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A candidate with guts?

Matt Frei | 21:15 UK time, Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Donald Trump

As a journalist, I am rooting for Donald Trump to plunge headlong into the presidential race. He will of course be entertaining. His hair will flop like a doormat in the chill winds of Iowa. It will labour and droop in the humid air of Florida. He will wave his fist, parade his beautiful daughters and smile about his wives. He will, no doubt, "fire" any number of real and imaginary foes, pick fights with the Chinese, squirm about his connections to Wall Street and tie himself into a few knots about why he called President Barack Obama "amazing and phenomenal" in his modestly entitled book, Think Like a Champion.

And of course Donald Trump has already had a campaign plane for years, parked at La Guardia airport in New York, with his short name in super-sized letters emblazoned on the belly.

Trump is a brand, a showman, an icon. But he is no joke. Karl Rove, that Machiavellian master of elections, got it wrong. Trump may never even get close to owning that once renewable lease on the white house on Pennsylvania Avenue. But he represents a chunk of this country that yearns for a blunt-speaking, successful man to take America firmly by the hand and slay its various dragons.

Trump is from the gut, as George W Bush used to like saying about himself. And "guts" is something in relatively short supply if you look at the current line-up of Republican contenders. Mitt is cerebral with almost extra-terrestrial perfection. You're afraid that if you pinch him your finger will glow. Tim is too nice to be truly of the gut. Mike's guts are diluted by his sense of humour. Newt only does bespoke gut. That leaves the potential women candidates, Sarah and Michelle. Plenty of guts there, for sure. As they used to say about Margaret Thatcher: "She's the best man we've got."

The point about The Donald's flirtation with presidential politics is that he sees America's deep rut of self-doubt as an opportunity. The Republican Party is scrabbling around for a suitable candidate like perhaps never before. This is a party in search of itself. The old genteel rule of allowing a dauphin to rise to the helm no longer works. These are ranks fraught with insurrection. It's a bit like the Apprentice. Anyone can have a go. Guts will not be the only quality that a successful candidate needs. Sound judgement, clear policies and money also help. The Donald has at least one of the above.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    I don't know how I would feel about actually casting a vote for Donald Trump, but he surely asks the questions & expresses the thoughts that are on everyone's minds-whether we are willing to admit it or not.
    I enjoy watching him step right into things while the other potential candidates pussyfoot about.Even if he doesn't enter the race he's getting issues out into the open that other candidates wouldn't touch. Maybe that's his real purpose for the Republicans?

  • Comment number 2.

    If Trump were to be elected President of this nation I would resign my citizenship and retire to Bolivia

  • Comment number 3.

    Will he be entertaining - as Matt Frei said? Of course! Absolutely - yes, yes, yes!

    Will he elected? Unlikely! Improbable!

    If he gets elected, can he do anything specific by design that will pull out US out of current doldrums? Naah! Forget it!

  • Comment number 4.

    In the U. S., journalists don't root for candidates, they report. It't the political cartoonists who want goofy candidates like Trump.

    In 1992, Ross Perot was the "blunt-speaking, successful man" in the presidential race. He received 19% of the popular vote and no electoral votes.

  • Comment number 5.

    I don't think Trump will get even close to winning the nomination. The plain spoken, common sense conservatism that Americans have always loved is running headlong into the reality that government is a lot more complicated. T.E.A. partiers are aghast that the 38 billion budget cut compromise only affects about 400 million in THIS budget cycle; Americans were duped into believing our budget worked like a family checking account or the small businesses from which these altruistic conservatives arose. Meanwhile, a Trump-like Republican with super-majorities in tropical Florida is giving temperate Republicans and Democrats a common enemy.

  • Comment number 6.

    He may ask some interesting questions, but the last thing the US needs in the White House is someone who is purely a businessman. Someone with absolute knowledge of our legal and governmental system is far more valuable to the American people.

  • Comment number 7.

    Trump is what the Republicans want? Probably. He is a total clown who will tell people exactly what they want to hear. But wait, clowns are supposed to have a sense of humour and he has none. All he has is self-worship. Chances are if he ever got anywhere near real power he would immediately lose all his support because he would never do anything that would be of benefit to anyone other than himself. How could he? The only time he ever sees anybody is when he is looking in a mirror.

    The only question is how much damage he could do before he explodes.

  • Comment number 8.

    An excellent analysis of the Republican dilemma. Of course, the logical conclusion could be derived that, as the key requirement for the nominee is entertainment value, the Republicans should formalize this as a reality show along the lines of, say, "Lost".
    This could be highly amusing, with demonstrations of swimming with sharks, eating Chinese noodles, creative accounting and piloting Predator drones on the list of contests.
    Oh well! We'll probably just get at lot of rhetoric-as-usual! I hope the Republicans can find a real contender, and not a talking toupe or an empty-headed, but vocal, ex news-anchor. And God help the Nation if we put one of those in the White House!

  • Comment number 9.

    You left out Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi in you analysis, and I predict that you will come to regret the oversight. A moderate Republican, certainly able to deliver the South and cut from the same political cloth as LBJ (although of the wrong party), he carries considerably less baggage than the others going in to 2012.

    The GOP will come to see him as the anti-Obama -- even though he has much more in common politically with the President than the rest of them.

  • Comment number 10.

    Could there be an option to vote for his hairpiece only?

  • Comment number 11.

    #6 Missi Stone wrote:
    "He may ask some interesting questions, but the last thing the US needs in the White House is someone who is purely a businessman. Someone with absolute knowledge of our legal and governmental system is far more valuable to the American people".

    Sorry I can't print my real response, but hopefully Trump will stay where he needs to .... on a trumped up reality show. As for your statement about the value of legal or business knowledge, you are so far off only a lawyer can lie his way through and work around that! Best example... of course...Obama!!!

    Read the headlines .... the IMF says we are spending (actually waisting) to much! Soon the 3 star rating the US has enjoyed for the last 50 years may be downgraded! People are buying up as much gold and silver as they can afford because the Obama dollar will be no different that the Zimbabwe dollar! Who knows with this Liberal give away legal leaders, the next step will be take the land from the rich and give to the poor. (Sorry I have to keep it simple but I'm sure it would fall into one of those categories of politically incorrect, whether it's true or not)

  • Comment number 12.

    #8 Dr_Jim wrote:
    " Oh well! We'll probably just get at lot of rhetoric-as-usual! I hope the Republicans can find a real contender, and not a talking toupe or an empty-headed, but vocal, ex news-anchor. And God help the Nation if we put one of those in the White House!"

    Open your eyes... that's what's in there now!!!! "rhetoric-as-usual!", "empty-headed" when it comes to the economy, and God help us as a nation if he's allowed to continue!

  • Comment number 13.

    America was ruined by Wall Street, and yet Americans are willing to support a man who cannot be any closer to the very financial institution that destroyed their livelihood?!

    I've never seen a country with a population so foolish.

  • Comment number 14.

    Curt Carpenter, (#9. At 23:37pm 19th Apr 2011)

    ”... The GOP will come to see him as the anti-Obama -- even though he has much more in common politically with the President than the rest of them.”
    That may make him appear more electable; with an improving economy, an incumbent president has been difficult to unseat.

