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    During the first Republican presidential debate, Ukraine was apparently a non-issue. The topic was not directly brought up by moderators. I will give credit to two candidates who brought Ukraine up on their own.

    Carson specifically mentions Ukraine giving up it's nuclear arms for a promise of protection.
    Watch at 6:43 using this link: https://youtu.be/PxXNfAOfeFU?t=6m43s

    The other candidate was Walker. He says he would arm Ukraine
    Watch at 6:02 using this link: https://youtu.be/m538cJn5DJ4?t=6m2s

    Some candidates, we still don't know what the would, or would not do.



    See whats been posted in the past day.


    Contact forum moderators here.


  • #2
    John Kasich: The US Should Be Providing Aid to Ukraine
    Kate Scanlon THE DAILY SIGNAL August 12, 2015

    DERRY, N.H.— During a campaign stop at a town hall in New Hampshire today, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said the United States should be aiding Ukraine against Russian aggression.

    “For the life of me, I cannot understand why we are not giving the Ukrainians [the ability] to defend themselves against Putin and the Russians,” Kasich said.

    He explained that the Ukrainians should get the help they deserve.

    “They’ve been through hell over the course of their existence, and we’ve got to let them fight for themselves.”

    Kasich, a Republican running for president, called for a balanced federal budget, strengthening the military, reducing taxes and “fiscal sanity.”

    He also called for the end of “sanctuary cities” for immigrants in the country illegally, but said “folks” who are already in the country and are “law-abiding” should be able to pay a fine and stay.

    Kasich said we should “wipe out ISIS once and for all.”

    He believes foreign aid, applied correctly, “can help us win the battle of ideas,” and preserve America’s leadership role in the world.
    John Kasich: The US Should Be Providing Aid to Ukraine

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    Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

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    • #3
      Looks like Trump is on our side now. I was concerned about his earlier remarks about being respected by Putin.

      Trump Ukraine Speech: Republican frontrunner billionaire sounds off about Russian aggression




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      • #4
        Lexington - Regicidal Republicans - The party faithful are keen to decapitate politicians with experience of politics
        Sept 19th 2015 THE ECONOMIST

        THIS is a humbling election season for folk who think they understand American politics. A rather hangdog mood duly hung in the air at the second Republican presidential debate on September 16th, hosted by the Reagan Library in southern California. The assembled strategists, spin doctors and journalists watched the field of 15 candidates variously flub their lines or deliver zingers and, as is conventional on these occasions, tentatively drew up rankings of winners and losers.

        By conventional rules, the season’s shock front-runner, Donald Trump, had an iffy night. After months of climbing in the polls with a mixture of boasting, bigotry and abuse for rivals—a style The Donald referred to on debate night as “braggadocious”—he was floored by a withering put-down from Carly Fiorina, a former technology chief executive whose looks he had earlier slighted. Ms Fiorina, who used to run Hewlett-Packard, a computer firm, swatted aside Mr Trump’s claims that he had not meant to insult her with a brisk: “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr Trump said.” The billionaire property tycoon blushed a crimson red, and stammered that he thought Ms Fiorina “beautiful.”

        Jeb Bush, a former governor of Florida who was once expected to be dominating the contest by this point in the cycle, also had a so-so evening. Mr Bush landed a couple of blows, but could not shake his habit of lapsing into wonkish jargon. A low point came during a long and emotional discussion of abortion, when Mr Bush (a devout Catholic) vowed to cut federal funding for abortion providers by restoring a Reagan-era legal interpretation of a budget line he named as “Title X of the HHS funding”. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida had a good night, countering Mr Trump’s nasty nativism with a touching tribute to an immigrant grandfather who spoke Spanish, and used that language to teach the young Marco to love America.

        For the professional pundit crowd in the spin room and press tent where Lexington spent the evening, it was harder to reach a clear verdict about Ben Carson, a retired paediatric neurosurgeon and stern Christian conservative, who is in second place in many polls after closing fast on Mr Trump. Mr Carson’s style is low-key to the point of near-somnolence. He was anything but impressive when it came to explaining his plans for a flat tax (“It’s all about America,” he mumbled drowsily, before attacking progressive tax rates as “socialism”).

        The problem for pundits is that opinion polls have proved conventional judgments wrong again and again this season, as Republican primary voters flocked to candidates whose merits are hard to identify. For several months, the key to the mystery seemed to lie in anger. Voters are angrier than ever before with Washington and the political class, it could be stated with confidence. According to this theory Republican voters in 2016 are a bit like the Tea Party in 2009 and 2010. They loathe Barack Obama and the Democrats with a passion and despise Republicans in Congress for failing to thwart him, despite controlling both the House of Representatives and the Senate. That rage is joined by seething suspicion of any promises made by politicians.

