Scroll down to read this post.


Without the support of my readers I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. If you wish to add your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, you can do so in any one of the following ways:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

The Obama-like promises of Trump

During an interview on CNN yesterday, Donald Trump was asked about Obamacare and the insurance mandate. The first words out of his mouth were “I like the mandate,” which is what most conservative websites are focusing on.

I think it is more important to focus on Trump’s entire answer, which goes on for about two and half minutes. (I have posted the video below the fold, so you can listen for yourself.) As noted at the first link above,

Trump doesn’t have a freakin clue as to what he’s talking about. What he’s obviously done is extract a few focus group tested themes, like “dying on the street,” and “get rid of the lines,” and he simply says these over and over with connecting verbiage. The plan Trump refers to, the one that apparently suspends the idea of supply and demand and guarantees everyone a free lunch, simply does not exist. In the tech field it is a concept known as vaporware.

During Trump’s answer, he notes the dishonesty of Obama for making wild promises about Obamacare that were outright lies (‘If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period.” and “Obamacare will cut costs by $2500 per family.”). Trump then proceeds to spout his own wild and unrealistic promises about what he will do about healthcare when he is President. And they sound to me as dishonest and incoherent as the promises Obama made. Both set of promises remind me of school elections when I was in junior high school, where candidates would promise free ice cream at every break and soda machines in the halls. Such promises are silly, childish, and unrealistic, and the voters should try to be mature enough to see that.

Trump might be a better choice than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, but for Republicans to pick him as their nominee is insane. We can certainly do better.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Willi Kusche

    Amen, brother!

  • Cotour

    Oh yes, I heard the interview and was disappointed that 1. Trump did not elaborate (I think his admission that he “liked” the mandate was a slip of the lip). That one sentence was the most telling sentence of the entire interview.


    2. That Anderson Cooper did not focus like a laser beam in on that very important detail of what ever Trump sees as a solution to the healthcare mess. He may see the mandate as a tool of leverage and a source of cash flow, but IMO he is going to have to live without it. Obamacare, socialist utopian wet dream on the road to single payer, or a bad un Constitutional law that should be eliminated or used as a conservative weapon against itself?

    Things like this are deal breakers for me, Obamacare is un Constitutional and un American.

    Listening to Trump is a very interesting experience, my impression is that his style is based in an obsessive / compulsive kind of personality that is expresses itself in his workaholism and egocentric speak. He is going to have to start fleshing out his belief in Constitutional concepts and how he is going to reconnect with that instead of gaming the rules as they exist.

  • “He is going to have to start fleshing out his belief in Constitutional concepts…”

    You keep saying this, repeatedly, in post after post, as if Trump believes in the Constitution the same way you do, and that he plans to contemplate this fact in the coming years to make his actions as President more proper.

    You are living in a dream world. There is absolutely no evidence, none, nada, zilch, that Trump has any real understanding or knowledge of the Constitution and how it is supposed to work on a presidential level. Nor is there any evidence at all, zero, nil, that Trump is thinking about these issues in the slightest.

    That you keep saying it reveals a lot more about you than Trump, and shows that you are doing quite a bit of wishful thinking. “Vote for Trump because I am hoping he will become a Constitutional scholar once he becomes President!”

    Give it up. It ain’t happening. If Trump wins we will not get a Ted Cruz with a business background. Not even close.

  • Cotour

    And I thought you would first appreciate my brutal honesty.

    I balance this entire political race, all political races,……….. in first WINNING!

    Someone first has to win in order to begin to reshape our country, and that person is still, by the numbers, Trump (analysis as of this moment). Warts and all, that IMO at this moment is who we are going to have to work with, interact with, shape, push, pull, yell, scream at, “guide”.

    Because of that statement last night Trump is going to be forced to somehow either verify and defend it or is going to have to embrace it and tap dance his way out or around it (remember, they are ALL lying until proven otherwise). This is the process.

    One more point, do you think that Trumps tendency is to communicate fully what he really believes? His training is to never fully share what he really thinks, its a very bad strategy to do so. Its up to the people like Anderson Cooper to force these things from him as best as they can. And there in lies the failure.

  • Cotour

    When you say ” we can certainly do better”, Who exactly right now in this election cycle are you talking about?


    I site items #1 and #2 in this article as being two reasons to be very concerned about Cruz and who his allies might be.


    I site this article pointing out Rubios treacherous activities related to immigration.

    Please enlighten us as to who it is that we should be focusing on.

  • Go to this link for a very cogent, honest appraisal, which concludes that at this moment Cruz is the best choice for conservatives, something that I have been saying on this webpage now since before September. I wonder why you need me to say it again.

    I do not worship Cruz. Nor do I have any pipe dreams about his perfection as a candidate. As the author at the link notes, however, Cruz’s brand, an unswerving dedication to constitutional principles, paints him into a corner that kind of forces him to do what I (and you) want done.

  • Let me add that the link you post about Ted Cruz’s wife provides absolutely no evidence that I should be worried about Cruz. It is a typical modern journalism hit piece with little important substance. That for example the Bible is important to Heidi Cruz is hardly news.

    I base my opinions and conclusions by what people actually do. Cruz has reliably demonstrated a willingness to stand up for the Constitution. He has also been the most reliable conservative senator in Congress in decades, matched only by Mike Lee (R-Utah).

  • Cotour

    You have no concern what so ever that his wife is an executive for Goldman? Non what so ever?