  • Comment number 15.

    I think Trump's potential candidacy speaks volumes about just whose interests the GOP represents. Hint: it's not yours!

    Hasn't The Donald filed for bankruptcy three times now? If S&P threatens our bond rating today, how will they and Moody's react when a man who has defaulted on his debts multiple times occupies the Oval Office?

  • Comment number 16.

    There is an element of redundancy with regards this thread.
    Any candidate with political nous would sit it out till next term.

  • Comment number 17.

    The Republican primary should be quite entertaining, very much like watching a dozen clowns get out of the same little car. Where do they find these people. I'm far from a Mitt Romney fan and won't be voting for any Republican, but at this point he seems like the only sane one in the chase. At least he's shown himself capable of administering a state for a full term and can speak intelligently about his point of view.

  • Comment number 18.

    The fact that Trump is being touted as a serious candidate for the Republican nomination speaks volumes about the current state of the Republican party. This is a man who gives credence to the "birther" nonsense, as well as the aforementioned bankruptcies. But the most telling factor is that Trump most certainly doesn't have Presidential hair, if I didn't know better I would think the Republicans are deliberately trying to lose this election

  • Comment number 19.

    Trump will provide great electronic bytes on the stage debating with like of Sarah Palin and Michelle.It's too salivating to await.

  • Comment number 20.

    Thucydides1987 wrote: "America was ruined by Wall Street, and yet Americans are willing to support a man who cannot be any closer to the very financial institution that destroyed their livelihood?!"

    I don't think you have any idea what you're talking about. Economic problems in the US originate from government policies. Wall Street doesn't have legislative or executive power. Although the beginnings of the recession occurred in Wall Street, that doesn't mean they were the cause, it's just that the stock market is a barometer for the strength of the economy. Signs of economic recession began in Wall Street, but they were an indicator of and not the root cause of economic problems, though they exacerbated them.

    "I've never seen a country with a population so foolish."

    The stock market and financial industry in general is important to the US economy, just like it is to every modern country. There's nothing illogical or foolish about supporting a candidate who better understands these things, especially during a recession. What's foolish is having people in charge who don't understand the nature of the problems they're tasked with fixing.

    "Wall Street" isn't like some political party in the US. It's not like some malevolent force that can be culled. You're just talking about the financial industry of the US, something that can't be magically done away with. That would be like arguing that since manufacturing companies declined and the economy suffered because of it, anyone who understands this aspect of the economy can't be trusted. Nobody who understands manufacturing should be consulted on how to... fix manufacturing, by your logic.

    Your assertions are demonstrably silly. Quite ironic that you call Americans foolish. Foolishness is usually the unifying trait of anti-Americans, especially when they parade their hilariously hypocritical and undeserved sense of superiority over Americans.

  • Comment number 21.

    #18


    "The fact that Trump is being touted as a serious candidate for the Republican nomination speaks volumes about the current state of the Republican party."

    Except that he is not. There is a long way to go before gaining the nomination of a party. Any party.

    I don't know where you get your "fact" from.

  • Comment number 22.

    I can see Donald Trump's campaign being similar to that of 2008 Republican primary candidate Fred Thompson. A celebrity with some political background (admittedly Trump is more of the former, while Thompson had more of the latter) who will try to use name/face recognition as a platform to run on well-rounded basic Republican ideals, without having any real stands on most issues save a few key social areas such as abortion, gay rights and gun control. Some misguided Republicans, who might at some point be egged on by the media, will begin to view the celebrity-turned-candidate into the second coming of Ronald Reagan, which neither Trump, nor Thompson are/were.

  • Comment number 23.

    In my biz....May "sweeps" is a period on TV that decides who stays and who goes the following Fall season. It's when suped up episodes with special guests happen..simply to artificially increase ratings for this period. Up Fronts are what advertisers..based on these ratings..will pay "up front" for the following Fall season. So if your show doesn't get enough ratings during sweeps ..it won't be picked up in the Fall.

    Why is this important? Because NBC's Up Fronts..are decided on May 16th....Why is THIS important?

    The Celebrity Apprentice...is Donald Trump's show. The ONLY and I mean ONLY reason he's "running for President"...is to drum up attention for the sweeps.

    This is how stupid we've become.

  • Comment number 24.

    14. At 00:04am 20th Apr 2011, Chryses wrote:
    "... with an improving economy, an incumbent president has been difficult to unseat."

    If you know anything about Mississippi, you know that Haley Barbour has one practical qualification that none of the other GOP hopefuls can claim: he knows from hard experience how to run a government that's on short rations. Mixed with his political pluses and his record, I think this would
    position him to be a strong president in a difficult period of American history.

    If the GOP runs him in 2012, he may not be able to beat Obama -- but it would put him in outstanding position for the 2016 campaign. Meanwhile, his candidacy in 2012 would, I think, promote a genuine dialog on the country's future -- maybe even with some focus on (gasp) real issues!

  • Comment number 25.

    ActuallyI think I've got this figured out. The Donald is conspiring to get Barry re-elected by planting himself as a GOP candidate for 2012. He's gonna shout to the whole world that Obama was born in Kenya and everyone will vote for Obama cause they think the GOP are a bunch of morons. Then he's gonna fly back in time in his UFO with sasquatch & the abonible snowman to have Barry's parents go to Kenya where Obama was/will be? born. The he will/did have fake birth certificates planted in Hawaii so Barry could come back to America as an imposter citizen and steal the white house.

  • Comment number 26.

    I think you are spot on. I don't know if The Donald can win or not, but it is going to be a really interesting campaign. The republicans must accept him as a candidate, or risk the chance he will run as an independent and split the conservative vote.

    I imagine The Donald is every candidates worst nightmare, and that includes Obama. It will be interesting to see all of the lawyer types debate The Donald on economic matters, or anything else. He will break new ground on campaign issues. I can hardly wait.

  • Comment number 27.

    #23 is the most rational person out there about this. It's a scam to boost his show, which of course is working. I might add that Trump can't actually run for president. His whole brand is based on his supposed business success. And yet it's already been shown he isn't worth anything near the many billions he claims to be worth and he might not even be worth much more than what many millions he inherited, adjusted for inflation of course. I'll bet anyone 5 bucks he withdraws before he has to issue a personal financial statement which is required by anyone actually running for president.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/item_pjHYwiKqf87fvUfkTdIDCO;jsessionid=5CDD9B02F7ED7B8AE2F6856B8B839F19

  • Comment number 28.