        Off with their heads

        There is some evidence for this theory. Polls show majorities of Republicans scorning political experience and saying they want an outsider to shake up Washington. Governors and senators and other grandees who thought they had worked out how to woo conservatives, by stressing their records of unyielding right-wing purity, found their years in office being held against them (while the same angry voters seemed willing to forgive Mr Trump any number of breaks with conservative orthodoxy, from his past donations to Democrats to his calls to whack hedge-fund bosses with higher taxes). So low-trust is the mood among Republican voters that several White House hopefuls, in an effort to pander to them, spent more time attacking each other than denouncing the Democrats. Standing at a podium in front of the gleaming airliner used by Ronald Reagan as Air Force One, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana cast caution to the wind, ignored Reagan’s “11th commandment” about never speaking ill of fellow-Republicans and declared: “I am angrier at the Republicans in DC than I am at the president.” Given the current mood coursing through his party, the remark made sense.

        But even this theory needs revising. For while Republican voters are exceedingly angry and mistrustful, their lynch-mob rage is selective. Mr Carson could hardly be less fiery (though he primly disapproves of many things), yet he is surging. And the same conservative activists who disbelieve the establishment on all fronts are startlingly willing to give outsider candidates like Mr Trump, Mr Carson or Ms Fiorina, the benefit of the doubt. So highly trusting are rank-and-file Republicans that—to the despair of pundits and fact-checkers—they shrug when Mr Trump refuses to provide any details about how he would handle foreign affairs, breezing that once he is president: “I will know more about the problems of this world”. Nor do they seem fussed to be told that Ms Fiorina’s time as a CEO was marked by massive job losses, after a bungled merger. A fourth anti-establishment candidate, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, seems able to tap into this mood of strangely extravagant trust, by playing up his credentials as a serial rebel and critic of party leaders in the Senate.

        Republican primary voters are not in a revolutionary mood, then, but a regicidal one. They think their rulers are corrupt, inept and mendacious, if not actually treasonous. But they are at the same time ready to swoon before new rulers promising to fix America in an instant. The key credential required to earn that trust is a lack of experience. Will those outsiders disappoint their followers in their turn, triggering a still deeper loss of public trust? Probably. This is going to be a bumpy year. Regicidal Republicans | The Economist
        ================================
        I was hoping for a better performance from Kasich. He's probably the most sensible among the GOP field, but he lacks a message that can cut through the clamor.

        Trump remains the most extreme example of the current zeitgeist. Yesterday his star had faded a bit. If we get serious, he is a bit "too braggadocios", but nonetheless fun to watch, if only for the moment.
        Last edited by Hannia; 18th September 2015, 15:26.

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        • #5
          Crazy Talk at the Republican Debate
          THE EDITORIAL BOARD NT TIMES SEPT. 17, 2015

          Eleven presidential candidates had three prime-time hours on the national stage on Wednesday to tell the American people why they should lead the country.

          Nobody forced them to be there. They were there freely, armed with the best arguments they and their policy advisers had come up with, to make their cases as seasoned politicians, business leaders and medical professionals — the Republican Party’s “A-Team,” as one of them, Mike Huckabee, said at the outset.

          And that, America, is frightening. Peel back the boasting and insults, the lies and exaggerations common to any presidential campaign. What remains is a collection of assertions so untrue, so bizarre, that they form a vision as surreal as the Ronald Reagan jet looming behind the candidates’ lecterns.

          It felt at times as if the speakers were no longer living in a fact-based world where actions have consequences, programs take money and money has to come from somewhere. Where basic laws — like physics and the Constitution — constrain wishes. Where Congress and the public, allies and enemies, markets and militaries don’t just do what you want them to, just because you say they will.

          Start with immigration, and the idea that any president could or should engineer the mass expulsion of 11 million unauthorized immigrants. Not one candidate said that a 21st-century trail of tears, deploying railroad cars, federal troops and police dogs on a continental scale, cannot happen and would be morally obscene. Ben Carson said, “If anybody knows how to do that, that I would be willing to listen.” They accepted the need to “control our borders” with a 2,000-mile fence. Even Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, once an immigration moderate, endorsed the fence. Mr. Carson actually suggested two fences, for double security, with a road in between. Do these people have to be sent to the Rio Grande Valley to see how ludicrous a border fence — over mountains, vast deserts, remote valleys and private property — would be? And it won’t solve the problem they are railing against, which doesn’t exist anyway. Illegal immigration has fallen essentially to zero.

          On foreign affairs, there was a lot of talk about not talking with bad people. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said his first act would be to tear up the Iran deal, throwing the nuclear race back to the ayatollahs and rupturing global alliances — but making a point! Carly Fiorina said: “What I would do, immediately, is begin rebuilding the Sixth Fleet, I would begin rebuilding the missile defense program in Poland, I would conduct regular, aggressive military exercises in the Baltic States. I’d probably send a few thousand more troops into Germany. Vladimir Putin would get the message.”

          We get the message, and it’s scary.

