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Old 9th October 2015, 12:45
Hannia Hannia is offline
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Shows of Strength From Trump and Putin - The GOP front-runner hasn’t started fading,
and the Russian president seems in command.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL Peggy Noonan Oct. 8, 2015 7:39 p.m. ET

Thoughts on two strongmen:

Donald Trump has entered his second act. His polls, sometimes characterized as weakening, are in fact strong. As Bloomberg’s John Heilemann said on “Morning Joe,” if Jeb Bush had Mr. Trump’s numbers everyone would declare the race over.

This week Quinnipiac had Mr. Trump solidly leading his GOP rivals in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. A national poll from Reuters/Ipsos had Mr. Trump in the lead with 31%, followed by Ben Carson with 17%. Public Policy Polling had Mr. Trump holding steady nationwide since late August, coming in first at 27%. His support is ideologically broad—35% of tea-party voters and 29% of moderates, according to PPP. He did better among younger voters and among men (31%) than women (23%). Clever people once said of George H.W. Bush that he reminded women of their first husbands. I never thought so, but Mr. Trump would remind some women of a blustery first husband, or a loudmouth uncle holding forth at Thanksgiving while hogging the sweet potatoes.

He continues with high negatives. But for all the dopey, damaging dramas he’s gotten himself into the past few months he’s maintained his position. Imagine if he’d been disciplined.

The first act was “I’m Here and I’m Yuge.” Now Act II: “I Mean It and I’m Staying.” He has unveiled a tax plan and come forward as a family man with a seven-page spread in People. He’s emerged as a noninterventionist on the Mideast—“Russia wants to get rid of ISIS. We want to get rid of ISIS. . . . Let them get rid of ISIS. What the hell do we care?” He apparently has decided to stop certain media wars.

To me the virtue of his tax plan is that I can understand it. A friend said, “It’s a total rip-off of Jeb’s plan!” It probably is. But Trump explained Trump’s plan, so people paid attention, and Jeb explained Jeb’s, so they didn’t. Mr. Trump’s economic policies seem to come from indignation—the poor need a break, the rich have a racket. Jeb’s seem to come from a desire for good government. In the current climate indignation beats good government every time.

More than any candidate Mr. Trump has to hold on to what he has and grow out—steadily—from there. Everyone has to do that, but he most of all because he has to prove every day that he’s not a passing aberration, a whigged-out expression of voter rage.

Here is a mystery question. Mr. Trump has been the Republican front-runner for three months. The first voting, in Iowa, is in just more than three and a half months. If Mr. Trump does well in the early contests—if he retains his lead and it starts to look like he can really win the nomination—then at some point it will come down, sharply, to him versus the party establishment. And that establishment, such as it is, will presumably try to kill him. The question: What will that look like? We’ve never seen that before. What will it be to have a party establishment try to kill the guy who’s No. 1 in that party’s polls? Maybe they think they’ll have golden oppo, but opposition research doesn’t really work on Mr. Trump, mostly because no one has illusions of probity about him. His supporters don’t think he’s a sweet, sinless businessman. They love it that he’s not.

The wisdom now, and it’s not stupid, is that as time passes the field will narrow. More candidates will drop out, voters will begin to coalesce behind other front-runners, and suddenly one of them will be polling at 27% or 32%. Various powers will throw their weight behind front-runner No. 2 or 3 or 4. But this year has reminded us to expect the unexpected. Maybe not enough candidates will drop out to make a difference. Maybe the splintered field stays splintered. How then do you stop Mr. Trump? Maybe—again—only Trump stops Trump.

The second strongman is Vladimir Putin of Russia, who made a striking impression in a revealing 100-minute interview with Charlie Rose. It took place last month in Mr. Putin’s residence near Moscow, and ran Sept. 27 on “60 Minutes” and in its entirety on Mr. Rose’s PBS show. I speak frequently to those who know or have met Mr. Putin, and the Rose interview captured the individual the most insightful of them have described. Mr. Putin was confident in his command of information, clever, at times droll, sometimes insistent.