    It amazes me how everyone keeps desperately ignoring or denying the 800-lb elephant in the room, which Trump fearlessly points out: Obama has never produced so much as a copy of an actual US birth certificate. As many document experts have noted, a hospital "certificate of live birth" is quite easily forged or obtained after the fact. Further, not a single independent expert has been allowed to examine this alleged COLB from Hawaii..only Democrat loyalists have supposedly seen it, and they've basically told us to take their word that its real! Stranger still, we've seen two very different copies released by the administration, one of which is clearly not genuine. The other has some minor discrepancies that might be explainable, but the fact remains - Obama has never produced his birth certificate as every presidential candidate before him was required to do, and as the Democrats demanded that John Mccain do. America has a long history of high-stakes tomfoolery regarding its presidents..why is it so difficult to believe that Obama and his handlers might have pulled off a huge scam like this? It would hardly be the first such brazen coup to hit the White House. Its troubling to think that we may have elected a man who has no legal right to the office. But more disturbing than this is the idea that one political party is somehow above question in America, that you'll be called ugly names and put on a Homeland Security watch list for daring to question. That's not democracy - that's fascism. If Trump decides to run as a nominee he may win simply because he won't be intimidated by the Democrat attack machine. Conservatives from all parties are desperate for anyone who will stand up to Obama and speak the truth.

  • Comment number 29.

    Psycros seems to have all the Tea Party bullet points down pat. The number of people who would have HAD to be in on the conspiracy is larger than the population of Honolulu at that time. Or this, for that matter.
    Trump cannot win because he cannot run. If his true financial history were to be disclosed, the house of cards he lives in will be blown down by laughter.
    As for Haley Barbour, his good old boy act will have to explain why he was also head of the largest lobbying group in D.C. His inside/outside past will ruin his believability.

  • Comment number 30.

    Many things about the logic of the "birther's" arguments (see above) trouble me; like how a "Certificate of Live Birth," which is the official certified birth record provided by the state of Hawaii for all purposes - the document that is both necessary and sufficient for any Hawaiian to get a US Passport among other things (a driver's license, Social Security, whatever), is somehow bogus and can be easily forged.

    But, in particular, given the way politics works today - the enormous time and energy spent in "opposition research" to create the negative ads that dominate our campaigns, how do you explain that the Republican Party has not been able to get to the truth - if truth it be?

    Given how important the issue is, wouldn't the Koch brothers, or somebody, have been able to bribe, borrow, or steal a copy of the actual birth certificate on file with Hawaii, or gotten someone to come forward and testify that there was no such document many years ago - long before Obama was elected?

    It makes no sense to me, it assumes that the Republican political operatives are incompetent, which they are not, or part of the conspiracy ... , is that the argument?

    I really just don't get it.

  • Comment number 31.


    The outcome of the upcoming, 2012 US budget battle likely will decide the next presidency, regardless of who the candidates could be. If Republicans manage to make a major dent in the budget and do so in a politically balanced way, then there will be no need for a Republican in the White House to further promote budget cutting because by then American taxpayers will be exhausted of the matter, but if Democrats can hold back on the necessary budget cuts, as apparently budget cuts are necessary, then Americans might put a Republican into presidential office in order to get the nation's financial house in order.

    For similar reasons the 2013 budget battle could equally apply, whether it gets settled on time or not, but it seems that the 2012 battle will set the pace for the '12 elections.

  • Comment number 32.

    You write as if you take his candidacy seriously. Trump has had a history of publicly claiming an interest in running for president since 1988, and this is the third or maybe fourth time he has put his name in play. He is certainly interested in the attention that it gets him, but he would never submit himself to the full financial disclosure required of candidates. He is no doubt a very wealthy man, but not as wealthy as he would have us believe. Having to deal with the scrutiny that would come with being a serious candidate is not in his interest as a businessman.

  • Comment number 33.

    Psycros:
    Anyone who beleives that "birther" crap that you just said is an idiot, pure & simple. That is the 800lb Gorilla in the room. Most of the "Birthers" I have observed are poorly educated at best and have given up fighting Obama on the battlefield of ideas. I hope the GOP candidates actually bring the Birther arguement to the table in 2012. Obama will sure be re-eleced if they do. IMHO, Mitt Romney is the only potential GOP cadidate that I can take seriously at this point. All of the others have done or said something stupid. I personally don't think the Donald actually believes that Obama is a non-citizen. As someone else has already said the Donald is a media machine and he wants/needs the media attention. I also don't think Donald has any intention of running for President.

  • Comment number 34.

    If this election were fought on the economy alone, then it should land Obama a landslide victory.
    Given that he inherited a global financial crisis from the Bush administration, which, (and as recognised but as yet uncommented on by one of your compatriots @14) is slowly recovering, it shows the man to be (and contary to US public perception) a man of great skill and financial aptitude). There is a case for suggesting the American public are just a smidgen impatient.
    Rome was not built in a day.
    Factoring in other key elements of his administration and I venture to suggest that this is the best President in most of the present lives of Americans today and its no wonder that the Republicans are throwing a hat full of patsys up for contention whilst the next natural Republican inheritor lurks dangerously unnoticed in the shadows.
    Obamas admin, for me, brings the two term office rule into serious question and also, maybe, just maybe, the sculptors should start busying themselves and make their way for work at Mount Rushmore.

  • Comment number 35.

    @20 Kent

    You clearly have either no understanding of what caused the financial (the clues there...) crisis or you are one of the guilty seeking to shift blame to anybody but yourself.
    It is in fact your assertations that are demonstrably silly. Back them up or admit you are spewing rubbish.
    Before you fail to do so, but respond none the less asking me to explain why you are wrong; here it is: the cause of the crisis is simply the over selling of credit, based on dodgy lets ignore the elephants economics, to naive punters who failed to read the small print. i.e. it's your chums on Wall Street.

    @23 sp Very good lateral thinking. Probably correct. Sad isn't it.

    @28 psycros You gave me a good laugh. It is amazing that people with so little ability to generate independent thought can actually type, let alone use a computer!

  • Comment number 36.

    Three Words: Anybody but Palin

  • Comment number 37.

    I bid No Trump.

  • Comment number 38.

    As a Massachusetts liberal Democrat I found Mitt Romneys tenure as governor acceptable. He was more progressive than he "says" he is now. He dealt cooperatively with a heavily Democratic legislature. He's the only Republican interested in being president whose win wouldn't have me packing for a move to Canada.

    The notion of a Republican as president and a Republican controlled Congress is nightmare inducing for me.

    Romney's health care plan is working just fine here. Trump has made fun of him saying he's not nearly as business savvy nor as rich as he is. (I'd add that he also isn't a member of the 1 % of the population with a narcissistic personality disorder - look it up).

    The truth is that Romney does have business savvy and he has also been governor of our 14th most populous state.

    He also is genuinely handsome, has good hair, and a nose that doesn't look like he's been consuming an awful lot of "Donald" Pérignon.

  • Comment number 39.

    Trump is a blowhard of major proportions. The myth that he is a successful businessman is one more example of tell a lie often enough and it morphs into a truth. The facts are he has bankrupted the companies he was involved with and had zero scruples about receiving State monies when things went south. His only success is self advertising and bombast.
    If the American people, in their desperation to fix a problem of their own making, elect Trump then they get what they deserve. I am an American and the thought of Trump as President is too appalling to consider.
    The real question is why the GOP is unable to attract a real candidate? The present choices are either sound and fury signifying nothing or blow dried corporate raiders who have the courage of other peoples convictions.
    I don't say Obama is such a bargain but he actually occupies the middle ground (contrary to what the TEA Party would have you believe). He at least thinks before he jumps which is a major improvement over Shrub (aka GWB).
    Where oh where are the men and women of vision and judgement? One can only conclude they take one look at the current poisonous environment and a press corp more concerned with titillating rubbish and decide that public service is just not worth it.
    If I had a choice I would nominate Robert Gates (Sec of Defense) a man of sound judgement and common sense. However he is waaay too smart to run.