    I did not post the article to make you worry, it was posted to establish facts. And I sited the first two items I said nothing about her religious beliefs. (you do like to cherry pick, don’t you.)

    And I have listened to Cruz in the last Town hall and he certainly does have the cleanest Conservative, maybe the only Conservative responses in the entire field.

  • You are right: I have absolutely no concern at all that Heidi Cruz works for Goldman Sachs. It is a leftwing attack, which considers anyone who does any business in the banking field to be corrupt and evil, regardless of whether there is any evidence.

    Where she works doesn’t matter. It is whether that position has ever been used to influence what Cruz has done. And as far as I can tell, he has never done a quid pro quo for that banking firm.

  • Wodun

    I think its funny that heavy attacks his wife as a vegetarian who helped black people as being something Republicans HAVE to hate. Why? Because Democrats have a bunch or racist stereotypes they view others through.

    The rest of the piece was interesting but also spun everything negatively, which in some cases was interesting because it goes against Democrat orthodoxy on how they claim people should be treated.

  • Cotour

    Do you think that this wife had any effect on the man that she is married to regarding the industry that she was working in?

    Its a mistake to fall in love with any candidate, no matter how perfect he or she appears.

  • danae

    @ Robert Zimmerman,

    IMO, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill wasn’t as horrific as it was made out to be, and I can understand why Rubio, as a newbie, got sucked into playing with the big boys on that one. The House refused to deal with it through amendments, and in hindsight, I think that was a big mistake. The border is as porous as ever, our fiscal deficit keeps growing, and the Social Seurity system has been denied revenue that the CBO claimed would have accrued through the bill’s passage.

    I’d a lot rather allow skilled, US-educated, or citizen-related non-felons from countries in the western hemisphere to jump through hoops and pay penalties to earn eventual citizenship than to see our country overrun by the unidentifiable middle easterners our current crop of “representatives” seems determined to bring to our shores.

    By the way, Rubio’s 4-year voting record is within two points of Cruz’s 100% 2-year rating by the American Conservative Union. Much as I admire Cruz and his strict adherence to principle, I still believe Rubio to be the more electable of the two.

  • PeterF

    I know two doesn’t make a trend, but what is it about billionaires who who run for president turning out to be nut jobs?

  • I met Cruz before he was elected senator and I`ve spent time with him on a couple occasions since then, in both private and public settings. I`ve seen him when the cameras were off and when he was onstage. He`s the real deal. In addition to being fiercely patriotic and a straight talker, I watched as he treated the servers at a very private function with the same respect he showed when speaking with some very wealthy donors – that matters. We elect him and we have a shot at turning back some of the damage to Constitutional governing, anyone else – we`re probably never going to go back.

  • pzatchok

    Trump is going down.

    With every primary he has a smaller and smaller lead on the second place candidate and no longer holds over 50%.

    I can see him losing in a few more. Which will make a nation majority for him questionable.

    At this point I can see a brokered convention, unless he drops a lot and one of the other two pulls ahead by a significant amount.

    Trump might just have peaked.

  • Phill O

    As I have mentioned before, I see a striking resemblance of Trump to Brian Mulroney, whom Canadians remember most for the hated GST (government spending tax or goods and services tax). Be warned and be wary!

  • Cotour

    Just based on the level of good looking women on that stage Trump should be made president. (as far as the women go anyway) It would be the best looking White House in history!

    (The media will soon bring out the “superior” white, blond, Arian nature of all of the people standing on that stage. Say what you like, extreme success and extreme money does express itself in some interesting ways)

    Now on a more serious note, Trump is now more or less inevitable, which is not saying that the party leadership will not do what ever it needs to do to keep both Cruz and Rubio in the game so Trump does not just by gravity and momentum soak up the numbers that will force them to accept him and stop out a brokered convention.

    Expect chaos and treachery!

  • Cotour

    At his moment in time Trump has more than three times the delegates than all of the other candidates combined.

    How does that realistically change?

  • Cotour

    And here we go, it did not take long.

    The Huffington Post’s cover picture of Trump waving, with his hand in as close to a Hitler / Nazi salute as they could get. These are the subtle, and not so subtle ways that the media telegraphs their support or disapproval and attempt to subconsciously set the imagery in the public’s mind.

  • Wayne

    I would like to know from Trump supporters– Who is your second choice?
    From my limited experience, they don’t appear to have one. (and get very upset if pressed.) I would reluctantly support Trump if he is the GOP nominee, but make no mistake– he’s a CRONY. (and brags about it)
    Has anyone else noticed? There are a lot of super-wealthy, “stupid” people. Trump may know how to navigate the mob-infested waters of the New York construction Cartel, but that doesn’t mean he knows anything about a republican (small “r”) form of government, free-markets, or our Constitution.
    His media acolytes are already prepping to take him down. If he or his supporters think otherwise, they are in for a rude awakening.

  • Garry

    I think it’s too early to call anything inevitable. Each candidate brings plenty of negatives, and based on their personalities, I would say that Trump is the most likely to say or do something that will cause a very strong backlash. To me he’s what Howard Cosell was to sports broadcasters back in the day: both the most popular and the most hated. If Trump is a lot of Republican primary voter’s least favorite candidate, what will it look like in the general election if he’s the Republican candidate?

    I shake my head at the overanalysis by the pundits, especially in relation to their weak underlying assumptions. You can’t simply assume, for example, that all of Bush’s supporters will go to one candidate; especially at this point, not all supporters are in lockstep with their candidates, and not all have a strong emotional investment in their candidate. For example, just because Cruz allegedly pulled a dirty trick on Carson doesn’t mean that if Carson drops out, none of his supporters will go to Cruz. Many voters are choosing their candidate at the last minute, which is normal at this point.

