We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Let me put it this way:

There’s nothing wrong with The Donald except that he’s a dishonorable, disgusting, opportunistic cronyist blowhard who has no problem getting the State to do his dirty work if all else fails, and maybe even if it wouldn’t. Either a liar or someone whose opinion depends on how the wind’s blowing, or both. Given a choice between Shrill and The Donald, one would have to wear waders that come up to the armpits to make it into and out of the polling place.

– Julie near Chicago

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42 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • LOL Julie, now tell us what you really think of the man 😀

  • Julie near Chicago

    Oh, I’m so sorry, Alisa, I do have this habit of being unduly delicate. Next time I shall try to be more forthright. 😉

    –J.

  • Andrew Duffin

    “a dishonorable, disgusting, opportunistic cronyist blowhard”

    So, just like all the other candidates then?

  • Plamus

    “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” – H. L. Mencken

  • Jacob

    Mark Steyn (via Instapundit):

    “And a citizenry that votes for an asshole is less deluded than one that votes for a messiah. Thus, voting for, say, Silvio Berlusconi (a kind of wealthier mini-Trump, and yet the third longest serving prime minister in Italian history, after Mussolini and Giolitti) is less psychologically unhealthy than voting for Barack Obama. And, come to that, less damaging to republican virtue than voting for the previous guy’s wife or brother.”

  • That is yet another of my fav Mencken quotes Plamus.

  • Fred Z

    It’s always a case of choosing the least bad candidate. Trump is all of the things Julie from Chicago said, but he’s less bad than Hillary, and his electability may make him less bad than other Republicans. A moral and wise candidate who cannot get elected is objectively the worst candidate.

    The real fools are those who expect good candidates or good to come from government.

    Voting is always disaster management.

  • Randy

    “The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
    To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.
    To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

  • Just what the GOP deserves. Remember, this is the party that violated all their own rules to exclude all the Ron Paul people. They all are blowhards. They’ve been consistently disappointing me since I started paying attention. I would actually like to run political ads that weren’t for anyone- just take whatever issue the candidate is supposedly for, and show how his voting record proves there’s no point in voting for him if you actually care about the issue.

  • Fraser Orr

    Fred Z
    > Voting is always disaster management.

    Now THIS deserves to be quote of the day.

  • Paul Marks

    Alisa beat me to the punch.

    As for Mr Trump – if you do not like his beliefs, he always has another set of beliefs for you. He has been on both sides of most political disputes.

    He is a good salesman – and professional “character”.

    He could be worse – he could be like J.E. Bush, who has establishment opinions about everything. And is actually more of a “money candidate” that Mr Trump is.

    At least Mr Trump feels it necessary to say what people want to hear – Mr Bush believes that he can just count on endless television ads, and free television and newspaper support, to make people vote for him whilst expressing utter contempt for the opinions of these people (their opinions on “Common Core” education, their opinions on getting rid of the deal with Iran, their opinions on illegal immigration – and on and on).

    “They will vote for me because the media will tell them to”

    That is the position of Mr Bush – and he may actually be correct.

    Which is scary.

    Candidates with strong and consistent beliefs such as Rand Paul – not much chance.

    Candidates who have actually achieved things, such as Scott Walker – we shall have to wait and see.

    Let us see what happens at the first debate.

  • Paul Marks

    Let us remember what the actual problems are.

    The fiscal and regulatory mess.

    There we have choices between candidates who tried to do something and failed (such as the Governor of Ohio – who tried to fight Collective Bargaining and lost, and also ended up accepting Obamacare because, he claimed, Saint Peter told him to do so).

    And candidates who actually did manage to end collective bargaining in the States – such as Scott Walker in Wisconsin.

    However, there is also the monetary system (credit bubble) mess.

    Of all the candidates only Rand Paul really understands that.

    Other candidates, even Ted Cruz and Scott Walker, have no background in Austrian School stuff.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    “Trumpmania” has little or nothing to do with Trump: it has everything to do with not cringing before the scolds. Fiorina is also not cringing, nor is Cruz, although Cruz is not pushing the point for the moment. The rest of the hopefuls are acting like Republicans.

    I expect Trumpmania will transfer nicely to Fiorina or Cruz once Trump’s flaws become manifest. And who knows? Another of the hopefuls may yet discover a spine.

  • Trumpmania will only work for Trump, because Trump has Trump’s money.
    Scott Walker is who the GOP want to put out there. Trump may have a shot at beating the leadership, but Cruz and Fiorina do not. I suppose if Walker really screws up at some point, maybe Fiorina can make a play, but Cruz is going to be excluded.