  • Comment number 40.

    Mr. Frei:

    It is unfortunate for the BBC audience that you have chosen to publicize the antics of Donald Trump. Such coverage reinforces the notion of news and even "information" on public policy to be nothing more than "infotainment." Should Trump announce candidacy then he becomes truly newsworthy. Until that point you and all the other media outlets are simply providing free exposure, which is a publicists dream come true.

  • Comment number 41.

    Yes, Americans need a leader with guts - preferably more than one. Some in the Senate; some in Congress, and of course the President himself/herself.
    Obama has done nothing except
    - bailout the perpetrators of the financial crash,
    - expand the War in Afghanistan and nudge it towards Pakistan
    - maintain presence in Iraq...In short
    - nothing that he originally promised.
    The military is moved helter-skelter in a manner that suggests Obama may be playing checkers.
    While children and mothers await food stamps, among Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia - America gifts 10.5B in military hardware. The United States spends more on its military than all the other nations combined.
    It's time for the United States to reduce military spending, NOT AMERICAN ENTITLEMENTS.
    40 cents of EVERY tax dollar goes to finance the debt. If that’s true, between financing the debt and paying for our military, that leaves about 10 cents of every dollar to support entitlements. This is absolute lunacy.
    It doesn't take a genius to figure out that The United States of America is in a fatal spiral of debt that will eventually collapse; so where is the American uproar?
    Americans are fighting a war in Afghanistan to root out what the U.S. admits are only 50-100 AL Qaeda. The average cost of having one set of boots on the ground there for a year is $1,000,000. Opium production there has risen 400% since the US set its feet in the poppy fields.
    Between depleted uranium and opium, the Afghans will never forget Americans.
    At home 1% of the population owns almost 40% of the wealth. Never mind that the middle class has seen wages fall steadily over the last two decades while the upper 10% have seen a 20% increase. Don’t tax the rich! According to the GOP that will mean that a decline in new jobs.
    Obama, with his gang from Goldman Sacks aren't about to tackle the status quo. It's about time for guts in Government!

  • Comment number 42.

    When I was a child my parents took me to the "Greatest Show On Earth" (aka Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus) in New York City. The side show, before political correctness called the freak show) was in the basement of Madison Square Garden. Giants, bearded ladies, the fat man, thin man, sword swallower, the pin head, the wolf boy, the four legged lady.... what wonders for a seven year old boy. Now we have Sarah and, yes, Bristol Palin and Trump's hair.

    It's interesting, appalling really but not surprising, how Trump has become the P.T. Barnum of American politics in such a short time. He belongs in the freak show but with Barnum-like genius has propelled himself to the coveted center ring of America's three ring politic circus.

    Indeed, here in the United States more than the U.K. I think there is a sucker born every minute (even if it was famous con-man Joseph ("Paper Collar Joe") Bessimer who said it, not Barnum), it is true. From the birthers to the 911 conspiracy believers to those who make millionaires of TV spiritualists, mediums and ghost hunters, there sure are a lot of gullible people in the good old U. S. of A.

    They believe any Fox News commentator and right wing talk radio hosts and most mammals have more critical thinking ability than they do.

  • Comment number 43.

    @38: I like Mitt Romney, & wish he had got the previous Republican nomination, but Donald Trump is more entertaining. :)

  • Comment number 44.

    Missi: He may ask some interesting questions, but the last thing the US needs in the White House is someone who is purely a businessman.
    --------
    Actually, maybe that's exactly what we need, as Trump knows that if the Middle class runs good, America runs good...

    Trump is a success story and perhaps he could get USA back on hte right track...
    -------
    Missi: Someone with absolute knowledge of our legal and governmental system is far more valuable to the American people.
    --------
    Not necessarily...just look at President Obama...it hasn't turned out the way many have thought...I think Obama has done his best but he has not succeeded the way he should have due to his having the wrong personal agenda...

    Some of the Repubs are not supporting Trump and I think this is because they realize Trump is the real deal: a real American who wants to help all of America, not just the rich and corporations...

    Trump has already said he thinks the taxes should be increased (which many Repubs want to make tax cuts for rich and corps permanent), he has said he wants to bring jobs back to America from overseas or at least start news ones, he has said a lot of things that are making sense economy wise and most importantly, Trump is putting the focus on propping up the Middle class...

    I think Trump has grown up a lot and could potentially be a great President...

  • Comment number 45.

    MOST PEOPLE MAY THINK THAT TRUMP RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IS A JOKE BUT HE MAY BE JUST WHAT THE GOVERMENT NEEDS TO GIVE THEM A SWIFT KICK AND GET THIS COUNTRY BACK ON TRACK AGAIN. GOD KNOWS THEY SCREWED IT UP ENOUGH ALREADY.

  • Comment number 46.

    Post # 42 Hal from Massachusetts.
    I'm also from Masshole land. I voted for the Mittster. I hoped that he would get into it with the legislature & get the big dig costs/oversight under control. (By the way thanks to rest of the US for your contributions). Within 2 yrs, he pretty much left the state to run for President. It would be charitable to say that he was Gov for 2 yrs.( Sarah anyone) Well, he did show up for weeks more than that when he rushed back to "oversee" the big dig ceiling collapse. during that ugly incident ,pretty much threw the Lt Gov who was running for Gov. under the bus Then wait until some of his decisions at Bain ( His former Co.) are reviewed. Not so much job creation there. Then there is Kennedy's remarke about him: " There hasn't been an issue that he hasn't supported every side'" . While one program Mass Health ( Obama Care) is a work in progress, he will be crucified for it.

  • Comment number 47.

    lucy j- have you read the comments made by sp. number23.

    also I hear he bangs on about this birther issue all the time.

    I was watching Jon Stewart who played clips from fox of a dude called Rielly who said all this birther nonsense and a fair bit of what you hear about M obama is all made up.

    Why this obsession with his birth origin? if it's a non issue why is it such an issue?

  • Comment number 48.

    @48:
    It's probably an issue because Obama spent time overseas as a child & his father was from Africa & the facts concerning the president's birthplace are a bit murky.
    Folks who do not support Obama would love to find an easy way to get him out of office.
    Bill O'Reilly actually does a good job on Fox News-I think.

  • Comment number 49.

    The whole birther issue is nonsense. Do we really believe that the CIA, NSA, FBI and any other letter agency you care to name and not to mention the GOP itself didn't look for every possible reason to disqualify Obama before he became president?
    Talk about fiddling while Rome burns!

  • Comment number 50.

    The facts concerning the president's birthplace aren't a bit murky. There just happens to be a subset of the American populace who are kooky enough to believe it. It doesn't offend me really because is it any more logical to believe in astrology? Or creationism? And yet there are huge subsets of the US population who believe in these sort of things as well.