          Jeb Bush spun a particularly repellent fantasy. Speaking reverently of his brother the president, he said, “He kept us safe,” and invoked the carnage of 9/11. Wait, what? Did he mean George W. Bush, who was warned about the threat that Al Qaeda would attack? Who then invaded a non sequitur country, Iraq, over a nonexistent threat?

          When the A-Team got around to science and health, many of them promised to help Americans by killing the program that gives millions of them medical insurance. One candidate said he felt sure that vaccines had caused an autism “epidemic.” The two doctors on the dais did not seriously challenge that persistent, dangerous myth.

          Let loose by the CNN moderators, the candidates spun their visions freely. Despite an abundance of serious issues to talk about, nobody offered solutions to problems like child poverty, police and gun violence, racial segregation, educational gaps, competition in a global economy and crumbling infrastructure. On looming disasters (the changing climate) and more immediate ones (a possible government shutdown over, of all things, Planned Parenthood), the debate offered no reassurance that grown-ups were at the table, or even in the neighborhood.

          But we did hear an idea to put Mother Teresa — Mother Teresa, a penniless nun — on our money. Think about that.

          “We were discussing disease, we were discussing all sorts of things tonight, many of which will just be words. It will just pass on,” one candidate said, wrapping up. “I don’t want to say politicians, all talk, no action. But a lot of what we talked about is words and it will be forgotten very quickly.”

          Which was the smartest thing Donald Trump has said all year, and an outcome America should dearly hope for.
          http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/18/op...an-debate.html

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          • #6
            America's dysfunctional politics - The prospect of a shutdown looms
            Sep 18th 2015, 21:48 by J.A. | WASHINGTON, DC THE ECONOMIST

            THE leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination include eight more or less distinguished politicians, such as Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, and two men, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, with no political experience and some odd ideas. Mr Trump wants to deport 11.3m people in two years; Mr Carson thinks being gay is a matter of choice and the Affordable Care Act the “worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery”. Polls suggest these greenhorn screwballs command more than half the Republican vote.

            To understand why Americans are so fed up with politicians, it would be reasonable to start with the government shutdown of September 2013, when the failure of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to pass a budget led to about 800,000 federal employees being sent home for 12 days and the mothballing of numerous government programmes and services. This was estimated to have cost the economy $24 billion in lost output; it also hurt the Republicans.

            At the time, almost half of Americans said the shutdown had cost them and most blamed the GOP—even if the nation’s disdain for Congress at the time was a lesson in bipartisanship. Only around a quarter of voters, Republican or Democratic, said they were satisfied with their congressional representative.

            You might think the Republicans, now in control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, would want to avoid a repeat of that embarrassing, damaging episode. Yet the prospect of another shutdown looms. Lawmakers have only 12 days to pass a fresh budget for the fiscal year beginning on October 1st; or, if they cannot, to sign off on a stopgap agreement, called a “continuing resolution”, which would maintain the current rates of expenditure for three or four months. Their progress is discouraging.

            An ambitious budget deal is out of the question. President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress want to increase spending on welfare, education and environmental protection; Republicans want to slash those budgets and hike defence spending. There is little appetite for compromise on either side. So far, so normal: Congress has not completed the full budget process, which involves passing a dozen separate appropriations bills, since 1994. More startling is a growing risk that opposition from conservative Republicans could block the anticipated compromise.

            The main obstacle is a row over the half a billion dollars a year an organization called Planned Parenthood, which carries out abortions, draws from federal and state coffers. The group has been accused by anti-abortion activists of profiting from the sale of foetus parts. It denies the allegation. It also protests that it spends its government money on cancer screenings, treating syphilis and other services—the abortions are funded separately.

            No matter: around 40 conservative lawmakers in the so-called Freedom Caucus (as well as Ted Cruz, a senator from Texas whose narcissistic showboating was chiefly to blame for the 2013 shutdown and who is now seeking his party’s presidential nomination) have sworn to “defund” Planned Parenthood. Yet if the House seeks to do so in a budget agreement, this would probably be shot down in the senate, and otherwise vetoed by Mr Obama. The result, yet again, would be the government running out of cash.

            Republican leaders in the House are appalled. They do not want to be blamed for that; the Republican speaker John Boehner, a staunch Catholic, may also fear the reputational damage this could do to the pro-life lobby he passionately supports. He has three possible solutions, none of which looks especially tempting.

            He assayed the first on September 18th, when the House passed a freestanding bill to defund Planned Parenthood for a year; Republican bosses plainly hope this will convince the Freedom Caucus to back a straightforward continuing resolution. This ploy may not work, however. The new bill is doomed to fail, because the senate will not pass it, and Mr Obama would anyway veto it.

            Another option for Mr Boehner would be to circumvent the hard-liners in his own party by instead persuading House Democrats to support the required continuing resolution. They are willing: “We want to be cooperative,” Nancy Pelosi, their leader in the House, said on September 17th. But this would be damaging for a Republican leadership that, having failed to sabotage Mr Obama’s administration as many hardliners want, is already derided by many in its own camp.