    They don’t care about winning as much as they care about control. If they are really stupid, they’ll push Trump third party and lose to Hilary.
    I remember Ross Perot backing out because he felt threatened; it is hard to see Trump taking well to that sort of stunt. I hope he has good security teams that are loyal to him, and not one of these alphabet soup departments.

  • Ellen

    American politics, here and now, is a sterling example of the old saying that too many cooks spoil the broth. We have enough elected fools and wastrels, but then we add on a massive substratum of hired fools: the bureaucrats. (I count union bosses among the bureaucrats.)

    So far, I’ve seen Scott Walker do a decent job of defanging the bureaucracy of unionized government workers. He’s got my default vote, unless somebody else convinces me they’re better.

  • I’m with Ellen.

  • Mose Jefferson

    As a friend of the Clintons, Trump has nothing to lose. His crashing of the otherwise promising Republican field (Paul, Walker, etc) virtually hands his friend Hillary the presidency. Trump then finds himself exactly where he always seeks to be, in a well connected cronyist relationship with government. It is a sound business decision, America be damned.

    Or, as a consolation, he wins. It’s win-win for Trump, and lose-lose for America, unless the inbred mouth breathing Republican voters actually find the sense to extract their heads from their behinds and quit feeding attention to the Trump monster. If not, we will get what they deserve, good and hard.

  • A promising field? More like fish in a barrel. I’ve no doubt some GOP leaders went and talked Walker off the fence because he’s got that little win against the unions Ellen mentioned. Can he appeal to the masses who watch T.V.? Probably not compared to Trump, but what about compared to the rest of the nutcases?

  • John Galt III

    Ted Cruz is the only one who did not climb on the bash Trump bandwagon. Why didn’t he? Because Trump is telling the truth and is not a PC (political coward) like the rest of them.

    Trump is blowhard, an egotist but he is pointing out that left in the US hates this country. As he is worth $8 billion or so according to reports he doesn’t give a shit who he offends. Good for him. He is a breath of fresh air.

  • ‘Little win’, August? Can you point to a candidate with a big win on his or her CV? Also, you may have not followed the events in WI at the time closely enough.

  • Alisa,

    There is no acceptable candidate. I haven’t heard Walker talk yet, but I am sure he will disqualify himself by happily continuing to support unconstitutional things Republicans like to do, while waving a finger at all those naughty things the Democrats like to do.

  • Laird

    “I expect Trumpmania will transfer nicely to Fiorina or Cruz once Trump’s flaws become manifest.”

    “Become” manifest? How much more “manifest” can they become than they already are? We already know all of Trump’s flaws; the mainstream media has seen to that (and not merely in this election; he’s been a running joke for years). Yet still he polls well. Why? Because he comes across as the anti-RINO. Not that he truly is one, mind you, but that’s what he projects. Telling pollsters that you support him is a merely a form of anticipatory protest vote.

    I’m also with Ellen: Scott Walker is my default vote unless someone better comes along. I’d like to support Rand Paul (the anti-Trump: he says what he believes and doesn’t mind going against the Republican establishment), but he’s not reliably-enough libertarian for me to “waste” my vote on, and I can’t see that he’s electable. I’m hoping for a Walker-Fiorina ticket.

  • August, I have not even began discussing Walker as a candidate*, I was strictly discussing the bit I quoted from your comment.

    *That may well be too early, and he may yet say/do many things, both stupid and less so – time will tell. His actual record in WI is an entirely different matter though, having occurred in the past.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Who said that you can never underestimate the intelligence of the average American?
    I OVERestimated it twice: in 2008, and then again in 2012.
    I am perhaps overestimating it again when i say that i don’t think Trump has a chance, and that Scott Walker looks like the best bet to me at this stage. (Better than Hillary.)

    The comparison of Trump to Berlusconi is quite natural. It must be said, however, that Mr B had a huge advantage: he found a power vacuum on one side of Italian politics, and filled it. By contrast, Trump finds himself on the more crowded side of American politics. Also, Mr B controls about half of Italian TV when out of office, and pretty much all of it when in office.

    Also of interest is the comparison of Scott Walker to Matteo Renzi, a comparison which i have not yet seen and for which i hereby claim a copyright.

  • CaptDMO

    Paul Marks
    “Let us remember what the actual problems are.
    The fiscal and regulatory mess.”
    If you say so, I MIGHT add a few, more basic themes, however…
    Wollman Rink, NYC.
    Sure, the “profesionals” in politics might have an “economics grad” or two to phone it in.
    ALL without any fear of actual consequence.
    CVs are pretty. Attendance diplomas make nice wall hangings.
    Demonstrable Resumes, and a clear history leadership, kinda’ get my attention.
    Of course, I’m just a mere Male white Hetero taxpaying alpha sheepdog (relatively) law abiding citizen voter (now) country boy, with ZERO “credit” debt, so…..

