. They're all suffused in fossil fuel cash, and no, they don't want to impeach Trump. They find it easier to earn our acquiescence than to actually give the 99% anything for its hard-earned tax moneys. The political class thinks today, with Hillary Clinton back in 2016, that America is just great and that it's super-duper to live in a place where, if you can find a job, you can't afford the rent. (The Bay Area, if you're asking, is merely ahead of the game -- everywhere else will catch up, without of course having decent weather. So you'll be living outdoors there too.) Donald Trump, in short, makes a convenient untouchable punching bag.

Want to make good use of anti-racist anger at Trump? Here's a thought: ASSOCIATE CONGRESS WITH TRUMP. They want him in because he's a distraction from THEIR policies, their elitist disdain for the rest of us, and their willingness to drag the planet into Global Warming Catastrophe out of fear of losing what they see as their privileges, which are going to disappear anyway once the truth of their sh*tty climate change policies comes due. Please, honestly, we all know at this point that cap-and-trade and cap-and-tax are just crap excuses to impoverish poor consumers while keeping the oil companies in business. The "gilets jaunes" of France knew this even before we did. The Establishment politicians need to leave office now and make room for someone with an idea of a way through.

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Lily O Lady's picture

up with an enfant terrible. Bernie’s strategy of continuing to focus on the issues is the only way to go against the nonsense Trump spews.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Admittedly. But I do get heartburn with any ring wing figure basically saying Trump is an aberration. I'm sorry but from the southern strategy to fox news to all the rest of their loons, they helped get us Trump just as much as our slimy lying Dems. Both my parents were ardent fans so I've heard that shit all my life, the dog whistles as well as the blatant. The right helped bring this, all Trump did was exploit an opening these bastards gave them.

That said, of course this is blatant distraction from real problems. Bastards all of them. And it is not lost on me in any way that the Dems were slavers once and that southern strategy worked both ways. But for people who used subtle and now not subtle racist garbage to get their party into power and then to condemn Trump for doing it is a bridge too far. They've been just as fascist as he is all along in that respect. In my fully unsubstantiated opinion. End rant.

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lotlizard's picture

@lizzyh7  

And it is not lost on me in any way that the Dems were slavers once and that southern strategy worked both ways.

Why, I wanted to know, did he and my mom and all the other “Orientals” (as folks of East Asian ancestry were called in those days) in Hawaii generally support the Democrats, when in North America (“on the Mainland”) the leading segregationists in Congress with the most seniority, practicing a kind of politics that would later come to be called racist, were Democrats? Not to mention FDR and putting Japanese-American citizens in concentration camps? If there’s war with Red China, will we be sent off to camps too?

No real answer except what could be summed up as, “Historical reasons, unions and plantation workers, it’s complicated, you’ll understand when you get older and maybe have lived on the Mainland for awhile.”

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Bob In Portland's picture

@lotlizard The meme, that Democrats were opposed to slavery and Southern Democrats were the segregationists in the 40s-60s is used by Republicans in the present, using Abraham Lincoln as some kind of free pass for their current xenophobic behavior.

The quick and easy answer is that political parties change. This seems remarkably hard to grasp for many, but the Republican Party of 1860 is not the same as the current Republican Party. In fact, many of the the Southern Democrats who were segregationists flipped over to the Republicans during the sixties when northern Democrats backed civil rights for African Americans.

Using Abraham Lincoln as a human shield is a conscious attempt by the right to convince low information Republicans that Abraham Lincoln and all the parades and glory that Lincoln has accrued belongs to them, while Trump is rolling out raw totalitarian racism to the meat eaters at his rallies.

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@Bob In Portland First, let me say that I agree with your comment, but I feel compelled to make a few comments about Lincoln. The media version of Lincoln is a political saint, our greatest President, etc. In reality, he was shockingly racist. To his credit, he consistently opposed slavery, but not on the grounds of racial equality. Rather he believed that people should be paid for their work and slaves were not paid. To quote Lincoln from the fourth Lincoln-Douglas debate: "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality." This was up front, in the second paragraph of his opening remarks and it goes on in the same vein. This was from, not the utterances of a young and inexperienced person. You can see the full text at:

https://worldhistoryproject.org/1858/9/18/fourth-lincoln-douglas-debate-...