    The Donald's publicity stunt (see #23, #27) does make me amused insofar that the Republican establishment is actually kind of concerned about him. The National Review has been bashing him and Bill O'Reilly seemingly had him on his show to treat him like a bombastic child. Then refuted everything he said.

  • Comment number 51.

    Frei, who would ever vote for this hack?!
    I would certainly never vote for Trump, nor do I know a single person who has any respect for Trump.
    "Trump is a brand, a showman, an icon. But he is no joke."
    The man is a JOKE.

  • Comment number 52.

    Anyone who would seriously consider voting for Trump should take a long, hard look at Silvio Berlusconi and all the political gaffes and problems that he's continually brought upon himself and Italy, because those two are cut from the same cloth...except Trump is Berlusconi on steroids. The prospect of having such a tactless, egotistical narcissist in charge frankly makes my stomach churn, particularly when imagining the temper tantrums Trump would unleash when he realizes that unlike in a private company, he can do next to nothing to influence the actions of U.S. Congress, never mind the Chinese. It's a sad state of affairs for the GOP when even a stuffed suit like Romney is a more viable candidate.

  • Comment number 53.

    @49 & 50:
    I hear you in that the whole "birther" issue does not make sense on the surface, but there seem to be a number of things in Mr. Obama's past that have been glossed over & conservative folk are suspicious about him in general.
    Some of that may well be racially motivated, sad to say, but some concerns I think are genuine.

  • Comment number 54.

    No, he's not what this voter wants. The man is just so off putting! He thinks he's the greatest, smartest man who has ever lived. Who wants that? I mean, we already have that now with Obama to a certain extent, but Trump is just over the top.
    He's changed his position so many times, I can't even count. Plus, this "birther" nonsense confounds me to no end, especially when Trump says "he's got people on it who have uncovered unspeakable horrors!!" Like what? Oh yeah, he won't say.
    Trump is an entertainer doing a goofy act that helps no one but himself. As much as I want Obama to be a one-termer (and I REALLY want him to be a one-termer!), I just see Trump stirring up stuff for publicity. Instead of focusing on the REAL issues of Obama's Presidency, he focuses on a stupid, trivial conspiracy theory.

  • Comment number 55.

    He's a joke.

  • Comment number 56.

    Even if its a ploy to get the ratings up for his show, I still think Trump is affecting the political race in a positive way by making everyone more competitive, by raising the stakes, by pushing things up an octave...by showing people care about our country and that our fate is all ultimately connected together as Americans...

    The Presidency is a tough job always, but there have never been so many major challenges facing USA hurdling toward us all at once...and its like we just keep going, another challege, another challenge, just keep going...but the Middle class is what holds our country together and for too long, the politicians have been making policies taking advantage of the Middle class...

    We can still change things, but we need a good candidate and at least Trump is upping the ante, whether he ultimately decides to run or not...

    There is such negative news all the time, but think about all the good and beautiful things in USA...

    Its like I still read amazing and phenomenal things everyday that our country does, new and exciting techonology, we are still so incredibly inventive and innovative, our country amazes me and I'm an American...the American spirit lives on in millions of Americans and Trump is one of those with hearty American spirit...

  • Comment number 57.

    Nerd: Instead of focusing on the REAL issues of Obama's Presidency, he focuses on a stupid, trivial conspiracy theory.
    ---------
    He has focused on them more during the late shows, such as with Letterman and whatnot, he talked about how we are importing so much goods from China whilst exporting our jobs there and other places, China is making billions or trillions off of our imports and job outsourcing and America is losing all that money when we could be making our own products plus we would have jobs making our own products, so it was a good point how we should be making our own products which would create millions of American jobs...also he has said he is in favor of raising taxes, which I believe we should either go back to pre-Bush levels or do flat tax at same rate...

    I, too, wish he could have talked about this more than the birth issue as whether its true or not who knows but its done and over with...

    Truthfully, it probably is for ratings and I don't think he is going to actually run, but I think it is a positive thing and will make the other candidates do better by making it more competitive and making them work for it...

  • Comment number 58.

    As a conservative, I don't want Trump to even visit the Whitehouse as a tourist! His ego is far too large to be a mere President of the USA. That being said, could he be any more incompetent than Obama? I don't think so.

  • Comment number 59.

    Instead of an elephant, the Republican party should be portrayed by a hippopotamus -
    --a large mouth and up to its neck in water !

  • Comment number 60.

    It seems incredible to me that we take what the media says as truth. The fact is that there is not one person that is being speculated on for president that has even the slightest notion of what the people or this country need. They are all so wrapped up in their own grandiose plans that the only ones that profit are them and we are electing them on what we hear on the news, We have had the choice of the same two parties for too long and have had the same clones so long that we can no longer tell who they are and get the same things every time. We have forgotten that the choice for who represents us lays with us, We the People, but instead we let the same two parties give us the same choices that are only serving the two parties. I would like to see some one who is truly selected by the people and I think there is a way to truly do that. There is a movement called GOOOH that can help elect the government at a true grassroots level.

  • Comment number 61.

    Wake up America, S&P has down graded the credit rating of the US. Based on their previous down grades they're usually late with their calls. Some one in our government had better start leading, solve the budget & long term debt issues. Neither political party seems care, could The Mighty Mouth Trump do a worse job?

  • Comment number 62.

    The U.S. Presidential election is over a year up the calendar. There is a very interesting election about to take place in Canada in about a month. Why not cover the political scene in the land south of Detroit? The Harper machine will show you a few new tricks.

  • Comment number 63.

    60. At 00:57am 21st Apr 2011, kelnozz wrote:
    "I would like to see some one who is truly selected by the people..."

    God help us all if that ever happens. We'd end up with Lindsay Lohan in the Whitehouse with Oprah as National Security Advisor. I welcome your projections for Secretaries of Defense and State in that instance.

    See my paper "Media As Government in the Twenty First Century -- A New Paridigm" for further details.

  • Comment number 64.

    itzig66 wrote: "You clearly have either no understanding of what caused the financial (the clues there...) crisis or you are one of the guilty seeking to shift blame to anybody but yourself."

    Myself? You think I work in Wall Street?

    It's you who has no understanding of economics or the recession. Your inability to elaborate on it and the fact that your entire post was just one big insult directed against me proves this.

    The recession was initially caused by loaning people money to buy homes even though they couldn’t meet appropriate credit requirements, and then creating mortgage backed securities based on the faulty loans. The narrative that you've apparently swallowed is that this was all caused by Wall Street. Complete untrue. This can all be shown to have originated with government policies. In fact, if any President is to blame it would have to be Clinton. He pressured Fannie Mae (the government-run organization that set the agenda for the entire financial market in the US) to lower its credit standards to allow minorities to buy more homes. With lenders realizing that the two government sponsored enterprises (GSE's), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, would purchase mortgage-backed securities they took it to the extreme. Predatory lending only occurred when the environment in which it could take place was created by the government. It's easy to give bad loans when you can package them into mortgage back securities and have tax-funded organizations buy them. You're right that easy credit was the cause of the recession, but you apparently don't know how credit became too easy to get. The government used Freddie and Fannie to make credit easier to get for the express purpose of allowing otherwise unqualified minorities in the US to get into homes. Government intervention into the economy caused the recession, not Wall Street running amok.