            A third possibility would be to give the Freedom Caucus the conflict its members want, by simply failing to pass a budget, and thereby allowing the government to be shut down; but only for a day or two, before hurrying through the necessary compromise. For sure, that would be less costly than last time around. It would be shameful nonetheless. America's dysfunctional politics: The prospect of a shutdown looms | The Economist

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            • #7
              Trump: I was not obligated to correct questioner who called Obama Muslim
              THE GUARDIAN Martin Pengelly in New York 19 Sept 2015

              Republican frontrunner responds on Twitter amid controversy after he failed to correct audience member’s comment about president at rally

              Donald Trump on Saturday commented on his failure to correct an audience member at a campaign rally who said Barack Obama was a Muslim.

              On Twitter, the Republican presidential frontrunner said: “Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don’t think so!”

              At a campaign event in Rochester, New Hampshire, on Thursday, an audience member said: “We have a problem in this country, it’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one.”

              Referring to Trump’s previous support for those who have questioned whether Obama was born in the US, the audience member said: “You know he’s not even American, birth certificate man.”

              The audience member then seemed to advocate the forceable removal of Muslims from US soil, saying: “But anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question. When can we get rid of them?”

              In response, Trump said: “We are going to be looking at a lot of different things. A lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.”

              Criticism of Trump’s failure to challenge or contradict the questioner was immediate and widespread.

              Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, used Twitter to say: “Donald Trump not denouncing false statements about POTUS & hateful rhetoric about Muslims is disturbing, & just plain wrong. Cut it out.”

              During his daily briefing on Friday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest asked: “Is anyone really surprised that this happened at a Donald Trump rally?

              “The people who hold these offensive views are part of Mr Trump’s base … It is too bad that he wasn’t able to summon the same kind of patriotism that we saw from Senator [John] McCain, who responded much more effectively and directly when one of his supporters at one of his campaign events seven years ago raised the same kind of false claims.”

              In response, a Trump campaign statement said: “The media wants to make this issue about Obama. The bigger issue is that Obama is waging a war against Christians in this country. Christians need support in this country. Their religious liberties are at stake.”

              On Saturday, Trump continued his response in a number of tweets.

              “This is the first time in my life that I have caused controversy by NOT saying something,” he said. “If someone made a nasty or controversial statement about me to the president, do you really think he would come to my rescue? No chance!

              “If I would have challenged the man, the media would have accused me of interfering with that man’s right of free speech. A no win situation!”

              After two Republican debates in the long primary contest, Trump maintains a double-digit lead in the 16-strong field. Another outsider candidate, the much more softly spoken retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, is in a clear second place.

              In conclusion on Saturday, Trump returned to the theme of US Christians needing protection – an increasingly common line among Republican presidential contenders, particularly regarding the June supreme court decision which made same-sex marriage legal across the country.

              “Christians need support in our country (and around the world),” Trump said. “Their religious liberty is at stake!

              “Obama has been horrible, I will be great.”Trump: I was not obligated to correct questioner who called Obama Muslim | US news | The Guardian

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              • #8
                What Happens To All That SuperPAC Money When A Candidate Drops Out
                Sept 21, 2015 NPR Peter Overby

                Opportunity and Freedom PAC, and its two siblings, Opportunity and Freedom PAC numbers 1 and 2, were meant to be heavyweight sluggers for Republican Rick Perry, providing big-budget support for his second presidential bid.

                But Perry himself turned out to be a welterweight at best. The former Texas governor entered the race late, raised a skimpy $1.1 million by June 30 and "suspended" his campaign barely two months later.

                "We had a plan," political consultant Austin Barbour, senior advisor to the superPACs, told NPR.

                The plan began with more than a month of TV ads in Iowa, starting when Perry announced. It took a new course when Perry's campaign coffers emptied out and the superPACs poured money into Iowa field operations. Finally, Perry's withdrawal in the early rounds of the primary season left the superPACs with the plan mostly unimplemented and $13 million unspent.

                So what happened to that $13 million?

                It's gone back to the donors – mainly Dallas businessmen Darwin Deason and Kelcy Warren.

                "The wire transfers have already been processed," Barbour said Friday evening.

                Deason, who lives part-time in Dallas, is reportedly worth $1.38 billion. He founded a company that handles processing for companies like E-ZPass. He sold it in 2010 to Xerox for $6.4 billion. He's gained attention for how he spends some of that money, including on his 205-foot yacht, Apogee.

                "Apogee means pinnacle in Greek," Deason told ForbesLife magazine in 2012. "To me it also represents the peak of spending absolutely foolish money. It's not rational, but I love it."

                What are the rules?

                Congress long ago passed a law limiting what candidates can do with unused campaign cash — in particular, they can't take it home with them.

                But that law doesn't apply to superPACs.

                This is only the second presidential contest since superPACs were created, and there is no law regarding left over money for the groups given their relative infancy.