If you read his first inaugural address, he made it clear that he supported the Fugitive Slave act and the Dread Scott decision. He also made it clear that he had no intention of eliminating slavery in the areas of the US in which it was legal. He was consumed by a desire to keep the US together and the attack on Fort Sumter made it impossible to avoid war. He initially opposed the 13th amendment, but eventually came to support it. Frederick Douglass initially opposed Lincoln, but some time after his death expressed his gratitude for what Lincoln had done. Lincoln was no political saint, any more than Washington and Jefferson were political devils or saints. The outcome of his Presidency was the preservation of the Union and the abolition of slavery, but at the almost unfathomable cost of 750,000 men. The country in Lincoln's time was terribly racist, not just the South. When slavery was made illegal in northern states most slaves were not freed, but just sold to slave owners in states where it was still legal. And remember that 5 union states were slave states and the emancipation proclamation specifically excluded these states.

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@Roy Blakeley @Roy Blakeley comments. Your 2d para puts things in better context about AL's times than does the 1st.

I wouldn't consider him "shockingly racist". He was consistently among a minority, smaller numbers still in his home state of IL, who opposed slavery. That was the major issue of the times, and what to do with it.

The issue of full equality, considering blacks as the full equivalent in all respects to whites, in the harsh context of his times, with his own state badly divided and hardly a hotbed of Abolition, was a secondary, but not trivial matter, especially wrt public utterances. In his 7 debates with Douglas in a divided state, with some areas still legally ("Black Laws') imposing indentured servitude on blacks, and otherwise with whites treating them as inferiors, it was enough to argue in favor of the abolition of slavery in the territories. Taking a simple but dicey position on full equality (outside of being paid equally for work) in all aspects would have been politically probably suicidal for Lincoln, which he well recognized.

So, for his times he was well ahead of most white people on slavery, if not a proponent of abolitionist rhetoric and tactics, which he found extreme and counter to his core conservative/legalistic character.

On the 13th Am: well, context again matters. Afaik, he only opposed it early on on timing grounds, not on the substance of it. Note that even after he supported it, in early 1864, while it passed the senate, it failed in the House by the 2/3 requirement. So his thinking about timing was not irrelevant. And he was always conscious of not getting too far ahead of public sentiment, which still needed time to develop.

Not a saint for sure. But not shockingly racist either, considering the times.

My two cents as an occasional student over the years ...

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snoopydawg's picture

Not paying attention to what Trump and congress are doing started during Trump's first 100 days. While the country was flabbergasted that Trump was actually the president of the United States of America the republicans were busy rolling back Obama's last minute regulations.

Fast forward to now people are still focusing on Trump's behavior while Mulvaney and company are deregulating every damn thing that they can. Trump is moving the BLM from DC to Colorado and he has already moved another regulatory agency from Kansas to DC. Or vice versus.. . But the goal here is to get people to not want to uproot their families and move so this is a way Trump can shrink the game. He already has refused to fill many essential positions.

And so far the only legislation that democrats haven't voted for was rolling back the ACA. The Resistance is just a scam to make democratic supporters think that democrats are actually opposing Trump. And they have bought it.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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@snoopydawg you referenced an article on Mick Mulvaney

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/his-own-fiefdom-mulvaney-builds-...

and as far as I can see this is where the real action is. Gingrich and Rove both expressed that the aim of the republicans is to institute a "permanent republican majority". They have achieved so much of their goal that Trump can indulge himself on the stage, say anything without repercussion to whip up both sides. There are no rules anymore. The r's know the democrats have no strategy to beat them. Blow the racist dog whistle, and while everyone is aghast at his audacity, out of sight they dismantle everything in the government that offends them.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Snode

there are too many that want the same things they do. Democrats are the fake opposition party, but this isn't new to people here. Every day that congress is in session it's another game of basketball between the Harlem Globetrotters and the Washington Generals. Lots of the voting public are the referees that don't see that both parties are working together.

lol.. yesterday I read that donations from corporations don't affect the democrats like the donations from the NRA affect the republicans. Now that is color blind.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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TheOtherMaven's picture

@snoopydawg

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

and many people are quitting instead of moving. This is a way to shrink the government and I doubt that he is done doing this.