    The government engineered a financial system designed to peddle mortgages to people who couldn't afford them. Businesses were greedy, yes. But that's what business is. They were playing by the rules set by the government.

    And I hate to be the devil's advocate, but Republicans in the US were trying to get Freddie and Fannie regulated before the recession began, predicting that they had too much power and would drag the economy down. They did. This came true. Democrats blocked their efforts, even resorting to accusations of racism because Freddie and Fannie were admittedly used to orchestrate a kind of race-based socialism for blacks and Hispanics.

    The recession was caused by misguided intervention into the economy by the government. Period.

  • Comment number 65.

    Curt Carpenter.
    I refuse to disrespect your thoughts before reading your paper so you should not disrespect mine before you see what I am suggesting. It seems incredible to me that people speak of things they know nothing about.

  • Comment number 66.

    Media As Government in the Twenty First Century -- A New Paridigm Curt Carpenter

    This is what I typed into my browser and came up with a post from you on a different site dealing with student aid. Where is your "paper"?

  • Comment number 67.

    Kent wrote
    The recession was caused by misguided intervention into the economy by the government. Period.

    I agree 100% that government is to blame for this recession but let me take it a little further. The minute they started to guarantee loans the trouble started. Banks saw the opening and took it and I would not be surprised if those officials were invested in the banking system. I also wonder if the same thing is true with every thing that is going wrong in this country today. Our congress no longer works for us. Special intrest and self intrest rules the government today.

  • Comment number 68.

    65. At 03:59am 21st Apr 2011, kelnozz wrote:
    "Curt Carpenter.
    I refuse to disrespect your thoughts before reading your paper so you should not disrespect mine before you see what I am suggesting. It seems incredible to me that people speak of things they know nothing about."

    I invite -- and indeed encourage! -- your disrespect kelnozz! It is a sign of a soul that has not yet lost the ability to celebrate the absurdity of it all!

    I certainly meant no "disrespect" (God forbid, God forbid...)

    But listen: you aren't one of those young people that take themselves too seriously are you? (God forbid, God forbid...)

    My paper has been classified, so will not appear on Google for twenty years (if then, and assuming that I actually WRITE such a paper -- which is starting to sound more and more like a really good idea...)

    What use in sitting alone in your room?
    Come hear the music play...
    Life is a cabaret old chum!
    Come to the cabaret...

  • Comment number 69.

    64. At 03:30am 21st Apr 2011, Kent wrote:
    "The recession was caused by misguided intervention into the economy by the government. Period."

    Oh come now. Even Zeus would blush at making such a sweeping pronouncement!

    Why don't we say "The recession was caused by Mass Greed overcoming Cringing Fear for a time"? And that the fundamental problem of recovery is to re-inject the Fear into those who still have some money?

  • Comment number 70.

    @64 Kent,
    You appear to be labouring under the impression that the "Government" work in splendid isolation, presumably sitting in darken rooms with wispy curls of cigarette smoke drifting around.
    Who do you think was giving the advice that persuaded the government that de-regulation was a good idea? (clue...it was Wall Street).
    Who do you think gave the advice that led to the relaxation of ratings standards? (clue...it was Wall Street)
    Whether you like it or not Wall Street is deep in the root of the problems the World faces today.
    A case could be constructed that the failure of the Wall Street system to serve certain groups of people in the US, the poor being the main one here, was the root cause of any government intervention to (god forbid!) assist those groups.
    Secondly the entire post #35 was not directed at you, maybe you should check your ego in someplace.

  • Comment number 71.

    Another thought wanders thorugh my mind, do those who blame the government actually realise that in effect they are blaming those who elected said administration?
    Now depending on ones viewpoint that means that they are either blaming themselves as the electrate, or if they are smart enough and realise that in the US it is those with the cash that really get to influence and de facto decide who takes power they are blaming those groups and organisations with influence for the crisis...now who could that be? (whisper it for kent, the words begin with w and s)

  • Comment number 72.

    itzig66 wrote: "You appear to be labouring under the impression that the "Government" work in splendid isolation, presumably sitting in darken rooms with wispy curls of cigarette smoke drifting around."

    This actually could be applied more aptly to your depictions of "Wall Street" as being some singular, monolithic, malevolent organization.

    "Who do you think was giving the advice that persuaded the government that de-regulation was a good idea? (clue...it was Wall Street). "

    I believe you're just making things up out of thin air. Do you have any evidence for this, can you elaborate on any examples of this at all, or should I file your post under "moot" just like I have all your other posts? You apparently don't understand this topic at all. You're demonstrating a lack of even a basic understanding of economics. I elucidated on what caused the recession, blowing a gigantic hole in your argument and now it seems you're fabricating little factoids to fill in the blanks.

    What the government did cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered "deregulation". The government enforced tighter regulations and increased oversight which required lenders to give out loans they normally would have considered too risky and too much of a liability. That's regulation, not deregulation. What Clinton did in the 90's (Housing and Community Development Act of 1992) was basically universally opposed by banks, so your claim that Wall Street encouraged Clinton to do this is patently false.

    "A case could be constructed that the failure of the Wall Street system to serve certain groups of people in the US, the poor being the main one here, was the root cause of any government intervention to (god forbid!) assist those groups."

    This is a complete contradiction of your previous point. First you were arguing that Wall Street wanted the government to intervene and gave them "advice" that "persuaded" the government to do so. As if this was a boon to those evil Wall Street overlords. Now you're saying that the government was right in intervening in the economy to force lenders to loan to poor people. First it was scheme by Wall Street, now you're depicting it as a necessary intervention in the economy by the benevolent government, which Wall Street as you have characterized them should naturally oppose...

    I have no desire to continue debating with you if you insist on basing your entire argument on whims of your own imagination.

  • Comment number 73.

    the problem with the economic crash was that there was not enough input from the government till it was to late. Hence the reason why I'm going to be paying off the bankers bill for the rest of my life. Awesome seeing as the lifestyles of the wealthy have not been affected by this massive failure. I think we must accept; as tax payers, that we will get fleeced by the rich in the good times and the bad times. As long as their standards are maintained then to hell with the rest of the billions on this planet.
    It amuses me that there are so many of us on this planet yet somehow we let a small privilleged elite control the whole works. one global tax code si the answer. No tax havens, no tax dodging to the extent that it's done. If people payed what they were morally obliged to then our debts would have been paid by now.

  • Comment number 74.

    Curt Carpenter wrote
    My paper has been classified, so will not appear on Google for twenty years (if then, and assuming that I actually WRITE such a paper.
    I went looking for a paper you said you wrote so I could understand your opinions and then find out that you never wrote one? If this is not disrespect for every one in this thread then my idea of disrespect is all wrong. Till you get past being childish get off the web.

  • Comment number 75.

    74. At 14:03pm 21st Apr 2011, kelnozz wrote:
    "Till you get past being childish get off the web."

    Well -that's- a bit harsh!