                Is there any precedent for this?

                Yes. In 2012, the presidential superPACs generally wound down at the same rate as the candidate's hopes, with one exception. When former House speaker Newt Gingrich dropped out of the GOP primaries, the superPAC Winning Our Future returned $5 million to Miriam Adelson.

                She and her husband, casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, had been the major underwriters of Winning Our Future. Their money had kept Gingrich in the race weeks longer than he could otherwise have managed.

                But the superPAC alone wasn't enough, as Perry realized this month.What Happens To All That SuperPAC Money When A Candidate Drops Out : It's All Politics : NPR

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                • #9
                  Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump - The strange asymmetry of the presidential race Sep 22nd 2015 THE ECONOMIST

                  GEORGE H.W. BUSH was a terrible campaigner and a rather good president. One, possibly apocryphal, story about his awkwardness in front of a crowd involves a campaign stop in a New Hampshire town that had recently seen job losses. On the way in Mr Bush was, supposedly, handed a card by an aide which read, “Message: I care”. The candidate took to the stage and started saying, “Message: I care”, like some pre-programmed robo-Wasp. Hillary Clinton’s appearance on "Face the Nation" at the weekend had a certain H.W. quality. She has been told by aides that she needs to remind Americans that she is a real person. “I am a real person,” she told the host, John Dickerson.

                  That Mrs Clinton is not great at campaigning ought to come as no surprise to anyone who watched her previous attempt to win the Democratic nomination. As with Mr Bush, this does not necessarily mean she would be a bad president. But it does help to explain Democrats’ enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders, which has reached Trump-like levels in some polls. Mr Sanders is a puzzle for people trying to decide which campaigns to give most attention to. The Economist put Donald Trump on the cover but currently has no plans to give Mr Sanders the same treatment. Why the inconsistency?

                  The answer is that their poll numbers bear only a superficial resemblance. Questions that ask about voting intentions don’t count for much so early in the cycle: money, endorsements and prediction markets are a more reliable guide. YouGov, which does polling for The Economist, asks the voting intention question anyway. But they also asks respondents who is going to get the nomination. The answers show that the way Democrats view Mr Sanders and Republicans view Mr Trump are very different (the fieldwork was done before Scott Walker pulled out of the race).



                  For all the thousands turning up to cheer Mr Sanders, Democrats are in a more pragmatic mood than Republicans. That may be because when a party controls the presidency it tends to remain a bit more disciplined. It may also be because Republicans are in a strange place at the moment. When Bobby Jindal, a state governor, McKinsey alumnus and Rhodes scholar feels he has to tell the audience at a debate that he is “angrier at the Republicans in DC than I am at the president”, you know that something deeply odd is happening. Despite his slight dip following the second televised Republican debate, Mr Trump still captures that mood on the right better than any other candidate, for now at least. Politics is not always symmetrical. On the left, there really is no equivalent. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump: The strange asymmetry of the presidential race | The Economist

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                  • #10
                    Trumponomics - Donald Trump's tax plan is a fantasy
                    Sep 28th 2015 THE ECONOMIST

                    IT takes a certain chutzpah to propose bigger tax cuts than your rival, claim your plan is cheaper and then suggest your sums add up due to “common sense”. This is what Donald Trump, the iconoclastic frontrunner for the Republican nomination, did on the morning of September 28th, when he became the second leading Republican candidate to publish a tax plan, following Jeb Bush’s effort earlier this month. Critics of Mr Bush’s plan said it was a giveaway for high-earners, funded by optimistic assumptions about its effect on growth. On both counts, Mr Trump, who has never suffered from a lack of gall, makes Mr Bush look positively *****footed.

                    The plan burnishes Mr Trump’s Republican credentials by giving high earners whacking tax cuts. Individuals earning more than $150,000 will see their marginal tax rate fall from close to 40% now to 25%, three percentage points lower than under Mr Bush’s plan. Whereas the former Governor of Florida wants merely to double the standard deduction, the amount that can be earned before paying tax, to $11,300, Mr Trump would quadruple it, to $25,000 (or $50,000 for a married couple). This would remove more than half of households from the income tax rolls altogether, he says.

                    The outdoing does not end there. Mr Trump is more aggressive on corporation tax, too, promising to lower the levy on company profits to 15% rather than 20% under Bush. Furthermore, 15% would be the most any business would pay on their income—including self-employed freelancers. Even with big cuts to income tax, letting freelancers pay only 15% tax on their earnings would create a sharp and unwelcome incentive to masquerade as self-employed.

                    What would this largesse cost? Mr Bush’s number crunchers reckoned his plan, which is modest in comparison, would reduce annual receipts by $376 billion, or about 7.5%, by 2025, before accounting for its effect on the economy. Allow—optimistically—for a boost to growth of half a percentage point per year, and the cost falls by two thirds. Mr Trump provides no such detailed estimates but claims, incredibly, that his plan pays for itself. In his press conference, Mr Trump suggested that under his stewardship, the economy might achieve annual growth of five or six percent. That would certainly pay for huge tax cuts, but is a fantasy.