Many USDA workers to quit as research agencies move to Kansas City: ‘The brain drain we all feared’

Two research agencies at the Agriculture Department will uproot from Washington, D.C., to Kansas City in the fall. But many staffers have decided to give up their jobs rather than move, prompting concerns of hollowed-out offices unable to adequately fund or inform agricultural science.

About two-thirds of the USDA employees declined their reassignments, according to a tally the department released Tuesday. Ninety-nine of 171 employees at the Economic Research Service, an influential federal statistical agency, will not move. At the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which manages a $1.7 billion portfolio in scientific funding, 151 of 224 employees declined to relocate.

Jack Payne, University of Florida’s vice president for agriculture and natural resources, warned that the hemorrhage of employees will devastate ERS and NIFA. “This is the brain drain we all feared, possibly a destruction of the agencies,” Payne said.

Workers who agreed to move must do so by Sept. 30, although USDA has not established permanent office space and has not said whether the agencies will be located on the Missouri or Kansas side of the Kansas City area. Workers who were asked to move but declined “will be separated by adverse action procedures,” per letters the employees received in June.

The department expects relocation numbers may “fluctuate” until the Sept. 30 cutoff, according to a statement provided by USDA. “These anticipated ranges were taken into account in the department’s long-term strategy, which includes both efforts to ensure separating employees have the resources they need as well as efforts to implement an aggressive hiring strategy to maintain the continuity of ERS and NIFA’s work.”

Why yes it will, Chris and this is why it's being done. Think that there will be ads in local newspapers to hire the positions that are not there?

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told The Washington Post, “This kind of staff loss will completely gut the ERA and NIFA, and will ultimately prevent the USDA from conducting critical research that helps grow the food our families eat.”

...
Now, that science is “not going to happen,” Ramaswamy said, because the planned move has disrupted the agency. A senior NIFA scientist familiar with the grants, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid professional retaliation, confirmed that these grants are on hold and in danger of never being distributed.

NIFA, when fully staffed, employs about 400 people. As it becomes more diminished, the agency’s ability to review grant proposals, manage awards or hold grant recipients accountable is threatened, Ramaswamy said. He predicted tens of millions of dollars in grant funding will be in jeopardy. Most money earmarked for NIFA grants, if unspent, returns to the Treasury Department.

Katherine Smith Evans, the ERS administrator from 2007 to 2011, reviewed a list of employees who are leaving. Four of five economists working on bees and pollination at ERS have left or will leave, she said. Ten of 12 economists working on trade and international development have retired, already left or plan to do so. None of the farm finance and tax experts will remain with the agency. “I agree with people who say it will take 10 years to recover,” Smith Evans said.

Gale Buchanan, the USDA chief scientist and undersecretary for research, education and economics in the George W. Bush administration, said employees face “an almost impossible task” by trying to do their jobs with reduced numbers.

Never mind that we're in the middle of the 6th extinction level event and are losing large numbers species daily and we are already experiencing the effects of the climate catastrophe, let's get further behind the 8 ball by stripping people out of the agency. Agencies.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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snoopydawg's picture

You can't just impeach someone without doing some hearings on why he should be impeached. But Nancy doesn't even want to do that much even though she knows most of the base wants her to. It's almost like she is trying to depress voter turnout or something.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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lotlizard's picture

@snoopydawg  
http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=24012

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=nancy+pelosi+dana+milbank+anti-war+%22buddhas%22

“Look,” she said, the chicken breast on her plate untouched. “I had, for five months, people sitting outside my home, going into my garden in San Francisco, angering neighbors, hanging their clothes from trees, building all kinds of things — Buddhas? I don’t know what they were — couches, sofas, chairs, permanent living facilities on my front sidewalk.”