    There’s a long way to go. Sure, Trump has a big lead (ratio wise) in delegates, but he’s less than 5% of the way to clinching the nomination. Trump is running fast now, but all it takes is stepping on one landmine to take him out. A brokered convention is a real possibility.

    Even when they’re not backing or undermining particular candidates, the media tends to magnify every slight shift in votes, every speech, every move of one candidate against the other, in order to make it all seem exciting and dramatic. There is still a long way to go, and many things can happen.

  • Cotour

    Wayne and Gary:

    You both seem to assume that if an individuals candidate does not win that their votes will go to the Democrats?

    The basic philosophical lines are drawn, even at this early stage. Whom ever voted in the Republican primary who’s favorite does not make it then it is more than likely that they will be supporting whom ever is in the end the Republican candidate. No?

    Is it likely that they would now flip their entire philosophy and vote for Sanders or Hillary?

    Very unlikely.

    Gary: Trump has over and over said things that everyone assumed were his end, and what happened? He became stronger because what he is saying, as harsh and as un-politically incorrect as it might be is what the angry masses are thinking.

  • Garry

    Coutour wrote: “You both seem to assume that if an individuals candidate does not win that their votes will go to the Democrats?

    The basic philosophical lines are drawn, even at this early stage. Whom ever voted in the Republican primary who’s favorite does not make it then it is more than likely that they will be supporting whom ever is in the end the Republican candidate. No?”

    I’m assuming no such thing; if anything, many voters whose candidate lost in the primaries will stay home on election day (see 2008/2012 cycles). As many here have pointed out, many who lean conservative do not see Trump as aligning with them philosophically.

    Coutour wrote; “Gary: Trump has over and over said things that everyone assumed were his end, and what happened? He became stronger because what he is saying, as harsh and as un-politically incorrect as it might be is what the angry masses are thinking.”

    Even if Trump gains supporters with his comments, he also offends many. At best, his floor rises as his ceiling lowers. He also may be gaining hubris (although he started with a large stockpile), which would make him take larger and larger risks.

    In some ways I see Trump as this generation’s MacArthur, a man with a huge opinion of himself operating in an arena that, in theory, should not be political, before formally entering the political arena. I fear that, like MacArthur, Trump has surrounded himself with sycophants. MacArthur had his notable failures (much like Trump’s bankruptcies) that he was never held accountable for. He also took big risks against the common wisdom (Inchon), that paid off handsomely. That led him to taking a bigger risk (going north of the 38th parallel) while belittling and underestimating his enemy, and that ultimately proved his undoing. It wouldn’t surprise me if Trump had a similar downfall due to hubris.

    I wouldn’t characterize everything Trump says as un-PC; even if it is un-PC, much of it shouldn’t be said because it’s purely gratuitous. I come from a family where everyone has a need to express strong opinions at all times, but as I grew up, I saw the folly in it (as my cousin says, get 5 of us together and you’ll hear 10 opinions, all of them wrong). There are times when it’s good to express a strong opinion, but much of the time it’s better to leave things unsaid, and not get distracted by caricatures. Expressing overly strong opinions all the time just leads to alienation.

    Having said all that, I’m not predicting any particular outcome for Trump; it would not surprise me if he were the nominee and eventually president, and it would not surprise me if he fails spectacularly. Perhaps, if you look at these outcomes separately, he is the most likely candidate for each, My main point is that nothing is inevitable.

  • pzatchok


    I like your loyalty. Its good to see some around this country.

    But look at your delegate chart again.

    Trump has less than 10% of the number he needs. Everyone is well within striking distance. This race just started.
    Trump had an advantage in his fame. But that will not carry him through to the end,
    And from my viewpoint it looks like Trump got out to a quick lead but the rest of the pack is catching up.
    The dead weight is finally dropping out and thats good.

  • Wayne DeVette

    Cotour– (in part) (generally I agree with quite a bit of what you say.)

    You mentioned that “basic philosophical lines are drawn,” but I would respectfully disagree. Trump appears to be tapping into the “independents.” (which, I personally can not understand how someone could identify as “independent” but that’s just me–I’m in the Constitutional Conservative Libertarian wing of the GOP, and they hate me more than the left does. “Maximum freedom within a Civil Society, utilizing capitalism & limited government, aka– what’s in the Constitution. The American Experience.”) I beleive Trump has hit his ceiling. His negatives are very high among the general population.
    From my (granted–limited) interaction with Trump supporters, I do tend to assume a good percentage actually voted for Obama and would not vote for any other Republican nominee in the General.
    What Trump has brilliantly tapped into is the disgust a lot of people feel toward “fundemental transformation” on one hand, and pervasive CRONY RINO-ism on the other hand. After his attacks on Cruz, I personally have no faith Trump is not a RINO, CRONY, Progressive, of the worst mix. His Authoritarian mindset is disturbing but I understand (maybe?) exactly why people are attracted to that bent–they know the Country is changing for the worst & they are angry. (I’m angry! “I’m mad as hell & I don’t want to take it anymore.”)