                    Mr Trump does suggest some new sources of revenue. He would eliminate many tax deductions, most of which remain unspecified. In particular, the controversial “carried interest” deduction, beloved of partners in private equity firms and hedge funds, would go. This raises, perhaps, $1 billion-2 billion. But Mr Bush promised this too, so it was included in his costings. Mr Trump would cap the tax-deductibility of debt interest. But Mr Bush would abolish it altogether, saving more. The only part of Mr Trump’s plan which is clearly cheaper than Mr Bush’s pertains to the overseas profits of American corporations. Unlike Mr Bush, Mr Trump would keep taxing these earnings (though companies will no longer be able to defer paying until the money is brought back, ending the incentive to stash cash overseas).

                    Mr Trump is supposed to be a new kind of politician; a straight-talker who, freed from the usual constraints of politics by his billions, tells it like it is. But promising to fund tax cuts by closing unspecified loopholes is an old political wheeze. Mr Trump says the country’s “top” economists helped to develop his plan; alas, for now they remain anonymous. Any contributor would be wise to stay in the background. Mr Trump’s plan is twaddle. Trumponomics: Donald Trump's tax plan is a fantasy | The Economist







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                    • #11
                      Sep 29, 2015 REUTERS
                      Trump backs Russia, Iran efforts to fight Islamic State

                      Leading Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday said he supported Russian efforts to fight Islamic State militants in the Middle East, including Syria.

                      Asked whether he backed those like Russia who supported Syrian President Bashar al Assad or those who see him as the source of Syria's current crisis, Trump told NBC's "Today" program: "I side with the group that says 'if Russia wants to go and fight ISIS, you should let them', as opposed to saying 'we're jealous, we don't want you to do that'."

                      Trump, who is leading public opinion polls among those seeking the Republican Party's bid to win the White House in the 2016 election, said the United States should support those who want to destroy the militant group that has taken over swaths of Syria as well as neighboring Iraq.

                      Republicans have criticized Democratic U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy in Syria, which has been mired in civil war for four years and has seen an influx of Islamic State militants.

                      Asked about whether Assad was the source of the country's ills, Trump said it was not clear and questioned who would replace him if he were ousted.

                      "The people that want to come in and replace Assad, nobody knows who they are and they could end up being worse," he said. "We're constantly going out and siding with people and they turn out to be worse than the people who were there before."

                      (This version of the story was refiled to fix punctuation in quote in paragraph two)

                      Trump backs Russia, Iran efforts to fight Islamic State | Reuters

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                      • #12
                        Hillary Clinton in the South - Not quite fireproof - The Democratic front-runner has a commanding, but not insuperable, advantage
                        Oct 3rd 2015 | CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA THE ECONOMIST

                        LIKE most residents of Eastside in Charleston, a poor, mostly black, quarter of the South Carolinian port-city, Joe Watson, a grocer with strong political views, backed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary contest. At least, he did until the news from Iowa and New Hampshire suggested Barack Obama could actually win the thing, at which point he, and millions of other black voters across the South, abruptly ditched Mrs Clinton. But now, he says, raising his eyes from the Bible he keeps open on the counter of Mary’s Sweet Shop, he is for her again.

                        “Women got that focus, got that desire to help people, got that greater fellowship than us men,” he muses, pointing the interviewer to the polished stool he reserves for political talk. He likes her chances, too. After Mr Obama secured the Democratic nomination, Mr Watson rounded up 300 new voters for him; “They were so joyous in their cause, and it can be that way for Hillary, too.”

                        In this section

                        There is, in fact, little levity around Mrs Clinton’s campaign. Her lead over the Democratic field has shrivelled in recent weeks, as she has failed to quash a scandal over the private e-mail server she used while secretary of state and the left-wing excitement being generated by Bernie Sanders. But if this suggests she might stumble again in Iowa and New Hampshire, where the socialist senator from Vermont is relatively strong, she looks much likelier to hold firm in South Carolina, which will hold the fourth Democratic ballot on February 27th, ahead of a raft of southern states three days later.

                        The Spanish-moss strategy

                        Mr Sanders is hardly known in the state, where over half of Democrats are black and generally well-disposed towards Mrs Clinton. Mr Watson says he has encountered some Sanders fans among the white university students, drawn to Eastside by its low rents, who sometimes take a turn on his stool; but most people are for Mrs Clinton. A recent poll in South Carolina gave her 66% of the Democratic vote and Mr Sanders 12%. Even if Joe Biden, the grief-stricken vice-president, were to enter the race, she would get over half the vote.

                        That lead, which is replicated in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and other southern states with many black voters, looks to be a formidable insurance—or some say “firewall”—against Mrs Clinton’s travails further north. Her campaign machinery in South Carolina, which will be extended across the South, also looks stronger than it did in 2008.