He posited himself as a friend of world stability. Russia is in Syria to keep it from becoming what Libya is, a nation in which “all the state institutions are disintegrated.” The Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad has “the one legitimate conventional army,” and “I want you and your audience to finally realize that no one except for Assad’s army is fighting ISIS and other terrorist groups now in Syria.” U.S. efforts have been wanting: “It has to be said frankly this is a very low level of effectiveness. I’m not trying to be sarcastic here. I’m not trying to call someone out or to point fingers.”

Mr. Rose asked if Mr. Putin saw ISIS as a unique terrorist organization. “Well yes, it’s turned into a unique organization because it has become global. Indeed they have the aim to build a caliphate from Portugal to Pakistan.” They are not the jayvee team.

Is he exploiting a vacuum in American leadership? No, said Mr. Putin, he’s trying to prevent a vacuum where the government of Syria should be. “As soon as government agencies are destroyed in a given state . . . that’s when a power vacuum occurs. And at that moment it will be instantly filled by terrorists.”

Is Mr. Putin driven by a desire to have Russia play a bigger role in the world? “I’m proud of Russia, that’s true,” he said, but such pride is not an end in itself. Then an oblique slap at the U.S.: “But we don’t have any obsession with being a superpower in the international arena. We’re involved in only one thing, defending our fundamental interest.”

Mr. Rose, noting Mr. Putin had been in the KGB, said, “Someone in Russia told me there is no such thing as a former KGB man.”

“You know, not a single stage of our lives passes without a trace,” said Mr. Putin. “All this knowledge we acquire, all the experience, will always remains with us and we carry it further and will use it somewhere. Well, in a sense they are right.”

Asked what he thinks of President Obama, he deflected—coolly. “I don’t think I’m entitled to give any views regarding the president of the United States. . . . Our relations are businesslike. I believe that’s quite sufficient to comply with our functions.”

Do Mr. Obama’s foreign policy actions “reflect a weakness”?

“I don’t think so at all,” said Mr. Putin. “I don’t think that’s the case and I don’t intend to get involved in a domestic American skirmish.”

One got the impression he wished it understood that he doesn’t outfox weaklings, he only beats champs. It was in its way Trumpesque. Shows of Strength From Trump and Putin - WSJ
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Old 9th October 2015, 17:18
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Election 2016: Potential Biden bid, Clinton's new ad

Election 2016: Potential Biden bid, Clinton's new ad - Videos - CBS News
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Old 5th March 2016, 11:04
Gotno Gizmo Gotno Gizmo is offline
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Britons are following US Presidential elections more than ever

My fellow Brits seem to be taking a greater interest in the forthcoming US Presidential elections. At a time when the world's problems seem bigger now than in any of my previous 72 years, it becomes more important to us who the US electorate will vote as their future leader.

For my part Bernie Saunders would be my best choice. He is saying so much against corporate business power and other topics that I have been saying within various threads of this website over recent years. However, I have not yet been able to get much idea over Bernie's foreign policy, particularly his views of Putin's aggression in Ukraine.

A Brit taxi driver and his 14 year old son discuss the Presidential election and I'm extremely surprised by the knowledge of the topic displayed by the son:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIZYT7qQDVw&feature
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Old 5th March 2016, 14:51
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The Corner - THE NATL REVIEW
John Fund June 24, 2015

What is it about worn-out socialist “worker paradises” like the old Soviet Union and Cuba that bring out the romantic in American radical politicians? After Vermont senator Bernie Sanders announced his run for president, Britain’s Guardian newspaper pawed through old archives in his home town of Burlington, Vermont where he served as mayor in the 1980s. They discovered that Sanders really did practice the socialist solidarity he preached about rhetorically. During Bernie’s mayoral tenure, Burlington formed an alliance with the Soviet city of Yaroslavl, 160 miles northeast of Moscow. When in 1988 he married his wife, Jane, the mayor decided it would be a perfect place for his honeymoon. In a tape of his interview with Yaroslavl’s mayor, Alexander Riabkov, Sanders acknowledges that housing and health care appear to be “significantly better” in the U.S. than in the socialist paradise. “However,” he added, “the cost of both services is much, much, higher in the United States.”