    I recommend deep breaths into a paper bag.

    But even someone as humorless as you will have to admit that the title of my paper captured the zeitgeist well enough to suck even a genius like yourself in completely.


  • Comment number 76.

    Neil: If people payed what they were morally obliged to then our debts would have been paid by now.
    ------
    Very much so...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_the_United_States
    An excerpt:
    In 1921, wealthy industrialist and then Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon engineered a series of significant income tax cuts under three presidents. Mellon argued that tax cuts would spur growth. The last such cut in 1928 was followed by the Great Depression in 1929. Taxes were raised again in the latter part of the Depression, and during World War II. Income tax rates were reduced significantly during the Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan Presidencies. Significant tax cuts for corporations and upper income individuals were enacted during the second Bush Presidency.
    -------
    Does anyone else notice how the last time USA had large tax cuts it lead to Great Depression (loss of jobs and increased gap between rich/poor) and after ten years of Bush/Obama tax cuts now it has lead to Great Recession (loss of jobs and increased gap between rich/poor)?

    They say history repeats itself...

    Maybe if USA lets tax cuts expire to pre-Bush levels then we could start to recover...

    However, President Obama and Congress just renewed Bush tax cuts for wealthy and corps whilst many Repubs are saying if they get elected as Pres or as majority in both Senate and House, they want to make Bush tax cuts permanent...

    SO if both sides are in favor of continuing Bush tax cuts which will likely continue our recession, how can we stop them from renewing them?

    If both sides are the same, what is the difference in voting for them?

  • Comment number 77.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_trade_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China
    An excerpt:
    Foreign trade did not account for a large part of the Chinese economy for the first thirty years of the People's Republic. During the 1950s and 1960s, the total value of foreign trade was only about 2 percent of the gross national product (GNP). In the 1970s trade grew rapidly but in 1979 still amounted to only about 6 percent of GNP.
    --------------
    Compare the 70's to today...its a HUGE change...
    -------------
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China
    AN excerpt:
    China is the largest creditor nation in the world and owns approximately 20.8% of all foreign-owned US Treasury securities. Industry and construction account for 46.8[96]% of China's GDP. Research by IHS Global Insight states that in 2010 China contributed to 19,8% of world's manufacturing output and became the largest manufacturer in the world that year, after the US had held that position for about 110 years.
    ---------
    Don't people see that the loss of our industry and manufacturing is why so many people in America don't have jobs anymore?

  • Comment number 78.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China
    An excerpt:
    China's global trade exceeded $2.4 trillion at the end of 2008. It first broke the $100 billion mark in 1988, $200 billion in 1994, $500 billion in 2001 and $1 trillion mark ($1.15 trillion) in 2004. The U.S. is one of China's primary suppliers of semiconductors and electronic components, power-generating equipment, aircraft and parts, computers and industrial machinery, raw materials, waste and scrap, and chemical and agricultural products. However, U.S. exporters continue to have concerns about fair market access due to China's restrictive trade policies and U.S. export restrictions. Intellectual property theft makes many foreign companies wary of doing business in mainland China. According to U.S. statistics, China had a trade surplus with the U.S. of $170 billion in 2004, more than doubling from 1999. Wal-Mart, the United States' largest retailer, is China's 7th largest export partner, just ahead of the United Kingdom.
    -----------
    Why are we supplying China with our industrial components that should be used for us and our allies only?

    Don't we realize that China and company could one day use these against us if we got in an argument?

    Who knew that one corporation from America- Wal-Mart was China's 7th largest export partner?

    And just think of how many Wal-Marts there are across America...

    All those Chinese goods being sold to Americans struggling to get by...

    How has trading with China helped America?

  • Comment number 79.

    #73) I find your comment about the Government involvement interesting? Misters Frank, Dodd, The Clinton Administration, Freddy, & Fanny decided it was an American's God given right to own a home! Unfortunately they failed to realize that if you loan money ,the US Taxpayers, to folks who can't afford to pay you back you blow up a staples on the US economy, Housing values & home building.

  • Comment number 80.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_theenvoy/20110421/ts_yblog_theenvoy/gates-obama-approves-predator-drone-aircraft-for-libya
    An excerpt:
    President Barack Obama has approved the use of Predator drone aircraft in Libya, Defense Secretary Bob Gates told a Pentagon press conference today.
    --------
    I am in support of using drones as at least that means they are not troops...
    -------
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/washpost/inpolldiscontentondebt
    An excerpt:
    The survey finds that Americans prefer to keep Medicare just the way it is. Most also oppose cuts in Medicaid and the defense budget. More than half say they are against small, across-the-board tax increases combined with modest reductions in Medicare and Social Security benefits. Only President Obama’s call to raise tax rates on the wealthiest Americans enjoys solid support.
    -------------
    So if 90% of the population agrees on something, why did Congress just do the opposite?
    ------------
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110421/people_nm/us_usa_campaign_trump
    An excerpt:
    Trump is waving all the criticism aside, and holding interview after interview to rip Obama, Middle Eastern oil barons, Bush and even China. "If we stop buying from China, China will go down like no other country has ever gone down before," he told Reuters last week. "China needs us more than we need them."
    ---------
    I agree with you Mr Trump that its time we stop buying from China and start buying from America...

    I love Trump's spirit and energy, he gives me hope and inspiration...

  • Comment number 81.

    Happy Birthday to the Queen by the way!!!
    :)

    The British tourist who caught the American baby is a heroine and as an American, I say Thank you for saving that baby's life...

    (although what that baby was doing crawling around balconies is beyond me...took place in Florida and I'm not surprised it was in that state)

  • Comment number 82.

    @41.
    Yes, a million dollars today, but theyll never stop appreciating will they.

  • Comment number 83.

    LucyJ
    If I may quote you on a few things.

    However, President Obama and Congress just renewed Bush tax cuts for wealthy and corps whilst many Repubs are saying if they get elected as Pres or as majority in both Senate and House, they want to make Bush tax cuts permanent...

    SO if both sides are in favor of continuing Bush tax cuts which will likely continue our recession, how can we stop them from renewing them?

    If both sides are the same, what is the difference in voting for them?

    Don't people see that the loss of our industry and manufacturing is why so many people in America don't have jobs anymore?

    So if 90% of the population agrees on something, why did Congress just do the opposite?



    Now about Wal-mart.

    Who knew that one corporation from America- Wal-Mart was China's 7th largest export partner?

    I bet these people know. Please read this article.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2006/sep/23/20060923-084008-4624r/?page=1
    Saturday, September 23, 2006

    Now think of the stock market. If a stock goes south no trader will stay in that stock. They will move their money to a better stock and protect their wealth. Put that in the same context but apply it to the richest people in this country, and I am also talking about the rich people in our government. If our economy is going south, will they stay in it? Do you see? All of the above are things that I am wondering also. I may have an alternative for you and if you agree or not at least you will have been informed of it. Type GOOOH into your browser for a plan to replace all of the US house, Rebub and Dem both.

  • Comment number 84.

    Imagine a guy like that with his finger on the bomb button.
    This guy is so narcissistic he would do anything for an opportunity to raise his status.