    –Mr. Z’s original post pointed out the striking similarity between Trump & Obama’s utopian promises.
    The phrase “cult of personality” comes to mind for both Trump & Obama– “he’s every person, you need him to be..”
    As far as I can tell, Trump has never used the phrase “free-market capitalism.” He just promises to “make America great.” He seems to believe that we have people “dying in the streets,” largely left-wing rhetoric & demonstrably untrue. He displays no real understanding of the health insurance mandate from either a practical, economic, or Constitutional basis.
    His methodology for dealing with Trade appears to be massive retaliatory tarrifs. (I guess Carl Icahn is handling that, maybe he could get Mike Milkin to handle the debt. har.) His alleged mastery of the Banking System appears to be all talk & zero details. One of his prized projects is the old Post Office in D.C. Hey, “we” all originally paid for that, the Feds literally gave-it-away, and somehow it demonstrates Trumps business-sense. That is cronyism, IMO.

    –Just heard something about Romney endorsing Rubio— if that doesn’t tell one everything one needs to know about Rubio, I don’t know what will. The inventor of Romney-Care never attacked Obama-Care, for obvious reasons– two sides of the same Statist coin.(and a wealthy person, ashamed to be proud of being wealthy & apologizing for being so.)
    Reagan had two massive landslides in ’80 and ’84. (solid Conservatism, works!) I wish Cruz had the magnetism of a Reagan, but he doesn’t. What Cruz does have, is a deep understanding of the principles upon which our Country was founded.
    As I mentioned– I would reluctantly suport Trump, if I have to. I don’t want the Entertainer, I want the geeky brilliant kid from 9th grade, who memorized the Constitution, was on the DebateTeam & grew up to be a solid Conservative.

    Just saying… (in general I do think the Behind the Black readers are a bit more knowledgable than the average Joe or Jane and I enoy the mix of politics & Science.)


  • Cotour

    There is a lot to respond to here, let me just site a few real world observations:

    1. Many, many people that I talk every day, Republicans and Democrats, are very, very unhappy with their government and most all of the people who inhabit it, I.E Barack Obama and this administration and the Congress.

    2. Nine out of ten people who I know with out doubt to be Democrats are either willing to vote for Sanders or are happy to vote for Trump, and most will not even think of holding their nose for Hillary.

    3. Trump needs 1237 delegates to lock up the nomination, he has right now 61, 5 percent of the total needed.

    4. His closest Republican rival has 11 delegates, 1 / 6th of what trump has in these early stages.

    5. Trumps use of the bankruptcy laws is a non issue. Bankruptcy law exists as a tool when necessary in the capitalist system. Can it be abused? Of course, but its still a non issue.

    6. My belief is that the people of America are soo connected and aware of this particular election, specifically because of the course set by this current president and his “social justice” motivations that they are going to come out in record setting numbers and not dare stay home and not vote. And if my read which is based in real world Democrats relating to me their displeasure with the status quo, it seems it may be skewd more than likely for whom ever is representing the Republicans IMO.

    7. The Republican leadership is Trumps potential worst enemy. I don’t know what deal they were able to craft but if Trump continues to throw up the numbers and becomes inevitable some very interesting things may go on at the convention to the point that the people will revolt in a very nasty way, and I can not even imagine what that might be at this moment in time.

  • Cotour

    And this will in time be the thing that has Americans questioning the validity of our entire voting system:

    Why does America need a Spanish vote counting company to count our votes?

    I do not trust for one moment this system, there is corruption in the vote. See Bernie Sanders in Iowa, Hillary gets six straight heads in coin toss. Give that a try and tell me how long it takes you to come up with that. NOT.

    This system is by design rigged and will be Obamas parting gift before leaving office to the people of America and the world. Why else would America contract with a foreign company to tabulated their vote other than so it can be manipulated?

    Blatant and in your face corruption.

  • Cotour

    And thinking about it just now, there just happens to be a vacancy on the Supreme Court which is highly unlikely to be filled until next year.

    Who would decide who would be president in a 50 / 50 split case presented to the Supreme Court? There is no lesser court ruling to take precedence.

    So much potential for treachery.

  • Wayne DeVette

    Many interesting points & most of which I agree at least in part.
    Mr. Z noted in one of his reply posts: “If Trump wins we will not get a Ted Cruz with a business background.” I believe that to be absolutely true.
    To one of your points specifically (#2) “…Democrats are either willing to vote for Sanders or are happy to vote for Trump…” I as well, have noted that, & it befuddles me- How could someone logically chose between Sanders or Trump? The answer perhaps, is Sanders & Trump are more alike at their Core, than they are different. It’s the utopian, non-specific promises & platitudes, & most importantly, the authoritarian-totalitarian mindset.
    Our Founders set up a democratic-republic, based on limited, diffuse, and offsetting power-structures, and powered by Capitalism. We have strayed way off our path.

    –Yes, Bankruptcy is a non-issue. But have you noticed? If you push Trump on that subject, he totally flips out. Any well thought-out challenge to Trumps well developed ego, does & will, enrage him to personal attack. Obama is alleged to have used the IRS against his enemies, what would a President Trump do? I think we all could guess exactly what he might do, IMO.
    We have perhaps witnessed only a few examples of Obama doing the exact same thing. If Obama gets pissed off, his inner-Marx comes out in full force. (“Punish our enemies.”) The Media have protected Obama so well, for 7 years, he is never effectively challenged & the current Republican Leadership has had no intention to ever do so.
    As to your question about Court involvement in the Election; The Constitution is quite explicit about Electoral Votes & the House of Representatives. If there were a tie in the Electoral vote, it would go to the House immediately at which point each State delegation would vote. Republicans control the House, the Republican candidate would become President. SCOTUS has little if any power over this. (G. Bush was always & forever going to be President, no matter what Court cases were contemplated or filed. The minute the Florida Secretary of State validated their electoral votes & notified the HOR, Bush had the required number of Electoral votes & was President, no matter what SCOTUS or any TV lawyers thought.)