Unsmilingly, she continued: “If they were poor and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they would be arrested for loitering, but because they have ‘Impeach Bush’ across their chest, it’s the First Amendment….”

“We have to make responsible decisions in the Congress that are not driven by the dissatisfaction of anybody who wants the war to end tomorrow,” Pelosi told the gathering at the Sofitel, arranged by the Christian Science Monitor. Though crediting activists for their “passion,” Pelosi called it “a waste of time” for them to target Democrats. “They are advocates,” she said. “We are leaders.”

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snoopydawg's picture

@lotlizard

and then immediately took doing anything about them off the table and of course keeping the powder dry. Then she did the same thing last election and yet people still think that any day now Trump is going down.

Did she sneer whilst saying this?

Pelosi called it “a waste of time” for them to target Democrats. “They are advocates,” she said. “We are leaders.”

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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face up to the facts about Trump.

He ran on issues important to the people while both parties fiddled.

An analyst discussing his campaign speech in NC opined that Trump was able to win (electoral votes) by addressing the concerns of the US, while the repubs and dems were doing nothing but what they always do (as referenced in the above essay). The repubs and dems left the field wide open for someone like Trump.

A good example from his speech is his emphasis on jobs, jobs, jobs, made in the USA, made in the USA. He talked about enterprise zones and housing; he talked about education, and a number of other topics (like pre-existing conditions). Issues that matter to everyone, not just small slices of the population.

Those whiny 4 'women of color' whose self importance completely overshadows whatever policies they supposedly promote don't matter anymore, no matter how much they cry and stamp their feet. Al Green doesn't matter anymore. The dems don't matter anymore.

The left, with its constant strafing of Trump/conservatives with accusations of racism, fascism, Nazism, and every other ism that could possibly exist, for any and all situations, as an explanation for everything gone wrong, have left these words completely bereft of any value. Those accusations mean nothing anymore in a country where diversity has advanced to every corner.

I said it here and now - dems are toast in 2020.

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dfarrah

snoopydawg's picture

@dfarrah

the whole political class is dedicated to global murder-suicide

Guess you think that too many regulations are bad for the country because it interferes with companies' profits. Or not admitting that climate change issues are getting serious or any of the other things that he is doing that is affecting us now and in the future?

Seriously?

like pre-existing conditions

Yeah just ignore how he is trying to dismantle the ACA which will allow insurance companies to deny treatment because of..wait for it...pre existing conditions.

Yay the economy is doing great. For some. But yeah the Dems are toast if they run any one except Bernie which they will.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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Pluto's Republic's picture

@dfarrah @dfarrah

The left, with its constant strafing of Trump/conservatives with accusations of racism, fascism, Nazism, and every other ism....

Instead of the Left, perhaps you mean the Liberals or the Progressives.

Because I'm on the real Left — and nobody here is doing that.

I think you're probably right about the Dems re: 2020. This is the same mistake they made last time.

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12 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus

@dfarrah @dfarrah every corporation. I love his tax break for the ultra-rich. I love his plan to privatize Social Security, and dropping bombs everywhere, and economic sanctions on Venezuela that kills poor people there, but we could MAGA if we had their oil.
There is some info/video in the eb about the horrendous cost Trump's trade war is passing down to us.
But he is, truly, an awesome man, and you and I can agree on that. You think he is awesome in his greatness, I think he is awesome in a Hitler way, but he great.
He is. I bow to his Greatness.
Unfortunately, I don't have the choice not to.

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Lily O Lady's picture

@on the cusp

Trump addressed issues that resonated across subgroups of people. Of course he was lying his @ss off, but in the desert people will head for anything that might relieve their thirst, even if it is a mirage.