  • Comment number 85.

    re: 83 kelnozz

    "Saturday, September 23, 2006"

    Eh? 2006??!!

    Dude, are you still hung up on the North American Union conspiracy? Still waiting for that hot off the press 'amero' to show up?

    Oi. It's almost enough to make me join Curt down at the Cabaret and ring in the fin de l'epoque. To hell with Trump -- Emcee for Prez!!!!!!

    But I did like this from your old, odd newspaper article:

    "A flurry of articles over the summer painted the SPP as a step toward a North American Union that would submerge national sovereignty and open the U.S. to mass migration and political corruption."

    Little did 'they' then realise that the mass migration would be petro-dollar toting pale skinned Canadians flooding over the border in search of your loose women, cheap booze, and easy access to firearms, eh?

    Or at least in search of Outlet Malls. But I'm not sure that bargain crazed Canucks really constitute a threat to US sovereignty. But hey, horny, drunk, and armed -- who knows what might happen.

    Though you seem to be doing fine on the political corruption without any help from Canada or Mexico.

    Just sayin'.

  • Comment number 86.

    Its humiliating for America that Trump has any following with the ridiculous claim that President Obama was not born in America. Obama's mother was an American citizen in any case and Obama would be a citizen where ever he was born. So why then the nit picking and crazy attempt to remove President Obama from office over such a ridiculous claim? The case has gone through several courts and the birth certificate is all right.

    Trump at one time supported President Obama and has in the past been a Democrat. He has either of two reasons imo...Trump is generating viewers for his show, "The Apprentice" or he is making the Republican Party look foolish by bringing out the crazies who believe Obama was born in Africa.

    In any case I am surprised that Frei would write an article that supported this craziness.

  • Comment number 87.

    The next new thing. That is what we do. We have something to talk about today and tomorrow we will have something else to talk about. In the mean time nothing gets done and the country and the world for that matter goes to hell. And the beat goes on and on and on............................
    Ok you win. Go ahead and sit on your ass in front of your computer screen and wait for the next big thing and do nothing. We can have a Trump Palin ticket in 2012. You can start bitching about that and still do nothing.

  • Comment number 88.

    #86

    "Obama's mother was an American citizen in any case and Obama would be a citizen where ever he was born."


    Wrong.

  • Comment number 89.

    #87


    "We can have a Trump Palin ticket in 2012. You can start bitching about that and still do nothing."



    So called "career" politicians have gotten the US into the mess it is in now, perhaps it is time for a different approach. A Trump/Palin ticket might just be the right thing to try.

  • Comment number 90.

    It's interesting that Matt recognizes the potential a Trump candidacy would have for generating stories that could increase readership/audience numbers, or at least titillate the interest of the American voting public, while by contrast most American media has been instantly and strongly dismissive of Trump as a candidate--almost as if they were afraid to see him run. If the American media really does have the pro-liberal tilt that conservatives claim one would think they would welcome a candidate who espouses the birther line and therefor makes himself an easy target for ridicule. Could they possibly be afraid that the public would see Trump's business background as a big plus compared with the less than stellar success of President Obama's economic policies?

  • Comment number 91.

    I find the decision to employ drones in Libya disturbing. On the one hand it has the advantage of not exposing pilots to ground fire and eliminating the need for search and rescue units to support air operations there but on the other hand it seems a convenient way for President Obama to increase U.S. military participation while sidestepping Congressional approval of a military campaign with the argument "we're not sending in American military forces (i.e., personnel) , we're just employing drones" .

    The comment attributed to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Cartwright that drones are being employed because they can fly lower than conventional jet fighters gave me a good laugh. (They both take off and land at the same altitude: ground level.)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/2011/04/on_air_1100gmt_drones_in_libya.html

  • Comment number 92.

    You have to admit, it would be fun to see a President Trump summon an air traffic controller caught sleeping on the job to the White house and announce on camera: "You're fired!"

  • Comment number 93.

    Scott0962, I don't think you understood the drone comment. Drones do in fact operate (fly) at a lower altitude and for much, much longer periods of time than conventional fighter craft. So yes, they probably would be much more effective in Libya as you could leave a drone operating at low altitude for 10-20 hours waiting to hit a target at a moment's notice.

    Also, how do you know Trump has been successful at business? The one person who did the research and wrote a book about it (and unsuccessfully got sued by Trump for doing so) showed Trump has NOT been terribly successful at business. He inherited large amounts of money, his siblings have loaned him more, and all those things you see labeled as "Trump" aren't usually owned by him. He just licenses his name to projects. He is a master at selling himself, maybe the best person out there (and that's the true source of his income- licensing his name), but that doesn't make him a business mogul. You won't see him run because releasing detailed financial statements would ruin his false branding.

    JMay, how long does one have to be in politics before it's a career? Palin was a politician for 17 years, so I guess 18 years must be the cutoff?
    And what if your post-political career is solely based on the fame you garnered from being a politician?

  • Comment number 94.

    92. At 16:27pm 22nd Apr 2011, Scott0962 wrote:
    You have to admit, it would be fun to see a President Trump summon an air traffic controller caught sleeping on the job to the White house and announce on camera: "You're fired!"

    Thats a joke ???

    We are in this mess because President Regan said THAT ---and their union since then has had ´wobbly knees´

    We have only been lucky up to now --- and the catastrophe is still to happen !

  • Comment number 95.

    #88 jmay
    I am an American citizen and my son was born in Germany. Are you telling me my son is not an American citizen by birth ? and based upon what?

  • Comment number 96.

  • Comment number 97.

    Not really sure what to make of The Donald running for president. I have noticed that he is trying to appeal fringe right wing of the Republican Party. He is trying to stir up support by siding with the Birthers, who do not want to accept the fact that Hawii is actually a state in the United States and not some small foriegn country. He's also claiming that he has experience running a business responsibly, but actually he's had to file for bankruptcy. He is also claiming to be worth $7 billion when he not even worth $3 billion (according to a report last year in forbes magazine) The guy is not what he claims. It's time the American People told the Donald "You're Fired!"

  • Comment number 98.

    It been pretty well established that the Forbes magazine estimate of Trump's wealth, which has fluctuated wildly over the years, isn't based on any significant research. The "richest people" list in general is a ploy to sell magazines and the numbers for anyone on the list should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Trump's father was in fact one of the richest people in America at the time of his death and was significantly wealthier than his son is now or ever has been. So Trump's "business acumen" is more related to inherited wealth than any financial skill on his part.

  • Comment number 99.

    #96 quietoaktree

    If Trump runs as an independent that would guarantee a win for Obama.

    The Republican party is dependent on the votes of the right wing crazies. If those birther votes are split off from the Republican candidate (perhaps it will be Romney?) the Republican would lose in a 3 way race to Obama. Trump would be the spoiler.

  • Comment number 100.

    #95


    Having one US citizen parent is not sufficient, in itself, for the child to be a citizen.



    http://www.uscis.gov/files/article/chapter3.pdf


    Relevant requirements are on page 5. Also note the registration requirement, with the embassy/consulate, among other, ALL of which must be met.

 

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