    Garry– many good points.

    Q: Does anyone know where I can find any additional video (beyond YouTube) of Dr. Roger Penrose? Lectures, presentations, conferences, —anything long form would be great. Also a fan of Dr. Susskind at Stanford. {Dr. Penrose loves over-head projectors, while Dr. Susskind loves his chalkboard’s.}


  • pzatchok

    “3. Trump needs 1237 delegates to lock up the nomination, he has right now 61, 5 percent of the total needed.

    4. His closest Republican rival has 11 delegates, 1 / 6th of what trump has in these early stages.”

    To have 61.5 percent of his needed delegates he would have to have over700 delegates. Now. And we have not even had 150 up for grabs yet.
    61 is not the percentage of his needed total its just the actual number of delegates.

    And 1/6th of 700(what the T needs to have 61%) needed delegates would be a bit more than 11.

    California,Texas,Florida and NY have half of the total needed and they have not voted yet. Trump will need at least three of the four.

    I bet half of Trumps support is coming from people other than republicans. And when it comes down to the real election those voters are not a guarantee. Half his present voters could go third party or even democrat.
    He is not as strong as he looks.
    Unless the MSN wants him as the republican nominee to run against Hillary then expect them to start opening up on him.
    Do you really think the MSN would ignore a republican in the primaries if they didn’t like him for some reason. They are going soft on him now. For a reason.

  • Cotour


    All reasonable counter points, especially the one about Trumps comparison to Sanders. Although they are at the other ends of the spectrum from each other philosophically (you could not choose two exactly diametrically opposed American icons if you planned to) their plain spoken observations about what is and has gone on in our government unites them. Run of the mill politicians become stuck in their cagey and carefully crafted rhetoric and are today seen as being insincere and , well, run of the mill. The people in their job of giving feed back to their legislators and political leaders understand that run of the mill will not do.

    This “extremism” is beautiful in a way, it is an expression of the Constitution in operation. If the Constitution was not the mode of operation that we employed to accomplish our governance then this would have probably blown up long ago in the many messy ways that things like governance tend to blow up.

    We can certainly agree one hundred percent on one thing, this is going to be interesting to say the very least.

    “May you live in interesting times”

  • Wayne DeVette

    Hey Cotour,
    Last comment for this thread & appreciate your input.
    I would argue with you as to how much Trump & Sanders really differ from one another. They both inhabit the authoritarian/totalitarian mindset realm and neither one of them has the best interests of the Constitution or our Country, in mind.
    Yes– this will be interesting, but it’s also a damn serious situation. Progressives have been dragging us into their authoritarian utopia for over 100 years & the transformation will be complete unless, IMO, Cruz is elected.

  • Garry

    Pzatchok quoted Cotour: “he has right now 61, 5 percent of the total needed”

    Pzatchok, it just occurred to me that you misread the above as “61.5 percent.” What Coutour meant was “he has 61 delegates, 5 percent of the total needed.”

  • Cotour

    Evidence: The one reason, a liberal professors letter to destroy him, to make Trump the president?

    He is theee most offensive person to all leftists and liberals as the president.

    Trump is as offensive to the liberals as Obama has been offensive to the right (and most of the rest of the world).

    One good turn deserves another.

  • Garry

    Wow, I can’t even tell any concrete reasons why the author is so opposed to Trump, it’s mostly vague generalities. Perhaps Trump Derangement Syndrome is a thing.

    Still, I hope your post is tongue in cheek, Cotour; I want what’s best for my country over what will most upset my political opposites.

  • Edward

    Cotour wrote: “I balance this entire political race, all political races,……….. in first WINNING!”

    If you wanted to back a winner, you should have voted for Obama.

    Trump will not become in office the person that you think he is or will become. He is a liberal-Democrat big-government crony-capitalist, and this will not change. If he becomes president, you will not get what you seem to believe you will get.

    He wins, you (and we) lose.

    Since you believe that all the candidates are liars, I do not understand what criteria you use to determine who you support. I think your comment about “the level of good looking women on that stage” was sarcastic, because that does not seem to be a serious criterion (oh, how I hope not!).

    I use past performance (though that is no guarantee of future results, at least it is a track record), and Robert said, “I base my opinions and conclusions by what people actually do.” Danae appears to use the ratings by the American Conservative Union as a criterion, and Rick seems to use behavior off camera — or off stage — as an indicator of genuineness. Phill O is Canadian, so he has little or no skin in this campaign, but he is warning us of potential problems by using the process of verification by similarity, if I may use an aerospace phrase.

  • Cotour

    On winning, and why I have to explain this to Edward is beyond me, its your philosophical side winning, not just winning. Really Edward, are you that literal?

    If you remember the basic rule about any aspiring politician or empowered politician (also any government statement or announcement) your safety default position assumes that what ever words that come out of their mouths is a lie, until you can establish through your own due diligence where truth lies. So are they all lying all the time? No, but what they do say on the campaign trail is always either plainly false or is so nuanced that it may as well be false interspersed with bits and pieces of truth and truisms interspersed with plain straight talk. (except for Bill Clinton, he is always lying, its just what he does, he can not help himself)

    This is all about winning, you can not get to be an empowered politician, the president in this case, without first winning. And in order to win the people must at the minimum like you, and ideally love you. This is not about logic (as many here will argue, too bad the general public was not populated by a bunch of high IQ engineering nerds) this is / politics is, fundamentally about emotion. Creating the opportunity for people who generally politically agree with to like you. That’s how you create a solid vote.