                        Led by veterans of Mr Obama’s winning campaigns—including Marlon Marshall, a Clinton old-timer who is in overall charge of the states—the Clinton campaign has 14 staffers in South Carolina who have been hard at it for six months, using the same organising methods as Mr Obama. Mr Sanders has held two rallies in South Carolina; Mrs Clinton, who has held three, has in addition built networks of over 2,600 semi-autonomous volunteers, in black churches, schools and neighbourhoods, and through them made contact with over 100,000 voters. “It’s people talking to people that wins elections,” said Mr Marshall, while briefing 25 neighbourhood leaders in Charleston this week. “That old-school organising.”

                        In the next room, another dozen volunteers were working the phones, recruiting helpers for the 50 phone banks they aimed to have running at the weekend. They were overseen by a formidable 61-year-old, Miss Brenda, who, having been forced into early retirement by the federal government, said she had found in Mrs Clinton’s struggles an inspiration for her own. “I’m one of those people who’s been knocked down but not knocked out,” she said. “Hillary’s like that. She’s a fighter.”

                        A history of Hillary

                        Yet, even among her supporters, not many have such strong feelings for Mrs Clinton—which is why her position may be more fragile than it seems. In part, her wilting ratings represent the inevitable settling of a contest which she entered with stellar ratings and no serious challenger. They also reflect her leaden-footed failings as a campaigner. She should have admitted her error over the e-mail scandal; instead she obfuscated, dragging it out, before issuing a grudging apology. At the first hint of a challenge from Mr Sanders, she should have become more visible, voluble and open to interrogation, as he is. She has instead been distant and controlled, a risk-averse establishment candidate in an iconoclastic time.

                        This appears to have reminded some Democrats of what they dislike in Mrs Clinton—her elite status, sharp edges and history of getting into trouble. Even some of her most notable Carolinian supporters, whom your correspondent was encouraged to call by her campaign team, showed little enthusiasm for her. “I don’t feel the excitement we used to feel,” said Joyce Dickerson, a county councillor in Columbia, who said she had no plans to campaign for Mrs Clinton. “She didn’t make calls for me, so I ain’t going to make calls for her.”

                        The fact is, Mrs Clinton is still strong in the South; yet talk of a firewall there belies how dynamic politics is. An awful result in the early primaries would change voters’ perceptions of her everywhere. Southern voters will also by then know more about her rivals—especially if Mr Biden runs. Her decision to replicate Mr Obama’s campaign machine is wise; but unless she can get her volunteers fired up and ready to go, there is no guarantee it will work. Not quite fireproof | The Economist

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                        • #13
                          Lexington - Ben Carson, false idol - Republicans are deluded if they think the soft-spoken surgeon is their saviour
                          Oct 3rd 2015 THE ECONOMIST

                          MERICA is having a Ben Carson moment. In July half of all Republicans told pollsters they had no clear sense of Dr Carson, a 64-year-old retired brain surgeon. Now he has surged to the front of the field of Republican presidential hopefuls. A recent poll put him within a percentage point of Donald Trump, the raucous property magnate who dominated politics all summer.

                          Dr Carson is not raucous. Softly-spoken, even drowsy, he shares Mr Trump’s disdain for conventional politics and his impatience with the detail of policy. Like his rival he presents himself as a providential outsider, entering the arena to save a great nation in peril. But whereas Mr Trump specialises in finger-jabbing, red-faced theatrics, Dr Carson offers a surgeon’s lofty calm.

                          Both men’s campaigns are built around striking life stories. Mr Trump, born into wealth and obsessed with success, promises to turn ordinary folk into “winners”. Dr Carson was brought up by a black single mother in Detroit. Hot-headed as well as poor, he nearly killed a teenage rival before finding God and his medical calling. He has long been hailed in schools and inner-city churches as a role model for black youth. His memoirs, entitled “Gifted Hands” and recording such triumphs as the first successful separation of Siamese twins joined at the back of the head, are a staple of Christian homeschool curriculums.

                          Asked about his success in an interview aboard his campaign bus this week, Dr Carson talked of an “awakening”, as Americans start to “think for themselves”. His bus is decorated with the slogan “Heal, Inspire, Revive”, as well as the names of thousands of children in tiny letters, each representing a $50 donation (children’s names paid for the whole bus in three days). If such language carries echoes of earlier, religious Great Awakenings, that is no accident. Recalling his decision to run for the presidency, Dr Carson described a moment of prayer: “I said to God: ‘All the pundits say it is impossible’.” Nonetheless, if his Creator proved the pundits wrong and opened all doors in his path, then he would walk through them, he promised. Now, he said, those doors “appear to be flying open. So I am going to keep walking.”

                          Dr Carson has collected $20m in mostly small donations in the past three months. Aides boast of his 4m followers on Facebook—a group whose most impassioned members are devout white women over 40. As a black Republican he offers white conservatives something unique in the 2016 field: ferocious criticism of Barack Obama that cannot be called racist.