  • Eric

    I expect Trumpmania will transfer nicely to Fiorina or Cruz once Trump’s flaws become manifest.

    I doubt it. The 900 pound gorilla here is illegal immigration. When Republicans are running running for office they talk about “getting tough” or building a fence or whatever, and as soon as they get to Washington they vote for an amnesty. The reason Trump is getting traction in the polls is he’s giving the impression it wouldn’t happen in a Trump administration. Might even be true.

    People understand candidates are not going to match them point-for-point in policy preferences, and they understand ambiguity and evasiveness come with the territory. But they’ll only tolerate a certain amount of bald-faced lying, and we’ve reached that point on illegal immigration.

  • veryretired

    It is very dangerous to watch the frothing mixture that is American party politics and think that whatever one is seeing bandied about in the media has some relation to the actual dynamics at work.

    large segments of the public, from both parties, are thoroughly disgusted by the failure of the ruling coalition to even approach any valid solutions for the nation’s problems, many of which were nicely summarized by Paul above.

    The Trump travelling circus is a manifestation of that discontent, as were the Perot candidacies from the 90’s, and may very well result in the same sort of electoral mishap that elected Bill Clinton with a very minority portion of the total vote.

    It is also worth noting that the Trump controversy allows the media to perform two tasks it dearly loves to do—obscure and derail any legitimate republican/conservative candidates by ignoring them for all Trump outrage all the time, except when they attack each other; and secondly, ignore or lightly pass over other major stories that might be damaging to the current regime, or democratic candidates in general.

    The current refusal to analyze the Iran situation is any realistic manner, or even cover the Planned Parenthood debacle, are glaring examples of this modus operandi in flagrant action.

    24 hour Trump circus coverage accomplishes all sorts of things the prog alliance finds valuable, not the least of which is setting up a third party run for him that might dilute the vote for any valid candidate from the republican/conservative side.

    Given Trump’s past association with, and support for, the Clintons, I would not be at all surprised to find out at some future date that they’re behind the whole thing as a very pointed political strategy. Who else would better appreciate the possible benefits of another Perot type movement in 2016, with similar results to 1992, than the previous beneficiaries of exactly that kind of situation?

  • Jacob

    “The current refusal to analyze the Iran situation is any realistic manner”

    Here is a realistic analysis of the Iran situation by Barbara Boxer:

    ‘Boxer began her comments by stressing that she does think Congress faces a choice between accepting the deal and going to war with Iran — “at the end of the day, that’s really the option, which everyone tiptoes around.”’

  • CaptDMO

    VR “…secondly, (allow the “usual suspects of the) media (to) ignore or lightly pass over other major stories that might be damaging to the current regime, or democratic candidates in general.
    Parens mine.
    Please note, A butterfly farting, in Japan, is all that’s required for that.
    Better that it be a “distraction” with plausible, actual “grown up” results, rather than “plausible deniability”.
    Or something…

  • llamas

    +1, Laird except that I want to see a Fiorina/Walker ticket. From what I’ve seen, Ms Fiorina has more sufficiently-libertarian positions than Walker does and I think their electability is a toss-up. And I also think she grasps the fiscal matters a lot better than Walker, who for all his sterling points is still a professional government executive – deficit spending is in their DNA, no matter the party.

    But, FFS, it’s 14 months out, things can certainly change.

    Trump is a two-faced, crawfishing clown of the kind that only the US can fully mature. Think Perot, only without the good sense and self-restraint. But he is actually quite an attractive candidate in one way – should he actually be elected, the complete and utter RMBU that he’s make of all 3 braches of the government would be such that they might be rendered unable to screw up our lives too much.

    (I one worked with a woman who used to be a direct report to H Ross, back in the Dark Ages. She always said ‘It’s easy to understand H. Ross. You just have to always remember that he’s completely insane.’)

    llater,

    llamas

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Ilamas,

    If people like Trump and Perot are insane, it must be a peculiar sort of insanity for them to have gotten so successful. Cronyism or not, it takes skill and gumption to make it that far in life.

    Also, I might add that if Trump wanted to serve as a lightning rod to secretly help Hillary, he would have chosen a less damaging issue on which to split the cuckservatives, instead of immigration which has utterly exposed the vulnerability of the Democrats’ position. Government spending, for one, a favorite of anti-democrats. It serves the same purpose but is much less damaging to Democrats.

    Instead, he went on the offensive on immigration. That takes real cojones and hits the Dems on a weak spot amongst legal voters.

  • Jacob

    Trump, for all the clown he is, is a much better person than, say, John Kerry, who was a presidential candidate and is an utter idiot. And don’t get me started on Al Gore, who came within a hair to being president (after being a veep 8 years). So, Trump is no more than business as usual in the US.