    Ted Cruz is less likable than Trump. Cruz is more Conservative than Trump but is less likable. I would say that Rubio is more likable than Cruz but less likable than Trump. So if they are all on the same relative side the choice usually comes down to likeablity within that particular group.

    See: Kennedy after his debate with Nixon. Although on different sides Nixon plainly won the debate but Kennedy looked cool, calm and collected and was more likable. Nixon was sharp but was sweaty and pale.

    “Still, I hope your post is tongue in cheek, Cotour; I want what’s best for my country over what will most upset my political opposites.”

    Obama was the public’s extreme reaction to the abuses of power of G.Bush jr. , the counter balance to the abuses of power of Obama may be even more extreme or at least as extreme. Trump? Trump has said the most extreme things countering Obama’s abuses, and is generally the more likable person, and is seen as having the lead.

    Lets look at Hillary and Bernie. Bernie is far, far more likable than then the shee devil Hillary, but the machine that is behind her already has Bernies likability in its sights (delegates in the bag and two sided coins) and in the appropriate amount of time will take him out, so his likability is not even an issue, its a technicality. It does not matter if you are liked if you are no longer a viable candidate.

    This may change if 1. Hillary is indicted (don’t hold your breath) and 2. If the FBI releases its report and recommendation that Hillary be indicted. Hillary while within the political world is beyond the reach of the law, the logic being that since she is within the political world let the people decide her fate. If she wins she is golden, if she looses she may not be so golden.

  • You make one assumption that is wrong, based on repeated polls. According to every poll, Trump has very high negatives. He is not likable to the majority of those polled. In fact, many polls rate Cruz higher than Trump in likability. Polls have also repeatedly given both Rubio and Cruz higher numbers than Trump in head-to-head elections against either Clinton or Sanders.

    Finally, the voters in the primaries have decidedly confirmed these polls. While Trump won in both New Hampshire and South Carolina, he did so with less than a third of the vote, while the two most conservative candidates, Rubio and Cruz, split the opposition. If their voters had combined (which is very likely considering how close the two are in their conservative rankings) Trump would have lost in both cases.

    I also want to point out that Cruz and Rubio are not really the kind of candidates the establishment Republican Party wanted. Both got elected with strong opposition from that establishment. Both have opposed many of that establishment’s objectives, and have pushed the party considerably to the right (though Cruz far more aggressively and reliably). That they are the only candidates left that can defeat Trump tells us a lot about the desires of the pubic. The country is moving right. In fact, Trump’s own claimed conversion from Democrat to Republican might also reflect that.

  • Garry

    I recognize that emotions play a big role in getting elected, but that doesn’t mean I should support the most emotionally appealing candidate; to summarize what you wrote above, Cotour, that’s how we got Obama.

    I think that we, as a country, have fallen far too often into the us vs. them mentality, which I attribute to the 2-party system, and to some extent to our culture, which itself is a product of the us vs. them mentality.

    I’ve never seen myself as a Republican, or even as a pure conservative; like many here, I’m from the libertarian branch of the conservative movement, although even that description is an oversimplification. I hesitate to label myself as a conservative, because too many people equate conservatism with George W Bush (who was not a conservative) or even Nixon (who in fact was a liberal). What’s excited me about the Tea Party was that they truly believe and support what the Republican party says it believes in, but doesn’t.

    I’m afraid that many in this country spend election cycles cheering on the person who is most opposite what the other party represents; this is especially true when the other party is in power. There are 2 huge problems with this:

    (1) often those who represent themselves as polar opposites of the other side are in fact very close to the other side (Obama’s abuses of power were worse than Bush’s, yet you claim that Obama was elected as a reaction to Bush’s abuses of power), and

    (2) as I often say, the opposite of dysfunction is dysfunction. By that, I mean that in many arenas, the extremes are both wrong; just as unbridled immigration is wrong, complete denial of any immigration is wrong. (This is just an illustration, I’m not saying that Trump or anyone else is for completely stopping immigration.)

    Also, different people support candidates for different reasons. Further, we picture leaders having the support of the people, but it’s not a binary thing; there are very few instances where the President has near unanimous in any major endeavor (we forget that even in World War II there were many who were strongly opposed to the War), and in most cases many people have little awareness of what the president is doing. Also, in many instances relatively few are 100% for or 100% against a president’s action, and many individuals find their positions changing over time.

    I try to minimize the influence of emotions or black and white thinking on my vote; I have little influence on how others vote, but I’m going to decide my vote on my own terms, which to me is the essence of democracy.

    In every presidential election after 1984 I’ve found myself voting for the candidate I disliked the least rather than a candidate I liked, and I don’t feel a need to get behind someone because he/she is a “winner.”

    In fact, I have to confess that this is one place where emotions get the best of me; when Trump talks about being a winner I can’t help but associate him with Charlie Sheen and his “winning.”

  • Cotour

    I stand by my conclusions about human nature and voting, as a rule the general public acts how I have described. Gary illustrates it perfectly:

    “In every presidential election after 1984 I’ve found myself voting for the candidate I disliked the least rather than a candidate I liked, and I don’t feel a need to get behind someone because he/she is a “winner.”

    Disliking someone less means that you like them more, its a rationalization of your choice based in the end on “likability”.