Sanders made further globe-trotting expeditions to socialist countries. He visited Cuba, scoring a meeting with Havana’s mayor. In 1985 he attended the celebrations marking the sixth anniversary of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. “In a letter addressed to the people of Nicaragua, penned in conjunction with that trip, Sanders denounced the activities of the Reagan administration, which he said was under the influence of large corporations,” the Guardian notes. “In the long run, I am certain that you will win,” Sanders wrote, “and that your heroic revolution against the Somoza dictatorship will be maintained and strengthened.” (The Sandinistas were ousted by Nicaragua’s voters in 1990). Sanders isn’t the only radical U.S. politician to have a weakness for Communist dictatorships. In 2013, Bill de Blasio was caught off guard during his campaign for New York mayor when a Cuban-American radio host challenged him about Castro’s regime. Ino Gómez, who fled Cuba in 1970, asked de Blasio in an interview about what he was thinking when he chose to violate U.S. law and spend his honeymoon in Cuba in 1991.

Sanders isn’t the only radical U.S. politician to have a weakness for Communist dictatorships. In 2013, Bill de Blasio was caught off guard during his campaign for New York mayor when a Cuban-American radio host challenged him about Castro’s regime. Ino Gómez, who fled Cuba in 1970, asked de Blasio in an interview about what he was thinking when he chose to violate U.S. law and spend his honeymoon in Cuba in 1991. “What did you see in Cuba? What is your impression going on a honeymoon in a country that hasn’t had free elections in the last 50 years? What did you get from that trip?” Gómez asked. A defensive de Blasio sputtered: “I didn’t go on a trip to study the country. I don’t pretend to have full perspective of the country.” He then acknowledged Cuba is undemocratic but praised “some good things that happened — for example, in health care.” Gomez was having none of it. “I just had to send my aunt in Cuba some, you know, the thread to have stitches, because they don’t have in Cuba the thread,” he told the future mayor of Gotham.

De Blasio chose not to reply and the host moved on to other topics, giving him a pass on his 1988 trip to Nicaragua in support of the Sandinistas. Bernie Sanders is now running only ten points behind Hillary Clinton among New Hampshire Democrats. No one believes he will beat her for the Democratic nomination, but here’s hoping his growing strength encourages reporters to quiz him about his Soviet honeymoon and other loony-Left trips to countries that were sworn enemies of the U.S. Bernie Sanders' Socialist USSR Honeymoon | National Review Online
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Sanders went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon and I don't think he ever came back.

Needless to say, I did not vote for De Blasio, current one term mayor of New York City.

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Old 5th March 2016, 16:35
Hannia Hannia is offline
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Campaign site
Bernie Sanders on Russia
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Last edited by Hannia; 6th March 2016 at 09:00.
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Old 5th March 2016, 16:54
Gotno Gizmo Gotno Gizmo is offline
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Hannia, what's your opinion?

Thanks for burying my written post fairly rapidly behind political hacks views, but I acknowledge I did say I didn't know enough about Bernie Sanders thoughts on Russia.
However, it would be nice if you could spare the time to give us your own opinion from time to time on the various topics.
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Old 6th March 2016, 00:00
Hannia Hannia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotno Gizmo View Post
Thanks for burying my written post fairly rapidly behind political hacks views, but I acknowledge I did say I didn't know enough about Bernie Sanders thoughts on Russia.
However, it would be nice if you could spare the time to give us your own opinion from time to time on the various topics.
Curious or maybe not, that you should call John Fund a political hack.

He is prominent journalist, who worked for The Wall Street Journal for more than two decades, and was on the editorial board there. Politically he is a conservative and does-not-feel-the-bern. He has authored many books and continues to write for serious magazines.

I too, do-not-feel-the-bern, as evidenced by my succinct comment in previous post: "Sanders went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon and I don't think he ever came back."

Bernie's socialist railings are too left of center for my political taste. If let loose, he could become dangerous.

As we all know, it's not what politicians say, it's what they do. In any case, I see no reason to get long-winded.

In a messy world, American elections too can become a bizarre circus.
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Last edited by Hannia; 6th March 2016 at 19:55.
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