  • Julie near Chicago

    John Stossel interviews Trump in this short clip (2:43):

    [ Substitute the usual video site’s name for “UT”: – – – UT.com/watch?v=SmM4ZBoppNQ .]

    Whereas Mr. Stossel thinks that property rights are the issue, Mr. Trump thinks Vera Coking’s house has to go on the grounds that it’s “ugly.” “It’s not fair to the people of Atlantic City.”

    !!! We do not need such a person as the U.S. Chief Executive.

    Dana Berliner (of the libertarian consortium of lawyers, the Institute for Justice — website https://www.ij.org ) comments.

    IJ has a detailed writeup of the circumstances and issues of that case, at


    https://www.ij.org/atlantic-city-nj-condemnation-background.

    Atty. Berliner was co-counsel in defense of Suzette Kelo’s right to keep her home in the infamous Kelo vs. City of New London Supreme Court case, which unfortunately the New London won–to the expressed satisfaction of Trump.

    Also, Trump was a registered Democrat until sometime in 2009. Did he accompany St. Paul? If so, I have yet to see any believable evidence of epiphany.

  • Eric

    If people like Trump and Perot are insane, it must be a peculiar sort of insanity for them to have gotten so successful. Cronyism or not, it takes skill and gumption to make it that far in life.

    Trump started rich (he inherited somewhere between 40 and 400 million) and his corporations have gone bankrupt over and over. He says he’s worth something like four billion dollars, but he’s almost certainly lying.

    He’s an actor playing a successful businessman.

  • Laird

    Eric, Trump says his net worth is $8.7 billion, and while that’s probably overstated (most of it consists of real estate, which is notoriously difficult to value) I don’t think it constitutes an outright lie. (The “Other” category consists of only $317 million, about 3.5% of the total. That’s immaterial.)

  • Julie near Chicago

    Eric–your link has confused two sites. I don’t know where you found the story, but Ixquick.com lists a few results, including one from Daily Kos (yecch) and one from Gawker.com.

    It takes a little time for the Gawker pages to load. The Timeline bit starts down a little bit, maybe 1/4 of the way? down on the page.

    http://gawker.com/donald-trumps-grossly-exaggerated-net-worth-a-timeline-1711718182

  • mojo

    He’s willing to call a turd a turd, regardless of the sensitivities of the Professional Conservatives now playing at being in control. I wouldn’t vote for him, except in extremis, but I like someone with the balls to call the bullshitters on their bullshit. It’s refreshing.

  • Eric

    Laird, my point was Trump isn’t worth anything like $8.7 billion. If he used the same accounting on his taxes that he used to arrive at that number he’d be in jail. Julie found the article I was trying to link.

    There’s a good chance he’s not worth a penny more than his inheritance. He’s a fraud.

  • Laird

    Eric, he may be a fraud but that Gawker article certainly doesn’t advance your argument. There are so many flaws in it that I stopped reading. I’m not going to fisk it all (not worth my time), but their very first “example” will do nicely:

    But according to Spy, which gleefully deflated many of Trump’s lofty public claims in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, this was a neat deception. The Andersen audit took place a week after Merrill Lynch had given Trump $651 million to build his famous Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, and it failed to note that all that cash was already earmarked for the project.

    Most of Trump’s remaining assets were in stock, but the accountants also didn’t point out that those shares were bought with borrowed money—he still owed $69 million.

    A stupid comment like that shows you that whoever wrote the article knows nothing about accounting or finance. So what if the cash was “earmarked”? Once it was spent on the Taj Mahal it didn’t just disappear; it moved from one line on the balance sheet (cash) to a different one (real estate). The value is still there.

    And the debt shows up in a completely different section of the balance sheet. It’s called “Liabilities”. If Arthur Andersen audited his balance sheet I guarantee you that they didn’t omit the Liabilities section. The author of the Gawker piece is an economic ignoramus, but it’s Gawker; did you really expect anything different?

    As I said earlier, I don’t doubt that the value of Trump’s real estate holdings is inflated; that’s what real estate developers do. But somewhere there is an appraisal or broker price opinion or something which lends support to the figures he used. I think your obvious dislike of Trump is coloring your judgment here.

  • I never read Gawker or anything associated with Nick Denton and his toxic confederates. They make the Guardian seem like a bastion of journalistic rectitude. I just refuse to give them the clicks.

  • gongcult

    Sometimes a blind pig might find a truffle. .
    The Donald might have found a few true observations that those who don’t have the ego to. shout out when challenged and mark as obvious. He has little lose by being disliked by the masses of Democratic Party PC indoctrinated voters. And he can always resort to more crony capitalism if he wants to get even richer.

  • gongcult

    That should be “to lose”.