    And I fully recognize that Trump is an out of the gates of hell, anomalous, out side of the box type candidate but from my own gathering of peoples comments about candidates a portion of them straight out do not like Trump or love Trump and really do not like Cruz (there is something about his look and mannerisms that viscerally gets to them. The other day someone said to me “he looks like a young grand pa Munster” Al Lewis :) , and Rubio is seen as being too young and too weak. So when push comes to shove who will Gary or Robert be voting for?

  • Garry

    Sloppy wording on my part; I should distinguish between liking a candidate personally and liking his fitness for office. Liking them personally is an added bonus, liking their fitness for the job is the absolute criterion for my vote. (In my lifetime Reagan is the only president I can say that I liked personally, although I liked each of the others personally only in very limited aspects, most of them completely unrelated to their fitness for office.)

    Unless someone comes completely out of the blue on the Democrat side (more likely this cycle than most, but still a very remote possibility), this November, I will vote for whoever the Republican candidate is, because the Democrat candidate is clearly going to be much less fit for office. This does not happen every November, and it usually doesn’t happen this early in the game, but this cycle, that’s my answer.

    Which makes it all the more important that the Republicans nominate the best candidate.

  • Steve Earle

    Garry, Good point on liking a candidate personally versus liking his fitness for office.

    It appears that many like Trump personally (at least his TV persona…) and let that make their decision for them. They love his brash, in your face style. His fitness for office though? Who knows? So far he has acted out more like a child than a grownup….

    I admit I also was (am!) angry and liked that Trump was sticking a thumb in the eye of the RNC. That’s the same reason I have liked Ted Cruz ever since he forced a shutdown over Obamacare despite the objections of the RNC types.

    It’s also why I liked Rubio until his Gang-of-Eight betrayal. Fool me once………….

    So, it’s down to the Bombastic Trump with his nascent Obama-like cult-of-personality. Or the less likeable Ted Cruz, but who has a demonstrated fitness for office, or at least a demonstrated commitment to sticking by his word and generally being the adult in the room.

    Unless Rubio can sincerely fall on his sword over the Gang of 8 fiasco. If he can do that convincingly, maybe he’ll have a shot. Until then he just reminds me of Romney never really apologizing for Romneycare.

  • Cotour

    Steve, you may have given the rational reason for a Trump / Cruz ticket.

    Trump is the ass kicker and Cruz is the stick to the Constitution and politically throttle the Democrats candidates. If they can stand each other after this “love” fest that is in process. Cruz seems to be the more objective person regarding insults and treachery.

    If they were to short circuit the political process at some point in time and announce this alliance they may well take all control away from the Republican leadership and cut the legs out from under all other aspiring candidates. I will be looking for out of the box kind of moves like this being made by Trump to wrestle control away from others.

  • Steve Earle

    I would have agreed with you a few weeks ago, and I still agree that it would be the strongest move for both of them at this point (although things may shift again after super-tuesday)

    But there has been so much vitriol spewed that I can’t see either of them agreeing to join the other. Not to mention the soundbites that would be repeated endlessly by the Democrats during the general election.

    How many times did we hear Bush the senior calling Reagan’s plans “voodoo economics” after he became Reagan’s running mate?

    Having said that, politics does make strange bedfellows, and Reagan-Bush did win anyway, so who knows?

  • Edward

    Cotour wrote: “its your philosophical side winning”

    Trump is not on your philosophical side. Just because he has an “R” next to his name does not make him the Republican he is pretending to be, no more than it made Bloomberg a Republican. The acronym “RINO” is a reference people such as these, but it has been abused to reference people who are not as conservative as some would like.

    The only way that Trump or Bloomberg could be considered Republican is if the party has moved so far left that it now takes the place that the Democrat Party held before it turned communist/authoritarian. Even then, I would not hold these two men as such Democrats, as they are far to the left of what Robert calls “classical Democrats.”

    Cotour wrote: “This is all about winning” and “I stand by my conclusions about human nature and voting”

    No. This is all about getting the government that we want. If it were all about winning, you should have voted for Obama. Trump will not get you the government that we want, but Cruz might. Which do you want to win? The authoritarian or the constitutionalist? Once again, you see this as a popularity contest, not a contest between philosophies.

    People are voting because of the free stuff ( ), which is a case of philosophy rather than popularity, but they also go for the cult of personality — those personalities that buy love through gifts. In that way, there is something to what you say, people take likability into account, but what they like is the promise of free stuff. Even Trump is promising a free wall (or at least promising that Americans won’t pay for it, despite the proposed tariff causing higher prices in the US, including US buyers paying for the tariff itself), and that seems to be the thing that is most popular about him.

    Cotour wrote: “Obama was the public’s extreme reaction to the abuses of power of G.Bush jr. ”

    Obama’s abuses of power were even worse than Bush. Obama won because of philosophy, the love of free stuff. Romney was not a small government conservative, but he was a far better choice than Trump will ever be.

    How do we know what is in Trump’s heart? The first things that he says on any topic are liberal, big-government, and tyrannical, because that is how he thinks. As he learns that these are not popular views, he backs off, which just leaves everyone thinking that he has stated their own position on every topic, fooling themselves into believing that he is their guy.

    Trump is a bully. He has learned, over the past several months, that his bullying ways are rewarded — or at least not opposed — by those who support him. He believes that he could even shoot someone on Fifth Avenue without losing supporters. He would take this attitude into the Oval Office.