                          The doctor is not one for back-slapping bonhomie. Campaign staff arranged for his bus to stop at a well-loved barbecue restaurant in Lexington, North Carolina. Leaving his bus, Dr Carson was asked by a news agency reporter if he liked barbecue. “No,” replied the candidate, who as a Seventh-Day Adventist is a vegetarian. The mood was polite but not effusive as he greeted diners at their tables. It took the arrival of a family of openly ardent Christians to generate real warmth. Nelson Citta brought his wife and two young daughters to meet Dr Carson after driving past and seeing his parked campaign bus. “Excellent, excellent,” said Dr Carson, waggling his fists happily upon learning that the Citta girls are educated at home by their parents.

                          The world of Christian philanthropy is Dr Carson’s home turf. It is often an admirable place. He and his wife founded a scholarship programme for children from poor schools. He beamed as he toured a camp for sick and disabled children, built in North Carolina by a former NASCAR racing champion, Richard Petty. Dr Carson admired a theatre, bowling alley, car-racing museum and doughnut counter, each bearing a corporate sponsor’s logo. A proper role for government is to facilitate private-sector philanthropy, he enthused. Praising Mr Petty’s generosity, he added: “If we all took that attitude, we could take care of all our people.”

                          Back on his bus, Dr Carson extolled America’s traditions of voluntary assistance, praising pioneer settlements in which neighbours would bring in the crops of a farmer injured during harvest season, as “the expected thing to do”. He has a talent for using parables to tell conservatives that they can have something they already want—a radically smaller government—and that, with “smart people” in charge, there will be no trade-offs, and indeed benefits for the poor. Thus when he calls for a 15% flat tax on income—a proposal that would offer high-earners huge tax cuts—he presents it as a biblically inspired “tithe” that would not harm public finances, in part because he would impose a three- or four-year hiring ban across the federal government and across-the-board spending cuts. As his bus rumbled along, Dr Carson grumbled about the “myth” that he would abolish government safety nets. Not at all, he said. When private charity grows, public safety nets will simply become “considerably less relevant”.

                          Pious populism

                          Aides have dubbed Dr Carson’s bus the “Healer Hauler”. Alas, he brings little real healing to the country’s unending culture wars. His murmuring tone often delivers hard-edged claims: that America is living in a “Gestapo age” of government bullying and political correctness, that Mr Obama lies like a “psychopath”, or that abortion clinics cluster in black neighbourhoods to “control that population”. Dr Carson recently saw campaign donations surge after he said he would not advocate that a Muslim-American could be president, unless that Muslim declared loyalty to the constitution above Islamic law—a disavowal that he suggested would make such a Muslim a heretic. When criticism followed, he declared that “dangerous forces” threaten the country.

                          Dr Carson, an accomplished man, has spent years in a cocoon of adulation. Now he is having his moment on a larger, more harshly lit stage. His fans are rallying round: “Our family is praying for you constantly,” a young mother told him on a Carolina roadside. But his appeal is too narrow to win him the nomination. His moment will peak, then pass. Ben Carson, false idol | The Economist

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                          • #14
                            Unemployed Single Mother In Rubio Speech Told Candidate About Her Problems In Confidence
                            NEWS IN BRIEF - THE ONION
                            Oct 1, 2015 Vol 51 Issue 39 Politics Politicians Election 2016

                            CEDAR FALLS, IA—Describing her shock and embarrassment upon learning that her personal struggles were shared with an entire campaign rally audience, 37-year-old Allison Kilpatrick, an unemployed single mother that Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio mentioned in a recent stump speech, informed reporters Thursday that she told the candidate about her problems in confidence. “Jesus Christ, I thought this was going to stay between me and him, but then I turn on the evening news and hear him mentioning every little detail of my life,” said a deeply hurt and outraged Kilpatrick after the candidate cited her crippling mortgage debt during a speech on the economy, adding that she never would have told Rubio she’d been relying on food stamps if she knew he was going to turn right around and disclose it to thousands of political supporters. “Seriously, what the hell? My whole family is going to hear about this. I don’t want my 12-year-old son worrying about how I lie awake wondering if I’m going to be able to pay for his clothes, let alone his college education, just because this guy can’t keep his mouth shut. Unbelievable.” Kilpatrick added that she now knows to simply tell presidential candidates she is doing just fine and that she has no trouble providing nightly meals and necessary medications to her family members the next time one of them asks.
                            Unemployed Single Mother In Rubio Speech Told Candidate About Her Problems In Confidence - The Onion - America's Finest News Source
                            ====================
                            I thought THE ONION article was appropriate for this subforum, while quashing Siefert's (Rossiski troll) post. He gets paid every time anyone answers his offensive posts.
                            Last edited by Hannia; 8th October 2015, 17:49.

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                            • #15
                              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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