The MSM gave Trump millions of dollars of free publicity, breathlessly reporting every brain-fart he had. Meanwhile, the substantive issues offered by Sanders were given short shrift, even mocked. Let’s not imitate them. Bernie keeps to the high road, let’s not get stuck in the mud on the low road.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Big Al's picture

@dfarrah are toast. The backfire caused by the justice democrats and their very naïve and limited progressive actresses, and those advising them, combined with the farce that is the dem party nomination process clearly puts Trump and the republicans in the drivers seat. The justice democrats are actually driving more people to the right with their concern focused on illegal immigrants, identity politics, and themselves instead of the working and middle classes. However, a lot can happen in another year plus and much of Trump's chances depend on the economy. In that regard and considering the absolute failure of the tax cuts for corporations, you might want to read this regarding that.

https://www.activistpost.com/2019/07/trumps-fight-with-the-fed-over-inte...

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snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

I've been reading about how the economy is already setting up to crash again with all the warning signs in front of us. During the last time this happened the trucking industry fell flat on its face and just the last two weeks two of them have closed down.

The retail apocalypse is going unmentioned by the media too. Oh sure we get little tidbits of information about it, but nothing what we should be. And the German bank D...something has been seeing billions a day being taken out whilst it's laying off thousands of people.

But I wonder why Trump was allowed to put the kibosh on the TPP if we are moving towards a one world government? This was supposed to erase boundaries and borders everywhere. Hmm..?

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg level. The housing industry is past peak and diving. Ya, all signs are pointing to a recession, at least, and as Brandon Smith indicates, it's all, as usual, engineered by the Fed. So if he's right, and Trump is just a dupe acting in concert, it points to what I've felt since he started, he's just a stupid asshole who happened to be elected president because the human condition is like that. He's just trying hard to put off judgment day.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

Bush did. Or Obama. I think it's the people behind the scenes that truly run the government. Think tanks, the cfr, heritage and federalist are picking the judges that McConnell is pushing through with help from some democrats. I doubt that any president has been in charge since JFK died or even before him. What president was it that warned us that there was a secret cabal and unappointed people really running the show?

The article said that the economy is right where it was in 2008 just before the crash happened. We've been told that it's coming for years and that's why congress wrote that legislation in one of the omnibus bills that allows banks to take our money that we have in their banks. A bank bail-in instead of a bailout. Get your money out of the big banks.

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12 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@Big Al ID politics forces people to take a stand. The republicans are using it too. As the movements becomes more militant and strident, people who never thought about their own identity will make decisions based on that newly defined identity. Who defines that identity is up for grabs. White identity is becoming a thing. Will they be inherent racists because of their privilege? Will they be a harassed soon to be minority slated to atone for every sin of the past?

Some times I think the republicans are the one playing 12 dimensional chess. They turn every strength the democrats have into a weakness.

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lotlizard's picture

@dfarrah  

The left, with its constant strafing of Trump/conservatives with accusations

And it’s certainly not the majority of us c99ers.

There are lots of people still nominally on “the left” (for want of a better labelling framework) who are just as skeptical of — if not downright sick of — the “ism” thing, identity politics, whatever one wants to call it, as anyone on the right.

Some inconvenient truths in this article, even if it is Rod Dreher and The American Conservative:

“Rednecks” And The Two Randys

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6 users have voted.

@dfarrah that's (roughly) how many days I get to ignore Trump supporters.

If you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter.


sorry not sorry

LOL at least you make me laugh out loud, that is a good thing. Have fun.
peace

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5 users have voted.

Depends.

Focusing on Trump has enabled politicians to raise a lot of money and, one might posit, enabled Democrats to take back the House. But, will channeling the focus on Trump enable politicians to raise more money or less? Will it create any billionaires?

War has made money for people. So have arms sales. So has "the peace process." Peace, however, has made not produced a single billionaire. And that, IMO, is why we don't have peace.

If we want nice things, we just might have to think of ways to make them obscenely profitable.

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