    Once he is president (heaven forbid), he will rule using his natural reactions, tyrannical as they are, and bully people, Congress, and nations until he gets his way. The latter is rather disturbing, because the US has not been a bully, despite being the biggest kid on the playground. Instead, the US has been asked repeatedly to be “the world’s policeman.” Trump’s form of negotiation is not to leave everyone feeling good about the deal but to win the deal for himself. When he does that to other nations, the US will lose what little prestige and high ground that it now has. Who will the world turn to in order to police the bad behavior of nations after the US has lost that privilege?

    Would not a Trump/Cruz ticket make Cruz the same sellout that Rubio is? Cruz would then be required to support tyranny over the Constitution.

  • Cotour

    When all is said and done I will enthusiastically vote for either Cruz or Trump, I do not believe that anyone else will remain in the coming weeks.

    Q: Which one is more likely to beat Hillary?

    And lets assume that at some point there is at the minimum a sharp worded FBI report and recommendation that comes to the conclusion that she and the people that surrounded her while the Secretary of State should be indicted.

  • Steve Earle

    It’s the age-old question: Principle or Pragmatism? The old Buckley Rule still applies, always vote for the most conservative candidate that can actually get elected.

    As far as the Wall and a Tariff, I would rather fund it with the foreign aid we would otherwise be giving Mexico (over 50 million per year) as well as a tax on all money transfers going to Mexico from the US. (primarily from illegals and temp workers).

  • Margaret Boardman

    For one thing, what is wrong with the people of this country getting something for once instead of just the shaft? We bailed Wall Street out and a very small tax on speculation would pay for two years of college at a community college for kids in this country that would like to better themselves and get a higher earning job and bring in more revenue at tax time. What is wrong with healthcare for all, when it would lower the cost of medicines in this country with better bargaining power, plus it is not like we don’t need it with the greedy corporations poisoning us, in air, water and food to save a dollar, just like the Flint incident and the reason they did what they did to save a dollar. What is wrong with rebuilding our infrastructure and make millions of higher paying jobs that would bring in more revenue? What is wrong with getting corruption out of our elections process which causes more corruption in our government and leaves our interests out in the cold allowing the big money interests to continue to poison us for profit. Apparently none of you have even bothered to take a good look at Bernie Sanders and his interest in making this country work for all of us including the wealthy big money interests because when we have more money we buy more. What is wrong with giving the people a voice in our government like it was meant to do? With many of the big money interests spending billions in this election maybe it is time we the people donate to the candidates instead of who knows who, even giving other countries a chance to put money into our elections like Citizens United made it. What a hypocritic name, it isn’t “citizens united” it is “big money and foreign countries united”. Both conservative candidates are egotistical idiots like little kids that are at school fighting over how big their dicks are and whose wife is prettier. This is a Revolution to get a voice in our government and make the country work for the working families and poor and not just the wealthy greedy interests. One thing Trump did say that was completely true is when he said that when people give money for our candidates elections they owe those people. Bernie is getting lots of money from the people and we are going to hear all kinds of bologna that is not true and saying he is a socialist just shows the ignorance of a person or media outlet. He is a Democratic Socialist and that is not the same as a socialist or even close to what a communist is. Trump says he wants to build up our military and I almost choked on my water because we spend over half of our tax dollars on the Military already with trillions missing from the Pentagon budget. Remember Rumsfeld saying that on TV the day before 9/11 and then it was never mentioned again. We have the most powerful military than any country on this earth and we are the wealthiest. The Republicans cutting seniors, the disabled, and working mothers with children’s food stamps while giving more tax cuts to the wealthy when food has only doubled since they have even given any raise to the needy in this country is a betrayal to the poorest and neediest in this country. There aren’t welfare people eating lobster and lying on a beach drinking Mai-Tai’s it is the very wealthy that don’t need it for their basic needs and if you look it up you will find and be surprised at how many of your tax dollars is going to Big Money interests like WalMart billionaires compared to the small amount taken out of your check going to help the poor. It is a real shame that they try to act like the money going to seniors in Social Security is an entitlement when we worked for that money and paid into it all our lives and are living in extreme poverty with many unable to buy prescriptions they need or food when our $1.60 a meal allowance runs out before the end of the month, if we are below poverty enough to allow us to get them. And many do pay for Medicare it is not completely free unless you are way below poverty level and I am talking about half way below poverty level. The big money interests sure have you Republicans buffaloed with all the propaganda they feed to you and I get sick of hearing their lies repeated like they are fact. We need education in this country for future jobs that are all going to be high tech and jobs that you need a hell of a lot of education for. So quit trying to say we all want free stuff other countries are way ahead of us and we are getting further and further behind accept we are number one in being the most incarcerated country in the world thanks to the War on Marijuana, and among the highest in infant mortality rate but you don’t hear the conservatives saying a damned word about that.

  • Wayne

    Margaret Boardman wrote, in part:
    { (Sanders) } “He is a Democratic Socialist and that is not the same as a socialist or even close to what a communist is. Trump says he wants to build up our military and I almost choked on my water because we spend over half of our tax dollars on the Military already with trillions missing from the Pentagon budget.”
    Respectfully disagree & strongly urge you to reconsider your belief system & acquire more facts from which to base your decisions:

    The Military Budget is nowhere near “half our tax dollars,” the only thing that IS however more than 1/2, are massive wealth-transfers via domestic non-discretionary “welfare” spending.
    Sanders is a Marxist-Leninist, fully-blown America-hating Communist who has never held a real job in his entire life. No such animal as “democratic socialist.” Where have you been the entire 20th Century?

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *